Not content with making new valves, Mr Laken decided to address a problem that on my engines I'd not yet encountered. As they say, ignorance is bliss, and I was blissfully ignorant of the side loads on the valve stems caused by the action of the cam on the tappets. I gather that in higher mileage engines, these loads can in time cause the valves to sit awkwardly in their seats, thus creating leaks.
This single valve arrangement is for experimental purposes, but the inclusion of the spring steel 'slipper' will almost completely eliminate the side load on the tappet.
Our trip has unfortunately been beset by mechanical problems of one sort or another. We should have left Wilhelmshaven some days ago, laid the cables in the field and been on our way home in time for the weekend. The hold-up is the re-spooling of a cable onto an installation barge. This particular cable is sitting in our ship's carousel on top of the cable we are to lay on the seabed, so we can't go anywhere until the problem - happily with the barge and not the ship - is resolved.
This enforced idleness has paradoxically rather dented my resolve to spend time getting to grips with the internal structures of the Teardrop Special. I've had a crack at it - see above - but the detailed drawings I fondly imagined would fill my sketch book, are just that - my imaginings. I tend towards the 'cut'n'fit' school when I'm building something and not having the car in front of me is obviously debilitating in this regard.
Nevertheless, fun stuff like the dashboard can be planned. I've collected a set of Riley RME instruments and also a Riley rev counter that has been converted to electric. In Bugatti style, the choke, hand throttle and indicator stalks will be nickel plated and emerge elegantly from the dashboard - working out the bell crank and lever mechanisms to achieve this will be absorbing. The instrument face finishes I haven't yet decided on, but the Riley gold and art deco pattern is not unattractive. The knobs for the switches for the various services I shall make up and plate myself. I shall enjoy creating a period face for the vacuum gauge that sits at top centre.
Our magnetiser's power supply, computers and operations centre are set up in the aft workshop of the Living Stone. We've been issued with a broken chair which is not unusual. What is unusual is that I have a workshop with some simple hand tools to play with and, best of all, a very expensive vice and a drawer full of sharp files - heaven! A simple bracket solved our seating woes.
The ship is Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) powered and brings with it certain restrictions. On pain of keelhauling, no phones or personal electronic equipment, watches included, are allowed on deck, which renders us incomunicado.
Still, tiramisu and hokey pokey keep our spirits up...
... as do some of the more amusing 'how to's on the ablutions deck.