A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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05 June 2013

The End Of The Beginning....

... is in sight.

The beginning being the mechanics of the thing; engine, brakes, steering, suspension etc; everything you need to drive the car except the bit that keeps the rain off. I still have the fuel tank to make, the brakes to hook up, the friction dampers to mount, some plumbing and electrics, the exhaust but, I'm now not that far off the first roar round the yard.

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The solution to the offside brake hose snag - it was always going to interfere with the drag link - was to make up a solid pipe and bracket to put the connection over the top of the kingpin. This takes the hose well out of the way and also reduces the movement and potential strain on the hose and fittings on full lock. I've made the nearside pipe to match. The other ends of the hoses will hook up to brackets on the chassis - yet to be made. I'll get the hoses first.

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I've dusted off the 'engine turning' machine and completed the blank for the dashboard. There's something approaching 1600 'turns' on the panel and I was a bit goggle-eyed at the end of the exercise but it had to be done. You can see that, despite my every effort to be as accurate as possible, the pattern does wander slightly. The vertical increments are set by the peg board but the horizontal spacing has to be eye-balled - hence the shift. Still, once the holes for instruments, switches and so forth are cut, there's plenty to take the eye away from any irregularities. The Austin panel is a bit wobbly but it's not obvious unless you look for it.

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A bit of good news is that the front brake flexible hoses, calculated to be about 16" long, are off-the-shelf Series 3 Land Rover front hoses. It's always a bit of an uphill struggle when looking for compatible parts; I know Learned Counsel has spent ages trawling the net for Jowett stuff and cross-referencing with for instance, Ford parts. Jowett parts always attract a premium for the name and the same stuff goes on cars like the old Consul but is obtainable, happily, at a third of the price.

I've welded up the new silencer; that exercise wasn't without trauma. I wasn't paying attention when welding up the first end-cap and blew a hole in it. Trying to fill it just made it worse until I gave up and had a go on the other end-cap. By then, Learned Counsel had popped his head round the door to see what all the noise was about and pointed out where I was going wrong. I followed his advice - tack the rim more closely - and all went well. The duff end-cap I just turned over, re-welded it to the body of the silencer and trimmed to fit.

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One of the end-caps is detachable so that I can add or remove wadding. The cap is secured by 3 stainless steel bolts with the nuts welded to the inside of the body. Well, the first nut went on smoothly, then the 2nd and 3rd nuts decided to melt together with the bolts that held them in place. So 2 seconds welding and half an hour drilling each of the bolts out. I kept very calm and re-cut the threads with a tap.

All's well that ends well.

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