A Day Ahead.
I'm not sure why (though I imagine it was something to do with the Easter break) but for the last few days I've been thinking it was the day after - Sunday when it was Saturday, Friday when it was Thursday, and so on. It was a pleasant surprise to keep finding I had an extra day in hand.
A very long manifold for a pig feeding unit was tricky to weld as the inlet sockets on the left were almost too close together to get the TIG torch in. Lengthening the stick-out of the tungsten was the only option in this case. The joints didn't seem to suffer.
Then an Airstream caravan belonging to a chum got in a tangle with the off-ramp on a Channel ferry. Part of the chassis supporting the body was a touch too low and yanked the door frame away from the floor. A substantial bracket pulled it all back together again.
At last I had some time to have another go at the air intake for the Special's cockpit heating system. I picked out a piece of 1mm aluminium sheet and set to work. Once again I didn't quite think it through and having decided to put a joggle in the join, I went ahead and rivetted together the formed tube. I might have got a more accurate ellipse had I left the joining for later. It's swings and roundabouts really as all sorts of distortions introduce themselves if squeezing the tube when the sides are loose.
It looks a bit Heath-Robinson at the moment as I didn't quite get the exact shape I wanted, but I'll put a collar around the base with some sealant which will take care of everything.
I promised a picture of the valve seats. It must be testament to the excellence of the engine that it's done 10,000 miles with only a few minor irritations. Clearly, the seats have been on the way out for a long time and I'm trying to think back to how it was stored when I picked it up from a lock-up in Leicester. The block was cracked (as is the head in no.4) but that was on the outer face. There's every possibility that the engine had been standing out in the rain for years with the cam cover off.
After a thorough cleaning, the only valves recoverable are a couple of inlets, numbers two and eleven. I popped three and eight in the lathe which revealed the valve numbers under the rust so they're original to the engine - but in the wrong places! I also checked the bores during the week and luckily they're completely unscathed. I've alerted Mr Holmes to my woes, and he thinks he may be able to source a spare head.
Going by this photo of the main culprit, it's almost as though the engine was stored in the village pond.
As the sun was out this week, I noticed a zillion masonry bees busy around the house, so although the clover hasn't come into flower just yet, I've started this year's 'Cook's Bee Ponds' a day or two early.