Fro­g­eye pipe dreams

Classics Monthly - - Staff Diaries -

L ast month I left off af­ter fin­ish­ing the dash in­stall, so that means there is only the cool­ing sys­tem and ex­haust left to fit be­fore the Fro­g­eye gets fired up! The old man’s Fro­g­eye is now back home from paint too! Hur­ray! It took longer than I ex­pected to get to this stage that but the re­build should be quicker as I‘ve learnt a lot from work­ing on my blue car.

Start­ing with the ex­haust, a three-branch man­i­fold needed the lon­gi­tu­di­nal flange on the body trim­ming back a bit to fit. To get it to fit, I marked it up where this was needed, cov­ered over the fresh paint as well as the en­gine and cracked out the plasma cut­ter. This made light work of the trim­ming back, so to fin­ish I ti­died up the cut with a file and gave the flange a quick lick of paint. I re­stored the steel heat shield by clean­ing off the sur­face rust and then dunk­ing it in a tub of di­luted mo­lasses.

I left it soak­ing for a week and af­ter it had been scrubbed and washed, the shield was amaz­ingly rust free. The bare me­tal was treated with a coat of etch primer and gloss black be­fore be­ing bolted in place on the in­let man­i­fold. Now this was done, I could now fi­nally bolt the carbs in place – they have been on the en­gine for ages but were only there for morale and aes­thetic pur­poses re­ally!

Once the carbs were bolted on, I con­nected a rub­ber fuel com­pat­i­ble pipe to the pre­vi­ously in­stalled cop­per fuel pipes and fin­ished the job off with new clips be­fore fit­ting the choke and ac­cel­er­a­tor ca­bles. Back to the ex­haust, which was fit­ted in re­verse or­der, as I bolted the tail pipe on first via an iso­la­tor bracket so I could work out how long the main ex­haust pipe length needed to be. Once laid out, the pipe was marked and the main run cut to length so it would meet up with the three-branch man­i­fold.

With ex­haust fi­nally in place, the next job was fin­ish off the cool­ing sys­tem. The first task was to use a stud ex­trac­tor to re­move the ther­mo­stat bolts, but the threads didn’t look too great. As these would only cause is­sues later on, they were all changed for new studs. Next,

With the ex­haust fi­nally in place, the next job was to fin­ish off fit­ting the cool­ing sys­tem

the ther­mo­stat cover was bolted down af­ter a new ther­mo­stat and gas­ket had been seated cor­rectly. As I’d pur­chased a new ra­di­a­tor, this was dropped in place over the fan so it would align with the sup­port up­rights. These fix­ings also hold the wing braces and op­tional washer bot­tle in place. It was quite a fid­dle lin­ing these all up as one bolt had a cap­tive nut that moved around.

Af­ter a bit of per­sua­sion and ques­tion­ing the de­signer’s birthright, the ra­di­a­tor was fi­nally in place. The new coolant pipes and clips were fit­ted next and we were now in business. With the pipes fit­ted, the next job was to fit the freshly re­stored heater box and tap in place, both with new gas­kets and the cor­rect fix­ings be­fore fi­nally plumb­ing up the cool­ing sys­tem. I’d found an old cop­per pipe run­ning from the heater to the bot­tom hose, so this was given a good pol­ish be­fore re­fit­ting be­fore fill­ing the ra­di­a­tor with the right mix of wa­ter and an­tifreeze and checked for leaks. All good, so the next job to do will be to carry out all the ba­sic checks be­fore start­ing up the en­gine.

This is the point where you grab a cuppa and take your time. I have a list of me­chan­i­cal checks, oil, wa­ter, points etc., etc., that I like work through – some I know I have done but I them check any­way. It sounds daft, but I then vi­su­alise a line or bound­ary round the en­gine and check ev­ery­thing that crosses the bound­ary and con­nects with the en­gine: i.e. throt­tle ca­bles, oil pres­sure gallery, etc., etc. With that done and the bat­tery charged, its start her up time and that’s for next month!

With all the un­der­bon­net work now com­plete, next job will be to fire my re­built Fro­g­eye up.

A re­volv­ing cap­tive nut slowed down re­fit­ting the wing braces.

The over­sized fresh air trunk­ing takes up a huge amount of space.

Plumb­ing up the heater box was an­other job ticked off the list.

Cut­ting and fit­ting the ex­haust pipe was eas­ier than ex­pected.

Fit­ting the carbs per­ma­nently to the man­i­fold was a ma­jor stage.

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