1275 block rebuild potential...

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moggymaniac
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1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby moggymaniac » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:49 pm

Hi all,
Hope everyone in well in these testing times...
It's taken me a while to get round to this as on my way back from buying the engine block in question, a man in a van backed into the side of my morris, so I've had more pressing things to think about...anyway, here we are!

I bought a 1275 midget bare engine block on ebay back in 2018 for just £42. Seemed like a bargain at the time...
Upon arrival it appeared I'd purchased it from a historic racing company called CCK historic. I took the block, without close inspection as I didn't know much about looking at bare blocks. I planned to use it for my first engine rebuild.

It has a thin flange where the sump bolts on, which I am led to believe points to an early midget 1275 block, and as it is solid above the main bearing cap with no 'casting window', I am led to believe this is CC block. The engine plate has been removed at some point (i guess for a skim) but the block is stamped as in the picture attached "12...4JY57". Can anyone shed any light on this?

Basically, I'm looking for a decent base for a rebuild for road use only, with a "sporty" setup, nothing mad. And I want to know If people think this block is a good candidate. I'm aware I bought it from a race company and this may be well used, but the guy didn't have anything to say for the block, and it was only described on ebay as per the brown paper tag shown in the photos " STD 1275 midget with liners...end date 18/7/18" .

I have tried to take good photos of said Liners, as i wonder whether someone can determine if these are factory or aftermarket liners. I've read that factory liners can only be over-bored to 40 thou (fine by my requirements) as they were only used by BMC to account for poor original boring and so the need for a liner (please correct if i'm wrong...). The liner of cylinder 1 will need replacing , as it would appear by the the markings on the deck of the block that a head gasket failure led to a waterway leaking into cylinder no.1 and over time eroding the first liner. The others appear ok, and at 70.6mm diameter, this matches the standard 1275 bore size, so my thought is that I could get liner 1 replaced, and leave the others in place for a rebore of +20 or +40 thou...or do they all need to come out?

There are several markings stamped into the block, on the bearing caps as shown in pictures "151" and next to them on the block also "151".
On the "deck" of the block next to each cylinder reads what appears to be a "2" inside a diamond with a x through it...any ideas? factory markings or not? Please refer to images. Also LB is found stamped into the top face, as shown. Could The letter D can be found on the bottom face of the block where the sump bolts on in a couple of spots.

I'm aware that I could contact CCK and ask them directly, but I purchased this two years ago without asking any questions due to inexperience, and I wouldn't think they'd remember much as they have a lot going on, and a couple of blocks were for sale.

And light shed, and advice on whether to ditch it and get another base to start on or use it, would be much appreciated !

Jamie
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alexmcguffie
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby alexmcguffie » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:32 pm

Can't say I've seen an A series block need liners before, didn't even know they were available but turns out they are. Those bores look quite well corroded and maybe beyond a re-bore. You'd need a machine shop to confirm it though. The engine number has gone because the top will have been skimmed before, either because it needed it or to get the compression up. Their is height measurement for the block which would confirm how much has been taken off. Potentially another skim may raise the compression too high.

Best to visit you local 'good' machine shop to have it checked over.
Glad to be back!

Murrayminor
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby Murrayminor » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:38 am

Looking at the damage to the bore it will need to be measured to see if a re-bore will overcome the damage.
Try to find a specialist in A series engines as they will know what can and cannot be done on the engine.

I'm in a similar position, my engine was seized solid but the company I use said the block was salvageable so its away being re-bored to 1330 as we speak.

My bores were very rough but deemed to be basically sound.
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor

philthehill
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby philthehill » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:11 am

Firstly check the height of the block. If you fit liners the top of the block should be lightly skimmed to ensure that the block and liners are all level.
If the block height is acceptable I would replace all four liners and go back to 1275cc so as to give you a good basis to work from.

I would suggest that the numbers are just that and have been stamped for workshop identification.

As regards factory fitted liners or not as the case may be - towards the end of BMC/BL new engines were being produced with liners fitted due to problems with the block castings. There is nothing wrong with fitting liners from new, in some ways you get better bores.

The diamond with the 2 usually indicates the factory bore grade so as to enable the correct grade/size of piston to be fitted. Ok if you have a vast factory selection of pistons to choose from but these days you bore to the piston(s) size you have. Having the diamond with the 2 makes me think that the top of the block is factory finished and that the original engine number plate has been removed and lost for a post factory re-bore. The boring bar needs to be attached to a completely flat surface - unfortunately the engine number plate gets in the way and has to be removed.


Mark Wilson
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby Mark Wilson » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:10 am

My 1275 Midget engine apears to have been fitted with liners at the factory and subsequently bored to +030. It is a thick flange with the casting window, so probably a CE - number lost as usual!

Chipper
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby Chipper » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:50 am

Yes, my Midget 12CE thick-flange block also has liners, and it has lasted well in the 62,000-odd miles since I rebuilt it.

I would suggest maybe you could get away with just replacing the corroded liner, and maybe lightly rebore/hone the others.
Maurice, E. Kent
(1970 Traveller)

moggymaniac
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby moggymaniac » Mon Jun 29, 2020 9:05 pm

Thank you, all, for your helpful replies.

I take into account the point made about the possibility that the block face has been skimmed at some stage for whatever reason, whether that be insertion of post-factory liners to be levelled off with the face, or for higher compression if the block has been used for competition purposes. Can anyone provide a measurement of the height of the block (and from where) that would determine it is unskimmed/skimmed?

I did consider just replacing the first liner due to the corrosion appearing as deep as the sleeve itself. But this would only be to save money, as the others appear ok (just light surface rust) and the sleeves are standard bore. Or as you suggest phil, just have them all out and new liners inserted, bored if require to suit 1275 pistons (yet to be acquired) and the surface skimmed (sounds costly...?)

Anyway, my question really is whether it's worth spending the money on the block or whether to sell it on and find one which doesn't need liners and a skim...but i guess that's up to me :P :evil: :o

Thanks again for your replies


philthehill
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby philthehill » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:02 pm

The basic cost of boring and fitting sleeves for a four cylinder 'A' Series engine is around £240 plus the usual VAT.
That does not include pistons but standard 1275cc pistons/rings are relatively cheap.

The cost does start to add up but at least you know what you have. You could go and buy another S/H engine and whilst it may look good you could end up spending just as much on refurbishment.


moggymaniac
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby moggymaniac » Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:07 pm

Thanks Phil,
I'll keep it for now, in that case. Where could I get this done for the price you state? I'm southeast ...have heard the name AC Dodd thrown around as being the A series guy...do you know of him?


philthehill
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby philthehill » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:47 am

The price quoted is from the Oselli web site and they are locate near Buckingham. They have in the past carried out the majority of my machining requirements.
http://www.oselli.com/service/engineering

Yes I know of AC Dodd but have not had any work done by him.
https://www.facebook.com/ac.dodd.1

I am not sure where he is located but you could try M L Motorsport, Highham, Kent. ME37JA for contact details.


panky
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby panky » Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:53 am

AC Dodd is well respected in Mini circles with many happy customers. I think he's located in Cumbria.
Image

moggymaniac
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby moggymaniac » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:40 pm

Thanks again, all!
I'm going to de-rust the block by soaking it in white vinegar for a while, grease it up and store it until I have need for it.
Any cheap suggestions for de-rusting the block at home other than white vinegar, let me hear them!


philthehill
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby philthehill » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:47 pm

Soak it in food grade citric acid. You can get the citric acid off 'e' bay. I mix it at 6 table spoons per 1 ltr of warm water. Good stuff and does the job perfectly. Leave the citric acid in the block or the block in the citric acid for at least a week. You may have to replace the camshaft bearings if the block is totally submerged.


Chipper
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby Chipper » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:28 pm

Yes, either that or Coca Cola (cheap stuff will do), which I gather contains similar acids, and effectively dissolves the rust/corrosion when left for a few days...
Maurice, E. Kent
(1970 Traveller)

moggymaniac
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby moggymaniac » Thu Jul 02, 2020 11:17 am

great, thanks. And what to rinse with? assuming any water residue will leave behind rust deposits


philthehill
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby philthehill » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:02 pm

Just rinse with water and then dry. Spray the inside the water jacket with GT85 to keep the water rust at bay.


moggymaniac
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby moggymaniac » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:51 pm

Thanks Phil...!


moggymaniac
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby moggymaniac » Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:46 pm

Block is now soaking in citric acid, has been for a few days. Will check on it tomorrow. As the container is a fair bit larger than the block itself, i ended up getting through a 2kg bag of citric acid no sweat. seems like a lot, but i followed the 6 tbsns per 1L water rule nevertheless. block is just over half submerged, so i'll flip it over after a week or so. It has since crossed my mind...how should I dispose of the dissolved citric acid? and when I turn the block over, i'm guessing liquid proof gloves would be an idea...i have no idea how 'nasty' citric acid is in food grade...
thanks


Murrayminor
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Re: 1275 block rebuild potential...

Postby Murrayminor » Fri Jul 17, 2020 8:50 am

Citric acid is also used as a drain cleaner
Proud owner of my first Morris Minor


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