CONNECTING THE SYSTEMS
We also need to do some tidying up on the engine. The exhaust valve tappets were adjusted while the cover was off to fit the new exhaust manifold, and the engine block drain tap was refitted, plus any other jobs where access was better with the front wings out of the way. Thankfully, this work did go to plan. All that was needed was a methodical plod through each area in turn. We aimed to reach the point where we can refill the coolant and fit the primary wiring harness so we can start the engine again. With that achieved, we’ll progress to wiring the lights.
1 The exhaust valve cover goes back on, coolant hoses are changed, the feed pipe for the water pump is refitted, as is the fan and new fan belt. 2 The steering box is fitted to the chassis and, internally, the bulkhead to steering tube bracings are fitted. We leave the steering wheel off for now. 3 The steering rods get new ball joints before fitting to the vehicle. One rod from the box to the idler, and the drag link from the idler to the nearside swivel.
4 With the steering wheel dropped on, I can’t help but smile as I feel the new steering for the first time. Beautifully smooth in action and with no play.
5 The non-functioning dynamo was sent to a local auto electrical specialist where it was fitted with new bearings, brushes and given a smart repaint. 6 The radiator and bonnet stay are bolted onto the front panel, then the whole assembly is bolted into the vehicle before fitting the radiator cowl. 7 With the cowl resting over the fan, the front panel and radiator is fitted to the chassis, and the cowl is slid in. Now it’s really taking shape. 8 The fuel pump and electric assembly bolts to the bulkhead. Period-looking braided hoses connect the fuel system, and the fuel filter goes back on. 9 The new wiring loom from Autosparks looks superb. After a few hours labelling the primary harness up, I first rest it in position on the car. 10 I start connecting everything in turn, starting at the fuel pump, then voltage regulator, fusebox, starter button, choke and oil pressure switch. 11 Inside the car, I connect the ignition and lighting feeds, then the gauges and warning lamps. The wiring diagram is vital, as is patience. 12 James fixes the connections on newly made copper heater pipes. He uses silver solder, the way the factory made them in 1957.
13 The pedal arms go back on, the shafts are greased, then the pedals bolted to the arms after fitting new bulkhead rubber seals and felts. 14 The brake system is filled with fluid. We’ll bleed the brakes from the back to the front, maybe two or three times to get a firm pedal. 15 After double-checking the power to the ignition feed and fuel pump with a multimeter, I turn the key. The ignition lights illuminate, the fuel pump ticks. Fantastic! 16 Just water goes in the radiator until we’ve confirmed the system is now watertight – there’s no point wasting coolant concentrate at this stage. 17 We’re ready to turn the key and start it. But James notices a puddle under the car. A core plug is weeping at the back of the block. 18 The core plug leak is minor and will be sorted later, so James turns the key, presses the starter and it fires instantly. A test of the brakes, a lift of the clutch, and we’re driving!