1939 Wraith Engine Overhaul
Detroit, Michigan

Part IV - Yet More Assembly


March 21 , 2008

I worked out a scheme to convert the Wraith to a modern full flow oil filtration system. It was a bit of a challenge: the current bypass system only filtered one branch of the feed to the original oil filter on the opposite side of the engine from the oil pump. To make matters worse, the dual pressure oil relief valves are remote mounted from the oil pump.

Here is a Perma-Cool 1791 rigged with 1/2-inch compression fittings custom mounting plate and an "adapter orifice".

The adapter orifice fits the 1/2-inch NPT threads on the Perma-Cool filter mount and mates to 1/8 NPT 5/16 compression fitting that will feed the right side oil line to the rockers.

The center of the adapter has a 0.125-inch orifice to match the restriction present in the original design.

Bob Archambault is the one that made the plate and adapter orifice - while I waited, no less!

As an added feature, Bob tapped a 1/8 NPT port into the top of the filter mount so that I can mount this oil filter gauge. Now I will always have a second opinion when it comes to the oil pressure.

In the end only two oil pipes have to be cut: the 1/2 inch feed to the mains and the 5/16 feed to rockers on the right side. To return the car to stock, the pipes are easily fashioned from 1/2 inch o.d. 0.035 thick carbon steel pipe. The original oil filter and feed pipe are stored for safekeeping and everything else on the engine remains original.

This is the oil gallery. The oil is fed through the upper crankcase through the casting in the center and down to the main bearing caps via 3/8 BSF banjo fittings.

All of the oil pipes are made from copper and thus pretty maleable. Most of the work involves cleaning all of the bits and pieces so that they are fit to carry oil!

Here is the oil gallery in situ. Prior to setting the 11 locking tab washers with 3 or 6 prongs each, the entire system will be tested for leaks.

It looks like I will be able to feed the oil in under pressure with my industrial bug sprayer via the oil pressure tap. To do this, I will also have to construct a suitable blanking plate where the high pressure pipe from the oil pump ordinarily attaches.

Tommorow, it's off to the hardware store!

Did I mention it's snowing? We're supposed to have 5 or 6 inches by morning. It's supposed to be Spring!

March 22, 2008

I made a blanking plate and gasket to temporarily seal off the high pressure oil feed to the main bearings.

Clear plastic tubing (3/8-in. i.d.) fits nicely over the tap for the the oil pressure gauge. This is connected to the industrial bug sprayer with 2 qts. of Brad Penn 30W Break-In Oil. This oil, from the old Kendall GT facility in Bradford, PA is dyed green, which is very helpful.

The four holes in the nose of the crankcase are covered by gasket material and hose clamps. I waited to tighten the one on the right until all of the air was purged from the system.
Here's the entire rig under pressure.

There was plenty of evidence that the big end bearings were all receiving oil. Naturally the crankshaft was rotated several times so that all of the oilways could "communicate" with each other.

Note that the big ends are not gushing oil as mightily as you might gather from this photo. The Mk VI rods that I retrofitted also have a spray hole half way up to lubricate the thrust side of the cylinder wall. You could hear them making squirting noises as the air purged from the system.

This is the front of main bearing number 1, which is obviously receiving its share of oil.

The rest of the mains were much harder to verify 100%. After the test, I removed the banjo fittings on mains 2-6 and made sure the tell tale green oil was present.

More importantly, there were no leaks in the banjo fittings or sludge traps.

With the banjo fittings retightened and the locking tab washers all set, it looked like I could show some major progress and mount the sump to the crankcase.

This is the lower half of the felt rear main seal installed but not trimmed.

Unfortunately, the gasket that goes between the crankcase and sump is utterly wrong. I will have to make my own, but not today.

Tomorrow I will mount the vibration damper and set the cam timing. I'll save the gasket making for later.

March 23, 2008

Having already assembled the vibration damper once, I decided to go the extra mile, buy new springs and assemble it again.

Make no mistake, assembling all of the springs is a real pain, but there is a learning curve. This time went much better.

March 24, 2008

The pinion that drives the camshaft is mounted on the posterior side of the vibration damper. Once it is installed, the camshaft timing is locked in. The timing marks (shown) are stamped on the back half of the clutch.

Since the clutch won't fit on the engine while the engine is in its stand, I transcribed the Intake Open (IO) and Top Dead Center Markings along with the hole pattern onto a piece of scrap card stock.

Here is the card stock mounted to the flywheel. Although it is obscured by the stand, the regular stud pattern has an extra dowel pin that only allows the clutch (and the timing marks) to be attached one way.
Cylinder number one is brought exactly to top dead center using a dial indicator.
Then, a temprary "pointer" is taped to align with the TDC mark. The real pointer is on the bell housing.

The cam, which is still free to move independently of the crankshaft, is turned until the intake valve tappet on #1 cylinder has risen 0.025 in.

The crankshaft is then indexed to the "IO" mark on the flywheel. Now everything is lined up and ready for the vibration damper.

The crankshaft pinion and mating cam gear are helical and the teeth are offset by two teeth from front to back.

If you pushed the vibration damper straight on, it would cause the cam gear to index two teeth counter-clockwise once the damper was fully seated onto its three Woodruff keys. To compensate for this, the camwheel is rotated two teeth clockwise so that it will be at the desired 0.025 point once the damper is seated.

The center plate is then firmly fixed with a special castellated nut.

Position of IO mark vs. pointer when intake valve tappet is open 0.025 Crank timing in degrees after TDC (est.)
Desired set-up 0.00 4 deg 40 min
Current set-up (0.25) 2 deg 0 min
Current set-up plus 1/2 tooth 0.375 8 deg 40 min
Current set-up plus 1 tooth 1.00 15 deg 20 min

The vibration damper and cam gear are positioned onto their respective shafts with Woodruff keys. There are two ways to adjust the timing: by skipping a tooth, or by setting the Woodruff key on the camshaft in an alternative keyway which offsets the timing by half a tooth.

After rotating the crankshaft two turns and returning the intake valve tappet to 0.025, the IO event appears to be occuring 0.25 in. earlier than the IO mark on the flywheel. The table at left shows the alternatives. Best leave well enough alone!

Now that that's settled, the rest of the damper can be assembled. This is the pressure plate with the second friction disk immediately behind it.
The front cover is torqued in place minus the pressure plate springs.
The springs are then added behind each of the hollow 5/8 BSF screws.
Now both the bottom end and the front gearcase are ready for their covers. Next will be the gaskets.
Since the crankcase gasket was incorrect, these had to be handmade using 1/64" vegetable fiber gasket material and an X-Acto knife. Not bad if I say so myself!

The crankcase has been bolted together, at least tentatively. There are two bolts on the left side that were different than the others because they have a very precisely made shoulder that probably serves as a locator function.

I'll consult the drawings tonight to see which holes they are supposed to occupy.

It's Monday night and the engine's not ready to put back in the car, but we're getting a heck of lot closer!

March 25, 2008

The front cover has been mounted and my spin on oil adapter plate. I forgot to account for the ignition coils that will mount to the two bosses in the foreground. The oil filter will have to be moved towards the back of the engine about an inch and a half so that the pipework clears the coils.

March 26, 2008

Two stage, remote mount oil pressure regulator installed on front cover.

The small tap at the bottom center of the regulator will be blanked off. It is used to feed oil to the rocker assembly at the right side of the head via a small pipe and the old bypass oil filter. The oil will now be supplied to the rockers at this location through a 0.125-in. orifice attached to the output of the oil filter.

Oil pump installed at the front left base of the sump.

Many of the oil and water fittings on the Wraith engine are a 60 degree 20 tpi threadform (a.k.a. "Engineer's" thread) that is compatible with modern compression fittings. The right hand pump output which used to go directly to the mains will now be routed to the oil filter via 1/2-in. o.d. pipe.

Brake damper and exhaust bracket.

There are some aluminum sealing washers arriving from McMaster-Carr tomorrow that will allow the water pump to be attached with the heater tap oriented so that the tap handle will turn without hitting the flywheel housing.


Oil level indicator.

March 28, 2008

The engine "dressing" continues. The line from the oil pump to pressure relief valves has been added.

Note the two shiny compression fittings at the bottom right. Originally this was a continuous run of pipe to the main bearings from he oil pump. I have severed that connection to jumper in a full flow oil filter. Since all the room on this side will be taken up by brake rods and exhaust system, the pipes will run under the sump to the old oil filter location on the opposite side.

March 29, 2008

Here you can see that water pump is in along with the pipe that runs from the bottom of the radiator. The generator straps are in as well as the little power take off shaft that runs from the generator rear to turn the water pump.

You can see a gold colored pipe running under the sump. I spent most of today learning how to use a pipe bender. By the time I developed the knack, I ran out of pipe! More should arrive on Tuesday.

The tappet chest gaskets had to be moistened so that they would stretch to fit. Installation of the covers took awhile: each chest has twelve studs that had to be cleaned with a 2BA die, followed by lockwashers and nuts for each.

When I got to the flywheel, I remembered how lousy the cap nut and withdrawal nut looked. If anyone out there in Wraith (or 4.25L Bentley Mark VI) land has these parts plus the locking plate available for sale, please contact me.

I also discovered I forgot to install the Woodruff key that prevents this piece from rotating on the nose of the vibration damper. Naturally, the entire front engine cover had to be removed to address the situation.

April 1, 2008

The newly fashioned main oil lines are in. I've moved the oil filter down and to the rear and changed the compression fittings to 90 degree type. The bracket can now be cut down quite a bit so that is less noticeable.

With this new location, I will be able to modify the aluminum orifice plug to eliminate the 1/8 NPT 5/16 compression fitting altogether and instead use a 7/16 BSF banjo fitting. This will allow the right side rocker oil line to be be hooked up directly without modification.

It appears that the brake rods and muffler will have sufficient clearance on this side. The brake rods are located tranversely by the damper lever. Thus, the rods will rock with the engine allowing a closer fit.

Similarly, the front muffler is held in place relative to the engine by the hangar near the oil pump and the bracket immediately behind the brake damper.

The water tap will have to be rotated so that it can be opened all the way. Right now it fouls against the pipe when it is half open.

April 3, 2008

The head and rocker cover (not shown) are painted and the head is in place with all of the nuts "finger tight plus" and the front and rear covers installed. The copper composite head gasket is brand new and both sides were cleaned with denatured alcohol and treated with Permatex Copper Spray-a-Gasket 80697, which is basically contact cement that is thermally conductive.

With good weather , engine install day might occur during the weekend of April 12th!

April 4, 2008

The pushrods see daylight for the first time since May 29, 2007.

After a thorough cleaning, they are reinstalled in their respective positions.

Also, the head bolts have been torqued to 225 in-lbs. in four rounds of incremental tightening: 57, 114, and 171 in-lbs.

The intermediate values were arrived at using a click-type torque wrench. The final value was done using a beam type torque wrench.

Next, the rocker assembly is carefully disassembled in sequence and cleaned. Even the little collars are stamped with the cylinder number.

If you are using this site as a guide for your own Wraith rebuild, the collar numbers should be readable from the exhaust side of the head. The oil ways on the shaft should point towards the exhaust side as should the slots in the stand offs.

Tappet adjusters should be backed off completely prior to installation.

The spherical washers are installed on top of each stand off.
Completed valvetrain. (Except for lash adjustment.)

April 5, 2008

No progress on the Wraith today, but Spring has finally arrived! I was the ring leader for an RROC Garage Hop through Ypsilanti, Michigan. Here we are at the RM Showroom.

In all, we had 21 Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars including a Phantom III, two Derby Bentleys and a plethora of Clouds, Shadows, Spirits and Spurs as well as a Camargue, Corniche, Bentley Mulsanne, Brooklands and a Turbo R. That's my Silver Shadow on the right.

Here we are at an undisclosed location. The warehouse is a sort of car collector co-op and stores a little over 100 cars. We managed to stuff about 2/3 of our Rolls-Royce contingent inside.

April 6, 2008

Work has moved back to the chassis in preparation for the engine's return.

There are two rubber mounts that support the powertrain on either side of the transmission.

They were not as badly deterioted as I anticipated. This one happens to be from the right side.

This rubber bushing assembly prevents the engine and transmission from sailing laterally out through the front of the car. It is attached near the output of the transmission. The rubber parts were very badly deterioted.
Here are the aforementioned items, cleaned, painted and assembled with fresh rubber ready to go back in. I thought I could get this done today, but ran out of steam around 7:30 PM.

April 7, 2008

Today I finished putting in the transmission mounts. I ordered some aluminum sealing washers for the bracket screw that turns into the tail of the transmission to prevent the rear mount from getting drenched in oil.

My good friend Dave Cunningham is rebuilding the Stromberg carburetor. Right now, we're trying to figure out how to remove zinc venturi piece "A" from throttle body casting "C" in order to replace gasket "B".

The intake manifold needs to repainted prior to going on the engine. (As does the radiator fan.)

Despite the fact the engine's basically done, there's still a mountain of work.

It really looks like I'll have to rewire all of the engine compartment wiring up to the fuse panel. It was borderline before I took the engine out and now that it's been disturbed, it's really lost it's integrity with cracked and missing insulation. Not good.

I need to replace this clutch release bearing. I think the best way to do this is to take the whole fork/release bearing assembly out and push it out from the back. Comments anyone?

April 13, 2008

Today, the car's been partially rolled out of the garage so I can address the 69 years of oil and dirt that have transformed into a tenacious toothpaste-like goo that's spackled all over the front 25% of the chassis.

I did my best to spray everything with engine cleaner and emulsify it with a wire brush.

I'd prefer to start the engine on fresh gas, so I also drained 10 gallons of (stabilized) 30 month old gas while I had access to the back.

Next, I brought out the heavy artillery: my neighbors 2600 psi Troy-Bilt pressure washer. After three rounds of engine cleaner, wire brush and pressure washer; 60 of the 69 years of goo have been removed. That's as clean as it needs to be for now. I plan to tour the hell out of this car!

After pressure washing was complete, I dried everything with my 50,000 BTU torpedo heater and then pumped the hell out of the Bijur pedal to drive all of the moisture out of the joints. The brake linkage was manually oiled as well.

April 15, 2008

Honestly, I didn't really like the way hard lines came out for the oil filter modification. I've now redone the whole thing in AN-8 nickel-plated aluminum flare connections and stainless steel braided hose.

I will be able to cut the aluminum plate down to hold the filter in it's current position yet be much less obtrusive.

In addition, the existing rocker assembly oil line now aligns with my orifice adapter. As compared to my original prototype, I can delete the 5/16 compression fitting and drill out and tap the 1/8 NPT hole to 7/16 BSF to accept the original banjo bolt.

The connections on this side are much tidier. The cooling system drain tap won't drip all over anything, the undersheets should fit and the brake rod (not installed yet) should be clear of interference.

There may be some minor tweaking, but that won't be known until the engine is back in the car.

April 16, 2008

The clutch fork/release bearing assembly came out without a fuss, came apart fairly easily and cleaned readily. Clearly the Bijur system is doing a good job keeping this assembly well lubricated. Heck, the original 69-year-old Hoffman bearing was still in there and only starting to make noise.

This photo shows all of the cleaned bits and pieces, except...

...the face of the release bearing assembly that presses against the fingers on the the clutch cover.

This is the last thing that really has to be done before the engine goes back in. If the weather is cooperative, Dave and Todd will come to Sherbourne Mews this Sunday to help put the engine back in: a mere 329 days since they helped take it out!

April 19, 2008

Here the clutch fork/release bearing assembly has been reinstalled with the help of my next door neighbor Harlan who held down the clutch pedal.

The 3/8 BSF securing nut and bevel washer are not installed yet in this photo.

The heavy electrical cable that runs from the starter relay to the starter was really disintegrating and unsafe. Removing this involved removing the entire relay and associated conduit which exposed the condition of the other wires that share the same conduit.

This will all have to be redone.

This is a close-up of the bottom end of the relay.

For reference, the 3BA screw at the top connects to the wire from starter button.

The 2BA screw immediately below connects to the starter motor.

The 3BA nut connects to ground.

April 20, 2008

Todd and Dave arrived promptly this morning and we got right down to business.

Here the engine is cradled by the lift straps and carefully released from the engine stand.

While suspended in mid-air, the friction disk is located concentrically to the flywheel.
Then the clutch unit is attached with eight 3/8 BSF nuts and lock washers, capturing the friction disk.

Now the engine is carefully mated to the transmission without banging in to anything along the way.

No sweat! With the transmission in neutral and the inspection plate removed, it was a simple matter to rotate the splines on the input shaft to align with the friction disk.

All is not utter perfection, however. The clutch takeup is way too close to the floor and beyond the limits of adjustability in the turnbuckle on the external clutch linkage.

I'm going to have to think about this for a few days... the flywheel was refinished, which shouldn't make a difference. The friction material was replaced: that would make a difference. The pressure plate was not refinished, no difference there. The clutch fork/release bearing assembly was replaced: zero to no difference. Hmmph. It's an 11-inch Borg and Beck, by the way.

April 22, 2008

I found nothing wrong with the external clutch linkage last nite. Based on the amount of play in the pedal, my cocktail napkin estimate suggests there is about a half inch excess gap between the clutch release bearing and the clutch fingers.

After talking with Bill Rohrer, Rick Barrett and corresponding with Gary Phipps, I began to think that I put in the clutch fork backwards. (It looked symmetrical to me at the time, but I wasn't looking as closely as I should.) Today, I dug up a hi-res before and after photo...

Eureka!! With some magnification it is clear how much more of the sliding surface is exposed in the right hand image with the clutch pedal up. About one half inch!

I believe my 10 Megapixel camera just paid for itself.*

Todd and Dave said they could come back and help R&R the engine Friday evening.

In the mean time, I'll whittle away on the wiring.

*In case you're wondering, it's a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XRTi SLR with EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens.

In other news, my other buddy Dave (Cunningham) is now into the assembly phase on the carburetor. I was worried I might be waiting for Dave to finish but it now looks like he'll beat me by a few days.

I know Detroit has a less than stellar rap, but if you're a car guy, this is a place like no other. The Motor City is just silly with people that posess all kinds of esoteric knowledge and equipment just waiting to solve the most vexing problem. It's not all gloom and doom here in the Rust Belt.

April 25, 2008

I had asked Dan Docherty if he had the correct tool to remove the locking nut on the fan pulley. He did not and instead had one made for me.

Also, the 1-5/8 inch hex on the center nut was so mangled, he chose to machine it down to 1-3/8 so it would again reliably fit a wrench or socket.

(And yes, Bob the Machinist is still on my "A" list. It was just easier to get this piece of machine work done over the border after Dan found he did not have the right tool.)

Dan shared the method to the madness of this attachment scheme. The fan pulley is pushed onto the taper of the crankshaft damper and then secured with the center nut. Then, the reverse-threaded locking nut is tightened for security.

When it comes time to remove the pulley, the locking nut is loosened just enough to allow the center nut to turn. Undoing the center nut with the locking nut in place then pulls the entire unit off the taper.

In addition to collecting the fan pulley and tool in Windsor this week, I also busied myself with the task of rewiring the engine compartment.

Tonight, we pulled the engine out and quickly found the clutch fork was not the issue. By process of elimination, the only element left in the system was the clutch toggle adjustment on the pressure plate.

With a dial indicator (not correctly positioned in photo), we measured 0.262 in. of toggle movemet per complete revolution of the 7/16 BSF adjustment nut. Measuring actual and desired clutch pedal and release bearing positions, we calculated that turning the four adjustment nuts one complete turn plus one extra flat should do the trick.

With the engine back in, a minor tweak of the adjustment turnbuckle dialed in the clutch just where it needed to be with plenty of range left over to accomodate wear later on.

April 26, 2008

It may seem that it's taking forever to put the engine back together. Certainly it would take much less time if all the parts were brand new. Because they're not, everything has to be cleaned, and in many cases, repaired due to some previous misdeed.

This fan pulley locking ring, for example, required about 20 minutes of careful filing to square up the castellations so that the tool would fit properly, particularly when it comes time to remove it in the future.

At any rate, the fan pulley went in without any protestation.

This unit about to be cleaned is attached to the chassis rails at the bottom and connects to the front of the engine block via one rubber isolator at the top.

After I got it apart, there was not one, but a pair of rubber isolators facing each other. I only ordered one, so yet another order has been placed with Fiennes Restoration.

Here's the starter in the process of being cleaned.

The starter pinion mounts from the rear of the crankcase after the front is installed. This spring is compressed on the shaft between them.

During my initial attempt to mate the pinion assembly to the starter, I bobbled it slightly and then withdrew the pinion to get a better grip. Somehow the aforementioned spring managed to shoot through the small opening adjacent to the flywheel and into the bell housing cavity. I still don't have it fished out. I'll be damned if I have to take the engine out for a third time!

Here's the distributor installed along with the generator immediately behind it.

That keystone shaped area to the left of the distributor is the front engine mount location.

Here's the oil filler pipe and road draft tube assembly temporarily set in place.

The water pump has been removed to facilitate installation of the generator and starter.

The ignition coil assembly has been cleaned and reinstalled. The spin-on oil filter adapter assembly that should be behind it has been removed so that Bob can do the final modifications.

Turns out the banjo fitting on the old oil filter is 1/8-28 BSPP (British Standard Parallel Pipe) not the 7/16 BSF thread like on the other side. Now I'm going to need yet another tap!

April 28, 2008

Technology to the rescue. Here is a borescope image of the starter spring resting at the bottom of the bellhousing. Engine is to the left and transmission to the right. Pressure plate assembly is in the foreground at the top of the photo. The arrow points to a small drainhole that is at the bottom center of the belhousing.

With all of this realtime visual data, it was a relatively simple matter to fish out the spring with a "pickle grabber".

April 29, 2008

Got the carburetor back from Dave Cunningham today. He disassembled it and gave everything a once over and good cleaning. The idle mixture screw is slightly deformed from overtightening in the throttle body. I have a new one on its way from Clive at Stromberg Carburetor.

This little cotter pin goes on the link to the accelerator pump. Dave didn't have the right size cotter pins. (3/64 in.) I did, and what a pain to put in!

April 30, 2008

The cast aluminum intake manifold is chemically stripped, wire brushed, cleaned, and now ready for paint.

Clearly, volumetric efficiency and uniform distribution are not highlights of this intake design. The main focus must have been to achieve adequate fuel vaporization. There is a coolant line that comes from the back of the water pump that heats the entire base of the box section where the carburetor is mounted. The coolant then moves on to the head thru the small two bolt flange.

May 1, 2008

The manifold is primed whilst suspended by a wire hanger.

May 2, 2008

The idle mixture screws arrived today via Royal Mail. They come two to a pack even though only one is called for in this application. They are an exact match, the original one with the deformed taper is on the counter to the right.

Here is the complete "air/fuel charging assembly" (as they say in the modern automotive industry) ready to be installed.

I may paint at least the lower half of the carburetor, but not right now.

Here the assembly is installed and the choke rod attached. Everything else will be hooked up tomorrow.

May 3, 2008

Hooked up lots of stuff to the engine today: hot water to the intake manifold, manifold drain tube, float bowl overflow tube, fuel line, throttle linkage, ignition harness.

I'm not happy with the sediment bowl setup that someone improvised, but will leave well enough alone for now.

I also plan to redo the ignition harness, but would like to debug the engine without the added complexity of a new ignition loom that may or may not be right.

In the Wraith drawings, the check valve for the intake manifold drain is immediately underneath the manifold. Not so on this C-series car: the check valve is two-thirds of the way down the tube.

May 4, 2008

All of the valves were adjusted to 0.008 in.

Pretty basic, I know, but I put in new spark plugs: NGK B5HS gapped to 0.025 in.

Ignition timing was set using a continuity tester across the points (just breaking contact) with cylinder one at TDC on its compression stroke.

Here the exhaust manifold is installed with downpipe attached.

May 6, 2008

Bob cut down the bracket and put the filter mounting holes in a more rearward location. You can see the banjo fitting for the rocker assembly lubrication screwed into the orifice adapter now that the latter has been changed to BSPP thread.

The water pump and heater taps are installed now that Bob has tailored the sealing washers to a thickness that allows the taps to be installed with the spigot in an appropriate orientation.
A 3/8 BSF hex head screw is installed with aluminum washer to blank off a high pressure feed that formerly went to the bypass oil filter.

The temperature gauge bulb is reinstalled to plug that hole in the head. I need to send the whole unit out to be repaired as it was not working before. That is why the capillary tube is missing.

Now the engine is installed as much as it can be until I receive the second front engine mount.

Back to electrical work. I will work on replacing the starter relay wiring first. Once I do that, the engine can be test run.

May 7-10, 2008

This is the main electrical distribution panel. It is mounted on studs that protrude from the cast aluminum firewall.

In order to access the wires, a wide variety of conduits need to be removed from the firewall...
...and chassis rails. Which necessitates the removal of a wide variety of items including the starter relay, horn relay, voltage regulator, hydraulic jack reservoir and accessory fuse panel (division and heater). The driver's compartment carpet and pad also need to come out for good measure.
This is the "nearside" engine compartment loom, finally, mercifully removed. Doesn't look like much but that took most of Saturday.
The majority of the terminations are Ross-Courtney which require about 10 minutes worth of work to crimp, solder and shrink the tubing. At least the shrink tubing is acceptable on most of the Wraith connections -- the older cars use whipping and varnish to keep the fabric outer cover from fraying. (Whipping like you would find securing the guides on a fishing rod.)

May 12, 2007

I took the day off from work today to continue the wiring. Here the starter relay is cleaned and wired into the circuit including the 4 gauge starter wire.

The relay is not permanently mounted yet, because the rest of the engine loom passes through the base of this unit before it ducks through the firewall into the circular cross-section conduit that runs along the chassis rail.

It looks like a mess, but great progress was made on the nearside loom.

May 17-18, 2008

The "offside" engine loom conduit came off very easily. Here are the clips the hold it in place along with some of the other firewall conduit clips cleaned, stripped and painted.


All of the new wire for the "offside" engine loom is connected to the distribution box or horn relay (dangling by its wires) and routed accordingly.
Here the voltage regulator has been cleaned and installed along with its conduit.

Here you can see that the headlamp foot switch conduit is back in place.

As far as the engine mount goes, Fiennes charged my credit card so presumably it should arrive some time this week. To test the engine, the wiring is far enough along that I can always connect the remaining unconnected critical elements (generator and ignition) at any time.

As you may recall, my chocolate lab Dave passed away about six months ago. We took delivery of a "lightly used" three year old purebred chocolate lab from Purebreed Lab Rescue in Madison Heights this past Wednesday.

His name is Bosco and he's the one on the left. Katie (on the right) doesn't seem to mind the company.

May 20, 2008

The second front engine mount insert arrived yesterday. The pair of inserts are identical and are inserted from each side of the "A-frame".

This is the engine side of the frame.

And this is the radiator side.

A large brass casting is inserted into the pair of inserts and bolted to the block. It is captured by the steel plate.

Here these items are shown in a preparatory stage prior to painting.

Here's the finished assembly taking up the weight of the engine. Note that the side steering tube passes through on the left in the photo and the oil pressure relief pipe passes through on the right.

I did clean the frame: the flash is not particularly flattering.

I need to remake one oil pipe that is currently interfering with the front brake actuation rod and then the sump can be filled with oil and the engine started! (Very briefly, though: the cooling system is not installed yet.)

May 23, 2008

The Wraith started for the first time today at around 12:15 EDT. Fired right up with no sputtering, stalling or other forms of protestation. Two shots of the accelerator pump, full choke, one third hand throttle and maybe three seconds of starter. I might also add that nothing lit on fire when I hooked up the battery and turned on the master switch.

Click here or on the image to the left to watch a brief video. The video was created on the 24th and is a cold start.

May 24-26, 2008

This is the offside engine loom bundled in preparation for slipping on the conduit. The longest wire is looped over and taped on the end so that a hooked wire (coat hangar) can be used to fish it through.

Here's the side steering tube ball joint about to be installed.

The radiator support had to be stripped of paint and rust and then repainted. Eastwood Rust Encapsulator was used as a prophylactic measure.

I find that the garbage container makes a lovely display pedestal.

Here's the radiator is resting in its support. The fan was installed first. It also had to be stripped and repainted.

The intake silencer (which does make a big difference) is installed with repainted brackets.

To adjust the valves, the silencer and valve cover come off in one piece. Pretty handy.

The nearside engine loom has been slipped into its conduit. In this case, I bought new conduit parts from Rhose Island Wiring. The old one was not salvageable.

The generator is temporarily hooked up to test its function along with the cooling system which has been filled with tap water for the time being.

Here's a nice shot of the auxiliary oil gauge on the full flow oil filter adapter. The engine was at a medium high idle to acheve that reading.

There were quite a few small water leaks along the covers on the offside of the block. These stopped as the paper gaskets swelled.

The idle linkage was adjusted to allow the throttle plate to hit its idle stop when the hand throttle is set to minimum. Dave Cunningham had the stop set perfectly for a 500-600 RPM idle, of course.


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