My thinking was that if I let the current engine know that it might be changed if it doesn’t play ball, it may just pull its socks up and behave. So, what I did was to place in full view the second Series I engine and make a bit of a fuss of it – inspecting, a bit of a pressure wash, looking on approvingly – you know the sort of thing.
On the recommendation of my friend from Blue Swallow Aircraft, I’m going to give JB Weld’s ‘High Heat’ formulation a go. It’s one of those epoxy type putty’s that go as hard as nails and is meant to be as good as metal when it’s done. The difference between the JB one and the others is the temperature range – up to 200°C and nearly 300°C for short periods. That should cover most eventualities. I’ve also discussed this operation with a few people in front of the current engine so if it hasn’t got the message by now, it never will.
One of the things on the car which has always slightly irritated me is the crooked radiator – entirely my fault, so I took the opportunity to take the whole assembly off and I’ll put in a shim to correct the lean. It was a lot easier taking the head off without the radiator on, in fact, as I was on my own, I didn’t have any choice.
The film of Araldite I used to do the final levelling of the head around the repair came off quite easily and after putting a slight bevel on the edge of the block, I degreased with acetone and roughed up the surfaces in readiness for the putty.
If this new scheme doesn’t work then it’s engine out.
Under the grime of the proposed replacement engine was this plaque and where the original engine number had been over-stamped it’s just possible to discern the old number – 1301 – so quite an early one. The head needs to come off and also the sump so the mains and big ends can be inspected. The block itself looks OK – so far. There’s still one more engine in reserve – a Series II and, Counsel has heard of a 6/80 engine not too far away, that might be available.
To get back to the repair scheme…. I left on the block to set overnight a very thin layer of ‘High Heat’ and scraped it off in the morning to see whether I’d managed to push it into the little holes and cracks by massaging the putty with acetone. I hadn’t and I wasn’t very impressed with the adhesion either but, just to make sure, I roughed up the casting a little more vigorously and had another go …… and after a couple of days, this new first layer has worked well. I’ve since put a second layer on top which I’ll trim up when it’s properly set – again, I’ll wait a couple of days.
Out of the second Series I engine, I pulled this oil filter. I was really quite delighted with it; very nice colour and graphics and I’d never heard of the make before. Chances are, it’s the last one of its kind.