or, It’s Not Nice To Fool With Mother Nature,
or, Quality British Technology
by Stu Brennan in the August 1996 RootesReview
How many times have we pursued a lofty goal, only to have the complications grow, and the direction change, before we struggle to a barely acceptable end? Long time members may recall an article from a few years back as they read through this chronicle of a project that was to be so simple.
With my entry in the British Car Triathlon accepted, I mentally reviewed what might break to make event even more memorable. This is as much for my peace of mind as it is to correct any actual deficiency. After all, don’t you feel more confident driving your car after you have fixed something, or even just washed it?
The hoses carrying oil pressure had never been touched, so they seemed like a good target. I wanted to buy new “OEM style” hoses, but those are, of course, unavailable. (Rick Mcleod may have some in a few months.) Looking at my stock setup, surely a fine example of the British Tradition of “Superb Execution of a Stupid Idea”, I decided to begin with a trip to my local speed shop. Why not switch to a “spin on” remote filter adapter, that would make filter changes easier? I would use the stock setup on the engine end.
With the adapter and numerous plumbing bits in hand, it was time to get dirty. I pulled the old assembly off, and cut one of the hoses apart to see what the ends of the pipes looked like. I thought some “Aeroquip” style hose would be just the thing, so I called up Summit Racing Equipment’s tech advisor, described the dimensions of my hose ends, and ordered what he recommended. As long as the area was exposed, I replaced the plastic tube feeding the oil pressure gauge, using Tiger Tom’s kit.
The Fun Begins
The old tube BROKE as I gently pulled it through the firewall. A quarter century of engine compartment heat is about all that these tubes can take, so consider replacing yours before YOU have a disaster to write up for the newsletter.
So far, so good right? Well, I didn’t know it, but I had reached the summit (ha) of this project, and the descent was about to begin. Trial fitting time. Half an hour of grunting, sweating, and impolite phrases, lead to the first conclusion. There was no way Summit’s $35 hose would stretch enough to fit over the bubble in the stock outlet pipes. Unless I wanted to convert everything to “AN” style fittings, I was going to have to find something like the original rubber hose. My local speed shops carried nothing close, and time was getting short. After about 20 phone calls, I finally found what I wanted at a local hydraulic shop.
OK, so the hose problem was under control. What about the filter adapter? I fabricated a model of my planned adapter bracket from plywood, and experimented with various filter positions. I didn’t want to invert the filter, because it would drain, and would have to refill before the engine got any oil on every start. The only semi-upright adapter position which would also allow filter removal was relatively high above the stock location, angled toward the distributor. Thoughts of Mr. R. Goldberg came to mind as I visualized the shape of the required bracket. At some engine speed the whole rig would probably start to wobble like a smaller version of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and self destruct. I suppose I could have added another support bracket, but why add a “band aid” to an already ugly design? I know that people have relocated filters into the wheel well, or ahead of the radiator, but I didn’t want to cut any sheet metal. So, the only reasonable option seemed to be to put my new hose on the stock setup.
Was the fun over yet? Not quite. I had considered going back to the hydraulic shop to get the hoses crimped onto the stock metal ends, like the stock setup. But time was running out. A car full of “In-Laws” was on route, a pile of dirt the size of a Volkswagen was waiting to be spread on my lawn, my daughter’s First Communion was only hours away, and the Mansfield meet was a short day after that. Hose clamps were looking better by the minute. I duplicated the stock hose lengths, and pushed the metal ends into place. With the hoses installed in the car, angles and positions of the ends adjusted, and the clamps tightened, NOW was I home free?
Of course not. The new hoses were much stiffer than the old, and would not lay in quite the same position. When I tried to install a PHSA, the filter output hose proved to be about an inch too long! But, it was finally time for one ray of sunshine. Hose clamps weren’t such a bad idea, after all. Off came the clamps, out came the utility knife, and in two minutes, the extra inch was in the waste basket.
Somehow, the dirt got spread, the In-Laws were entertained, and my daughter got to the church on time. The drive to the Mansfield meet the next day also served as the leak test.
Maybe I’ll try it again in a couple of years, and add a cooler at the same time. The filter adapter I purchased used the standard PHSA or FL 1. But who says you have to use the standard filter? Ford now uses a smaller filter on Taurus, Sable, etc .. I never did ask if there was a remote adapter for one of those. A smaller filter might simplify the location problem. In the meantime, does anyone remember who wrote the “Stock Is Best” article a couple years back? I hope not.
P.S. “Oh No! It’s that Brennan guy rambling on again! I could do better with one hand tied behind my back!” You think so, do you? Well, let me tell you that you are probably RIGHT! I do OK for an engineer, but Peter Egan (Road & Track) is not threatened. So pick up a pen, pencil, or word processor, and write up your latest repair, event attended, or even a failure, as above.