Five Find Something Missing.
"Golly!" exclaimed George, "what beastly luck. No breakfast run this week then!" Even Timmy the dog looked crestfallen. Having sorted out the problems with the vacuum advance and the carb, everything seemed to be going swimmingly, but despite the noticeable improvement in the Hillman's running, there was still a certain lacklustre in its performance. It used to come to life as an indicated 4000rpm was passed, but though perfectly driveable it seemed lethargic. Awkward was keen to investigate and had the plugs out to do a compression test - something we should have done a week or two ago.
The instrument returned the grand sum of '0' on number 3 and a disappointing figure on number 4, so off came the head.
Top tip: before removing the camshaft balance thingummy, tie-wrap the two plates together; it saves a lot of time and frustration when reassembling - and you don't misalign the plates like I did at first on the new engine. The hole in the firewall is to access the bolt which secures the assembly. Another top tip to keep your blood pressure within limits is, when putting it all back together again, replace the tab washer with a good quality shakeproof job - works just as well.
At first glance the bores looked fine - though I haven't yet cleaned up and examined them properly. Curiously, the crown of No. 4 piston is cleaner than the rest.
Having recently done the head for the Teardrop Special and got the method weighed off, the plates that compress the valve springs in order to remove the camshaft worked very well. There was a moment when I thought I'd stripped the thread on the rear plate, but luckily it was the welding on the bottom of the stud that gave way and was easily remedied. A third top tip is to leave the plates on to unscrew the tappets from the valve stems. Once they're clear of the plates, they unwind very easily.
... and its seat.
It's about time it had some attention. This head came from the engine Learned Counsel and I started up before the Hillman was even built. We just sat it on the Hillman chassis, hooked up a battery and fuel supply and pressed go (Archive One Thing Leads To Another. May 2012). When the cracked block was discovered, I just transferred the head to a 'new' block, so this is the first time it's been stripped in my ownership.
In other news: I had a Riefenstahl moment on completion of 110 screen stops for a handprint textile table. It doesn't have the same political message, but you get the picture.
I struggled to make an elliptical air intake for the Teardrop heating system. It was my own fault as I chose a convenient piece of aluminium which turned out to be too thick to manage around the radiuses of the elipse.
Despite rolling it first and then attempting to squash the circle into submission with screws, I'm resigned to starting again with thinner material - unless I'm missing something.