A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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22 November 2014


As usual.

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Picking up where I left off on the Morris Minor gearbox, I worked out that the bearing cover bolts would have to be captive on the inside of the box (there were two small anchor plates illustrated in the parts book but which were missing from the box) the assembly sequence rendering the heads impossible to reach. I made up a couple of tab washers and put a blob of weld on each tab and bolt as a belt and braces measure and did a trial assembly. 1st, 2nd and reverse worked as advertised but 3rd and 4th just wouldn't engage at all. As those two gears are the only ones with synchromesh, I think that the synchromesh unit has to be the culprit.

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That's fine - as long as I know - but I'll have to take the box apart again to get the unit out for examination. I remember that I discovered (quite by accident) that it was pretty well seized up when I first had the box in bits. At the time I had only half an idea how synchromesh worked and didn't realise that the outer ring of the wheel moved independently of the inner hub; it was only when it flew apart that I got the full picture. With the box reassembled, the outer ring did move and you could engage 3rd and 4th but only with a tap-meter and drift - not with the gear lever. Further investigation is required.

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To lighten up an otherwise frustrating day, Leon turned up in his A7 Special, sporting his newly fabricated and rather stylish rear mudguards.

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The front mudguards will follow the same pattern and finish the car off very neatly. I noticed also that Leon had made up a very clever addition to the steering linkage. The original A7 steering arm is reputed to have a weak spot on the inside radius of the extension to the drag link and a complete failure of the arm would ensue if an undetected crack were allowed to develop.

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The chances of that happening are pretty slim but if you've a mind to pre-empt that occasion, Leon's mod looks like a straightforward fix. And on that subject, there's nothing straightforward about the fix for the rear axle mounting on the racing car.

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The radius of the bracket is just a tiny bit smaller than the radius of the axle casing. I'd thought about making up new brackets to fit the axle but these ones are so neat that I think I'm going to take the disc cutter to the brackets on the axle casing, give it all a good clean up with the polishing wheel...

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which should make the radius a gnat's smaller. I think by the time I've got the rust and paint off, there's not going to be more than a whisker to remove anyway, so it's not as though I'll be introducing a weak spot in the casing. I was just going to set about it, when the phone rang.

'Kan du gå til Norge i morgen?'

So that's scuppered that plan.

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