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1975 Ford Granada Coupe - Lots & lots of tinkering


TripleRich

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  • 1 year later...

It's been ages since I've updated this thread but that doesn't mean I've not been busy with the car.  In fact I haven't really stopped, it's needed something almost constantly since my last post.  I'll do a series of posts going through each job in the order they cropped up. 

Despite fully restoring the car it's still 48 years old.  Keeping it going/ ironing out the teething problems has been quite a challenge.

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First issue...

Outside lane on a duel carriageway doing 70ish.  Big pop through the carb without warning and it instantly died.  Wasn't interested in restarting but thankfully I was able to coast into a layby and have a look.  My first thought was timing gear failure causing the engine to jump a few teeth and loose time.  Moving the distributor about managed to get it going again and I limped it home.

Blew the front of the engine apart to have a look and was relieved to see everything was fine.

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Further diagnosis revealed the issue to be much simpler much to my relief.  The rotor arm had somehow walked up the distributor shaft and come out  of the keyway.  After a while it spun far enough around to conk the engine out.  I pressed it back down again and the engine ran fine.

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An easy fix.  Despite the annoyance of tearing into the front of the engine for no reason it was nice to see everything was good & working well.  Another few hundred miles and I was onto the next issue...

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Second issue...

After living with the car for a while I started to pick up on a few more things.  General driving about at lower speeds showed the rear end to have a bit of a clonk/jerk when coming off the cutch or doing a slightly sloppy gear change.

The issue was this coupling that connects the diff to the propshaft being worn out.  Apparently it's quite common on the Granada for these to become quite sloppy.

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It's part 36 in the diagram.

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Bugger to change it on the driveway but after a few hours I had everything back together with a new part.  This significantly improved the general refinement of things and made the car a lot nicer to drive.  I work about 30 miles from home so the daily commute continued to serve as the shakedown route for finding more issues.

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Next problem was rather more frightening/squeaky bum time...

While doing about 30 in a village I started slowing for a junction.  This resulted in the brake pedal suddenly dropping straight to the floor! 

Pushing rather hard and using the handbrake I managed to stop.  Some quick diagnosis at the side of the road showed the front circuit of the master cylinder to have failed.  I still had the rears but it certainly doesn't stop well on just the rear drums.  All the lines & flexis look good and I'd lost no fluid.

This was disappointing because I had gone to the trouble of fitting all new/NOS braking components to the car.  The master has not been available for many years.  You can only buy a slightly incorrect aftermarket one instead.  This is the correct ATE one for a Granada with proportioning valve, it's new old stock but until now it had worked just fine.

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So I took it apart and found the issue.

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The front seal had a chunk out of it.  However the bore is mint and the seals hadn't gone hard.  Upon reassembly with new seals it became apparent that the seal is easily damaged during the reassembly process.  You can catch the end of the bore and rip/turn the edges of the seal.

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I put it all back together and blead the brakes.  They felt better than they ever have before so I suspect this unit always had a slightly damaged seal.  Several hundred miles since then and it's been just fine.

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Next up was some tuning/ running improvements.

In general the engine starts and runs well but the more I got to know it the more I noticed every tiny hesitation and misfire.  Nothing serious and my passengers never noticed anything but I wondered if I could try and get rid of it.

I'd been using the original style distributor and coil with points up to now.  I decided to fit electronic ignition.

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At first I fitted a cheapo accuspark set from eBay into the original distributor as an experiment.  This did improve the general running of the engine but I've seen them go pop before on customers cars although it's rare.  I used the car like this for a bit and ended up going for a complete powerspark distributor & coil.  This has the added benefit of removing the original distributor and whatever wear it has from the equation.

The original distributor was reassembled with points and chucked in the boot as a roadside spare.  I wired the new distributor in such a way that you can't tell it's fitted and can quickly fit the old one in the event of a breakdown.

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I've done about 1k miles since then and it's been very good.  Certainly has a stronger spark and is easier to start etc.

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Next up was something rather more serious.

Over the past thousand miles or so I had to start adjusting the valve clearances frequently.  So much that I could do the entire job in 25 minutes.  The engine would start to rattle a bit, I'd tighten the tappets a bit, the engine would shut up before rattling again after several heat cycles or another hundred miles.

Some of them became quite concerning.  Specifically exhaust on no. 6 which always needed a turn.

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I knew what this probably was and being a V engine it's a bugger to check.  So I blew most of the engine apart to remove the followers.

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Sure enough they are buggered!  Some much more than others, at best these have done 2.5k miles.  Two words, aftermarket SHITE

20230429_151358.thumb.jpg.8fdd67488cf288e3b7ef916dc81a1c0f.jpg

Now in fairness I never followed the traditional cam break in procedure for this engine.  To get a fully rebuilt engine to immediately start first time and run at 3k rpm for 20 minutes with a fully blead rock solid cooling system is rather more difficult than you might think.  So long story short this engine did a fair bit of cranking and idling before being driven in anger.  This may have contributed to the short life of these followers.

20230429_161311.thumb.jpg.3d9fafe250411f29a29cc794952b6815.jpg

However (and luckily) the cam itself was just fine.  This is a new old stock Ford cam to the standard profile for a 2.3 cologne.  Despite the followers beginning to fall apart the cam has shrugged it off and it certainly seems to be made from far higher quality materials.  The crazy paving pattern is the last of the black protective coating wearing off (which is supposed to happen).

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Cams for these engines are usually aftermarket and of the mild, rally or race variety.  I bought a set of followers and a mild cam from Kent Cams.  While the original cam looks fine and has only done a few thousand miles I didn't want to risk it and was curious about fitting a mild cam instead.  The 2.3 is not known for its speed and a bit of extra power would be nice.  

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I put the engine back together.  Followed the cam break in procedure and instantly regretted it.  The mild cam has an awful lot of valve overlap for a "mild" tune.  This caused a huge amount of scavenging at idle and generally made the engine run very very poorly.  No amount of tuning would improve it and I couldn't get the idle to reliably go below 1k rpm.  On the road it felt nasty and would try and cut out at every junction.  I was rather disappointed because that meant...

Take the whole bloody engine apart AGAIN...

 20230526_103818.thumb.jpg.93534556b96b57befd4b5e60e9c956f1.jpg

I put the original profile cam back in.  Reassembled the entire engine and checked everything thoroughly along the way.  

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Result!  It runs lovely again and the noisy valve clearances are long gone.  Back to its old self and I'm looking forward to putting in some more miles.  The Kent Cam lifters have been broken in according to the instructions twice now as a precaution.  I hope they stand the test of time as the alternative lifters are either unbranded or from a company I've never heard of (like the first set).  I've also done several oil changes along the way and checked said oil upon draining for anything nasty.  I'm using 10w 40 from Millers with additional ZDDP additives.

While these bits are the main issues I've had over the past year or so I've done lots of other small cosmetic and mechanical jobs such as...

  • Curing the break squeal with the correct clips on the pads
  • Replacing the boot trim with a mint undented one¬†
  • Fixing a vacuum leak from the air box
  • General cleaning/degreasing and painting to keep the engine & underside looking good

A lot of the issues that have cropped up since putting the car back on the road have now been resolved.  I've learned a lot along the way and with each fix the car gets more trustworthy and nicer to drive.  Although there have certainly been some rather frustrating moments/long days.

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  • TripleRich changed the title to 1975 Ford Granada Coupe - Lots & lots of tinkering
7 minutes ago, danthecapriman said:

Great to see updates on this Rich! Hope your well too!

The old beast is still looking absolutely gorgeous. Well worth all the blood sweat and tearsūüėÖ

Cheers Dan!  Its been a challenge but that's what I was expecting.  Not used it as much as I would have liked due to work & endless maintenance but it's been fun.   Although the lifters falling apart did piss me off!

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2 hours ago, Rightnider said:

You’ve done a fantastic job with the car, and it’s great to get updates. 
 

I’ve got a clonky rear diff on mine as well. Did you remove the entire diff from the car or just the extension towards the prop shaft?

It's doable without removing the diff.  You need the take the massive bolt out that holds the diff to the car and sit the diff on a jack.  You also need to remove the 4 bolts holding the extension casing to the rear beam and disconnect the driveshaft.  Then split the diff from the extension shaft casing.  You should be able to push the extension casing forward and roll the diff backwards on the jack.  Gives you just enough room to remove the coupling. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Over the past week I've covered 382 miles.  Most of this was 30 mile trips to work and back with a show at the weekend.  Been checking everything carefully along the way.  So far it's been good and the new cam followers seem to be doing their job.  I'll be keeping an eye on the clearances to see if anything is developing but so far it's been driving well.

A lot of the driving has been very stop start with lots of accelerating up to 60 or 70 and then coming to a stop again.  Doing that has returned just under 25mpg and the coolant temp has stayed solid despite the rather warm weather. 

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I've done a small amount of tuning & timing tweaks as I progressed through the week.  

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Since getting the car finished in 2021 I've covered almost 3k miles.  Last week I stuck it in the air after work to give everything a good check over and touch up any paintwork etc.  I've never actually put this car on a proper ramp so it was very nice to be able to go through everything standing up.

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Some small spots of surface rust were starting to appear on some of the bolts, brake fittings, brackets, exhaust and fuel tank.  I went over each bit with a wire wheel, some rust treatment and a can of paint. 

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I also cleaned and degreased any gunk and oil spills from the past two years of tinkering.

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Very happy with how its doing underneath especially with how much rain it's been driven through.  Cars of this age will deteriorate quickly from show standard underneath just because of how exposed everything is to the elements.  

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Of course its needs are constant so I'll continue to post updates of various repairs and issues that come up.

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On 6/3/2023 at 10:00 PM, TripleRich said:

Next up was something rather more serious.

Over the past thousand miles or so I had to start adjusting the valve clearances frequently.  So much that I could do the entire job in 25 minutes.  The engine would start to rattle a bit, I'd tighten the tappets a bit, the engine would shut up before rattling again after several heat cycles or another hundred miles.

Some of them became quite concerning.  Specifically exhaust on no. 6 which always needed a turn.

20230429_144313.thumb.jpg.fdf8c9f4b76324c50330c68a6afdb7c6.jpg

I knew what this probably was and being a V engine it's a bugger to check.  So I blew most of the engine apart to remove the followers.

20230526_103818.thumb.jpg.9cb9786766319f8ad60398d815f766f8.jpg

Sure enough they are buggered!  Some much more than others, at best these have done 2.5k miles.  Two words, aftermarket SHITE

20230429_151358.thumb.jpg.8fdd67488cf288e3b7ef916dc81a1c0f.jpg

Now in fairness I never followed the traditional cam break in procedure for this engine.  To get a fully rebuilt engine to immediately start first time and run at 3k rpm for 20 minutes with a fully blead rock solid cooling system is rather more difficult than you might think.  So long story short this engine did a fair bit of cranking and idling before being driven in anger.  This may have contributed to the short life of these followers.

20230429_161311.thumb.jpg.3d9fafe250411f29a29cc794952b6815.jpg

However (and luckily) the cam itself was just fine.  This is a new old stock Ford cam to the standard profile for a 2.3 cologne.  Despite the followers beginning to fall apart the cam has shrugged it off and it certainly seems to be made from far higher quality materials.  The crazy paving pattern is the last of the black protective coating wearing off (which is supposed to happen).

20230429_174838.thumb.jpg.6f9d9c7e5972f9aa90596448dbbf3352.jpg

20230429_180424.thumb.jpg.2ef9c57f4374c2782d4bed9865f1e75a.jpg

Cams for these engines are usually aftermarket and of the mild, rally or race variety.  I bought a set of followers and a mild cam from Kent Cams.  While the original cam looks fine and has only done a few thousand miles I didn't want to risk it and was curious about fitting a mild cam instead.  The 2.3 is not known for its speed and a bit of extra power would be nice.  

20230526_153711.thumb.jpg.31af6d7a9ebb8742d8f6c12631c03cd2.jpg

I put the engine back together.  Followed the cam break in procedure and instantly regretted it.  The mild cam has an awful lot of valve overlap for a "mild" tune.  This caused a huge amount of scavenging at idle and generally made the engine run very very poorly.  No amount of tuning would improve it and I couldn't get the idle to reliably go below 1k rpm.  On the road it felt nasty and would try and cut out at every junction.  I was rather disappointed because that meant...

Take the whole bloody engine apart AGAIN...

 20230526_103818.thumb.jpg.93534556b96b57befd4b5e60e9c956f1.jpg

I put the original profile cam back in.  Reassembled the entire engine and checked everything thoroughly along the way.  

20230527_153855.thumb.jpg.6cd9c1ad674a4038634f7167e65e320a.jpg

Result!  It runs lovely again and the noisy valve clearances are long gone.  Back to its old self and I'm looking forward to putting in some more miles.  The Kent Cam lifters have been broken in according to the instructions twice now as a precaution.  I hope they stand the test of time as the alternative lifters are either unbranded or from a company I've never heard of (like the first set).  I've also done several oil changes along the way and checked said oil upon draining for anything nasty.  I'm using 10w 40 from Millers with additional ZDDP additives.

While these bits are the main issues I've had over the past year or so I've done lots of other small cosmetic and mechanical jobs such as...

  • Curing the break squeal with the correct clips on the pads
  • Replacing the boot trim with a mint undented one¬†
  • Fixing a vacuum leak from the air box
  • General cleaning/degreasing and painting to keep the engine & underside looking good

A lot of the issues that have cropped up since putting the car back on the road have now been resolved.  I've learned a lot along the way and with each fix the car gets more trustworthy and nicer to drive.  Although there have certainly been some rather frustrating moments/long days.

I had the dodgy cam follower problem after my DS engine was rebuilt. The solution used was to find some good used ones as it seems modern stuff is shite.

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23 minutes ago, DSdriver said:

I had the dodgy cam follower problem after my DS engine was rebuilt. The solution used was to find some good used ones as it seems modern stuff is shite.

I've since found the original used followers in my pile of spares while doing a clean up.  If these Kent Cam followers give me trouble I'll be fitting the originals 

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