Frogeye pipe dreams
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.