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A Special Builder's Notes

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The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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03 February 2024

Promises, Promises.

I promised myself that by the end of January, the engine would be running. However, preparations for the first start-up have taken longer than I at first imagined.

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Priming the water pump was awkward as the body had to be positioned in such a way as to avoid an airlock, which entailed removing it from its mounting and wrestling with the pipework. Once the system was full, it was recommended to run the system with the radiator cap off, to expel any other pockets of air. What the instructions failed to mention was that the pump pulses on 6v, not 12v. Luckily, the Over Current Protection (OCP) incorporated in the power supply, did its job.

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Despite the plug caps looking very nice, they're not of the best quality. They're very difficult to clip on and off the plugs and they break easily. Can I get a decent set anywhere? No, but I'll keep looking. With electronic ignition, resistor caps are essential as the RF can interfere with the signal from the crankshaft sensor. I remember the Hillman had trouble with the LED indicators, until I put shielded wire on the fuel pump feed which ran alongside the indicator wiring.

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And whilst having a general look around, I noticed that someone - I can't think who - had put a brake pipe in front of the access panel for the pedal box.

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In other news, Learned Counsel has splashed out on a Spanish-built 2CV van. Note the suicide doors.

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Its 435cc engine is currently in the back of the van. A cursory inspection has revealed serviceable bores. It may need new big-ends, which involves splitting the crankshaft as the rods are one-piece like a motorcycle. It might be worth sourcing a later 602cc engine to gain an extra couple of knots on the straight - or a Guzzi V-twin... just a thought.

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A visit to a Riley chum to borrow a seat pan to copy (that'll be my first panel job to get into the swing of things) saw his customer's Riley Special well on the way to completion.

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A very pretty Lynx was lurking in the background.

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Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mr Laken had machined a collar for the 6/80's crankshaft pulley. This upped the ratio and got the blower turning faster....

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... but on the test run, the tensioner pulley's axle seized up and shattered the blower coupling.

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It was a second-hand pulley and, not obvious until it was taken apart, the previous owner had used an expansion bolt as a mounting shaft.

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A new and different design of coupling was installed...

... and with a modified mounting plate to correct a slight misalignment of the shaft, it's looking very promising.

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