A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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01 September 2015

Whilst I Was Away....

Learned Counsel got the Austin started..

Before I went to Sweden, I'd dismantled and cleaned the carb (I'd made up a set of jet tools for Zenith and Solex carbs in an earlier life) and also taken apart the SU fuel pump to get that cleaned up and working. A couple of weeks had passed with a quantity of diesel down the bores to help free off any seized rings and with fresh petrol introduced at every point along the fuel line (and in the plug holes for good measure) the engine sprang into life on the first turn of the key. There was no smoke and it sounded very sweet.

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And Chap's Riley Special was the second start-up I missed. Progress on the Le Mans Jowett is gathering pace; the chassis has been cleaned and powder-coated....

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The body has been assessed for the strong points for the roll cage and seat belts,

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and work has started on the suspension parts.

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I suspect this spurt of enthusiasm is in no small way associated with the (at last) purchase of a sandblasting cabinet. What's more, I know where it is although my keys to the workshop have been borrowed back with the excuse of Learned Counsel's set being broken. Hmmm.

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I finally got round to finishing the plating of the Jowett grilles. They're not great but then they weren't that great to start with. Successful plating depends on two things; the condition of the surface to be plated and its cleanliness throughout the process. The grilles on the Jowett are sheet brass. Over the years they'd become pitted and polishing those pits out might have weakened or even gone through the metal completely - I remember my Ariel VB's front brake plate coming back from the chroming plant with a hole in it - so I polished as much as I dared and put them in the copper tank first. The coat of copper is a good indication that your cleaning regime is up to speed; if the copper don't stick, start again. It's been a while since I did any plating so getting the resistance and the solution temperature right was a bit of a lark.

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And whilst they were doing the Jowett chassis, the Europa chassis went into the pot as well. For my own part, I've got to fit a new coil to the Hillman (the spark is very weak at the plugs) and replace the thermostat (I removed it to see if it made any difference to the engine bay temperature - it didn't) before the weekend's outing to the local VSCC bash. I've also set a definite date to go and get my medical for the racing license and do the ARDS test - next January. It transpires that I'll need six signatures (six races completed) before I can apply for a Historic racing license and as Learned Counsel is pushing ahead with the Le Mans Jowett, everything should dovetail neatly into place.

That's what everyone's been up to whilst I've been much engaged elsewhere!

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