Too Easily Distracted.
Well, when you're trying to weigh up your options and can't see any clear answers, going off at a tangent is at least potentially productive.
I made a jig to hold the radiator in about the right place, which led me down the rabbit hole of ease of maintenance. I'm going to try and work out how to hinge the complete front end, so I don't have to lean over the wings.
I've dug out a fibre glassing kit and propose making a very thin shell of the model's front end, back to the firewall. I hope then that I can work out where the hinge point will be, or at least how a lift and tilt mechanism can be fabricated.
I removed from the radiator the almost completely rotten lower support.
I shall attempt to reproduce this section using the bead roller - it shouldn't be too difficult as long as I think it out properly and don't rush it. The side pieces are in good condition and need only a clean-up and repaint before the core can be replaced.
For a bit of light relief, I visited the Hinderclay Field Fly-in. The weather was perfect and the wind straight down the North/South runway. As I was still messing about with the Hillman's coil, I missed the busier Saturday...
... but was rewarded with the sight of this immaculate Hornet Moth on the Sunday. It had the sweetest and smoothest sounding Gypsy Major I'd heard in a long time.
The airfield owner's Minicab was equally polished and ready to go - unlike the Hillman when it came time to leave. The starter motor was turning, but the Bendix wasn't engaging. I'd had this problem on the way back from France some years ago and had half an idea what it was. I popped the starter motor off and fiddled about with it - noting a bunch of oily rubbery granules in the body, put it back on and it still didn't want to know. Several chaps pushed me for a few yards to get me going, and off I went.
This is how the starter motor works. When energised, the Bendix (green arrow) flings out and engages with the starter ring. At the same time, the other bit (yellow arrow) moves rearwards against a shock absorber spring (white arrow) locking the drive and cranking the engine. The inside of the 'other bit' contains a rubber bung that's vulcanised to the casing and internal bush. If this bung fails - which they do over time - the starter will spin, but it won't crank the engine.
There was also evidence of the armature rubbing against the plates of the field coil, indicating a worn bush.
I drew from stores the starter that came with a seized 6/80 engine (see archive 'Cold Start') and took it all apart. The 'other bit' was doing its job properly and so a quick blast and lick of paint would hopefully see me back on the road. Whilst I was in the swing of it, I stripped down another starter motor I had, and cleaned it up ready to go on the Riley Special - which is what I should be concentrating on.