I had to wait for a few days before the engineers could do the pressure test so it was an opportunity to get a few odd jobs done.
The first was to sort out the bracket to firm up the steering column. The column wasn’t loose, it was just not solid enough. Hooking it up to the dash with a bracket either side has made all the difference. It’ll get a coat of paint when I redo the column. It was a bit of a Chinese puzzle getting everything in and out but once I’d learnt the sequence…… I still got it wrong.
And, as the engine was out of the chassis, I could get at the brake pipes. They’d been niggling away at me for months, a. because some of the flares weren’t too bright and, b. Learned Counsel had pointed out that it would have been a much more sensible idea to have one pipe to a 3-way union at the front of the car so keeping the runs to the brake pistons as short as possible. It wasn’t critical, it was just a neater solution. So that’s what I’ve done.
The 3-way union is sited under the radiator mount and a single pipe runs to it from the master cylinder. The tool I used to do the flaring of the pipes was a completely different animal to the last one I borrowed. It was almost impossible to produce a rubbish single or double flare…
If you see one at a boot fair, snap it up; it’s brilliant. It’s a little bit more involved to operate than the more modern ones but, it pays dividends in a perfectly formed flare every time.
Mindful of the need to get the engine back in the chassis with the clutch attached and lined up ready to accept the gearbox input shaft, I took a couple of measurements and cut out a piece from the radiator mount. I’m not overly concerned about this because the main engine mount is only a few inches away and that end of things has built-in redundancy. The cut-out corresponds to the size of the front pulley with the balance weight attached. The engine will still have to go in ‘tail down’ so to speak but, I don’t remember ever having the luxury of lowering an engine into a car without some sort of struggle with straps and ropes, plus a lot of shouting.
Another of the little jobs I busied myself with was to attend to the mounting of the steering damper. You may recall that this is a Volkswagen item and luckily, the total travel of the piston is about 1/4″ further than the total travel of the mounting point on the cross-link when the wheels are turned lock to lock. I don’t know if the car is going to need a steering damper but I just had a feeling that, with the big wheels and relatively hard suspension, it would be a sensible move to fit one.
If, in the end, the car doesn’t need it then its removal will be one of the various jobs that’ll be on the snag sheet.