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, Apr 18 2019 03:45PM

I've been looking into the poor running Wolseley Hornet engine this week. It's a very neat 1500cc OHC 6 cylinder and should pull like a train (a small one anyway). The owner had already indicated that he might have got the valve timing wrong when he put it back together and he was correct. The intake valve is supposed to start opening at TDC, here it was starting to move 30 degrees before. It was easy to adjust on the cam gear, I then put the front covers back on with copper washers under the heads as they all open into the crankcase. There are a few more jobs to do before driving it, I'll be getting on with those next week.

By Chris McPheat, Apr 18 2019 03:37PM

I've had a closer look at the Rolls-Royce 20hp engine, not good news. Fortunately the owner was with me on Monday when I took the valve cover off, whilst digging out the thick grainy sludge I found one of the cylinder head nuts was only finger tight. So, what with the loose head, glazed bores, worn rings and oval big end bearings, there;s nothing for it but to pull it out and start tearing down for rebuilding. This will be the fourth small hp Rolls-Royce engine I've rebuilt in 18 months. By the way, the photo shows the misaligned sump gasket at the left rear of the sump, the least of the problems.

By Chris McPheat, Apr 17 2019 05:00PM

The Panhard Dyna Z16 I've been working on is nearing its test drive. I have the painted wheels and new tyres and tubes back on but the nuts and bolts are temporary, I'm still waiting on the plating company to get on with their job with these parts. Meanwhile I've been able to finish off under the bonnet and the engine has been fired up and checked, all ok so far as it's not leaking any oil or fuel and it idles and runs good. The fuel gauge is also now working, the sender had a loose connection and the float didn't float any more. The cork was inundated with fuel so I sourced a new float that will withstand modern fuels. Should be testing it by the weekend with a view to the owner driving it home at the end of the month.

By Chris McPheat, Apr 16 2019 05:44PM

Not your usual job this one. The owner of an MG SA I used to look after and sold a few years ago called to ask if I would help him with a clutch problem he's been having. Last year I helped him source a new clutch plate through SVW spares, a complication is that he is in the US and the car is in The Netherlands. He then ran the car in the Mille Miglia but the clutch went out after only 500 miles. Then, a couple of weeks ago, he contacted me with a view to me helping him get the car into this year's event. The company that sold and looks after the car sent me the flywheel, pressure plate & clutch disc and today I was able to send back what I hope will be a working assembly. As you'll see from the photo the clutch disc frisction surface is cork and the system runs in oil. I noticed the cork in the slipping disc was not natural, it was a kind of reconstituted material, ground up chunks bound with rubber. The flywheel surface was also not good and the pressure plate was around 0.020" thinner than the best available spare I could find. I sent the disc to Charles Cantrill and they re-corked it and had it back to me in 2 days, fantastic. I then took the flywheel to Lancaster Engines and they took 0.025" out of the flywheel top-hat and 0.005" out of the surface. It's now boxed and ready to go back, the frustrating part is that I don't get to see the results.

By Chris McPheat, Apr 12 2019 05:34PM

Once I'd got this 20hp Rolls-Royce 20hp off the ground I started out with draining the oil. I found the sump plug was hand made and could only be secured with a flat-blade screwdriver, not ideal. The oil that came out was black, this is pretty common with these engines if they haven't been apart in a while, but there was also a build up of sludge on the end of the plug. These engines used to have regular bottom end de-coke work and the owner agreed to me taking the sump off and cleaning out the crankshaft journals. The first problem turned up in the sludge in the sump, several shards of metal were found therein, not a good sign. Turning the engine over from below, with the spark plugs in, a fizzing indicated compression was pushing past the piston rings on cylinders 1, 3 & 5. In addition the connecting rod on number 3 pivots on the small end rather than both ends sliding across the journal & gudgeon pin and with the rod cap removed the white metal bearing does show signs of the rod twisting during the strokes. More investigation is needed so I'll continue with the cleaning out of the crank journals as that also means removing the main bearing caps and getting a look at the white metal in there too.

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