A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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11 December 2012


.... wrote a short piece for piano known as 'Rage Over a Lost Penny'. It often comes to mind when I lose something - like I did on Saturday. I was struggling into the workshop with the front hubs - trying to carry too much at once; a bit like getting all the shopping out of the car in one hit - and one of the kingpins fell out of its hub. From the corner of my eye I saw a bronze thrust washer roll off to a place about 6' from where I was standing. I heaved the two hub assemblies on to the bench and went back to pick up the washer. It's now nearly Tuesday and still no sign of the washer. If you're unfamiliar with Beethoven's 'Rage...', it's very amusing and uplifting and at the very least serves to remind that, actually, all is not lost.

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A good solid weekend's work on the car has seen the front brake hydraulic system largely completed, the gearbox painted and reassembled with new seals and decisions made about shortening the wheel studs. But first the front brakes. From the original brake set-up, I've salvaged the adjustable rod ends from the brake push rods and their ball ends sit comfortably in the slave cylinder piston depression. I've guessed at the sort of length that I might need them to be and added a bit to allow for getting it wrong.

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Although the line is not quite as straight as I would have liked, it's only a couple of degrees off the vertical and shouldn't be a problem. So far, it seems to be quite a neat installation; there's a little bit of lateral movement on the backplates but nothing that I can see is going to be of any consequence. I keep reminding myself that the amount that the rods and levers have to travel to make the brakes work is minimal - it might be 1/2" at the most, so there's not a lot of room for things to get in a muddle (he says).

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I've painted the ferrous part of the gearbox the same colour as the engine. The gearchange bits and pieces are all going to be powder-coated in black. They should be back by the end of the week so next weekend I can change the boxes over and get on with the rear axle assembly.

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I must try to get the steering box mounted as well if there's time. I had a quick look at the hubs to see what's going to be the best way forward with the wheels studs; they're too long because they're for artillery wheels. I removed one stud from the first of the hubs and, because they're threaded into the hub and peened over for security, it made a bit of a mess on the way out. I cleared the thread with a tap and luckily the stud went back in without a problem. So, I'll make up a box spanner for a die and continue the existing thread before cutting off to size. It'll be a bit of a tedious job but it's got to be done.

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And, whilst I've been referring to the manual for the gearbox reassembly, I notice that the curious device attached to the carburettor is an 'Engine Stop' fandango. That's good, an extra knob to play with in the cockpit; Miss X and I could probably make a decent fist of 'Lob auf den Dicken' as we trundle down to Monaco.

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