A Special Builder's Notes


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06 November 2019

That's A Worry.

After the excitement of the Riley chassis purchase, I remembered that I'd dropped off the Hillman's starter motor with the ever reliable Baz who deals with car electrickery. A quick call from the ship to see what, if anything, was wrong with the brushes or windings, revealed that the bush which supports the starter motor shaft in the bell-housing must be shot, causing the armature to contact the field coils - hence its reluctance to turn. Apart from some scoring on the armature which fortunately hadn't affected the windings, the unit was otherwise in good shape.

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Quite inexplicably, the Giant didn't have a Morris 6 workshop manual in its library so I trawled through my blog's pictures looking for photos which might hint at where the offending bush could be located. If it was in the bell-housing it would mean removing the gearbox and if it was in the crankcase, much the same would apply. Over the winter, that would put a dent in the Riley programme.

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But looking at the pictures I had, it was clear that if there was a bushing for the end of the shaft, it wasn't in either. Maybe it was on the end of the shaft and it had dropped onto the carpet (therefore quietly) when I'd taken the starter off? Then I had an idea. The bolt on the part of the bell-housing which abuts the starter motor flange might be some sort of locating pin? Another call to Baz confirmed that the shaft was counterbored so my theory could be correct. To turn up an over-sized locating pin is the work of a moment - I don't relish the thought of stripping out the box and bell-housing just now, even if there's carpet on the workshop floor.

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So while I was sitting there waiting for the tide to turn and the work to start again (we we're over a sandbank and could operate only at high tide) I turned my attention to all things Riley. The RME benefits from all-round Girling hydraulics and it looks a relatively simple job to whizz some discs on the front. There's plenty of room for the MS and T9 arrangement though what I'm guessing are floor supports may have to be repositioned.

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There's ample room for a decent sized touring tank and scope for getting the seating arrangements as close to the rear axle as is sensible. A comparison with the Alvis TA14 dimensions reveals that the Riley's wheelbase is 4" longer. In anticipation of a Riley based project, I'd already let in an extra 4" on the general arrangement drawing and at 1/5th scale it didn't make the slightest difference to the overall line.

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I've decided that making a buck for the body is going to be a too long-winded affair and wouldn't really help me with the internal structure - the stuff under the skin - so an ash frame it is. Fortunately, the volume of gen on the internet is going to save a lot of angst in that department.


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