1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

All Princess models specific items.
Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:00 pm

Maybe 'dogging things up' is a regional expression. Didn't really think anything of it until you pointed it out. I liked the purple bits when the car was purple, it made sense, now it doesn't since the car is red instead and the copper looks quite nice now I've got the masking tape off the starter motor. Shall be getting those bits installed tomorrow, I hope, when the parts might also be here.

I made a mistake with the temperature sender and managed to order two for a 2200, so if anyone fancies those they're free to a good home. No point me tryign to send them back because on re-checking the listing it's me that made the mistake, not the vendor. The 2200 sender looks just like the 1700 one, except much larger. I've ordered the correct 1700 one so I just have to wait for that to arrive now.

beiderbecke
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by beiderbecke » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:01 pm

Hullo,

I'd be much obliged to receive one, please.

Thanks,

Beiderbecke

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:36 pm

Pm sent, Mr Beiderbecke.

Things have been progressing, though it feels very much like two steps forward and one back. For some reason I don't understand, the number plate system used by parts suppliers is bringing this car up as a 2.2, which it isn't, so trying to find the relevant part and part number is proving difficult. The supplier that did have one told me it was broken and could they have my reg to try and find an alternative stock. This was fine until my details didn't match up with their details and then they wanted a list of details as long as my arm, including things like which are the driven wheels and what the VIN number is. I've done this dance before. Basically they don't have the part and they'll take loads of details to in the end tell me they can't get it. The reason for ordering another sender was my own stupidity when I managed to order a pair of 2.2 senders that look the same as the 1.7/2.0 sender, but are much larger. But seriously, try putting GBT563W into a parts site and you'll see it comes up with the 2.2 engine, which mine has never been, it comes up as a hatchback instead of a saloon a lot too, and I've had that result in a supplier refusing to supply a part.
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Fun times. Anyway, the one thing that was correct that did arrive was the new Beru spark plugs. I spent a bit more, I didn't really need to, I just wanted to go with something that should be that little bit nicer than the usual NGK stuff I put in (which is perfectly fine too) to try and iron out any running niggles I might have. I'm not sure they'll make any difference at all in reality and I've kept the old NGKs I took out because there's nothing inherently wrong with them and it's good to have emergency spares just in case.
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I then reinstalled the starter motor, it's bracket, and the oil fill tube. I think they look much nicer now they're painted to match everything else.
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Now I just have to wait on the hoses arriving to finish that, a new sump plug washer since it turns out I don't have one the correct size in stock, and a new temperature sender that's actually correct. It's all a bit frustrating at the moment.

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Gasman
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:22 pm

The part number for the temperature sender on the O series is GTR128. Here's one a found on Flea Bay:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Unipart-GTR128/2126050624
Martin
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Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:05 pm

Just had that confirmed on another thread too. Turns out, the top hat/mushroom fitting on those isn't as confusing as I thought, I was sure I needed the space connector version which is much harder to get. Ordered what I hope is the correct one now, which should be arriving soon. Thank you for the number, that's useful for future reference.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:40 pm

Parts delivery! We're getting the windows done today so I was glad of the pipes arriving so I had something to do. Stealing a bit of time while workmen are on lunch, then I have to turn the computer off because noise, mess, etc. in the same room as the computer. I digress. With all the lovely new pipes I could set to installing. For the thermostat, I'm sticking it as close to the head as I can, temperature pick up in pretty much the same place as it was on the original waxstat.
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Soak the end of the hose in a bit of hot water in a mug so it goes over that rolled edge of the thermostat and then push it into place by pushing down against that custom pipe that was installed in place of the old waxstat housing.
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Then remove it and trim the elbow down shorter because it was too tall. You also have to put the jubilee in before the hose because there isn't enough clearance to thread the clamp on after the hose because of the casing around one of the cambox bolts. It is a very tight fit.
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Posted 7 minutes ago

Parts delivery! We're getting the windows done today so I was glad of the pipes arriving so I had something to do. Stealing a bit of time while workmen are on lunch, then I have to turn the computer off because noise, mess, etc. in the same room as the computer. I digress. With all the lovely new pipes I could set to installing. For the thermostat, I'm sticking it as close to the head as I can, temperature pick up in pretty much the same place as it was on the original waxstat.

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Soak the end of the hose in a bit of hot water in a mug so it goes over that rolled edge of the thermostat and then push it into place by pushing down against that custom pipe that was installed in place of the old waxstat housing.

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Then remove it and trim the elbow down shorter because it was too tall. You also have to put the jubilee in before the hose because there isn't enough clearance to thread the clamp on after the hose because of the casing around one of the cambox bolts. It is a very tight fit.

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After that, go through and install the various bits of pipe and clamps in the relevant places and you're looking somewhat close to sorted. The filler cap *just* clears the bonnet, and on the first fit I had a kink in the long straight I didn't like.
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Moving the metal elbow out a bit solved that.
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It's not quite as elegant as I'd hope for a solution. It should work satisfactorily and doesn't look really any worse than the factory arrangement. Now I'm just waiting on the sump plug washers and another temperature sender to arrive so I can get fluids in and try and start the car.
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Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:36 pm

We are slowly winning, today the new sump plug washers arrived. I've used copper compression washers since that's what was on the sump plug and while these are marginally larger, I've not had any oil fall out yet. The new washer is a slightly larger inner diameter than the sump plug thread, and a slightly smaller outer diameter than the sump plug flange, so I expect that will be adequate. Certainly since dumping the relevant quantity of oil into the car, none of it has fallen out, so we should be good.
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Another item reinstalled was the overflow bottle, with thanks to Mike for getting a bottle brush in there and cleaning the last of the really old dirt that was in it. The bottle now looks as close to new as it's ever likely to and it will allow me to see if any unwanted stuff appears in the coolant much easier. For the filler cap overflow on the new hose, I chopped off the excess of the overflow pipe on the old overflow bottle and transferred it over. This way, should there be any need for the overflow at the filler neck it's not going to run straight down onto the alternator. Free fix and matching hoses a nice added bonus. Battery and earth clamp reinstalled too, battery not yet connected for obvious reasons.
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The last thing I wanted to show that wasn't as clear in the other pictures is just how far down the radiator drops from the head and highlight another reason for the new hose taking the route it does.
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I'm just waiting on the new temperature sender to arrive so that I can get coolant in, or rather plain water and Forté biodegreaser, and then coolant after that and any contaminants are flushed out. So very nearly ready to fire it up again now.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:00 pm

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The temperature sender arrived and fits! I had to snip a slot into the plastic cover on the spade connector so it could slide onto the weird top-hat fitting on the sender, it's otherwise no bother and now I can fit either type of sender should I need to in the future.
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Then I put a whole load of water in it, waited for the air to get out and put more water in it, reconnected the spark plugs, checked all my earth points etc, and fired it up. Then found that the camshaft end seal had come unseated and was weeping a little oil so turned it off, loosened the cambox cover bolts and end plate bolt so I could relocate the camshaft seal properly, tightened everything down and tried again. Timing was really off, and it turned out it was that I'd not quite got the distributor in at the right point, so fixed that and now the timing is pretty close to how it should be, just needs a timing light and a bit of run time to warm things up and get it set. Then I noticed a single oil leak at the top of the cambox end plate, which was a bit strange. Tentatively tightened the bolt on that corner and it suddenly stopped offering any resistance at all.
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Helicoil kit ordered since I haven't got one, and Mike has one but doesn't have an insert this size. At least access to put the insert in is really good and it should be straightforward. So close!

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Gasman
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:16 pm

Oh bugger is all I can think to say...

I've never helicoiled anything. Some photos of what you do would be very interesting to me albeit I'm very sorry it's necessary!
Martin
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Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:29 pm

I'll do my best, it's not the easiest process to photograph since everything happens in the hole and it's a fairly quick process usually. Like with most things, it's the preparation that's key to getting it right and if you take your time there's not really a lot that can go wrong.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:33 pm

Let us start with the good news, then I shall get on to the not so good news. As requested by Gasman, here follows instructions on how to helicoil or thread repair a stripped thread. First, you need to find out what thread type you need to put back in, you can get little thread measuring comb things for this. Once you know the thread type, you can order the relevant kit, I got mine online because real world shops don't stock anything any more, and I went for Silverline from a reputable seller (if their eBay feedback is anything to go by), it arrived promptly.
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There are instructions included, and very clear they are too. Included in the kit is a drill bit to clear out the old thread from the hole, a tap to make the new thread for the helicoils to bite into, and a couple of tools, one of which is for inserting the helicoil. Carefully drill out the hole first, a variable speed drill is good for this as you want to go steady, especially on soft material like aluminium.
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The kit doesn't include a holder for the tap, I found a 6mm hex socket worked quite well. Use a little oil as well so that the tool doesn't bind. When you make the new thread, take your time. It will cut really quite quickly in aluminium and it's best to make a few turns until it starts to offer resistance and then back the tool out a bit to get the swarf out. Be sure to check the depth you're going to on a blind hole, straight through holes aren't an issue in this regard.
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With the hole tapped with the new thread, flush it out with something like WD40 and clear as much swarf away as you can. Then insert the new helicoil with the tool provided. Find the first one doesn't want to go in, the second one pings off never to be seen again, and the third is the charm going in with no bother. You should be able to wind it all the way in, I couldn't, for some reason this third helicoil decided it didn't want to go all the way in and needed the end trimming off. Before redrilling the hole, tested it with a bolt and it was fine and does the job so it'll do.
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Easy peasy, really. The paper gasket had got a split in it from where the oil had pushed out so I reinstalled the plate without it, choosing to use sealant instead. This was a mistake.

What I didn't know is that the paper gasket at that goes between the head and the end plate actually serves not only to stop the oil escaping but also to space it out a tiny bit from the end of the camshaft. So when I tried to start the car to leak test and do all the other good stuff, it wouldn't. The starter was making a very peculiar noise and while the engine was turning and not making any unusual noises, something was amiss. Then I made it worse. Checked that fuel and spark was being delivered, which it was in good quantity, checked that the timing was where it should be and that was when I noticed the static timing was ninety degrees out.

That got me worried. So I tried to turn the crankshaft in the usual way with a socket on it and it would not budge. This was confusing because clearly the starter motor could do it without getting hot. Off with the timing belt - no point trying to set it to top dead centre, since that couldn't be done - the distributor and then the top of the cam box. My initial thought was something had got jammed on the cam somehow, I just couldn't figure out how. With the top of the cam box off I could see the camshaft hadn't budged at all, normally it would begin to lift as the valve springs underneath push everything about. Nothing was obviously jamming the camshaft so I tried to lift it out from the sprocket end and then discovered it was stuck against the inside of the end plate. Fully unbolted the end plate (you only need to remove the top two bolts to get the top of the cam box off) and the two pieces parted company.

I gave everything as much of an inspection as I could and there were no signs of anything being damaged, at least to the naked eye. That's when I decided to put the paper gasket back in and bolt it all together to see if that really was the cause. Sure enough, with the paper gasket back between head and end plate, the camshaft could rotate freely. At this point I still hadn't figured out it might be something more serious so went to the trouble of resetting the timing and putting everything back in. I tested it by hand and everything turned freely, a little too freely in fact, but I wasn't sure why that would be as I'd not encountered this issue before.

A crank of the key and now the starter motor sounded normal - probably because it wasn't having to try anywhere near as hard - but no joy. Still plentiful spark and fuel and that's when it dawned on me that I had no compression. Like, no compression AT ALL. Where you'd expect resistance on the compression stroke there isn't anything and, turning the engine slowly by hand there's the twang of a spring and you can feel something clicking through the ratchet so something important in the head has broken.

If I'm really lucky, I've snapped some springs and nothing more. If not, I could have bent valves and all sorts. The only way I'll find out is by pulling the head off and that's not happening today. I will do it but this was such a kick in the motivation that I don't know when I'll come back to this. I'm too close to potentially moving house to be pulling the engine apart for a rebuilt and - providing the house move doesn't go wrong yet again - my plan is to pull off the head to inspect it, then put it all back together to keep the parts in one place and just transport the car to the new house. I'm not fixing it this year. I'm not spending any more money, or time, or effort, on this car this year. I will sort this when I'm in a better place to sort it, financially, mentally, and physically.

Obviously, I'm pretty narked about the whole thing and feel monumentally daft for not knowing that a paper gasket had to be a paper gasket for engineering purposes.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:44 pm

The results are in. I've had the head off and already reassembled everything loosely so I don't lose any parts.

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That looks to me like eight bent valves. There's only one mark per valve location on the piston crowns so it looks like the one smacked into the other and the valves got bent out of the way. Usefully that's prevented further damage and hopefully the parts in my other head will sort this head out. Not this year though. Princess is now on SORN and will remain so probably for a few months until I'm in a better position to sort this. We've overcome bigger obstacles than this, so it'll get sorted. When I'm in the new house, I'll take this apart more fully to figure out what's needed exactly.

To add to the irritation, two of the new hose clamps I fitted fell apart and had already gone rusty, and the replacement cold air duct hose I ordered was the wrong size, as in I ordered a hose that was specifically listed as 60mm inner diameter, which is what I need, and it's actually 55mm, so doesn't fit, even the external diameter isn't 60mm, being 63mm. You can't stretch the hose because it's a metal spiralised cardboard thing, so the only way to get it to fit was slot one end and put it inside the air box connection. It also doesn't clamp properly in the inner wing clamp that stops it flopping around, so that's another waste of money on an item I couldn't find in a shop and had to order online.

This whole saga started with replacing one heater hose that had an age related pinhole in it, after which the head gasket blew, I then got messed around with a custom part for 2 months that, when made, was wrong, and have had a string of incorrect parts and faff because I've had to order stuff online and hope what I'm getting is what's actually being sold. There have been times I've been so frustrated I want to give up and this last mistake hasn't helped with that. At this point the only reason I'm persisting is, I think, stubborness. I'm certainly not doing any of this for the joy of old car ownership, right now there is no joy.

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Gasman
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:11 pm

Oh dearie dearie me. Firstly, thank you for the helicoil tutorial. The thread you make for the coil insert, is that a standard clockwise thread or an anti-clockwise one? Whatever, seems straightforward enough. Buggered threads I've had have all been drilled out, re-threaded and a bigger bolt put in!

Secondly and more importantly moving on to your valve disaster, it's important to find out what went wrong so it doesn't happen a second time.

Your quote:
Off with the timing belt - no point trying to set it to top dead centre, since that couldn't be done


makes me wonder, when you valve-timed the camshaft when the head went back on, what position was the crankshaft in? It sounds to me as though it may have been No1 cylinder TDC when it should be 90 degrees BTDC so all the pistons are midway up/down so can't damage the valves whilst you align the cam markers.

Events like these really destroy motivation and I can fully empathise with your cheesed off feelings but obstinancy not to let the bugger beat you is a good emotion to have. It has served me well.

Keep your pecker up (but no more dogging your bolts, please).
Martin
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Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:43 am

Helicoil is standard clockwise, no weird anti-clockwise nonsense there.

As for what caused this, I know exactly what caused it and it's almost unbelievable. If you omit the paper gasket from the end plate on the head, the camshaft binds in the plate. That, in turn, causes the cambelt to jump teeth, throwing the timing off, and smashes valves into pistons.

It sounds daft. To prove the theory, I refitted the paper gasket (not expecting it to seal, since it was split, this was just to test the theory) and the camshaft turns freely. Remove the gasket, and it's impossible to turn the camshaft without considerable force, more than I could apply with a ratchet. What tripped me up was that I didn't expect the miniscule shim the gasket provides to be so critical, opting to use sealant instead of paper, and then didn't try and hand turn the engine because there was no reason to believe I had to do so.

It's a fairly brutal mistake to make, and one I shan't be repeating. Fortunately, O series parts aren't spectacularly rare since it was used in so many vehicles, and I already have a good selection of spare bits. Worst case I'll need to replace things in the bottom end if anything is bent in there, I didn't investigate that because I simply haven't the time to be pulling the engine apart.

If I need to do a full engine rebuild, so be it. Not ideal, but then I'd know the engine is in excellent health. Absolutely have to look for the silver linings here.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:47 am

I should add as well, before I removed the end plate I had the car running and didn't touch the timing, because I didn't need to. All I was doing was helicoiling a bolt hole so literally the only thing I did after the car last ran was remove the plate, redo the thread, and replace the plate without the gasket. The moment I turned the key after that I was doomed. So I've not only proven it with an experiment after the fact, I can pinpoint the moment that the car went from running, to not running, and why. Which is unusual, in my experience :lol:

bigd
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by bigd » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:35 am

WALLY

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Gasman
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:21 am

You're a hard man, Derek. There but for the grace of God and all that!

Angyl, at least you know what caused it. I hadn't picked up you'd already had the engine running.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:34 pm

Does anyone reading here know what I should pay for a practically new engine? I've been given some info but it's price on asking, and I've no idea what a new O series should set me back.

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Gasman
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:28 am

Impossible question! Depends on the dynamic between how much you want it and how keen he is to get rid of it. Nearly new ones are, of course, rare but equally it'll be 35+ years old and its condition will depend on how it's been stored etc. etc.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

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