Re: [MV] Saracen parts source??

Richard Notton (
Thu, 21 Oct 1999 13:26:06 +0100

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim <>
To: <>
Date: 21 October 1999 07:58
Subject: [MV] Saracen parts source??

>Hi. I'm fairly new to the list and to collecting. I'm looking for a few
>goodies to complete my Saracen. You can see it at
They are quite abundant over here, the FV 603/4/10 & 11 are not popular at all,
there is a serious query about the road legality, although untested, since the
brakes and steering are from the same hydraulic source.

> I need the little latches that hold the chimney pots down, the
>starting hand crank, the commander's chair and post, and one forward
>facing seat.
All readily available, by chimney pots do you mean the reverse cooling vents ?
Sometimes its easier to hand fabricate these parts than have the hassle of
sourcing and importing them. Email me off list for contacts of parts supply if
you want.

> Anyone want to volunteer to try to start this puppy with a hand
>crank?? :-)
Its actually very easy with the proviso that the RR B 80 is in reasonable order,
the ignition is correctly set and you follow the procedure laid down; we have
hand cranked the bigger B 81 in my FV 623 with ease.

>From cold the procedure is to hand operate the fuel pump to ensure a carb prime,
hand crank several revolutions with the choke fully on and ignition off to prime
the engine, then swing it, while a second operator simultaneously hits the start

The procedure assumes that the hand crank is used because the batteries are flat
and will not turn the motor, operating the starter does two things, firstly it
by-passes the ignition ballast resistors putting what volts there are directly
on the coil and secondly after getting the engine over one compression the
starter helps hugely even with very low volts and likely does most of the work
once you have got some small initial momentum in the engine.

It is absolutely crucial that the ignition is correctly set, do not ever attempt
a hand start on any B range engine unless you personally know for sure this is
the case.

All B range RR engines, 4's, 6's and 8's, Champs to 432's, are set 0 to 2
AFTER, I repeat AFTER, TDC and can only be set statically. The centrifugal
advance operates from 300RPM upwards so a strobe timing light can NEVER be used,
nominal idle is 450 to 600RPM. The timing after TDC means the engine cannot
kick at start.

The B Range distributor, Lucas No1 Mk 2, is designed to be common with the whole
range of engines by using two cam types and two internal cap types, you will
notice the cap has alternative circled cylinder numbers moulded in it for 4 and
8 cyl engines. On 4 cyl engines half of the connections are used with _one_ set
of points only.

You will note there are only FOUR lobes on the cam and two sets of points on the
eight cyl engines.

This arrangement is totally and utterly different from the old US practice of an
EIGHT lobe cam with two sets of points arranged to give dwell angle extention
and hence a stronger spark.

These 8 cyl B Range engines have one point set firing four cylinders and the
other set firing the ALTERNATE four, 45 distributor degrees, so 90 crank
degrees, apart. Whilst the engine timing is conventionally set with a lamp,
engine static on the flywheel marks and the distributor swung as normal, this
wholly assumes the second, moveable, points are critically preset 45 to the
fixed ones. If not half of the engine will be mis-timed.

There is a very complicated and unwieldy procedure for doing this by measuring
inlet valve clearances with a specific pair set to timing clearances, however it
is much simpler using the simple maintenance manual tool consisting of a
self-made 45 quadrant on a boss that clamps where the rotor arm goes and a
sheet brass U shaped "table" that clamps through the vent and LT cable holes
that you can stick masking tape to and mark from the rotor arm quadrant.

This is done with the engine preset to the nominal, centre spec, 1 AFTER TDC No
1 firing (as the distributor will fit 180 out), noting where the rotor arm is
(about 7 o'clock looking from the distributor side) and removing the whole
assembly to the vice and the bench.

Having serviced the points or replaced them, gap correctly, lubricate and
proceed to utilise the jig to adjust the moveable set exactly 45 from the fixed
pair opening point with a battery/bulb timing light, then refit to the vehicle
and reset the whole distributor against the marks, as previously aligned, with
the battery/bulb set-up as usual.

(Southampton UK)

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