Excellent work. An impressively painstaking restoration. Keep the updates coming!
Is that grey foam sound insulating material you've added behind the steering box 'closed cell foam'? If not, I would worry that it might trap moisture and cause corrosion.
I used half inch Dynamat which is a closed cell product on the bulkhead. All of the new foam used on the car is closed cell. I was fortunate that the original vinyl backed open cell foam became saturated with oil rather than with water and acted as a corrosion inhibiter. I had no corrosion on the bulkhead, even behind and under the heater
The Final Drive was the last component of the rear suspension to fit. I had a fairly significant oil leak from the left side seal. I fitted new side bearings and seals and replaced the front seal while I was at it. The collars on the side bearing assemblies were difficult to remove and were mostly machined off. I was able to source new side bearings locally.
I had the rear calipers rebuilt and ready to go. I knew I had a problem with one of the calipers before starting the work. The brakes were soft and the hand brake was loose and not working. I knew from previous experience that one of the calipers was not self-adjusting properly. On disassembly, everything looked OK. The cylinders were fine and only needed honing. I replaced the pistons and seals. I reassembled the units and the one still refused to self-adjust. I fooled with the ‘S’ and Main springs several times to make sure that I had them hooked together properly. Still no success. I unthreaded the push rod, cleaned and lubricated the threads thinking that it might be too stiff to turn. In the end I started swapping out other parts from a spare caliper. It turned out that the pawl must be worn enough to stop things from working. Comparing the working and non-working parts, it was not possible to see any difference but now it worked.
I used new discs and pads and bolted the unit to the car. I used the old Flexible mounts as all three of them still seemed to be in good condition. The Panhard rod had been removed, refurbished and fit with new rubber bushings so it was necessary to adjust the rod again to ensure that the final drive was properly centered and would track straight
Next, the 4 speed gearbox and clutch. Before the project started, I knew I should be replacing the clutch and that I had an oil leak at the rear of the gearbox and a significant leak of oil from the bottom of the bell housing. I assumed that the bell housing leak was most likely the rear engine seal. I also had a wildly fluctuating speedometer as I accelerated and decelerated. Some research suggested that this was likely due to an improperly torqued nut on the gearbox output coupling flange. The snub rubber at the rear of the gearbox was also badly worn and basically dissolving from the heat and all of the leaking oil. The gearbox had been working well and I did not expect to have any issues in the gearbox.
I pre ordered a clutch, pressure plate (early type with centre boss), snub rubber, release bearing and a gearbox gasket set.
Upon disassembly I found that the bell housing leak was actually from the gearbox. It looked to be coming from the clutch release housing. There is no rubber seal at this point. The withdrawal sleeve fits snuggly within a bush in the clutch release housing. The gearbox input shaft fits snugly through the centre of the withdrawal sleeve and has a wind back seal. Leaks could occur if the gearbox was over filled but I was confident that this had not been the case. The fit between the withdrawal sleeve and bushing was a bit loose so I ordered a new sleeve and bushing. The parts were sourced from the UK and although generally shipped promptly, usually took 10 to 14 days to arrive in Canada. Now the fun began. The sleeve that arrived was the later type for clutch pressure plates that do not have the centre boss. These sleeves press directly against the pressure plate fingers. I sourced the proper sleeve and returned the original one. 10 to 14 days later, the new sleeve arrives. I remove the old parts from the housing and press in the bushing and the sleeve into the release bearing. The fit is much tighter. At this point, I notice that there is actually a crack in the housing and that is likely a source for the leak. The sleeve and bushing are pressed out of the housing and we attempt a weld repair. The weld works but warps the housing enough that the rounded boss on the inside of the housing that should just clear the release bearing now rubs the bearing. I source a used housing that is in good condition (10-14 days). The new sleeve and bushing are pressed into place and the housing is assembled to the gearbox. But the saga is not over yet and will continue further below.
The internals of the gearbox were good. The bushings gears and bearings all checked out. The unit was cleaned and reassembled with new gaskets. I replaced the speedometer spindle and nylon housing. I pressed the new rear mount snub rubber into the speedo housing and torqued the bolt on the output coupling flange. St this time I also replaced all of the bushings and rubber washers on the gearbox selector tie bracket, the selector shaft and the spherical bush for the gear change lever.
Some time passes until I am ready to assemble the gearbox to the engine. I open the pressure plate box for the first time. Although I ordered an early type pressure plate with the centre boss and the box was marked as such, the pressure plate was a late type without the boss. I should have checked when it arrived. I search high and low for the proper pressure plate but have no success. The best option appears to be to use the new later type pressure plate and source the later style sleeve. If only I had not returned the one I had in hand! A later type sleeve is ordered along with a clutch release housing gasket. They arrive 10-14 days later. Once again, I remove the clutch release housing, press off the bearing and sleeve and press on the new sleeve. The housing is bolted into place and the gearbox is mated to the engine.
It is a good thing that this is a hobby and not a rush project. I have attached a photo of the housing showing the two very different types of sleeves.
The engine was running reasonably well before I started work, in spite of the carbs being in terrible shape and very old fuel. There was a “splashy” sound from the exhaust so I anticipated that the valve timing was probably out a bit. There was no burning oil in the exhaust and the compression on cylinders 2, 3 & 4 was 170 psi. Cylinder 1 was 155 psi. The engine was running extremely rich due to the issues with the carbs and I attributed the low compression on cylinder 1 to some carbon buildup on the valve or seat. Oil was leaking from every possible spot on the engine.
I planned on a complete engine teardown to address the oil leaks as a minimum. While in the engine, hone the cylinders and replace the rings. Replace the crank and cam bearings, the chains and tensioners and check the valves for any issues. I was hoping for a fairly straight forward engine overhaul.
On teardown a few issues were discovered. The main one being that one of the cylinders was badly scored. Both the piston and cylinder wall had damage. The score in the cylinder wall measured over 10 thou. I already had 30 thou oversize pistons in the engine. The choices seemed to be to find 40 thou oversize pistons and live with a slight remaining score in the cylinder wall or source a new engine block. It became apparent fairly quickly that 40 thou pistons were going to be difficult to find. I could source a new block but would have to travel 1100 kilometres each way and dismantle an old engine and see if it had any remaining cylinder bore tolerance. I cast about for other ideas and came across the solution to bore the cylinders to the 2200 nominal bore. I thank Steven Dibbers for the counsel he provided on this solution. I sourced 2200 pistons, rings and con rods for the job. After considerable arm twisting and dire warnings from the machine shop I was using to bore the cylinders, they did the required work and fit the new pistons. The exhaust valves in the 2000 TC head were showing some wear. I also figured that the valve springs had 175000 miles on them and should probably be replaced. I also began to think that it would be great if I could find a 2200 TC cylinder head. They are hard to find, and probably harder now that I have picked this one up. It was a NOS head, bare except for valve guides. It had slight corrosion on the mating face and required slight milling to get a good surface. Don’t ask me how much I paid for it! I am trying to forget. The machine shop minimally milled the gasket surface, knurled the valve guides and installed eight new valves and new valve springs.
There were a couple of other items that arose during the engine work. The baffles in the sump had both suffered some high cycle fatigue breaks. I have attached a photo. Once again, probably not unexpected after 175000 miles. I found a specialty sheet metal fabrication shop locally. They took the old baffles, created the required CAD drawing and used their CNC laser cutting machine to cut exact duplicates. They also bent the openings in the baffles and the required bends in the overall plates. We used slightly thicker plate so they would be a bit more durable. They fit like gloves into the sump and all at an extremely reasonable price for this type of custom work.
Both of the chain guides/dampers had some surface wear. The mounting arm on the lower guide had broken. I sourced new upper and lower guides. The new upper guide design is different than the old ones. They are longer and have a different mount for the upper bolt. I had to come up with a properly sized spacer and a longer bolt to mount the new design guide. Photos attached below.
With all I had read about corrosion of the engine side plates, I decided that I would remove mine and check for corrosion. It turned out that they were in perfect condition. Of course there are some highly specialised fasteners used for the side engine mounts that need to be removed in order to remove the side plates that were damaged during the removal process. Photo attached. Fortunately JRW came through with used fasteners for me in short order.
I assembled the engine and went through the fun of setting the valve clearances. Geoff Unwin was great with providing the proper sized shims through a couple of iterations. Adjusting clearances on an engine that has already been set in the past is fairly easy. Just add or subtract the necessary amount from the existing shim. When doing this on an engine that has not been set up before, finding old shims and trying them out takes a lot more trial and error. I was also going from a 2 shim set-up to a single shim and that also let to some more difficulties. But the engine assembly was complete and ready for the car. Photo attached. Of note in these photos is that I replaced the original dynamo with an 18ACR alternator. More on that later.
One last note on shipping. Why or why did FedEx decide that it was necessary to put a 90 degree fold in my new 2200 TC head gasket? Photo attached, taken after I had tried to straighten it. The next one was shipped attached to a piece of plywood.
I found some photos of the pistons and thought I would add them to the post. Three were in reasonable condition, one, not so much (see photos). The scuffing on the sides of the 3 pistons 90 degrees to the centreline was mostly as expected. The scuffing on the side of the fourth was much worse and a gouge in the piston and cylinder wall more towards the engine centreline drove the decision to go to the 2200 nominal size pistons and bore.
Back to the Base Unit and installation of all of the small parts and systems that had been removed. I replaced all of the steel brake lines with Copper-Nickle lines. All of the brake line clips were re-plated. I installed rebuilt master cylinders. The brake and clutch pedals and assembly were rebuilt and new seals were installed. The electrical harness had been removed as well as all of the electrical components before sandblasting. The wiring harness was mostly in good condition. A few wires that ran in hot areas of the engine compartment were replaced. Most of the harness in the engine compartment was rewrapped. A few of the connectors in the engine compartment were also replaced with identical bullet style connectors. The connectors to the front side lamps were in poor shape and also replaced. Most of this phase of the project was just a slug. Lots of small parts to install and it just took time.
Installing the front and rear glass was next. I had purchased new seals and a new front windscreen. The rear glass was reused. The stainless steel window trim and roof side rails were polished and reused. Fitting the glass took a bit of fiddling. Applying the appropriate amount of sealer to the seal and then adjusting the fit took some time. I did not want to break the glass! This was definitely a 2 person job and my wife helped me fit both the front and rear glass. All of the window seals were replaced and the bottom seal metal channels had all been cad plated. Once the rear glass was in place, I was able to fit the boot lid hinges. See photos below.
Before I instated the engine and gearbox, I wanted to install the heater and take advantage of the good access. There is nothing like being able to stand in the engine bay and install the heater box rather than reaching over the wing.
The vinyl coated bulkhead foam had completely deteriorated. (See photo below). I was looking for a good solution that would provide some sealing for the heater and also provide some sound insulation. I see that some later heaters seem to have better bulkhead seals attached to the vertical face of the heater. Mine was not so equipped. I ended up purchasing a custom closed cell heater box bottom seal on eBay for the bottom seal. For the rest of the bulkhead I used half inch thick Dynamat closed cell foam. This provided a seal for the openings on the vertical side of the heater. Photo of the Dynamat installation below.
The heater was definitely tired. There was surface rust but no perforations in the box. The foam from the louvres was mostly loose or missing. (See photos). The fan was dirty but still functional. The heater core was intact but also dirty. I disassembled the heater box. A strange collection of screws, rivets and spot welds. I sandblasted the parts and painted them. The heater core went to the Radiator shop for cleaning, rodding and pressure testing. I cleaned the fan impeller and repainted. The motor was cleaned and I installed new brushes. New closed cell foam was cut for the louvres and attached.
I purchased new outer drain elbows for the unit. I could not find inner drain elbows anywhere. Without new inner elbows, water would drain directly down into the heater box and would make the outer drain elbows redundant. I ended up 3-D printing new elbows. I have described that further in a different thread. Photos of the old and 3-D printed elbows below.
The heater was reassembled with screws and rivets. No spot welds this time. I used some automotive adhesive/seam sealer to ensure a good seal. This is the same sealer I used on the Base Unit.
Once the heater was installed, I installed the windscreen wiper motor and mechanism.
With the heater in place, I installed the engine and gearbox. I used the original side motor mounts but plan to upgrade to the VW Golf mounts at a future date. The snubber on the gearbox mount was new as was the spring mount. I also replaced the rubber parts on the steady bar on the front of the engine. The radiator was re-cored and installed. I also installed a new stainless steel exhaust manifold. The old carbon steel one had started to corrode near the outlet flange and was showing signs of developing a crack.
The carbs were stripped and rebuilt. I like the HD8 carbs and hear that they are superior to the HS8s fitted to cars the following year.
I am trying to reduce the oil issues I had in the engine bay as much as possible. One of the sources was the open breather on the top of the engine. My car was not fitted with any crankcase vapour recovery plumbing. The top was just an open breather and the one on the front of the auxiliary drive housing has a pipe that vents below the engine. My carb air filter adapters were not drilled to accept vapour recovery pipes. My '65 2000 SC had a breather on the engine cam cover that included the hose adapter and was piped to the air filter. I took this top breather and fit it to my '68, however it is just piped to vent below the engine. Hopefully that will keep some of the oil mist out of the engine bay.
Photos attached below.
You may have noticed some film protecting painted surfaces in my photos. I was looking for something that would be effective and stay in place while I was working. I landed on medium tack vinyl transfer film. It is used extensively by hobbyists and was available in large rolls at a good price. It works well. It stays in place and peels off easily without leaving any residue or lifting any of the paint.
High on my list of priorities at this point was starting the engine but a few things were required first. I had the fuel tank cleaned and sealed. The tank had some corrosion and was full of varnish. The fuel level sender was frozen from all of the varnish it had picked up. I replaced the level sender, gasket and locking ring. The two fuel lines were also replaced with NOS ones. The old ones had several significant nicks and scratches in them and a leak was possible. The O-ring in the Petrol reserve valve was also replaced. I kept and overhauled the original mechanical fuel pump with the manual priming lever.
I also needed to clean up some of the electrical before I could start the engine. I had replaced the dynamo with an 18ACR alternator and had to make the wiring modifications to support that. I removed the guts from the old dynamo control box and made the necessary internal connections to allow the alternator to operate correctly. To handle the additional current available from the alternator, I ran an additional heavy gauge wire from the alternator to the battery connection on the starter relay. I was able to mount the alternator using a combination of a used alternator bracket I was able to purchase and the old dynamo bracket.
The switch panel also needed to be finished before engine start but that required reconstructing the rest of the facia panel area first. I used Dynamat on the engine side of the bulkhead but decided to use the original felt and covering on the inside of the bulkhead. I replaced all of the wiring grommets and plugs in the bulkhead while installing the wiring harness. The face level vents had been removed for the sandblasting process. The fresh air duct and the vents were originally sealed with some sort of putty. When reinstalling, I used electrical duct seal which seemed to have similar consistency.
The defog vent strip, facia top rail and parcel shelf (surface only slightly warped) were all in good condition and just needed cleaning. I needed to replace the right hand facia trim as the original owner had done a sloppy job of putting a hole in the trim to run wires and tubing for an ammeter and oil pressure gauge cluster. I was not reinstalling the cluster and was able to source a matching piece of facia trim. The only significant sun damage was to the face level vent louvres which were crumbling. I was able to source good condition used replacements.
I recovered the switch panel strip. The head/fog lamp switch was replaced. The fog lamp side was completely non-functional and the head lamp side was intermittent. The side/park lamp switch was also intermittent and replaced. I was surprised to see that the headlamp circuit was completely unfused on the LHD ’68 cars. I installed an inline fuse similar to what was done on the later cars. I also installed relays for the head and fog lamp circuits to help protect the switches in the future. My wife was kind enough to repaint the switch labels.
I also installed and connected the speedometer at this time. The trip meter had been non-functional for some time. I was able to have this replaced and the overall unit overhauled. I painted the fuel level and temperature needles. They had significantly faded in the sun.
I installed the battery, filled the fluids and went for an engine start. Success on the first try. A little bit of adjustment of the timing and a check for leaks. One small coolant leak that was just a loose clamp and easy to repair. Time for a small celebration.
One of the items I wanted to correct was the air filter housing. Before I acquired the car the original filter housing had been removed and replaced with pancake style filters. I was able to source a used filter housing and carb adapters through the RCC. I blasted the parts and did a bit of straightening of the sheet metal and painted the housing. I was able to source a new warning label. I was pleased with the final result.
Those are two of the reasons I decided on replacing the original housing. The other was that over time, the washable filter elements had disappeared and I was using standard air filters that I had to cut down to fit. Hanging in mid air like they did, they were prone to pick up a lot more dirt than they would inside a housing. With the scarcity of TC filters, making them last as long as possible seemed like a good plan.
With the car mechanically “complete” it was time to start on the body panels. I replaced all of the body seals as part of the project including the door seals, tread seals, splash seals, wing seals, bonnet seal, boot lid seal, rear decker panel seal, interior and exterior door to glass seals, pushbutton and lock gaskets, quarter vent seals, door to door and door to wing seals. Modern replica seals are much harder than the original seals. My doors now have to be closed firmly to compress the seal enough to get them to latch. I am hoping that this improves somewhat over time as the new seals compress. I would have liked to clean and reuse the door seals but the front door seals both had significant chunks missing from them. Scott Richmond has the best rear decker panel seals. His are accurately formed with the correct curve rather than those that are extruded and then bent in an autoclave. I tried one of these ones first before sourcing one from Scott. I was able to fit Scott’s seal without having any ripples around the glass.
The door to door and door to wing seals took the most work. It was easy enough to remove the staples and remove the rubber. I cleaned up the aluminum seal retainers and then tried various methods to attach the new rubber. I originally thought I could use a pneumatic stapler with sufficiently strong staples to punch through the rubber and aluminum and then bend them over by hand. That was unsuccessful. The staple would not penetrate the aluminum seal retainer. I ended up purchasing some 16 gauge stainless steel wire, cutting and bending it to match the old staples. I then drilled 1/8 inch holes through the rubber and seal retainer spaced to match my new staples. I bent the ends and it worked quite well.
The door window frames took some work. I replaced all four of the regulator mechanisms. All of the springs were badly corroded and the driver’s door regulator spring had broken. The crossbars at the bottom of window that sandwich the outer door to glass seal with the door itself were all significantly corroded. It appears that the window frame was originally all chromed. The cross bars and attachment points were welded on after the chrome application. The portion of the chromed frame that sits inside the door body was painted black with the rest of the carbon steel components. Because of the construction it was not reasonable to re chrome the frames. I cleaned them as best as possible. The rust on the cross member and other carbon steel components was removed and the entire portion that sits inside the door repainted.
The felt channel for the glass was readily available and was replaced. The front and rear quarter vent seals were in poor shape. I was able to source four NOS replacements. Some of them are difficult to find. Installing them is difficult. They have to be pressed into the channel and the fit is tight. The alignment has to be just right for the quarter vent mechanism to feed up through the seal. I warmed up the seals in boiling water and used a water soluble electrical wire pulling lubricant in the channel. This helped a lot.
When I removed the doors, I only loosened the bottom hinges. This way, I had a reference point for the original height of the door bodies. All of the other panels could be aligned from the doors. I fit the doors and the window frames first and then worked forward and backward. It took a few iterations but worked out well. I had some trouble attaching the front wings. The wing seals have quite large seal flaps on them. The new seals I had were quite stiff. I was unable to compress the seal far enough to get the front attachment bolts to start threading. My solution was to tape the seal flap down with strips of tape running 90 degrees to the seal. Once I had the bolts started, I was able to slip the strips of tape out before completely tightening the wing bolts.
I found the best tool for installing the door seals and seals with a similar seal track mounting method was to use a window screen spline rolling tool. I was able to hold one side of the seal in the track and use the spline tool to roll the other side of the seal into the track.
After all of the body panels were in place, I installed the re chromed bumpers and over riders. The bonnet finished things off.
One of the items to spruce up was the wheels and tyres. The tyres for safety reasons (they had late nineteen seventies date codes on them) and the wheels for appearance reasons. Four out of five of my Rostyles were in decent shape. The chrome on the fifth wheel was peeling in places. Ideally I would have liked to have all five of them re chromed, but that service is no longer a possibility. I landed on cleaning them up, repainting the black portions and relegating the one with the peeling chrome to the boot as the spare. For replacement tyres, I ended up sticking with original size tyres. I had tried to go with wider ones in the past but ran into interference issues. Of course, the original size tyres are not generally available so I ended up sourcing five 165x14 Pirelli Cinturato through Longstone.
When the wings were in place, I installed the side lights. The tail lamps were in reasonable condition. The lamp body was slightly corroded but there were no perforations. The reversing lenses were quite cracked. I replaced the reversing lenses, the inner and outer gaskets and the bulbs. Both of the front side lamps had corroded badly enough that there were perforations in the lamp bodies. I was able to source NOS replacement units and installed them with new gaskets and bulbs. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I had fixed the wiring harness issues for the side lamps and replaced all of the connectors.
Next, I installed the badging (re-chromed), side mirror (re-chromed and new glass), the antenna (re-chromed) and the side moulding (straightened and polished). That effectively completed the exterior of the car. Next, on to the interior.
Prior to the start of the project I assessed the condition of the interior and decided that major work as required. The seats were worn and torn. The carpets had rotted in the areas where there were holes in the floor. I decided to purchase an upholstery kit and a carpet and felt kit in the same or similar colour as the original. I also ordered new interior door panels as the old ones were badly warped from the moisture inside the doors and the failure of the vapour barrier between the door and the panel. I had a local upholstery shop install the upholstery kit on the seats. The vinyl for the other panels was something I could do. I had a different local upholstery shop recover the sun visors. The old ones had split along the side seams. I also had a local shop recover the headliner as it was stained. It was certainly easier to remove and install the headliner without doors, seats and the steering wheel in the car.
Both of the front seat tracks were jamming and needed work. The passenger side tracks were repairable but the driver side tracks needed to be replaced. I was able to source two replacement tracks on eBay that had a later version of the locking mechanism. I was able to grind that mechanism off of the tracks and then use them with my mechanism. The difference in the hardness of the ball bearings used in the tracks as compared to the tracks themselves led to deep gouges and eventually failure of the driver side seat tracks in my car.
Upholstery installation was straight forward. I had not done any of this type of work in the past but it went well. The carpet set did not quite fit my car but the supplier was very good at providing new pieces that fit correctly. I installed new furflex with the upholstery as well. The stainless steel thresholds were polished and reused.
Marvelous. Seems like there are plenty of restoration jobs or super tidy engines documented on the V8s but far fewer on the four bangers so that makes this one extra neat. I am sure a wave of four pot engine bay envy swept the forum........
I was asked how long the project took and thought I would provide the answer to everyone. One of the limitations I had is that my garage is only available from April to October. In the winter, my daily driver has priority for the spot in the garage. I take the Rover to a storage facility during the winter. The storage place is great as it is heated and dry. The downside is that no work is allowed on the premises. To work around this, I had winter projects planned that did not need the car. This included things like the engine and gearbox work, the heater rebuild, chroming and plating, cleaning and painting small parts, etc. Timeline
Started planning and sourcing parts in mid-2016
Started disassembly - late summer 2017
Base Unit welding - January to March 2018
Painting - March to April 2018
Engine overhaul - November 2017 to December 2018
Suspension work, electrical, brakes, glass and trim - April to October 2018
Mechanical Completion and body panels - April to October 2019
Badging, exterior trim, interior - April to August 2020
I have just under 500 kms on the car at this point. It is tough to put on a lot of miles during a pandemic and the related restrictions. I have mostly been driving in ever expanding circles around my house. For the most part, there have been few issues. It took some time to tune the carbs and get the timing right. I was thrown off track a bit when the car really started running poorly. After a lot of searching, I noticed that one carb was cold to the touch and one was warm to the touch. I investigated further and found that the jet on the front carb was stuck in the fully open position. I took them apart and found that they were both full of fine sand. After cleaning and new jets, things were much improved. I thought I had done a good job cleaning out the fuel lines but must have missed some debris.
I found coolant dripping from the front of the sump after I had driven some distance. I was concerned that it was the water pump. I had replaced the pump as part of the project. Looking closer, it turned out that the temperature transmitter was leaking. Not from the threads but right through the insulator next to the electrical connection. I sourced a new one, drained down the coolant partially swapped the transmitter and the leak stopped. At least it did for a while. A week or so later, another drip of coolant from the front of the sump. This time, the Otter switch was leaking. It also stopped working at the same time. I was able to source a new one and installed it.
I also developed a small oil leak. It was coming from my mechanical fuel pump. I had rebuilt the pump as part of my project. It is the version of the pump with the mechanical priming lever. The leak was coming from the shaft for that lever. There is no way to repair that leak that I can determine. I ordered a new pump and the oil leak was solved.
When driving the car at a sustained speed of 100 kph in ambient temperatures of under 20 DEG C it begins to overheat. I had the radiator re-cored as part of my project. The new core was supposed to have greater capacity than the old one. Apparently not. I tried replacing the thermostat but that made no difference. I will be back to the radiator shop with the radiator early in the Spring.
The other painful failure is that the speedometer/odometer failed after the first 13.4 miles. I originally suspected the angle drive or the cable. I disconnected the cable at the back of the speedometer and went for a drive. The cable is intact but not turning. It appears that the speedo spindle gar has failed. It was one of the parts I replaced during the gearbox work. I have tried in the past to pull the spindle bushing out accessing it through that small access point in the tunnel with no success. The best way is to pull the engine and gearbox, pull the speedo drive housing off and make the repair. I am not sure why it would have failed. All I can think of is that it was not properly lubricated and seized.
The only upside to removing the engine and gearbox is that I have a few other jobs that will be much easier to complete with the engine out.
Overall, I am pleased with the performance. The engine runs smoother that it ever has while have owned the car and can actually be idled down to the recommended 750 RPMs without stalling. There is no tappet noise, but I will check the clearances when I have the engine out. The car accelerates smoothly with a good amount of pull.