^ Thanks to a tip from dazcapri I went to have a look at a local Rapier ("Hunter in a posh frock") a couple of weeks ago, shame the seller can't decide if he's breakling it or selling the whole car as a donor (it's complete but rotted beyond belief - even the water pump is siezed )
We have snow - what better time to go shopping in a trusty RWD Hunter looking for a new bathroom ( shame I lifted the 4x8 shower panel boards off the roof before I thought to take a pic )
It's always fun watching folks reactions The local plumbers merchant saw the car and thought I was going to pay for the stuff today and come back with a van tomorrow to collect everything. They should know me better than that by now !
In other news ... I've been trying unsuccessfully since before RRG (August) to take the car off the road to do a few jobs, but it's just *too* handy to have available
Due to external circumstances, this week seemed like a good time to try and fix the big end that started knocking just before RRG (early August ) The car was still running fine when I removed the engine yesterday the noise obviously wasn't right
If you have anything on the list below can you let me know (asap if possible) : A rebuilt Hunter engine that you want rid of cheaply, Spare Hunter engine rebuild parts (crank bearings & pistons), Contact details for any dealers etc selling rebuild parts cheap (Speedy Spares have everything, Greenwoods have some bits, neither are cheap for pistons or rings !)
I already have some of the bits I need (a rolling Hunter + a stripped engine), I just need a new set if engine internals
I took the engine to my local engineering workshop at noon today hoping it just needed a new set of big end shells, before he let me unload it from the car he told me it needed a full strip & rebuild. He's right - I just wish he wasn't
The verdict is big end #2 has died, the crank needs a regrind on big ends & mains, pistons are slightly worn but will be ok if I fit new rings. Then we got to "It would be a shame not to replace ... when you're doing the other bits" so I'm immeditely where I didn't want to be - spending more on an engine rebuild than the car is worth My optimistic plan was just to fit a £30 set of new bearing shells
In the past I've explained that I find the Hunter too useful to take off the road to fix the engine, allow me to demonstrate the kind of stuff I struggle to put into a nice sensible modern daily I couldn't get the boot shut, even with the cylinder head removed. Not impressed
As long as there arn't chunks missing from the crank a new set of shells will do just fine.
I'm tempted but have been told I would regret it. 1 big end shell has broken down, all crank bearings are due for a change and a few journals have very slight ridges / wear so a regrind makes sense before I fit the new shells. The big cost is the bores which are slightly worn but usable. High back pressure has always been a problem and I'd lke to do something about it when it's apart. A set of piston rings is £40-£50, best option would be new pistons but I can't justify £250+ for a set Add in a new timing chain & tensioner, full gasket set, other stuff ... and it works out at "Not Cheap !"
Big ends mains yes, a single level regrind if there are ridges yes, a good honing will sort the bores, done when the regrind is done, chain tension-er yes, new rings yes, total cost including parts, gaskets and machining £500 just have to put it together.
Thanks everyone. I checked and can still get Cords piston rings but have been told they are one-time-only use, and will wreck the bores in 20k miles. Not ideal. I've had a look online to see what else is available and the prices, and measured the crank etc. Things are not as bad as they could have been Cost are looking like "Not cheap" rather than "The engine is getting scrapped !"
The plan for today was to fix the parts washer at the engineering place, then test it by putting all my engine bits through the wash. Pics to follow but I now know it's never been rebored or had the crank ground. This is a mixed blessing as most aftemarket bearing sets are for reground cranks. After pricing up the crank regrind, I've managed to persuade the engineer to let me rebuild it with new bearings (saving £100 for a crank grind), shame the standard sized bearings are more expensive than any others. I also have a plan for the pistons, will know more tomorrow
Hey nomad, if I had to guess from the state of the workshop, the wall outside and the blue BMW parked up I would have to guess you went to Rosemond Rebores? He skimmed the head on my mrs' GTV and also attempted to skim a Crome-alloy flywheel. I love his workshop, proper oldschool!
Hope you get your engine sorted for a decent price!
Info from friend is much the same as you've already found. However, he's keeping an eye out just in case and will shout if anything comes up. He doesn't really see much Hillman work, unsurprisingly, though every now and then weird and wonderful (or formerly mundane) things do cross his workbench, so you never know.
Good luck on the parts hunting, sorry I couldn't help more on this one.
If we had a plan, I think things would be going according to it I'm not sure if it's down to good luck or good management but I think I've sourced all the new & improved (not worn out !) bits needed to get back on the road. Updates will follow - be patient - expect radio silence for another week while I check all the bits fit together ok
hillmanjames - Fair point but I think I'll leave the mx5 swaps to boy racers / dragstrip types If they had lots of low-down grunt it might be different j4mes - yep, Rosamund Rebores @blyth (one of the few remaining old-school engineering places and highly recommended.) ps - comments about the state of my workbench are not needed vulgalour - panic over (I think / hope), your efforts are appreciated as always
Lets start with a basic "Hunter engine rebuild kit" (worn engine + lots of new internals)
Fit all new crank bearings, new timing chain & tensioner, add nice new pistons
Add various oven baked bits* (gas mark 3 for 10 minutes, adjust for fan assisted ovens or if SHMBO comes home early ) *Not to be confused with stove enamelled, or half-baked. These may (or may not) be totally different.
Add a shiny bit to stand it on. Tip : black hammerite spray is quick and super-effective.
Take it home and let the neighbours admire it while you get psyched up to fit it. Tip : don't do this in the middle of a snow-storm when temperatures are sub-zero.
Pick a clutch, any clutch (thanks to richy246 for donating a spare he bought for this very car many years ago)
Optional : go dig the car out of a snow-drift
Insert "Engine-A" into "Engine-bay-B"
Check carefully around the workshop, kitchen etc - refit any parts you find that were taken off before removing the engine. Note the coverplate on the block, a throwback to when engines were sidevalve with adjustable length pushrods?
Special thanks to folk who made the engine rebuild possible :
Rosamond Rebore Service - one of the few remaining old school engineering places around here, Retro friendy. Note : he is always busy so has no time to do full engine rebuilds but is great for cranks / heads / machining etc. Unit 19 Grasmere Way, Kitty Brewster Industrial Estate, Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 4RR Phone 01670 353287
Seller greenwood_auto_uk on Eb@y, good prices on some sizes of crank bearings & pistons. They also have 1 new unused 1725 engine for sale (they had 10+, most now sold)
Speedy Spares for the other Rootes bits (crank bearings, timing chain, gaskets, etc)