You Redex here first

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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