A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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03 July 2012

Industrial Staff.

Whatever was wrong with my back seems to have corrected itself and I'm doing stuff again, but very carefully.

Since when, my preoccupation has been the conversion of the scheme for the centrally mounted gear lever to the right-hand remote.

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Although it's not annotated as such, the section enlarged on the drawing would incorporate a rose joint. I think the principle is sound and if I can't use the Hillman remote, this will be what the mechanism will look like, more or less. I still haven't cleared up exactly how I'm going to mount it all but I think a mock-up on the spare box is the next move. Rigidity and small working tolerances will be key and the only weak link in the scheme I can see at the moment is the rose joint which might encourage a geometric lock; we'll see.

And, now I've had some mackerel for lunch, I've realised that the sketches I've produced are slightly misleading - the gearchange mod is going to be in front of the selector and shift levers, not behind. A small adjustment to the bellcrank on the right hand side of the box will see that everything continues to work in the required sense.

Incorporating the Hillman remote casting in the set-up will call for some alterations. The extension of the transfer shaft through the side of the casting - luckily there's a plugged hole there anyway so the integrity of the structure won't be compromised and, I notice that on the gate at the lever end, reverse is not in the right place so I'll have to make up a new gate to suit.

The new arrangement has prompted a look at chains and bevel gears,

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I really need to start cutting metal and get this put to bed otherwise I'm going to keep going round in circles.

Talking of which, another thing that I've spent time on is the 12" brake drum search. I discover that some of the RM series of Rileys had 12" hydraulic drums on the front. They would be relatively easy to source - in comparison to a pair of Maserati or Aston Martin drums - but still difficult and there's still the snag of the compensator. Early post-war Rileys had a hydro-mechanical set up with rods to the back. I dug up some gen on the system and it looks complicated enough to make me consider hydraulics all round.

I need a rest from this so, as an aside....  I don't know if anyone spotted the senior moment in the engine start-up video? The fuel is turned on at the end of the run...

It's not the first time I've done something like that. I used to fly a 65hp Piper L4 - the military version of the Piper Cub  - from a little farm strip in Norfolk. The idea was that at the end of every flight the fuel would be turned off - a sticking float could easily empty the tank all over the floor when you weren't looking.

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I got to the aircraft one evening, pulled it out of the hangar, did the checks, chocked the wheels and swung the prop. The dear old thing clattered into life as usual. A minute or two later as I was pulling on my flying overalls, the engine stopped. What? Engine failure before take-off? That's very considerate. I discovered that in doing the pre-flight checks I had correctly incorporated the operation of the fuel tap lever but, because someone had left it on, I had turned it off.

I learned about flying from that.

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