I read up on the web and discovered that one of the successful ways of welding cast iron cold was with nickel-iron rods. They’re not cheap and the tiny bit of weld that was needed would hardly use half a rod. Fortunately, I was able to get hold of some and Learned Counsel gave it a go. It wasn’t very nice stuff to use and through the welding glass it just bubbled away like magma.
The porous looking bits we then filled in with MIG, in fact we rather wished we stuck with MIG from the outset but we didn’t and we’d only learnt by trying. The last lot of weld was filed down to a straight edge on the top of the block and any tiny imperfections filled in with Araldite and filed smooth and flat.
Then the head went back on and Counsel and The Great Collector turned up in the 1905 Darracq for the start-up. I mentioned that the float bowl had been throwing fuel everywhere on the last start-up and I discovered why. Someone (I really can’t think who’d be so daft) had assembled the needle in the float valve – upside down? Honestly, imagine!
So, Counsel filled the radiator and, from the replaced core plugs and the crack in the block, the water flowed back out again. Blast!
I had a feeling that the new core plugs weren’t going to cut the mustard but a dollop of silicon usually takes care of things – it didn’t. The white circles show where the water was coming from. We drilled and filled with weld again but nothing was playing ball so, after repeated leak tests and discussions about whether to continue along the repair route, possibly with brazing….
I made the decision to substitute either this Series I, or
this Series II engine. You may recall that I’d bought 3 of these MS engines from a lock-up in Leicester (I seemed to have picked the wrong one, just like I always pick the wrong line at the supermarket tills). I’ll whip the starter motor off the current engine and test each of the spares for oil pressure. I’m hoping the Series I is OK because I think it’s a nicer looking engine but, if it isn’t then it’ll have to be the Series II. The Series I is a ‘Gold Seal’ engine (re-manufactured by BMC) so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The camshaft looks brand new and I’ve only to give the engine a good clean, a coat of paint and swop the ancillaries over and I should be back in business. Meanwhile, The Ambassador’s Daughter has been pulled off welding and has had to buckle down to some serious woodwork while I’m sorting out the mechanical stuff.
Blocks were glued to the rear frame to help with the shape of the aluminium turtle deck and after chiseling off the worst (and some of her hand) the final shaping was done with the plane. I might put in a couple of extra stringers in the big spaces to help take the (handbag) load.
As I’ve said before, it’s all a bit of a hold-up but with a few early starts and some long days, the schedule shouldn’t be upset and it’s always an interesting exercise to take an engine out of a car you’ve designed and built yourself just to see if there are any snags you’ve inadvertently designed in.
Fortunately and, despite all these setbacks, the weather continues fine.