A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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24 February 2013


Another Great Day to remember...

It wasn't without its moments. The first go saw a rather interesting flame-throwing demonstration from the carbs and it was decided that either the valve or the ignition timing was some way off the mark. These were checked, double checked and then checked again to confirm that all was well. We then discussed the numbering of the cylinders vis-a-vis the firing order. Frustratingly, there was nowhere an illustration confirming what the arrangement of the crank was telling us so, to check, I consulted my Lycoming manual - flat-fours were all going to be the same surely? Yes, they were. Right, we'll just go through the allocation of the plug-leads-to-the-cylinders routine again; 'Having established Number 1. cylinder, proceed anti-clockwise around the distributor cap.....  ' 'Aha! We'll just swap numbers 3 and 4 leads (and put that man on a charge) and that should do the trick.

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Less excitingly, I've been fiddling on with some detail work - the handbrake lever needs extending by 8 inches and,  to preserve the knuckles, just slightly canting out from the body . An old, rather mangled lever is providing the necessary.

I've measured up and created a cutting list for the ash body framework - I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here but I've got a few photo's of other people's work to use as reference; I'm sure it'll be an absorbing exercise - I'm certainly looking forward to it.

I cast about for phosphor-bronze TIG rods but none of my chums had any so I've had to bite the bullet - and they ain't cheap. They don't arrive until next week so the brazing of the brake pedal to the cross shaft will have to wait. I've taken the pedal assembly out of the car (to do this I had to undo one of the cable splices) and pinned the brake pedal at the angle I want it. The angle is pure guess-work but a glance at the tourer gave me a rough idea. I haven't even begun to address the linking of the cable system to the hydraulics; I need the master cylinder in place first and then I can cook up a couple of ideas.

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The clutch I've decided to operate by cable - it's the simplest solution. The clutch lever on the bell-housing is only 4 inches away from the bottom of the clutch pedal but the engine mount goes straight through the gap. A couple of brackets to hold each end of the cable is all it should take (he imagined).

The rest of the time available was taken up playing with The Great Collector's Darracq which will have its first official outing next weekend - if the weather turns up trumps. One of the interesting features of the drive train is that when the handbrake is applied it partially disengages the clutch - I'm not sure to what advantage but it obviously needs careful adjustment. It's a funny thing to drive but, for a 2 cylinder, it pulls like a good 'un and has a surprising turn of speed.

So that's that really.

Splendid. Let's see what happens this week....

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