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A Special Builder's Notes

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The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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02 March 2024

Built To Last.

Some years ago, I borrowed a machine from The Great Collector. It was a rusty heap, but I could see that it had some potential for use in forming panels.

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After cleaning the rollers as best I could, I whizzed a piece of aluminium sheet through it.

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Though not quite what I expected, a gentle reverse curve was produced.

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I've again retrieved the machine and stripped it down for a full restoration.

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I can see that the transitional areas between the wings and the body are going to be formed much more easily with the help of this device. What service it performed in the boot industry, I haven't been able to properly determine.

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Working through The Great Collector's fleet, Counsel and I thought we'd have our work cut out to get this Rover up and running. It surprised us all as it burst into life after at least a year lying dormant. We didn't take it out for a spin because the turning circle is worse than an oil tanker's; getting out of the drive onto the road - a mere ten yards, takes a 3-point turn just to get through 90°! It might be worth investigating why that's the case at some stage.

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I hate mowers, largely because as the years go by, crawling about on the floor becomes more difficult. On the trailer with the boot machine, I took away the ride-on as it was refusing to go past compression whilst trying to start...

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... and in the process the windings in the starter motor had been all but destroyed.

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After a brief search on the web for faults with this particular Briggs and Stratton engine, I learnt that the camshaft was the culprit. The decompressor mechanism attached to the camshaft that allows the engine to turn over compression at low revs, would been in bits at the bottom of the crankcase.

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Sure enough, a magnet on a stick produced the evidence. The plastic and steel fandango that allows this slight lift of the exhaust valve, seems a very flimsy affair; obviously not built to last.

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