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1957(ish) Hillman Minx Convertible - recommissioning
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally, a bit of progress. The water pump, thermostat, gaskets and assorted nuts arrived yesterday. I fitted them and ran the car for a few minutes.

The engine compartment is a bit smoky, I think there's a leak around the manifold, but it seemed to lessen as the engine warmed up. I won't know what's going on till all the oil (I spilled) is burnt off. The water temperature gauge doesn't work, so that will need investigation. However, the first big problem I face now is freeing the clutch plate.

I have tried to free it using increasingly violent tactics! I ran the engine fast and slow; started it in gear; lifted the rear wheels, revved it in gear and hit the brakes hard. I'm going to try dropping it onto the floor next, but if that doesn't work, I'm not sure what to try??

I have a pit and the gearbox cover plate has already been taken off - someone has obviously tried to free the clutch, I suspect it was the auction house. Perhaps I can squirt some sort of freeing agent (any suggestions?).

In the meantime, I've been using Bilthamber products to de-rust the floor pan before painting. It works fine on the thin rust, but the deeper rust is proving stubborn. Which is a problem, because I have two Bilthamber paint products. one is a fantastically heavy zinc paint, but this must be applied to the bare metal, and the other is for converting stubborn rust and neutralizing it. My floorpans are such a patchwork of bare metal, original paint and stubborn rust, It's difficult to know how to proceed?

that's all for now, I will report back as and when I have made some progress.

Stumbler
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bob2



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 1722
Location: Malta

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would be better to clean all the rust off before applying any rust converters!
You can use a drill with a wire brush attachment or even better a grinder with a sanding disc (think they're called flap discs).
I used them on my hillman's floorboards and they turned to nice bright metal in no time!!
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Farmer John



Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 159
Location: Manawatu NZ

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:04 am    Post subject: Clutch Reply with quote

Hi! Reading about your clutch problem and thought that I might help you. Make sure that pushing the clutch pedal to the floor actually moves the pushrod which is in the slave cylinder, the pushrod will need to move at least an inch, but there are many factors involved here so that inch is very approximate. Half an inch will not be enough. Really need to look inside the bellhousing and see that pedal actuation results in the thrust bearing or pad pressing the clutch fingers down. Whatever it takes to be able to see inside the bellhousing and observe the clutch actuation is thoroughly worthwhile, a really good torch and an assistant for a start. If you are happy with the clutch action we will move on.
The clutch plate might be stuck to the surface of either the flywheel or the pressure plate, probably the latter. The surface will be either rusty or resin coated. The rust you can understand, the resin can be as a result of the clutch slipping and becoming hot enough to melt the resin in the composite clutch facing which sets like glue when it cools down again. If that has happened you probably will need a chisel to separate the parts after removing the gearbox and unbolting the clutch cover assembly.
However, rust is much more likely to be the culprit so we will deal with it that way. What we need to do is hold the pressure plate away from the flywheel so that there is a good quarter of an inch gap between the clutch plate and one of the other surfaces. Do this by blocking the clutch pedal down or tie it down, just whatever works. I think the pushrod is adjustable? Lengthen it so that the quarter inch gap is achieved, an honest eighth will suffice actually. Alternatively wedge the clutch arm or tie it back with a loadbinder. Leave it like that for as long as you can while doing the floor or going on holiday, a week is OK, a year is fine.
I am assuming that there are gaps in the outer edge of the clutch cover, thats the part that bolts to the flywheel, where the outer edge of the clutch plate can be seen to check that you have clearance. When the clutch is free and the gearbox in neutral you can push the plate around with a screwdriver.
If the method I have described does not work then no amount of revving or braking or jerking will work, what is worse is that you would be putting other components at risk. There might be a broken part within the clutch cover causing the problem, but at least the above procedure will not make anything any worse. That is important.
Excellent work you are doing getting a special car back on the road!

John
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried dropping it on the floor, but that didn't work. I'll print out Farmer John's notes and work through them in the garage.

May take me a few days to get back to the forum...

many thanks
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In light of Farmer John's comments that the slave cylinder push rod should move about an inch, I measured it. Mine moves about one third of an inch. perhaps this is not enough and will solve my problem...?

Before I do what I normally do - something stupid and irreversible - are there any quick fixes to extend the movement of the pushrod?

Many thanks

Stumbler
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47Jag



Joined: 26 Jun 2008
Posts: 1458
Location: Bothwell, Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried bleeding it yet. Do that first and check again.

Art
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Farmer John



Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 159
Location: Manawatu NZ

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:33 pm    Post subject: Clutch Reply with quote

Hi, Stumbler? OK as your handle? Good work beginning the diagnosis, is it possible to observe the clutch operation when actuated? Cannot remember whether there is an inspection hole it may mean peering through the same hole as the clutch fork. Just to confirm that there is insufficient travel.
When you are sure that this is the case then look at the hydraulics.
My opinion, and it is only an opinion, is to buy new master and slave cylinders. I cannot back that with theory or facts, only that new parts remove a bunch of variables. (Sadly not always true of parts from China)
Bench bleed the master cylinder before fitting and fill the slave cylinder with fluid before fitting. Reconnect the system then bleed.

John
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got under the car and had a look through a hole in back of the clutch housing. I can see the actuating mechanism moving 'bits' of the clutch inside but, because I don't know what I'm looking at, it's difficult to confirm that the movement is adequate?

My mate who's a mechanic has suggested that, as a first resort, replace the seals in the cylinder (I presume he means the slave cylinder) to see if that increases the travel and makes a difference.

Oh yes, also, while I was under the car, I've discovered the petrol tank has a small leak in the bottom. Can this be patched or do I need a new petrol tank? Obviously, it can't be welded, but I"m wondering if there's a petrol resistant glue that can safely be used to stick a two inch square metal patch over it?

Many thanks

Stumbler
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Jim.Walker



Joined: 27 Dec 2008
Posts: 1233
Location: Chesterfield

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Repairing petrol tanks was at one time often one of the trade tests for motor enginering students. I'll bet it is not now!
However, the approved method then was to clean around the hole/leak until the metal is bright and shiny and then to tin the area with tinmans solder using a (large) solid copper soldering iron (NOT electric or a torch) heated well away from the tank.
Next a PERFECTLY contoured to fit steel (or brass) patch needs to be formed if not on a flat surface, which must be also be tinned on the contact surface.
Place the patch in place and heating it with the LARGE iron allow the solder tinning to fuse together. NO NAKED FLAMES ANYWHERE NEAR.
Hold the patch in place with a screwdriver or similar while the solder sets.
That will make a permanent repair - assuming it does not rust through somewhere else.
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Quote from my late Dad:- You only need a woman and a car and you have all the problems you
are ever likely to want". Computers had not been invented then!


Last edited by Jim.Walker on Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:10 am; edited 4 times in total
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 5981
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, there are various products where you mix together two plasticy substances (usually grey and black) and apply that. It sets in about 15 minutes and works quite well.

e.g. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Granville-Petro-Patch-Putty-Repairs-Petrol-Diesel-Water-Tanks-Cracked-Casting-/151124550075?pt=UK_Car_Accessories_Car_Care_Cleaning&hash=item232fb9a1bb

Peter
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1939 SS Jaguar 2 litre saloon
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COMMAD



Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 160
Location: Gold Coast. Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Stumbler, I have had success with repairing small pin-holes in petrol tanks by screwing a pk screw into hole, use a handheld screwdriver and don't overtighten..... Des.... Idea Idea
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kitisuru



Joined: 01 Dec 2011
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:06 pm    Post subject: I had the same.... Reply with quote

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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 7:20 pm    Post subject: Success! Reply with quote

Finally, I got the clutch unstuck.

Anyway, here's what i did:

I replaced the seals in the slave cylinder, but that didn't seem to add any extra movement on the clutch, so I ratchet-strapped the pivot arm under the car, so that I knew for sure that the clutch was disengaging the clutch plate. then I ran the car in fourth on a jack for about of an hour. I ran it at very low speed, so low that the engine was very lumpy. the idea was that the lumpy running would apply gentle torque to the clutch, freeing it.

That didn't work, so I loosed the jack very quickly so the car slammed down on the rotating wheel, there was a 'clang' and it freed!

What a relief, I can now drive it...

I'll bleed the brakes, get her insured and take her for a spin.

many thanks

Stumbler
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Scamonomics



Joined: 28 Apr 2014
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:39 pm    Post subject: Lack of power? Reply with quote

Well, I've had the Minx out on the road several times now, and she's performing well. However, there is a distinct lack of power on the flat and going uphill.

I'm not expecting modern levels of performance, but this is definitely not quite right - I'm struggling to go above 30mph on the flat! So, I thought I'd just cast a line out to see what suggestions came back.

I'm pretty sure the rings are good, there's no smoke at all coming from the exhaust. Also, the exhaust pipe is very clean, so the fuel appears to be burning cleanly. The brakes aren't binding. there's a lot of popping when the car is engine braking. Also, when I turn the engine off, the car still runs on for a few seconds.

My mate tells me that I may need to loosen the distributor nut and advance or retard it slightly. I've never done this before, so not sure what I should be aiming for. How does one calibrate this?

any thoughts most welcome.

thank you in advance

Stumbler
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Rick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like timing wants a looking over, my Dodge was over-retarded and as a result was well down on power and backfired on the over-run.

RJ
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Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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