A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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19 June 2014

Behind Schedule.

Learned Counsel was quick to point out that I'd overshot my deadline of Father's Day to have the Hillman up and running. Of course, Mr Marvellous was delighted to tell me that he'd had his Jowett Jukebox running in front of an admiring audience. I was, as usual, magnanimous in defeat but I'll let his tyres down at the earliest opportunity.

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Putting the pistons into the block was the usual fiddle but with plenty of oil and a decent ring compressor, all went well. Then, with the block perched on the cylinder head studs, (whereupon, in lining up the crank journal with one of the big-ends, I pushed on the con-rod too hard and the piston shot back out of the block) I assembled the big-ends and mains onto the crank and torqued it all up. I had to contact one of the cleverchaps in the Morris and Wolseley club to get an idea of the settings: big-ends 35lbs ft and mains 75.

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Up until that moment I hadn't given any real thought about how I was going to clean the sump and the bevel drive tower - both aluminium and deserving of a bit of attention. I started to have a go at the tower with a wire brush in the end of a drill but that was going to take all day. The sandblasting cabinet was at the factory in Norfolk so I got in the car and went. Just over an hour's travelling there and back and 20 minutes in the cabinet. I would have still been scraping away at the sump 3 days later if I hadn't gone to Norfolk.

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So, that was all good. Meanwhile, The Ambassador's Daughter was getting on with the tonneau and that was looking good too. The only trouble we seem to have is the edging. A chum mentioned a relatively local firm who edge carpets and I might give them a go.

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And whilst she was on a roll and there was a bit of cloth left over, a toile was produced for the Austin. I've got enough of the 'lift-the-dot' fasteners to do both cars so, as I've mentioned before, it might inspire me to add the front wings and finish the car when the tonneau's done.

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Then, with the sump on, it was time to paint the engine. I'd still got half a pot of red left over from the first engine so that was handy.

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The following day was work where I had time to think what the next move would be. The flywheel and the clutch came next and I anticipated a couple of hours in the evening would do the trick. It was a long day at work and, having started at around 7am and finishing up at 7.30pm, I had half a mind to put my feet up. I'm glad I didn't because, offering up the flywheel, I realised that I should have put it on before I'd attached the sump. The next 2 hours were spent struggling to get the sump off - it's a very heavy engine to manoeuvre on your own - and fitting the flywheel. And before I finished for the night, I gave the block a second coat of paint.

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What with one thing and another, I'm a bit behind schedule.


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