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Everything posted by MikeWilliamsUK

  1. My 1938 Zephyr engine was rebuilt in 1982 by Jim Rodia at Ocottillo Automotive, Ocotillo, California. It was a total rebuild job with all new parts, a replacement used crank which was chromed and ground, and the block was line-bored. An 8EL oil pump was fitted. It all seems to have been a good quality job. It was bored plus .060in and fitted with new alloy pistons with domed heads, which Jim "regrooved for late ring set (top groove)". Twenty five years later the rest of the engine was assembled last year, but I am having a few problems with it. Does anyone have experience of domed alloy pistons? Do they increase the compression ratio too much? Was the plus .060in too much, or quite normal? Anyone remember Jim Rodia and whether he was reliable? Thanks, Mike
  2. That's right Rolf. I have a coil rebuilt by Skip and converted to 12 volts at the same time. Car has now run about 60 miles and seems very good, but its still early days. The service from Skip was excellent and it looks just like the original, so nobody knows.
  3. Thanks for all the suggestions. Colin and Adrian have run the engine for some time now and it is getting easier. Apparently the crank can be turned by hand with a socket. The oil pan has been dropped to reveal no horrors, though one core plug in the crank had popped out. Exemination of the bearings show no marks as a result of this, so I count myself lucky. The gearbox has been stripped and looks excellent, but the operating forks on the clutch were bent. I hadn't noticed this when assembling the clutch, and it put side thrust on the thrust bearing and friction plate, which is burned as a consequence. Anyway, it seems the horrible noises were probably the engine being so tight that it rapidly heated up and was about to seize. Now that it has been run and eased up it doesn't reach the critical point and the noise doesn't start. It has been run for almost an hour, including a short time under load, and it sounds superb. At least, that's what we hope was the cause as we can't find anything else wrong!
  4. I agree Bill, it must be something getting hot and expanding. It now runs for over 30 mins (so is getting better) and sounds superb, but then the noise starts again. If we turn off and wait 10 mins it starts straightaway and runs well again, just as before! I think the oil pan will have to come off and look around. I must say that a friend is doing this for me now - I gave up long ago - and he has experience of cars of this age, including Zephyrs!
  5. Thanks chaps, those are ideas I'd not heard before. Looks like the oil pan will have to come off. Another suggestion from the friends who are helping me with the work is that since the block has been re-faced and the head also faced, whether a piston could be touching the head when it all gets hot and expands. Taking your suggestions it looks like we'll start from the bottom rather than the top. Will let you know what happens. Thanks.
  6. My 1938 V12 was stripped in 1982, partly rebuilt to a 'short' engine, and then stored until it was completed last year. It ran for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It starts first time and runs well, but after about 15 minutes it starts to make a heavy knocking sound, and either it stops by itself or we switch off. The block was bored plus .060, and it has alloy pistons. The noise seems to come from the back of the right hand bank. The engine is extremely tight to turn by hand, but when its running it is quiet and smooth. I don't know exactly what was done in 1982, but the work seems to have been done by somebody who knew what he was doing - he fitted an 8EL pump for instance. Any suggestions please?
  7. My '39 has iron heads. Fitted by the previous owner circa 1953.
  8. Hi Peter, Congratulations on your purchase. I have a Jensen, but with the Zephyr engine, and I'm in the UK. I'm no expert though and agree that Colin Spong is your man. I note the V12 engined Atalanta sold at Christies in the UK recently, and that the spare and stripped engine with it didn't sell, so is preumably still for sale. Useful spares ...! Feel free to e-mail me offlist and I'll have Colin's details if you don't now have them. mikewilliams4 at btinternet.com
  9. Abe, Must admit that my car is a British-built Jensen with the Zephyr engine, so some of the electrical parts you mention do not apply. But, many things do not need to be changed, like the starter and most of the instruments. I suggest you ask Skip at FordRUs - he was most helpful to me. You will need new ballast resistors with about a 1.4ohm value as the originals seem to have about 0.5ohm. Mike
  10. Why not convert the whole thing to 12 volt negative earth whilst you are about it? That's what I am doing, although I've not finished yet. Skip ay FordsRUs can rewind the coils and Ford 12 volt military bits and bobs will work. As I say, the car is nearing the end of a major rebuild so hasn't run yet, but it all seems to be OK. Mike
  11. 41LINC. Furthermore, the answer was provided less than one hour after you posted the question. Not bad eh? Mike
  12. 41LINC, I don't know where you are based, but I'm in the UK, far away from Zephyr suppliers and Zephyr cars. This list is wonderful. There are people on here who know these cars backwards. You asked where you could get the vacuum takeoff from the manifold for your Columbia and somebody replied describing it and telling you where you can get one - George Trickett. What more could you need? All I can add is that I also bought one from George and it was exactly what I asked for, supplied quickly and was excellent. Only problem is that I've put it in a safe place and now I'm ready to fit it I can't find it! So, don't give up on this list. You get accurate and friendly replies quickly and are not swamped with hundreds of answers to sift through like, as somebody else said, the Ford V8 guys. What more can you want? Mike
  13. Thanks Chaps, I eventually found a 3/8 square bar to unscrew the cover, and found the problem. The spring is broken into four pieces and the ball is in a rough state too with lots of flats on it. I thought it would have an easy life in there, but its not a pretty sight! Thanks again. Mike
  14. Thanks. Looks like I'll have to take it off the car this weekend and look then. Thanks, Mike
  15. My car has been off the road for many years and I am just getting it back together. The Columbia valve is mounted beneath the floor and operated by a rod bearing on a capped plunger. This moves freely - very freely - in and out with no resistance and no return spring. Another valve I have of slightly different type - Ford I believe - and on this the plunger is spring loaded. Should mine by sprung too? Does it matter? If it does, how do you take it apart? Removing a splitpin takes the cap off, but not the plunger. Thanks, Mike
  16. Thanks Diz. So, if I connect the Columbia to the pipe which comes out the side, using a rubber hose, and I have an electric wiper motor, I can just put a screw in the top to blank it off? Do you happen to know the size thread? Mike
  17. Now that I read it again, my last post sounded a bit mean! The belt on my '38 says Gates TR20544 Green Stripe II Belt 15A1380. Mike
  18. Hi Peng, Can't answer your question as mine is a '38 and just may be different (I doubt it, but you never know!). But, I see you are in England. Are you Pete, or is there a Zephyr over here that I don't know about? If Pete we met at Knebworth a year or so back with Colin. Mike
  19. On the top of the manifold of my '38 Zephyr, just behind the carb, is a large nut with a threaded hole in the centre. What is this for and what should connect to it? Mike
  20. Trying to find a good word to say about such sacrilidge, at least there should be some V12 engines coming on the market! Perhaps axles too, maybe even Columbias! Mike (UK)
  21. Bill, That's interesting, so Meadows did continue making engines after the War. I wasn't sure about that. The design effort of the straight eight didn't backrupt them then! Mike
  22. Anyone know about this engine, please? The pre-War Meadows engines were held in high regard and used in such desirable and successful cars as Lagonda. After the War they developed a 4 litre straight eight for use in a new Jensen 4-door saloon, but the engine was not a success and Jensen replaced it with the Austin DS4 straight six. The reason for failure of the straight eight is usually described as 'unacceptable tortional vibration'. Can anyone familiar with Meadows shed any light on this engine and its failure? Was the engine developed further after Jensen dropped it? or were Jensen the only customer for this engine? Did Meadows make any other engines after the War? Have any of these straight eight engines survived? Any information, ideas or leads would be welcome. Mike Williams (Pre-1954 Registrar, Jensen Owners Club)
  23. Ken, You may want to check the spec - size and t.p.i. of the bolts you need because, as I'm sure you know, for some of the common sizes BSF and ANF are the same. Yes, I know the pitch angle is slightly different, but for most of our applications that doesn't matter and they will fit perfectly. You'll probably be amused to know that here in the UK is it also sometimes easier to get ANF than BSF because so many places now only stock metric. Mike Williams
  24. Wow, that was a quick response. Thanks very much. Looks like I'd better connect up the unit I have on the back of the speedo and see whether it works before deciding if I need this or whether it is spare. Thanks very much. Mike
  25. When I bought my Zephyr-engined Jensen, amongst the crates of parts was what looks like a valve or maybe a small gearbox. It says: Stewart Warner (I think) Made in USA Pat.1,971,166 and Pat.1,934,082. The operation seems to be by cable. At one end it has a square drive and pinch-bolt, and a screw-in connector at the other? My first thoughts were a Columbia gearbox for the speedo, but the Columbia control valve I have is quite different and the gearbox for it is mounted on the back of the instrument and much smaller than this. Is it a different type of Columbia gearbox? Thanks, Mike Williams
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