This afternoon I finally had the time to tweak the carbs and get my 1850HL running better and then she had her first short drive for 26 years. Woo-hoo. What an achievement! Amazingly the O/D gearbox that I bought untried from ebay seems to work perfectly. I got up to third gear briefly and proved that the O/D works.
The steering is lighter than I expected and the brakes work well enough but feel somewhat dead. It has new discs, pads and shoes, calipers and master & slave cylinders, plus the servo has been rebuilt. Stamping on the pedal locked the fronts, so they work fine - just don't feel like a modern car.
The rebuild has involved only a small amount of welding at the front of the sills and a repaint. I have stripped the engine and found it in good condition so it has had cylinder honing, new rings and shells, new timing chain and new clutch. I ground in the valves and played with shims to get the clearances right. The motor sounds good and seems to have the power I would expect. The interior is in exceptional condition considering it is 40 years old.
The front mudflaps will have to go, or at least be shortened. Every corner found them rubbing on the ground.
Here's a hand-held video of the first drive.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/65077213@ ... 775517012/