Despite the second block passing the pressure test, further examination revealed that it did indeed need a re-bore. The mains were not great (as I suspected) and although the big-ends were passable, it would be silly not to do them while the crank was in the grinder. So, pistons, main and big-end shells, plus the machining? That’s enough to make your eyes water. I looked at re-lining but by the time the machining’s done, there’s not a lot in it. As a last-ditch attempt to avoid the spend, I whipped the head off the Series II engine – the bores were worse than the second block with a ridge under which you could almost hide a piston ring! Still, at least I know how much it’ll cost to rebuild if it ever comes to it.
Experiments with the weird and wonderful boot repair machine proved disappointing because the tendency was for the sheet, as it emerged from the rollers, to curl downwards instead of upwards. The lateral radius was almost OK – but the edges started to get a bit wavy after a couple of passes and there was nothing I could do to reverse the bend.
So that was an interesting exercise in metal forming. I’m sure that if I had the time to sit down and think about it, it would all have been perfectly obvious but I hadn’t the time. Next stop was to bite the bullet and ring round the various tin-bashers in the area to see what they had to say. Not much I’m afraid because they’re all too busy to fit me in. So Plan ‘D’ it is: fix up some cycle guards for ‘The Monaco Dash’ and on my return, go on the wheeling machine course and do it myself (for about a 1/10 of the cost of anyone else doing it). That’s that problem solved.
The next job – well, the next one I could get on with quickly – was the interior trim. I didn’t like the blandness of the door card so got The Ambassador’s Daughter busy on the sewing machine.
Neither of us are experts but we’re getting the hang of things as we go. The driver’s side interior panel is also a great expanse of nothing so an angled pocket was added to break up the monotony.
Then it was on to the seats. I was a bit concerned that we would have a lot of difficulty with the seats and their construction but, having got into the job, it seems fairly straightforward so far. The Ambassador’s Daughter produced the fluted covers which I’m stuffing with wadding (probably the most awkward of all the jobs)
… and, after I’ve welded a couple of back stops to the base of the seats to stop the seat backs hitting the turtle deck, I can cut the sponge to shape and proceed with the side panels and aprons. The seat back cushions are easy to secure because they’re just nailed on to bits of wood which in turn are riveted to the shaped metal panels but the seat base cushions are floating about at the moment. I may weld a retaining lip to the front of the seat chassis; that would solve another problem.