A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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05 March 2021

Thinking Ahead.

I'm nearly at the stage where I'm going to have to put the chassis on its wheels. A couple of things need to be determined before that happens: the first is the colour of the wheels - they're currently in primer - and the second is tyres. I don't want to put the tyres on the wheels only for them to have to be removed for painting.

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Colours are tricky. I always like the wheels to be a darker shade or a darker contrasting colour than the body and messing about with RAL swatches on Photoshop, my first ideas are two tones of almost blue-but-green - and it'll be a metallic finish. The sample here isn't yet right, but it's a good starting point. The brightwork, including the hubcaps, will be nickel. I'll have to make up a solution to strip the chrome first.

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I forgot to mention that a couple of weeks ago I was asked to move on this Austin 10 from a lock-up that was needed to be cleared for its owner. Having been stored for some years, it was in surprisingly sound condition and, most importantly, complete. I found a home for it and helped with the loading. Within a couple of hours of its arrival at its new abode, the engine was running!

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I got into a bit of a muddle with the electronic ignition's trigger wheel. The book states that for a 6cyl engine the missing tooth needs to be positioned at 60° to the right as you look at the pulley on a clockwise rotating engine. I marked up the crankcase pulley's balance wheel; scribed TDC and the 60° mark and measured the pcd of the bolt holes - 84mm. On a drawing programme, I produced a full-size disc with the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock bolt holes marked as a drilling aid. All went very smoothly - except the pcd was 74mm. I'd put the ruler on 10mm as the start and read off 84, then failed to minus the 10. Hence the extra holes.

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I also managed to get one of the hubs the wrong way around when assembling the drive shafts. Pressing the shafts into the hubs was no easy task. I made up a mandrel from the bronze traction engine bush, inserted a nylon sleeve to keep everything centralised and rebated the bush to accept a length of stout steel tube (high pressure gas line piping, I think) and popped it in the press. The jig took an hour to sort out; the press work was little more than 5 seconds for each shaft, but it was worth it.

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I've managed to salvage the three bronze brake pipe junctions illustrated in the manual, though I shall have to get one that'll accommodate a brake light switch. The Other Wright Brother has an excellent old-fashioned brake pipe flaring tool which I used for the Hillman, so that's good. A complete kit of brake lines is available from the Riley Spares Centre, but with the cockpit moved back, I'm going to have to think it all out again anyway.

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