A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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09 August 2012

Cracks, Burrs, Whip, Warp and Wobble...

.... are the inevitable consequences of a strict programme of non-maintenance.  Pictured, are two of the front spring hangers. They came up very nicely in the sandblaster (glass bead substrate) which process also served to reveal the extent of their neglect. I've ordered up some phosphor-bronze bar and I'll slip off and hijack Chumley's milling machine to bore them out for re-bushing. The other day I had a small amount of turning to do that the Portass wasn't up to and I reasoned that, being still flush with the success of the Norfolk Sausage Manoeuvre that diverted Learned Counsel from the main event, it was worth giving the trick a shot with Chumley. Worked like a dream. I should need only hint at the prospect of the arrangement being repeated to be confident of my further accommodation.

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..... as the centre engine mount is made up from several pieces, I found that it was necessary to set the assembly up on the bench and put a couple of tack welds on the edges of the plates. That way the pedal and brake shafts would stay parallel and be less inclined to bind up. It may be that an extra brace between the 2 centre plates will be needed - a foot can exert a lot of pressure, even on a seemingly robust structure when the throttle gets stuck and a tree jumps into the road. Happens all the time apparently.

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So here's the pedal arrangement. At the weekend I'll drop the gearbox into the chassis, get the seat out of the '29 tourer and size up for the position of the steering column. I've also been down to the brake parts shop and got myself a clutch slave cylinder and attached one of the hubs to the axle just to get the lay of the land. Learned Counsel popped by and we decided it might be a clever wheeze to swap the brake lever round so it points to the back of the hub and allows a bit more room to play with vis-a-vis the mounting.

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I'll just have to watch the hub travel and make sure that the cylinder isn't clanging up against the axle on full lock. It all looks do-able at the moment. This and the gear lever linkage are probably going to be the most taxing of the mods so I must concentrate on them as much as possible.

In the absence of both sausages and a lathe man-enough for the job, More Learned Counsel was tasked with the spring shackle pins, 12 of which I collected today. At his works I couldn't help noticing a very nice 3 lt Bentley with an unusual body - an Alvis 12/60 Beetleback, by Carbodies;  a period conversion and really attractive. What especially caught my eye was the hood set-up. It had a very neat stowage arrangement in the manner of the Triumph Stag. The metal cover hinges up, out pops the hood and the cover hinges down again to close the void. Just right for the Hillman.

Of course, when you get caught out in a cloud burst these things seem never to work quite so effortlessly - an indication perhaps of indifferent handling and a lack of maintenance in the past.

previous post Conkers...
next post The Brakes' Progress.


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