"Hazel" - a series 1 V8 daily driver

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
OCC needs its annoying engine noise investigating - which is a job for the darker nights, so I've eventually got Hazel over the pit & removed the front wings to check for rust, repair the wings as necessary as thoroughly treat everything & spray with 'Shutz'.

The wings were rather scabby at the front, but instead of using some of my spares I (yet again :rolleyes:) tidied up the ones on the car. Hazel is a daily driver & is used in most weathers, so it isn't immaculate. However, it has always been a good straight & solid car. When I took the wings off, probably for the first time in 20 years or so, I was again surprised at how good it is - far better than my other two!

This was the amount of mud scraped & wire-brushed from each inner wing:


There was of course also the mud on the inside of the wings themselves. Plenty of moisture-trapping muck being carried around all the time:




Fortunately most areas are still sound:


apart from:




...so I really can't complain.

The wings are just about done now, so I'll get the inner wings sorted before I put the outers back on.

There are a few other jobs to do including a bizarre full beam short of some kind & the sump gasket to replace. The front tyres are wearing (as often the case) on the inner sides, so the tracking may have to be altered a bit as well.

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
Hazel is coming along now. The bits of welding have been finished, so it's 'Kurust', seam sealer, zinc primer, then copious amounts of 'Shutz' sprayed on.


Quite a few other jobs to do, but we're away in the 'Lakes' soon for our 30th wedding anniversary, so we're taking Hazel.

Incidentally, I got my first P6 3 days before Karen & I got married & haven't been without one since, so that anniversary comes first :)

This was our first P6 the day after buying it in 1988 (£375, I think). We did about 55,000 miles in it over 9 years & it got me hooked!



Well-Known Member
Yes :( Think I need to book it in on a rolling road for a tune. This last 3 years have not had a lot of time to get it sorted, need to put in a PCV valve and sort out engine breathing before I get the RR tune.
The shocking MPG means I dont drive it hardly at all as opposed to my Suzuki Solio which I love to drive 5.9 L/100KM


Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
Ahh, I thought I must have calculated it incorrectly!

My manual V8 does around 24 mpg (13 l/100km) & my auto about 20 mpg (14 l/100km), so I thought something was amiss o_O.

Both are factory standard SUs; HIF6 on the manual & HS6 on the auto. Standard points ignition, too.


Well-Known Member
I used to get 25 to 27 mpg out of it when I had SU's in it on a trip and had similar when I put the Webber 500 in initially but in recent years something has upset the tuning. Unfortunately life has got in the way of my use of the P6, complicated lives don't make for much spare time.

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
Back on the subject of Hazel; here are the front wings before & after:


which actually looked like this (other side in this case):


Now I've got to this:


& this:


Instead of spraying replacement wings (my spraying skills are still being fine-tuned....;)) I took a friend's advice & used a modeller's airbrush (about £20) with adapter to my compressor. At low cfm it works a treat for touching up areas & blending in, rather than the large fan of paint you get with a normal paint gun. It needs several coats of course, but I'm very pleased with the results.

Anyway, I've now got her back on the road but there are still several jobs to do. There is a slight water drip & it may be time to change the radiator to an up-rated one as it's always run a bit on the hot side. I replaced the thermostat & radiator cap recently to no avail. I have been advised now to put a 76 deg thermostat in - I can't see that it would do any harm. Has anyone else done this?
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Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
I have also been thinking about changing the front number plate which is now letting the car down: It would be interesting to know other people's opinions?

As is with original front plate (the rear is 'full size'):


Or with black & white.... (I'm not going to put these actual plates on....;))


Alternatively, a full-size white P6 plate (a letter missing on this one):


Who likes which? :confused:
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Well-Known Member
Keep it as original. Changing everything to black just looks wrong to me. I don't understand the trend to doing this especially to later mid-70s models.
Mine (only a little younger than yours) has its original aluminium pressed plates: black and "silver". The yellow/white plates were new in and optional in those days. I think they look good with tobacco leaf so that's what I'd recommend. There's a chap on eBay making new ones on original equipment for quite a modest price too.

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
I do like the silver & black (which it could wear), but probably the full size reflective front plate is the one to go for. The rear is still excellent, so I'll only need to get one in that case ;).

Another quick query: does anyone know if you can get rubber auto-box sump/pan gaskets? The cork one I used only a couple for years ago (with correct torque) is pretty naff :(

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
I've now been doing the mucky task of replacing both Hazel's engine sump & auto-box sump gaskets, both in rubber as suggested on here. Not pleasant & guaranteed to spill oil somewhere, but I've got them done now. There was oil all over the underneath of the engine & also down one inner 'chassis rail'. The latter was due to a slightly loose jubilee clip on the recently installed power steering reservoir, with fluid finding its way to the front valance & onto the floor!

The sump was a mess:


What you might call a 'contaminated' gasket:


& likewise with the gearbox sump:


Hopefully things will be right when it all goes back together. I've also taken the opportunity to replace the radiator as the 'mesh' was getting past it. With an auto I thought it was a good idea to do this when I had the gearbox drained so that it limits the fluid that comes out of the cooling pipes that need disconnecting at the bottom. It did however release quite a bit overnight o_O

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
Everything is back together now & seems to be pretty leak free :). I've driven about 40 miles today to see how things are & both sump gaskets look OK, although they may need a little 'nipping up' after a few more miles.

I checked the inlet manifold water pipe & it was blocked!


I put some Holts flushing solution in the radiator before I went out & have now drained the system & refilled it with a suitable antifreeze mixture. Hazel's cooling system has been very poor for some time now, particularly over the hot summer in queuing traffic. I decided to try a lower temp thermostat & put a 74 deg one in. Sitting in traffic today the needle barely got to the centre which is very promising as it would get nearly to the red before, even when the weather wasn't especially hot. This was the reading about 5 minutes after getting home.


The proof will be over the next few months, so fingers crossed!


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