All posts by Dan Varoy

Dan Varoy was born on June 2nd 1951. At age 15 he started a motor mechanic apprenticeship at Wakefield Motors in Wellington NZ. Intent on becoming a motorcycle world champion, in 1972 he headed to Europe via South Africa. Many experiences, and one or two mistakes later, he returned to settle in South Africa in 1980. A daughter from a previous marriage, Carolyn Marie, lives in Australia. Married to Linda, they have three very grown up children Vincent, Natalie and Danelle. He has a 32 year old gearbox and motor car repair business in Johannesburg's Northern suburb Randburg. Writing and entertaining his readers has now become his life mission!

1966 Ford Cortina Shock Inserts

Dan Varoy Motors                                                                                                         t/a Gearbox King & Auto King                                                                                  3 King St                                                                                                             Kensington B                                                                                                   Randburg                                                                                                                       2194                                                                                                                                  Johannesburg                                                                                                          South Africa                                                                                                               2020 06 04

First of all, thank you Monroe Australia for coming up with the correct inserts. I had searched many spares outlets and their suppliers, internet sites in South Africa, the UK and Australia and came up with a big fat zero. Local shock and vintage specialists in Johannesburg were also unable to help. A big thank you must also go to Philip Lutz, Product Manager of DRiV.Com, South Africa for his efforts in locating the shock inserts and brokering the deal.

Although the shock inserts arrived in Johannesburg on or around March 25th 2020, the Worldwide panic forced on us by untruthful chinese*reports concerning the virus, and ridiculous lockdowns, in almost every nation of our Planet, meant the inserts only landed on my work bench in the second week of May 2020.

After the initial shock of seeing where the inserts originated, and wondering why the Western Nations were unable to see further than the profit potential and handed complete industries to the eastern investors, sadly leaving the West very little to trade with except resources and commodities, I gathered myself and set about checking the dimensions to ensure there were no hiccups on assembly.

Subject:               1966 Ford Cortina 997cc – standard engine

Registration Number:    MWG 607 GP

Vehicle condition: Restored – immaculate except for a few mechanical faults, namely front shocks, engine mounts and brake master cylinder

Assembly Technician: Dan Varoy (ex Wellington New Zealand)

Insert part number:

The overall length of the shock insert was a perfect fit in the Macpherson strut as were the fine thread sleeve nuts, although the sleeve nuts only had two shallow slots on the inner diameter, of insufficient depth to securely tighten the sleeve nut, unless a special fit adapter had been supplied with the insert kit.

I made up an adapter using the original sleeve nut, machined the slots larger in the sleeve nut, to fit the 5mm pins used in the made to fit special tool.

Cortina Shocks sleeve nut tool

1 Special tool made up using original sleeve nut.

I poured 150ml of engine oil into the strut for cooling the insert, tightened the sleeve nuts and fitted the spring and top mount assembly. The reduced shaft diameter was the correct size for the top mount, as was the threaded section. Once the supplied new top lock nut was tightened, the mounting had no free play and turned freely.

Installing the Macpherson struts into the 1966 Ford Cortina was simple reassembly.

Cortina Shocks front view

2 Front view proved correct ride height.

When the vehicle was lowered to the ground the ride height was perfect, with the front height matching the rear, and level from the front and the side of the Cortina.

Cortina Shocks rear and side view

3 Cortina side view even front and rear.

Wheel alignment was set to 3mm toe in, steering clear view centred and after that the all important road test ensued.

On the road the Cortina glided over bumps and Johannesburg’s potholes, the damping action suited the weight of the vehicle, with no excessive shock felt through the steering wheel.

Summary:

The shock absorber inserts supplied were the correct part for the vehicle, threads and dimensions correct and only the sleeve nut proved difficult to tighten, but that was a small price to pay, once the special tool was manufactured.

Well done Monroe Australia, for correctly matching the 54 year old vehicle and the replacement front shock inserts.

Dan Varoy

*I make no apology for lower case used here. Respect is earned.

Cortina Shocks Grandson at the wheel

4 My 21 month old grandson at the wheel of the Cortina.