A Good Haul.
A trip to Mansfield yielded a couple of RMA front wings, one rear wing, a fuel tank,
and a Jowett oil cooler for Learned Counsel's racing Jupiter - all in all, a good haul.
The MS block resting in the RME chassis confirmed that there would be plenty of room for everything except perhaps a supercharger directly driven from the front pulley. The front of the frame is quite narrow so from a secondary pulley, a drive shaft would have to extend rearwards to a blower mounted centrally to the block, helpfully shortening the intake manifold.
I made up some cardboard blanks of the proposed engine mounting plates. I always find it so much easier (and successful) to cut and fit, then measure afterwards. As the laser-cutting people can produce the bits merely by scanning my blanks (which I know will fit) I can avoid the use of rulers altogether. Adding measurements to the drawings is something I can do at a later date. The front engine mounts will have to be bolted rather than welded to the chassis as the heads of two bolts securing the front suspension module fall just in front of the new plates on either side. The bolts can go in only one way so if I ever need to dismantle the front of the car, the mounts would have to come off. I could cut access holes in the mounts but the steering column relief on the offside bracket already reduces that plate's area to a minimum.
Counsel popped in on the way to The Great Collector's Emporium and we added the T9 gearbox to the mix. The only disadvantage of this arrangement is that the box is bolted to the bellhousing from inside necessitating the removal of both if there’s a problem. The new input shaft is a perfect length and I need turn up only a new flywheel bush to complete the job.
It's a happy coincidence that the various cross members on the RME chassis fall exactly where they're needed. There's plenty of places to attach a standard Sierra gearbox mount.
At The Great Collector's, we replaced the old string oil seals on the inlet valve guides of his MKVI with a new, more efficient type. Fortunately, our local Rolls-Royce and Bentley expert was on hand to demonstrate the process - he also had the right tools and the remaining 5 valves were the work of a moment. As this is an 'inlet over exhaust' engine, we decided that the exhaust valve guide seals, hidden out of sight in the depths of the block and all but unreachable with the engine in situ, were probably alright for another few thousand miles. We may live to regret that decision.
The Harvard, Stinson and Stearman have now reached Corfu, via Slovakia, and have been joined by this gorgeous Beech 18.
I might have traded my seat in any of the original three aircraft for the comfort of the Beech; London to Saudi is quite a long haul.