A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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18 May 2024

It Worked...

... but not quite as I'd hoped.

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With the wiring complete and the regulator, battery, and starter relay safely tucked away in the car's toolbox, it was time to see if the system was going to work. The Buick has around 3L under the bonnet (or 'hood' I should say) and the compressions are good. I discovered that the dynastart could pull the flywheel through two revolutions, but after that, fades out as it comes up against the third compression. Of course, with a good mag and carb properly adjusted, the engine should spring into life on the first round. When tow-started almost a year ago, the car was off and away in about twenty yards, demonstrating that both the carb and mag are in reasonable health despite standing idle for a number of years.

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I popped along to see Chumley and asked him to turn up a couple of new engagement wheels: one at 4" diameter, and a second at 3". My thinking is that if I can spin the dynastart faster, I should get more torque, and though the flywheel might turn more slowly, if I can get enough momentum for it to continue through the other two compressions, I should be in with a fighting chance. A valve lifter mechanism would have been handy, and it did cross my mind it could be an answer, but although all the valve gear and pushrods are exposed, it would be a bit complicated to fabricate. If my experiments fail, my back-stop is a normal starter-motor, replacing the Bendix with one of the engagement wheels, the downside being the need to charge the battery every now and again, but that's still better than struggling with a crank handle and risking a broken wrist.

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Mr Laken is progressing with his 6/80 gearbox conversion and it's good to see some old-fashioned CAD coming into play. The cardboard template is the pattern for a laser-cut flange complete with the Wolseley crankcase bolt spacing. The plate will be welded to the front of the bell-housing which itself is an integral part of the gearbox. The larger of the two holes at 11 o'clock supports the bronze starter-motor pinion bush.

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As an aside, here's a poser. The Great Collector turned up this very heavy bronze carb in what looks like unused condition. It doesn't have any maker's marks on it and is at least 8" long. The throttle is a barrel type as opposed to a butterfly and the choke is operated by rotating the sleeve with the holes in it. The steel bellcrank operates a flap which may be an air control mechanism. Any ideas as to its origin anyone?

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The allure of extra Norfolk sausages was impossible for Chumley to resist and the new pulleys arrived the next day; bribery works.

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next post Fitting Everything In.


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