Learned Counsel's Midget was dusted off and we bowled along to a sunny Old Buckenham Airfield to give the cars a run.
I noticed a slight hesitation developing as the engine warmed up and by the time we got to the airfield, application of throttle under load produced a partial cut-out. A couple of flats weaker on the mixture nut cured that. This would be the first and last run for at least 7 weeks as I was called to go offshore to the Borssele Wind Farm in the North Sea for another round of inter-array cable laying. My fellow Magneteer in this adventure would be Janecki z Krakowa. He can always be relied on to choose the night shift; that suits me just fine. Our home for this operation will be the Van Oord Nexus, a relatively new and extremely well-appointed vessel with an excellent galley. We've stayed on her a couple of times, the last I think was in Eemshaven.
After cleaning all the oil from the crankshaft, it was easier to have a closer look at the main bearing journals. They weren't anything like as good as they looked at first glance. Running a fingernail across the faces revealed tram lines of varying depths. Not that that mattered particularly as they'd have to be renewed for the 'new' block in any case.
Regrettably, though not unsurprisingly, it was the same story for the big end journals. The factory markings that I mentioned before, stamped along the bottom of the block and adjacent to each big end, along with the condition of all the bolt heads on the bearing caps, gave me good reason to think that the engine had never been rebuilt. If I can get +0010 shells and the crank re-ground to suit, that'll certainly see me out.
There was plenty of oggin lurking underneath the sump pan and clogging up the pick-up float, but it all came up nicely with a good dose of petrol and a stiff brush.
It hasn't been all dirty work. A parcel of goodies arrived from The Riley Centre, including two new kingpins - or swivel pins as they're called in the parts list. There was a bunch of front suspension rubbers, new link pins, rear spring shackles and a host of other stuff with which to reassemble the running gear. My chum in Amsterdam is going ahead with creating the front subframe in Fusion 360 from the drawings I've sent him, though he says it may take some time. That's not going to be a problem with me being away.
The Great Collector's Daimler Light 15 with a body probably by Mulliners of Birmingham, is now up and running very smoothly thanks to his and Counsel's efforts.
Leon has added a few cosmetic touches to his A7 Special - the framed number plate on the radiator mesh is a nice touch.
Awkward has a spare Mobylette engine and, with a nod to Butch Cassidy, is busy working on his "meet the future" moment. Too much spare time, I'd venture.