I have a Morris Minor and some time before Covid I had to replace the head gasket which I did with the assistance of my friend Tony Donnelly, quick name check there!
My memory is awful I have to admit, for example I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast so the timeline in this story my not be as accurate as I would like, however it is not the most important aspect of the tale.
Some time after doing the head gasket the car started puffing out smoke again so I assumed as there was no oil in the radiator it must be the valve stem oil seals which also needed doing but Covid came along and I just put the car in the garage and occasionally started it until eventually it was running so rough and chucking out more smoke that I left it until I had more time.
I was recently at the time when I thought, I must finish the Morris Minor but was a little upset that an MBG GT that I also own had also recently started smoking which made me think I now had another car requiring a new head gasket, however it also prompted me in the direction of a different solution to my problem, one that was both cheaper and a damn sight easier.
My concept of time is also rubbish but I suddenly thought, ‘I wonder how long the petrol has been in the cars?’ With this in mind I rushed to drain the fuel tank and took the opportunity to replace the rubber fuel lines with modern R9 ones which will not fall apart the minute they have contact with the beastly methanol which is in modern petrol.
Blow me down, sure as eggs is eggs, the minute I changed the fuel and started the car it was running as smooth as silk with no smoke emerging from the exhaust, which on the positive side made me quite pleased as it was an easy and cheap fix, however on the negative side it made me hate this modern fuel with Ethanol even more than I did before.
I was so elated with my cheap fix that I thought I would wash the old girl as she had accumulated quite a bit of dust during her Covid hibernation in the garage, all I have to do now is to change the seized brake cylinders for her to be back to her normal self.
Sadly, I still think modern petrol is absolutely awful and look forward to the promised synthetic petrol which is being developed by the F1 industry and which will be the saviour of petrolheads everywhere.
It will also be interesting to see in a few years time when people have finally cottoned on to the fact that electric cars are nowhere as green as they are made out to be and there will be advertisements asking, ‘were you miss sold an electric car, sign up here to apply for your compensation!’