reverser_mounted_01That’s an even odder title than usual, but it’s a hat-tip, as they say in blogging circles, to my Dad who died last week after a long illness. In many ways I got my start in mechanical things from him as I grew up in a house where it was normal for people to do mechanical things for themselves. He also built a car once too, a JAP engined Morgan three-wheeler that was assembled from a box full of bits shortly after WWII.

He liked to tell other people a story about a 17-year old me disassembling the gearbox of my car. This was a Morris Minor, and the gearbox had failed in such a manner that you got 3rd gear in addition to whatever other gear you’d selected. I was performing the delicate disassembly in the middle of the back garden and Dad thought the gearbox was clearly going to be toast but was surprised to see it running fine a few days later. If you’re wondering what the problem was, a baulk ring had shattered into umpteen pieces, doubtless pulled to bits by the mighty torque from the 803cc A-series engine. (0-60 in 52.5 seconds, I’ll have you know.)

Continue reading “1920–2009”

Differenced engine

chain_diffI’ve pressing on with the engine/gearbox mountings. Well, “pressing” is clearly a metaphor for something rather different. However, I have made some progress.

First of all, I’ve changed my mind how to do the diff mounting, as I realised that the original idea wasn’t going to work very well when it came to changing the sprockets and chain. Continue reading “Differenced engine”

14 steps forward, 52 back

rear_mounts_02I’ve been pressing on with the engine mounts and, after a minor false start, got the rear side of the engine set up as in this photo. The false start can been seen if you look really hard at the bottom right of the photo where you can see the first set of mountings for this transverse assembly. This is at a slightly jaunty angle. This all worked fine but it dawned on me that it was going to be impossible to actually fit the engine like that as it couldn’t move around the top mounts without requiring huge compliance of the rear mounts. It might have worked when I replaced the metal top hat washers with the eventual rubber bushes but I didn’t really want to risk it.

Continue reading “14 steps forward, 52 back”


mounting_bushesOh, I do like having a lathe.

I took time out this evening from the suspension bushes because I’m waiting for a particular tool to arrive in the post from those nice people at Chronos. Instead I made these things, which are bushes for mounting the engine. They’re just bits of CDS tube, cut to length and faced in the lathe (which means that ends are actually square), welded to some bits of 3mm steel, turned so that they’re mostly round and then a hole drilled in the end and the end faced off properly. Even if I never used it for anything else, the lathe is fantastically useful for drilling holes in the centre of round components, something that’s really difficult otherwise.

Continue reading “Turntastic”