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October 8th, 2007

Working on it

Off with her head!

Fenchurch's engine was sounding a bit clattery before the trip to Glasgow this weekend, and after the 250 mile drive she was also making some odd popping and hissing noises when idling. I tried adjusting the tappets in the hotel car park on Sunday morning but it didn't make much difference. By the time I got home the idle was fairly rough but I drove to work and back today without any trouble. There was no loss of power at any point - I was still happily blatting along the motorway overtaking BMWs and things as usual. Tonight I did a compression test which showed fairly low pressures in three cylinders, so I whipped the cylinder head off and there were clear signs of partial head gasket failure. It also looks like the exhaust valves have started to erode very slightly, despite the head having supposedly been converted to run on unleaded fuel before I bought it. I'll be catching the bus to work again tomorrow, but I hope to source some new unleaded valves locally and get it all put back together tomorrow night.

ETA More technical details over here.

In other news, her gearbox is getting gradually noisier in first gear but it's still usable for now and plans are in motion for me to obtain a rebuilt one in two or three weeks' time.