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Rusty Triumphs in Scotland - Spitfire engine acquired- 13/08/19

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28 minutes ago, captain_70s said:

I've been road tripping around Scotland for the last fortnight!


I've managed to acquire two engines which should be landing in the next few weeks. Bank balance is nightmarish and RBS won't extend my overdraft. All good fun.


More details when I have time!

Be sure to safely store them in the cellar.

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Right, update.

Engine situation 

I have two 1300 engines which need moving to my location, I'm currently arranging Shiply as it's cheaper than me collecting them in person.

Engine No.1 is a Mk4 Spitfire engine which was donated by JudicialGrunt. It turns over and he pulled the head and it all looks decent, currently drained of fluids and strapped to a pallet awaiting transport. With a light rebuild it'd drop straight in. Located near Bedford.


Engine No.2 is a 1300fwd engine/gearbox which Jikovron spotted for sale local to him. It was a quarter of the prices these engines usually fetch so I jumped on it. Its been sitting 30 odd years but turned over. Jikovron has stripped it and sent it to his local engineering place and has had the crank ground and had it rebored to 20thou. It'll need a bit of fiddling to fit a Dolly but it is a better pre-rationalisation engine. This engine is located near Chesterfield.



Big thanks to these two shitters for their massive help. I jumped on the second engine as JD was super busy for a few weeks and I'd not heard anything, the day after I agreed the purchase of engine no.2 via JK he messaged me to say the engine was drained and strapped on a pallet ready for moving! Hence why I now have two. I'm currently have 3 cars and 7 engines, which seems a decent ratio.
Big thanks to the multitude of shitters who offered help with engine transport as well. Given the distances involved it is cheaper to have them couriered than drive all the way there and back to collect them.

Acclaim News.

I bit the bullet and bought an exhaust. It's a mild steel example from IMASAF. Total cost inc delivery from Germany was £250 but I figure once it rots out I at least have a stock exhaust to have replicated in stainless. Fitting was painless and required no fettling, it is about half the weight of the old exhaust and sits perfectly, volume levels are probably also halved and rattles are eliminated...





My mate kindly lent me his driveway to make fitting easier...

I then took the car on a 1380 mile, fortnight long roadtrip around Scotland. More on that later... I now have to dash to work!


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Fitting an 1850 might be easier than trying to fit a 1300 FWD. The FWD crank is different. The front end is tapered (unless it is a really, really, really early one), to take the front flywheel/starter ring. The other thing is that there is no dipstick hole as they have a dipstick coming out of the gearbox (the FWD gearbox/diff/sump is one massively heavy lump of cast iron (well done getting the whole thing in what, I think, is a Daihatsu Somethingorother). The casting for the RWD dipstick hole is there but it would need drilling out. No real problem. 

You certainly seem to have enough bits to make an engine anyway. If it's a proper Spitfire engine I'd be tempted to go with that. The engine in my 1300TC is mk3 Spitfire spec and it's lovely. Really likes being revved. Much nicer than a 1500.

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1850 swap would require taking the whole drivetrain and axle out. Doable but nothing on the 1850 is in good enough nick to be worth the effort. The subframe is crusty, engine has done 90k and the diff whines.

The fwd motor is a weird wild card but worst case, if I can't convert for rwd use, I'll rebuild it for fun and sell it on. Or, the Shitter's Choice, buy a fwd to put it in...

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I thought the 1850 had the same drive train as the 1500 but Dollies aren't really my thing (as a FWD owner they are on the peripheries of my thing as their is a certain crossover but not much). I know the Sprint has a bigger gearbox and diff but thought the 1850 was standard. Though thinking about it the subframe would probably need swapping so probably not really worth the effort. 

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The concept of engine swapping the 1300 for an OHC has been floated around ever since the 1850 came off the road.

To be honest I'm too attached to the car's wheezy giffer transport character to change it for something too sporty!

The 1300 OHV is plenty usable in most situations anyway, the only real negative is the fact it gets a bit busy at 60+ mph. I'd like an O/D gearbox, but so does every Spitty owner, and they are priced accordingly...

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Is the old engine seized solid? If not, just wondering if you'd get away with getting underneath and swapping the shells over. Or did you run it till it was very and utterly dead?

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The later. It went from knocking under load, to knocking constantly, then the oil light came on and top speed gradually reduced until at around 15mph at which point the knocking became many out of sequence bangs. I knocked the car in to neutral and the engine hasn't turned since.

It might not be locked solid but the crank will be toast at best and it needed a rebore and head refurb to begin with.

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So. I had a reason for spending on a new exhaust even thought the prior example technically worked for the most part. Girlfriend_70s and I had been asked if we'd be able to house sit and look after some pets for my parents while they went on holiday to Argyll for a week. I figured that as we wouldn't be able to afford a holiday abroad this year, because of my financial incompetence, we could do a roadtrip of the Highlands during the week before the house sitting. I'd previously done this trip solo over 3 day while sleeping in the Civic back in 2016, but given I had company and a smaller car this time it was decided we'd book some hotels...



I didn't fancy doing this with the very loud, very low, very rattly exhaust the car had, so the new one was purchased for the trip. It was fitted on Saturday afternoon, on Sunday I collected Girlfriend_70s from her parents house and re-torqued the downpipe on their driveway. Earlier in the week I'd also changed the oil/filter, so the car is now running 10w40  as per the handbook. I'd dumped 20w50 in it previously because I had loads sitting around intended for the Dolomite. I checked the tyre pressures and vital fluids, chucked my toolboxes and the some spare bits in the boot, added the luggage and we hit the road.









In total we covered 1,380 miles during the fortnight, including the main roadtrip and going around Aberdeenshire while at my parent's house. The Acclaim managed fine despite the ambient temperature being 30C on some days and having to contend with many 20% gradients. Keen eye'd folk may notice the rear seat back is pushed forwards, this was due to the immense size of Girlfriend_70s suitcase which must have weighed nearly as much as the car...

It even got to live the life of luxury as I stored it in my parent's garage, a proper concrete panel job which is slowly sliding down a hill and has an asbestos roof.



The only minor issue was when the exhaust fell off...


Where the rear and front sections meet the pipes just slide together, to them to mate up tightly I'd whacked them together with a hammer and all seemed well with an interference fit. Until it stopped being well after going down a rather rough dirt track after 1,100 miles of heat cycles. I pulled to the side of the road (on a blind crest, naturally) and used my wax jacket as a big glove to lift the exhaust back into position before hammering it on again. 5 miles up the road I stopped at Tescos car park and fitted the spare clamp which came with the exhaust which I had declared superfluous but kept in the boot "just in case".


Other than that all went well, the car needed a drop more oil after around 1,200 miles and used nothing else other than screenwash. The new exhaust is a revelation, it has to be half as noisy as the last effort and features no rattles. As a reminder here is how the new one sits at the back compared to the old one...


Now I just need to give it a good clean... And sort out the rough idle... And weld up the growing hole in the driver's side sill...

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The phrase of today is "aaaaah, my back".



Three people, three flights of stairs, 130kg of cast iron. It was easier than getting the 1200 engine in the basement but I have pulled a muscle in my lower back, which is quite unpleasant. I'll get to stripping and cleaning the thing in due course.

In other news while passing the Doloshite t'other day I noticed this.


That's the £230 sill "repair" I had done 2 years ago ready to be done again then.... Think I'll do it myself this time...

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We had three people, which is about as many as you can get around the thing. The only way we managed to get it along the halls and through doors is because Victorian/Edwardian buildings tend to be generous in their widths.

We carried it on it's end, two people having an engine mount to hold and me grabbing the dizzy pedestal and rocker cover.

May try taking it back down in bits and resassembliing street side if possible.

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It always surprises me just how heavy an engine is - even these smaller displacement jobs. That 1100 engine with the gearbox was a fair old lump of iron.

I guess on this one you could take the head off, which probably is around 25kilos or so?

What about Rapunzeling it out of the window?

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11 minutes ago, captain_70s said:

We had three people, which is about as many as you can get around the thing. The only way we managed to get it along the halls and through doors is because Victorian/Edwardian buildings tend to be generous in their widths.

We carried it on it's end, two people having an engine mount to hold and me grabbing the dizzy pedestal and rocker cover.

May try taking it back down in bits and resassembliing street side if possible.

Oh how I wish I'd been there to see that! Not to help at all, just watch and laugh. Sorry, don't really mean it but I've done my fair share of humping Triumph engines around and they do seem to put far more iron in them than seems necessary. Well done. 

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I've lugged an 1850 engine around and if it is heavier than an OHV it can't be by much, the use of alloy must take it down a chunk.

If it hadn't been getting late and pissing down I may have entertained taking the head off. It'll certainly be headless for the return trip...

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14 hours ago, Andyrew said:

Wd40s pretty good for getting oil out of carpet. 

Fun fact. during the heatwave a couple of weeks ago a load of tar leaked out of the Acclaim's door bottoms. Likely sprayed in there at some point as a form of rust proofing.

This'd be fine aside from the fact it gets everywhere and is impossible to get out of fabric, at some point the passenger side seatbelt must have gotten snagged in the door frame, acquired a coating of said tar and then transferred that straight onto Girlfriend_70's best white blouse... No, she was not impressed.
I managed to scrub it out of the seatbelt with WD-40, nothing else would touch it...


I've now cleaned up the cylinder head as much as I can be arsed without removing the valves . Don't suppose anybody in the Dumbartonshire area has some valve spring compressors I could borrow?



No major corrosion to speak of, valves are slightly crusty but I reckon the Dolly's were in worse nick when I first dismantled it 5 years ago. The top end was actually oilier than the car's current engine back when it was in regular use...

I'll need to nick some studs from the Dolly's engine (some are missing, others bent) as well as the rocker assembly. Between the two heads I may well be able to finally have the right number of washers and nuts!

Next step is cleaning the main block...




The substantial mayo residue is due to the engine being transported on it's side...

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