A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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27 August 2013

Further Reading...

... told me that the angle between the damper arms when at rest should be about 70°, so the idea of putting the brackets on top of the springs so the caster wedges could be accommodated, was a non-starter as the angle would be too acute. There was only one way out of this corner and I got out the coping saw, cut the wedges down to half the thickness, linished them off to tidy them up and fitted everything in the same way as the tourer. I think the problem was that the original chassis didn't have Hartfords so there weren't any brackets to worry about; only the wedges rested underneath the springs. Anyway, with the wedges half the thickness, the pins located positively in the axle and I was able to get on with the mounting bolts. The wedges are a bit thin but it's easy enough to drop the axle and replace them if needs be.

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There was a slight delay on the mounting bolt machining as I discovered that the 9/16" tap and die that I'd got in my draw was 26 tpi - cycle thread - and I hadn't got any suitable nuts. I rang round to see who'd got a BSF set but they appear to be a bit thin on the ground. Finally, Very Learned Counsel came up trumps and I scuttled off to Norfolk to borrow them for a couple of days. The front bolts are now complete and I've just got to make up a couple of brackets for the top mounts and bolt them to the chassis rail. I can't go straight into the chassis as the angle of the blades will end up too big - about 110°.

The scheme for the rear mounts is a bit more complicated because I've got to add a block if I want to use the threaded hole in the casting; it's there so it's daft not to. However, there's not a lot of room for error in drilling for the bolts.

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The two holes in the chassis,  just visible at the top of the picture, will carry the top bracket. I'll shape the block to make it look a bit more like a properly designed casting and the 9/16" bolt and the top leaf of the spring will hold it all in place. Chumley will knock up the aluminium blocks for me so that's a couple of half-dozen of Norfolk's finest sausages to get next week.

I had time to push the tourer out of the shed and take a couple of pics. I'm glad to see that it's retained its rakish lines with the new hood; it's unusually transatlantic in style. Wire wheels would be a nice addition as would a couple of slightly bigger headlights.....

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We met up with its saloon equivalent at the weekend; they're both 1929 models and after driving the saloon the first thing that was noticeable was the lack of servo brakes.

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The Clayton-Dewandre servo makes a huge difference to the stopping power of the tourer and I'm hoping that my hydraulic system on the front brakes of the Special is equally positive.

If it isn't, I'll have to go back to the books.

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