Starting an old Rialto Van

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arty131
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Starting an old Rialto Van

Post by arty131 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:36 pm

Hi Gang ,bought my first Reliant last week its a March 83 model only prob is it hasn't run since June 92 ,apart from spraying some thin oil directly into the cylinders can you experienced reliant owners give me any more advice,im picking it up on a low loader this Sunday 7 Oct 18.
Are these reliant engines strong enough to withstand such a lay off or should i expect the worse. Thanks Arthur

Wheaters
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Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Post by Wheaters » Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:25 pm

I'd firstly check that it turns over easily by putting a socket on the front pulley nut. If it turns freely, change the oil and filter then spin it over with the plugs out and check that oil appears at the rockers, so that the system is fully primed.

What is likely to have happened is corrosion in the cooling system (common fault). But there's only one way to find out.... drain it, flush it, refill it with blue coolant mixture then run it up to working temperature.

The fuel system might also need flushing through and the carb cleaning out. The original fuel "filter" is a sintered brass cone which sits in the pipe as it runs down the rear chassis by the axle and is really too small; a very small amount of debris can block it.

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johno
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Location: Sunny Isle of Portland. fully operational

Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Post by johno » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:48 am

There shouldn't be any major issues if you do as Wheater's suggest.
give the ignition components a check over and clean especially if it still has points.
I would remove the rocker cover when turning the engine over by hand so you can look for stuck valves or rockers( a good time to check valve clearance as well) then squirt some oil over the moving parts of the rocker assembly and down the pushrod tubes.
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arty131
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Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Post by arty131 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:53 pm

Thanks for the good advice i will do as you say,i'm really excited i've wanted one of these for years but i have always stuck to motor bikes and cars , i have just retired at 67 and the roads feel harder these days so it's time to slip into a Reliant,can't wait ,but it needs a lot of work so next summer is the target. Thanks again.

lukew
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Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Post by lukew » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:40 pm

I would highly recommend not following any advice to just get the basics working and then get it through an MOT. I was given that advice, and it's cost me 2 gearboxes, a clutch, entire braking system, both leaf springs, seat support, months of fuelling issues, wiring faults to track down and simple jobs being a nightmare due to seized and rotting bolts.

There are also plenty of spares out there, alternative parts and some that are probably cheaper to get custom made than buying from "reliant suppliers".

Check out https://sites.google.com/site/fifersrel ... stips/home for info, parts information and general advice :)

arty131
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Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Post by arty131 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:07 pm

I know what you mean about rusty bolts,i removed the doors so it would be easier to work in my small garage and it was a nightmare,getting the carb off to clean it out was also a pig of a job.Like you i have discovered a multitude of age related faults all the brake system is shot and needs replacing the entire petrol system is rotted and will also need replacing,new tyres,coil oil ,new battery,the list goes on but i expected a lot of work ,i got the van for a pittance so if i can keep under £1500 i think i will have a very good Rialto van at a reasonable price.On the brighter side i now have the engine turning freely and i have sparkes at the plugs ,next job is refitting the carb and trying to start her or him up. PS if there's any one in the Liverpool area who could advise me on my reliant could you please contact me.Many thanks Arthur

Plasticvandan
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Location: Pershore

Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Post by Plasticvandan » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:07 pm

you will regret taking the doors off,they are a pig to realign afterwards,still, a good learning curve

lukew
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Re: Starting an old Rialto Van

Post by lukew » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:46 pm

arty131 wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:07 pm
PS if there's any one in the Liverpool area who could advise me on my reliant could you please contact me.Many thanks Arthur
I'm down the road in Southport. Xpress autofactors have been extremely helpful with finding parts, cheap prices too. I have a few odd parts kicking around and occasional use of ramps at a garage. 4 post but we have made an adaptor plate for the front wheel, just roll them up backwards and strap the front wheel down with a ratchet strap :)

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