How To Do It!

A big tool.

Please note: the author of each article and the editor of this site are not responsible if you maim yourself or anyone else, or cause the termination of a life using information on this page. This also includes cars. So there.

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Fuel Tank Readings
Jeff West (Australia)

A common practice is to put the larger Mk.II fuel tank into a Mk.I. Jeff West has this information:

I have a pre-aeroflow Mk.I with a Mk.II (ten gallon) fuel tank. The second time I ran out of fuel with the gauge still reading a quarter full, I decided to do something about it. I found that a pre-aeroflow's fuel sender unit has a resistance of 300 ohms empty to 20 ohms full. The Mk.I aeroflow and Mk.IIs have a resistance of 73 ohms empty to 10 ohms full. As I didn't have the original sender, I checked around and found that the sender from a VB to VK Commodore has a resistance similar to the pre-aeroflows (ie 282 ohms empty to 40 ohms full). I have managed to fit one to my car. I bent the limit stop on the Commodore sender so it reads 20 ohms for full and left the other end as it is close enough. I had to cut away part of the outer ring of the sender to get it to fit into the Cortina tank. I used an O ring of about 5.5 mm cross section and about 60 mm inside diameter to seal between the tank and the sender . The only modification I had to do to the Cortina tank was to bend the mounting lugs back a bit so the twist ring could get started. So far everything is working fine.

©1999 Jeff West


PPG Paint Codes for Cortina Colors
Jody Fonseca (USA)

My local paint store has been very helpful in getting paint codes for my older vehicles. This is not a complete list but most of the common EnFo colors are here. Even if there is no PPG dealer in your area, most dealers have a cross reference to whatever brand they sell.
Paint Code Color Number
Early Colors
A Savoy Black 9000
AZ Imperial Maroon 50585
BA/AB Ermine White 8294
BC Lime Green 42855
BH Caribbean Turquoise 12418
BL Ascot Grey 32166
BM Windsor Grey 32165
BP Panama Yellow 81334
BR Goodwood Green 42936
BS Monaco Red 71245
BT Aqua Blue 12692
BU Platinum Grey 32420
BY Light Blue 12949
BZ Spruce Green 43332
CA Sable 22641
CB Midnight Blue 13127
CD Lombard Grey 32519
CF Alcuda Blue 13176
CG Malibu Gold 22641
CN Velvet Blue 13258
Late Colors
CH Purbeck Grey 32567
CJ Lagoon 13259
CL Black Cherry 50736
CM Alpine Green 71908
CP Seafoam Blue 13257
CU/CV Dragon Red 71556
AQ Aubergine 8294
BJ/CW Anchor Blue 13659
BN Red 71794
BV Beige 23263
M Ambassador Blue 11830
Metallic Colors
A5 Aquatic Jade 44108
CG Light Blue 22641
CR Light Green 44107
A6 Saluki Bronze 22873
B4 Amber Gold 23264
B5 Fern Green 44106

©1998 Jody Fonseca


Sourcing Clutch Masters and Brake Hoses
Doug Thomas (USA)

Upon trying to source a kit for my clutch master I happened upon some other #s you may find helpful. The front brake hoses on Mk.II and all brake hoses on a Mk.I are the same as Austin Healy 3000 front '59-'67, and MG C/CGT '68-'69 front as well. Also, clutch masters are the same for Mk.I Cortinas as for all years of Triumph Spitfires and GT6 as well as the TR7.

©1998 Doug Thomas



Cover Flywheel Housing
Tommy Sandham (UK)

Tommy is a member of the UK Cortina Mk.I club, owns 3 cars, and wrote 'Panel Craft', 'Paint Craft' and 'Restoring Small Fords'. He also owns the rights to Johnathan Wood's Mk.I Cortina book. So, he probably knows what he's talking about...

And now a word or two about the single most hated part on the Cortina, Anglia, Capri, Classic and Corsair - the metal plate which goes between the engine and gearbox. Known as the Cover, (flywheel housing), from the Ford Parts Book, there must have been more swearing uttered over this little plate than any other component on the car. It can be SO SIMPLE to fit if you tackle it this way:

With the engine parted from the gearbox, locate the plate onto the engine block. There are two dowels on the engine block which locate with holes on the metal plate. If the plate is twisted or distorted, straighten it with a mallet or hammer!

Once located on the two dowels, TIE IT IN PLACE with some strong sail-makers' twine. Ordinary thread is not strong enough. Put a couple of loops through the hole and through the metal plate. Tie it firmly and cut off the excess. Now fit the engine to the gearbox, or vice versa. This method has always worked for me.

I would never, ever consider running a car without this metal shield in place. I know a lot of people do so, but they are taking a risk with their flywheel, clutch and starter motor gear. If the plate is missing the gearbox bellhousing acts as a funnel and scoops up all the water, dirt, grit and so on, thrown at it by the wheels.

There are several dodges which you can do with this plate. You can cut it in half horizontally and just fit the bottom bit. I know some people have done this, but there is a slight problem in that the joint face between engine and gearbox will not be exactly parallel, so some stress may be put on both assemblies. So the next alternative is to cut it in half and fit both bits, the cutting in half simplifying the fitting operation.

Follow the advice given above and you should have few problems.

©1997 Tommy Sandham

Addendum - Here's how Tim Surman 'dodges' without string!

Prior to fitting the transmission, first locate the plate onto the locating dowels, then using a centre punch just punch a hole in the plate as close to the dowel as possible. If done correctly then a slight burr will hold the plate onto the dowel.

©2005 Tim Surman



Keeping the Electrics Dry
Bill Redfern (UK)

From time to time I have seen owners of Mk.I Cortinas who have complained of damp problems with their electrics, for example: leads, coils, cap, etc., and in so many instances the black cardboard weather shields that fit each side of the radiator are missing. I suppose they have rotted away with time and have been thrown away. These items are not hard to replace, many later Fords use the same type of stuff between the back seat and the boot area. One of these can make a pair of the missing items on your Mk.I when cut to shape, and better still, brush some tent water proofing on them to preserve them.

©1996 Bill Redfern



Ball Joints for a Late Model Mk.II
Drew Richards (Aus)

If you are needing new ball joints for the Mk.II 440 late model (1970 year of production) you will need to get ESCORT ball joints, not sure which model of the Escort will fit, but the Mk.II 440 ones WON'T fit, Pedders tried it on my April 1970 Mk.II and they wouldn't fit, oh and it costs about $380 to do them so try and avoid hitting gutters at 40MPH :).

©1997 Andrew Richards


How I Set My Timing
Jody Fonseca (USA)

It seems that every 1600 xflo I have owned likes to run with a bit more total advance than the stock dist. set to the marks will give. Probably partially due to the fact that they are all USA emissions contolled versions. I have found a way to set the timing that my car really likes. This may not work for everybody but it's worth a try.

First my car's setup: Stock 1600 crossflow engine in good condition. The exhaust header has been opened to 2" at the final collector and the exhaust system is 2" mandrel bent throughout. I use a Lucas dist. from a 1500 GT tweaked to give about 5 deg. more total adv. than stock. I use an "Ignitor" electronic ign. from JAE. Carb is jetted to give a constant 12.5 to 13:1 air/fuel ratio, K&N filter on the carb.

First, I bring the car to operating temp. Second, I raise the rpm to about 2500 (about the point of total advance). Third, I move the dist. slowly from the stock position to the point where max. rpm occurs AND NO FARTHER! The car starts instantly and goes much quicker than before. I drive fairly hard, and have tried to cause detonation but have experienced none. As I said, this works great for me, your car may blow up, but mine runs great with it.

©1997 Jody Fonseca



Mk.II GT Tachometer Wiring
Glenn Wallace (USA)

Here's a drawing I just did of the Mk II GT tachometer for your tech area. It has advice on repair and neg->pos earth conversion etc. It should also be similar to the Mk I. I'm pretty sure it is the same as the Escort Mk I GT or Twin-Cam tach. Ten years ago I designed a replacement circuit board using an LM2917. But now I see these things can be repaired without too much heartache. Less work than for me to design the board again!!

Mk.II GT tacho wiring diagram (GIF, 55k)

©1997 Glenn Wallace



Removing and Installing GT Window Moulds
Geoff Shirley (Aus)

Every time it seems I get a set of GT window moulds from somewhere or another they are always damaged in the same way. It seems people start at one end of the strip and simply pull it away from the window frame, and in the process it always ends up twisted and bent like a banana. One simple little hint I learned many years ago (in a panel shop) is how simple it is to remove them without damage.

  • First get a piece of hardwood about 2" x 1" and about 6" long.
  • Wind down the window and use the piece of wood to jar the bottom rolled edge away from the door frame.
  • Use a hammer to tap the piece of timber, working your way along the chrome moulding every 4" or 5" apart, until the bottom rolled edge is all the way off.
  • Finally, simply lift the moulding upward and away from the door frame, where it usually just pops off onto the ground.
  • To refit it, just align and tap with the palm of your hand - sometimes it hurts! - but the effort is worth it to find the moulds are in perfect condition.
Hope this helps in your restoration.

©1996 Geoff Shirley



Three Cylinder Cortina?
Ross Gardiner (Aus)

If the warmer weather is causing your Cortina to idle roughly you may be suffering from a very common electrical complaint. The points plate in your Cortina's distributor rides on a spring and a riveted pin, the slot is subject to wear after thirty years or so, and this allows the moving (points) plate to operate in an axis which is not perpendicular to the distributor shaft. For all you non-technical types the moving plate no longer operates parallel to the fixed plate.

To remove the points plate mechanism and dismantle it is not really as daunting a task as you may at first think. Remove the distributor cap and the rotor arm, disconnect the wire from the coil, then release the two (2) Phillips head screws which secure the points plate assembly to the distributor body and lift it out. Be careful of the fine earthing wire, turn the points plate upside down, and you will find that the two parts of the points plate will separate if you rotate them to the point where the locating pin is no longer captive in its slot.

A little adjustment with a suitable hammer is probably required to compensate for the wear in the pin and the slot in which it operates, peen the pin down a bit and check that the two plates operate in parallel, then apply a light smear of grease and reassemble the distributor - don't forget to put the rotor arm back! You will be surprised at the improvement in smoothness at idle speed.



Timing Confusion
Ross Gardiner (Aus)

Setting the timing on a Cortina motor can be a bit confusing. If you try to align the notch on the timing chain case with the notch in the fan pulley you will find that the timing is too far advanced for a standard motor and not far enough advanced for a GT. The notch in the timing chain case is actually two (2) points - the first is 10°, the second is 6° B.T.D.C. You line the notch in the pulley to one of the points on the timing chain case depending upon the motor type. A dab of white paint on the point and the notch can help reduce confusion quite dramatically.


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