On the way back from Norfolk last Sunday, I called in to see More Learned Counsel who had volunteered his set of bush inserting tools for the friction dampers. With a sly grin he also gave me a spare rubber bush saying that I’d probably need an extra one. Nonsense; this isn’t brain surgery for goodness sake!
No, it isn’t. It’s probably more difficult. With plenty of washing-up liquid over everything so that you’re constantly looking under the bench for the bit that just shot across to the other side of the workshop, the rubber – with the aid of the tapered ring – slips easily into the damper end. Yup, do well. Then, with a steel bush placed on the end of the bullet shaped plug, the jaws of the vice are eased together and the plug happily pushes the rubber bush out of the other side of the damper end and the bullet becomes firmly wedged in the middle. To recover from this, you push the bullet and the steel bush back from whence it came and wedge them and the rubber even more tightly in the part of the damper end from which all the washing-up liquid has now been squeezed aside. Then you drop the other mandrel on the floor and clang your head on the vice handle coming back up.
In order to prevent the rubber from coming out of the damper end when the bullet and steel bush were inserted, I turned up a special mandrel that blocked its egress. Which it did but, if you looked very carefully what was then happening was that the damper end was travelling back along the bush as the rubber expanded lengthways to accommodate the steel bush. In the end, I jammed everything in and cut off the 3/32″ surplus rubber which didn’t want to behave.
I had better luck with the brass insert for the radiator which needed to be bent to fit inside the rim. Every bend went absolutely perfectly until I came to the last one which contrived to be 1/4″ out. However, it was easily rectified and I’ve just got to polish up the shell before I soft solder the brass to the nickel and then epoxy the stainless steel rod to the brass. That finishes the front of the radiator. The mesh will sit in the back of the shell.
I’ve solved the fixing of the other end of the clutch cable fandango with a piece of slotted square tube that I can weld directly to the bottom of the centre engine mount. The laser-cut plates for the other end of the clutch cable and the brake master cylinder arrived today so I’ve got a mass of things to do over the Easter break and I should see some concrete progress by next Tuesday.
I’ve also had second thoughts about the business of the new Hillman badge – partly because I want to get on and not have to dismantle the cooling system when I eventually get the new badge; there’s an 8 month lead time! Anyway, I spotted some Humbrol enamels in the hardware shop today and, with a jar of acetone brought from work to make sure everything’s clean, I think I’m going to start building up layers of enamel in the damaged areas of the original badge and then finish off with some clear nail varnish.
It’ll take a bit of time but, it’s a good game…