A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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06 August 2014

And Nothing Fell Off.

Perhaps if people got up earlier in the morning, they wouldn't get so impatient following a vintage car. First time out and on my way to George to do the welding, I was taking it easy and getting used to the brakes and steering; 30 - 40mph was plenty, especially without a windscreen. Mr Marvellous in his fancy four-wheel drive didn't like that and gave a good long blast of his horn when he passed. Hopefully, my cheery wave further raised his blood pressure.

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The trip to the workshop was about 10 miles and according to the fuel gauge, 1 gallon of fuel had been used. I'm hoping that there's some inaccuracy in the gauge.... Nevertheless, I stripped the carb down when I got home and made sure everything was as it should be. The only thing I haven't replaced is the needle (a No.8). According to the plugs and the smell of the exhaust, the engine is running rich but not 10 miles to the gallon rich! A trip to the rolling road wouldn't go amiss and, if I have time, that's what I'll do.

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The worst thing about the short journey to see George was having no windscreen - very distracting on a test flight - so that was a priority when I got back to the workshop.

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George welded the joints in the aluminium frame (just visible at the bottom of the first picture) and that's mounted on shaped pieces of ash. The original side pillars were cut to the new length after a quick trip to the Perspex suppliers and the shape of the panels had been established. I'm using Perspex for the moment because I'll be experimenting with the hood design when I get back from France. It's easier for me to chop Perspex about than glass (and it's softer if you hit it).

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A wrap around bracket holds everything together at the sides. I shall, in time, remove the side pillars and give them a dip in the nickel plating bath but the main thing was to get the car ready for the road and, if the storms held off, go to my local VSCC meeting. Awkward came round and helped set up the brakes which, considering they're a mix of hydraulic assist and the original cables, was a relatively simple job. The front nearside brake is squealing like a stuck pig at the moment and it seems that the woven brass and fibre linings don't mix terribly well with the cast drums. There's a company relatively locally who can fit synthetic linings so I might get them re-done there - perhaps the fronts first as they're causing the problem.

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So the first proper outing went well; well enough to take the opportunity to nip up to see Very Learned Counsel and complete the first 100 miles. I've got a trip to the garage later in the week to get the chaps to go over everything and after that I'll do the first oil change. There's something odd going on with my indicator system; they work perfectly when the car is static with the engine not running but, with the engine running, the nearside indicators don't work and the offside ones sometimes do. Everything is grounded properly - I was wondering if not having suppressor plug caps was causing some sort of interference with the electronics?

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And, because there was left more fabric than time, the turtle deck has now got the 'Weymann' look.

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