... on the bench - the cylinder head that is. Some years ago, the Wolseley 6/80 club asked me to make up some valve spring compressors for the OHC engines. I had an original plate as a pattern to copy and made a spare set for myself whilst everything was set up. What I didn't know was that the plate wasn't the end of it and there were tie rods and whatnot that were needed to do the job.
The plates have cut-outs which sit over the top of the valve spring pots and tie rods go through the holes in the plates which line up with three of the cylinder head stud bores.
I had some studs in my come-in-handy box which I tapped and welded into a length of 'T' section to act as the bottom clamp.
It seemed that what I was also missing was something to sit on top of the plates to spread the load evenly. The ends of the plates began to flex and I couldn't quite get the valves compressed enough to slip the camshaft out. A bag of sausages was probably the answer.
And while Chumley worked his magic, I tackled the Riley steering gear. Although everything came apart without a problem, water and grease slopped out onto the bench signalling that all was not well.
A slightly distorted close-up of the stem gear shows that the water had done its worst by eating away the gear, the taper-roller bearings and their surfaces.
Similarly, the rack itself had been thinned out beyond all hope of salvage. I put out an SOS call on the Riley RM Club forum and within a couple of hours had secured a replacement '54 RME steering assembly. That was a bit of a life saver.
The top link spindle appeared on my radar while I was contemplating the steering gear. You may recall it was one of the important pieces which I wanted to remove without trauma. Naturally, the nut and thread came off in my hand.
As it's not under any tensile or compressive load, I selected a bolt of almost the same size, cut the head off and turned a smaller threaded portion on one end. The spindle was then bored out, tapped to accept the new end and welded up.
Tra La! The flats were milled, and the only thing left was to borrow a big metric die from the farm workshop and take the thread down all the way to the shoulder.
A year or so ago, I popped along to see Tim Hannam of Bronzecraft (link in the blogroll) a small Norfolk foundry specialising in Fine Art casting. Tim was building an Alvis TA14 Special with an Eaton M62 supercharger fitted and had designed and cast a manifold for the blower which looked every bit the part. The car was not then finished.
You can always tell when an artist has been at work.
This must be one of the prettiest Specials I've ever seen. It'll certainly turn some heads.