Monday, March 14, 2022


 I have now put about 700 miles on the engine. Oil pressure is holding well and is above 40# while driving and 15# at idle. I'm happy. I'm using Rotella 40W diesel oil.

Driving is getting better every day as I get better at shifting. Fine tuning the carbs I now get 30 MPG and good acceleration. I've taken it up to 65MPH with more to go but keep it at 55 on the hwy. 

The new propshaft is great. I have a tiny bit of vibration at idle which is probably that 3 or 4 thou. out of straight in the shaft. If I release the clutch it goes away.

The car drives very stable at speed and the thrust bearing I put on the front springs helps steering but it is still stiff to steer.

The body is very quiet with hardly any rattle and no squeaks. I would like to add rear shocks as the rear bounces badly on rough roads.

I am adding electronic ignition and will report on that soon.

Friday, December 10, 2021


 It was raining yesterday so I tried putting the old hood on the car. It fit fine however I think the hood was made with the frame reversed. Anyway it worked and was fun trying to get in and out with the hood up. I'll have to make a video of that.

I'll have problems finding a trim shop that can make a new one and re-cover the side curtains.

Friday, December 3, 2021


 Lit a fire yesterday. Great oil pressure but the solid copper head gasket leaked in several spots. I changed out the gasket for a stock one today and all is well. Drove it for a few miles and oil pressure never dropped below 30#; at 40MPH the pressure is 45#. 

I'm a happy camper!! Just need to learn how to drive it now.

edit 12/4/21:  Drove it 20+ miles today. At the end the oil was 15# at idle and 35# at 40 MPH with 10W30 break in oil. I think I've nailed it.

edit2 (12/7/21): I now have 100  miles on it. Coil issues and burned points. Replaced coil with one with built in resistor and new points; perfect running the last two days. Oil pressure holding strong.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


I got some Permatex Copper gasket spray today and mounted the head. That finished up the engine. I thought. I still had to wire the flywheel bolts so with the engine hanging on the hoist I did that. Then I remembered that I had no wired the main bearing bolts!! The day before I mounted the pulley and realized I had not put the oil slinger on the crank so off with the pan put on the slinger. Today off with the pan wire the main crank bolts. FINALLY it's all done and the engine is in!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021


Scroll down to see the problems and fixes that were done.

The cam, crank and timing chain are now in and feel good. I purchased new con rods from the UK that have shell bearings rather than Babbit. These can take higher RPM and will last longer. More to follow.

Valves are now in. I use 3 wrenches 18mm, 17mm and 10mm and the rod to go through the lifter to hold for tightening. The 18mm has been thinned down to fit the narrow flats on the lifter.


 As hard as you try a booboo can creep in. I was making the last cut on the last bore with the line bore machine. I needed to take out .006" on the diameter to finish the job and I moved the cutter out .006" instead of .003". So the rear bearing is 006" too big in diameter.

After spending several days kicking myself and thinking of ways to fix it the light bulb flickered on. I'll just machine a sleeve of the proper ID and OD to fit the oversize bore!! This is no different than how the can ran to start with. I had a nice piece of  Meehanite iron which is a fine grade of iron and made the sleeve.

It's now in place and the oil holes were then easily drilled. Booboo now fixed. Maybe I should have done this for all of them.


I bought the cam bearings from Small Ford Parts in England. The first problem was what diameter the block has to bored to accept the bearing shells. Small Ford gave me the OD dimension of the shell so I machined a test piece and pressed the shell in. Measuring the ID of the shell I found the ID to be beyond the Ford wear limit for the cam bearings. 

I then contacted a shop in the UK that specializes in Ford side valve engines ( ). They gave a smaller dimension so I made another test piece and found it was too large too. I picked 1.664" as my bore size and shaved .003" off each side of the bearing shell so as to reduce the ID by .002". This would allow me to scrape the installed bearing shell to the correct ID and eliminate the high spots in the shells (poor quality parts).

Here is the shell being pulled in. I machined a plug with a step so that it just fits into the shell and catches the edge. A 3/8" threaded rod screws into the plug and sticks outside the engine plate. A nut draws the shell into place.