He’s had to repair or replace almost the entire braking and cooling system, but Mike now has an Anglia 105E that’s reliable. Well, maybe.
After successfully getting the Anglia 105E through its MoT, I have enjoyed taking it out for relaxing drives at the weekends in the summer sunshine. Initially, we just ventured in and around town to unearth the problems that inevitably occur when you put a car of this age back out on the road after it has been standing for a while. For example, the brakes completely failed suddenly when cruising down my local the high street, so I had to change the rear cylinders that had popped and the shoes that had subsequently become soaked in brake fluid.
While it was up on the ramp at Power Engineering, Zak kindly treated it to fresh oils in the engine, gearbox and diff, along with new brake and clutch fluid.
With the brakes sorted for the second time we set a target date in the diary to debut the Anglia 105E at the Amberley Museum classic car show, which is a 120-mile round trip. This might not sound too far, but with the teething problems that have plagued the car so far, I felt that some more local miles were needed to build our confidence that the car would make it there and back in one piece.
While cruising around town I noticed that the engine temperature would get worryingly high even with a flow of air running through the front, so I went to fit a new thermostat thinking the old one might be sticking. I soon realised that there was more at fault when I found no existing thermostat in the hole and after speaking with good friend, Steve Morton at Serck Motorsport (who specialises in radiators and intercoolers for Formula One race cars) he convinced me that the problem lied with all the rusty deposits in the cooling system, clogging it up and making it inefficient.
So the next day I dropped the radiator off with him to thoroughly clean and pressure test the core. While it was there Steve also straightened up all the fins and solder-repaired the bracket that had come loose. It was even treated to a fresh coat of black paint, so when I picked it up it looked better than new. Steve assured me lots of gunge was removed during the cleaning process, which was reassuring. I also spent some time flushing the engine out with the garden hose then fitted the refurbished radiator in place — along with the new thermostat, naturally.
All was looking good, so I decided to venture out onto the motorway for the first time to see how the temperature would rise at a constant speed in fourth. I only managed a couple of junctions before the front tyre started to delaminate, so I dropped it back off with Zak at Power Engineering, who fitted four brand-new tyres, to the equivalent profile to the old crossplies.
This was the Saturday before the show at Amberley, and a part of me was weary of the car’s ability to get there without issues. But as everything now appeared in good working order, I didn’t really have an excuse not to go, even the weather was great on the Sunday morning, so with a boot full of tools and a big bottle of water, we set off down to Arundel.
The journey down was a leisurely drive, cruising in the slow lane getting thumbs up from the people overtaking us, and we bumbled through the countryside keeping an eye on the temperature gauge that stayed happily in the area marked ‘Normal’. The car made it there with no issues what so ever.
We parked up next to a red Prefect and spent the whole day looking around at all the various cars on show and the interesting displays and trade buildings that make up the museum. We even managed to get a great photo of the car outside the old replica garage that’s on-site there — the car looked like it was in its own little timewarp. It was just a shame it says Vauxhall and not Ford specialists on the fascia!
The journey home was a different story. The motorway was very congested so we were sitting in stop-start traffic on a hot day. When we eventually stopped at the services for a break, upon returning to the car I noticed that the Anglia was also taking a leak. On closer inspection I realised that the water pump was dripping from the shaft seal. So we gingerly persevered in the traffic waiting for the needle to start to rise.
It was about 4 miles from home when the water left in the system couldn’t cool the engine anymore and we pulled over to let it cool down properly. Luckily, the big bottle of water was on hand and I filled it back up and finished the last leg of the journey.
That night a new water pump was ordered, however I did managed to break the original heater union trying to take it out the old water pump. But Steve Law at Speed Shack found me one in his pile of stock and it was all installed with new heater hoses as the others had started to break down inside.
The Anglia 105E is currently back up and running now better than ever, just in time for the winter months. I can’t complain though — the car has been great fun all summer. We will put it away for the winter months, but hopefully when Spring comes back round it will need little persuasion to run and drive without any issues.
This article first appeared in the November 2014 issue of Classic Ford
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