Home of the Crystal Blue Sierra Cosworth

Lefty loosey, righty tighty

So, finally, the block is out!

With the help of my glamourous assisant, my wife, and after some cursing and blood letting, a lesson has been learned: remove all the bolts!

Storm Emma kindly vacated the area yesterday, leaving a relatively safe environment in which to work today, and with a borrowed engine hoist we set to work. 

The rain held off, for a change, which was nice. I'd already removed all the necessary nuts and bolts from the engine mounts and the block/bellhousing, and i'd propped up the gearbox with a few lumps of 2x4 hardwood.  All we had to do was pull the block out.

The hoist expertly demonstrated the laws of physics and popped the block away from the gearbox. Things, were going well.   But, after a significant amount of pulling and questioning of its parentage, the block was stuck.  Something was refusing to let it go. It turned out to be a small 10mm bolt through the gearbox adapter plate at the bottom of the bellhousing - 20+ years of turd completely hid the bolt from view!  After removing it, and a bit more wiggling, the block was out! Victory!

After taking the clutch away from the flywheel, it seems that the lack of power the old girl was demonstrating before she went off the road was partially down to the clutch having finished its life with us.  Being a standard Motorcraft jobbie, it'll get replaced with something more beefy when the time comes.

Meanwhile, the block's now waiting to take a trip to the experts at Headline MK for the verdict.  At the very least the pistons will need replacing, along with some machining of the bores.  I've also had an ARP stud and nut kit to fit, so that'll be added to the todo list.

It's Snow Joke

So a couple of days ago I enlisted the aid of the nice chap at Harlequin Garage in Aylesbury to do the bulk of the welding for me. 

Headline, near Milton Keynes are doing some engine work for me, mostly cleaning up the block and bottom end and some minor repairs to the head.

I bought an engine hoist at the end of January, but it turned out to be useless.  Poorly designed and manufactured, parts didn't fit, and it just felt 'cheap'.  A month of buggering about with the ebay supplier later, I've had a full refund, and managed to borrow an engine hoist, so now the block can come out and ship it off to Headline.

But then the snow came...

"Storm Emma" has come along and ravaged the British Isles.  My fingers nearly fell off changing a headlight bulb on my wife's car this afternoon, it's THAT cold.  -5 with a -8 windchill.  Looks like the block's staying put for the forseeable.  Watch this space.

New parts!

So today, the missing front crossmember arrived!  A brand new, genuine Ford part, courtesy of

This is the only 'missing' piece of the car since it snapped when it was initially moved from Norfolk.  Hopefully it'll be £200 well spent! 

I had the option of using a second hand one, cut from a shell , but that would've brought its own problems, and would've needed a fair bit of effort to strip, and treat the rust that builds up in those nooks and crannies. 

There's much welding, including the new sills, but thisi s a good start.  It seems like there's hope again!

The plan

So, this car needs some work doing.  My plan is to have it ready for its 30th birthday in October 2018.



  • Welding (bare minimum): front chassis rail crossmember, nearside outer sill, spare wheel well
  • Engine: Head OK, block corroded and needs rebuild
  • Gearbox: Possible sync problem on 4->3
  • Brakes: discs: FUBAR, pads: salvagable, calipers: recondition/replace
  • Electrics: were relatively OK
  • Interior: seats need attention

Parts purchased:

  • Head gasket
  • Block studs
  • galvanised sills
  • front chassis rail crossmember


In 2012 the head gasket failed for the second time, but couldn't have come at a worse time as I was saving money to move house.  For the first time ever, the car came second, and unfortunately, took 5 years before I could do anything about it.  A £500 head gasket change has turned into a £5000 partial restoration

In the summer of 2017, a friend of mine put me in touch with a chap who did car restorations as a hobby.  Following a trip from leafy Buckinghamshire to Norfolk, where the Cossie was languishing, he said he'd take it on. 

After moving it down to Milton Keynes with the help of, he took a further look and decided he wasn't willing to take it on but estimated £12000 would cover a complete nut and bolt restoration.  At current prices, that kind of money could buy another car, and I wasn't willing to do that, nor did I have £12000.  And, that cost didn't factor in work I was able and willing to do myself, so I declined and had it brought home.  If nothing else, it was with me.