There are always several Bentleys at our monthly vintage gathering and so I took the opportunity to see if I could gauge the Rate of Boing on some of their leaf springs. I know the Bentleys are a lot heavier than the Hillman’s going to be but, to get an idea of how it all worked, it was an interesting exercise. I leaned on a few dumb irons in as casual a manner as I could muster and discovered that all of them were as solid and almost immoveable as mine. You might guess that the chassis would do the lion’s share of the twisting and bending and spring deflection would be minimal. It might follow that the Hartford’s are there to damp the twisting of the chassis rather than the oscillation of the springs; I wonder if that’s right and I’ve been thinking about it from the wrong end?
Learned Counsel popped his head round the door the other day after hearing that the TIG welder had gone pop. He’d fixed up his MIG welder to do aluminium and had just been having a go. The results are very encouraging; the sheet shown above was no more than 1.5mm and it hadn’t fallen to the floor in a great blob – my speciality. So this was encouraging; it’s going to be useful for all sorts of jobs including welding up the sections of my turtle deck which will have a double curvature. On Friday I picked up enough aluminium sheet to do the firewall and a couple of the lower bonnet panels. I’m thinking that I might put a stainless steel insert into the middle of the firewall. This will serve as a shield at the hotspot and also provide access to the core plug in the rear of the block.
Not much has been reported about the activities of Learned Counsel lately but, his visit prompted me to return the courtesy. The rear body panel is now on and the laborious task of rubbing it down has begun. It’s not as bad as it looks…
… but there’s a lot to do to get it right. I notice also that some bits have been added to the front – the bonnet stays and braces are new additions and I’ve even heard the engine buzzing on a couple of occasions.
Bituminous paint is the underseal of choice for the Jowett and that’s exactly what I’m going to use as a sealer for the underside of the bodywork on the Hillman. I protected the Austin with several coats of marine varnish and that seems to have held up very well but a check on the underside is always worth it.
To Norfolk for lunch on Sunday which gave me the chance to nip into the works and collect the laser-cut panels which make up the Hillman cockpit braces. So, having achieved very little in the past 2 weeks, I now have masses to get on with and I should see some big bits added that’ll make me feel as if I’m making progress. The completion of the firewall will be a bit of a red-letter day and once the coil and the fuel pipe are installed, I’ll soon drown out that buzzing I keep hearing.