A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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04 April 2014

An Extra Hour.....

... of daylight makes all the difference; it's easy to forget the time and stay in the workshop until late, especially when we've had such a warm spell. Besides, keeping at it is the only way to make progress.

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And talking of light, I remembered that with the Model A Ford that I used to own, came a set of rear lights that will pass muster for the Special and save a bit of time and money.

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I found the flexible joint that I knew was lurking somewhere and welded on a couple of flanges....

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.. put the bends together so the pipe went under the axle and....

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... firmed up the downpipe by welding on a stainless steel strap that attaches to the bell-housing. I was going to make up two brackets to support the silencer but, having made up the rear bracket first, I found that with the longer pipe welded on the back, the rear bracket fell right on the assembly's CG, so only one was needed. The mounting strap for the silencer has a modern rubber block incorporated and with the flexible joint, provides all the movement that's necessary. I was initially concerned that everything would be too loose but in the end, with the four mounting points, the whole system has the same amount of flexibility as an ordinary car.

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So, after making up the tailpipe support, it was time to put all the bits together and see what it looked like.

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It's a tiny bit lower than I'd planned but there was a potential conflict with the rear brake mechanism and the downpipe. With the wings on, the eye should be distracted from the exhaust, in fact, unless you're standing a bit of a way off, the exhaust will be largely invisible. It'll be interesting to hear what the mix of stainless (usually a bit tinny) and mild steel will produce when the engine's running. I'm going to give the mild steel parts a coat of exhaust paint to smarten them up a bit.

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I'm rather pleased with the tailpipe; it's probably a too bit shiny and the strap is polished stainless steel as well but it's quite elegant and so I'm hoping to be able to get away with the bling factor.

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In mounting the light switch on the dash, in my enthusiasm I stupidly turned the body to position the switch arm vertically and the rivet which holds the body to the mounting bracket came loose allowing the whole thing to turn when you switched the switch - so to speak. While the Araldite was setting, I looked on the web for a wiring diagram and came up with several; some for wipers, some for lights and fog lights combined, in fact all sorts of combinations. All the wires were colour-coded on the diagrams and it seemed that I'd struck lucky but, what I couldn't find was an idiot's guide that quite plainly indicated power in, 'Headlights', 'Sidelights' and 'Off'. The Jaguar XK's used the PRS-5 switch so I should be able to cross-reference with a wiring diagram for one of those.

That'll fill the extra hour.



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