Whilst on the Euro tour a noise started at the front end of the engine, couldn't identify it for some time. The noise happened on an incline or when pulling away. Eventually realised the the starter shaft in the nose cone was engaging, the spring must be broken. Held it out with insulating tape,job done. As the car had spent its hols spreading 3 ltrs of oil even all over Europe I decided to fit one of the new silicon washers between block and crankcase. This is what I found. I think that the shaft had been working like a jack hammer.
Next job strip down engine and fit a new steel lip
All too common I am afraid Derek, many apparently intact flanges are actually cracked, I would encourage all when building an engine to at the very least test the flange, I almost routinely replace the flange these day's.
I am very fortunate in having friends near bye , Martin Baker and Chris Surtell. Martin for the appropriate tooling and Chris although a ten driver, probably knows more about the workings of a seven than your average owner having spent two mornings a week over seven years in my garage. I am sure the problem will be shortly rectified. I spent the morning stripping the engine down to its component pieces ready to start on Friday.
But of course one cannot forget the friends on here who have contributed over many many years. Thanks.