With all the things that have been going on with Devon D Day i think i may be excused for not updating. But things have been happening, the chassis has been sprayed and flipped the right way up. the steering box has been fitted as well as the pedals, brake master cylinder, brake pipes and clutch linkage. The biggest step was the fitting of the engine, gearbox and transfer box. This didnt go without hiccups, the driver side engine mounting bracket which came bolted in place on the new chassis was not at the right angle and when the engine was bolted in the angle was so acute that it ripped the rubber mounting in half! After much head scratching and looking at pictures on the web we decided to remove the bracket and alter the angles, after a bit of bending and trimming it fitted fine.
Of course the other bit of news is that Santa is now making Summer visits. It was a bugger to find mince pies in June but the mess the reindeer left in the road was perfect for my rhubarb!!!!
Now the chassis is here, several coats of OD have been applied to the underside and parts can now be unwrapped from storage and bolted on, IT'S A JEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Father Christmas delivered a special package from the Phillipines, the new MD Juan GPW chassis. Once the bubble wrap came off and initial inspection I gave it a quick 'keying' up and flipped it over and sprayed a couple coats of paint on. It was already painted a green colour but i wanted to give it a really thick coating so salt from the Burrows has a harder time getting a grip.
A few more bits have been fitted onto the engine. I rebuilt the distributor, making my own brass bush for the top end of the shaft. Copper/nickel fuel pipe was used in making the fuel pipes and period plug leads and caps were fitted on. Just a generator and starter and coil needed to complete.
As you can see more assembly work has taken place, the inlet/exhaust manifold has gone back on along with the solex carb, I realise the solex isnt original but will do the job until a decent Carter carb comes along. The head hasn't been toequed down yet as im waiting for the air inlet tube that goes on two of the head studs. The last picture shows the front engine plate and water pump fitted.
I spent half a day cleaning oilways, threads and waterways in the block, lucky i did as the oilways to the centre cam bearing was completely blocked with sludge. Ive left the core plugs out at the moment as i have to put a couple of thread inserts in for the head studs, so will need to blow the swarf out.
With the main and big end bearings are on order i made a start with putting the valves in. The valve seats had already been done for me, it was just a matter of assembling them. I put the cam followers in and inserted the camshaft, liberally coating everything with assembly lube. I had already checked the fit dry. Because one of the original valve springs had collapsed and a couple more looked a bit dodgy i got new springs, caps and collets. Its quite a fiddly job to get the springs in past the followers and adjusters but once in i adjusted the tappets and refitted the valve cover.
Well the main and big end bearings arrived and i wanted to get the crank in and insert the pistons just to check the piston height. The reason for this was that the block had been skimmed and Barum had removed the same amount from the top of the pistons. The crank was placed in with no seal at the back for now, and as each main bearing cap was fitted and tightened i turned the crank, the reason for this was that if there was a problem i could identify which bearing it was, i did the same for the big end as well. Luckily they were perfect as was the piston height. I didnt put any rings on just to keep it simple.
Once i was satisfied everything was ok, i removed the pistons and crank and checked the bearing surfaces etc. Next the rings, i inserted one in each of the bores and pushed a piston in a little way to straighten them up. The gap was checked and then i put the rings on the pistons and oiled them up ready for insertion. I had a choice of rope or modern rubber rear main oil seal. After much reading on the interweb i decided to go with the modern version. I put that in and checked the seal surface on the crank, it looked ok so placed the crank in and torqued the caps. Next in were the pistons, they felt quite tight going in and once again i checked rotation of the crank as each one went in, but initial fears of tightness were unfounded and it turns over smoothly.
The next job was the head studs, 13 went in well with a coating of pematex No1 on the threads to seal them. The last two needed helicoils and after a bit witchcraft they were fitted. The head was placed on just make sure they were all straight, they were, luckily!
Well Christmas has come and gone and last week the block, head and crank came back from Barum Engineering, and it looks good, but first just to catch up on the other stuff i've been doing while waiting for the engine.
All the component parts of the engine have been cleaned, sandblasted and painted. To start with the exhaust and inlet manifolds were parted mainly because the heat riser valve seemed to have been removed and welded up. As was to be expected the four bolts sheared off but with a bit of gentle persuasion the manifolds came apart. As i suspected the valve and shaft had been removed and the remaining holes in the side of the casting quite roughly welded up. I decided that this would be unrecoverable and turned my attention to the inlet manifold. The four broken bolts were well rusted in and after several attempts with stud removers i decided to drill them out, this worked but i found the reason why they wouldn't come out, they had been put in cross threaded and even after a careful clean up the threads were too far gone. I then drilled them out and inserted helicoil thread inserts, job done, the manifold was then cleaned and sprayed grey.
It occurred to me after looking online that there are two steel bushes in the exhaust manifold that support the heat riser shaft. Maybe when they welded up the holes these may still be there, some gentle cleaning up with a grinder revealed them and once i could see the full circle of the bushes I then tapped them straight through the casting and out. Manifold saved!!!! I ordered a kit and with a bit of jiggling around i managed to fit it. The valve is very simple in operation, when cold the balance weight holds the flap inside the manifold closed and diverts the hot exhaust gases up inside a cavity around the inside of the inlet manifold and then back out to the exhaust manifold, as the engine warms the bi metal spring moves the flap open and allows the gases to exit the engine straight down the front pipe.
Now, the engine. Well Lee and John at Barum checked the bores which had had liners fitted and with a a clean up with the honing tool came up lovely, the head was skimmed, and the top of the block was skimmed to remove the pitting around the valve areas. This reduction in height was matched by machining the same amount off of the top of the pistons to maintain the correct compression ratio. They also checked the valves and fitted bronze valve guide inserts and re cut the valve seats. While checking the crank John found that it had been machined out of line so i can only assume that this must have been felt in the vehicle! He waved his magic wand and re machined it. Now i've got it back, the core plugs were pulled and cleaned out, all the threads cleaned, oilway plugs taken out and the galleries cleaned. I spent quite a lot of time cleaning the very dirty and corroded exhaust and inlet ports but it was worth it you wouldn't believe how much crap came out!
The end of January means the obligatory visit Stoneleigh Military show. I went with a list of many parts and for once was well disciplined, although it was very difficult to. Walking around is like being a kid in a sweet shop.
After selling a kidney, i managed to purchase a wartime Willys engine. I was assured it was in 'good condition' with no cracks etc. As usual i stripped it down to assess the work needed to be carried out. I can then put it aside and carry on with the axles etc. Obviously with such an expensive investment i just wanted to really assure myself that i hadn't purchased a very expensive boat mooring.On the outside it looked ok, no trails of rust from cracks or core plugs, the paint looked old and even all the way round, nothing touched up. so off came the head. After reading lots of horror stories about snapped studs, stripped threads, studs rusted into the head, cracks etc etc i was very relieved to see things looking quite normal.
as can be seen no1 exhaust valve spring has collapsed but doesn't seem to have done any damage. Further stripping of the engine show that it has had liners put in and the crank has been ground and the shells look to be in good condition. Once completely stripped i will take it to Barum Engineering to see what needs to be done.
Its really nice to start to use some of the new items i've collecting over the past year. The diff assembly was checked and refitted, new seals and bronze bushings were fitted to the axle casing. The bendix drive shafts were in good condition, cleaned and reffited. The steering pivot pin was replaced as there were no treads on the old one, i thought this would be an impossible task to replace because someone had obviously bodged it up rather than replace it. The steering arm had a homemade plastic bush rather than the proper bearings.
After a liberal soaking with car restorers best friend (wd40, other products are available) a couple of taps with a hammer and punch and it came straight out.The swivel housings were refitted and shimmed up to have a 5lb pull and felt just about right, the new bearings will im sure settle. I've gone for the original felt seals in the swivel housings instead of using the aftermarket modern rubber seals available, i may or may not regret this we will see!
With the purchase of the sandblast cabinet it made light work of cleaning up the parts as they were stripped from the axle. Once cleaned a coat of red oxide was applied and the parts set aside for reassembly.