With all the farting about I've been doing over the past few weeks trying to patch up odd bits of exhaust to fit the Red Shed, I finally lost patience and did what I should have done in the first place and ordered a new manual centre section from Chris Witor.
Luckily Gavin was around to help fit it and pretty soon I was in a familiar pose. (Flat on my back under the car!) After fitting a downpipe, removing a downpipe, cutting a downpipe and refitting a downpipe, the downpipe was fitted! Next was the centre section which after a bit of fettling with the universal adjuster (Hammer) was in its rightful place too. The pea shooter tail pipe was reasonably easy and for the first time in my ownership the car has a complete exhaust system.
The next job was to start it up and see how quiet it was (Not very!) and also put some water in it as I still hadn't refilled it since I did the core plugs. (Not a good idea with all the freezing weather recently.)
The exhaust still had a blowing coming from it, but further tightening of the downpipe bolts silenced this. We also discovered a water leak, but a change of jubilee clip soon had this resolved.
With the car now running I decided on a sneaky test run around the block. ( I needed to be sure it will make it to the Mot station at least!) She ran well but is down on power. There's no mis-firing or running sick, but just no 'get up and go either'. We quickly checked the diaphrams in the carburettor and also found that the carbs need some fine tuning as the front one seems to be running too rich.
By now time was getting on, so we decided to call it a day. I shall be having a better look at the tuning tomorrow when I have more time. Overall though i was pleased with how the test drive went. The gearbox is noisy, (I knew that anyway) but it handled well and felt good. No nasty knocking or clonking noises from the suspension and the engine never overheated or spat its contents of engine oil out anywhere. I did notice the diff leaking though.
Just a few small jobs to do this week then and I will be booking it in for Mot next Saturday. (Hopefully!)