A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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22 August 2014

More Finishing Touches.

Fitting the step was a bit of a fiddle as the alloy casting had first to be levelled off on the linisher and then drilled and tapped in the right place - the holes in the wing having been already drilled. I needed some quite long but thin bolts for that and the old Jodel tailplane bolts that I'd had to replace at one annual inspection had the right grip length although the wrong thread. I re-cut the shanks to 1/4" 26tpi and that worked well.

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As did the reversing light - after I remembered to put a fuse in the box. The innards had to be re-worked to take a single contact bulb and Angus the Electric came up trumps again with a couple of 12v 45w bulbs which fitted perfectly.

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The bracket is quickly detachable and, you never know, the light might come in handy one day. It gave me the idea to put a simple 12v socket under the bonnet which would accept a small inspection lamp - which I happen to have (although I can't for the life of me remember where it came from).

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The passenger seat was in need of finishing so I set about covering a piece of aluminium bead - the same as the stuff on the side of the car. A good quality and fresh tin of contact adhesive and a bit of patience is all that's needed to make a very acceptable seat trim.

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The first edge is held by the nails....

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And the rest is folded round and glued to the first edge with slots cut for the pins. Having messed up the driver's seat trim (I'll have to do it again sometime) I was determined to get this one right and so far, so good. Unfortunately, I've got to take the seat out again to apply the trim and that's a two-man, or one man and The Ambassador's Daughter job.

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To investigate the possibility of reducing the bore size on the front brake slave cylinders, I removed one and took it to the brake people. Putting it back again and bleeding the brakes proved to be a bit of a game. As far as I could see, with the piston at the top of the cylinder and the bleed nipple at the bottom, extracting air from the system would be nigh on impossible without some specialist equipment and a bit of know-how. I rang Mr Lazenby who was pleased to see the car in his workshop that very afternoon. As the workshop resembles a scene from some imagined golden age of motoring, I couldn't resist a couple or three pics.

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A special gun was employed which, hooked up to a decent sized compressor, pulled both the brake fluid and the unwelcome air through and out of the system at quite a rate of knots. The brakes were certainly more effective on the way home but I've still got to have another look at the brake shoes themselves and perhaps shim the ends to get less travel in the drum (thinner linings being some of the problem).

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So, as well as not stopping quite as I'd hoped to, going was also proving to be irksome. The figures on the exhaust gas analyser indicated that half the fuel was being chucked out the back, unburnt. I knew that; 12.8 miles to the gallon made my eyes water a bit! A new standard needle (Burlen say an 81; Morris say an AY) was fitted (there was a noticeable physical difference between the old and the new) and, just for luck, a new red spring as well. After a lot of fiddling about, I got the hydrocarbon reading down to an acceptable 500 or so and the CO reading to about 4.5. The performance was marginally improved and the engine ran more smoothly but a few degrees hotter. It has faded and stopped on occassion but I think that might be due to fuel evaporation - it gets very hot under the bonnet - and moving the carb away from the manifold might help.

A trip to the rolling road is a must before the Monaco Dash, that'll at least give me a good starting point.



previous post Finishing Touches.
next post Going And Stopping.


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