Every August Bank Holiday the NASC hold their National event at Trinity Park in Ipswich. It's a 3 day event, but Sunday is their public Show and Shine day. If you bring an interesting car, you get in for a tenner with all occupants.
It's an amazing show and one I don't like to miss. So yesterday four of us piled into the 2000 estate and took our place nestled amongst the American muscle cars and hot rods.
One of the reasons I've been avoiding taking the PI estate any great distances, is because the diff has been leaking quite badly from the front seal. As someone who's destroyed 2 different diffs over the years in the 2000 and TR6 by forgetting to keep them topped up during long trips, I didn't want to kill another.
The PI has a good one, quiet with minimal play, so I want to keep it that way.
First task, get the rear end up in the air and disconnect the driveshafts.
Then remove the rear exhaust, disconnect prop, undo all the diff mounting bolts, haul it over the subframe arms and pull it out from under the car.
I'd bought a strengthened nose-piece from eBay 11 years ago, that had been fitted with a new bearing, but never used it, so now seemed a good enough reason to remove it from its box and put it to use.
The photos get rather sparse now, but the order of events were as follows.
- Remove old nose piece and drain oil.
- Drift out old leather lipped seal.
- Tap in new leather seal, after soaking in gearbox oil for 24hrs.
- Fit new nose piece.
- Swap over propshaft flange as the one supplied with the nosepiece was a Stag one and the PCD is different.
- Fill diff with oil.
Refit diff, with new Superflex bushes, stainless washers and nuts from Chris Witor, as the old rubber ones were well past their best.
While the diff was out I also took the chance to re-grease the sliding splines on the driveshafts.
Checked the oil level once the car was back on the ground, then went for a quick test drive. All seems ok, but will keep an eye open for those tell tale puddles of EP90.
So now the Stag has been back on the road for a bit, I'm ironing out a few of the problems that are arising.
1. Starter Motor. This has been working intermittently for a while now, even before I took it off the road, and it wasn't getting any better by itself. After considering high-torque examples, I decided to support a local business and took the old Lucas unit to Nacton Auto Electrics in Ipswich. For £40 they fitted a new solenoid and gave it a check over. The brushes they said were 'like new, and last forever on these old motors'. Fantastic service.
2. Exhaust Manifolds. While I contemplate what to do with the exhaust, the blowing from the near side manifold was getting annoying. 2 of the mounting flanges had rusted and were allowing gases to escape. My welding is not great, but I thought I'd try and create a repair, by building up the low areas with weld then grinding back.
Quite pleased with the results. There's still a little blow, but that's mostly from where the down pipe joins the manifold, which is a horrible joint.
3. Valley Gasket. This is repair I'm not proud of, but it's done the job. I noticed a fairly serious oil leak, with oil pooling in the V and running down the rear of the block. My first thoughts was that the rubber seals at the end had failed, but closer inspection showed a tiny pin hole in a rusty patch on the tin valley gasket, with oil oozing out under higher revs.
You can just see it on the upper rib in this photo.
So I had a choice. Replace the valley gasket, which involves removing the inlet manifold and trying to loosen 12 bolts (steel in alloy) that haven't been moved in years ... or decide on a less professional, but less labour intensive repair.
I went for the second option, and pooled an amount of Araldite over the affected area.
It does look like someone has sneezed on it, but so far it's holding.
4. I also cut down my homemade tailpipes, so they tuck under the bumper. They look less like scaffolding now and it's neatened up the rear end a little.
At last, after over a year off the road, my Stag passed it's MoT yesterday.
I affectionately call it the Mule due to it's non-standard drivetrain (Rover V8 + LT77 5 speed box) and also because I fitted it with a manual quick rack (and other steering related parts) for a Triumph 2000.
So now it's back mobile again, I can look at getting a proper exhaust for it. I may go the custom made route if the pricing isn't too bad.
But it wasn't all smooth running yesterday, I managed to mangle the front number plate on my engine stand reversing out of the garage.
I think trying to straighten it may be fruitless, so I imagine I'll be ordering another at some point.
So with the sump back on, the rocker covers stripped of paint and reinstalled it's time to get the engine back in the car.
With the gearbox off it's a fairly simple job of just lowering it back into the engine bay.
Once bolted up, here comes the hard bit, getting the car onto the ramps which are on the other side of the garage, so I can install the gearbox.
In a scene that resembled a World's Strongest Man event (well it is the run up to new year) I managed to push the Stag out onto the soggy wet grass outside and get it to a point that I could connect my 12v winch. (a very useful extra that came with the ramps).
It was the first time I'd used it, but made getting the car up the slope so much easier.
Now it's off the ground, I bolted on the clutch and then had to get the LT77 gearbox back on.
There's no more photos for the moment, but suffice to say, even with the ramps giving me 2ft of lift, and having a transmission jack, it still took me 90mins of wrestling (and swearing) to get it bolted up.
The crossmember is also now back on, so hopefully at some point this weekend I might get it running again.