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A Special Builder's Notes

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The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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07 November 2021

Premonition.

In an idle moment, I thought I would clean the threads on the flywheel cover. I'd omitted to tape them up when painting the block and so running a 3/16" die down them would do the trick.

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I was smiling to myself and thinking that it was the sort of job that can go horribly wrong if you drop the die do...... drat!

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Taking the gearbox off was not an option - the last time completely knackered my back for a week - so I got out my remote mini camera and dropped it into the flywheel housing to see where the die had ended up. Fortunately, it was hooked up on a starter ring tooth only a couple of inches away from the top. I carefully manoeuvred the hook implement on the end of the camera...... and sent the die to the bottom of the casing. Double drat! It took two hours to retrieve.

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The brake pipe which joins the three-way fitting on the subframe to the four-way fitting at the firewall was fun.

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I managed to make a presentable job of the block's water inlet. Stainless is really nice to weld.

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A trip to see Mr Holmes who, in exchange for some solid copper manifold gaskets, provided me with the aluminium manifold and air cleaner that suits the Morris Six - both rare items - and a dynamo from which I could remove the pulley and fit to the new alternator, this time without breaking it.

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The alternator shaft is 15mm and the pulley bore 17mm All that was needed was a 1mm shim - which I produced from a section of Austin 7 drag link - then slotted to take a taller Woodruff key that I filed up from a larger sample.

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I popped over to a chum's workshop to help with the assembly of a pre-war Talbot 75 engine. We got only as far as getting the camshaft and followers seated before coming to a halt trying to understand the valve timing instructions. The dwell between the opening and closing sequence on number 6 seemed unusually long, so we decided to seek advice before proceeding.

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Whilst at The Other Wright Brother's workshop, I slipped round to see chap preparing a replica Ferrari. I think this is what I'm going to do with the headlights on the Teardrop Special. I don't want to end up with all that clutter of lamps typical of the Jaguar SS coup├ęs.

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On the way home I called in to see Very Learned Counsel who has bought a Victorian railway carriage. It's a 3rd Class 'Smoker', once operated by Great Eastern, and a rare 6-wheeler.

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Although not original, one of the compartments had remnants of wallpaper still attached. I thought it looked Continental in design, possibly from the Arts and Crafts period?

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To top the week off, I turned up a 32mm od. flange for the water pump. I've got to drill the mounting holes, so it could yet be joining other similar exercises in the scrap bin.

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Waking in the night, I realised that the rusty valve spring compressor donated to me by Learned Counsel a couple of weeks ago during a clear-out, might well be instrumental in The Great Collector's Crossley Silver valve grinding exercise.

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At 7:00am on the day, I showed it the sandblaster, oiled it up and whizzed off to his garage. The Crossley's head came off very easily and the compressor worked like a dream. How's that for intuition!

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