A short run in the dark one evening resulted in sparks from under the dashboard and one glowing red wire, great for keeping my right knee warm but not good for the electrical system. Investigation revealed a flick switch with uninsulated terminals just tucked up behind the dash which had shorted out and moving it out under the dash killed the heat. I don't know what the switch was for but the power feed was scotchlocked to the dipped beam wire and the short was severe enough to burn the contacts on the dipswitch. A replacement switch has arrived and will be fitted soon.Thankfully all the smoke didn't escape from the system and there was enough left to get home.
The engine was still smoking badly so it had to be sorted sooner rather than later. The royal decree was 'off with its head' and investigation started. It's years since I did any serious work on an engine but it soon came back to me. Everything loosened off well and didn't take long at all. Actually getting the head off took about half an hour. I've never come across one so tight on the studs. I thought it was welded on. Eventually, after much persuasion with a copper hammer, it gave up and decided to cooperate.
I was expecting to see the worst in the bores but they were in fine condition, so good in fact that I doubted that the problem lay there.
The head went back on much easier than it came off. With some trepidation I fired it up again. The trepidation was justified as there was just as much smoke as before.
After much head scratching and subsequent removal of splinters from fingernails, we decided to alter the breathers. The system was a breather pipe from the front tappet chest cover which split with a Y piece, one side going to the manifold at the front carburettor and one to the rear. To maintain manifold vacuum, I split the Y piece from the breather pipe from the tappet chest and blocked the end with a bit of Blu Tack.
Eureka!!! Success!!. No smoke at all. The temporary Blu Tack was removed and a permanent solution set up by linking the two manifold ports to maintain vacuum and leaving the other end open to atmosphere.
Now, smoke free, all that was left to do was a good tune up and the B runs very well indeed.