How to rebuild an engine is beyond the intention of this website, but Neil has a great deal of helpful information for us in repairing and maintaining the B-Series engine... Obviously we do our best to be accurate but can not be held responsible for any unfortunate errors.
BY NEIL CAIRNS
Keep the radiator matrix clean- free from insects and grass on the outside, and lime scale on the inside. Use a good quality antifreeze. Watch the core plugs for leaks, they are old and rust from the inside.
Ensure the radiator cap is correct for the car, either a 4 psi of 7 psi. Change hard and cracking rubber hoses. Do not forget the heater hoses, these are the number one items to fail on a the long journey.
A rattle from the engine at start up, that goes as soon as the oil pressure rises, is dry bearings. The engine has some wear, and standing is allowing the oil to drain out of these bearings. Use a can of STP, or WYNNS, to ensure lubrication stays in that bearing. This can also be a sign of a worn oil pump, often confirmed by a low idle oiil pressure with a hot engine. See your manual over correct pressures.
Poor oil pressure can also be: partially blocked oil pick-up strainer in the sump; using a modern thin multigrade oil; poorly seating oil relief valve; engine running too hot; worn main and big end bearings, this is accompanied by rumbling and knocking on acceleration. Always double check the oil pressure guage, they have been known to be miles out of accuracy.
Areas for oil leaking:
Manifold gaskets can blow where the center exhaust port is. This either causes a blowing sound, or poping in the exhaust on the overrun. The exhaust clamp is a good bet for leaking, especially if the gearbox steady is not meaty enough and permits flexing.
Worn inlet valve guides can cause heavy oil consumption on an otherwise healthy engine. A compression check will comfirm the health. Try fitting BMC 'A' series valve guide seals over the actual guide, as well as the ring seal. Incorrectly fitting 'O' ring seals on the valve will also cause heavy oil consumption. Do NOT fit extra seals on the exhaust valves, they will seize up.
No oil in the dashpot will cause blow backs on opening the throttle. Too much oil will be pushed out the little hole in the cap. A stuck damper piston will give lousy performance, but the engine will tick-over normally. Clean the insides of the chamber, and the piston. Do not remove any metal, only use a rag and white spirits/petrol.
A high fuel consumption can be:
If the engine is shaking badly, it is probably missfiring on a cylinder. This can be as simple as a duff spark plug, a plug lead off, your mates swapping leads over for fun (or you putting them on wrong order), to a burnt off exhaust valve. Too slow a tick-over (idle) will make the engine shake about.
Misfiring is a terrible subject. It can be caused by: