When I began to ask around the first thing I was told confirmed that 'B tubular manifolds dont fit Gilberns'. I did wonder if the BL ST manifold might fit, as it famously clears the steering on LHD B's in a way many others dont, and I thought about buying one from Moss to give it a spin. But found I did not have to.
Browsing other sites I found that Maniflow, near Salisbury, said 'Gilbern' right between F for Ford and H for Hillman. Surely not I thought. But a call to Dave Dorrington (ex Downton all those years ago) confirmed that he actually had a Gilbern GT jig and that he'd be happy to stick his favourite competition 'B' pipe sizes onto it for me. He goes up one size on the diameter of the centre branch, which has to flow more, with a 2" tailpipe exit.
After six weeks it popped up (Dave's got a waiting list!) and it looked great. It was suitably compact, with good bends and impressive weld finish. But would it fit?
Here is a bit of before and after - or really after and before as the Maniflow pipes are on the left, looking very much like the pattern of the BL ST manifold.
The finish is in total contrast to the stainless item it replaces, which looked as if I had welded it!
But did it fit? Yes, quite beautifully and without any pushing or shoving on my part.
And what you see is a beautiful little gap between the centre branch and chassis tube. Big enough for me to be able to run my hand between them, so a couple of centimeters. While the collector pushes out straight and flat below the car.
Now I can take it back off and send to Camcoat for a bit of 21st century help with their ceramic coatings. I used their 'race' coating process on the manifold on my zetec-powered Morgan and it siginificantly lowered underbonnet temperatures. With the intake sitting directly above the pipes on a B-series, I am hoping for a similar result here.
Summer holidays start now, and I have to hope it's back in time to sort out for Bo'ness...