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It was only a small job.....


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Have you ever started a fairly minor job on your mv, only for it to turn into a marathon task? I knew the exhaust manifold on my Bedford OXD was blowing and I reckoned about two hours to fit a new gasket. Hah! Manifold came off easily enough, and yes, the gasket was blowing. Unfortunately, the hotspot gasket was also blowing, and the exhaust manifold was badly cracked. The mating face on the head is a bit dubious, and to add insult to injury, one of the now visible core plugs was weeping. Three afternoons on, the bumper, grille panel and radiator are off, along with the water pump, and five of the six core plugs are out, so is a mugful of scale from the waterjacket (two hours with a small magnet on some stiff wire, and that's after the system had been flushed twice). Oh, and one of the brackets for the indicators disintegrated when I tried to get it off the bumper. Also discovered that whoever restored the lorry didn't bother to repair the corrosion in the ends of the front crossmember, so that needs doing in the fairly near future. I now need to decide whether to take a chance on the core plug at the back of the engine lasting the season, or do I bite the bullet, now that the thing is in bits anyway, and take out the engine so that I can replace it ( I suppose I could at least use the opportunity to replace the juddery clutch at the same time), and do I leave the head alone, or take it off and replace it with the re-conditioned head which I just happen to have in my stock of spares? I know it's not that big a job to do, but what will I find when I take it off - the engine was rebuilt by Vauxhall in 1953 (does that make it a civilian one?) and there is no way of telling what mileage it has done since then, but it runs very well, so I am tempted to leave well alone. On the plus side, Chris Morter came up trumps with an excellent replacement manifold (thanks Chris :)), so I pretty much have all the bits I need to put it back together. Mike.

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Pull it.


Do the back of the block core plug, stand the engine up on its nose and back flush the scale out, pull and clean out the sump, check the big ends, look for metallic debris.


I'd be inclined to leave the head alone if it runs well, but clean down and set tappets, etc.

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I don't think I have fit an exhaust since 1991...... After all the misery that time I always get someone else to do it


but can definitely relate to repairing one thing and when you take it off find 10 more things to do

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Hi Mike


From your post I think you already know the answer ...............................


Just by way of encouragement though: it will be well worth the effort, and with luck there will be someone on a forum just like this in 60 more years time saying "it was last all sorted out in 2013 and I have not needed to touch it since"


It might be worth doing in two bites though: the first time just to get you through the season (provided that your mileage is going to be relatively modest), then the full monty over winter?

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I started on what I thought was going to be an easy job years ago, but it also turned into a task. Anyway, we are still married .........


Clean version:


if it has wheels or a skirt


you are going to have trouble with it............

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Thanks for the advice guys, it pretty much confirmed my own thoughts, so this afternoon I took the head off and found a multitude of problems. First up the ball on one of the rocker arms had worn itself flat, so that will need replacement. The head looks ok, but I've not had any of the valves out yet, will leave that to my engine bloke. As for the bores, well, most of them have wear ridges corresponding with the top ring, and a couple also have ridges corresponding with the lower rings. One bore had strange horizontal marks most of the way down, and most of them also have a strange vertical line of roughness that looks like either corrosion or flaws in the casting of the block, certainly doesn't look like wear. So this week I will have to hire a hoist and get the bottom end sent off for a rebore, just hope it can be done as it's already bored out 40 thou oversize, although the big ends and mains are still standard.


At least I know it will be right once it's done.



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I'm pleased to see that I am not the only one who starts on job thinking that it would only take a couple of hours

In my case it was changing the fan belts on the saracens. What I thought would take a couple of hours so far has taken two days and still can't get the **##**s on. So next weekend is a case of taking off the front Armour and out with the radiator to gain. Unless one of the wise ones on the forum can tell me an easier way to get them on.



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  • 4 months later...

So, guys,

Here we are 4 months down the line. [ATTACH=CONFIG]81791[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]81792[/ATTACH]

This is what I was faced with in the early stages. With the end of the season fast approaching, I finally started the re-built engine this afternoon, after two hours trying to work out why there was no spark, I finally discovered a fault in the newly re-conditioned distributor! It still needs tuning and tweaking, and a few minor snags sorting, not to mention all the front bodywork refitting, BUT IT RUNS!!!!! :-)


Work done so far includes, but is not confined to:

Re-bore to + 0.060", new pistons

Crank re-ground to -).010" on main and big ends

Oil pump re-built with new gears and shaft, pressure relief valve replaced

New timing chain and sprockets

New camshaft and followers

Re-conditioned distributor

Spare cylinder head fitted, this was re-built a while ago with hardened exhaust valve seats, together with all new valves and springs

All core plugs replaced

New civilian exhaust and inlet manifolds - these are hopefully a temporary measure, and I plan to put military ones back in the not too distant future.

New carburettor

Fuel pump re-built

Radiator re-cored

New clutch plate, pressure plate, release and spigot bearings

New concertina air filter element, very kindly sewn for me by a friend (thanks Toni)


I have taken the opportunity to return the engine to it's original black colour, and the engine bay has been stripped out, cleaned and re-painted, although bits already need touching where it has got knocked/chipped, or bolt heads have rusted - the perils of working outside.

There is still a fair amount to do, the engine needs setting up properly, and the front bodywork needs refitting, after the offside wing has been sprayed following a repair to some corrosion in the front corner.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures showing progress so far:-


Anyway, a big thanks to you guys for your advice, also to Neil who helped me put the engine and gearbox back in, and to Chris Watson for his usual first class work on the engine.


(Rippo, does your offer of an exhaust manifold still stand? I now find I am going to need one for my QL as well, having discovered that it is running with an RL manifold/carb set up.




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