It is starting to get exciting now that I am making some real progress. I finished off the heater hoses by installing the 5/8″ hose. In the end I only needed one unicoil. The hoses still don’t look fantastic, but they are better than they would have looked without the unicoils for the tight bends.
Next item on the list is the PCV hose. This vehicle originally had a draft tube, which is an open pipe that runs from the valley cover to the bottom of the engine. A PCV system will burn the crankcase gases which is better for the environment and also provides positive ventilation (every little bit helps!) After trying a couple of different combinations with the PCV valve at the carburetor, it was clear that the hose was either going to interfere with the fuel rail or the linkages.
The solution was to move the valve down near the valley cover and plumb it into the hose. This will enable me to keep it looking cleaner at the carburetor.
Now that this is sorted, I can move to the best bit…..the intake manifold. After a trial fit to make sure everything looked good, I sprayed the gaskets with VHT Copper Gasket Spray. Once they were tacky, I dropped them into place, followed by the intake manifold.
Once it was all bolted up I fed the PCV hose up through the manifold where I could connect it to the brass barb I had installed.
Now it is starting to look like an engine!
The fuel line into the filter was a straight connection. I was not happy with this as it would be a short piece of fuel hose to join the two, and it would not allow for much movement of the engine. My concern was that the fuel rail would fatigue over time from the constant movement.
The solution was to change the barb to a 90 degree connection which then allowed me to use a longer piece of hose with a 180 degree bend in it. This will allow the engine to move without placing too much force on the fuel rail. Hopefully the picture explains it better.
Oil Filter Housing
Next on the list was the oil filter housing. This went on pretty easily, however I did need to use a couple of longer bolts in the water pump as the thickness of the bracket reduce the thread penetration.
Transmission Sump Plug
Much to my frustration the sump plug on the transmission keeps on dripping. I replaced the copper washer, but it still had a little drip.
I decided to fix it for real, but while I had the plug out I decided to insert a magnet into the plug to attract any unwanted metallic particles in the transmission. The 1959 Jetaway transmission does not have a filter in it – this was added in 1960.
First I drilled a hole in the centre of the plug which was just slightly larger than the magnet. I then inserted the magnet and punched around it to positively retain the magnet in place.
Before I inserted the sump plug back in place, I first made sure the copper washer did not have any burrs on it (which it did). I filed it flat, and then put a light smear of Aviation Permatex Form-a-Gasket on it.
I then reinstalled it and poured in a litre of transmission fluid. We will see if it leaks over the next week. Fingers crossed that I have sorted this forever.
I have been undecided about painting the rocker covers. This weekend I made a decision…..paint!
First I cleaned in between the fins with a scotchbrite. This is a rough cast finish, so the pant should stick well.
I then masked up the sides.
I first painted a light coat of grey primer and then painted a couple of coats of VHT Cast Iron Engine Enamel.
Once this had dried I took off the masking and used a rag soaked in acetone to rub off the paint on top of the fins. This took about 1 hour, so I know the paint had no problems sticking, however one of the side affects of using a rag soaked in acetone is it gets really cold as it evaporates. Within 5 minutes I had a numb finger, so I had to keep changing fingers.
Once this was done, they looked much better, but still a little one dimensional, so I decided to lightly coat the Offenhauser logo with some Burnt Copper. This made it look much more interesting. I then blew a light coat of VHT Clear Engine Enamel on them so they continue to look the same as time goes by.
It was a nice sunny day so I left them in the sun all day to cure.
The dash pad has been floating around the sheld for a number of weeks, and unfortunately picked up some damage on the top of the clock binnacle. There was always a mark on the top which looked like a finger which used to annoy me, so I decided to repaint the dash pad.
I took a sample part into Paintmobile and they mixed me a can of vinyl paint to match the part colour. I must say they did a great job of matching the colour. It is a tiny bit more blue than the current dash pad colour, but it is spot on to the sample part, and closer to the trim colour.
When it was prepped and painted, it looked stunning, however the side trim parts were still the old colour.
I decided to do it properly so I removed them and gave them a spray to match.
Masticated Rubber Aprons
Not sure what to call them, so I am calling them aprons. I realized that it was just about ready to install the radiator, so it made sense to attach the rubber aprons over the wishbones before I did that as I have much better access without the radiator.
This is a slow process as you need to drill out the holes once the staples are removed. The new staples are just a little bit narrower and won’t fit in the original holes. I also installed the apron which seals against the bumper.
Front Cooling System
I worked out by quite a bit of trial and error (!) that there is a sequence to install the front cooling system. First you sit the shroud in place, and you then install the fan. I installed all thermo clutch unit as they are more efficient and only cut in when the engine gets hot.
I then decided to replace the old and brittle apron pieces which run up each side of the radiator support panel. This took over 1 hour, but I am glad I did it.
Once this was done, the next step is to install the radiator, however you need to keep the shroud away so you can access and tighten the lower hose clamp and also the transmission cooler hoses. The pic below is taken from the top.
Once all of this is tight, you can bolt the shroud in place, however the clearance between the lower hose and the shroud is tight. I had to cut a clearance section so the shroud would sit correctly.
Once the shroud was bolted up, it started to look like a car again! The finishing touch was to install the masticated rubber flap which stops air sneaking in through the top gap of the shroud.
I filled the engine with Amsoil Break In Oil, which was an awesome feeling. It tells me that it is getting close to start up.
The time had come to install the rocker covers. I put a coat of Aviation Permatex on the top face so they stick to the rocker cover, which makes it easier to remove them when needed. They really set off the engine bay, and brought everything together.
I was feeling pretty happy with myself by now.
It was getting to the end of the day. I spent some time working on connecting the throttle and TV Rod linkages. Plenty of fiddling and adjusting, but I think they are pretty close. I won’t know about the TV Rod until I get to drive it.
I decided that I am not really happy with the linkage I made, however it will do to get the car running. I estimate that the TV Rod boss needs to be forward by another 1/2 inch to function correctly. Like I said….I won’t really know until I get to drive it.
When I was in the trunk last week I found another headlight switch which was in great condition. Before reinstalling it in the dash [ad I changed over the headlight switch and instrument dimmer components so the better mechanism goes in the car.
What a huge weekend. I didn’t expect to get so much done. It is really starting to look like a car again now, which means an engine start is only weeks away!! 🙂