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Reliant North Cape Challenge 2008

Preparing for the journey - May 2007 - Part 2

Finally got some time and sun to put the engine back together for the National at the end of May.

Elvis had brought a head up for me as I could not remember on the phone which valve it was that I needed so I thought that as it looks so good I would just use that. Gave it a quick wipe over and notice that the contact was broke off the temp sender unit, I thought “I will do that once the heads on”.  Yeah right, once I put the head on (Not yet torque down) I thought I would give it a go as I could not remember the head settings and would look in a bit. Tried as I might this little thing is not going to move so It’s back to square one and I will be using my own head on the engine. On the plus side it will have brand new valve steam seals in it.

So I thought “I will just change the oil pump for the replacement one first”. This is where things went from bad to worst, When I took the sump off I found a large lump of metal in it stuck to the bottom. On closer inspection it looks like it was a shell from the conrods and when I checked for any play in them I noticed where it was from. Number four had about 2.5mm of movement in it.

This means now that the engine will need new shells all round so will not be ready for the National. This is what I thought anyway as when Pete phoned I told him of the problem and he offered to lend me his spare engine and gearbox which is ready just to be fitted as he wanted it trying to see how good a unit it was. Bingo so he is popping the engine over and at what seems to be the twelfth hour it will be fitted to New Blue so she will go to the ball. I was hoping to have some paint on her as I have collected it as well as the transfers but alas I don’t have enough time to do it all. Still that’s always a job for next month.

On a different note I also now have a caricature of “New Blue” similar to Elvis’ “Ole Blue” caricature. When the car is completed, it will a similar colour to Ole Blue and will also have the logo in the backwindow.  The rear windows will be blue tinted so you will not be able to see through them on the outside, but sitting inside you can see through them.

Geoff Payne May 2007.

Go to June


Looks like thre was more oil in the bell housing than in the sump!


Rather large fragment of piston shell found in the sump.!

A caricature of New Blue drawn by Graham Hodgson.