A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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17 July 2012

Keeping Up the Momentum.

Last weekend was spent preparing all the bits to go to the sand blast and powder-coating outfit. I collared Learned Counsel as he was about to sneak off on the pretext of doing some fitness training and got him to fill some of the holes in the chassis with his MIG welder. This fitness malarkey is all very well but we've got deadlines to meet; 22 months may seem a long time.

I noticed in passing that he's been doing stuff to his engine and it looks almost ready to go (he may be dressing it up a bit, knowing that I can see in his workshop if the door's open).

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Anyway, the Hillman Special bits are all gathered and I made a point of photographing everything before it goes away - that way everyone knows what went in to the paint pot and what should come out again.

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I've blanked off all the bearing surfaces on the axle, pedal and brake parts; powder-coating is very difficult to remove and 10 minutes spent with a selection of old nuts, bolts and washers saves a lot of time at the other end. Not shown in the picture is the chassis itself. The two bits at the bottom left of the picture are mudguard supports. They're the same as the ones on my '29 tourer; a bit clunky for my design but I might be able to slim them down to good effect so they're worth chucking on the pile.

There's also another chassis going to be cleaned and painted. It's mounted on 36 inch stilts and belongs to an Austin 7 that I used to build the A7 Special, 'Sunita'. It's so much easier to work at a convenient height and to be able to get underneath everything without bits of the car digging holes in your head and I thought it deserved a coat of paint. It's even got a chassis number.

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The project is at a stage where everything is coming at me from all angles. In my mind's eye I can see the rolling chassis complete with wheels, engine, gearbox, brakes and steering - I know how it's going to look, but each of those jobs is still sort of half done and they're all clamouring for attention at once. It's essential at this stage that I make a list and get a few boxes ticked so I'm pleased that a load of stuff is going off to the paint shop - that'll be Box No.1.

Then, Box No.2. I haven't got any further with the hydraulic brake fabrication although I've been trawling the net for gen on the brake piston/pedal/master cylinder calcs. I've found quite a bit of useful information - there's an awful lot of clever people out there.

Similarly, Box No.3. I haven't made any progress with the gear change fandango but I've separated the selector mechanism from the main part of the gearbox and popped it into a bucket of diesel for a clean up. Then, with the selector section mounted on the bench, the dog can see the rabbit and we'll be away.

Excellent - just writing about it lines up the ducks.

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