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Fixing a Dellow


NB this article was written some time ago and as such the prices quoted are somewhat optimistic today.


Although restoration is quite straight forward, most of us will look to specialists when it comes to the more difficult replacements, these are some of the expensive bits:


Rear wings – look for evidence of corrosion where the wing meets the body. Replacement of the body panel is single curvature and inexpensive, repair or replacement of the rear wings is far more expensive and could run into 4 figures.


Nose cowl – look for damage and poor repairs. There should be a tube running behind the centre vertical between the two grilles. If it is not there, its had a shunt. It is quite difficult to get a cowl to fit symmetrically and square and will be quite expensive to replace.


Fuel Tank – leaking fuel tanks will fail an MOT , a proper replacement would cost in the region of £500.00 however unless the dreaded corrosion is too bad, a fuel tank sealant could cure all for £50.00 or so.


Radiator – the radiator is a Dellow item, not Ford, it is also very large with a large core and a large header tank, more like a commercial vehicle type. Again complete replacement will be expensive, re-coring less so.


Windscreen – this is also a Dellow item. These can be re-chromed for £100.00 or so, complete frame replacement would be near to 10 times this amount.


Engine – assuming a suitable block is in the car you should budget for £700 for a refurbishment using new pistons and bearings. A full recondition with new valves, guides, bearings, pistons, timing chain etc. etc. would raise this to £1000. if you want to get an exchange engine fully assembled ready to drop in then budget for £1400 to £1600. this applies to both E93A & 100E engines although the 100E may be slightly less if it has replaceable big end shells. More detail on parts availability and costs can be found at SmallFord Spares Ltd. See the links page!


Steering Column – this is a critical Dellow part, it looks like the Ford Prefect column but is 12.5″ longer. the drop arm is also special to Dellow and impossible to find. Two standard Ford columns can be grafted together with the splice weld hidden beneath the dashboard but it would probably fail an MOT if discovered. check therefore that the play at the wheel rim is less than 1″. The Register is enquiring about remanufacture but this will not happen tomorrow.


What to look out for when you get the Dellow home - A series of home maintenance notes:


A half shaft failure has caused a strip down of my rear axle and considerable head scratching about the state of my rear wheel bearings, the result is this little resume of what can be done.


So, you’ve got the car home and you’ve decided to check the brakes!

Quite easy to do at the front, although having to remove the hub is a bit of a pain, never mind, its an opportunity to check the wheel bearings. Remember you will need a 1/8” x 1 ½” split pin for each side when you put it back together. And don’t forget to back off the brake adjustment before removing the hub.


Check the state of the linings which should be equal in wear and with at least 1/16” before the rivets touch the drum. Make sure the alloy expander housing is free to move on the back plate. This is most important to ensure full braking power and even wear. If it is stiff, check that the nuts holding it to the backplate have the correct Thackray washer, this is a double spring washer. These nuts need to be backed off half a turn from tight to allow the expander freedom to move. The original fitment was for castellated nuts and split pins but for convenience, a ¼”UNF Nyloc self locking nut is a better solution, they were fitted by Ford later in production; you will need 8 per car, available cheaply by post from Namrick (see Links page)


Now for the rear hubs where it gets a little trickier.

Here you will need a hub removal tool. if one didn’t come with the car, you will need to watch e-bay or the sales columns in FSOC News to buy one. Expect to pay £20 for one, unused ones in boxes fetch £40 or more, sad isn’t it!

After removing the split pin, nut and washer and backing off the brake adjustment, fit the tool and tighten it with a big spanner. If the hub comes off, it was not fitted tight enough, what you should expect is the hub to be very tight and will only become free with a couple of hard strikes with a 4lb club hammer on the end of the tool. Withdraw the hub and check the state of the brake linings as for the front.


Whilst it’s all apart, check the state of the stub axle, especially underneath. When your heart rate has subsided, have another look at the wear on the journal, if it’s like every axle I’ve worked on, the bearing surface has completely broken down with equivalent damage to the rollers. In fact it seems amazing that they keep running.

You will quickly realise that the axle stub is not a renewable item. Henry Ford knew where to make the money!


So what can be done?

There are surprisingly a number of options, with good solutions from our friends at SmallFordSpares & good old FSOC if you are a member (see links).


  • put it all back together and forget it. Not recommended – however I have seen axles with the most appalling bearing damage still running. But this will inevitably lead to halfshaft failure, which is potentially very dangerous.

  • re-metal the journal.

  • sleeve the journal.

  • use the SmallFordSpares or FSOC repair option.

These are more fully described below:

  • Forget it, – not recommended.

  • Re-metalling – You will need to find a mechanical workshop who will machine the journal to remove the damage, reweld or metal respray and grind to the original size and with a hardness of 550 Brinell. This was the hardness spec for the original journal which arguably was insufficient. Obtaining this hardness or harder is very difficult and expensive.

  • Sleeving – Machine the damaged journal and press on a sleeve with the correct diameter and hardness. Enabling the original Ford bearing and seal to be used. This is available on an exchange basis from SmallFordSpares but you might find a local engineering shop who could do this. The journal would need to be accurately machined to 1.375 in diameter and a sleeve with a outer diameter of 1.500” +0.0000” / -0.0005” and a hardness of 550 Brinell pressed on to the journal or fixed with a Loctite or similar product.

  • Fit the SmallFordSpares axle repair kit which consists of a sleeve which is installed with an adhesive over the worn journal, a bearing and an outer race which is fitted into the hub after removing the Standard Ford outer race. (this is not straight forward!)Fit the SmallFordSpares axle repair kit which consists of a sleeve


As SmallFordSpares have deduced, it boils down to 2 options: the sleeve or repair kit. The sleeve option is an exchange scheme and has the additional difficulties of changing the pinion and diff bearings which require specialised equipment, not only this but your Dellow axle will have bits welded to it which invalidate the exchange scheme.

The simplest and as it happens cheapest option is the repair kit, this is appropriate for average damage conditions but for severe wear where little of the original journal diameter remains may not be suitable. Check with SmallFordSpares. Their fitting instructions are published on their website (see links)


The Ford Sidevalve Owners Club also list a repair kit for a similar price to the one offered by SmallFordSpares but I currently have no details. The Dellow Register also had 80 of these kits made some years ago. They were all sold but I have yet to see a car with one fitted so there must be most of these sat on shelves somewhere. I have the fitting instructions for these and they are similar to the SmallFordSpares except provision was made for running the bearing in an oil rather than grease.

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