Rover V8 Powered Ford Prefect First Start

Published on 9 June 2024 at 20:58

Well it's been an incredibly busy day today, only intended to spend an hour in the workshop but that hour turned in to about 12. My intention was to do one side of the exhaust as some gasket material that I had been waiting for arrived yesterday. Instead I spent the afternoon under Paulo's van, which needed an oil change and the Delta Integrale which needed the newly arrived brake pads fitting. Sunday was dark and dismal so we didn't go out anywhere, a day in the workshop was the only option. The exhaust on the passenger side was tackled first, when done it looked splendid, it all worked out perfectly, nice and simple, one single box from a Jag XJ6, some 48mm pipe, a mandrel bent stainless downpipe, my home made flange to mate it up to the manifold and a gasket I made from the sheet material. For good measure a smear of gun gum was applied to all joints, some proper exhaust clamps hold the silencers to the pipe, some cut down and bent 10mm bolts provided the rear fixing to which a rubber mount gives some movement to the whole shabang.

I decided it would be a good idea to bung in some fuel to check the fuel pipes were good and that there were no leaks, it's all looking good apart from one tiny seep from one of the SU carb bowls, I need to check the screws are tight, I have some new gaskets if needed. With that all looking good I thought I would check for spark, I did have it firing very briefly some time back but it had no exhaust or very much else back then so it only ran for a second and it was so loud I honestly couldn't say how well it was running, it didn't have a proper fuel feed back then either.

There was no spark, I had voltage at the coil but when I connected my timing strobe there was nothing. I decided to bypass the coil ballast resistor to give it a bit more voltage at cranking, that did the trick my spark was fat and blue, I need to rig up a relay to short it when cranking, that will do the trick, as it is at the moment there is a good chance of shortening the life of the points as they will be handling much more current. So with spark and fuel I thought maybe I could go for the start attempt but I was concerned as to whether there was oil pressure so with the coil disconnected and with a freshly charged battery I span it over but saw no movement on the oil pressure gauge, which worried me. I swapped the gauge out for another one but that was the same. I put a DVM on the sender and got Mrs to crank it and saw the resistance drop from 250 ohms down to about 70 so I knew I had pressure. Turned out it was just a bent pin in the connector I had fitted to allow easy removal of the dash panel - dooohhhh! So with that sorted, I cranked it again and saw some pressure so went for the start.

Now the ignition timing was set up by guess work, as was the carb balance, tickover and mixture so I didn't really expect a lot, maybe some rough running that I could start tuning from, I just hoped it would do enough to show me that my endless hours of tinkering were not in vain.

Rather than bore you with paragraphs of garbage, here is the video I made of the attempt.


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