Now I had started driving it again it wasn't long before I found the exhaust manifold was starting to develop a leak. The car had a mild steel tubular manifold when I bought it but sitting around unused for a couple of years had obviously allowed it to rust and get thin enough to crack in a couple of places. Luckily I had a new one in stock that I had acquired during the cars lay-up for just such a problem. The new one was another mild steel tubular manifold that I got from Robsport via Ebay for a very good price. The rest of the car's exhaust was stainless steel so no corrosion problems there.
Guess what? Fitting the new manifold turned out to be a bit more of a problem than I expected - surprise, surprise.
Its a two man job to get it all lined up so I asked Chris Riley ( old mate and ex service crew from my rallying days) to help get it all lined up. We also had to make up a short sleeve joining piece as the two pipes were the same size. The bolts into the head were also a pain with one starting to strip and a couple of others suspect. They also turned out to be different sizes so the previous owner had also had a similar problem with them, but it all went together and we were mobile again..
Now back from being laid up it was not long before the next problem developed, there was a loud groan/rattle from the front of the engine. I recognised it from my Stag days and it didn't take long to trace the source to the viscous coupling unit on the cooling fan. New ones were quite expensive at about £50 or more so I chose to go electric instead.
The first choice for an electric fan kit is usually the Kenlowe, but these are not cheap either at over £100. Best way I found was to buy the parts separately which I did from Ebay (again) for just over £60. This consisted of a new 14" fan, a mounting kit and a thermostat control kit. Oh, and you need a new much shorter fan belt as well.
All the old viscous stuff and the idler carrying it could now come off the timing cover and it turned out to weigh a ton, well OK not a ton, but its pretty darned heavy and it makes the front of the engine bay much more open as well.
Installation was pretty easy, just needed to fit a relay and sort out a power feed. Now let the engine warm up and just dial in the temperature you want the fan to start. I chose a temperature reading of just over half on the gauge and this seems to work well. The fan rarely cuts in except in traffic.