I like an optimist... daily might be stretching it a bit as I am woeful about keeping things updates. I really do have to start making a serious effort to find a place for the wagon to land. No one is hassling me to move it yet but, I don't want to get to the point where they have to ask, if you know what I mean.
grizz, so sorry I haven't responded to you sooner - I just don't know where the time goes.
Winter isn't a big problem for me in regards to being able to work on the cars. In fact, it's often a better time of year as the temperatures are more conducive to working outside - which is where both the Stag and the Rover, still reside. I say the temperature is more conducive but, I am still getting sunburn when I forget to put sunblock on... doh!
I am more limited by my aching bones than the weather - that and the fact that as both cars still live outside and I have yet to gain an indoor space in the workshop I am limited to working for a few hours on a Saturday as long as John is around. At some point, I will gain an indoor spot and a key but, as mentioned before, John works to his own rhythms and no one, least of all me, will ever change that. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining as I have somewhere to park both cars where they are relatively safe and, I have indoor storage for my tools, I am not paying rent (at least not with money) - and, best of all, I have John's help when needed, all of which I am truly grateful for.
As for progress, well - it has been all Stag all of the (available) time, so everything else is taking a bit of a back seat for now.
I am feeling a little pressured on the Stag project as it really seems to have captured the imagination of a few people around me, and some that are not even close by.... John is really keen on the Stag, even after nearly half a century of working on British cars he has never worked on a Stag and he quite enthusiastic. John's brother, who lives in England and is a Stag owner, regularly asks for updates.
And, then there's Gerry! Gerry is 92 and, if I am half as capable at his age (assuming I make it there) I will consider myself to be doing well. Gerry is driven by a desire not to lose his mental faculties and, so he has several projects on the go - his own '63 MGB that John is building and engine for, a 914 he just purchased to name just two. And, he has "inserted" himself into the Stag tear down/rebuild - he shows up on Saturdays and insists we find him something to do. Finding a suitable job for a 92 year-old isn't as easy as it sounds but, we usually find him something to do. He keeps asking when it will be finished as he wants to see it running and driving - given that my Rover has been a *ahem* somewhat lengthy project I am feeling the pressure to get this going while Gerry's still around to enjoy it.
Anyhoo, here are some pictures of the current state of play.
We have been loading the bores with all sorts of concoctions to try and get the pistons to break free - all to no avail though. It was finally time to drag the engine out.
And, in the words of the great mechanic and engine builder, MLK, Jr. It's free at last, free at last, thank God all mighty it's free at last...
Here's a picture of Gerry marveling at the zenith of British engineering.
Anyone that has every worked on a Stag, TR7 or Dolly engine knows all bout trying to separate the heads from the block - we expected and were prepared for a fight. John even has a tool he made many years ago when working on TR7s. Although they put up a bit of a struggle, the heads came off surprisingly easily.
Here's an idea of what lies beneath
I'm thinking some Scotchbrite, some WD40 and some elbow grease and we can throw a couple of new gaskets on and we'll be driving in no time.
What's that you say? Still frozen solid and can't rotate the crank to get all the pistons out? So, won't be driving again soon?
Still, at least the oil looks okay...
And, it looks as if the bores just need a quick hone...
Actually, in all seriousness, most of the bores were okay-ish, quite amazing as it's been stood in unknown circumstances for 40 plus years. The pistons are all standard sized so, it all comes down to the machining that will be required for the worst barrel. If the pitting can be removed by going to +.040" then I can order a set of pistons without a problem. If not, I can re-sleeve that one barrel and figure out what size over I will need to go for the others.
The crank on the other hand, is already at .040" - Rimmers have bearings at + .060". There is some slight pitting on the journals but, not as bad as you might expect. The cranks is at a local specialist for evaluation - we'll know more soon. I hope I can get away with it as Rimmer wants the best part of $1,000 for a refurbished crank - plus shipping, plus the cost of sending my core to them.
The block has been taken to L & R www.lnrengine.com/ for assessment on the badly pitted bore - they will let us know how things stand in the near future and plans can be made for pistons sizes. There was also some damage to the deck - they will drill it out, re weld and machine the deck flat.
One of the heads is in okay shape, the other has seen better days. John has a few TR7 heads in great shape and has earmarked one for me - unfortunately, the head that's in the worst shape is the right hand one and so, isn't cross-compatible with the TR7.
I stripped the RH head and it is off to L&R for a check - hoping we don't need to try and source a replacement.
Here is a view of the Stag in it's current state of undress.
There is more rust than previously thought - not UK bad, but enough. I am debating on the best method to get the body bare metal so I can begin the repairs and bodywork. I am leaning towards sand blasting as the closest place that dips is in Oregon, a short 1,000 mile one way trip and, would cost about $2,200 and, take over a week.
I think the current plan is to remove the front suspension and build a dolly to allow us to still move the car around.
More soon. Ciao for now.