Holmes To The Rescue!
The Great Collector's Sunbeam starter motor had begun to play up, so an investigation was called for.
The output shaft faces forward, but the engagement gear works in reverse, so it was a bit of a fiddle getting the mechanism past the flywheel. On inspection, all was revealed. The special bolt and tab washer nearest the body were both missing. It took me a couple of hours to replicate the forward example as complicated tab washers aren't my favourite things to make. The remains of the originals are hopefully somewhere in the bottom of the bellhousing, but as I didn't have my shuftiscope and magnet with me, I couldn't look for them.
I mentioned that I would be going to see Mr Holmes about a replacement head for the Hillman and Counsel and I set off early one morning to see what we could find in his emporium. We pulled out this head from a selection of five and, as it had a 'Pressure tested OK' label still attached, it seemed the best bet.
After cleaning up the combustion chambers and having a careful visual examination for cracks, we pulled out all the valve guides. Most were oval and Mr Holmes had a box full of second-hand ones in a lot better condition and from which we were invited to pick the best. Similarly, boxes full of valves appeared from stores and we started to assemble a set with the most meat ready for grinding.
Mr Holmes had disappeared back into his shed for a few minutes and as Counsel and I were deciding between several options, he reemerged with a box containing a complete set of new inlets and Stellite treated exhaust valves! And just when I thought that all my Christmases had come at once, he produced a complete set of brand-new cast-iron valve guides. These he'd had for nearly forty years, obviously in anticipation of my visit.
Once the new guides were in and reamed to size, we could start cutting the valve seats as the special tool relies on the guide to centre the cutting wheel. The seats, rusty though they were, came up well and the valve stems dropped through the guides under their own weight with a satisfying 'plop'.
The 'new' head was carried home on my special head stand (which I thought I'd cut up for kindling but luckily hadn't) and was easily lifted out with the block and tackle in my workshop.
During the next day's cleaning up process, I was happy to see the factory had stamped 'OK' on the head confirming that the gold paint indicated a Morris refurbishment at some point in its life. With any luck that would have been the last thing that was done to it - hence the label.
I'd noticed that the water jacket seemed to be a lot clearer of rust and debris than might normally be the case and maybe the remains of this bicycle spoke was evidence of the special procedures employed at the Morris works.
There was one manifold stud to extract. It had obliged by breaking off flush with the face. I managed a reasonably accurate centre though it took some time to get all the rusty bits out of the threads. At least I didn't have to recut oversize which is always nerve-wracking if you're not too sure of the wall thickness.
The whole operation had so far gone very smoothly and...
... a lick of paint to match the block was left overnight to dry. Before the final assembly, I rang to see if the local engine shop could fit me in with a skim (there was some pitting that needed attending to) and they were happy to see me early the next morning.
At last, I have a 3D model of The Special Builders Breakfast Club badge, though I discovered that I didn't need a 3D model as my file could be converted at the touch of a button, thus neatly salvaging the project.