Dutton Kit Cars and their owners

Hello again everyone,

Thankfully, my last rallysprint in the 205 went pretty well. No car-conifer interactions this time at least. This means that instead of having to beat the kinks out of a yellow French hatchback, I've been free to spend a wee bit of time on the Phaeton.

I think at the time of my last posting I had got the replacement engine fitted and left it there. And indeed there it stayed for a few weeks, however I've began building it up this very week. First stumbling block I encountered was that it appeared the LHS engine mount now fouled one of the starter motor terminals. Can't remember it being this close when it was removed, which is a wee bit of a worry. Not wanting to dwell on it too much, the mount had a little bit of metal removed to make me feel better. I also noticed that one of the rubber mounts simply has a bolt straight through it, instead of a pair of studs coming out. Ah well, guess that means it's an adjustable engine mount - tighten the nuts and the mount has less give! Until the bolt snaps. I'll have some big cable ties ready.

The inlet manifold has been refitted with a new gasket, although I've not done anything with the carb yet apart from clear out the coolant auto-choke which was completely blocked with crystal deposits, and has rotted away a section of the alloy pipe. I'll just fit a longer hose to cover the bit that has oxidised away to nothing. If you remember my posts before, the previous owner had thought that car wouldn't start because water had got into the carb. Water may have ALSO got into the carb, but there were other reasons the old engine might not have run. The head gasket must have been shot, although I knew this. What I didn't know was what exactly was inside the sump. I knew from the mess in the boot in my Golf with which I collected the engine, that there was clean oil in it somewhere. However, when I cracked the sump plug open, about 2cm of thick grey sludge fell out and solidified on the garage floor before the drain hole blocked completely. This stuff was the same consistency as porridge. Nasty. So, with no way of draining the oil but wanting to salvage the sump (the 1800CVH part being useful for Zetec RWD conversions), I just had to turn the motor onto the rocker cover and unbolt the sump. Of course, at this point, the remaining clean oil came out of the filter and various other holes. But in the sump itself was about 4" of this semi-solid goo. I guess a load of clean oil had been sitting on top of this, possibly flooding the cylinders, or maybe even hydro-locking the engine. 

In addition, with the engine having been run to death in this state, you can imagine what all the breather hoses were like. There's no way that engine could have had a sensible crankcase pressure. So, fingers crossed that the non-start is due to one of those and that the complicated little Pierburg carb is quite healthy!

So I've been doing wee bits of reassembly work, but keep taking bits off, cleaning and painting them, which means I'm risking becoming a concours polishing bufty. Although, with the amount of oil that's coating everything in the engine bay, there's no way I could just sling it back together as it is. It's not a show car, but I have to draw the line somewhere! Plus, there are a few bits like metal coolant pipes etc that are rusting away under their rubber hose unions, so these warrant a clean and a coat of black gloss in the interests of longevity and ease of assembly / dis-assembly. However, I want to remove and strip/paint the thermostat housing, but I'm scared. I have a spare inlet manifold which had a spare housing, but I sheared 2 of the 3 retaining bolts as I wasn't fussed on keeping the manifold. However, on the manifold in the car, the same one bolt has come away easily, one won't shift at all, and one is moving slightly and I'm piss-scared that it's going to shear. But, with various other shiny black bits in the bay it is letting the side down in it's current state... DILEMMA! 

I have ordered a new thermostat housing gasket, so I think we all know what's going to happen...

Anyway, I've made a start on the timing belt too. In that I've removed the old one and bought a new one. As I'm going to change the water pump and tensioner too, I'll have to remove a plastic cover which hides everything. Which means I have to remove the camshaft pulley. Really, Mr Ford? Couldn't have just made the cover in two halves? Sod it, I'll get round to it. But I've also broken the plastic distributor rotor shaft on both engines in the process of removal and refitting. They're like hens teeth and fragile as hell, so might just have to come up with another solution. Apparently locating the rotor arm and simply wrapping a few cm of electrical tape around the remains of the shaft where the tangs break off is common practice. Too kit car-ish? I shall report back. Unless someone has a spare rotor shaft for an 1800 CVH from a Sierra...

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Comment by John Allen on May 27, 2015 at 8:04
You've been a busy boy. Sounds like it's progressing which is the important bit.

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