The SE5a learning curve! - Flora

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Re: The SE5a learning curve! - engine timing?

Post by RockerPhill » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:22 pm

The system when I first got the car was chock full of crud, so I'm assuming the matrix is full of crud if I'm honest!

It's steel timing gear, but the base of the dizzy has a little chip out of it. I know it's not common practice but I put a little smear of blue hylomar gasket sealant there just to try :)

The mixture was done a few days ago with an emissions diagnostic machine thingy-majiggy :)

Coolant looks good! The engine was steam cleaned when rebuilt, and the coolant (blue) doesn't seem to be brown or grubby at all.

Thanks a lot Phil :D

I'll check the plugs too :)


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Re: The SE5a learning curve! - engine timing?

Post by philhoward » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:28 pm

What was the CO figure set to? Should be about 2.5% generally. Do you have a figure for the HC?


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Re: The SE5a learning curve! - engine timing?

Post by Roger Pennington » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:51 pm

First, if you suspect the heater might be blocked, it's quite easy to by-pass it, by disconnecting the hoses and joining them together again with a short piece of pipe (or even just replacing the two hoses with a long single hose).

Second, if you're testing the stat, don't just drop it into a saucepan of water, so it rests on the bottom, it'll pick up the temp of the pan rather than the water, better to dangle it on a piece of string, so it's suspended in the water :wink:

Third, strictly speaking, loss of pressurisation doesn't actually *cause* overheating. Pressurisation raises the boiling point to about 120 deg C, which has two main benefits:
1. It gives you more margin for error, so if you *do* have overheating for some other reason, the engine is less likely to boil,
2. The hot areas around the combustion chambers may go over the boiling point, even in normal circumstances, and without pressurisation there's a risk of local steam pockets which could blow out the coolant, even though the coolant as a whole is at normal temp.


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Re: The SE5a learning curve! - engine timing?

Post by scimjim » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:21 pm

Is it really overheating or just reading high?
Last edited by scimjim on Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: The SE5a learning curve! - engine timing?

Post by philhoward » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:05 pm

I thought the fan was staying on when the temp got high? Aside from that, it's still unknown I think if it's actually overheating?


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Re: The SE5a learning curve! - engine timing?

Post by littlestwoo » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:33 pm

Are you still getting the whistling? Could be the crank case breather connection at the W plate (carb to manifold spacer). Sounds like a pulley or gear but the give away is that it changes with throttle opening rather than engine speed.


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Re: The SE5a learning curve! - engine timing?

Post by RockerPhill » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:09 am

Hi everyone!

Following everyone's advice, so far, i'be cancelled all of the possibilities of overheating down to a few final things. It can only be the waterpump left now. Otherwise I'm lost with it! I also added a new fuel pump, because that was one of the items I swapped from the old engine to new. Nice and shiny :)


I found (with the help of the wonderful Steve Jenkins) that my water pump impeller holes had a poor casting, so I'm praying to the dear lord Jesus of cars that this has fixed the problem.

Otherwise, I have a big yellow paper weight :)
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- Flora "Tub of Butter" "Buttery Potatoes" "Butterly"
-SE5A 1974.
- Student loan funded light restoration.

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Re: The SE5a learning curve!

Post by RockerPhill » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:27 pm

Hi everyone!!!

So, anyone who knows me on here knows that, since buying my car in April 2013 as an absolute problem car, knows I have battled overheating since the very start. I never cured it despite EXTREME lengths to fix it, UNTIL THIS SECOND!

So far so good at least! I don't want to jinx it too much, but Flora so far since my recent fiddling hasn't exceeded 93c!! I think all I need now is to fit a stronger fan and a relay; then I think I'll finally have my dream car!

BEER FOR ME TONIGHT!! :D!!!!


- Flora "Tub of Butter" "Buttery Potatoes" "Butterly"
-SE5A 1974.
- Student loan funded light restoration.

If nice guys finish last, then that's alright; at least my conscience will be clear at the end.

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Re: The SE5a learning curve!

Post by rebel alliance » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:32 pm

What have you done?



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Re: The SE5a learning curve!

Post by RockerPhill » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:52 pm

everything possible! So I looked into silly stuff with the help of Steve Jenkins. The new water pump I used had a poorly cast impeller, which meant the efficiency of the pump was severely compromised. I improved the casting using a dremel and, so far, best cooling ever :)

I'm not counting all of my chickens yet though until I get her back on the road :)


- Flora "Tub of Butter" "Buttery Potatoes" "Butterly"
-SE5A 1974.
- Student loan funded light restoration.

If nice guys finish last, then that's alright; at least my conscience will be clear at the end.

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Re: The SE5a learning curve!

Post by Oldconn » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:22 pm

So in effect, you have improved the water circulation. Good result! :) That vindicates what AJL and others have been postulating , ie: treat the cause, not just the symptoms! Just a question, did you discover anything wrong with the inlet manifold gasket? And second question : has the bubbling in the expansion bottle stopped?


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Re: The SE5a learning curve!

Post by RockerPhill » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:38 pm

Hi old con! The inlet manifold gasket looked fine, though I did in the process discover that my oval port Essex has d port heads! It had the correct gasket :)

The over pressurising was on the old engine; the new one doesn't at all do this (yet!)

The water pump fix however seems great! I also filled the cooling system differently this time following Josh Oaks' advice. I did this by removing the thermostat and housing and filling from the bottle, allowing all air to escape this way. Then I put the housing and stat back, hooked it all up, and filled the remaining coolant..

So far so good!

The true test will be getting her back on the road again :) certainly looking forward to it!!

Now all I feel I want to do is add a better fan!


- Flora "Tub of Butter" "Buttery Potatoes" "Butterly"
-SE5A 1974.
- Student loan funded light restoration.

If nice guys finish last, then that's alright; at least my conscience will be clear at the end.

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Re: The SE5a learning curve!

Post by Scimher » Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:59 pm

Great stuff, Phill - fingers crossed for you; sounds like good news. (I've had a borrowed trailer on the back of mine collecting a washing machine from the local saleroom & binning my defunct one at the recycling place along with an old armchair - 62 this month & it's the first time I've ever driven a car with a trailer on the back!!!!)



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Re: The SE5a learning curve!

Post by RockerPhill » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:10 pm

Scimher wrote:Great stuff, Phill - fingers crossed for you; sounds like good news. (I've had a borrowed trailer on the back of mine collecting a washing machine from the local saleroom & binning my defunct one at the recycling place along with an old armchair - 62 this month & it's the first time I've ever driven a car with a trailer on the back!!!!)
Crikey Geoff! Happy birthday for this month too my friend! :D

I'm hoping to tow our 1974 Cavalier on the back of Flora this summer, so with any luck I'll be joining your elite gang!!


- Flora "Tub of Butter" "Buttery Potatoes" "Butterly"
-SE5A 1974.
- Student loan funded light restoration.

If nice guys finish last, then that's alright; at least my conscience will be clear at the end.

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Re: The SE5a learning curve!

Post by Scimher » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:57 pm

:lol: .. :lol: .. :lol:
Thanks for the birthday wishes, Phill...



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