Tried And Tested.
With the new guides polished so they would more easily slip into the head, I was pleased to discover my homemade press would accommodate the process without alteration.
A handy boss kept the steel plate away from the top of the guide, thus avoiding bruising...
... and the 2-ton bottle jack was more than up to the job.
It didn't take long to get all eight guides in place and reamed to fit the valves.
The guides - unlike the Morris 6 type - have a collar to regulate the depth of the seat in the head, so you can't get that wrong. A jolly with Counsel to the ever-resourceful Mr Holmes to get the valve seats cut, traditionally involves an excellent lunch in a country pub close to his Lincolnshire workshop. This is followed by visits to some of his motor enthusiast friends who over the years, have also been unfailing in their welcome.
In the process of grinding the seats, it was clear that the valves, having been so sloppy in the guides, had taken their toll on the cylinder head. It took a few goes to get the seats back perpendicular to the guides.
The Alvis valves sit in the centre of the head and my valve spring compressor was able to reach only numbers 1 and 8, the arms of the compressor being just too short. For the rest, I had to make up a jig using clamps and a piece of stout aluminium channel with rebates to keep the heads of the clamps in place and, on the underside, a rebate for the spring cap. The holes in my welding table came in handy. Once I had the method, it was the work of a moment to assemble numbers 2 to 7.
Staying with Alvis, I was a bit concerned that the spark plug threads in the head were nearly an inch long, yet the plugs listed are only half that length, leaving the sparky bit way up the orifice. I popped in to see a chum whose Sunbeam I'm doing a bit of work on, to see what he had to say. He has lent me a set of long reach plugs to experiment with. A new addition to his fleet was this 12/60 Beetle back with a body by Carbodies.
I thought it looked familiar. This is Pa's example (which sadly no longer exists) and apparently only sixty-nine were ever made. Looking over my chum's 12/60, it's probably one of the very few vintage cars I would be happy to own...
... along with The Great Collector's Weymann-bodied Rover 10; the styling is absolutely right. It could do with a few more horses, but you can't have it all ways - unless you have a Speed Six Sportsman's saloon.
Speaking of vintage stuff, this is a painting by Joan, wife of painter, printmaker and War Artist, Edwin La Dell. It portrays me and Miss Whizzlong with a Norton 16H whose rusty hulk The Other Wright Brother and I hauled out of a scrapyard in Kent back in the 70's. It was an ex-Naval outfit with a toolbox sidecar, not unlike the early Automobile Association type. Once home, we had it running in less than half an hour. Tom Sharpe's novel (in the hamper) lends the painting its name - 'Vintage Stuff'.
On another wall, I have Eddie's artist's proof of a scene at a navigation school during the last war. I was told the aircraft were Lysanders, but that's clearly not the case. The blistered cowling and the shape of the wings hint at American origin and my initial guess was a variant of the Howard DGA. However, my research, though the blistered cowlings are unusual on military versions, identify the marque as the Stinson Reliant.