The last few weeks has been very productive, and much has now been completed on the Panhard. A corner has been turned and now all the mucky jobs are finished, all jobs are a pleasure to tackle!
The electrics have all been tested and a small earthing issue on the dash was rectified. Also the oil pressure sensor was found to be faulty and replaced. Now there is a red lgiht on the dash that goes out when the engine fires, showing we have good oil pressure.
I have a spare engine, and whilst dissembling to find out how to find when a Panhard engine is at top dead centre (I can't find any markings on the engine as suggested by the spanish manual!) I noticed there are small gauze fllters on each piston. The spare engine were full of swarf - so I hurredly undid the bungs on the fitted engine and they were clean - a very good sign.
Once a couple of stray wires were found homes (it was the earth for the fuel cut off switch, and the temperature sensor) we were ready to go.
I purchased two new 12v batteries with cold cranking of 70 amps and linked together they gave the necessary 24v. Fortunately they fitted comfortably in the recess behind the drivers seat. (see picture to right) This matches the spec of the originals exactly.
Firing the engine
The engine was primed and fresh fuel fed in by gravity to the carb. It took a while to start effectively and when it did, it popped coughed and struggled. I indicated to my assistant to rev the engine and he took it up to about 8 thou revs! It spat flames from the exhasut ports and nearly deafened me. Curiously the fan on the engine sucked about 30 years worth of dust, iron filings and some leaves (all in recesses I hadn't spotted) out of the engine and pumped it out into the path of the burning exhast flames - these went up like a firework! I screamed at the assistant - who couldn't hear me over the din.. I reached for the co2 fire extinguisher and was about to engulf the engine, but the engine ran out of fuel and cut out. phew! disaster adverted..
We could see the timing was increadibly out and this was sending unignited fuel into the exhaust system - hence causing the popping and flames.
After about 15 minutes of vacuming out the engine bay - and adjusting the timing we fired her up again.
This time it went very well and the engine was left to run for at least 15 minutes. Adjustments were made to the idle mixture and the fuel pump was brought on line. I had forgotten to clean out the pump (school boy error) and it pumped old petrol residue into the carb and killed the engine.
A whole day passed as I pulled off the carb, cleaned it completely and the fuel pump. I plumbed back in the original fuel tank (that had been cleaned and sealed) and a modern fuel filter went in between the fuel tank and the pump to catch any crud should it appear again.
I also plumbed in the original manual fuel cut off lever and the elctronic fuel cut off 'tap' although the latter proved to be seized - so I by-passed it and will rely on the manual lever to starve the engine of fuel.
The engine fiored up well and ran again. I have filmed this running session and its now on you tube - please follow this link;
Alternatively look under Panhard AML on You tube and look for videos by me (ebarrimore)
It now runs like a dream and you can see and hear how it copes well being taken up to 7 thou revs.
Interestingly all this and a couple of subsequent runs used up about £10 in fuel! - I think its a thirsty puppy!
I also have made a video (on you tube) of stopping and starting the engine. As these engines are easy to foul with fuel - it is suggested in the drivers manual (thanks ebay!) you need cut off the fuel to get the engine to wind down and eventually stop. That way to start again is easier and there is no chance of it flooding.
Again there is another video of it running down;
I realise this is specialist viewing(!) but I have been asked by a chap in the US to show it running as he has an interest in large air cooled car engines.
Interestingly there is no choke facility. There is one on the carb - but it is not connected anywhere and cannot be operated by the driver. I guess again it was so easy to flood these engines - this facility was deemed not necessary?
New rubber fuel hoses were used where-ever possible (the original brass pipework was crumpled and has ants living in it!) and the reserve tank was by passed due to the fact it was rusty inside and holed.
It seems the panhards supplied the carb with fuel by gravity from small fuel tanks above the engine. These were in turn fed from the main fuel tank in the floor by the fuel pump. I guess this enabled the AML to be driven even if the main fuel tank was compromised, or ran dry. The AML doesn't have a fuel sender unit - you keep tabs on the fuel level through a leather 'stick' inserted into the tank through the fuel filler neck - very inconvenient and technologically backward!!
Enjot the videos - next jobs are the floor, finalising the pioneer tools on the hull front and then on to the turret basket .