An absolutely huge box arrived this morning containing the gasket set for the Rover, so time to have a look at getting the inlet valve cover gasket swapped out.
Step one, get this lot out the way.
This vastly improves access in general.
I then made "A Discovery."
Whoever fitted this gasket apparently felt the need to use some form of sealant between the head and the gasket. Fair enough, but what they apparently used was blue Loctite. This had essentially welded the gasket to the head. Nearly three hours later I had *most* of it removed.
If I ever come across who fitted that gasket, I would like to make them *eat* the remains of it. That should have been a 20 minute job.
It was definitely the source of A leak though - the entire section along the rear of the head literally wasn't in contact with anything at all - it was just sticking out the back. So definitely the source of at least one of our leaks.
While I had things already partly stripped down and the weather was pleasant it seemed a good idea to swap the remaining coolant hoses. I'm planning to take this along to ConFuzzled at the weekend, so that's an hour's drive into Birmingham. Would be nice to have confidence in the cooling system for that run.
The original lines were quite crusty.
Though after 60 years, I don't think they owe us anything. I'm sure the replacements will have long turned to dust after that long. With the exception of two I had to change due to the new hoses being thicker, all of the original hose clips were reused as they came undone like they were put in place yesterday - and plainly are still fit for service.
Couple of hours later this lot had been evicted.
This one was moderately fiddly because of the position of the brake servo.
Though the winner of the award for causing the greatest contribution to the swear jar of the day went to the bottom radiator hose. Specifically trying to get the new hose onto the stub on the radiator.
This involved a solid half hour of increasingly vocal swearing as the new hose is quite a snug fit. It's a long way down to the bottom of this engine bay so you can only use one hand, and are working right at the limit of your reach. All the while basically with your face buried in the top of the radiator and the fan trying to cut you to ribbons. Fun!
Progress then paused as I went to start her up to bleed the cooling system and she wasn't interested. A quick check soon revealed the cause.
Yeah...there's a distinct lack of centre post there. Which surprises me as she was running fine when parked up. I'm *hoping* this has just fatigued from the cap having been on and off so much lately. So I chucked on the modern cap and leads for testing.
Which also took me ten minutes to sort as I initially had the rotation direction wrong so had fouled up the firing order. My ears stopped ringing from the resulting backfire after about an hour.
I then had an abrupt reminder of something.
Mechanical cooling fans are purpose made to demonstrate to you exactly how much coolant you spilled over the radiator when changing the hoses by finely atomising it and blasting it in your face the first time you bring the engine off idle.
After a bit of faffing about bleeding the cooling system (there are no actual bleed valves on this car) we seemed to have a water tight cooling system. Nearly.
New leak from here. Not sure if this has been leaking there for ages and it's only just become visible, or if the pipe being manhandled while I was trying to get the hose that was well stuck to the front end of it off fatigued it. Hopefully it won't be too tricky to resolve that. It's about 1 drip every 15 seconds when the engine is cooling down, then seems to stop. So it needs sorting but isn't cause for immediate complete panic.
Took her out for a quick bumble round the neighborhood and we didn't lose any coolant. My perfectly clear blue coolant however had turned the same slightly muddy colour as what came out though.
I wasn't really looking there in detail though, I was looking down here (older photo).
I think we might have got it. I sat watching for a couple of minutes and didn't see a single drip, whereas we were getting one every second or two when I took that photo.
I left some cardboard there for about an hour and there were only one or two drops on it, which could well have mostly been there from beforehand given how much it had dumped down the side and back of the engine. I'll give the general vicinity a dousing with some degreaser if I get a chance in the next couple of days.
I did dig out one of the spare correct style distributor caps. Though they are both pretty worn. Hopefully these are still available.
It does look so much better than the modern style cap and leads in this engine bay though.
It doesn't really *look* like I've done much today!
Despite that there's pretty much a full afternoon of work in here!
Slightly concerned about the self destructing distributor cap - will definitely keep a spare in the car from here on just in case. However having the cooling system refreshed aside from that one bit of metal line will definitely help my peace of mind when driving the car now. I was definitely rather nervous that one of those hoses was going to let go before.