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A Special Builder's Notes

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The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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24 February 2024

For Starters...

... I removed the whole of the ignition system from the Special and set it up on the bench, where of course, it worked perfectly.

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The odd thing was that the aluminium angle that I made up to screw the plugs into, was not connected to ground. Nevertheless, all the plugs sparked away merrily, and even connecting the base plate to the negative terminal on the battery, made no difference whatsoever.

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Removing a plug caused a spark to leap between the plate and the ECU (fortunately without damaging the unit). Should I isolate the system from ground on the car? I don't know. I'll have to take further advice before melting something.

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To have it working was at least in small part encouraging.

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I'm hoping for a better result with the Buick stater motor setup. I made up a small gantry that replicated the cross beam on the car and from which the starter motor will dangle. The bracket is a meaty 6mm thick steel, so twisting should be at a minimum when pressure is applied on the foot pedal that engages the starter wheel. The pedal arrangement will have to be designed on the job as the floor is quite crowded in the driver's position.

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And how am I going to do that? The vertical plunger, mounted in two substantial aluminium blocks and so arranged to sandwich the beam, connects to the foot pedal, and when depressed, rolls the body of the starter around its mounting axis until the rubber-bonded wheel pushes up against the flywheel. Once engaged, the starter button is pressed, and away we go!

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I have every confidence in the system's success 😎

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As the heavens opened, chap rang to say that he was on the ferry from the Hook (it's off to its new home in Holland) and would be ready to load up the MG P type around 9:00am. Counsel and I grabbed tools and a can of Easy Start, and set out to the auctioneer's premises intending to give the engine a warm up. Wise to this, chap had phoned ahead insisting on witnessing a cold start. It took a while to get things moving as the supercharger inlet tract is nearly 3' long, but after firing up, it idled very nicely. After a quick explanation of how to operate the preselector gearbox - chap had never even heard of them - I sent him off around the carpark. Once the car's at its new home, I advised finding a quiet country lane to get the hang of it, before venturing into traffic.

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Years ago, this magnificent barn was filled with grain bins and muggins was the farm's grain dryer operator for at least five harvests. It was a pig of a job, but it paid the rent before the sugar beet campaign started in late September, which saw me and Miss Whizzlong over the winter. The bins, conveyors, elevators, and the cascade dryer, have long gone and work has begun on conversion to, I think, starter units.

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