Rebuilding the original engine it was clear the teeth on the flywheel were too worn.  This was dealt with by machining off the old teeth and heat shrinking on a new starter ring.


A problem we have on BBM, and one I have seen on other cars, is that of water leaking into the car from the corner of the windscreen. When the rubber seal is fitted it seems to curl away from the frame in the corners. I have built up the frame wirh bluetack and covered that with black insulation tape. We always carry a kitchen roll to mop up any stray drips.


We have had two problems with the original distributor.  Soon after BBM was back on the road the pin retaining the gear to the distributor shaft came loose, that was easily fixed.

On our first long run, the Coast To Coast 1999 the lead bob weights came off their pivots. This really messed up the timing.  A replacement distributor was obtained and fitted.



As mentioned in the Brittany page, when on our way to France BBM started to play up.  She would not go over 30MPH or so and as Dianne pointed out she was running hot, BBM that is not Dianne.  After we had tried all we could think of I called in the AA.  The technician checked all we had done and found it OK.  He then produced a thermometer and checked the exhaust pipe temperature before and after the silencer.  He pronounced the temperature difference too great.  Your silencer is partially blocked.  As the photographs show, he was right.


The deposit is solid carbon and we have two theories to explain it.  I had been running a Bosch distributor some time before this episode and it may have been running retarded at low revs.  The other thought was that the 50 year old Red-x I had been using had caused it, this idea was not thought possible by an oil expert I spoke to


Having noticed that (our Ruby) BBM’s brake lights had stopped working I found that the problem was in the switch.  6 volts input no output = not good.  It is OK I thought, I have a spare! Yippee the spare I have carried round for the last 27,000 miles is slightly different, the operating lever requires much longer travel from the input.  As I did not want to modify the car I investigated the unservicable switch.  I concluded that it was a case of too much play in the components, just worn out basically.  I then decided to make new rod.  I made it slightly larger to take up wear in the casing. Having replaced the rod the switch is now back to normal and I know a bit more about the Ruby.

New operating rod
Unit assembled


Having difficulty tuning the carburetor to run smoothly I striped all components and found that the needle jet was gummed up with some grey sludge.  I have no idea what caused it.  It could have been the new style petrol, I now use an additive in the fuel.


2020 having been on lockdown due to corona virus the car had not been run.  On attempting to start, the only way I could get her to run was with the slow running needle completely out!  So blocked jet blown out with a compressed air can and all is well.


On the way to Ireland in 2009 when night stopping in Wales the starter motor refused to engage the ring gear.  A quick strip down revealed the started pinion had worn a hole in the face of the spring clip retainer and was catching on it.  A judicious bending sorted the problem for the rest of the trip.  A new clip was obtained and fitted on return home.


BBM was leaving oil on the garage floor, not just after a run but all the time.  After a bit of investigation it proved to be coming from the drain plug.  I tried replacing the sealing washer but that did not stop the drips.  I then took the sump off to investigate further.  The problem was cracked solder round the brass mounting plate for the drain plug.  It was leaking round the edge and from some of the rivets. After a clean and de-grease I re-soldered the plate to the sump.  Job done.

oil leak copy


On a short journey to the museum I volunteer in I had two snags.  My sat nav screen went blank and the oil pressure went up to eight psi.  I found that my 6 to 12 volt converter was overheating so have replaced it.  I have cleaned out the oil jets and back to five psi. at forty miles an hour.