For one reason and another, over the past few weeks I’ve been a bit lazy. It may be something to do with the change of the clocks, the weather, I don’t know but, I’m happy to say that this weekend I’ve sorted out quite a lot of detail work – especially to do with the steering and the spare wheel carrier and, I can say that that’s been largely due to the new welder. I’ve been using the stick welding facility and, although the result may not be pretty just yet, I’ve really enjoyed it and worries about penetration and making a mess of things have been largely dispelled.
The first job was to slot the bolt I’d found to fit the spare wheel hub. I didn’t use my little Portmac mill because it’s got some weird arrangement for changing the tool; it uses Osborn collets but there’s no self-centring and it takes hours to get it set up. So it’s quicker to grab a bag of Norfolk sausages and go and wave them in front of Chumley. That done, I made a couple of gusset plates from a small piece of 6mm that I happened to have in the drawer and then I had a go with the stick welder.
As I said, it aint pretty just now but with a bit of practice all will be well. I was most concerned that the weld was actually penetrating because there’s quite a lot of weight hanging on the bolt. A test piece revealed that all was as it should be.
The next job was to weld up the separate pieces of the steering column and once this was done, to think of some way to secure the column to the bodywork. On the Austin I just incorporated a big self-centring bearing that sits on the rear face of the dash but as this column is shrouded, more creative thinking was required. I found in the box of Hillman bits the base of a steering column and machined off the bearing housing to create a flange rather like a water pump front casting. I slipped this over the column tube (it’s a good tight fit) and all I need do now is make up the extra bracket shown in white. That’ll firm things up nicely.
The coil was positioned…
.. as was the fuel filter and, that brought me neatly to the fuel tap. In its secret location under the passenger carpet (it’s always wise to keep these things to yourself) it provides an extra bit of security should anyone get it into their heads to borrow the car.
So I’ve got a big pile of stuff to take to be powder-coated – the tank straps, rear wheel mounting parts, cockpit braces etc and all that was left to do was to go and watch the show outside.
The sun set on a few things that day.