McPheat Automotive

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News from the workshop, vehicles inspected, sales updates and anything else that might be going on around McPheat Automotive.


By Chris McPheat, Jun 25 2019 05:42PM

A customer from the US stopped by this week and dropped off this 1913 Renault AX engine. He had spent a week with the Renault Freres club in Northern France and, on the way up to visit the workshop, bought this. It is a 9hp, 1060cc, 2 cylinder, and was used extensively in Paris taxis from 1908 until the 1914-18 hostilities. They are renowned for their reliability and there is a possibility it can be tuned slightly so it suits a voiturette body (better valves, aluminium pistons and a slightly raised compression ratio). All I need to find now is the rest of the car, or a chassis at least.

By Chris McPheat, Jun 25 2019 05:30PM

The tuning of of the carburettors on this Wolseley Hornet Special went well last week, and the test drive showed that the cam timing work was also a success, but the thermostatic control to the already fitted electric fan was found to be inoperative. I ordered and fitted a "Davies, Craig" controller and kept most of the owner's wiring and the fan. The controller shows the current temperature through a probe that fits perfectly into the honeycomb of the radiator. A push button allows the user to set the temperature at which the fan turns on and it will turn off 6 degrees below that level. On test the temperature recorded on the controller was only a degree or so below the reading on the temperature gauge. The owner came and collected it today and drove it home (it came in on a trailer).

By Chris McPheat, Jun 24 2019 05:43PM

The Ford Mustang I look after has come back in for a couple more jobs. The last time it was here I traced the starting fault to a broken (and brittle) wire on the back of the ignition swicth, fixing this meant the owner could take it on the "Hot Rods & Hills" event recently held in the Lake District. Now that event is out of the way it's back in to track down some engine oil and power steering fluid leaks. Once the underneath was wiped clean and the engine fired up I could see that the power steering control valve on the end of the tie-rod was pushing fluid past its seals and there was a trail of oil from one of the sump bolts. With the sway bar and chassis cross-member out of the way (which was loose anyway - not ideal) the sump was pulled easily enough and, once cleaned, I found it was split around the leaking bolt hole. There were also signs it was part split around a couple of other mounting holes and continuous over-tightening of the sump bolts had bent the flanges beyond repair. The owner has ordered a new sump. Whilst I've been down there I've also replaced the leaking transmission dipstick tube o-ring and will be looking into improving the pipes that run to the cooler. All things being equal it should be done by the beginning of next week, or at least it had better be as he wants to take it to Tatton Park for the Stars & Stripes car show on July 6th.

By Chris McPheat, Jun 21 2019 06:50PM

I was moving things around in preparation for my open day tomorrow and liked the way these three cars looked in a line. One each from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, gives some idea of the development of cars and really how it was speeding up. I'd say only one was cutting edge, what, or which, would you say?

By Chris McPheat, Jun 14 2019 06:43PM

What with one thing and another it has taken an age to get the carburettors sorted for the Wolseley Hornet Special I've had in. Anyway, today I picked up the drilled throttle shafts and now the pair of SU HV2s are reassembled and as good as new. They are also finally back on the engine and I should be able to fire it up and get it back to its owner next week.

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