…. so a perfect opportunity to lock myself in the workshop for 2 days and make some progress.
The steering column is a bit of a hybrid, The box and lower half is 1930’s Ford V8 but, from the universal (Suzuki Jeep) it’s pure 1927 Hillman 14. I had to change the female part of the splined joint that’s attached to the upper part of the column, turn up a new spigot to suit the lower half of the universal and then sort out the control rods (hand throttle and indicator stalk) before shortening the top half of the column by 3″ to make things more comfortable for people when the driver’s seat is at its most forward location. All that took the best part of Saturday. At the end of the day I popped across to see The Great Collector who at a recent auction had been pointing out to his companion the very nice light fittings hanging from the auction room ceiling, only to discover that in so doing he’d bought a 1906 Rover. You have to be so careful nowadays.
On Sunday I had to make some further alterations to the firewall to accommodate the control rods and there may yet be more when I address the 2 sets of throttle linkage – hand and foot. I added a hand throttle to my Bayliss Thomas so I’ve got the hang of the 2 systems operating independently – it took a bit of thinking out as I didn’t have an example to look at at the time. Finally, I positioned the Autovac from which I’ve stripped out all the corroded and broken parts and have turned it into a brake reservoir. A couple of brass pipes will disappear into the firewall to make it look as though it’s doing the job it was made for and no one will know; I shan’t tell anyone about it anyway.
Although the firewall is quite big – I’ve yet to position the coil, a block for a couple of spare plugs (they always look nice) a glass bowl fuel filter (AC) and the horn – it’s surprising how much room all these bits and pieces take up and for some reason, the fuel filter bowl and the fuel lines always end up sitting over the exhaust pipe! I might wrap the downpipe in that white fluffy exhaust tape stuff that makes everything look as though it’s going 100 mph – that should help delay any unplanned combustion.
Another thing that I’ll have to remanufacture is the nice nickel-plated brass plate which sits over the 2 control stalks – just discernible behind the wheel boss. The plate is engraved on its left hand side with the graduations for the hand throttle. The new layout has determined that the hand throttle has to go on the right and the ignition advance and retard – now the indicator stalk – has to go on the left. The plate isn’t a particularly taxing piece to reproduce; it’s more difficult to replicate the period engraving so I’ll have to try to find a more old-fashioned style engraving shop.
I’m rather looking forward to another quiet weekend….