I had setup the engine well enough to start and tick over but I could tell it wasn’t really happy as it seemed to splutter above 1500rpm. Cutting a long story short, I had to reach out to the VSCC boys for some guidance as I *thought* I had set everything up as per the factory settings. I also discovered that water was leaking into the inlet manifold which means that it was mixing with the fuel as it was sucked into the combustion chamber – not ideal. This meant that the fuel/air mixture was severely weakened and that turned the exhaust pipe blue because the gasses were excessively hot.
Resolving the water leak required the carburetors and manifold to be removed, the issue(s) fixed then everything reinstalled. The ignition timing it turns out was setup totally incorrectly. To enable vintage cars to start, the driver used to manually adjust the distributor so that power was sent to the appropriate spark plug when the piston was at the absolute top of its cycle. Then once started it was adjusted so that the spark plug started to fire around 8 degrees before the top of the cycle (which allows time for the spark to fully ignite the fuel). The factory information doesnt mention how to configure the ‘engine running’ setting and I was leaving it at the ‘starting’ position. It turns out that this okay to start the engine but to obtain driving power its an order of magnitude out. The nice boys at the VSCC advised me to simply move the distributor when the engine was running so that it performed smoothly and then to lock it into that position instead. So thats what I have now done until the car can be driven on the road and more accurately tuned. It has completely changed the sound of the exhaust interestingly – it is no quieter just a lot smoother.
The brake shoes have been sent off for new friction material to be fitted and I await their return.
Below are a few pictures of the car as-is as I think many people have not seen how the car currently looks. There is a long way to go but it definitely looks like a car… I have since polished the blue out of the exhaust manifold…