The Riley axle I managed to get hold of for the racing car showed signs of having been used, at some point in its life, as a trailer axle. There was evidence of welding around the tops of the stub axles and someone had used a grinder to bring it back into service as a steerable axle. Fortunately they’d taken great care over the job and the damage was cosmetic though I wondered if the welding had contributed to the difficulty in removing the kingpins.

Riley Front axle

A good clean up and visual check for cracks revealed nothing untoward. I’ve got another complete axle, although less robust in design, which has all the steering arms and whatnot in place so, once I’ve got the new kingpin bushes (the pins themselves are fine as far as I can see but it may be prudent to renew them) I can transfer the lot over.

Spring clamp plateTo clamp the front axle and the springs together, I’ve drawn up and ordered from the laser people, two 8mm steel plates which I hope to collect at the same time as the radius arms. I don’t suppose that it’s going to be too long before the car is standing on its feet. The only things that I’m short of at the moment are a couple of half-shafts but I’m hoping they won’t be too difficult to source.

Jowett windscreen

I was minding my own business the other day when Learned Counsel thrust into my hands all the parts that make up the Jowett Jobcentre’s windscreen. ‘That’ll keep you out of trouble for a bit’ he said, rapidly departing the fix. He was right; what a blinkin’ fiddle that was. It was only a case of making up a couple of brackets, drilling and tapping and hunting around for some 4BA brass countersunk screws but that took the best part of the morning. I must have done a good job because I notice there’s another frame appeared on my bench.

Jowett engine

I went round to inspect the installation and grabbed a couple of snaps of stuff lying around the workshop. Pictured above is the beginnings of the engine that’ll go in the Jowett racer (that’s the bonnet behind) and, on the floor was something rather interesting – a Jupiter gearbox with close-ratio gears that was prepared for John Surtees. I alerted Learned Counsel to its presence on eBay and after his winning the auction, picked it up on the round trip to see the ‘barn find’ Lea Francis I wrote about a few months ago. It’ll be interesting to see what difference the box will make in comparison to Learned Counsel’s road car.

Close-ratio Jupiter box

So, what with one thing and another we’ve all been rather busy of late but no-one as busy as Leon whose front mudguards for his A7 Special, made their debut last week.

Leon's front mudguards

I looked in at Leon’s workshop halfway through their production and it didn’t look that easy a job – perhaps that’s why I’m flunking doing my front wings at the moment (they were meant to be done 3 years ago).

I think we can all sit back for a bit.


2 comments on “Sitrep.

  1. Matthew says:

    In the past it was common to run a bead around the eyes to tighten up the king pin fit. Quite likely that is what happened here.

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