A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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16 February 2013

Ouch! Ouch!....Ouch!

Splicing steel rope can be a bloody and painful business.

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I've finished both the cable brake circuits and they work though I've yet to hook up the brake pedal. The original pedal was brazed to the pedal shaft and once I've worked out a scheme to get the shaft out - there's almost no room for manoeuvre - with the pedal in situ, I shall do the same. I'm going to experiment and see if I can use the TIG welding set-up as the heat source for brazing. Looking on the net, I discover that phosphor bronze filler rods are essential and to steer clear of ordinary brass rods. Apparently the zinc content is too high and just makes for a big black messy splodge on the work  - which is exactly what happened when I tried it with a gas torch. Once I've got to grips with the brazing technique I can finish the friction dampers as well.

In the meantime, The Great Collector popped in and stayed for supper, during the course of which I discovered that he had a pair of Austin 8 seats surplus to requirements and would I like to try them for size for the Special. Well of course I would. And so I did, and they're going to be perfect - with a bit of alteration. The rather utilitarian hoops will have to be removed from the bases as they make the seats too high and then all I need to is rake them back a bit for a more comfy driving position and, bob's-your-uncle.

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They also have the great advantage of articulating at the base of the seat back...

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...to accommodate essential sundries for the discerning Grand Tourist - Miss X will no doubt appreciate this particular convenience.

The other night I finished rebuilding the carburettor and popped it on the manifold to keep it out of the way.

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The air cleaner has yet to be painted and attached. It's a bit of a bore but I'll have to rub down the body of the cleaner by hand. It's, in effect, a sealed unit and it would be difficult to completely remove the glass bead substrate from the mesh inside. There were one or two odd things going on in the carb - the needle was at least 1/8" deeper in the piston than it should have been and the float lever was way out, both of which discoveries indicated a very rich mixture. That's a bit curious because the engine didn't smoke at all in the short time that I had it running.... Still, I'd rather start from a known position with carbs so I've set everything back to standard and will tweek as required.

The other rather whizz news is that I've got my Austin's con-rods back at last. I hope I can remember how everything goes - it's been nearly a year since they went away. I've rather missed being able to zoom about in the Austin - as indeed have several other people who are always keen to take her out.

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Which picture reminds me; the Austin 8 seats, of course they'll need to be re-upholstered, probably in leather.


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