Thursday, 19 November 2009

More Oil Pipe stuff

I am starting to question the fun and enjoyment that's supposed to come from tinkering with old cars. I seem to take one step forward and two back. The other thing is that I am poorly organised and (sort of) cash rich and time poor which isn't an ideal combination. I guess that I have grown up in the fortunate position where pretty much anything can be done or obtained within a reasonable time - the consumer society. As the Internet has shrunk the world and given us access to more information, I can shop for stuff and find out stuff far more than I ever used to be able to.

However, coverage is patchy, and the missing thing is that I don't always know what I have or what I need. There really isn't much point in telling any parts supplier in the UK that you have an AMC Rambler Rebel. Even one of the leading UK based US parts specialists I spoke to recently (who has been a great help with parts for my 1956 Chevrolet) gave a sharp intake of breath when I told them what I had.

As usual, a casual conversation with someone with a different perspective helped. I had found, via the Internet that the National Pipe Thread (NPT) threads are to all intents the same as BSP (British Standard Pipe) threads. This knowledge took me to a plumbing supplier - and (sort of) - bingo. Much scrabbling around and a trip to the stores out the back had me equiped with fittings I could marry to 1/2" oil pipe. I got it all back together (just about). I thought it might be good to fit a new oil filter - round to my local motor factor with the old one - blank look again. He promised to call me on Monday after he'd checked with his supplier. Of course it's now Friday.

I put it all back together with the old filter, tightened everything (twice). It wouldn't start so I don't know if it works. Oh Well.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Oil Pipes again

The Rambler's fitted with a remote oil filter. The filter's mounted upside down on top of a bracket above the alternator. There are two pipes leading up from where the spin-on filter is on the US version, because the steering box is where the oil filter would be on the US version. The pipes are 40+ years old, assuming they haven't been changed, and last year I spent ages raiding the set of 40+ year old ones from the 67 to replace the leaky ones on the 68.

Predictably, this has proven to be a short term fix, as last time I used the car (last summer!), oil was spraying everywhere and I was lucky to get home. I can only hope no permanent damage has been done.

When I swapped the pipes last summer I sent one to a supplier who advertises in various car mags - I asked if they could make up a replacement, preferably in some sort of ritzy braided hose and anodised style so I wouldn't have to change them again (they really are a swine to do). Unfortunately, despite a couple of reminders, it seems to have gone a bit quiet at their end, so I've now removed the ('67 if you see what I mean) pipes from the '68.

I did have a plan to carefully saw the crimped ends off the fittings and fit new hoses using steel hose clamps - but I sawed a bit too deep on one. Probably just as well since the fittings are smooth rather than the ribbed type that would have been better for fitting hoses and clamps to.

I can't really order stuff on line as I don't know what thread sizes I have - I can't ask the US AMC guys as this kit was never fitted to theirs.

I am going to try a hydraulic hose specialist; probably.

Car is currently SORN and without MOT but once the oil pipes are sorted I'll be taking it in for an MOT and hope to enjoy some summer weather with the roof down.