Ex­haust­ing work

Classics Monthly - - Driver's Diary -

This month has flown by on planet Frog, as all work on the Healey 3000 has been put on hold to get the su­per­charged Frog beauty go­ing for the sum­mer.

Last month I left with a lit­tle headache of the ex­haust man­i­fold clash­ing with the in­let man­i­fold. The orig­i­nal and very rare cast iron man­i­fold’s branches turned very sharply as they left the head and the be­spoke Shor­rock in­let man­i­fold worked around this shape.

When pur­chas­ing the bits for the Frog a num­ber of months back I couldn’t find an orig­i­nal cast ex­haust so went for a lovely tubu­lar man­i­fold that swept away from the head in a free-flow­ing man­ner... straight into my in­let man­i­fold! I had a hunt around and still could not find a cast ex­haust and there­fore had to repli­cate the re­quired bend by cut­ting up my tubu­lar ex­haust.

An on­line sup­plier pro­vided some 90-de­gree bends in mild steel which I then me­thod­i­cally worked through, cut­ting and shut­ting the bends around the in­let man­i­fold. I tacked the bits in place as I went and made sure I was happy be­fore the fi­nal weld up.

I did the lat­ter us­ing an old head as a jig to keep the re­quired shape, but the hard­est bit of all this was keep­ing weld­ing sparks and cut­ting dust out and away from my newly-built en­gine. Far from ideal but needs must and all that.

With the ex­haust sorted I could move onto fit­ting up the charger, ex­haust and radiator into my run­ning-in rig. This is a sim­ple rolling an­gle iron af­fair with a fuel pump, oil pres­sure gauge, bat­tery and en­gine

mounts. Run­ning the en­gine up this way al­lows un­hin­dered set-up ac­cess and an abil­ity to keep an eye on what’s go­ing on as you run in.

I like to get the en­gine run­ning at 2000 rpm where oil flow is high for about 20 min­utes and ideally I would put some load on the en­gine but you are en­ter­ing dyno ter­ri­tory then and rig­ging up a de­vice to gen­er­ate load is a bit of a faff – a pro­ject for this win­ter I think!

With the en­gine in the rig and the pump primed I cranked with­out plugs, fuel and ig­ni­tion un­til I had good oil pres­sure. I re­fit­ted the plugs, crossed my fin­gers and cranked. A big pop sig­ni­fied in­cor­rect fir­ing or­der. I was brought up on 1-4-3-2 Bee­tles not 1-3-4-2 Bri­tish stuff – old habits die hard!

Once cor­rected she fired straight away and ran as sweet as a nut. I was sur­prised about how lit­tle noise the charger made. I was ex­pect­ing a bit of a whir at least, so maybe all the time spent en­sur­ing cor­rect tol­er­ances was worth the ef­fort. After a 20-minute cool down I went ahead and popped her in the car. The su­per­charger and ex­haust had to come off to do so and the longer front pul­ley for the charger belt was a bit of a squeeze. With it all in I looked at the floor and found a spring. This con­cerned me and the grease looked like the stuff that was used on the clutch cover plate, so out came the en­gine again.

I must have just glanced the re­lease bear­ing and popped the spring off, so I’m glad I spot­ted it sooner rather than later! With the en­gine in, I took ad­van­tage of a fam­ily Sun­day lunch to grab a few un­will­ing vol­un­teers to help me put the bon­net back on as it’s a least a three-per­son job. The only thing stop­ping me now is a change of ex­haust gas­ket. Foot off the gas for now!

I was brought up on 1-4-3-2 Bee­tles not 1-3-4-2 Bri­tish stuff – old habits die hard!

The new ramp is a dream.

Pre-ex­haust woes.

An­other mile­stone reached.

All run in and happy.

On its way in... be­fore com­ing out again.

Re­assem­bly is the re­verse of dis­as­sem­bly.

Now where did I put that screen..?

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