Saturday, 30 March 2013

06 Mar 13
Collected Ace kit from Gerry Hawkridge in East Sussex. Some ordered items outstanding (hood sticks and bows, trim kit, fuel tank, pedal box, radiator grill). It fits neatly into the garage!
12 Mar 13
Raised rear of car and supported on axle stands and 4x2” timber under the main chassis members, forward of the front rear spring hangers. Released the rear transport bar. Rolled axle into place. Trial fitted nearside leaf spring – observations: front clip needs to be removed, as this prevents the forward eye engaging with the chassis mount; the forward chassis mount accepts a 10mm bolt, whereas the spring eye accepts a 7/16” bolt. Some ingenuity is required to open up the chassis mounting holes given the limited access, but needs doing, otherwise it’s sloppy workmanship. Set of step drills (Imperial) ordered, one of which may help to do this, possibly with a right-angle drill attachment.

13 Mar 13
Bolted in place both rear dampers, 7/16 x 1¼” UNF bolts, grade T, from stock. Bolted in place nearside front damper, using temporary setscrews; need to order 8 x 3/8 x 1” UNF. Closer inspection of the forward leaf spring mounting suggests the inboard holes are close to 7/16” diameter, though outboard holes may need opening up by 0.025” or so. This may be easier than thought last night. Measured longest ‘bend’ underbonnet for the aluminium cladding to be fitted, closer to 24” than 18” so need to order a 24” folder. Also need to order longer 7/16” UNF bolts for the front spring hanger – check the length tomorrow!
14 Mar 13
Removed front transport bar, and temporarily bolted into place lower nearside pivot pin, wishbone, springpan and kingpin assembly (pre-assembled for some time).  Pivot pin needs 4 x 3/8” x 1” UNF setscrews, or possibly 1¼” bolts per side. Ordered the following bolts from Namrick:
2 x 7/16” x 3½” UNF for leaf spring front eye
20 x 3/8” x 1¼” UNF (front dampers and pivot pins)
4 x 3/8” x 2½” UNF steering rack attachment
4 x 3/8” x 3” UNF steering rack if longer bolts needed
4 x 5/16” x 1” antiroll bar attachment
Less than an hour in the garage tonight, roll on the weekend!
15 Mar 13
Fitted offside front damper, lower pivot pin, wishbone, springpan and kingpin assembly. Fittedfront  rebound stop brackets both sides. Fitted steering rack (one bolt per side only – noted 4 x 5/16” x 2¼” UNF bolts required, not 3/8”. Fitted antiroll bar. Rack and antiroll bar not yet connected to suspension / steering pending fitting of springs and connecting top kingpin swivel.
Another order to Namrick for:
steering rack bolts, as above;
4 x 5/16” x ¾” UNF for lower bumpstop bracket fastenings.
Also ordered grommets for the chassis outriggers, and a selection for other uses.
16-17 Mar 13
Reamed bracket for front leaf spring mount – not easy due to restricted access; ended up passing a 7/16” UNF tap through both sides from inboard, then reaming inner hole with taper reamer to remove threadform. Waxoyled springs and applied heat to ensure penetration. Removed front clip (spring won’t fit into front hanger with it in place), removed centre bolt and fitted aluminium spacers, together with spring plates and lower brackets. One spring plate supplied was incorrectly drilled – maybe for a Midget? All spring plates and bracket plate needed holes opening up from 3/8” to 7/16” diameter. Fitted springs to front hanger, fitted axle to springs then raised springs to fix shackles to  rear hanger. Drilled diff web for brake hydraulic T-piece bracket (¼” diameter hole), ground off existing bracket on offside axle tube, which is in the way of the Panhard rod location clamp. Connected damper drop arms to spring plate bracket, connected rubber straps, and located Panhard rod bracket, and Panhard rod temporarily in position. Rear wheels fitted!

Major struggle compressing spring for front suspension. The springs are relatively short and partly shrouded, so conventional external compressors are not suitable. An internal compressor had to be made, or two had to be made – the first design wasn’t strong enough. The second worked fine though removing the internal components (which are withdrawn through the large hole in the spring pan) proved very fiddle and took me ages. I’d hoped to get all four wheels on this weekend – but failed miserably. At least I’ve cracked the spring compressions issue and the second one shouldn’t take as long – maybe a few mods to incorporate. The brakes, hubs and wheels should then be installed pretty quickly.
20 Mar 13
An hour spent on front N/S hub, bolting disc to hub, backplate to kingpin. Stub axle tab washers need relieving to fit.
21 Mar 13
Relieved N/S stub axle washer. Ruined several shims fitting hub – need to reorder. Hub loosely assembled only, but good for wheel ‘to roll’. Re-ordered shim kits, rear axle components and steering column bushes from Sussex Classics.
23/24 Mar
Finished both nearside and offside front suspension and hubs, fitted wheels, and ran out of garage for photo-shoot and to allow the garage to be tidied up.
Bitter cold has meant weekend working has had to be in the garage with door closed rather than outside, where light and access would have been easier. Correct bolts have now been fitted throughout front suspension and steering, though some plain nuts remain which may be eventually changed for Nylocs. No split pins fitted yet to castle nuts, and final torques not applied.
Noted the wheels are a slightly larger diameter than the wheel well in the boot. Looks like some alloy fabrication will be required to replace the GRP well.
27/31 Mar
Punched and fitted grommets to the chassis outriggers for both fuel and brake lines. Fitted steering column – this requires drilling the footwell: from under the bonnet, measured 12 5/8” up from the bottom of the footwell end panel, and 13 7/8” in from the inside of the wing. A hole saw was used to enlarge the pilot hole. The outer column needs to just poke through. Under the scuttle, I milled ¼” x 1” slots in the column support bracket to give some lateral adjustment (it’s supplied undrilled). I’ve left the lower clamp attached to the column, I don’t like relying on the hole in the GRP for support and will fit a lower clamp at some stage.
Problems now – wrecked a new UJ trying to fit it to one of the ‘new’ UJs supplied by Andy Jennings, before realising that these are after all the wrong UJs (earlier type) despite Andy’s (or Gary’s) assurances. With them fitted, the intermediate shaft is too long, even the unsplined length won’t fit between the UJs, so no hope of an easy mod. New ‘rubber bumper’ UJs (which look quite a bit smaller, and hopefully will be fine) ordered from Sussex Classics.

Gave up on steering, and started on brakes, but – the front union needs to be four-way, not five-way, so can’t use the one I’ve got. A four-way union ordered from CBS. Started to pipe up the front brakes. Drilled the front crossmember and nearside chassis member and installed Rivnuts to attach P-clips.

Sophisticated tools aren’t necessary to expand the Rivnuts – I improvised with a piece of flat bar, a socket head capscrew and a spacer.
The new Moto-Lita ‘Derrington’ steering wheel with Springalex boss at least fits well, with the dash placed loosely in position.

1 comment:

  1. Good job Tony. Watching your progress with great interest. Hope you enjoy the build process as much as I am. Dave