I think something is missing…

Slowly getting there… Early start yesterday and got a fair bit done I guess. Interior out, propshaft off, exhaust off, gearbox out, alternator off, starter motor off, bonnet removed, front valance dropped and finally engine out. All done by hand with ropes I might add – no lifting gear. Only to find the flywheel is larger on the new engine. A bit of thinking and a call to Clive to confirm that if I bought a new clutch I’d need a new gearbox too as the number of splines would be different. So I took the option of drilling out the original flywheel on the engine I’m removing and then the plan was to get some new bolts for it this morning and put it all back together. It was a bit too late to get them last night as we didn’t finish until about half eight (then another half an hour trying to get the crap off in a shower). I completely lost track of time and missed something I shouldn’t have so was rather miffed with myself… Anyhoo, I’ve called around and visited a few places this morning to get my bolts and… no-one has any and/or is shut without warning. So I think an order will be placed with Canleys in a minute. Hopefully it’ll all be back together by Monday.

A semi-productive day

There was a space on the drive today so I made the most of it. The job list went;

I’ve never been happy with the brakes on the Acclaim. The peddle is spongy, not because of air in the system though. It feels more like soft pads, but if that were true they’d have to be jelly from the feel. Maybe the hoses need replacing. Anyhoo, I flushed the braking system and tarted up a couple of bits underneath the car and off it went.

I need to confess to “doing a Keith” too. Right foot out of the car, left leg on the throttle to reverse it so I can take out the bricks used as chocks. Tap the throttle, then for some odd reason bang down on it sending the car wheel spinning backwards at 20mph. I can only assume my foot thought it was jumping on the clutch. Luckily the rather loud bang resulted in dead flower pots only. The car is fine.

The previous owner had the front footwells plated but the old rot was still there and inside the new metal hadn’t been protected. I didn’t like the combination of a leaky screen and clean metal surrounded by rust. So out with the seats and carpet and in with the angle grinder. I managed to find more holes in the wheel arch area which ‘ll have to do. For now I’ve whacked in some fibreglass so water doesn’t get into the car. I know it’s not exactly strong, but neither is rust or bits of metal held in with underseal. so it’s just like it was before I knew it was there. Whilst I could get to it I replaced the spring on the throttle pedal (it has the organ style). The car has an electric washer pump and the switch to operate it was a push button on the steering column. I was given a switch to replace the pump-action type in the car when I bought it so I fitted and wired that in and put the overdrive switch in the hole where the nasty washer pump one was. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. The overdrive gearbox is still five miles away in a mates garage.

I also tinkered with the front lights. I got a load of sealed beam ones from Clive so set about putting dipped-beam ones in all the holes. Dead easy, I simply needed to add a double bullet connector for the blue/red wire on the off-side as the lights came with their H4 looms. So now I have four dipped-beams. Not exactly allowed, but by pulling two wires the car is made legal. 😉 I also put in some proper connectors for the reverse lights. I’ve no idea why but they were scotch-locked.

I had no idea where the timing was on this engine so set that static and now it’s better with no pinking. I didn’t set it spot-on to the 8° BTDC – just near enough. It’s over 40 years old, has done almost 80,000 miles and is running on supermarket fuel rather than the leaded fuel it was designed for so I doubt the “proper” setting is massively relevant now. It doesn’t pink and pulls well so it’s right. Indecently, this car is within the first 750 to be built yet the engine is one of the first 250. Go figure! I also took the chance to tinker with the carbs which weren’t too far out. At idle the ignition light comes on but it’s not struggling and if I were to fit an alternator it’d be fine so I’m happy for a while.

Safe to say I’m a bit sore this morning. I ate four jam doughnuts and had three cups of coffee during that 8+ hours of constant work so I think I deserved my sleep. Also, why is it that I can use an angle grinder with hot bits of metal flying around without goggles and not cut my hands on the sharp edges but when I put everything away I bang my head on the corner of the cupboard?