British Motor Museum Volunteers

British Motor Museum Volunteers

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

1960 STANDARD ENSIGN (Part 18)

The engine runs and the car moves – a big day

Our last blog described how, for just a few seconds, the restoration volunteers finally managed to fire up the Ensign again for the first time in many years. However, because the car is located on the first floor of the Collections Centre in the public viewing area, any further running would have to be done in the workshop. So recently, following a final check over and the completion of the instrument wiring, the car was ready for its short decent to the workshop below.

The Ensign on its way down to the workshop in the vehicle lift

As the photos illustrate there was a good turnout of the restoration team, who were on hand to help or just watch this big test of their hard work. So, with space cleared in the workshop, connection to the exhaust extraction system in place and around two gallons of petrol added, everything was set up for the big moment. Whilst the team could smell petrol, they weren’t totally convinced it was finding its way via the pump into the carburettor and the engine initially lacked any sign of life. However, a quick check of the still exposed fuel tank and then a look at the workshop manual confirmed that the car’s reserve tank tap was in the off position!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

1960 STANDARD ENSIGN (Part 17)

Fitting the fiddly bits and the engine fires
Progress on the Ensign has been quite slow recently, due to the time involved reassembling all the fiddly bits on the car. Everything was photographed when the car was originally stripped down and this pictorial record, plus the extensive workshop manual we acquired have proved invaluable as the rebuild has progressed.

The fitting of things like door seals, lock mechanisms, wiring looms, brake pipes, steering column and engine ancillaries has taken many hours. Even what should have been the fairly straightforward job of refitting the front and rear windscreens was not without its problems. New rubber seals had to be sourced and then cut and the actual fitting process required a bit of expert help from the Museum’s workshop staff.

Fixing the door lock mechanism and inserting the chrome strip in the rubber window surround

However, the most encouraging news on the project for some time has been that the engine, now installed with all its ancillaries, was at last fired up recently for a short period. Just to recap the engine is a 1670cc OHV straight four, which we believe had done around 83,000 miles. The block had a slight crack, which we’ve had professionally repaired and new pistons and rings have been fitted. A new water pump was required and the original radiator was refurbished with a new core. Given that the car currently resides on the first floor of the Collections Centre a further running and testing of the engine won’t be possible until we can move it into the workshop. The fact that it appears to work OK, has been good for morale.