thermostat housing

Funny what you find under layers of grease…

I left the thermostat housing in a bath of running degreaser overnight and then gave it a bit of a scrub with a toothbrush and i found it was made of bronze. Very nice, thank you I like pretty metals.

Naturally when i tried to undo the bolts holding the two parts together they both snapped the studs – which meant i had to grind them down and then drill them out trying my best not to destroy the threads. Takes time that does but we got there in the end.

Silly bit is, I want to lower the radiator so that lovely bronze piece may well become redundant as its too tall… we shall see.

So many things to work on its easy to get distracted. Chassis paint is on order have umm’d and ahh’d over what colour it should be. Its an important decision because an awful lot of this car will be on show when originally it would have been buried under bodywork.

Next job – removing the old body retaining brackets as i keep smashing my shins on them and they too are redundant (the brackets not my shins). Once they are removed I can work my way along the chassis with some decent anti rust treatment.

I must also repair that leak in the engine block and and and and… so much fun to have 🙂


Big Cleanup part 2

Today I enlisted the help of a professional engine cleaner, a man with a van and copious amounts of steam under high pressure. A few hours later and the entire chassis, suspension, engine, gearbox, steering…. everything is now squeaky clean and those 80 years of grease are a thing of the past and I can get down to easing rusty nuts and painting the chassis.

The tarp is there to stop the gravel driveway from dissapearing! I will take some detail photos later as there was a nice ‘history’ find under all that grease 🙂 but i am really pleased, money well spent and everything is as clean as i need it to be.

Big Clean & water pump part 2

Its surprising how tenaciously 80 year old grease sticks to metal.. i am finding that the only thing that shifts it is neat petrol and a stiff brush, followed by metal cleaner, followed by a strong stream of water. My (recently deceased) jet wash didn’t shift it…

Its time consuming and very messy but its the only way i guess to get the car back to where it used to be without damaging the patina pf age. And yes i was careful not to get water inside the engine through the inlet & exhaust ports 🙂

The alloy parts are coming up much cleaner as you can see with the gearbox and bottom of the steering column and look at all those lovely brass parts… i must resist the temptation to polish them 😦 A few more weeks of grease removal and I might, just might be able to start cleaning up the chassis ready for paint.

it *looks* like the block was originally a pale battleship grey as there is a small amount of paint left on the block.

The water pump? I still can’t get the darn impeller out of the body, looks like the shaft has corroded onto it and as there is no seal behind the impeller – water pours out so it either HAS to come apart of it goes in the bin. The later I am trying to avoid as it costs money to replace.

Waterpump destruction

Here it is, a bit grubby but a genuine 30’s water pump which not all Riley’s had and some would argue never needed anyway as the radiator was more than capable of keeping the engine cool.The faceplate with that vertical pipe is completely wrong as it should point 45 degrees down and to the right. You may remember I traded all the rusty body panels for a new one so I thought I would swap them over before putting the thing in a box in the loft. Sadly 80 years of alloy touching mild steel meant that the metals had a serious reaction and had fused together the face plate and two of the securing nuts were now a single unit. I managed to chisel off the offending nuts but the face plate still would not come off and in the end it just shattered… no big deal as i didn’t need it but still a shame as it probably had a little bit of resale valueThis did of course mean that I could now see the impeller and disappointingly it has more play in it than a nursery school. I mean it is seriously wobbly and I can imagine if it had actually been connected to the engine – it would have trashed itself very very quickly so it will need to come out so that i can see exactly which part of it is worn to excess.The retaining studs of course were to far gone to be reused so I tried to undo them. Naturally they were a single fused unit with the pump body too and 5 of the 6 studs snapped. hohum… But I can probably drill new holes and fit new studs so i *might* still be able to use the body *if* i can get the impeller undone. Right now it is saying “no”.So overall – not an overly productive day… so to finish off I am soaking the metal pipe seen in the first picture in rust removing fluid (a mild acid) to see if I can remove any of the corrosion inside it…Lets see what it looks like after soaking for 24 hours…