The first thing we had to do was resolve the distributor issue which I had inadvertently fitted 180 degrees out. I normally make sure number 1 piston is on the compression stroke by seeing if the front two tappets can move. If they can’t, then I know to turn the pulley round another 180 degrees. However, this time I had refitted the distributor without the rocker shaft, or cylinder head in place. And guessed wrongly! So with the distributor removed, I then set about removing the ‘cog wheel’ with a special tool. (Bent coat hanger wire!) I then made sure that the oil pump drive was in the correct position with another special tool. (Long screwdriver blade with a square filed out of it!)
With all of this done I then went to refit the distributor and promptly dropped it into the engine bay and broke the rotor arm in two. Bugger!
My spares box of rotor arms revealed itself to be about as full as old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, (I’m showing my age now aren’t I?) so a nice shiny red one was stolen from Gertie while I get some more on order.
So, with everything back together. It was time to attempt starting. We had set the timing dead on when we started, but still had to turn the distributor in order for it to start. When we turned it back to where the timing marks should be on the pulley, it just wouldn’t run at all. We removed the cog wheel several more times and repositioned it to try and make it make a difference but nothing did. The problem being is that the cog wheel turns as it meshes with the teeth on the camshaft when you drop it in, so you have to allow for the turn. If you don’t get it right, you can be one tooth out every time. Finally, on the last try (Obviously) everything seemed to line up better and the rotor was finally pointing at number one plug lead on the distributor cap, instead of just before it, or just after it like it had been.A test drive revealed that the engine was running way too weak and we suspected it would do. (This is due to the PI cam that’s now fitted.) A bit of messing about with the mixture on the carbs gave a bit of improvement, but I think it really needs to go to a specialist with a rolling road now to set it up properly. After all, now we’ve changed the cam, the carburettor needles may need changing as well now.
So, the car is now booked into Mowatt's in