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Essex Hunter
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Classic cars forum & vehicle restoration. Forum Index -> Rootes Group & Original Companies (Hillman, Humber, Singer, Sunbeam, Commer etc)
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:33 pm    Post subject: Essex Hunter Reply with quote

I have had a long day..i managed to get the one family..one address Hunter from Essex to Sussex..not without drama.
The 1974 Hunter was bought from the Colchester based Hillman dealer, driven home and used for local driving until 1999 when the owner died. The owners son ..who lived at the same address took the car on and used it until 3 weeks ago..he needed something more usable and tried to trade it in for a Land Rover freelander..it wasn't worth the dealers while but one of the sales men liked the registration number he wanted it for his motor bike.
The car was taken and the registration was removed...it now has a new number.
I bought the car after it was advertised on Ebay for 17 mins..a friend phoned when i was standing in the middle of a corn field..he told me about the car and i said "yes"
I was dropped off in Colchester today..the deal done and 17 miles later the head gasket blew. The nice man from the AA towed me home!
6 months tax and MOT make a head gasket change worth while!

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Last edited by john-saab on Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Phil - Nottingham



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Posts: 1243
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done for saving it - these are good cars and very underated so they are getting scarse. Shame it lost its registration after all this time - a lot people have no appreciation of historic cars
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks very solid. Are you planning a respray? I've never actually seen a Hunter on the road, they're very rare, but a few years ago there was a mint Avenger DL model in the same colour as this that lived down the road from me. Shame about the registration number, but as Phil says, well done for saving it!
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plan was to sort out the leaking head gasket and clean her up a little then sell her on...BUT..my girlfriend loves it..i'm enjoying it and my plans may have changed.
I can't believe how solid this car is..it needs a little welding in the boot and one of the sill ends has been welded very poorley..apart from that it's really good.
Jobs to done...
Sort out head gasket.
clean the farm out of it..(i quite expect to find a cow in there..hiding in the straw)
Sort out non working speedo....the milage clocks up ok but the needle doesn't work.
Find a new front wind screen rubber..this one is well past it..plenty of silicone holding it in!
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bob2



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 1722
Location: Malta

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks very solid, mine looked much worse but in the end was found to be quite solid too and it had never had any welding done to it in almost 40 years.
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got around to replacing the cylinder head gasket on the Hunter today..all of the warnings about tight bolts etc were unfounded..with the amount of oil on the outside of the engine everything came apart with no effort at all. I didn't want to remove more than i needed to but as every thing came apart with ease i went on to take the leaky oil filter housing and the oil gallery plate..this had been pouring oil down the engine for many years..the cork gasket had crubbled in some places and was solid in other places.
The rocker cover came off to expose this...possibly one of the dirtiest engines i have ever seen..

When the head came off i was surprised how clean the piston tops and the bores were..even the valve heads were perfectly clean. There was no sign of ware in the bores..no lip at the top and the piston tops were very very clean.
(sorry about the poor picture quality)

when i removed the thermostat housing cover i noticed a tiny pin hole..i cleaned it up to find this..

I'm going to buy a new one from Speedy Spares (5.50) on Monday but will use "plastic metal" so i can get it running tomorrow
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't manage to get a lot of time on the Hunter in the week so had a good go at it today ..she's now running well ...

I bought a new thermostat housing during the week..and you know how it goes..go in to buy a thermostat housing and come out with a brand new front bumper to replace the rotten one..

I cant believe how easy it was to fit..all of the bolts were covered in grease and undone with NO effort..infact once they had a turn with the spanner they came off by hand! I re-used the over riders and the bolts as they were still good..nothing a bit of metal polish won't sort.
After a test run all was going well..then a puff of steam rose from the front..and then another...it was pouring out from the radiator cap by the time i had lifted the bonnet..once cooled the cap came off and i found this..

It's too late to find another..shame as i was hoping to take her to a local show in the morning.
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Last edited by john-saab on Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Phil - Nottingham



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Posts: 1243
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good -Halfords will sell a new cap just do not tell them what is for - or take washer off an old one
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live very near Speedy Spares..they have all the parts i need for Roots based cars...downside is that i will have to wait until Monday to get one....plus side..they cost less than 5 Very Happy
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before..

After a good clean..

The drivers seat felt a bit low..i took it out to find that 2 straps had given up..infact one had torn and the other had lost a clip.

I found the clip in the glove box and repaired the other by folding it back at the end and created a new loop. I then took the cover off and insertrd a thin piece of foam to boost the pad a bit. It's nuw very comftable and a lot higher. The front edge springs had snapped...

I'm going to a local upholstery shop tomorrow as i have seen similar springs in there.
I went on to remove enough straw to line a matress and enogh chicken feathers to stuff a pillow!

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lowdrag



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 1160
Location: Le Mans

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strangely enough there is one which has been sitting around for quite some time in Longfield Road Great Baddow. I haven't enquired but it seems to be the usual "I'll restore it one day" jobs and nothing seems to have happened in the time I've watched it.
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good! Did you use Gunk to clean your valve gear?

Lowdrag - Any pictures of the Hunter in Great Baddow? That's not too far from me.....
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1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

640TMP wrote:
Looking good! Did you use Gunk to clean your valve gear? .....

I took the whole lot apart and used petrol & wire wool..i used a very thin drill bit (and turned it by hand) to open up the oil-ways..these were "bone dry" in the middle..my guess is that they had not seen oil in many many years but due to little use the rocker gear had very little/no wear.
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XL391



Joined: 07 May 2008
Posts: 147
Location: The Red Side of Liverpool

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done for saving her!! Another classic saved from the scrappers. You've done a fine job cleaning up the valve gear as well. Cool
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1972 Daimler Sovereign 4.2 Series 1
1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk1
1968 Triumph 1300
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Latest update. I replaced the radiator cap as the old one was beyond use..only to find that the radiator had sprung a large leak. I shipped the radiator off to a guy i had met a few weeks back who ownes Feltham radiators..a very very nice chap who recieved my rad on a Tuesday afternoon and had it ready for collection on Thursday morning..new tap and overflow pipe fitted...all for 55 (i chose to collect it to save on postage as i was in the area) I spent a bit of time watching the guys work on other radiators..fascinating!
With the new rad fitted the car runs like a dream..the needle stays where it should and the cooling system is dry on the outside!
Next on the list is the front windscreen rubber..i have a new one as the old one was only just holding the window in...the windscreen moved when you shut the doors Shocked
The old windscreen and rubber came out with little effort..i hurt my back on Friday so it's going to be a few days before i get around to fitting the new rubber...gave it a trial fit without the screen today..it looks perfect!
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