You Redex here first
After all the talk of electric vehicles in my last two editorials, I thought we should head back in time after reading this issue’s Mechanical Mishaps feature (see page 40). The stories from
CM readers make interesting reading, I’m sure you will agree. Some of the blunders we’ve printed within the past year have bordered on hilarious, some a bit more serious...
Reading Jim Millard’s account (Keep
an eye on your nuts) of his 1964 Mini van and his decision to tune-up the engine with a dose of Redex brought back some memories for me.
My father had a Mini van as a company vehicle around the late ’60s, early ’70s. It wasn’t ideal as family transport due to not having any back seats. However, to carry two children in the back, my mother bought some foam material – the stuff you use to create sofas and the like – cut it to the size of a Mini van rear compartment, then stitched over frilly, ’60s-style material. My brother and I then had somewhere to sit (or lie).
Seeing these vans at classic car shows always brings back memories of being in a dark tin-box. Maybe this is where I got my craving for van ownership – even though I don’t own one – not yet, anyway!
Or maybe the affection for vans/ picks-up stems from my time at
Practical Classics magazine in the 1980s, when a 1958 Morris Oxford pick-up (with column change) was made available to drive. Those were the days!
As you will read, Jim makes reference to using Redex down the carburettor of his Mini van. That also struck a chord with me, remembering the time I bought Redex to perform the same treatment on my Ford Capri V6. But I went one step further – pouring Redex down each cylinder bore! This was also recommended at the time, so with the spark plugs extracted, half a cupful of Redex was put down each hole.
Back then I had a remote starter – it connected to the starter motor and 12V battery. You could turn the engine over one cam lobe at a time with practice – I think I bought it to adjust the valves on my previous Ford, an OHV 1.1 Escort. The idea was to use the remote starter to turn the engine over to churn the pistons up and down to get the Redex moving. With a mate, we had a bank of three cylinders each. However, as us humans have only two hands it was rather difficult to cover three holes with our fingers, so with the help of a rag stuffed in each aperture, it was time to use the remote starter.
Except we hadn’t anticipated the compression forces that came our way. Our hands/fingers had no control, and the rags discharged at great force into the air, followed by Redex/combustion deposits thrown all over us. Well, we live and learn. The funniest bit, though, was my mate, being albino, had the most white head of hair you’d ever seen – which was now covered in red Redex. He looked like walking candyfloss.
Anyway, the plugs were tightened down and the V6 fired into life. The exhausts smoked a bit, but not as much as they did when it drove down the road on the first drive – V6 Capris have twin-exiting exhaust pipes either side of the rear bodywork, so the smog was dramatic for the next two miles.
Dropping Redex down the Essex V6 bores was 35 years ago. How time flies... It’s great to see the Redex name still lives on under the Holts Lloyd International Ltd portfolio.
Did you, or still do, use Redex? Send an email to me at the above address.