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I like your old stuff better than your new stuff! - Mk2 Transit LWB MOT pass and a lucky save

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Well i'm massively flattered by all the interest! I've managed to track down some of the photos so here is the next installment.

 

This is how it looked after the first round of fettling and a polish

 

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Whilst the body was getting fettled a bit I set out sorting the LPG

 

Tanks installed and about to be fixed, 90l + 80l giving a total of 136l of LPG at 80% fill

 

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Filler hidden from view - no nasty holes chopped in the side of the van for me

 

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And with the plate down you would never know it was there

 

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BLOS LPG Carb - I couldn't get IMPCO gear easily so this was the next best thing

 

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Vapouriser

 

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And I ran about happily till the MOT was due at the end of January, back up to Derbyshire for more fettling and the engine decided that it wanted to run on 3 cylinders rather than 4, bugger, adjust the tappets (there was no clearance on No. 3 exhaust) and it was no better, double bugger.

 

Whipped the cylinder head off and the valves out and all the exhaust seats are stuffed, 20+ years of unleaded then being pushed down the motorway didn't help matters.

 

Then it snows hard

 

Luckily I'm picking up other parts from a man who is also selling a pinto head and cam, reputedly from a '79 2.0 Cortina, pulling that one apart and the valves are almost as bad but the seats are savable, recut the seats, new valves fitted and lapped in, cam doesn't look that good so I decide to use my existing one, no I wont because the existing good cam doesn't fit replacement head! Clean up the manky old cam and stick it back together.

All done in the snow with about 5" of it laying on the ground.

 

 

Engine starts up and sounds sweet, off we go for an MOT pass in the morning.

 

Going back down the motorway I almost have kittens when 3 cylinder running is resumed. A quick stop at the services reveals a plug lead adrift much to my relief

 

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And normal service is resumed.

 

At some point I splash out silly money on tracking down a set of Euroliners after giving up on my idea of slot mags

 

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Van behaves itself for another year.

 

I go to a couple of meet ups for fellow mk1/2 owners

 

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The other blue LWB with the Sheffield reg is FredTransits, it's the one that James May drove on top gear.

 

The last one I go to I park next to Jono's camper PUK

 

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This in hind sight was my undoing, PUK kills the ultra reliable pinto engines (yes its a flat front Mk1 with a pinto) on an all too regular basis....I leave the meet on all 4 cylinders and point the van north to Chesterfield for its MOT.

 

I arrive on 3 cylinders, bollox.

I'm tired and go to bed planning on a nice V6

In the morning adjusting the tappets and 4 cylinder service is resumed, well resumed long enough to drive to and from the MOT station when it drops back onto 3.

Then it starts trying to snow again.

 

more when I can find the pictures.

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God that is amazing, my dad had a B reg Mk1 SWB new and I still remember the pain of burning my legs on the grey vinyl seats on a hot day. The LWB twin rear wheel versions with the rear spax always does excite me.

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Don't the later (Mk3) DI 5 speed boxes fit these?

The type9 is a straight fit but considered less than ideal in a LWB, the MT75 will fit but you need to cut the floor as the gear lever is in a slightly different position.

 

what a win bus! Great to see one in daily use.

 

Don't fancy a diesel conversion then? I expect using LPG is just as/if not cheaper

A diesel would cost me £100 a day to go to work within the M25 LEZ! LPG is quieter and works out about the same cost if you are paying for fuel.

 

When I was at school we had a Transit like that.

I've actually got the plate from when it was donated to the school by the parents association, will put a picture up when I find it out.

 

Did it go better (when running on all 4 obvs) after you fitted the Cortina head & cam? If memory serves the original Transit cam didn't have a very bhp-friendly profile.

If anything it was just slightly worse, the original low compression transit 2.0 pinto allegedly used the 1.6 cam, that head is actually a bit of a mystery as, as far as I can tell, all pintos used the same cam bearing sizes so my existing one should have fitted it.

That head didn't last as long as I expected unfortunately, recutting the valve seats removed the "leaded memory" and it burned them out in either 6 or 8k...

 

REMOVE CHROME WHEELCOVERS

These are made of stainless and took an age to track down, unless I can get slot mags to fit (you can't as the offset is wrong) they're staying. :)

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I think almost every one of us on here has been in the back of one of these due to school/college or dodgy working connections at some point........ My uncles fishing mate had one, loaded to the gills with gear etc... and we'd be hauled about to football games in the back. Lost count of the times we climbed out with fishing hooks, lead weights or rods doing damage en route. Those were the days......

 

School had one - but teacher left the keys in and we stuffed it in a schools car park while at a 7-a-side rugby tournament...... they of course punished us by replacing it with a sherpa!!! Oh the horror!

 

EDIT - fanatastic looking old van/bus fella. Excellent to see it doing it's job as intended.........

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That red engine stop button needs wiring up to a very loud horn and a camera. Recipe for a hilarious picture when some miscreant pushes it when drunk off their head on a Saturday night - and doubles as a warning that someone is messing with the van...

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Update time, needing the van for work I quickly decided on having the original head converted to unleaded so hard ended valve seats, also as it had never been skimmed I had it done twice to up the compression ratio. We finished fitting the unleaded converted head complete with new Piper BP255 hi torque cam (thank you for the recommendation Muttley:)) and a set of followers near Chesterfield at about 2:30 and arrived knackered back near Gatwick at 8:00, that included running the cam in for 20 mins at 2500rpm and re-setting the valve clearances!! Oh and a stop at Toddington Services for a quick check over and tighten a jubilee clip on a rad hose that was weeping.

 

The head work has definately improved driveability didn't have to drop out of 4th once on the motorway and was a lot more willing to pull, I didn't have my full load of tools on board but there was still a fair bit of weight to drag along.

 

Big thanks to Roger at Foxwood Boring and Grinding (Foxwood Diesels), Chesterfield for sorting the machining work and all the new parts.

 

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Yep thats right the rotten bit behind is the part with the vin number on it, don't want to be having welding and grinding showing round that really so left it for the time being

 

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Step welded, derusted, Jenolited and painted, got to clean off the overspray still

 

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Off with its head (again)

 

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New Parts

 

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Build up new head

 

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More pics of less rust now and we have side exit exhaust!

 

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This is the same shade of blue that West Yorks plod had their Transit meat wagons in, but they were Essex powered. I bet the overdrive units for these are like rocking horse crap, both my old high school's minibuses had em, one was a C plate Pinto mk2b crewbus spec twin wheeler, the other a top of the line D plate Mk3 slopenose Di, both were thrashed by teachers

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Guest Hooli

Some of my earliest memories of driving sideways were in a school minibus this shape. One teacher used to do trips out when it snowed and all we did was terrorise back lanes. Most popular trips the school did! Thank you Mr Sladden.

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This is the same shade of blue that West Yorks plod had their Transit meat wagons in, but they were Essex powered. I bet the overdrive units for these are like rocking horse crap, both my old high school's minibuses had em, one was a C plate Pinto mk2b crewbus spec twin wheeler, the other a top of the line D plate Mk3 slopenose Di, both were thrashed by teachers

Oddly I know of 2 people who have overdrive boxes and are supposed to be trying to sell them but actually getting them from them is proving difficult.

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The slopenose Mk3 was a D...EYU, and was actually won by the school, was a fully loaded Transit L, with full roof rack, tachograph, headlamp washers, twin wheels, and seatbelts, was presented to the school by weirdy beardie David Bellamy. Shame it was run into the ground. It replaced a red V reg pinto crewbus LWB that the back doors would fly open, it was rotten, every now and again it would be spotted parked outside Foxwood in Seacroft, aka 'San Quentin High' in the Beiderbeke series. Good luck hunting an OD, is it a Fairey unit similar to Landies?

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Success MOT achieved, just a couple of none MOT bits I want to sort out now - leaking diff cover for one.

Also spotted a missing exhaust manifold stud which I will do tomorrow. Rain, snow and wind permitting.

Will be getting it tested again in August or September - sod laying on the ground welding in a pool of water!!

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Leaking diff cover was hopefully re sealed and the diff oil changed - for the first time ever judging by the state of what came out.

A long motorway run showed a definite reduction in the amount of noise as well so that is an unexpected bonus, this pushed cruising speed upto around 60 although in a moment of madness I did see an indicated 72 whilst passing an HGV although thoughts of another engine rebuild quickly reigned in my enthusiasm!

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Work has been quiet so the van has largely spent most of it's time in the drive.

I managed to get a little bit done in my quest to go faster (or not quite so slowly up hills) got the broken stud in the Janspeed manifold drilled and ran a tap down to clean the threads.

Just need a 3/8x24 stud and some locking nuts or possibly normal nuts with spring washers. Any reason not to use stainless?post-5068-0-82722000-1518710728_thumb.jpg

 

As posted in the news thread the spare engine I got to rebuild looks like new inside so rebuild costs for that are only a gasket set so far!

Armed with only a air powered due grinder and the David Vizard book on tuning I'm going to set about porting one of the spare cylinder heads I have.

Anybody with any tips for keeping torque I am all ears.

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Not much to report at the moment, the van has been merrily working away, bar for the period of the 'great lpg shortage' which resulted in the use of £40 worth of petrol in 2 days, causing much distress to me! I think I can swap my 80l tank out for a 100l one in the same space which should increase my range slightly taking it from 140l to 160l in total.

Have been working down in Camber Sands for a few days so its been clocking about 160 ish miles a day with no issues, highlights were spotting a E type jag and a Mk1 or Mk2 Escort van on the A21 before Tunbridge Wells services.

 

One of the ancient tyres that were on the van has developed a strange wear pattern and possibly gone out of round so I've sourced a matching set of part worns on LDV rims, just need to shift the other 7 vehicles boxing in the LDV so I can get at them!

 

Oh and swapped a headlight bulb on the way back as dip had blown, 2 days later the new bulb has blown the main beam filament - all modern bulbs are rubbish ;)

 

Getting a bit smokey on idle when ive been queueing for a while - but oddly has used no oil this week!

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Bah, looks like head gasket is on the way out, slowly using water and pressurising. Smoking majorly after being left ticking over but using very little oil - plug no. 3 is black so I'm guessing it's done a ring as the stem seals were replaced when the head was converted to unleaded.

Just can't be arsed doing anything else with this engine so K seal will be applied to see if it will last long enough to get round to stuffing in the good used one I picked up which is currently residing in Derbyshire.

 

Still on the lookout out for an o/d box and the bits to put it into a Lwb.

 

If plan K fails it's only a day for me to change the gasket, just seems a waste as I could stuff the other engine in using the same time...

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Plan K appeared to stop the water loss issue, however any speed above 50 resulted in the temperature gauge rising and sitting at about 3/4.

 

However on the way back from work 2 days ago the temperature gauge dropped down to a 1/4 leading me to stop swiftly as I expected to be dramatically short of water but all was normal so I carried on, Wierdly temperature has stayed running low (where it was prior to OMG suspect HGF) since then, I wonder if a blockage or air lock has shifted itself or I've an electrical issue effecting my gauges?

 

Knocking the ignition timing back slightly has reduced it's smoke screen tendencies after being stuck in traffic, I tried this a couple of weeks prior to the running temperature change so the two aren't related.

 

The spare engine is looking good, absolutely no carbon in the exhaust ports and I lapped in the valves by hand in a few moments. It has unleaded inserts fitted too. Not so good is that I spotted what looks like damage from a broken ring on no1 piston and head along with a slight scratch in the exhaust valve. This is annoying as I previously pulled no.3 piston to check the rings and shells without noticing the damage to no.1.

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Replying to quite an old post here, but on stainless for your exhaust manifold I wouldn't.

 

Stainless steel (the 304/316 type that most fasteners are made of) has a much higher co-efficient of thermal expansion than cast iron, you can get leaks at the joint as the clamping of the bolt/stud almost disappears by about 500C.

 

Its a bit hot for normal HTS (8.8 grade etc) at work we use a grade called B16 which is a cromoly steel for hot joints like this.

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Well despite my intentions of a mid year MOT date I didn't find the time so I found myself playing ice road truckers again, luckily there were only a couple of patches required until I had a close look underneath and found a large area of inner sill absent without leave.

Luckily a bit of measuring tape action showed it not to be testable so I left it till after the test to patch it up.

MOT man agreed so it was patched up following the test, luckily a large flat plate was all that was required.

 

I had 2 almost new turned fitted just before the test, I had them fitted to the rear as they were the worst ones, I swapped them to the front and what a revelation! It now feels like I have power steering!! I have no idea if this is due to them being Chinese made death rings with no appreciable grip or the tread pattern but damn has it lightened it up!

 

Before heading back to the tropical south I wanted to change the thermostat from the summer one to the winter one. On removing the cambelt cover for better access the belt was absolutely chewed to bits! It looks like it had worked its way gradually off the pulleys and the cover had taken chonks out of it!

I had a new gates belt kit and tensioner pulley in stock for my spare engine so that was swiftly fitted, thank heavens it's a pinto!

A check after a 500 miles shows it's now running at the rear of the pulleys and well away from the covers.post-5068-0-96980200-1549878006_thumb.jpg

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