Monday, 26 November 2012

Fame at last!

Well, of a sort anyway... The story of my race car rebuild is being published in Practical Classics magazine, starting with the current issue.

Regular readers of these web pages will notice that the printed version has some catching up to do however which brings me neatly to the latest activity in and around my garage.

The other week a shiny piece of machined aluminium arrived. This was the special adapter I need to fit the clutch slave cylinder alongside my non-original gearbox (which I realise I still haven't written about here. I'll try to get around to it eventually!).

To fit this the engine and 'box had to come out again so I enlisted the help of my dad on an unseasonally dry day at the weekend. Getting the engine out was straightforward and fitting the new adapter went well too requiring only the removal of a small amount from the edge of the gearbox adapter plate and the filing off of a small lump on the bell housing casting.

Having reassembled the gearbox, adapter plates and bell housing, even the clutch release arm and pushrod didn't foul on anything which was most remarkable given the angle at which the pushrod now has to operate.

That angle is something of an issue though so the next stage will be to try and come up with a modification to the mechanism that allows the pushrod to be positioned more in line with the slave cylinder,

Here's a photograph taken from inside the bell housing and showing the angle that the pushrod is required to take up.

The angle becomes more acute as the release arm is pushed back towards its normal rest position.

The actual difference can be seen in this picture. The black line I've drawn indicates the alignment with the new slave cylinder.

I had a few ideas on how the pushrod pivot might be moved or redesigned but none of them make much sense so far. If anyone has any suggestions how this can be re-engineered, let me know.

Elsewhere I've been assured (again) that painting has started on my road car shell. That should now be back with me early next year, Hopefully...

Friday, 2 November 2012

Catching up

Just a brief update today to catch up on things.

I finished the modification to the floor of the car and then fabricated some seat mounting brackets from 3mm steel. There's almost no clearance at all around the brackets when the seat is installed but it all fits. Just.

Here's the promised photo of the finished floor repairs

Since I took that picture I've also welded in some strengthening plates for the seat mountings and painted it all red again.

The seat itself has gone back to Motordrive to be trimmed and finished.

Next job will be to refit the pedals and also to go back to working on the modified clutch arrangements to try and finish that job which was started many months ago. Unfortunately that means pulling the engine and gearbox out of the car again which probably means working outdoors. This is the wrong time of year to be trying to do that.

Away from the race car I finally got around to buying a new battery for the van last week so I got that fitted today. Once fitted it was good that the van started easily, given that I've not touched it for months. It was less pleasing when I discovered the alternator was completely seized with appropriate amounts of smoke pouring off the drive belts!

I'll pull the alternator when I get chance and see if it's fixable. Brief internet research suggests that they have a habit of rusting internally and can usually be cleaned up. It will be annoying if the bearings have dissolved as it's hardly been used since I fitted it as a replacement for the last alternator that destroyed its bearings.