When Something Goes Right…

…. it’s a good day. I was faced with a bit of a problem – how to remove the inner wheel bearing from the rear axle casing. There was no way of getting behind it and it looked as though the dust cover and grease retaining cup was part of the case or welded on.

I thought that if I de-rivetted the back plate I could tilt it and see what was going on. No, that didn’t work. Earlier, I’d put a strap wrench around the cup to see if it would turn – it didn’t but I thought I’d give it another go – it had to come off somehow – either that or the Hillman works had a special twink that popped the bearing off the shaft. Anyway, this time it turned. This was progress. Well, if the cup turned then why not put a puller over the whole thing and see if I can’t get the bearing off by pulling the cup off the shaft?

That did the trick. The bearing pictured was relatively loose and the one on the other case which had stood in the village pond for a spell – that came off easily as well. That’s this week’s handy-hint-n-tip for the Hillman owner. (I’m probably the only one who didn’t know how to do this)

I had to do some nickel plating for a chum during the week – the window pulls on his Crossley had disappeared down the road somewhere and he’d made up a couple of new ones from brass sheet. Whilst I was doing that, I took the Wilmott gauge out of the petrol tank and having got it apart successfully (it’s a bit of a Chinese puzzle) I polished up the rim and gave it the treatment.

The face of the gauge is in a bit of a state:

I’m re-doing the artwork; here it is in progress:

and, along with some other instruments, I’ll print it up and it’ll look fine. I did this last for a set of 1st World War aircraft instruments and I learnt a great deal about how to make everything look authentic – and why, I regret to say, most reproduction instruments look like they come free in a packet of Cornflakes. There is no substitute for doing the artwork by hand. It’s long winded and tedious – a face like this can take a day of intense concentration – you’re cross-eyed at the end of it but it looks right. I suspect that the artwork for the reproductions are done either with Letraset or its modern equivalent, or computer generated and I’m afraid it shows. And (whilst I’m on the subject) why don’t they put a bit more copper in the mix for the bezels? Yellow brass is hideous.

I’ve been thinking about what to do next. The jobs that need finishing are piling up behind me and most of them centre around where the driver is going to sit. I need to make a seat and then the steering column, pedal cluster and gear lever mechanism will all fall into place (a likely story). I’d like to do a bench seat; you can always squeeze in an extra bod if you need to, but I think it’ll have to be a couple of bucket seats – they’re easier to make and, make adjustable (I’ve snaffled a pair of fork lift seat rails from the recycling bin at work for this very purpose).

So everything is going according to plan, if not schedule. The arrival of the Myford will see swift progress made on the gear changing fandango and I’ll probably tackle the brake shaft bushes on the rear axle back plates which will give me a bit of time with the ‘new’ machine. I’ve got to face up and clean the axle castings; I’m undecided about blasting them because of the machined surfaces and whether they can be properly masked up. Aha! what about some old radiator hose? Just the ticket; things are going well.

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