…. took a day and a half. I didn’t really think things out properly and at the same time got a bit too clever.
The turnbuckle idea was fine in principle but nonsense in practice – the gear lever just came loose every time you touched it. There wasn’t enough room on the gear selector yoke to get a spanner in to tighten the nut to secure the threaded pin at the bottom and, if tightened down on the saddle, the left hand thread came undone when you moved the lever over to select 1st and 2nd gears. So by the end of the day I felt a bit like my new loaf of bread was looking…
Pained! A few moments with a pen and paper gave me a much simpler idea…
I chopped the gear lever off at the ball end, made up a sleeve through which I could insert a thin bolt and welded the two together. At the gear selector end, I welded the shaft to the threaded pin, put the lot together and drilled for a 3/16th bolt. Whilst I was fiddling about with the lathe, I also made up an extension to thread onto the operator’s end of the lever and which I could cut to a comfortable length once the seats were in the cockpit.
That worked. The only snag was that I was 1/6 of a turn out on the bottom thread so I turned up a shim washer to take up the slack. Excellent.
Except that the gear lever was now clanging into the cutout on the saddle. I’m pleased to say that even though the job looked like a bit of a facer, undoing five bolts and one split pin was all it took for the whole assembly to come apart and none of the adjustments were lost. At the side of the road – obviously a completely hypothetical scenario – it would be the work of a moment to correct some fault in the mechanism.
With the saddle off, it was easy to re-work the hole and also, whilst it was all in bits, I put a nut on the end of the gear lever bolt where it protruded through the selector yoke. The gear lever is now doubly secure.
The other thing I did whilst the gearbox was uncluttered, was to put in a couple of pints of oil. It’s just as easy to do it with the selector mechanism attached but it saves making a mess if you’ve got a good clear space to manoeuvre in.
And then I got the coping saw out and cut the door frame from the structure. I was a bit nervous of this just in case the top longeron was under tension and the whole lot went twang, but it didn’t. A final smoothing out of the bits that I altered when I moved the door back and I’ll be ready to skin the sides. I was thinking that I might do the bonnet first but it’ll be easier for me to get the bonnet panels to be flush with the body than the other way round.
I wonder how long it’ll take to fall off that log?