A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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13 December 2020

Juliet Had A Myford.

I know this because she said that "... parting [off] is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say - goodnight, til it be morrow." My sentiments entirely. Making up the captive nuts for the Riley subframe from bar stock, I was faced with this perennial problem. I've never got the hang of parting-off on my Myford; even with a new tipped tool, the chattering quickly sets in. Coupled with the Myford's headstock allowing only up to 15mmØ material, I was frustrated at every turn. Time to say goodnight.

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Also determined to cause me grief was this little job. In my rush to get it done - there were two globes to assemble - I didn't properly think out the method and got in a right tangle. Still, it proved that the alterations to my slip-roller were not a waste of time.

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I had more success when addressing the business of fitting new sleeves to the top of the offside subframe tower. It was interesting to note that the chassis, despite its apparent robustness, had pulled in slightly since I'd removed the original subframe. The Great Collector provided me with an Acro strut which I cut down enough to fit between the rails and, by winding it out, was able to restore (and check with the old subframe) the geometry of the chassis.

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It was a bit of a fiddle getting around the underneath of the sleeves with the welder. I also cut off and replaced the outer lug which had been distorted at some point in the car's history.

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The tower now fits as it should.

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I got my wheeling machine main wheel back from the engine people. Hmm, it didn't look much better, but surprisingly, it does give a smoother finish to the workpiece. Mr Ferrari popped by the workshop the other day and suggested that I rig up a rubber wheel on the end of a drill and spin the main wheel whilst polishing with some 2000 grit paper. I shall do that - the moral being: if you want the job done properly....

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An interesting task came my way this week. The details of a new formula in the racing car world are being formalised and one of the regulations will specify the amount of material allowed to be skimmed from the head of the engine. Obviously, an engine with .0040" taken away is going to make a difference and likely out-perform a standard engine. My job is to create an instrument that will measure the height of the combustion chamber with the piston - any one of them - at tdc and, that is able to demonstrate visually whether or not the cylinder head dimensions are within the limits set by the formula's regulations. The instrument needs to be tamper-proof, sealed and initially calibrated with an untouched standard engine. Once the parameters have been established, a calibration device can be created.

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Learned Counsel was having a clear out and gave me a set of four of these wonderful spark plugs. I don't know how he can part with them.

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next post Piece By Piece.


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