Oil breather bottle bracket

When the engine is finally running, any excess oil is vented from the engine via the oil breather pipe. This emerges from the block at the top rear RHS. When the engine arrived, one end of the breather pipe was fitted (although without a hose clip) and fed through p-clips long the engine to its termination in mid-air.

Breather bottle

Breather bottle

The pipe needs to terminate in the oil breather bottle supplied, but the bottle I received just had a sealed rubberised cap with another pipe, and quite a long one, coming out of it.

Also, there isn’t a bracket for the bottle to be attached to on the car – the bracket comes fitted to the bottle itself. The assembly manual describes where and how to fit the bracket, although the photos in my manuals, particularly of the completed engine compartment, show the breather bottle in a different location.

Here is the right spot though – just above the steering rack on the LHS of the engine bay. The scary thing about this location, for a mechanical novice like me, is that it requires drilling out of the rivet you can see on the right hand side of the aluminium bodywork which is folded over the chassis here. This is then used for one of the rivets holding the bracket, and a new hole drilled between the two rivets for the second rivet holding the bracket in place.

The spot for the breather bottle.

The spot for the breather bottle.

Waving a drill around anywhere near the car seems a bit scary, let alone drilling out a rivet (not done that before), drilling a new hole in the car (feels just plain wrong) and riveting the bracket in place (not done that before either).

Wanting to be absolutely sure, I measured, re-measured and checked again the position of the bracket and the new hole I would be drilling. I also watched a few YouTube videos of people drilling out and re-riveting things. It all seemed pretty straightforward.

My other point of concern was that I don’t have a set of imperial-sized drills to match the 5/32″ rivets. A 4mm drill is within 0.4 mm of 5/32″ though, so I guessed/hoped that would be fine.

As it was, I needed to drill deeper than I expected to get the rivet out, but it was simple enough.  Usung the bracket to mark the second hole with a tap from a drift through the hole marked the right spot, and also provided a small dimple for the drill to register in (and not spin off across any paint). I also marked the bracket with a small T in Tippex to make sure I got it on the right way around for the marking and fitting . I was paranoid – I didn’t want to be drilling out and re-riveting if I could help it.

Holes in place, time to try out the rivet gun. My Dad has given this to me, after he bought it about 30 years ago and used it twice, maybe three times. A couple of big squeezes on the handle and a loud bang and they shaft of the rivet sheared off leaving the body behind and the bracket fixed in place.

Finally I needed to drill a 20mm diameter hole in the top of the bottle for the breather pipe to enter. I was provided an elbow to make the joint between the pipe and bottle, but on discussion with Derek and my fellow builders, the current method is to just shove the pipe into the hole in the bottle as the elbow provided, the breather pipe and the pipe out of the cap of the bottle are all incompatible. I needed to enlarge the hole by a couple of mm beyond the 20 all around, but I’m left with a snug fit and a reasonably neat job.

A small, but very satisfying victory. Bottle attached and plumbed in! And the hose coming out of the top cap? Derek tell me just to point it at the floor, so I’ll tidy this up with the wiring in the engine bay when I come back to finish this off before the big start-up day.