Ford Prefect V8 brakes and stuff

Published on 16 October 2023 at 09:14

The engine is back in, the rigid brake and clutch lines have been installed, everything looks good so far.

With the radiator back in place that's pretty much it for now, I need to get some flexible piping for the air filters so I can move them in to the incoming air and away from the heat of the engine. I also need to make a couple of small brackets to hold pipes safely and stop them wobbling about or rubbing anything.


The postman brought me the replacement nipples for my brake calipers, which were fitted with the minimum of fuss and, surprisingly, the system bled up far easier than I had thought. Sometimes it can be a complete pain but within half an hour of starting I had a rock hard brake pedal. Sadly as I went round the car checking the brake force on each wheel it quickly became apparent that all was not well with the front offside - the wheel was solid. Clearly the caliper was binding, things got worse when I tried to open the nipple to let some pressure off - the nipple snapped flush with the caliper body. No option really other than to get a new caliper, yes i could rebuild this one at a cost of about 35 quid but it's only another tenner to get a new one so that's what I did. It arrived 2 days later, went on the car, bled straight up and I now have a braking system that I am happy with for now, I hope I remain so after a proper road test. The pedal is rock hard and it only takes light finger pressure to stop the wheels dead so I think it's looking good.


The clutch is now fully working, that also bled up with the minimum of swearing, I need to put in another p clip for the pipe though because at the moment it rubs on the rigid copper brake pipe that goes to the front off side brake - instant BIVA failure.

Fitting the steering column around the new starter motor was the next challenge as the starter, exhaust manifold and steering column all want to live in the same place. It's all in, it's all very tight but everything works and clears. Ideally I would get a pair of block hugger exhaust manifolds but there is not enough in the budget for such luxuries  they are very expensive. The suspension all seems to work, everything has now been torqued up and every nut has been replaced with a nyloc or thread lock has been applied. The tracking is about right, as is the camber, it will all be finalised a bit later when the car is finished and at it's final weight. The ride height is perfect and it sits square, the Spax coil overs give me loads of room for adjustment.

The prop shaft is back in so if I had an exhaust the car would move and stop under it's own power now. I think the next job will be to sort the engine wiring and the exhaust so that I can run it, then it is a marathon of body work. I intend to use rust converter on the inside and outside of anywhere that looks a bit brown, the underside will be properly treated. It won't look pretty but then I'm not building it as a show car and I want it to last until long after I have been turned to dust. Money will be the deciding factor in how long this takes, it needs new front wheels and tyres, a roof panel, headlining, instruments, paint, windows, door trims and a whole host of other parts to finish.

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