A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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22 September 2012

Just Do It.

I fiddled on measuring till I was blue-in-the-face and still couldn't get to the bottom of it; my last idea to correct the axle alignment anomaly was to insert 5/8" into the nearside chassis rail. That would mess up the paint, doublers would have to be made and fitted; it was getting out of hand so I lowered the offside end of the axle from the locating pin, shifted the whole show back in line with everything else and marked up where the pin fell on the axle plate. After measuring the distance from the original hole, I turned up a couple of plugs for the old holes, knocked them in and then split the difference between the 2 and re-drilled.

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The axle is now in line.

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All the worry about the springs not working properly and so on - it's just nonsense. This is a car built in 1926; 5/16" isn't going to make a ha'porth of difference to anything - might even improve it. I remember once rigging the Avro 504 (1918 vintage) with a laser-twink and theodomathingamy; it flew like a sack of potatoes. Back on the ground I re-rigged it by eye - couldn't be beat; flew just lovely it did.

During the week I managed to slip off to the radiator people. I've thought very carefully about this and bearing in mind the engine is 20-odd years younger than the car, the options are a) to have the radiator rebuilt as original, b) to have it re-cored with a modern core and duff up something for the front to make it look ok and, c) to use the old shell (I removed the core to knock out the dents) as a purely cosmetic piece which would have a stand-alone modern radiator inside. I'd also get some false honeycomb stuff to sit on the front.

The first option would require my winning the lottery. The second option is a possibility but again, only a timely inheritance would make this possible and frankly, I've run out of parents. Option 'c' is the favourite and although not inexpensive, allows me to tailor the radiator to the engine.

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There is an option 'd' which is to root about and find a modern radiator that'll slip inside the shell and do the job. The only snag with this is that I'm shooting in the dark and I don't want to be sitting in a lay-by half way to Monaco with cooling problems, besides which it might look a bit Heath-Robinson. Option 'c' gives me some scope to adjust the system to suit the engine and, taking the long view - well worth the extra. I've started to relieve the rear part of the shell so that as big a radiator as possible can be fitted. An adjustable pressure relief valve and an electric fan are features of the new design - sensible additions as the Series I Morris Six cooling problems are the stuff of legend.

And the radiator is the last major expense this year. No, honestly, it is. It jolly well has to be.

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next post Loose ends.


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