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Engine Mounting Bar Failure


David Tocher

When I returned from the Scottish 23rd Dreiradtreffen 2015 I noticed that a crack had developed on the lamp/engine mount bar where it's welded to the two uprights at the front of the chassis. This seems to be a problem when bigger engines are installed in older chassis. The welds on my chassis don't look that great with what appears to be a lack of penetration of the weld. I was told that the technical term for such welds is 'dog shit welds'!

Engine mount repairs
Engine mount repairs

The crack on the near side had gone right round and half way on the driver's side. I was lucky the whole lot hadn't fallen into the road. I could lift the near side lamp bar up enough to open the crack to about 1 or 2mm. I stripped off the headlamps, cowl and bonnet to give easier access for the welder. It seemed to be sensible to remove the engine as it's only four big bolts to remove plus the petrol feeds and exhaust system. This gave pleanty of room to weld.

I wanted to modify the engine hanger brackets by joining them together as a unit. I took the engine mounting bits back to Ireland and welded a bridging piece between them. I popped it into Jan's carry-on bag and of course the security guys at Dublin wanted to know what it was and they were happy enough to let it on board. I found a local welder who could come to my place as it would have been difficult to tow the car in its striped state and I didn't have a trailer. One of the bushes is stightly damaged but I didn't have the correct tubes etc to pull out the old and draw in a new bush so that will have to wait.

The welder appeared, as planned, and welded the crack and put in two bracing strips between the lamp bar and the stop side chassis rails. Now all I had to do after daubing on the hammerite was put it all together. The engine and lamps went back without any problem. Next job is the cowl and I discovered that the lower edge of the cowl now fouled the bracing brackets. A bit of bad language followed by some metal bashing got the cowl to fit. There is a slight problem that the two cut-outs in the cowl for the lamp bar are no longer aligned centrally over the bar. Some disortion of the cowl has occurred which I can't seem to fix. I'll have to live with it for the time being. Hooking up the wiring etc didn't take long and the engine started up without any problems so I'm back on the road again. A quick test drive (any excuse for a drive) to check everything and al is fine - the car's a runner and just in time for the bad weather and salt!

I hope the thin walled lamp bar with its bracing will be OK and I don't have to replace the bar. I can imagine it being more difficult as one needs to endure the engine mounting bushes are in the correct position.


Engine mount repairs
Engine mount repairs

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