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Austin A30 Part 6

Fanny to get a new heart (25th – 29th May)

A lot can happen in a few days. After discovering the head was in a very poor condition we eventually got the engine block out and onto an engine stand. This task was made easy with the aid of a chain hoist and the sturdy timbers of the car port. One of the engine mount brackets was unbolted which allowed enough movement to free the engine from the gearbox, lift it clear of the car and roll the car back and out of the way.

Rotating the engine on the engine stand the sump was removed to reveal a black sludge more reminiscent of tar than oil. All four con rod caps were removed to reveal scoring through the middle on all four journals. Inspection of these revealed +20 thou so the crank had been re ground. Much debate followed . . .

How agricultural are these small bore A Series engine? It’ll be alright as long as it’s not too noisy! Should we just replace the bearings and build it back up again? Whilst it’s out we should re grind the crank, re bore and skim the block, get a new head and skim that! How much is all that going to cost plus all the parts to correctly rebuild the engine, bearings, seals, water pump, fuel pump, hoses, rings, pistons, new head etc etc? What happened to a quick rebuild and out on the open road? Sorting out the engine properly we could see it running to £400 plus, much more debate followed . . .

What about a new engine? The dilemma there being a) the cost of a new exchange engine was well over £1200 and b) the objective was to return Fanny to the road not just replace everything but to repair her! However we’d been made aware of a fully rebuilt 948 engine which was bench running with all the ancillary parts being sold by an A30 / A35 Owners Club member and at a price comparable to the potential rebuild cost of Fanny’s engine. Even more debate followed . . .

I’m the end the head overruled the heart and we did the logical thing. In addition to the cost taking this decision moved the project on by about 4-6 weeks and we can get on with other tasks. Fanny’s new engine is on its way!

Quite a thing of beauty

So onto other things, Chris needed the fuel tank removed to get better access to the rear of the car to effect repairs. Apparently welding and fuel tanks full of petrol fumes don’t mix – who knew! So out came the tank, that came out pretty easily, both the large grommets will need to be replaced as they were perished. The float on the fuel sender was frozen solid but a little WD40 sorted that out and that was bench tested with a volt meter and is working nicely! Not surprisingly the small about of petrol still in the tank was brown and there’s loads of rust in the tank – some oil was added to the tank along with a handful of nuts – later on we’ll shake that like a maraca and flush the tank out. The new engine has the mechanical fuel pump blanked off so after some research a low pressure pump was ordered which we’ll mount in the boot of the car.

Next, start to strip the engine bay so we can start to get it ready to receive a new engine. Heater box and blower removed. All in a very poor state. Further discussion, fixing up the heater will be more time and money, that can be phase two after we get Fanny back up and running. All the heater parts will be boxed up for another day, next!

Heater box

Parts on order, fuel tank grommets, new clutch, top and bottom radiator hoses, electric fuel pump, hose and clips. Tomorrow’s another day!

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