Saturday, December 10, 2011

Collecting Christmas trees

A fine day for a drive to collect some festive gear.  The christmas tree seller ran to my van and, like a gorilla, leapt onto the rear bumper while holding the protruding door hinge yelled:
'I spent me child'ood loike dis!'
He went on to recount the bakery vans up in Cheltenham (Melbourne suburb) and how the fleet of 30 JB's were sold of one by one for 50 dollars.
I really must take a voice recorder with me so I can collect these stories, the vans do seem to elicit a lot of emotion in people.
Simian, mainly.

nowhere in particular

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Back on the road

Well, I had to buy a new slightly larger fan belt because the nut on the fancy welch plug means the generator has to be further away... 25mm to be precise...  It all works out easier than removing the engine, which suits me.
She is back on the road now, which is great. 
Well, next to the road.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Welch plug installed

Well, it was faster than taking the engine out.  I am pleased I had two sent over.  I stuffed the first one by burring the large nut stamping on the outer part of the plug face.  Hope none of them leak.  Now to put it back together.

New welch plug

There was not enogh room to swing a cat to hammer home the new front welch plug.  I found a nifty US invention for this problem.  You simply use the one with a nut and tighten it up.  Saves removing the engine and is under $10. Found on amazon usa. 
It is called a:

Dorman Expansion Plug.  Part number: 568-010

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Core / Welch / Freeze plug failure

Hmmmm, I should be working, but my van was leaking coolant all over the place.  Inspection revealed failing welch plug, so, out it comes.

I better find a replacment, perhaps I will do them all at the same time...

To remove the old plug I drilled a hole in it then levered it out with a punch. 

Very easy job.  Thanks to the Austin 7 page for the info:

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I know it's juvenile, but it really does look like the van is having a wee when you empty the coolant...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Motorbike in a JB Van

JB was busy today, shifting a Suzuki Katana motorbike for restoration.  Not mine!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fixed and working again...

I used hylomar gasket spray, put the new gasket on the right way, then torqued the head.  I ran the engine until warm and let it cool down overnight.  I re-torqued it, adjusted the valves and she purrs like a kitten. Well, a 50 year old toothless lion.
Just for fun I used the crank handle to start her up.  I can strike that off the list of 100 things to do before I die.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Head back on

Slowly coming together...  Just need to torque it down and set the valve clearances.  Time to check the manual.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Is the block true?

I ran a straight rule over the block and head.  The head was surfaced last year, so it is not surprising to see that it is pretty flat. 

The block is not so flat (see the streak of light under the rule close to where the gasket blew).  

Hmmm.. not good!  Do I want to take the engine out to get it machined? Not really!

UPDATE: I measured the gap, it was under .002 of an inch, which is in the tolerance range, so I will just clean up the block and try again.  The chaps down at the head joint will clean up the head.  They kindly told me that I had put the gasket in upside down last time... Copper side UP is the correct way. 

They also suggested the spray hylomar gasket prep. on both sides of the gasket before fitting.  Also to countersink the stud holes. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Head removed...gasket is gone.

Well, I took the head off, and the result was as predicted, a blown gasket between 2 and 3 cylinders.  Why?

And what should I do?  Research...

Noting some online advice about MG heads, I turned mine upside down and filled the ports with kero' to see if any of the valves leak...Still full 10 minutes later, so they are probably all OK.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Compression depression

Bugger.  I have been having such fun with the van.  Suddenly she dropped power and was running rough.  Nothing obviously wrong.

A compression test revealed 0 psi in cylinders 2 and 3.  120is in 1 and 4.  Hmmm.  Head gasket?

If so, why?

Any ideas out there?