A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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02 February 2015

That Looks About Right.

I find it quite difficult to think things out when it's cold so, a good fire going in the log burner and a glass of stout at room temperature are the basic requirements for a couple of hours thinking and sketching on a cold winter evening.

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One of the things that occurred to me was that perhaps I should design in enough material for the attachment of some sort of shock absorber or friction damper; I'll run that past Learned Counsel who's due to drop in this week. In the meantime I thought it best to draw up the arm more accurately before adding more metal - there's always a weight consideration with a racing car.

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It looks very different dimensionally from the sketch but the idea's the same. I think that 3mm steel plate with a 2 x 10mm flange welded along the edges will be plenty stiff enough and I've drawn in a couple of doublers where the arm picks up the axle mounts and one at the chassis mount end. I can lose a bit of weight with the lightening holes.

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In anticipation of an extended cold spell, I remembered today to drain the water from both the Hillman and the Austin. I hadn't put anti-freeze in either of them - the Austin because I was testing out the electric water pump and forgot to replenish it once it was working and the Hillman because I'm still trying to stop the leaks. The main culprit is the copper pipe running the length of the engine that carries the water from the bottom of the radiator back to the block. I think the pipe gets distorted when the Jubilee's are wound up. I might try a bit of sealant before I replace the pipe with an aluminium one of a stiffer grade. It would be a shame to lose the copper pipe as it adds a bit of interest and looks nice and vintage but, I'd rather lose the pipe than the engine.

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And here is one of the problems that you might associate with not using anti-freeze. The Meadows 4EB engine in the Bayliss Thomas, always got very hot, very quickly and lost power as a result. It wasn't until I came to rebuild the engine that I found out why; over half of the volume of the water jacket in the block was silted up. I'd delayed taking the block cover off to investigate the cause of the over-heating because there was a huge area of corrosion in the aluminium casting and I didn't want it to disintegrate in my hands. When it came to it, I was able to repair the casting and polish it back into shape for reassembly.

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It was a nice looking engine; lots of shiny bits but still very compact and business-like. Shame then that it never seemed to really go very well - it lacked spirit somehow which, being an OHV with a lightish body, it should have had.

Just goes to show; if it looks about right, it don't always fly right.




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