What’s Happened Here?

Before I skin up – so to speak – I have to get the wiring and plumbing done and, before I do that I’ve got to correct a mistake I made a while back and, at the time, I had an inkling that there was something that hadn’t gone quite according to plan but didn’t really stop to think about it. I can see what it was now.

When I was originally messing about with the steering box and the drop arm and getting the whole thing sorted out so that it worked, I remember making the comment that the drag link wouldn’t be parallel to the chassis rail – it would be a bit on the skew. What did that matter? Not much at all. Then I got involved in another job and came back to the steering scenario a bit later on. Of course, by then I’d forgotten what my original plan was and went ahead with the assembly which I now discover (having rigged the steering to roll the car out for a photo session) works well on full left lock but the tyre clangs up against the drag link with some distance to go before full right lock.

Steering box

Here above is the original jury rig – which worked as expected and below, here’s what dopey did when he wasn’t paying attention:


So that was going to be a bit of a face up – and just when I thought it was all going so swimmingly. I’m beginning to recall that one of the things that I’d listed (mentally – big mistake) as perhaps needing to be done was to turn through 90 degrees one end of the link to accommodate the reversed ball on the drop arm. Whatever… the lesson learnt was that if I start a job, it’s best I finish it before I get distracted. As it turned out, the alteration was relatively painless and involved only reversing the drop arm and refitting the ball in the other side of the socket; this took no more than an hour early on Sunday morning and thankfully, it didn’t involve an alteration to the drag link itself.

As it should be

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I was also up early on Saturday morning; a distractingly beautiful dawn was an invitation to take to the lanes in the Austin which is running so well after the rebuild and the fitting of the water pump. We bowled along at 45 – 50mph and even on a trailing throttle, it felt like there was bags to go.


There was a slight misfire which disappeared with the application of a small amount of choke – indicating a weak mixture – so I stopped and wound out the jet nut a couple of flats to take care of things and Learned Counsel and The Navigator had a trouble-free run to Snetterton for the last of the season’s VSCC races on Sunday.

Racing at Snetterton

Just like last year, Snetterton was a tremendous spectacle, marred only by the news that a driver had died after being involved in an accident in the morning practice session. Despite this, the remaining competitors put on a grand show and there was a lot of spirited racing, much appreciated and applauded by an excellent turn-out of spectators.

But that’s enough distraction, I’ve got to get on.


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