When the temperature climbs and stays consistently in double figures, car maintenance is easier to face.
Awkward whipped his engine out and stripped it down to deal with a leaking rear crankcase seal.
The crank is not a standard Model 'A' item and there was some question over how the new seal would hold up given that the machining at the flywheel end of the crank is different to the original. The conversion provides for the removal of the oil thrower and sealant has to be judiciously applied. It reminded me of the Morris Six rear seal which almost always leaks.
I cleaned up the heads of the pistons - they weren't particularly thick with carbon even after 10,000 miles. A second inspection of the bores showed no signs of wear or abuse; there wasn't even a carbon lip at the top of the bores.
Some time ago I'd had some head gaskets water jet cut from solid copper sheet. Despite having an original as a pattern, the outfit managed to get the first couple wrong - holes both missing and in the wrong place would you believe! They did them again and they still weren't right, but I reckoned on being able to fettle them to fit. I just need to anneal this one before popping it on. At the same time, I'll anneal the exhaust gaskets which happily, they managed to get right first time.
It was also an opportunity to fit the new Chinese built alternator for evaluation. This was billed as a direct replacement for the original dynamo - which it wasn't because it's short by about ¾".
Still, I persevered and turned up a couple of spacers and milled out the slots in the mounting bracket so that all the pulleys lined up.
Moving back onto the Riley, I had to make another box to accommodate the water pump computer and the electric-assist steering calibration unit.
Both of these items have to be kept out of the heat of the engine bay (as too the Megajolt computer) so I'll be putting a second glove compartment on the driver's side so that by opening a flap, both items can be seen and adjusted on the move. I'm still going to have a traditional water temperature gauge independent of the electronic gubbins as a belt-and-braces fail-safe.
Staying with the dashboard, all the Riley instruments have two brackets apiece on their bodies which was going to cause me a problem with my flush panel design. I took the clock, speedo, and rev-counter apart so the spot-welded brackets could be removed without damage to the internals.
And I got away with it without breaking anything! There was a moment when I failed to notice the tiny clamp screw on the clock adjuster (arrowed) but the Gods were in benevolent mood that day.
In other news, I've discovered a programme called 3D-Builder on my computer with which I was able to turn the Special Builder's Breakfast Club badge into a 3D model, ready for printing. All I need is a 3D printer and a kind soul. I think I know just the chap.
'Oak before Ash - we'll have only a splash; Ash before Oak, we're in for a soak'. Looking across to the woods at the back of the farm, I notice that the oaks are in full leaf and the ash has still some way to go. With this in mind, I wheeled up a birdbath which sits atop an ancient iron cattle feeder. The hedges in my garden are full to bursting with birds so I think they'll appreciate it if there's a drought this summer.
I spotted Learned Counsel's brother in his latest acquisition the other day. That's six figures.