A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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12 January 2021

Fashion Sense.

The word is that fashion designers from Milan, New York and London will this Spring draw their inspiration from outdoors. Sky Blue will feature prominently, bringing a breath of fresh air to streetwear and casual tailoring, reminding us of cloudless summer days and ..... blahblahfishcakes.

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So, naturally, Maurice will be wearing a subtle pastel blue set off with silver highlights and black accessories - the starter motor and whatnot.

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The chassis has received similar treatment...

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... as has the suspension, hubs, backplates and anything else that wasn't moving when I had the paintbrush in my hand. I'm lucky to have an excellent paint mixing company a few miles away whom I turned to for advice about the type of paint I should use to hand-brush a chassis. They recommended a polyurethane based paint which boasted excellent self-levelling qualities and was very easy to apply - probably the best I've ever used since the days of 'One-Shot' enamel which I think was available only in the US. I asked about thinners but was told that throwing the brush away after use was probably the best move. But from the smell of the paint, a hint of pear drops suggested that acetone was probably involved and sure enough was successful in recovering an almost dried out brush. I did notice that Kurust, if applied too thickly, sometimes reacted with the paint by dissolving ever so slightly, even after a week's hardening.

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In removing one of the steering arms from its hub carrier, I broke the 12-ton press - on loan from next door. I took the bottle jack to pieces to find out what was wrong. In emptying the hydraulic fluid into a waste oil container, I didn't think to sieve the fluid and a small ball-bearing shot into the oggin. I then had to sieve the gloop into several other containers before I could fish the ball out with a magnet. I needn't have bothered. It appeared that the ball was somehow captive in some sort of cage affair which had completely disintegrated. The bottle jacks are not listed in the spares departments I consulted, and I still have a king pin to press out of the other hub carrier. I bit the bullet and ordered another press. The old press I shall convert into a bench top example with a lesser bottle jack, so it won't go to waste.

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After several months of soaking in diesel and WD-40, the Great Collector's Daimler engine has finally given in and freed up. It now turns over very easily on the starting handle. The next job was to move it up to the workshop and put it on the ramp. Fortunately, with the recent frosts, the ground was hard enough for the Ferguson to pull it into position in front of the garage doors. The following two hours were spent winching it on to the ramp inch-by-inch, with a tree-puller. It's a heavy old thing.

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Unlike Leon's Austin Special, now undergoing conversion from troublesome hydraulics back to simple cable brakes. Makes sense.

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