That Was Clever…..

…. and I had a feeling that I was going to have to pay for it a bit further down the line.


I happened to have a piston ring compressor which fitted exactly the circumference of the Morris Minor synchromesh gear and within a couple of minutes the whole thing was back together again; no searching for balls and springs under the bench, no screwdrivers through the hand – it all seemed a bit too good to be true.

Morris Minor gearbox nose cone

Buoyed by this piece of luck, I went on to repair the main shaft bearing’s front cover (removed from the 3-speed box) and carefully glued the broken bits together with Araldite and filled in what was missing with Milliput. And, in what might be described as a dis-covery, the 4-speed box front cover it turns out, is not the same as the 3-speed box front cover – that was the payback. I may have to machine up a new cover if one can’t be located.

Hillman rear axle

I had a quick peek in the Hillman rear axle – the back plates were almost non-existent after sandblasting – and everything looked intact inside. I’ve got to drill out the drum screws which are currently as one with the drums but after that it should be plain-sailing; a little bit of heat and the hubs will fall off in an obliging manner, the bearings will slip from the half shafts…. you know the sort of thing.

Riley chassis

But the biggest excitement was having a massive clear out and tidy-up in the workshop to make space for the racing car. I had to call in Counsel to help me shift a couple of benches round and heave the milling machine about and to set up the chassis on trestles. I can now get round the car and the first job is to get the axles jury-rigged and see where everything might end up.


I also rested what I’ve got of the body on the chassis to give me a bit of inspiration. It probably isn’t in the right place ….


… but a picture is beginning to form. I must get hold of the photo of the car that had this body; that would be a great help in determining what goes where. Apart from the silent-third box, I’ve also managed to get a couple of very large brake drums – they always look very racy besides being a great deal more effective than the standard size, a steering column without all the pre-selector attachments (the box had a hole in it in any case) and a lighter front axle – still a Riley type. I’m also led to believe that the cast bulkhead, visible in the picture above, is copied from a Maserati bulkhead of the period, so that’s interesting to know.

Riley 9

And this is what under the bonnet should look like when it’s finished. I dropped in to see a chum who’s building a Riley Special and grabbed a couple of pics; any information – especially in photographic form – is going to help.

Riley Special

Blue and cream are very nice together.



2 comments on “That Was Clever…..

  1. Andrew Bradshaw says:

    I may have one of those aluminum covers to suit your gearbox.

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