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SiC

1968 Austin 1100 Mk1 (Take 2) - Delivered and now running (but fettling needed)

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Yep getting a decent one is on my list, as sod's law it'll fail at completely the wrong moment.
Yes. Happened to me down Stapleton Road in Easton, Bristol. Really not the safest place to breakdown, let alone having to deal with rush hour traffic too!

That was the second MGB breakdown and it scar me a bit.
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Sounds like you've done well there m8.  Get it pumped up, serviced, and just blez around in it!
Re the gears, mine is a bit shite when downshifting to third, so I've been double de-clutching which works most of the time.  Going from second to third is like stirring syrup, massive amount of travel.  All part of the charm though I reckon.  Is your pedal heavy?  I've changed the clutch slave but my mechanic recommended doing the hose too, as they break down internally.  25 quid delivered mind, but hopefully that'll sort it.


The whole lot is like stirring a pot at the moment! Hard push to the left to 1st and second - almost like a detent. Clutch pedal is very spongy. I'm going to probably change the slave and hose. Both look relatively original. Master is a new plastic design.

I'm hoping the gears will ease up once used more. Certainly did on the MGB. Not expecting them to be anywhere near as precise as the MGB though. They really are like the proverbial rifle bolt action!

I don't think the box on mine is new enough for synchros on 1st. Also every possibility that the other synchros are heavily worn too.

Engine oil change of course has the possibility of helping here. Iirc there is a grease gun nipple on the back around there too.

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33 minutes ago, SiC said:

Yes. Happened to me down Stapleton Road in Easton, Bristol. Really not the safest place to breakdown, let alone having to deal with rush hour traffic too!

That was the second MGB breakdown and it scar me a bit.
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You were lucky not to have been murdered! My grandad lived in easton all of his life and i can remember some fairly sketchy people frequenting stapleton rd in the 80's when i was growing up.

Article is from 2011 but things definitely have not changed!

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/forget-home-office-crime-mapping-1695400

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2 hours ago, SiC said:

So this car is bit of a paradox. I bought it as a "restoration project". Basically the trader guy selling it part-ex a XJ8 and got this. Being COVID, he didn't see the car in person and took the last sellers word for it. That seller turned out to have sent the trader 7 year old pictures when it was last restored.

C&C advert is still up:
https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C1204953

I personally don't care what went on there or the ethics of whatever happened. This is the eBay advert I bought it from:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/293575624794

Rubbish pictures and a description that would put people off. This was up for £3500 to begin with and I've been privately BeEP messaging about ADO16 recently. Anyway we were commenting about how it must have been a turd that he bought without realising and disappointed.

It then went down to £2500 and then £1800. Finished on Sunday night and by lunchtime it had no bids. So I decided to message him to find out what the crac was.

Also made a cheeky offer of £1200 given I couldn't see it and the description. That was rejected.

Got sent some more pictures. Not great and many were blurry. However apart from what looked like poor paint prep, I couldn't see much wrong with it. Saying that, most of the pictures weren't of use - despite me asking for under seat pictures.

Anyway I sent another offer of £1500 and about 20 minutes before the auction ended, there was no bids so he accepted.

Crikey bugger I've just won a car.

So I really didn't know what to expect. But generally on these it is the body that is the problem and the mechanicals that are fine. As said plenty of times on here they love to rot.

Since it's arrived here and all this evening I've been hunting for nasty stuff needing welding. Fully expecting to do welding and actually wanting to do it.

Admittedly I haven't gone under it yet but I'm struggling to find anything wrong!

Under the seats
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Pulling the tape off and looking at the backside of the rear subframe mounts, there is nothing of alarm. Some surface rust but there is wax down here - I did scrape a few bits off with my screwdriver. I've been poking hard with that screwdriver and it's all solid.
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You can see bits of MIG wire, so it's definitely been welded previously. The welds on the car all look pretty decent work too.

The sills are all solid.
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Footwells have been replaced at some point. These aren't my pictures, they're the sellers but yeah it's what they look like.
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I need to take the front wheels off for a proper look but feeling the trumpets, they seem smooth, hard and metallic.

Under the dash I can't get a good picture but again it's all solid. Looks to have had the heater box area welded when looking inside the bonnet. You can see a line of welds behind this float bowl picture. Possibly why it's got that metallic lining in the engine bay.
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Essentially I think the trader just has higher expectations on what this was. If you look at his other stock, they're all Mintola Concourse stuff.

So what needs doing?

Engine needs tuning, carb, etc. Gear change is a bit crap - looking at the clutch fluid I suspect the slave might be knackered.

Sat in the seats with the door open I can smell petrol. So I need to get underneath and check the pipes for corrosion.

Brake fluid reservoir is low, so I need to check pipes and flexis.

Suspension needs pumping up. Not sure why it's low. It's not on the bump stops, so it is holding pressure. The eBay picture showed the suspension a fair bit higher than it is now. I wonder if someone went poking recently on the valves and then realised what they were!
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Hence the paradox is, I bought this expecting the mechanicals to be fine and needing bodywork - typical ADO16. However I've received something the complete opposite! Some bodywork but mostly touch ups and adjusting bonnet + door shuts as they scrape the paint.

I still need to go underneath and have a good look. But so far there is no structural areas that have me alarmed and wanting to get the MIG torch out.

This is not a bad thing as I have plenty of bits to weld on the Dolomite Sprint still!

I've got tomorrow and next week off. Maybe I'll be able to get it fully sorted and back on the road by then? All on the speed of how quickly parts come of course.

You've done well there Si. Sometimes it nice to have a car that isn't so rotten that you'll fall through the floor driving along 😀

11.5/10 - I would have given 12/10 but you lost half a point for it being structurally sound!

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Assuming the original box then no synchromesh on first.  This was added with the change to mk2.  Sloppiness in gearchange can often be improved by tightening the splined joints where the linkage attaches to the gearbox,  A bit of a fiddle, but can be done leaning down the back of the engine,  Also check the 'sandwich' plate between the gearbox and remote extension is in good condition and not allowing the whole remote to move. Easy and cheap(ish) to change.

Another vote for replacing the clutch hose if the pedal feels too stiff.  As RobT says, they have a habit of breaking down internally.

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18 hours ago, barrett said:

What else would they be running it on, seeing as how leaded petrol is only available in a tiny number of places at great expense? Using u/l should have absolutley zero effect on an old car unless it's a brand new rebuilt engine and you blast up and down the motorway at 80mph all day.

Nice buy btw. I think that's what's known as a 'budget colour' but apart from that and the vinyl roof (and the saggy suspension) it looks pretty good! I really want to have a go in one of these asap.

Unleaded fuel with an additive - sorry, I thought that would be obvious but cheers for the heads up. :-)

Plenty of A Series units have suffered valve seat resession btw. Seen it loads of times, mainly around 1988/9 when unleaded arrived and owners thought it would be a good idea to run their Minis, Fiestas etc on U/L. However, I made a good living from top end rebuilds as a result. 😎

 

Anyway.........

 

The reason the car has been spitting coolant out could be due to the missing expansion bottle. I'm delving back in time a bit now but 1100's had an expansion bottle down the front of the engine (rad side iirc) and I can't see it on yours.  They were metal until around 1969, plastic later on.

 

It sounds much better if a little 'flat' so attention to the timing is needed and a c/test.

 

 

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4 hours ago, BeEP said:

Assuming the original box then no synchromesh on first.  This was added with the change to mk2.  Sloppiness in gearchange can often be improved by tightening the splined joints where the linkage attaches to the gearbox,  A bit of a fiddle, but can be done leaning down the back of the engine,  Also check the 'sandwich' plate between the gearbox and remote extension is in good condition and not allowing the whole remote to move. Easy and cheap(ish) to change.

Another vote for replacing the clutch hose if the pedal feels too stiff.  As RobT says, they have a habit of breaking down internally.

Excellent advice ; also, the knuckle in the remote itself at the base of the gearlever can loosen. Last but not least, there is a grease  nipple for that gearchange shaft on the diff housing - firing grease in there can remove a LOT of free play in the bushes if worn.

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7 minutes ago, The Mighty Quinn said:

The reason the car has been spitting coolant out could be due to the missing expansion bottle. I'm delving back in time a bit now but 1100's had an expansion bottle down the front of the engine (rad side iirc) and I can't see it on yours.  They were metal until around 1969, plastic later on.

 

It sounds much better if a little 'flat' so attention to the timing is needed and a c/test.

There's an expansion bottle in the front of the engine bay, underneath the grille area. Which has just reminded me, I ought to go get a new radiator cap for it. 

Next steps is to run it back up to get it toasty hot, then dump oil+filter, new air filter, plugs and probably coolant too. Just off out to my local Moss branch to pick up some service items to do that. 

Also buying a gasket kit so I can strip the carb down and have a check. If needle and jet are worn excessively, I'll get new ones ordered and replace them too. Otherwise I'll put it back together and retune. 

Can't go anywhere until my mix set of fibre washers come, so I can fix my home-brewed Hydrolastic pump and pump up the suspension. Not quite on bump stops but it's not far off! Also want to take the wheels off and have a quick look around. Brake fluid reservoir is half full, so I'm a bit suspect on the brakes. 

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When setting the mixture, there's a 'tickle' pin, small spring loaded thing that lifts thje dashpot upwards. You can set the mixture so that when you press the pin upwards 1.5 mm the engine speed should increase. If it stalls it's too weak, if it stays the same it's just weak. Press the pin upwards a bit more and it should slow down. If the engine speed increases even more with the pin pressed right up, it's too rich. You should do all carb adjustments at fast idle, about 950 rpm.

If the needle and jet look OK and aren't leaking I'd leave them.  Probably an 'M' needle in a std 1098.

 

This is good:

https://sucarb.co.uk/technical-hs-type-carburetter-tuning-single

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3 minutes ago, SiC said:

Crap, I forgot there is no rev counter on a 1100. Will have to figure a different way to measure RPM.

Not sure what equipment you have, I know some multimeters and timing guns have RPM settings.

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2 hours ago, dozeydustman said:

Not sure what equipment you have, I know some multimeters and timing guns have RPM settings.

I think I have an optical one kicking around somewhere. Otherwise I can stick my DMM on Hz.

750 rpm / 60s / 2 cylinders firing per second = 25Hz switching rate on the points by my reckoning. 

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9 hours ago, BeEP said:

Sloppiness in gearchange can often be improved by tightening the splined joints where the linkage attaches to the gearbox,  A bit of a fiddle, but can be done leaning down the back of the engine,  Also check the 'sandwich' plate between the gearbox and remote extension is in good condition and not allowing the whole remote to move. Easy and cheap(ish) to change.

I assume that means tightening 127 in this image?

Edit: and also 130?  Mind you that looks a tight fit normally.

1352497665_20200522_172058(1).thumb.jpg.e3da8e4dbb8ba8a64508ae0eaf7b7360.jpg

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5 hours ago, SiC said:

Crap, I forgot there is no rev counter on a 1100. Will have to figure a different way to measure RPM.

Assuming that the charging system is OK, the ignition warning light will go out at around 900-1000rpm.  

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Rotor Arm.  Having seen your pic of the 'little red number' of a Rotor Arm reminded me of a conversation I had with a classic car specialist a few months ago.

He was explaining to me that he kept a Genuine Lucas 'original old stock' rotor arm to hand.  As soon a second he had a classic in that was running rough, he dropped his genuine OE arm on and went on to proclaim that 9/10 times, the rough running was down to someone shite aftermarket rotor arm.

i've never seen a 'little red number before' and I'm not saying the modern day 'Sulac' units are any better than some other shite form a far away land.

Worth checking

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Wind caught the door and banged it against the house brick work taking a chunk of paint out. About the size of a finger nail :(
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Need to find a colour match so I can touch up bits like this.

Not done much on this today. Got up late, went to Moss to pick a few bits up and then ended up doing some DIY in the house.
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I'm now doing much needed garage sorting ready for it to go in tomorrow.

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 shame about the paint. Any idea where to go for a touch up kit or is it a custom mixed job?
And is that primer or paint under the blue? Looks as though it may have been painted cream once upon a time
 
No idea on the colour yet. Found a eBay invoice to someone who owned it previously and bought a set of sills. Reckon it was the person who restored it last, so will sent an email.

Primer I think is under it. Wouldn't be surprised if it has a skim of filler to make everything smooth looking. This is a picture from the file. Almost certainly a home respray attempt looking at this.
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Fixed my home brew pump. Basically needed a new fibre washer.

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Did a video of pumping it up with a proper camera, so I'll edit that and put it online some time in the future...

 

Put 210psi or there about of fluid. Suspension back to a normal height now.

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Probably why the suspension went down.

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The bonnet catches when you put it up on the left side. Tried adjusting it but it still does it. Taken the paint off where it catches.

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Turns out it's because the bonnet arm mount is rotted. First bit I've found! Also looks a bugger of a job to do.

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Compression test on a warmed up engine. Not checked the book figures but I don't think this is too bad? It's a high compression unit.

Cyl 1

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Cyl 2

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Cyl 3

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Cyl 4

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Now off to tidy up the garage so I can get it in to start working on it properly.

 

 

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I haven't felt the need to compression test mine yet, but when I do I'll be chuffed with similar results.

With regard to the bonnet hinge, I notice that the hinge is on the wrong side of the bonnet bracket.  The hinges should be on the outside of the brackets.  This probably explains why it looks like the bonnet is sitting too far to the offside of the car, and may help with you finding a position where it clears the scuttle.

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7 hours ago, jonathan_dyane said:

Can you fix the suspension pipe by splicing in microbore heating pipe and compression fittings or did I imagine that?

I'm not sure it would work at pressures of 15 bar. That's ten times what your average radiator pipework endures. 

The mains water coming into your house is only 3-4 bar usually.

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8 hours ago, jonathan_dyane said:

Can you fix the suspension pipe by splicing in microbore heating pipe and compression fittings or did I imagine that?

Yes, you very much can; I've already suggested this to SiC.  I've driven thousands of miles over many years with suspension repaired* this way and never had a problem, and I did the same to Craig the Princess's yellow Allegro estate the week before setting off on a round Ireland trip in 2014.  It's been in use ever since and the suspension has never been touched since then.  Obviously the holed bit of pipe needs to be in an accessible place (they usually go behind the clips which hold them to the floor) and having cut the dodgy bit(s) out you need to get the remaining ends completely clean.

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The bit of hose repairing it looks like it's been on there a long time without degradation.

According to copper.org, half inch pipe (15mm) is rated at 6000psi. I imagine the pressures are a lot lower than that. Especially considering four hose clamps and what looks like a piece of heater hose is currently holding it up. Admittedly the current rubber pipe is not ideal as it will cause an unevenness in the suspension response due to it bulging outwards. 

I believe I've read somewhere that during development, testing was performed of sudden pressure loss in the system. No effect was found when driving in a straight line and on a corner it was easy to counteract. 

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To be honest I'm surprised the rubber pipe and jubilee clip fix is holding up.  I've done that before where it helped to have cars off the ground for shunting purposes (ie on and off trailers) but they've never stayed up long term and I wouldn't want to drive it far like that.  But suck it and see is probably a good approach, it won't go down suddenly (at least from that repair) so as long as you haven't strayed too far from home you can toddle back at 30mph.

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