Well thatís what you do when you go to pick up a diesel engine, well you do if your name is Maskell. The story started back in 2008 at Billing, I said to Rod Iím looking for a coupť to rebuild, Iíve got one but it really does need a total rebuild. So after several phone calls to and from Rod and myself, nothing much seemed to happen.
Then Rod got a diesel Granada in and knowing I had a denzil he gave me a bell, he said the engine is good but the cars shot. I'll have the motor said I and down to sunny Attleborough I goes.
230 miles later Iím knocking on the door one Sunday morning saying whereís my tea. Angie makes the tea and Rod says 'do you want to have a look in my garage' (Iíve heard about men like you), and there sits WML442M a White MK1 Series 1 Ghia saloon.
She needed work but was a very good shell and was a good honest car with low mileage, and the makings of a good car. But that was not the end of things as Rod then took me to a secret hiding place that I canít tell anyone or Rod will kill me, which had Rods secret stash of Granadaís a real Aladdinís cave. But the real surprise was my old Granada coupť RFH300R was sitting there, poor old girl was looking very sad and I wish Iíd had the cash at the time to have rescued her.
Anyway Rod showed me the coupť that he had for sale and I had to make my mind up which one to have, I really wanted the coupť but the better car was the saloon. Anyway we loaded up my Diesel Granada estate with all the bits I needed to keep my old girl running. On the way home I could not stop thinking, saloon or coupť, coupť or saloon, oh hell ill have both, no she will kill me, man or mouse, a crate of beer, a bottle of scotch, what do I do, Rod I hate you (not really).
SVL (Barrie Mills old car) need loads of work doing so Ann said 'I would like the saloon', so the saloon it was
See she can make decisions bet you were hoping she say have em both. Eds
A phone call back to Attleborough and WML442M is mine.
A time was made to return to pick up WML, my son Jack (the escort Kid) accompanied me to Rod and Angieís in the old Denzil with a car dolly in the back. We landed and loaded up the car, had tea, handed over the cash and set off. All was going well until we got about 10 miles away when one of the wheels came off the dolly just before a roundabout, Quick Jack go and find the wheel Iíll try and jack up the dolly, but I canít jack the car and dolly up high enough to change the wheel. Last hope was to ring Rod and hope that he has not gone out and ask if he can help, 20 minís later and Rods there with a lorry jack and within minutes the spare wheel is on and we are moving again. 230 more miles under our belt and we are back in godís county. We parked her up at Sean's (Haven & Classic Kit Cars) and call it a day.
Now starts the rebuild, she comes to my place for the start of the strip down. A few months later and she goes to her new resting place, Sean's, where the rest of the strip down begins. WML is stripped down to her birthday suit to reveal all her rusty spots, warts n all, not too bad but still some welding to be done, fit new wheel arches, inner and outer. Bottom of the A posts, C posts, front valance, wing rails and some odd bits and pieces 2 new front (Ford) wings which I got from Lefty, 4 new doors which I got from various Guild members and a new front valance. I take off the vinyl roof, remove the sun roof, front and rear screens, and after a few months she is painted and ready to go to Hull to have the new vinyl roof put on as well as new head lining (this is done by Barr and sons in Hull) hard to find someone who will do vinyl roofs these days.
The car is now back at Sean's and starts to take some shape again, we put the loom back into the engine bay, all cleaned up and renewed where needed. The engine is stripped down and bits and pieces are replaced, lead free heads, new shells, seals, Burton gaskets, new Webber carb, metal timing gear and a good clean and paint in Ford Blue. Front cross member is dropped, cleaned, painted and poly bushed, refitted and new brake lines god the list just goes on and on. It was at this point that we had our first problem; we bolted the engine into the car and on to the gearbox. Goes to start the car and she just locks up, won't turn, is as tight as a nuns xxxx, gearbox off and the engine turns? Gearbox bolted back up, engine tight again? What the hell is wrong.
! ! ! ! ! LEFTY HELP ! ! ! ! !
Have you put the Torque Converter on properly, yes say I but to make sure off comes the gearbox again. The T/C is taken off and put on again, gearbox back on, bolted back to the engine and YES is tight again. What the hells wrong with this Fxxxing thing,
! ! ! ! ! LEFTY HELP again ! ! ! ! !
Have you put the T/C on properly yes says I, you know it goes in to place twice says Lefty, what do you mean. Well he says, it goes into the shaft and then you turn it and it goes in again. Off comes the gearbox again (3rd time now) and sure enough the T/C goes onto the shaft and if you play with it will slide once more, on goes the gearbox and bolt back up to the engine and hay presto the engine turns over. If you want any help with gearboxes and T/C then please go somewhere else ! Anyway after all that the engine fires up, but is not sounding all that sweet. After lots of playing around with it we find that the bob weights are buggered so a new distributor is fitted, tappetís adjusted, serviced and tuned and allís well in the engine bay. Interior refitted, doors fitted and adjusted, screens back in, wheels back on, all brakes bled and an MOT booked.
But you have guessed it, you think you have done every thing and the lights won't work, seconds tick by and we make it to the MOT station by the skin of our teeth, she arrives in a cloud of steam, and she does not pass as the brake servo fails, bugger. Get her back to Sean's 3 miles back with no brakes, hand brake works well though (all the way to the roof) We replace the servo but still no joy, it was then we notice the vacuum pipe had blocked at the engine side, new pipe and joy oh joy we have brakes. Back to Rob Sherburns at Gilberdyke MOT Station for a re-test and she passes with flying colours, back to Sean's and the last bits and pieces are fettled up.
The last thing to do now is the exhaust system, in the club magazine thereís an advert for stainless steel exhaust made to order. I rang Mr Don Pembleton, and booked her in, there was a bit of a wait but believe me it was well worth it. Don made up a 3 ltr system and it was a real work of art, what a shame itís under the car. I just wanted to look at it, and what a difference it made to the car, and the exhaust note is wonderful.
The car has gone from rags to riches, she has been to loads of shows and twice now I have won 2nd in class and is always a large talking point at the East Yorkshire Thorougbred & Classic car club.
My next job is to prep her for Wicksteed Park and show her to Rod & Angie Tebble, and that takes it to a full circle, I only hope they like what Iíve done (my turn to buy the tea).
Thatís it for now, Pete MaskellSpecial thanks to :-
Sean Frazer, Haven Classic & Kit Car. 01430 448590
D.L.Burr and Sons, Hull. 01482 572381
Rob Sherburn, Gilberdyke MOT Service Station. 01430 441140
Mr Don Pembleton, Stainless Steel Exhaust Specialist. 01623 552262
And my very special thanks to :-
Rod & Angie Tebble, for without them Iíd still be without a granny,
Ian (Lefty) Wright, for always being there, hik hik.