I Nearly Forgot...
... that it's the time of year when I wish everyone who's stuck with me, a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2021. Looking back, I started the Riley in earnest by taking the rolling chassis apart back in April. Progress was interrupted by a 7-week stint offshore, but I'm not unhappy with the ground covered. I'd said that I would be concentrating more on technical entries rather than travel. That proved prophetic.
Armed with a seasonal libation, I called in on Very Learned Counsel - he's always very obliging with advice when I get myself in a corner. In his workshop a variety of cars and engines were being worked on. This De Dion Bouton was receiving a lot of attention; its front end almost completely rebuilt.
An 8L straight six Bentley; I believe the largest production car engine Britain ever produced.
And a Riley on the dyno, about to be run up.
I'd promised myself that the Christmas break would be a chance to get the Morris engine back together again. First things first, a handle for the piston ring compressor. I'm not sure what happened to the original, but a door handle spindle bar with a piece of round bar welded on top, worked perfectly.
The con-rods were clamped on and copious amounts of oil sploshed over everything during the process. There were no ominous clicks indicating a ring breaking as the pistons slipped into their respective bores.
I'd ordered some 1500 and 2000 emery paper which arrived just before the break as, between engine operations, I planned to continue polishing the main wheel of the wheeling machine. I'm hoping to get to an almost mirror finish before attending once again to the flats on the anvils which it's evident I haven't quite removed.
More shiny bits as the new +.010" shells were inserted in the big ends....
... and even more shiny bits - the new mains shells.
Everything was going all too smoothly until two events had me scratching my head. The first was when I torqued up the main bearing caps, the crankshaft went completely solid - not a good sign - and where do I start? I wondered if the Wolseley torque settings for the twin carb engine were of greater value than the Morris Six and after slackening everything off, tried again at a lower figure. That didn't help. Mr Holmes put his finger on it when he advised loosening each cap in turn to see which was causing the problem. Before I began doing this, I realised that I might well have mixed up the no.4 cap from the engine with the crack in the block. I swapped them over and all was well. The second event, pictured above, was that in omitting to fit the timing cover before the crankshaft went in (I didn't have the means to remove the pulley and dog nut) the locating pins wouldn't let the cover pass through the gap. It must be 7 years since I last rebuilt an MS engine; some things you're bound to forget.