Chattie has been in the workshop of Crispin Thetford, who has done some good work in stripping the engine down and giving it a thorough overhall. This is a work in progress. For the petrol-heads among you, the engine before stripping looked like this:
Obviously, with some modifications since 1935 but basically still the same old machine. Crispin’s report on the work so far is wonderfully detailed, but in summary:
- New head gasket fitted nicely on the block and tightened down with a good ‘feel’.
- carburettors stripped and cleaned – previous attention to throttle spines and butterflies means these are still in good order. Engine running nicely now.
- Distributor contact sets replaced. Ignition timing didn’t need altering
- Cooling fan (a post-war modified fan blade assembly) mounting studs were very poor – in danger of failing and the bearings were breaking up the fan pulley – fan blades were pressing on the outer bearing. So Pin has machined the centre of the blade assembly and fitted new bearings and mounting studs. Need for further mods will now be assessed.
- Sump taken off – a very wise decision as water seems to have been getting into the oil for a long time – the inside of the sump and oil baffle plate were very rusty and flaking. All cleaned up, treated and coated. One big end cap inspected – good standard originally, some deterioration because of running with water in the oil, but probably good for another 10,000 miles. This is good news as my tour means I’ll do between 2,000 and 5,000, depending how much mileage I do directly in Chattie, and how much in the Sprinter with Chattie on the back.
- New brake master cylinder fitted. However, there are leaks on brake pipes due to previous use of incorrect flaring tool having weakened the copper pipe.
In Pin’s words, ‘The end result is a car which drives again – and it goes very well indeed’. That’s the story so far. There is a ‘But’ – but this post has been long enough, so that appears in the next update! There is also much more to assess and decisions to be made as to what other modifications we wish to make.