Coupe Build From Australia

If you have a long-term project and would like to share/document progress, this is for you.

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Post by efi_sprintgte » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:15 pm

8) :D


JC

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Post by philhoward » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:16 pm

Beautiful work, Victor!

The ride height and choice of wheels and tyres looks really good.


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Post by mermar74 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:38 am

Continued from previous instalment;

Roller-coaster Ride


Final assembly has been progressing well up till now and slowly the car is taking shape.

I find the job of final assembly on a restored and painted body shell to be one of the most stressful jobs on such a grand build; not only does a great deal of care needs to be excersised at all times so as to not mare the new paint finish, final assembly can also unravel unknown issues with components that have not yet been put to work.
Issues arising at this stage always seem worse then what they actually are and annoy me immensely, especially as I put so much effort trial fitting and testing components prior to reaching this stage. Unfortunately certain components cannot be properly tested until final assembly, and these are the most likely to give trouble.

I made mention of this because a number of setbacks have been experienced with this build lately, and instead of joyfully fitting shiny new parts the past several weeks have been spent rectifying a number of unexpected issues (teething problems). These issues have slowed the build to a point where I feel progress is again going backwards.

The first of these sagas started while bleeding the brake and clutch systems;
The bundy tubing hard lines on this car have all been custom made, and great care was exercised forming the flared ends using quality equipment.
As often happens when bleeding a system for the first time, some of the flared connections did not correctly seal leaking brake fluid over freshly painted surfaces.
This is normally a frightening situation as brake fluid will easily strip paint and ruin a very expensive paint job, but fortunately I am using silicon brake fluid on this car which does not damage paint.
The leaks where all cured by nipping up the offending threaded connections a little tighter to help further seat the flare, although reaching some of these connections (now the chassis is complete) became a challenge due to minimal access.

The next job entailed filling the cooling system; I decided to use Evans coolant for all its benefits.
With the system filled I noticed coolant seeping from just about every hose connection as well as the water pump seal. These leaks took me by surprise me as every part of this cooling system is new, the hose clamps are top quality and tightened sufficiently, and the system is not yet pressurised. I can only surmise the Evans has very low viscosity (compared to other coolants) as no leaks were present when the engine ran on the test stand using glycol based coolant.
A troubling thought going through my mind at this time was whether this fluid will seep as easily inside the engine as on the outside.
One of the design features I have never liked on an Essex is the poor head gasket and intake manifold sealing arrangement; these sealing areas are only mediocre at the best of times and will likely seep using this coolant.
I have experienced similar issues with other classics using modern glycol coolant, and was able to resolve this problem by adding a quality stop leak product to the system.

I decided to contact Evans for information about a compatible stop leak, and they suggested Aluminite stop leak as being one to use. I next purchased this brand and put is aside till the engine was ready to run.
In the meantime I kept nipping up the hose clamps every few days as this was all I could do.

Another issue arising with the cooling system is the pressure cap.
The expansion bottle fitted to this car is from a modern Ford Falcon. This bottle uses a screw on moulded plastic pressure cap rated at 18 PSI; far too high for an old school engine. As it turns out, this pressure cap is unique to this expansion bottle, and no lesser pressure caps are available.
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IMG_2081.JPG (114.89 KiB) Viewed 1972 times
I have no desire to change to a different expansion tank at this stage, so a resolve needs to be found to lower the pressure to a more manageable level. As an aside; the Evan will work just as well with no system pressure at all, but any pressure up to around 9 PSI will be fine on this car.

After much deliberation I decided to very carefully cut the cap open to retrieve the internal spring and replaced it with a softer spring of the same size; a tricky job to say the least.
With this done I rigged up a pressure tester to check the results and found the relief now opens at 4 PSI; an adequate result for this application.

I next moved onto plumbing the remote engine oil filter and oil pressure gauge.
With this done I checked for leaks by turning the engine over with the starter, and much to my annoyance oil leaked profusely out of one of the fittings. This again surprised me as all new parts were used throughout.
Further investigation found the leak is the result of a poorly machined seat on one of the threaded fittings. This was rectified by carefully remachining the offending seat on the lathe.

By this stage I have now had to clean brake fluid, coolant and engine oil from pristine newly painted body and chassis surfaces; certainly not what I wish for during final assembly!

I next progressed to putting petrol in the fuel tank in readiness to run the engine for the first time since installation. The fuel pressure was next checked and adjusted, and lastly the stop leak added to the cooling system.

This first start up (with the engine now in the car) became an anxious moment as I started to wonder what next problem awaits me. For one thing all has yet to prove well with the engine management system wiring since these were installed.

After a long cursory glance over the engine, I turned the key and much to my delight it started almost instantly and ran reasonably well. I let it run for around 20 minutes and noticed that the coolant leaks were becoming less and the water pump seal stopped leaking thankfully.

This first run in situ has been a much anticipated moment as I finally get to see and hear certain components work for the first time. Up till now I had not heard the new custom exhaust, and it did not disappoint; it lets out the right sound and seems to be within the decibel limit of the law much to my delight.

The next day I again started the engine and ran it a while when it suddenly stopped and would not restart.
A look over found the new Bosch EFI pump had stopped working and no amount of coaxing would make it come back to life. I removed the pump from the chassis and was surprised to find that it had seized solid; most untypical as these pumps are usually utterly reliable and long lasting.
My first thought was debris had entered the pump, but a thorough examination revealed it to be spotlessly clean.
These pumps run minute internal clearances and rely on the fuel for lubrication; this makes it essential the pump carries fuel at all times, or seizure will quickly follow.

I started to wonder if this is what happened here, and the more I thought the more I became convinced this was the problem. The next several days were spent going over every part of the fuel system, and in the end I concluded the problem stemmed from a flaw with the design of the surge tank.
I discovered the EFI pump has been withdrawing fuel out of the surge tank quicker than it could be replenished; this eventually emptied the surge tank, ran the pump dry and caused it to seize.

Now this has escalated into a serious problem, as a redesign of the fuel system will now be required to rectify this issue. This will be no easy task now the car is mostly assembled, and to make matters worse there is exceedingly little room left on the chassis for additional parts or major changes.
At this point it must be said that an EFI fuel system is far more complex than a carburetted system and includes several more components, especially when the pump is placed external of the fuel tank.

This saga all became very involved, and to cut a long story short I eventually redesigned the system to include a secondary electrical fuel pump (for keeping the surge tank full at all times) and incorporated a swirl pot into the surge tank to eliminate fuel aeration.
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IMG_2013.JPG (95.64 KiB) Viewed 1972 times
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100_2164.JPG (130.2 KiB) Viewed 1972 times
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This, along with new plumbing consumed a great deal of problem solving, work, fabrication and expenditure.
In the end all worked well, and I can now attest to a lesson well learned.

With the engine running again, the all new driveline could now be tested.
I supported the car on stands and drove it through the gears for the first time; I was pleased to find the clutch worked well, the gearbox shifted gears nicely, but scarily there was a horrid loud rumble coming from under the car while driving. The noise seemed to travel the whole length of the driveline and it was hard to judge where it was coming from.
This really had me worried as I started thinking of the worse scenarios possible. By now I was feeling burned out and gutted with all the recent issues, and walked away from the build for a few days to clear my mind and regroup my thoughts.

A few days later I again studied the driveline carefully but could not find any fault.
It was then I remembered having attached a small magnet (for cruise control sensor) to the front prop yoke after the prop was balanced. Even though this magnet only weighs a few grams, I started to wonder if it was enough to disturbed the prop balance and cause this almighty racket.

I removed the prop and took it to my friendly balancer for a balance check; sure enough it was out slightly and required a rebalance. This was next done, but I still had my doubts this will fix the problem as the noise emitted was quite bad.
I refitted the prop and again drove it while supported on the stands. Much to my delight the noise was gone and all seemed to work perfectly. In hindsight the noise was caused by the out of balance yoke vibrating violently on the gearbox output shaft splines.

With all these dramas behind me, I could now reward myself by taking the car for its first proper drive on the road.
The car still has no glass, doors, boot lid, bonnet and interior, but the basics are in place for a road test. It was a worry the authorities do not take kindly to an incomplete unregistered car being used on a public road, but after the many years of toil making this car I could not resist the temptation and just had to drive it.

I waited till the very early hours of Sunday morning, and just as it got light I took it for a drive around the backstreets.
I cannot measure the joy I felt at the time; everything worked as it should, the motor sounded great, and the power delivery fantastic. My only concern was braking is only mediocre, but I put this down to all being brand new and need to bed in.
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Returning home with a big grin on my face, I reflected on the colossal amount of work that has been consumed to reach this stage, and for a while the many problems encountered were forgotten.

I wrote this instalment to highlight the roller-coaster highs and lows experienced in such a build; at times I wonder why I do it!

To be continued:
Victor Pace
Last edited by mermar74 on Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:45 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Post by Rev Light » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:10 am

Great news, fantastic car.

But it is a lesson to us mere mortals, that when you start modifying any car, it can often lead to much head scratching resolving issues that were unforseen. One modification often leads to another and another and another..... etc. For-warned is for-armed.

Well done

Steve


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Post by AllingtonGT » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:17 am

Congratulations Victor. Absolutely delighted for you and very glad driving it for the first diminished the pain. I guess the lights work too!
Geoff



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Post by DARK STAR » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:53 am

Well done Victor, I'm sure it was worth all the effort :)


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Post by Pepe » Sun May 27, 2018 12:23 pm

....reminds me of driving a whie SE5a with no licence plate and no insurance down the country roards...

Isn't that strange? You work on it for years, put so much sweat, time and money nito it and then you can't stand the last five minutes until it is insured and road legal :)

If I'd crahed into something if the newly installed brakes wouldn't have work all that would have been for nothing... but I couldn't stand to wait any longer...


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Post by Pepe » Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:24 pm

Hey Victor...

no updates in a while... are you enjoying the car already?


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Post by mermar74 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:09 am

Pepe wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:24 pm
Hey Victor...

no updates in a while... are you enjoying the car already?
Hi Pepe,

I so wish the build is finished, but since last instalment my life has been turned upside down due to unforeseen circumstances.

I have again been diagnosed with cancer; the second time since starting this build. The first time (eight years ago) I had half a kidney removed after which all seemed well. I am now left having to fight for my wellness again.

I am most fortunately being treated at the renown Olivia Newton John cancer hospital in Melbourne, and with ongoing treatment my health is slowly improving. This hospital facility is regarded as one of the best cancer hospitals in the world, and the best place to be if suffering this illness.
I am also blessed to have very good support from those around me, so I really can’t ask for any more.

My aim now is to get better and again start work on the car; this is by far what I miss most.

I will soon post another instalment detailing the of last of the work carried prior to my illness.

Victor Pace
Last edited by mermar74 on Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:39 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Post by David Tew » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:11 am

Victor,
I'm so sorry to hear that. You're a guy with boundless energy and enthusiasm so channel that into getting well. The car will wait.
You're in our thoughts.
David.


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Post by DARK STAR » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:19 am

Agreed, David.
Bon rétablissement Victor.


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Post by philhoward » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:36 am

Sorry to hear of the return of the devil, Victor - our best wishes for a speedy recovery.


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Post by MikeyBikey » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:45 am

Agreed, take care.


Is we sideways yet...

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Post by AllingtonGT » Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:23 pm

Hi Victor, my thoughts and hopes are with you for a speedy recovery.
Geoff



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Post by Stevo6667 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:22 am

Best wishes Victor



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