A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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20 January 2015

Swallowing Pride.

Drat and double drat!

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It was my own fault; I was reversing out of my drive and clanged into The Ambassador's Daughter's car (for the second time). You might think that given the complication of these mirrors, the manufacturers would make them just a bit more flexible in the wrong direction - so to speak. Anyway, I got a replacement from a breaker's yard and then addressed the more interesting business of sorting out the Hillman.

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Following the New Year's Day run when the car came home wet and covered in road salt, the plan was that The Ambassador's Daughter and I would spend an afternoon cleaning the car down and removing the salt. I left it a bit too long and despite having given all the aluminium a thin coating of WD 40, some areas had been missed and corrosion had set in. The little white spots are where the ali has been attacked by the road salt. I think I'll have to give the car a bit of a buff up with polish and then cut it back again with Scotchbrite to get it back to how it was.

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After the clean up, we went out for a road test - which also proved the new carb arrangement was working as I'd hoped - and I managed to lock the right front wheel up without trying. Something was seriously amiss. You'll recall that over time, the amount of compensating left rudder when applying the brakes had steadily increased but it was time to take the wheels and hubs off to see what was going on. I'd thought initially that it was a simple case of air in the system but, as Learned Council pointed out in the pre-going-out-in-the-freezing-workshop briefing, if it was air in the system, it wouldn't prevent the left brake from coming on - it would be just a nano-second late - and there'd be a spongy feel to the pedal. His money was on a loss of mechanical advantage somewhere.

Well of course, he was right. Now the shoes had bedded in a bit, the imbalance was being caused by uneven wear on the operating cams. I'd tried to compensate for this by adding different thicknesses of saddle to each of the cams but, probably because I hadn't quite thought it all out properly, the cam on the left wasn't operating through its full range. Basically, I'd not properly understood the geometry of the set-up. The cure was to remove the saddle from the right hand cam and put a thin gauge one on the left. The car now stops in a perfectly straight line. In time, both cams will have to come out and I'll build up the surfaces and mill them flat again.

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Maybe it's just me but I happened to notice on one of the aircraft tracking sites that as the sun went down (you can see night approaching from the East) there appeared to be a mass exodus to the West and interestingly, it seemed to take the shape of a bird.

A Swallow perhaps.

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