The main thing that has been getting top attention over recent weeks has been the rebuild of the engine. The milk float has a 1500cc B series engine which, being a gold seal engine is obviously already a replacement. The engine has been completely stripped to allow for an intimate check of it’s condition. It was basically sound but with the cylinder head being sent to have new valves and seats fitted it became apparent that it needed skimmed as well so the cylinder head has benefited from a complete rebuild.
As already said new valves and seats were fitted which will allow the engine to run on unleaded petrol without an additive and the complete valve gear was stripped, cleaned and rebuilt.
Stripping the engine to such an extent allows for comprehensive re-painting. Traditional BMC green enamel has been used which gives the engine a fantastic new look.
No overhaul would be complete of course without including the rotating electrics. Both starter motor and dynamo have been completely stripped, painted and reconditioned. This also highlighted the fact that the front plate on the starter motor had a hairline crack. Thankfully replacements for most Lucas components are still available so a new plate was sourced and fitted.
We already had a new carburettor for it so the inlet manifold was refurbed and painted and mated up to the new carb.
The exhaust manifold was pretty poor with three out of the four top bolts completely siezed into place. Don’t believe all the old wives tales about remedies to remove old bolts such as soaking in cola and all that – they don’t work! Even heat didn’t work on these ones. There was no option but to grind them flat, drill out the old studs and re-tap them. (1/4 UNF with 28 threads per inch if I remember correctly). This also meant making up new bolts as well. A nice coat of VHT paint finished it off nicely. The distributor has been cleaned up, the clutch plate re-lined and the clutch master cylinder cleaned, honed and new rubbers installed.
My newly found welding skills enabled me to build a cradle/trolley to allow the engine and gearbox to be mated together and be maneuverable around the workshop.
At the time of writing there are still one or two minor parts at the paint shop (dynamo brackets, pulleys etc.,) and the sump has still to be fitted to complete the engine rebuild.