At Last!

The engine is finished but it wasn’t without one more drama. The turning down of the core plugs was a simple affair after all – thank you all for your advice and ideas. In the end, I sawed up my rolling-pin (pastry has never been my strong point), dished the end and then used a rubber grommet on a live centre in the tail stock to hold the plug in place. It was a bit of a fiddle getting it centralised but otherwise a simple operation.

Core plug mandrel

But before that, I fitted the new brake master cylinder which had come in the post the day before. It was immediately apparent that the action of the new cylinder was much more smooth than the previous one and I’m pretty confident that the brake problem will be put to bed.

Removing sump

You may recall that the Morrisman told me that it was very important to get the dowel bolts on the oil pump in the right places – this ensures that the meshing of the pump gear with the crankshaft gear, is correct. I, as is my usual trick, got one of them in the wrong place and had determined to take the sump off and put the bolts where they were designed to go. The first thing was to wrestle the engine into a place where the sump was able to be taken off. This then exposes the oil pump and I set about putting everything straight. A small click and the spanner going loose was all I needed at that moment; one of the dowel bolts sheared off in the crankcase. I used the dowel section that had come away as a drill guide to get the broken portion out.

Centring drill

I made up a new dowel bolt out of an old motorcycle crankcase stud and welded a nut on the top.

oil pump dowel bolt

Six hours later I had the engine back together again.


and hopefully it’ll stay that way for the time being. Before the day ended, I cast about for a small job to do and started tackling the windscreen. I’d taken the two uprights to work and popped them in the blasting cabinet to get the worst of everything off….

windscreen uprights

and then bored the broken one to accept a brass plug that conveniently fell out of the top tube when I was dismantling everything.


This is the original windscreen and with a good bit of rake, the castings fit the body almost perfectly; a bit of rubber will hide any gaps. I’ll ‘V’ the actual screen channels and I’ll either use the originals or go and get some 9mm ‘U’ channel from one of the hardware stores. I use 9mm because with some rubber channel section squeezed in, 6mm laminated glass fits snugly inside. I managed to bend the channel to follow the contour of the Austin’s body without any trouble or distortion at all so I’m quite confident that this screen will work just as well. I’ll design and fabricate a centre post and carry the line of that down to the bonnet hinge (which sits just proud of the bonnet line) to create a smooth profile.

Maybe, if I have time to get the engine in, this week will see a start up at last.




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