Monday, September 13, 2010

Planning to Recondition the Original Sidevalve.

I've been fiddling about with the original engine, trying to determine whether its redeemable and should be reconditioned, or whether I should think about a more modern engine. I'm not ready to fully strip it down, but the fact that it seems to be very rusty on the outside, and was seized (frozen I assumed) suggested that it might take a lot of work to get it right. I cleaned the outside up a bit and it looked a bit better. There is a little bit of damage where the breather tube is meant to come out of the tappet cover, but otherwise it looks OK. After a good soak with Inox the spark plugs all freed up, and came out with the threads in the holes looking nice, so that was a bonus. I poured some runny oil (actually left over two stroke fuel) down the plug holes and watched as it poured out the exhaust manifold (Oh yeah, its a sidevalve and one of the cylinders will be on the exhaust stroke...). Then I gave the front pulley a twist by hand, not expecting anything to happen, but it freed up! The next plan is to take the head off and see how bad it looks. It would be lovely if I could get away with a light hone and some new rings, but I doubt it.

All being well I've picked up a carburettor via ebay, from Tim S on the MCJTV Forum.  I was a bit worried about being able to get a replacement carb, its probably the most important part that is missing. It doesn't look too bad in the photo, I've seen much worse, so I reckon it should be a good one once its done up. I have a bit of a collection of old carbies (mostly for Minis) that all need a good going over, so I'll get set up and do them all. I hope to be able to clean them by soda blasting and replate and blacken the levers and fasteners. I need to get the workshop sorted first though. It looks like gasket kits are available for these Solex 30 FAI carbs, so thats a good start.


  1. Have you given any thought to checking the compression before lifting the head? Either by compression tester or the "thumb over the spark plug hole" trick will give you a bit of an idea of whats going on. The motor could be turned over either by a starter motor or a hand crank enough to try it.

  2. Good suggestion Bugly. I hadn't considered it, but there's two good reasons why it would be very hard to do. I don't have the starter motor, and the crank pinion is missing from the pulley at the front of the motor. I wonder if a Mni starter will fit? Wait on, Holden used lucas starter motors, maybe the original has been fitted to the grey motor...