A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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23 December 2012


No, double clot.

I'm usually pretty disciplined about taking pictures as things are disassembled. However, in my enthusiasm when taking apart the rear axle, I neglected this important duty. Not to worry, an illustrated parts manual, a couple of tell-tale dots here and there and the fact that I've got a 1929 Hillman tourer to look at gave me confidence that all would be well.

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The thing to remember with this axle (if you've neglected to make a record) is that probably like a great many others, one casing and one half-shaft is slightly longer than the other two and they don't necessarily go together. I wrestled with this for a few minutes before deciding that I'd go and look underneath the tourer. Having done so, I calculated that as long as the spring platforms were facing upwards (the axle hangs from the springs), the brake shaft supports were facing forward and the fat bit of the diff casing was on the right, there wasn't a lot to get wrong. In fact, there was only one way to assemble the whole show following these pointers.

My suspicions were aroused when I noticed that one half-shaft stuck out of the casing a good inch more than the other,

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That's odd - I couldn't have got that wrong. The pinion housing faced forward (obviously) and the fat bit ....etc; it was the same as the tourer wasn't it?. Although it was the original half-shaft that belonged to this particular axle that appeared to be too long, I was hoping that the 'new' half-shaft wasn't a wrong'un - that would make my eyes water. Then I noticed a couple of dots.....

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...and, would you believe, a single dot on the other casing.

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I have since discovered their respective partners on the opposite diff casings and, in conclusion, I can report that somehow I've managed to assemble the axle back-to-front and downside upwards. With all the drawings and a complete axle to hand for reference, how clever is that? Still, if you don't make a mistake occasionally, you don't make nuffink.

Moving along, the gearbox with all the powder-coated mechanism attached is looking rather splendid:

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Well, the first anniversary is nearly upon me and, despite the hiccup with the axle assembly, it looks as though I'll be able to roll out on the 28th - a year to the day since I collected the wreck. Following the roll-out, I think I'll be taking the back axle off again because the 'new' half-shaft will need a new bronze bush in the diff -  it's rather falling about in there at the moment.

And there's the festivities to get behind us. For Christmas, I remove to Venice. It's a quiet time of year in the city and I put my feet up and catch up on some reading in a charming B&B just a stone's throw from Titian's old house. This is the story I've been peddling for some years and which has got me out of some potentially hazardous invitations. Of course, a couple of Christmas's ago my lodger, when asked how my Xmas hol's had gone, inadvertently spilt the beans.

A bit clottish don't you think?

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