Hi all, you may recall i stomped off AS 6 months back after getting annoyed at the wanky moderation on here. Well I must have got over it to some extent, as i had been logging in from time to time recently, mostly to see what was on the for sale board, and guess whats happened? I've ended up with another car.
I need more projects like I need a hole in my head, but this turned up on the FS board with no back wheels and no price and I was intrigued. Struck up a convo with @Snake Charmer who was looking after it on behalf of the owner Alan. It had been on Snake's driveway for 15 years and it seemed like it was 'out of sight out of mind' for Alan. Anyway photos were exchanged, I had a chat with Alan, more photos and videos came down the wire, then Alan said I could take it away for £1000 and pay after it was collected!!! Very decent of him. (I think he mostly just wanted a painless sale and a good home for it). At that price i could not refuse. So @worldofceri was drafted in for logistics, Snake refitted the rear wheels and home it came to castle bo11ox!!!
I think both Snake and Alan are interested to see how I get on with it, so I'm chucking a thread up on here to record what happens with it (if anything).
So lets have a look at it.
So its a 1968 Zephyr Mk4, 2.5 Essex V6, 4-speed manual box and column gearchange. Snake has rebuilt the engine, and its got a new clutch and various other bits and bobs. It does run but doesnt drive as the rear calipers are dismantled and in the boot. Also the exhaust is rotten. I did bust out the mop on the bootlid and roof as well, I need to go right round it still.
So far all I have really done is stare at it, I absolutely love how it looks. I always liked the shape of these and they seem to have avoided the crazy prices and knucklehead image of most old fords. Probably cos they supposedly drive like a half-burst lilo on the Whitley Bay Leisure pool.
It seems amazingly unmolested really. Pretty much everything is present and correct. Stuff like the carpets and door seals etc do look like theyre 50 years old, but thats because they are right? I can't find any signs of it being welded amazingly - look at this flitch panel behind the NSF wheel. No splash guard - looks like it has the factory coating on it, yet all there is is a bit of surface rust.
NS sill flange:
Amazing! The only bits of rot I've found yet are the front wing tips and this little hole in the corner of the windscreen:
That'll be a screen out job to sort, but I did find a company in Oz that make new screen seals so if I can get hold of one of those, the screen can be cut out to avoid another palaver like I had on the horsebo11ox. Amazingly this does not seem to have rotted out the bottom of the A pillar!!!
Anyway the biggest problem is the lack of brakes. My driveway is sloped, so I've got the wheels chocked but with no brakes at all its completely immobile till i can get something sorted. The calipers were removed and dismantled some time back, heres how they look now:
Snake reckoned they might be salvageable but looking through the bits I could only find one piston!!! (should be 2 obvs) Also, these calipers are pretty unusual, theyre the same as you get on a Rover P6 and they have some very weird mechanisms inside them. I decided I needed another pair of calipers 'intact' so that i could see exactly how they assemble and be sure I wasn't missing any other bits. @barrett put me onto some stammering geezer in Brighouse who has a stash of P6 parts so I had a trip up there and came back £70 lighter but with with 3 more calipers ("probably don't even need a rebuild m8")
So today my workbench looks like this:
Now I've got 5 calipers! on the far left there is one which I am planning to keep intact as a guide to how the thing assembles, the other 4 are now in bits. Also I found the missing piston. Also got 2 new seal kits.
Now then, the real nub of the problem here is the pistons:
All the pistons I have, are in really poor condition like these. Theyre a really weird design with that arm on one end and clipped inside is a female-threaded adjuster that wobbles about, check it out in the middle of this cross section:
I noticed past parts sell reconned calipers for these/P6's so i thought they must have a source of new pistons, so I rang them up today. They reckoned they re-use pistons but bore out and re-sleeve the caliper bodies. I sat and thought about it and decided that sounded ridiculous - why fit a new sleeve, when the seal is static in the bore and the sealing surface is a moving piston? Then I sat in the garden for some hours wondering how I could get some new pistons machined up in stainless and how to attach those crank arms to them. I even opened one up to have a look inside:
Didnt really come up with a satisfactory answer TBH.
Then I had a brainwave when I realised that the main piston is not actually hydraulic at all!!! its the little one on the left of the X-section that is, that must be the one that PP resleeve. So actually, those miserable looking pistons will be perfectly OK after all. I will just clean them up as best I can and chuck loads of vaseline over them to protect them.
I'm hoping I might be able to go up to Cobblers' place and get some of these bits cleaned in his ultrasonic cleaner before reassembling but hopefully i can get them back together in the next day or two either way.
Also gave the backplates a clean up and a coat of red oxide & satin black (forgot to photo the finished jobs!)
Ive got this week off work, booked it ages ago so I could do loads of horsebox stuff - Ive not touched that at all yet, as i am still in a 'love haze' with this Zephyr. More soon!