Friday, 21 January 2022

Engine's Back In!

 The copper tube I was waiting for to replace the fuel hose arrived last night, so this morning it was un-coiled & fitted, which left me no excuse for not fitting the engine. It was pretty straight forward, there's plenty of space as long as the engine is tipped tail down to get the clutch into the bell housing while keeping the pulleys above the suspension rocker arms.

There's loads still to do of course, the exhaust & throttle bodies need to be properly fitted & all the electrics need to be connected up, fuel & cooling systems, starter etc BUT, it's a major step along the road, there are naturally a couple of issues, which if this were one of the car modification / restoration shows would be a MAJOR problem causing untold cost / time over-runs & at least two hissy-fits. For example the air filter is 2mm from the new brake reservoir - way too close. I'll deal with it, it just needs a little thinking about. My plan to replace the air filter with an airbox & remote filter may be about to happen "now", rather than "in the fullness of time" 

Wednesday, 19 January 2022


 The Stylus is down off the stands & once again on it's wheels on the garage floor. My plan was to put the engine back in today, but I've found some cracking in a fuel pipe that runs right through the transmission tunnel, so I'm going to replace it with copper & renew the hoses at either end - So the car'll be getting jacked up again.

On the up-side I've picked up the seat cushions from the upholsterer & fitted them to the seats & fitted the seats back in the car & I have to say they look pretty splended.

When I bought the car, I thought the seats were too modern for the look I wanted, but even cheap seats were expensive & the diamond quilting in these inserts makes them look more retro.

They need sitting in to press the creases in properly, but I'm pretty pleased with the result.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Reservoir Dogs (Bolx)


I've been fabricating again, the aircraft fitter skills from 40ish years ago have been retrieved from the creaky corners of my brain & set to work. I'd done some C.A.D. work (Cardboard Aided Design) so had a template, cut it out, drilled holes & folded it up & not only did it look good, but it stood flat on its' feet! I made up a bracing plate & even managed to press two flanged lightening holes into it without drama. 

After riveting it up it was still flat! So imagine my horror when I placed it on the car & it rocked - yes I've made it squarer than the car is.

Anyway, after all the prep work, it's now bolted to the car & the reservoirs & hoses are fitted & I've even filled them with oil, though not bled them through yet.

That implies the front brakes are on & yes after my brother machined the brackets, the calipers are on, torqued up & the pipes & hoses are fitted.

The car's really close to having the engine put back in now.

Friday, 7 January 2022

Engine Strangeness

With the cam belt fitted
Today I decided to fit the new cam belt, I took the front off the engine, I took the top off the engine, I attempted to put the cam locking strip into the cams, but it wouldn't fit. The grooves for the locking strip weren't parallel - weird. I took out No.1 spark plug & took the piston to Top Dead Centre, checking it with a Dial Test Indicator. The inlet cam was OK, but the exhaust cam was 1/2 a tooth out. I puzzled over this for some time, but in the end I slackened the exhaust cam wheel & set it all up to the book.

With the camshaft lock fitted.

But presumably it's been like that for a while as it's a Gates belt not a Motorcraft one, so it has been changed.

Then (drum roll) the bell housing arrived, it needed a mod or two - no disrespect to RWD Motorsport, it was sold as a "Sierra replacement bell housing" & indeed it is, but the Stylus has a Mondeo concentric clutch slave cylinder, so I had to remove a little metal overhanging the central bore & make up a blanking plate for the big square hole where the clutch fork goes. But that's all done & it's on the gearbox, so it can get bled through (when the reservoir is fitted) & the engine can go back in - HOORAH!

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Engine Done



Yes the engine's more or less done, it needs a few bits taken off so it fits in through the hole in the car & I'm STILL waiting for the vacuum hoses. It'll have to sit there for a while yet as the bellhousing won't arrive for a week or two.

Of course it's untested, so might be all pants when I try to start it, but it's a Zetec & they're almost impossible to kill, so fingers crossed.


As I'd hoped the throttle bodies & exhaust hide a lot of the orange on the engine block, so it's an orange hi-light, rather that "WOW - ORANGE"

Moving the coil pack under the throttle bodies & removing all the plastic helps with the vintage look, so it should look right at home in the late '60s styled car.

Friday, 31 December 2021

Festive Period

There’s been a lot of garage action over the festive period, but not a lot worth photographing I’m afraid, here’s a sort of list:-

Chassis – all the cleaning, de-greasing & painting is done (bulkhead forward).

Fuel System – cleaned, re-configured, shelf re-engineered & re-installed.

Front Suspension – cleaned, de-greased, painted & re-installed. I have a query in with the shock manufacturers as there’s no lock rings on the lower spring pans which doesn’t seem right.

Brakes – Cleaned ready for reinstallation, but with the smaller discs & the spacers under the callipers removed the pads overhang the discs by about 5mm so I need to get the mounting brackets machined, I have a plan for this!

Brake lines – Re-installed, now with bolted P-clips, not riveted. Flexi lines replaced.

Electrical looms – Re-installed, now with bolted P-clips, not riveted. Battery & cage re-fitted.

Brake reservoirs – The three reservoir pots (front brakes, rear brakes & clutch) & their bracket have gone, there will be a combined brake reservoir - crucially with a low level warning - & a separate clutch reservoir. I’ve drawn up the new bracket & a sheet of 1.5mm aluminium sheet is on its’ way. The final design may get "rationalised" (not be that posh).

Fuel lines – The two original ones remaining on the car are cracking & need to be replaced.

Throttle Bodies – The vacuum lines weren’t great so there’s new silicone hoses in the post. Also the trumpets / ram pipes / velocity stacks were parallel for most of their length with a flare at the end – which was just inside the air filter inner surface. I want to replace the air filter with an airbox & remote filter / intake, but for now I’ve drawn up shorter trumpets with a nice parabolic entry & the first pair is on the 3D printer as I type.

So the car is very much being re-built ready for the engine to go in when the aluminium bell housing arrives, hopefully mid January, there’s some fiddly bits like the brake calliper brackets & reservoir mount, but mostly it’s just putting stuff back & making sure it works.

Monday, 20 December 2021

And - Breeeeeath

Half of the chassis refurb is kind of finished!

After what seemed like a week of scrapeing & cleaning - but was probably seven days, all the rust & paint was finally stripped & after de-grease & metal prep, a couple of coats of grey have been splashed across it. It doesn't look brilliant, but it was never going to, being a 20 year old chassis & looking good was never the point.

While that was drying I took a trip to Think Automotive & purchased a few fittings to get the fuel system sorted. It looks similar, but the tray has been lightened & stiffened, the hose & wiring runs are simpler, the filters are in the right places & it’s been de-blued.

I've added a fastner into the pedal box at the top because the whole tray was more or less attached in a single plane & although a stiffener had been rivetted on to support the swirl pot, it had been placed vertically so wasn't doing much, I've lowered the swirl pot & placed the stiffener horizontally & the swirl pot no longer sways about.

I just need to get the off side cleaned stripped & painted & I can start re-building! HURRAH!!