A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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27 May 2013

All Ahead Astern!

It was a great relief to get the last of the hubs fitted and the rear axle completed. All that's left is to pump the hubs full of grease and I can move on to the hydraulic hoses at the front.

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I collared Learned Counsel the other evening and he very kindly arc welded the Morris flange to the new coupling. A few minutes on the mill will have it levelled out ready to jig up for boring the bolt holes and that really is the last thing to do on the rear axle (apart from adding oil).

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Here's a thing - about a year ago I re-veneered the Jowett Jellyfish's dashboard. A radio wasn't fitted at the time but the 'ole was. So I knocked up a blanking panel (with the grain going the wrong way to remind Learned Counsel to get a radio) and the lot was wrapped up and put away. To make me think he was getting close to the finishing line, the Jolly Jowetteer got the dash out a day or two ago in anticipation of waving it under my nose and fitting it to the car. Then he noticed the discolouration on the blanking panel - all the rest was fine. It turns out that this is a fungus caused by a bacteria dormant in the glue and whose growth is stimulated by heat (the glue is solid until melted in a pot within a pot of boiling water - a bit like melting chocolate for cake making) and if you don't kill it off by getting the glue hot enough, expect results as above. I dosed the panel with rubbing alcohol for a couple of days and this took the clear paint off and also penetrated the veneer enough to whack the fungus. A quick sand with a very fine paper and 4 coats of clear paint and it's back to how it was.

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I said I was going to tackle the front brake hoses but, as you can see from the picture, I can't really get to grips with it before I've got the drag link fitted and that requires the drop arm which is attached to the sector shaft which is up in Norfolk. Still, I can get on with tidying up another little anomaly...

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This is one of the track rod ends. The gap (arrowed) is going to let all the water and road dirt into the ball and socket. I don't remember there being anything to cover it - a leather gaiter or rubber moulding, so I'm going to have to dream up something. I could probably get a couple of gaiters from some scrap modern track rod ends; they might do the trick. I'll call in at the local garage and go through the bin. Actually, just to check, I went and had a quick look at the tourer and discovered that despite what I imagined, it has the earlier type of track rod (the same as the one on the Special chassis originally) so I'm not sure where this one originated. Still, it fits and is a lot easier to adjust than the earlier type. There's another subtle difference; the earlier pattern incorporated a couple of hefty springs, I'm assuming, to absorb any side loads transmitted by irregularities in the road surface. This presumably later version doesn't make that provision and so might be less prone to involuntary departures from track as the steering is more solid; just a thought - might be a lot of twaddle of course.

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I see Cook has got her Bee Ponds up and running again. There's not a lot of activity at the moment (the clover's not quite there yet) but in a few weeks they'll be buzzing - so to speak.

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