To think, I used to be able to spend loads of time on the car in the evenings and then write it all up before bed – can’t imagine what’s changed in six years  Oh yeah … daughter 

Anyways, since the car’s come out of hibernation I seem to have spent an inordinate amount of time fannying around with the cooling system. It seems to run warmer than I remember it ever did before, so I guess it’s a case of work your way round and tick things off the list. I put in a fresh 82 degree thermostat and flushed the system. Since removing the DGAV, the highest point in the system is now the loop that goes over the rocker cover and as luck would have it I found an old coolant pipe off something that had an inline bleed valve. Plumbed that into the loop (top right in the pic) and I’ve now got a simple way to ensure there’s no airlock 

Okay, so there’s no airlock but it still “seems” to be warm  The gauge is neither use nor bloody ornament as it’s taken to delighting in giving random readings. You can tell it’s playing silly buggers because the fuel gauge goes daft too – which suggests the voltage regulator on the back of the clock pod. But then when it’s supposedly working properly, it goes off the scale in the red … yet the fan hasn’t kicked in and it’s set to about 90 degrees and I trust that more than the old Ford gauge. So it’s probably both the gauge sender AND the voltage regulator that are up the swanny then. 

Rather than just spend a tenner on a new sender for a suspect gauge, I spent a little more and got a new Smiths gauge and sender for under 50 quid. The sender’s 1/8 NPT – so the same size as the hole in the Pinto head – so there’s no mucking about with having to then fit it somewhere else. Just run a wire from the sender to the cabin, pick up a switched live behind the dash, slot it into a gauge bezel I got years ago and wedge it in for the minute. Job jobbed  Now I can at least see actual temperatures rather than “about half way” or “somewhere near the red”.

It’ll get a permanent mounting place in the fullness of time, but for the moment it’s good enough 

Next up was the oil catch tank. When we put the carbs on it got quickly fixed up in the corner of the bay, but it turned out it was almost impossible to get at to even see the level in the tank, never mind the fun you’d come to have when you wanted to drain it. Oh, and the hose routing was daft too. And the crank breather outlet was kinked, so probably not doing much breathing then  Took it all out and started again. Lifted it up above the carb filters and suddenly there’s more room for everything. It’s not going to win any prizes for style, but hey, let’s be realistic here … it’s a bracket to hold an oil can in an engine bay 

Hmm, what’s next? Ah yes, that bloody oil leak from the mangled rocker cover. The new rubber gasket arrived from Burtons and it’s probably about half as thick again as a cork one and lines up perfectly with the notches around the flange. Spent some time with the hammers getting the rocker cover flange all flat again, then put the lot back on.

Repeating the advice of others; get the cover into position with the horizontal bolts loosely in place first, then work your way round them alternating from one side to another, front to back, slowly but surely tightening it down. This then pulls the vertical holes on the front cam tower into line, so you can slot those bolts in. Only used a screwdriver-style handle, rather than a little ratchet, when tightening up the bolts as you use a lot less force and get a much better sense of a consistent level of tightness being applied. Wiped everything down, fired up the engine and watched with “joy” as oil continued to piss out the side … 

Thankfully, it turns out that a quarter tun on a couple of bolts was all that was needed to get a perfect seal 

And with that, I think we’re up to date