A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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09 June 2013

If At First.....

... you don't succeed, it usually gets worse.

Two or three things haven't gone right in the last couple of weeks. Firstly, the sewing machine had to be returned to the supplier as it didn't quite cut the mustard and secondly, I bought an on-line manual for my everyday car in the belief that I would be able to open the files, see what to do and get on with the job.

Ha-blinkin'-ha, I couldn't have been more wronger than that!

For a start I needed first to unzip a load of .rar files. I downloaded Winrar and 5 hours later I had 10GB of .vm files for which another programme was needed that created a virtual machine within my computer to read those files. At the end of all that palaver I still couldn't open anything. Is the average mechanic conversant with all this nonsense? What's wrong with a .pdf - a simple format that everyone's familiar with? I've asked the supplier why it has to be so difficult and that really, I just want to get on and mend the blinkin' car, not spend the day shouting at my computer!

The next job that didn't go quite as planned was the brake pipes. I made up the 2 short ones for the front hubs and installed the flexible hoses to points on the chassis from where the lines could hook up with the brake cylinder.

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I felt that something wasn't quite right (I'd borrowed a flaring tool without instructions) but continued and completed all but one of the lines. It wasn't until I was in the spares shop and chap mentioned a 'double flare' that the penny dropped. I've never done brake pipes before and wasn't sure how the flare that I'd been making would marry up with the flexible hose ends - they appeared to need saucer-shaped flares rather than a doughnut shape. It turned out that I was missing out a secondary process to make the flare 'female' where necessary. So I've junked the first lot and started again (luckily, I bought 2 reels of pipe).

I've set about the dashboard and have gathered together most of the instruments on the bench. The Cooper-Stewart speedo had to be cobbled together using parts from 2 others and the spare case will house the Rover rev-counter (with a new face).

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I've got most of the artwork for the new faces and have only an oil pressure gauge to secure. I think the Morris Six runs with about 60lbs of pressure so an early gauge is no good. The water temperature probe won't go into the radiator as the boss will accept only a modern type (my miscalculation) so I've found another thermostat housing and I'm going to drill and tap that for a suitable fitting. For the board itself, I'll do the holes in the plywood first and then overlay the engine-turned aluminium to mark out where to cut. It's not difficult, it's just a bit nerve-wracking as getting it wrong means another evening making up a replacement turned sheet.

And lastly, to finish on a high note, the Jowett Juniper emerged and I rattled off a few shots...

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...and the other side.

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The front,

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and the dashboard.

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Good innit.

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