It's So Exhausting....
..... dealing with the press, so on landing back at Stanstead from Naples, we were relieved to be able to slip away unnoticed whilst their attention was diverted.
We took off with Vesuvius emerging from the morning mist.....
... and had a very smooth run over the Alps.
On my return I was collared by Learned Counsel who wanted help replacing the front chassis of an 'Avant' loader. The strip down was a really messy job as the loaders are hydraulically powered and all the pipes have to come off and the electrics disconnected before you can get at the pins to separate the two halves of the machine. Phone cameras come into their own when recording which of the pipes and wires go where.
I'd forgotten that before I went off to Italy, I'd left the Hillman backplates with the powder-coating boys and it was only in passing their premises that I remembered they had them.
Their fitting wasn't as onerous as I thought it was going to be. Instead of removing the kingpins - which ordinarily you would have to do to remove the backplates - a judicious cut allowed me to manipulate the new plates over the axle without damage.
A quick blow-over with the spray-can eliminated the 'Willwood' logo on the callipers and everything was then a good deal less conspicuous than before.
The next task was the repair of The Great Collector's 1914 Humber 14 exhaust. This cast steel 'bomb' - a work of art in its own right - had detached itself from the down pipe and needed to be welded back together. Counsel and I spent an afternoon removing the assembly from the car and I took it off to ace welder George, who looked at it and sucked his teeth. He reminded me that 105-year-old steel would have absorbed quite a lot of oil, carbon and everything else that prevents a successful weld, but he'd give it a go. There was a small split at the back of the bomb that I'd had an unsuccessful attempt at brazing with TIG, so I knew what he was talking about.
While George was dealing with the difficult bit, I cut and threaded some new steel rods and steel sleeves to replace the rusted-out assembly that held the baffles in place in the silencer.
It was a lot easier to put back on the car than it had been to take it off. In the reassembly, a small crack appeared in the welding that demonstrated how difficult it had been to get a decent joint, so we ended up still having to use a dollop of exhaust paste around the base of the vertical pipe which we then reinforced with a strip of thin alloy and a jubilee clip. Counsel took the car for a spin around the paddock a few times to get the paste to flash off and all was well.
Then I had a couple of manifolds to weld up before I was off again to Norway.