The Story of Build 002

Part 7 - 2012




Wanted to call this page "2112" for all my fellow Rush fans, but I suppose 100 years out is close enough!


If I'm totally honest, I had stalled a bit with getting 002 back on the road.  I think I had convinced myself that even if I replaced the notoriously dodgy fuse box, the car probably still wouldn't start as all the other components in the ignition system had been sat for a couple of years..........and then after changing all those too, he still wouldn't fire because the magnetic strip on the flywheel tooth had come off!  Nothing like a healthy bit of pessimism!

In March 2012 we received a visit from Brian Hollins who is the Spares Secretary for the Tickford Owners Club.  After lunch, Brian nagged me into lifting the bonnet to take a look.  Much to my amazement, within 20 seconds he had found the fault - not the fuse box, but a blown fuse that I hadn't noticed.........embarrassing or what!  The fuse that supplies the AFT box should be a white 8A, but Brian immediately noticed that someone had fitted a little yellow 5A fuse by mistake at some point in the past and unbelievably, the car had been running with that since I had bought him back!  The 5A fuse must have blown the last time I tried to start the car!


  Brian Hollins with the open bonnet  


We had to crank the engine for about a minute to get it going, but then it ran as sweet as ever.  Not bad considering that the petrol was a few years old too.  I cannot describe the feeling of elation and relief - the project had just taken a huge leap forward and my headache was gone!  I was grinning like a possessed Cheshire cat..........and continued to do so for the next week or so..........actually, I'm still doing it now when I think about that afternoon!


  Smiling like an idiot, but you get the idea that I was ever-so-slightly pleased !  


I now have the spring and summer to get an MOT and finish some detailing.  Still have to get the new interior fitted as well.  There is a deadline as 002 is booked for the Rare Breeds Show at Haynes Motor Museum on Sunday 2nd September 2012.  There should be several other members of the Tickford Owners Club attending, so hope to see you there.




20th July 2012

Finally had an opportunity to get 002 off the ramps today where he has spent most of the last three years.

 Fired-up no problem, but definitely isn't idling smoothly and I suspect there might be some water in the old fuel, so off to Halfords tomorrow for some Wynn's Dry Fuel additive (thanks for the tip Brian).  The tank is only 1/4 full at present, so I must top it up with a fresh supply of petrol as soon as I can.

Gave him a quick wash with Autoglym shampoo and the paintwork has come up quite nicely after drying off with a chamois.  I'm a bit embarrassed about the engine bay though as that definitely needs detailing, plus a few service jobs.

Amazingly, even after standing still for so long, the brakes haven't totally seized.  All four discs are quite rusty though and need replacing.  Couldn't resist taking him for a quick spin down the road and back - would you believe, the brakes seem to be working ok!

Still had a bit of time before it got dark, so I made a start on installing the new interior - dashboard surround and steering wheel.  Also temporarily connected the new boost gauge just to check it was working.

The MOT is booked for Monday this space!


  Ready to roll...............  
  The paintwork has come up quite nicely  
  Battery on charge using an Optimate battery optimiser  
  Not as clean as I would like under here !  
  I'm not saying Tickford Capris run hot under the bonnet, but !  
  The bolt securing the top alternator bracket was almost completely  
  undone - don't know how long it had been like this  
  Now that I no longer have the Zemco cruise control and trip computer, this  
  RS1600i fuel flow sensor needs to leave the engine bay  
  The re-trimmed dashboard surround and steering wheel look great  
  And the boost gauge works !  

27th July 2012


I took 002 down to our local garage and to my delight, he sailed through the MOT.  How many modern cars will be able to reach the age of 30, sit in a garden for three years and then pass without a single advisory!

The MOT tester observed that the notoriously unreliable Tickford rear brakes were working better than the standard 2.8i front ones!

To be fair, the front brakes were a little seized and binding, but the garage kindly took the front wheels off and eventually managed to coax the pads out for a thorough clean.  Emissions only just met the MOT standard, but then the car hasn't even had a tune-up yet, so I'm not going to worry too much.


  In the MOT testing bay  


Next job will be to take 002 over to Brian Hollins at the beginning of August and spend a couple of days carrying out a full service.  Then the rest of the new interior goes in and we are all ok for the Haynes show on 2nd September.


To celebrate, I put his original black pepperpot wheels on and added a bit of bling to the plenum chamber!


  Black wheels just look right on this car  
  Polished plenum chamber cover from Mirage Stainless Steel Styling  
  that I bought a while ago, but never got around to fitting  


9th August 2012

Just returned from a 4-day stay with Brian Hollins over in Surrey.  He put his extremely well equipped garage at my disposal and we both had a great time going over 002 in detail.

The drive to Surrey was the furthest 002 had driven for quite a few years.  I took it very easy on the accelerator and brakes just to make sure that we arrived under our own steam and not on the back of an AA recovery truck.

Prior to leaving home, I discovered that the air flow plate on the Bosch fuel distribution meter was quite dirty and sticky - some carb cleaner and a quick wipe around definitely made a slight improvement to the rough idling.


  This should be clean and shiny!  


The idle was even better by the time I reached Brian's.  This was no doubt mainly due to the fact that the car had just driven a distance, but maybe also because the tank was running a mixture of fresh 97 octane petrol, Wynn's Dry Fuel, Wynn's Injector Cleaner and Castrol ValveMaster Octane Booster - what a cocktail!


  002 awaiting attention in Brian's garage  


First jobs were replacing the entire crankcase ventilation system and fitting new charge air hoses.

The crankcase ventilation consists of a PCV valve in the right hand rocker cover that splits two ways via a T-piece and then each split has a non-return valve before feeding into (i) the plenum chamber and (ii) the air intake to the turbo.  I had noticed that my turbo was smoking a bit around the edge and this was simply due to the fact that one of the non-return valves was blocked solid.  This increased crankcase pressure and forced oil past the seals in the turbo.

As good practice, we also replaced the oil filler cap as this has a gauze breather built into the lid.


Blocked valve and very tired hoses Shiny new ones


Removing the old charge air hoses proved to be quite an experience.  The 2.8i throttle body has a 70mm opening, but Tickford's big polished charge air pipe is only 65mm.  Because it is such a nightmare to stretch the thick black connecting hose over the throttle body, it is normal practice to leave it in place and remove the polished pipe instead.  Would it come off? Not in a million years!


  Notice the bulge where my charge air pipe connects to the rubber hose  


Turned out that my charge air pipe had a flared end.  Now this would normally require medical attention, but luckily Brian had a replacement in stock.  It opened a very interesting can of worms - 002 was built in a limited pre-production run of four cars at Blakelands, prior to the start of the main production at Bedworth.  Going through 002 and comparing him to Brian's own later car highlighted an almost endless list of subtle differences in the way things were bolted or routed.  Guess it just makes 002 even more unique!


The standard Tickford pipe is bent slightly differently, has polished mounts for the 7th injector.......and no flange!


If anyone ever asks you to fit a new hose to their throttle body, politely decline and run in the opposite direction.  An hour later with several pints of boiling water, a whole can of Silicon spray and various screwdrivers, interspersed with uncontrollable outbursts of bad language and the new one was on!  To be fair, Brian did his bit too - laboriously spending half an hour gently filing off the lip on the throttle housing - that bought us a couple of millimetres.


  "Just fit a new hose" Brian said!  


We carried out Brian's recommended modifications for the air intake, fuel lines and vacuum distribution hoses.

The large black corrugated air hose that feeds the air filter under the front wing is a standard Aston Martin part and too long for the job.  Instead of having cold air rammed in to it  from the slot in the front spoiler as Tickford intended, it tends to suck warm air from around the bottom of the radiator.  We shortened and re-routed it so that it works properly now.

All the main fuel lines to and from the air flow meter were replaced with a mixture of 6mm and 8mm hoses, brass reducers and T-pieces.

The hose to the 7th injector was dangerously perished and needed sorting immediately - a spray of high pressure petrol directly onto an exhaust manifold at maximum boost is seldom recommended!


  All the new fuel hosing looks much nicer..........and safer!  


The engine management system and boost gauge now have their own independent vacuum supplies from the plenum chamber - 6mm for the AFT box and fuel enrichment computer split via a T-piece, 4mm for the boost gauge.


  The fitting on the AFT box is really for a 4mm hose, so I have temporarily secured  
   the larger 6mm hose with a cable tie - reducer and length of 4mm hose to follow!  


I had already upgraded the air filter to a K&N and changed the spark plugs, HT leads and fuel filter prior to the journey, but Brian suggested that we also replace the coil, distributor cap and rotor arm.  The 30 year old rotor arm eventually came off as a kit of parts, distributed all over the garage floor.  The original had a 6100rpm mechanical rev limiter built into it, but the current replacements are set to 6200rpm - not going to lose any sleep over it.


  From Brian's experience, a nice new coil always improves things as Tickford  
  Capris are very fussy about their HT voltage  


I had been troubled by squeaky fan belts ever since I reacquired 002 back in 2008.  There are a pair of drive belts that run between the crank, water pump and alternator - one of these had no teeth left at all and the other had a badly frayed edge.  Needless to say, we replaced them along with the power steering belt.

Brian uses drive belts that are ever so slightly shorter than the originals - although they are tad harder to fit, it means that the alternator is kept a bit further away from the right hand exhaust manifold and stays cooler.


On inspecting the brakes, we discovered that they were all in far worse condition than ever anticipated - although they had met the MOT standard on the brake tester, you wouldn't have wanted to use them to stop from 140mph!  All four discs were originals and, being 30 years old, were more than a little reluctant to come off.  The previous owner had undersealed everything and I mean everything.......including the calipers!


Rough front brakes ..........and even rougher rear!
  Not nice!  
But at least the custom-machined halfshafts and their bearings were ok - new set of seals and away we go!


Brian already had a set of brand new discs and calipers for the rear, but the front was not going to be so simple as although Burton Power had plenty of the right hand front calipers in stock, there was a two month wait for the left hand.

Common sense took over my desire to keep 002 totally original and I had pre-ordered a pair of National Sport vented discs that have the addition of 8 grooves to help with cooling, together with new Wilwood PowerLite 4-pot calipers and Wilwood fast road pads.  The Wilwood calipers are a direct replacement for the standard M16 Ford items and are actually a piece of cake to install.  Most importantly, they are compatible with the standard 13 inch pepperpot wheels unlike most other makes, where you need to have 15 inch wheels.


  The Wilwood PowerLite 4-pot M16 caliper kit from Burton Power  


I concentrated on the after-market front brakes, while Brian was kept fully occupied at the rear of the car.  Brian is not a fan of altering the original Tickford specification and that was the subject of much banter, including betting a tenner that the front brakes wouldn't fit!


I get to grips with the front While Brian works on the rear
 The Wilwood calipers fitted easily, with just a  Had to make new brake pipes using M10x1 fittings at
 little drilling of the spacer provided in the kit  either end - now I know why they supply the pipe
and substituting a couple of washers  in 5m rolls - it takes that much to get it right!
 By the time Brian had finished, the rear brakes looked like new


Replacing the brake fluid and bleeding the whole system was a bit of a pain as each Wilwood caliper has four bleed nipples to deal with.  The oil change wasn't much easier as the previous filter had been fitted by a gorilla!




Well the drive back home to Somerset was pure pleasure.  The journey over to Brian had been taken at a steady 50-60mph, but you can double that for the way home!

The engine pulls like an express train!  A quick stab of the throttle from idle produces an instant increase in revs without even the hint of a cough.

Although it is hard to evaluate the brakes this early on with fresh pads against fresh metal, the initial feeling is that braking is much more responsive and positive.


   Ready for the journey back to Somerset  



19th August 2012

Time to get the cooling system serviced this weekend.

First job was to drain the system by undoing the bottom radiator hose where it joins Tickford's bespoke thermostat housing. The hose is a special size with steel reinforcements running through it..........and it's a bit of a pig to remove.

Initially refilled the system with the addition of some Holts Speed Flush and ran the engine for about 15 minutes.

After the engine had cooled, everything was drained again.  This time, the whole thermostat housing was removed along with the engine block drain plug that lives just in front of the oil filter on the right hand side of the engine.

Flushed the radiator and then the engine block.  By the time I had finished, the water was running clear enough to drink!

Thankfully, plenty of water was coming out of the drain plug hole, indicating that there isn't a build-up of sludge there.


   All the original hoses had seen better days and the thermostat housing needed a good clean-up  


Some emery paper soon sorted out the thermostat housing and it was refitted along with a new 82 degree Motorcraft thermostat and gasket.


  I use an old Recaro seat mounted on wheels to get under the car when it is on  
   the ramps - can't beat a bit of luxury, plus you can alter the rake of the back  
   so that everything is within comfortable reach!  
  The ramps themselves make a pretty handy workbench and storage area too!  
  There's nothing like a laid-back approach!  
  Installing the new thermostat  
  Not forgetting the rubber sealing ring that sits on top of it  


Replaced all the hoses with Samco Silicon ones, using a 2.8i kit available from Burton Power.  Rather than the shiny red, black or blue standard hoses, Samco also do a "classic black" range that is a closer resemblance to the original Ford rubber hoses.


The Samco 2.8i hose kit from Burton Power.......... and new stainless steel clamps


Tickford originally used the standard 2.8i top radiator hose, cutting it into two pieces and inserting their stainless steel pipe in between.  No problem doing that to the Samco hose, using the old hoses as a template.

The bottom radiator hose is a different matter however - the standard 2.8i hose supplied in the kit is not suitable as the Tickford radiator outlet and thermostat housing have a diameter of 43mm, plus the hose is totally the wrong length and shape.

I have temporarily refitted the old hose, which is not ideal because it has started to delaminate and is twenty years old!


  Old, but it's still holding water so will do for now  


Couldn't resist adding a little more bling in the form of a polished stainless steel expansion tank from Mirage.  Would have kept the original plastic one, but it was looking quite discoloured and tired.


  Looks nice and doesn't deteriorate with heat  


Oh and they also do a stainless steel windscreen washer reservoir that makes an ideal replacement for my melted plastic one!


  It this melts, I'll give up!  


Finally refilled the system with a 40% mixture of antifreeze and warmed the car up to check for leaks.  I will  increase the antifreeze mix to 50% after I have drained-down the system to fit the new bottom radiator hose later.


  Engine bay is looking a lot smarter now, but still need to strip the old high-temperature  
  paint off the turbo and polish the inner wings  


Now I have a bit of an embarrassing problem.................... the bottom left hand corner of the rear window!


A little bit of rust has forced the rear window seal up


No way is he going to the Haynes show like that, so I have booked him into our local branch of the Apollo Motor Group to have the job done tomorrow.  I have used Apollo before and their work is top-notch.

002 caused quite a stir when I took him down to the bodyshop for a quote last week and they have kindly agreed to give him a thorough machine polish at the same time, ready for the show.  That will save me some work!

When he comes back from Apollo, it will be a quick rush to get the interior back in before we go to Haynes Museum.  In the meantime, I can get on with completely rebuilding the centre console while it is out of the car.



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