Flash

Flash's 1965 Ford Thames

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First up I'd like to thank @tortron for his feedback regarding the 90 degree rotation in the positioning of the dual circuit master cylinder. Looks like the only possible snag I may have is bleeding the thing properly, but only time will tell.

So yesterday I removed the Thames pedal / master cylinder bracket so that I could do some bench work. Sure beats lying on your back trying to work things out. I started off by drilling a new upper mounting hole for the master. I'll need to extend the bracket slightly for the bottom mounting hole, but that is pretty straight forward, so I'll leave that until I've proved that everything else works out.

With the new cylinder bolted up to the bracket I clamped everything down and took some comparison measurements on the throw of the push rod. The bigger diameter L300 cylinder has a stroke that is 5mm less than the stroke on the Thames unit. To my simple way of thinking this will slightly reduce pedal travel and if anything should make the brakes feel more responsive, but I'm happy for anyone to chip in if I have overlooked something.

The standard Thames push rod has a half moon at the cylinder end which is too big to fit in the L300 piston cup.

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So I headed over to the Starwagon donor van and pulled out the pedal / booster setup as I figured I could maybe use the original push rod that matches the cylinder. Stripped out the push rod and laid it side by side with the Thames one and I think I can make a plan.

 

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Whilst I give the push rod modification a bit of thought I turned my attention to the pipework for the brakes. For cert I need to fit a load sensing proportioning valve because the Thames is classed as a light commercial vehicle. I'm not really keen as I don't plan to carry loads and I figure its just one more complication, but I don't have a choice, so I just need to suck it up.

I'll use the valve from the donor HiAce as it already bolts up to the rear axle and I just need to fabricate a chassis mounting bracket. I wasn't sure how the pipework for this valve works, so I spent the morning under the HiAce pulling all of the brake lines out and I now have a clearer idea of how the valve is plumbed.

Thanks for reading.

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Earlier in the week my remote brake booster pitched up. It came with some universal mounting brackets, but I wanted something more bespoke, so I spent the morning carving my own mounting bracket. 

The booster is now tucked up in its new home above the chassis leg in the back corner of the driver's side wheel arch. I'll need to fabricate a cover plate to keep it safe from mud and other road debris, but I'll tackle that once its all plumbed up and working.

Sadly my little grinder gave up its life finishing off this bracket. I can't complain as I've had it a good number of years and its done really well. So after lunch we will take a drive into Bunnings to get a new one.

Thanks for reading. 

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Okay, so I've done something I'm really embarrassed about, but I figured I would show my old school mates anyway as they will hopefully understand.

From the start of this project I promised myself that all modifications would be of a "bolt in bolt out nature" with little to no cutting in case someone ever wanted to return the van to factory original condition further down the track. I don't know where this silly notion came from cause let's face it these vans don't exactly appeal to the masses, but prices for good original examples in the UK are starting to creep upwards, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Anyway, apart from having to remove an original front jacking point that was in the way of my steering conversion and elongating the original cutout in the chassis leg for my 5 speed conversion I've stuck true to my word up to now.

Then last week in a moment of weakness I proceeded to chop a giant chunk out of the left hand side wall of my engine box.

Why Flash why .... I hear you cry in anguish ......

Well, try as I might I just couldn't get enough side clearance for the original Aisan carby without heavily offsetting the engine to the right and this just didn't sit well with my OCD. I also faced the dilemma of how I was going to plumb up the air intake for said carby as I am really keen to get cooler air in from somewhere outside the cramped and sweaty engine box.

So after much procrastination I finally picked up my grinder and did the deed. I did manage to get the box side out with a neat single cut all around, so I'll pack it away with the rest of the original kit, so it can be welded back in if ever needed.

So with the box side out of the way I fab'ed up a reinforcing L shaped plate which is now bolted in place with some temporary nuts and bolts I had lying around. It's not the prettiest thing you have ever laid eyes on,  but its strong. The carby now has heaps of clearance and I can even fit the original HiAce carby hat which now pokes happily into the front wheel well.

As I say, not my finest work, but here it is for your viewing pleasure.

I've still got the dirty old mock up engine in the hole so things look really tatty at the moment.

Thanks for reading.

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Now that I have done the nasty, I thought I would boost spirits by starting on the fresh air intake for the carby.

I spent a bit of time this morning spannering on the donor HiAce and I've pulled this lot out. 

Hopefully I can cobble something together from this lot.

Stay tuned.

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It's not the prettiest looking filter housing, but it's horizontal orientation set it apart from the two Mitsubishi filter housings which have a vertical orientation - hope this makes sense.

I'll clean it up once I know it's going to work.

 

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So my plan is to tuck it up under the floor next to the left hand side chassis leg. It just so happens that their is already a chassis cross brace with a few factory holes already in place.

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So I took a square tube off -cut that I had lying in my scrap pile and made a thing which I attached to another thing and then finally attached it to a third thing and ended up with the back mounting bracket which works pretty good. 

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I will need to fabricate a front mounting bracket, but I thought I would test fit to see if I could work out the pipework.

The inlet pipe has a nifty little water catch can built in for wet weather driving and it tucks up nicely in the back of the wheel arch well out of the way of the front tyre. It's just a pity that the inlet and outlet pipes aren't the other way around, so I'll need to cross the ducting over somehow. 

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Scratched around inside the engine bays of my donor vans and found this nifty little bit of of intake pipe off the Starwagon air filter. 

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All I need is a bit more flexi pipe and a few holding brackets and I reckon I can complete the plumbing. It may end up looking like spaghetti junction, but as long as its tucked away from the wheel I'll be happy. I'll need to fabricate a cover plate to protect the pipework from road debris anyway, so I can hide all of the evils behind that.

Tomorrow I'll see what else I can pinch from the donor fleet to complete the job.

Thanks for reading.

 

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Managed to get the front mounting brackets done. They are a bit over engineered, but it was the only steel plate I had lying around.

Next up is a bit of plumbing.

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