If It Isn’t…

… one thing, it’s a blinkin’ nother.

Water Pumps

Mr Morris produced a couple of water pumps for me to play with and also came up with a bag of original bellows type seals in excellent condition. They were too big but a bit of machining to the casing and they’d be fine. (They turned out to be Jowett water pump seals so perfect for Learned Counsel). However, before I went down the road of non-reversible mods, I thought I’d give the PVC another go but this time with the bronze bush and modern lip-seal.

PVC block

The PVC block has been counter-bored to take the lip-seal (if you’re thinking of doing this, ignore the measurements on the sketch – you know what I’m like)

Seal components

The bronze bush is a top-hat section and a loose-ish fit on the impeller shaft but to make sure it doesn’t pick up and spin, some bearing lock holds it to the PVC block. Then the lip-seal is super-glued to the PVC; job done. I had a tin of lithium grease on the shelf specifically for Ford Model A water pumps and I thought that a liberal dose, especially on the lip-seal wouldn’t go amiss. With the water pump fitted, I took it for a 10 mile test run and all seemed to be well. The real test came the following day with a round trip of 82 miles and I’m happy to report that not a drop of water was lost. Instead, I had a manifold gasket blow and the engine faded on me twice, just when I didn’t need it to!

Water pumps

Rather hoping that the seal mod would cure the problem, I quickly turned up another seal set and rebuilt one of the other pumps to keep with me as a spare on the 82 mile run. I reasoned that if I could get so far on one pump, the spare would get me home. The engine fading problem is beginning to bug me so I’m going to strip down the carb again and while it’s off, make up a bigger and hopefully more effective heat shield to fit between the manifold, the exhaust and the carb. Learned Counsel suggested also that I might try taking out the thermostat so the water gets round the system a bit more quickly, his thinking being that the heat soak is so great when coming to a halt, a cooler engine could help. I might give that a go. Unfortunately, with all this messing about I’ve lost the rolling road settings but I’ve got a book on tuning SU’s so that’ll be required reading before I get much older.

Austin 10

A path was cleared and the Gordon & Co bodied Austin 10 was on its way to its new home (not before the axle stands were removed). The brakes still worked (Girling rods all round) and ‘Penny’ (for it is she) rolled very freely into the daylight.


A leisurely trip back to base blew some of the dust and cobwebs away and we were able to better assess her condition once we were unloaded.


With the 3 position drop-head arrangement, the car can be one thing, or the other, or indeed, the other. Splendid!


4 comments on “If It Isn’t…

  1. I would not have gone the PVC way myself because PVC softens badly above 80°C so… Nylon is not good either above 100°C. Polypropylene can be used to 130°C (I did!)

  2. Oh! I thought PVC stood for ‘Particularly Versatile Compound’; clearly not the case! 🙂

  3. Simon says:

    I once made the mistake of using PVC elbows on the pressurised air side of a home made jet engine. The air coming off the compressor easily gets hot enough to start making the PVC go soft and since it’s under pressure it started bulging out alarmingly. I replace it all with steel in the end.

  4. Okay, Okay, I’m going to the shop to get some Polyprop! (the PVC was all I had at the time for the emergency repair). Thanks guys 🙂

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