A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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26 April 2013

More Thoughts In The Small Hours.

Well, I know I'm not the first person to do this but it was nice that it all went according to plan. A few weeks ago I'd dunked a couple of pinion carriers in the bucket of diesel to help things along when it came to dismantling. I got the first one apart - not without a lot of heat and a fight - and, although I could see how the end-float was adjusted, the bearings were so tight on the pinion shaft that they wouldn't have moved in a month of Sundays. I spent an hour polishing the shaft but it was so hard I made almost no impression on it - the bearing fit is better but still tighter than I'd like.

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So I tried the second one. This was completely different and came apart very easily. The first shaft, I now discover, is a squeak bigger than the second; hence the difficulty. Anyway, new bearings would be needed as all of them are shot to bits. The actual pinions themselves are not too bad - one's better than the other but both are serviceable. I hunted around for bearings and basically drew a blank until I tripped over Bearing Supplies in Horsham St Faith. They managed to find what I needed and sent them straight away. Excellent people.

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A splash of paint has made the castings presentable and then I came to the oil seal. Hmm, this don't look too bright. It's a captive felt ring that might work when new (I made up a ring from some special printer's felt I had in the stores) but after a mile or two, its efficacy would rapidly diminish. I elected to sleep on that one and the upshot of my thoughts in the small hours was that I would machine the casting and fit a modern lip seal. It's the sort of thing that I read that grown-up engineers do so why not give it a go?  Of course, having 2 castings to play with gave me a certain confidence. It all went very well and I even cleaned and trued up the surfaces with a light cut to finish.

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The bottom casting is in its original state and I've left the felt seal that I made up, in place - just in case the lip seal is a disaster. So, as soon as the paint's dry, I'll put the 2 carriers back together again and keep one as a spare.

Chumley's getting a bag of sausages for making up the Woodruff keys for the rear hubs (on closer examination, the key that I removed appears to have been built up with weld) and I'll try to find a bit of gen on back-lash and meshing ready for the final assembly. And that'll be the rear axle complete - apart from shortening the wheel studs.

I've managed to procure another second-hand steering sector shaft in even better condition than the first one so next weekend should see the completion of the steering box and I can put the drop arm and drag-link on for keeps.

I was mooching about in the wallpaper factory the other day and noticed a 'Y' pipe that reminded me of my plans for the 2 exhausts..

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I took the picture just to give me an idea of how to create the join although it won't be a severe as this one. I haven't really applied myself to the fabrication of the directional control valve but I'm sure something will come to me in the small hours.....

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