Its been such a long time since I updated progress on Lady Marilyn you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d given up. Absolutely not the case, just taking a bit of a breather and sorting other stuff out. Poo has gone, Herman has arrived (and new toys just HAVE to be played with – it’s the Law) plus I’ve been working for a living too – and work has been manic….
So, when we left the story the venerable lump was out and mounted on its engine stand, the head was off, the studs were all loose and everything was going well…
I took the head to W. Drake in Bradford (http://www.wdrake.co.uk/) for pressure testing and cleaning. Just a quick job, or so I thought. As is always the way with testing, it revealed the need for more work. The head was leaking from the core plugs, the guides needed replacing, the seats could do with updating too and… and…and…. So I took the easy (but not cheap) route and told them to fully fettle it for me.
Drakes are very good but like, Ward Engineering, you couldn’t accuse them of being quick. To be fair I hadn’t been in the zone to do much during that time and no harm was done. Then 4 months later, like the second coming, the phone rang to tell me my head had finally arrived in the dispatch bay. Was I ready for it? Was I bloody hell!
And so the head was duly collected. Sadly Drakes don’t do the gold paint required for the head so once again I turned to the internet for guidance.
What’s the best way to walk from the kitchen to the stairs? If you follow the internet’s advice you’d leave by the backdoor, walk to Droitwich before hailing a cab to the train station heading for Seaton Sluice (real place), taking the bus to the front door and right there you’ll find the stairs.
This is how it was when I tried to track the paint down, about a million web pages later I’d arrived at HMG paints (https://www.hmgpaint.com/) who do a decent approximation to Jaguars Harvest Gold (the generally accepted shade used on the later S1 E Type heads). At least they had an outlet a couple of miles from work and I could happily collect said material in my lunchtime. So that was done and another part accumulated.
Meanwhile, back to the block and time to see what’s happening down below.
I span the engine over on the stand and whipped off the sump. To be fair there were no nasties floating around in there, but a ton of sludge had accumulated. A simple degrease was all that was needed.
I put the sump back on, masked the top end and cleaned up the block ready for a fresh coat of paint. Probably the wrong sequence this, but it made me feel like I’d made more progress than I actually had….
During the rebuild hiatus I tried to convince myself I was still doing meaningful work by accumulating all the bits for the rebuild, timing chains, tensioners, gaskets, seals and new head studs were waiting for the head to come back, and waiting, and waiting and so on…
Time to play catch up, uncover the block and take a peek at the bottom end and once again all looked pretty good.
From what I could see of the cylinders they were all pretty good.
I pulled the big ends out and they looked good. In many ways that’s the worst thing that could have happened. If they’d been worn it would have been a black and white crank grind, but they were fine.
Interestingly it appears the shells came from Gustav Graves Diamond mine in Iceland…
Next, pull the mains. Here there was wear, so the decision became easy – off to the grinders after all.
So, strip off the oil pump and pipework, remove the big ends and pull the pistons before taking off the mains and lifting the crank out
Next pull the oil pump drive and cam chain pulley
and off to the grinders it goes, along with the fly wheel which needs skimming too.
I’d bought a bore gauge to check the wear on the cylinders to decide if a re-bore was also on the cards. Neat bit of kit, checked its calibration at a friend of mines climate controlled measuring room (all very posh – but useful too) and it was bob-on.
Assemble the necessary configuration of collars and pin and we’re ready to go.
Happily the bores show very little wear
The base line measurement at the bottom of the bore was 0.05mm, maximum measured wear was 0.04mm, well within the 0.15 specification. Finally something that doesn’t need doing and isn’t anywhere close enough to “do it anyway” logic.
Now I can get into the oil ways and have everything spic and span for when the crank comes home.
Until next time, once again its….