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So after some initial teething troubles caused by dreadful quality pattern rockers that had jammed on the rocker cover which required the removal of the rocker assembly again, fettling the rockers and then refitting, we finally fitted all the coolant and heater hoses, refilled with coolant, timed the pump, refitted the battery and earth leads and refitted the brake servo vacuum hoses. At this point my carefully mirror polished rocker cover vanished beneath a mass of ugly hoses, a tidy up of which will be done soon along with rust treating and painting the underside of the bonnet.

So on the 29th August, exactly one month of weekend refurbishments later, the engine bay looked like this.

original horrendous black smoke issue has been completely solved YIPPEE!

The icing on the cake was that performance was up meaning she could now cruise at 60mph on the motorway comfortably whereas 50mph was really the maximum previously.

Total cost of the head refurbishment was approx £200 consisting of new valves and caps (Turners £50), new rockers and shaft (Bearmach £120), new valve stem oil seals, head gasket and other sundries (Craddocks £30)

I had also spent a further £100 or so on new water pump, heater intake hose, air intake hose, coolant hoses, thermostat and washer system parts. While not related to the smoking issue I took the opportunity to fit these while I had the engine stripped.


So finally we fired her up. She started first flick of the key and after a few minutes where she smoked a bit due to the residual oil etc burning off the new components she ran without smoke. A few short test runs later to fine tune the FIP timing she ran smoke free at all speeds and the

The whole project could be completed by most people with basic skills. The only expensive tool that many may not have is a torque wrench. I used a Halfords pro one which cost approx £70. When working on engines, especially internals, you need to be scrupulously clean. Treat the engine as though it was a patient in hospital. Make sure that you keep your hands clean at all times as even the smallest bit of grit can destroy a bearing if it gets inside the engine. Always do the re-assembly on a table or bench with clean paper towel down. Do not do assembly work in the same

place as you do your grinding unless you have been extremely careful to clean the area thoroughly first.

by Mud4Fun


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