... from Joseph de Maistre, whose St Petersburg Dialogues one is rarely without, “Wherever an altar is found, there civilization exists.”
Once the front hub bearing retaining rings were removed - easy to say, not so easy to do - the application of heat had some consequences. The fibre in the outer oil seal was reduced to cinders though, somewhat surprisingly, the 'O' ring in the retaining ring looked untouched. There was plenty of grease inside that had protected the innards from the ravages of the village pond and a quick clean up in petrol was all that was required. Happily, all the bearings - shot to bits - fell out.
My manuals didn't really have much to say about the removal of the halfshafts from the bearings on the later RM axles without the torque tube, and a dished piece with flanges on the outer part of the hub had me foxed. It looked like this cap affair might unscrew and reveal another nut on the end of the shaft. I sought advice from the Riley RM forum where I learnt that the approved method is to grasp the backplate and bang the other end of the halfshaft on a solid floor while watching out for the wheel studs getting in your face as the grip on the shaft gives. I tried this. Nope. So I set up a couple of plywood faced bricks and gave the aluminium block a few manly clumps with the 4lb hammer. Nope.
What was I thinking of? - I have access to a 12-ton press! The assembly just fitted in the gap with some support which allowed the halfshaft to push through. I pumped the jack and wondered why the press was beginning to levitate about the shaft.
Good grief, it's a wonder they trust me with ships and millions of euros worth of cables! A quick rearrangement of the backplate supports, the application of heat from the roofers' flame thrower and bang, the halfshafts were free. The bearings and oil seals were similarly shot.
Learned Counsel is cracking on with the racing Jowett (which means I've got to get on with the engine turning on the dashboard) and popped round with one of the rear wings. It had been involved in several collisions in its life as it had belonged to another racing Jowett back in the 60's. Consequently, it was full of ripples, dents and the odd patch. A couple of hours on the wheel and then some more detailed attention with the spoon and dolly, saw it back in more respectable condition.
Pausing for tea, I noticed that my squeezy honey had crystallised. Being a clever sort of chap, I gave it a quick burst in the microwave. We learn something new every day.
Following the delivery of a 220L tub, I was eager to make up a cage for the de-rusting experiment. The sodium carbonate to make up the electrolyte arrived shortly after. Connected to the positive side of the power supply, the cage is the sacrificial anode.