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1951 LD10 KKV 222

Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

We got the Lanchester to not only run properly today, but to also drive forwards and backwards under it's own power!



The problem was not one we expected at all. A reader had suggested the blowing exhaust could cause the issue and he was correct! We'd gone through and checked all the other items and everything appeared to be as it should be so the last thing to do was check we had sparks on all four plugs (that's the flashing lights in the video) which we did, and to seal up the blowing exhaust better. Astonishingly, sealing up the blowing exhaust made the biggest difference, we assume the engine needs the back pressure provided and without the length of the system it simply wasn't getting enough. Unfortunately, as you can see in the video, the car bogged down and stalled and though we could restart it, the problem is with the union on the carburettor.
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The union is as tight as it will go but leaks from the fibre washer between the banjo bolt and the carburettor body. This is disappointing. The helicoil is doing its job and the bolt is as tight as it will go so we're wondering if a thicker or second washer will seal up the gap and allow to seal properly. We also wondered if it was something to do with the float. We had the float bowl off, made sure everything was cleaned out and moving freely where it should and could find nothing amiss, so it seems more likely it's just the union between the carburettor chassis and the banjo bolt.

That said, it was brilliant to actually finally move the car under its own power, we now know first and reverse on the gearbox work and hopefully it's safe to assume the other gears work too. We didn't do a compression test because of the leaking carburettor issue, though we plan to do that once we've fixed the leak, just so we know what the compression figures are actually like on this engine as a reference point. Because of the fuel leak and the exhaust bodge starting to fail meaning the engine wouldn't idle as well as it was, we opted to push the car back into the garage, which is when the tyre pump decided to die and I can tell you that pushing this car with two flat tyres is not fun at all.

Still, today was a fantastic day. We're now pretty confident the engine and gearbox will be fine and we can focus on getting the new tyres etc. on just as soon as our schedules allow.

Sydsmith
Very Wise Man
Very Wise Man
Posts: 1019
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:15 pm
Location: Aberystwyth Wales

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Sydsmith »

Brilliant,must have been a very rewarding feeling, I hate to say I told you so. :D Syd

User avatar
Brian-H
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:04 pm
Location: Loughborough

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Brian-H »

Getting these old cars moving under their own power is indeed very satisfying, especially after a lot of fettling. I can still remember weeks preparing and installing a replacement engine in my Consort (10 years after taking the original out), taking it for an MOT (compulsory in those days) then using the car - but then the car became unused again due to other issues with the replacement engine, not insurmountable at the time, but family and other commitments quickly came along :roll:

Re: the leak on the carb , even presuming that those washers are new from Burlen (this kit I presume http://zenithcarb.co.uk/carburettor-kit ... 20219.html ) I'd be suspicious because they don't look anything like the originals that were on my Consort (yes I know Consort isn't Lanchester, yes I now Consort has SU too, I'm just offering a reason, so if certain people don't like it, just offer a different reason in your own way) - they just don't look right to me. How do they compare with what was on before , although, that may not be a useful guide as you don't know the history.

Also, re: moving the car back a few more feet under its own power, as said before, put it into gear, put your left foot on the brake pedal, raise the engine revs then use your left foot to inch the car (once again, let's not get into a great debate, if anyone doesn't like this advice, try it first on a car with a badly running engine) . This is the best way to manoeuvre in tight places - with a dry clutch you rev engine and slip clutch, on fluid clutches, use left foot on brake pedal - assuming the brakes work and that you're not going to be doing this for long.

Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

Moving the car was the other half and he basically treated it like an automatic, ignoring the clutch pedal except for engaging gears. The brakes will be checked but they do work quite well which makes things a bit easier. I'm glad we were warned about how quickly they can set off in reverse because once he lifted his foot off the brake the car was off towards the back of the garage like nobody's business! Be reassured, thanks to the advice here, we treat the clutch as a button rather than a pedal, and use the brake and throttle during maneouvres as you would a conventional automatic. As mentioned the gearbox is a bit noisy when it's in neutral and virtually silent once a gear is selected so hopefully that bodes well. Oh, and we did get it as far as half-choke today and now know the temperature gauge works, I completely forgot to mention that in the update.

The fibre washers (there's two, one either side of the eyelet the banjo bolt goes through) it turns out were thinner in the kit from Burlen than what was previously fitted. We're going to fit a thicker fibre washer and see if that takes up the slack as that's easier than trying to shorten the bolt. Hopefully that solves our fuel leak issue.

Given how much of the car works as it should, we wonder if the reason it was taken off the road all those years ago was simply that the owner had something easier to drive and put the Lanchester away to "do up one day" in that way people do. Aside from the bad wiring loom, we haven't yet found anything badly wrong enough to make sense of the car coming off the road for any other reason.

User avatar
Brian-H
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:04 pm
Location: Loughborough

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Brian-H »

Semantically speaking, the left pedal is a gear-change pedal. In the past when my Consort was running, I'd let people have a driving it, and they kept trying to use the left pedal as a clutch (you can do that, but it's incredibly difficult to do, it relies on slipping the band that's gripping the gear, definitely not recommended). Even if the engine was thoroughly warmed up and ticking over properly, the way that I eventually told people struggling first time, was to put the right foot on the brake pedal, lift the left foot all the way up, then put the left foot on the brake pedal, and just try using a bit of throttle and slowly lift the left foot off the brake pedal. It's only when one gets used to it that there's no need to do this, unless the engine is running badly and/or cold.

You're probably right about the reason why the car was never used. It's a similar reason why I stopped using the Consort, cars of the 70s onwards increasingly became much easier to drive (I went for French cars then went Jap this century). The main issue for me now with the DB18 cars is that the engine is so big and heavy, underpowered, and gearing is too low (considering the torque). Those Lacnhesters looks a bit lighter with a lighter engine, and thus probably a better bet for daily use in comparison.

Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

We had a bit of a setback today. We also found out the reasons for the fuel union leaking. On removing the banjo bolt initial inspection didn't show anything particularly amiss so the first thing I tried was to use a fine whetstone to smooth off the surface of the union, to see if there were any high and low points. Unfortunately what happened was tiny pieces of the casting came off on the stone. This didn't seem a good thing so pulled the carburettor off the car to take a proper look and discovered that the casting itself is simply disintegrating. The helicoil came out very easily and much of the thread that had cut really nicely is also crumbling away. I had seen this sort of thing before in diecast models, and a reader reminded me that it's something call Zinc Pest, there's nothing to be done about it. You can't really stabilise the casting because it's the metal that makes up the casting itself that's essentially rotting away.
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We had been keeping an eye out online for a replacement carburettor just in case since we weren't entirely confident in this one and spares are good. We hadn't found anything until today when a suitable donor appeared that doesn't look to have this corrosion issue. Our current carburettor is a Zenith 30VIG-5 C1227, the donor is a Zenith 30VIG-5 C1010. Fundamentally, they appear to be the same basic chassis with a different external throttle mechanism. All the mounting points look to be identical so we should be able to swap our external components over, and we should be able to swap the float bowl and all the jets it contains over too. At £35 delivered it seemed an affordable enough gamble for now, we can always track down exactly the right carburretor in the future should we need to and of course we won't know for definite if the swap will work until we have the parts in our hands. Here's hoping.

The other issue was the fibre washers. When you compare the old ones to the new ones, the new ones are about half the thickness so the bolt was bottoming out before it was tight, that combined with the disintegrating casting is why it was leaking.
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We can still get other items done at least. The new tyres will be going on tomorrow or the day after, schedules permitting, and there's plenty of little cosmetic things we can be doing if we feel the need in the meantime.

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Brian-H
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:04 pm
Location: Loughborough

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Brian-H »

Oh dear, there's something gone FUBAR there. I think I'd heard of zinc rot before but it was in relation to die-cast toys (Dinky etc). By just reading about it online, it's due to poor quality zinc and/or lead or other impurities having got into the alloy mixture. But it would be strange to get it at just one location in a cast piece ? It might be due to long-term attack by moisture on the surfaces (aka wet storage corrosion), and maybe, exacerbated by ultrasonic cleaning ? (a bit like cleaning rubber in petrol). If it weren't for the fact that it's a critical area on the carb, it might be possible to soak it in epoxy as toy collectors have apparently done. With any luck the "new" carb's float chamber will be a direct fit onto the one that came with the car.

JDB
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:35 am

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by JDB »

Well done getting the car running. You could try something like JB weld on the carb if you can't get a replacement float chamber lid; it's petrol resistant and will take a thread.

JDB
Posts: 123
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:35 am

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by JDB »

Also fibre washers swell when wet, so new ones or very dry ones will "sweat" a bit until they've expanded enough to fill the gap, providing the gap's not too big. Cheers, John

Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

We've been looking at quite a few potential donor carburettors, as you might expect, and have seen quite a few examples of this one (in various different guises, to suit different cars) and those with damaged threads all have the same fluted end to the inlet while those with good looking threads seem to have a straight end to the inlet. Whether this is indicative of a change in the casting, or the problem itself, we're not sure. Zinc Pest can cause parts to not only crumble away, but also to swell and deform and given that we also have deformity on the original chassis, it would be safe to assume the problem is not restricted solely to the inlet. I've had a similar issue with the waxstat holder on my Princess, that got so bad that even after using chemical metal and an epoxy suitable for sealing it up, the material it was bonded to simply kept breaking apart. There's only so much you can do, and unfortunately replacement is usually the only option when it gets bad enough for the metal to start crumbling away. It's an uncommon problem, thankfully, so hopefully not one we'll encounter again. Normally if a part is going to succumb to this issue it will already have done so and the surviving items are the ones that are good. The ultrasonic cleaner may have exacerbated the issue by speeding up the process, it's worth mentioning the float bowl appears to be entirely unaffected, so even if we hadn't used the ultrasonic cleaner I do believe the chassis would have failed eventually anyway. Rather it failed now while we're in the testing phase than later when we were attempting to enjoy a day out.

A bit of sweating on the washers was expected, I've usually found that when you freshly build anything with fuel or oil in it something needs a little tweak as everything beds in, and that's how this problem began, by the time the car was put away and the carburettor removed, the union was properly leaking and, as we've seen, there was no coming back from it really.

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Today's update began with us getting the car ready to have new tyres fitted. Obviously, everywhere is shut today so the tyres can't be done until tomorrow, and our schedules don't align tomorrow so we opted to take the wheels off the car today and leave the car outside overnight until the new tyres are fitted. Not a perfect solution, especially if it rains, but we have a solution for that too. Then I discovered I only actually have 2 axle stands, not the four I was sure I had, so we improvised at the front with the ramps a neighbour gave us and they work just fine as an impromptu solution.
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The first issue we encountered was one wheel nut taking the stud out with it. We don't know why this stud is so much shorter than all the others or why the nut is stuck on it, or even if it's from this car. It does hold the wheel on so it's probably perfectly fine.
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Something to sort out another day that one, it can stay as is for now. With the wheels and tyres loaded up for tomorrow, it was time to clean out the arches which, as it happens, really weren't that bad. Surprisingly at the back the steel splash guards are still intact and in pretty good shape. Here's a before and after to show how that all scrubbed up. We plan to get some rust converter, black paint, and underseal in here to keep things solid.
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At the front, much the same story. Before and after of opposite sides due to a lack of forward planning, each side of the car was much the same and it was surprising just how clean it really was under here. There's a little more red oxide on some of the edges on the passenger side, which is also the side with the newer looking wing so this is probably due to some old repair work, probably nothing serious since there's no sign of crumpled metal or panel beating so more likely just damaged paint and fixings from whatever damaged the wing.
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With that done, attention turned to more paintwork polishing and stripping the paint off the hubcaps. The oxidisation was really very heavy on the boot lid and roof area so it was slow going on that. Still, we've got most of the rear end done now, just the driver's side wing to finish off really.
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On the driver's side we still have to do both doors, most of the rear wing, and the roof. It is coming together well all the same and I may have time to do a bit more tomorrow weather permitting.
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With the paint stripped off the hubcaps we realised there wasn't much difference to them painted. The key difference is that they match the rest of the brightwork more closely now and they catch the light a bit better rather than looking perpetually dirty. Whatever they were painted in was pretty tough to remove and they're one of those items that looks better in person than in photographs.
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The trouble with the hub caps is age, more than anything. Much of the chrome is pitted and thin, there's some corrosion and one of the hubcaps has been dented with enough force to crack it, which has then been messily (and unsuccessfully) soldered from the back. The pressing on all four hubcaps is very poor too, either because the tooling was worn out, or they've just been polished that much over the years it's worn through on the outside. On the reverse of the hubcap the pressing is very clear. The row of four hubcaps shows the painted two on the left, and the paint-stripped two on the right.
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On this painted hubcap you can see just how worn down the Lanchester detailing is in the centre. Some of this is due to how thick the paint is.
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Once stripped of paint, you get a clearer idea of how poor/worn the pressing actually is.
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To make the best of the hubcaps we opted not to repaint them silver. Instead, we spent a while with Autosol polish, very fine wire wool, and polishing cloths. Once we'd got them as smooth as possible and polished up as much of the remaining chrome as we could, I was tasked with painting in the Lanchester pressing details. We're pretty sure originally the hubcaps would have just been chrome with no paint on them, it just seemed right to highlight what there was of the old pressing and freehand what was missing to make them look a little better without taking away from their worn appearance. They were then finished with a coat of clear lacquer. The rear of them will be rust treated and painted black to keep the rust at bay as much as possible. It's a lot of work for not a lot of gain on its own. It's one of those items that, when combined with all the other little bits like the paint polishing and interior refurbishing, will add up to a nicely aged looking old car.
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Then it was time to put the car's new hat on because it was getting dark and we'll come back to this tomorrow.
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Trust me, it's a lot more stable and less sketchy than it looks in that last picture.

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