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Editoral Ramblings

by

The Editor

I mentioned that I wanted to replace a now tatty lean to shed I build over 40 years ago by a steel double garage. I thought it would be less unsightly , give me more space and look much better especially for my neightbour. I applied for planning permission and after a few queries they granted it with a condition that I site it 2m from the boundary. Because of a wall to a walled patio area it would mean I'd be replacing what I already had with nothing gained except a smarter look. I'd rather spend the money on something else! I'll build an insulated work area at the far end of the shed.


Paul Straatman in Netherlands has completed his build and has now turned his skills to clothing! Here are examples of his efforts.

hat
overall
overall

I've sorted my Vire BVR engine and I'm pleased with the results. All three engines are now looking very smart having been repainted. I bought a replacement carb of the internet from China and it cost less than a gasket set to refurbish a tired genuine carb. It was identical to the Tillotson I swapped a casting from the old one to the new without any problem. I was so pleased that I bought another from a different, and even cheaper, source in China but I was very surprised to see 'Tillotson Tralee Ireland' cast into some of the parts! I felt bad about buying a pirated copy rather than a alternative part but there's not much I can do now. I managed to buy off ebay a NOS Dynastart so all three engines now work without swapping bits.

I had intended going to a Christmas Crankup at New Year but the weather was poor so I stayed at home! I'll book into one of the spring/summer shows possibly at Newby Hall, which isn't far from Leeds, and see what the stationary engine scene is like.

vire BVR
Vire BVR

Cyclecars Still Rule OK - Part 3

by

Duncan Gimmond

It's now a year since my last piece on this subject and it has been a pretty hectic one.

I came back from a family holiday in early May to find a notice to quit my workshop waiting for me. This threw all plans for running the car in Puy-Notre-Dame GP Retro into abeyance as I had to find new premises as soon as possible. The trouble is that there are plenty of large and giant size workshop units available but very few small ones. After 9 weeks of frantic searching I eventually found an acceptable size and price place but unfortunately it is 8 miles from home and I have become a commuter.

I could not have managed the nightmare of the final clear-out without the help of 4 Pembleton stalwarts, Dave Parr, Colin Wilson, Sam McIntyre and Geoff Hemmingway who arrived on a Saturday morning with vans and trailers, muscle and determination. Eternal gratitude is in order.

The workshop is now up and running, fairly well organised and only one item missing as far as I know. A Pembleton weekend was fairly successful with Ade, Phil, Andy and Dave P and, having got a few counters under its belt I am allowed back to the Austin 7 special, Mathildeux.

Looking over the last article I see that I've moved on considerably since last March but it's still not finished and I can't do P.N.D. this year as my son has had the temerity to choose the same weekend for his wedding. Doh!

The bodywork is now mostly complete and has reached the 80% finished, another 80% to do stage.

Having recently finished a large pewter bar top project I now have some time to myself and hope to get the damned thing finished! The new workshop has a major advantage in that I can get the car inside and still be able to stand far enough away from it to get an idea of the overall form. At the old works it was essential to take the car outside to get a good look at it.

front view of Austin special

Having mounted the headlights and wings, the rear wings have been made to match the front ones, mounted directly to the body and they seem to blend in fairly well. Also some nacelles for the rear lights, a bit lipstick-like, but as I bought them at Retromobile in Paris a couple of years ago they have to be used!

rear view of Austin special

The changes which are in motion regarding the registration of pre-war vehicles have galvanised me into a little more action, I must get this baby on the road PDQ!. It suddenly dawned on me that the car might fail an inspection without a firewall around the petrol tank so I have had to spend a week creating this. I know, I should have thought of it earlier but - daft bugger!

rear oblique view of Austin special

I don't think the BMW badge will stay, a little bit out of place as there was never a RHD Dixi. There is still the dashboard, Vee-screen(?) aero-screen(?) interior, electrics etc. etc. to be done as well as all the other little bits and pieces which we all know take forever. Eventually though, I'm sure that Cyclecars will rule OK again!


Pembleton build

by

Philip Hardcastle

I finished my last update (ePAG 67) with the optimistic quote 'I aim to have a rolling chassis by October and floor petrol/brake plumbing by Christmas'. Well it's now Easter and I'm slightly behind schedule!

It's easy to forget just how much time is spent 'solving problems' on a build. I'm sure that I sleep much better when I had a project on because it's the last thing I think of as a drift off. This build has already involved a huge amount of problem solving, I'd guess that's 40% me being a novice, 40% having no real plans to go from as it's a one off, and 20% sheer procrastination because I'm worried about making a mess of it all!

About the time of my last update, I was pushing towards getting a rolling chassis because I wanted to get to Duncan's Weekend Workshop in November. In the end, my suspension bits came too late but I manage to get it moving by fixing wood in place of the tie rod arms!

I won't go into detail about the Weekend (I'm hoping there will be a report or similar) but it was a fantastic experience. Just to have Duncan's knowledge alone is great, but accompanied with his (new and rather snazzy) workshop, it made difficult tasks quick and easy. I must also say at this point a huge thank you to Dave Parr who spent the whole weekend working with me on my floor rather than fixing the bike he was there for another great example of selfless help from fellow Pembletoneers and something I just couldn't have managed without.

floor pan

I came away with a beautifully fitting floor and lower front bulkhead so a very productive day. It was also the first time I'd driven a trailer on the road so the whole day was filled with new experiences!

chassis on trestles

At this point I had won some flooring off eBay - the EVA interlocking tiles - not perfect but it's better than the concrete floor! Then I also struck lucky with some Ikea PS cabinets on Gumtree - a quick hour and a half to Nottingham one morning and I now have a garage stocked by Ikea. I always think those Ikea metal cabinets are perfect for the garage - and some bargains to be had secondhand. Plus I enjoy the roadtrip of picking them up.

Next plan was a little chat with my father who mends lawnmowers - some sweet talking and he lent me his lawnmower lift. A good result!

on its wheels

Before I make the roof and screen section, I needed to sort out the rear. I wanted a rounded rear more like the current M3W - and in line with the Jon Wells drawing. I took a deep breath and got the angle grinder out...

on its wheels
floor in

I followed Duncan's tired and tested bending method:

The plan was to chop the rear wheel mount off, bring the sides together and then weld back together so it all sat flat. It wasn't as simple as that but here was the result.

floor in

As I needed a rounded back, I thought that if I bent some round bar using my tube bender (more about that in a bit), then I could make a nice curve between the outer rails and the 'flat' on the back. Quickly knocked up this.

bullet tail version

Which I just wasn't happy with - the rear was too rounded and stubby. Looking at pictures of old Morgans, there needs to be an obvious flat part where the number plate sits. What made it doubly annoying was that I'd already bent some new bottom rails to fit the profile. I was going to leave it but thought this morning that I'd go in and have another play. After cutting off my (rough!) welds I tried again with one flat piece of bar. Also bought the rearmost section out by 50mm to give some definition. Not many pics but you can see the underside here:

bullet tail version

I've not decided what to do with the original section that connects the two side rails but I think I'll leave it in as it takes most of the load. The bar coming down can be used to support a mud guard and I as it won't be seen I think I'd rather have the strength of an extra brace.

I've been thinking about a windscreen for a while. In the Jon Wells design there was one flat windscreen (a la Caterham) but I initially thought about a split 'v' screen which comes back at the sides. I've been following an american fabrications company on instagram who made a B52 inspired side car and was planning to copy the 'screen' design from there. Then late one evening scouring eBay I saw a dickie windscreen from a triumph roadster. Bidding was at £13.00 with a day to go but the seller wasn't answering my emails or calls about widths. Chose the technical option and got my ruler out along with a picture on my screen (no kidding) and guessed it would be about right. Won the action (went up a little and ended up paying a good deal more than £13.00!) and it was delivered shortly after... About 2" too wide on each side!

Next was to make a bottom rail which runs parallel to the top rail. With me not having the top hoop I thought it would be good for keeping strength in the frame. Also it gives me two fixed points to attach the side panels to. I knew this was coming and a few months back I bought an electrician's tube bender off gumtree. Electricians because conduit is 1" diameter - the same as I'm using. It had been sat in the garage unused until the weekend it was required when I got it out and realised that apart from having the mandrels it was missing almost everything I needed to bend the pipe - stop bar, the guide on the bending arm etc. A royal pain but a bit of time with some spare steel and I got it to a usable standard.

I used the top frame as a guide and to be honest I was really happy with the results. The only tricky bit was that I wanted the side panels to come up towards the rear because I felt that staying parallel all the way along can make it look a bit slab sided and on the old Morgans they were 'kicked' up towards the back wheel. This meant a small bend at 90degrees to the others, judged by eye in a dark single garage, but either way it worked and I had this to show for it:

bullet tail version

I can't remember if I had explained in the last ePAG but one issue was I can't weld. Ade had been very helpful in explaining TIG welding and it sounded like a great idea. I have an arc welder from Aldi for tacking bits, which I'd got pretty good with - but it was useless with anything thin. I'd looked online and saw it was possible to convert the Aldi inverter welder to a TIG setup, so I bought a TIG torch, Argon, rods and tungstens, only to find out the Aldi welder had some kind of circuit protection which wouldn't let me TIG. I'm not knocking the £60 Aldi welder though it's great fur thick steel. It left me with the option of either going out and buying a TIG setup, getting a friend round to weld it (all fine but hard work when I'm designing it on the hoof) or just buy a MIG and get on with it. I always try to buy things second hand but I thought that this time I'd have a treat and get a decent one new. Cue lots of youtube research and I decided on a Clarke 135TE in go-faster red.

So, Sunday morning comes and I'm up early and on my way to Machine Mart in Hull. I have a love hate relationship with the place (Hull, not Machine Mart) because generally it's a dump, but there are some gems - both people and places - hidden inside. That weekend Banksy had just done a new piece round the corner from MM so it made sense to combine the visits. Just a shame that some complete idiot had decided to whitewash over the whole thing. Anyway, I got to see what was left and it was pretty impressive. I was also excited about welding.

I make no bones that I'm a poor welder, but I enjoy learning things and most of the work here was an 'add on' rather than structural. I spent the rest of the weekend practicing with scraps of metal before just deciding to have a blast (so don't look closely at the welding!).

About the same time as buying the welder, I found a Westfield Narrowbody screen on the Westfield Owners Club site. I was a member years ago when I had mine and the classifieds usually have some interesting stuff. Quick chat with a man called Sean and it was mine. Can't remember the price but I think it was about £50 delivered, and the lower frame size is perfect. The other benefits to using the Westifeld Screen is that there are lots of other bits I can use such as wind deflector mounts, wipers etc. Also, it's not uncommon to have a heated screen, which would be great for MSVA regs as I don't really want to run half a Dyson's piping over my dash. Got the Triumph offloaded on eBay for £75 (so a hit but at least it was gone) and had a go with the new screen. The stanchions will go but they're handy for the mock up.

bullet tail version

The post man was busy that week as he also delivered me this NOS Landrover Defender Duckie seat. I've not decided on seat choice yet, but I needed something which would help me mock up head height for the roof. I'm still toying with using 2 x defender middle seats with the 'deluxe' trim from Britpart. It's a cheap option and fits the 90cm max I have to play with. There are some other seats made from narrow body 7's etc but I want the vintage feel without paying a fortune and this might just do.

bullet tail version

At this point in my update I'd been to Machine Mart, seen Banksy's work and started welding. The bits of angle are a complete mess I know but they'll get trimmed down and they will allow for post-MSVA light fittings either side, á-la Morgan 3 wheeler. Don't ever say I'm not prepared! The two bits of flat should give me better definition for the shape of the rear.

Next was a bit of roof-line mock up. Using the most advanced of engineering tools (I'm looking a bit unsure here!). Happy with the line of the lower rear rail though.

bullet tail version

After getting the roof hoop fixed in place, the problem was going to be getting the windscreen mounted. The Pembleton scuttle has too much of a curve for a windscreen (especially the Westfield one) so I needed to make a new scuttle strap which the ali would follow. I'm still not entirely sure how to put a nice curve on flat bar but in the end a mixture of bending it round a gas bottle and using the pipe bender produced the profile of the bottom of the windscreen. In the pic below the screen is sat on the new scuttle curve.

bullet tail version

At this point I was about there with the welding - some additional supports for seatbelts etc and some primer and we had this:

bullet tail version
bullet tail version

And that's where I'm up to. Hopefully now we'll see some real progress as I'm about to start bolting bits on. I won't make any predictions about time scale this time!

bullet tail version

On a side note I bought this photo from eBay a 1936 Morgan 3 wheeler pickup in the paddock at Brooklands.


Good Vibrations

by

David Tocher

I had severe problems with the central mirror vibrating so much that it was impossible to see anything. I sorted the problem by mounting the mirror on a plate which used the right and left wing nuts on the left and right Brooklands fly screens. The increased rigidity seemed to sort the problem. I read Model Engineers Workshop and in the #266 edition Mark Noel describes his solution to a very similar problem with the mirrors on his Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle.

The cure for vibration is either to minimise any imbalance or use a damper to reduce the vibration. One method is to use tuned mass dampers and a good example was the inertia dampers fitted originally to front and rear of 2CVs then only on the front and finally removed from the front. The principle behind a tuned mass damper is for the natural frequency of the damper to be the same as the frequency of vibration of the affected part.There's a nice demonstration of tuned mas damper written by Hugh Hunt. The device Mark describes Stockbridge damper , the article again by Hugh Hunt. Stockbridge dampers are fitted to cables such as power lines and suspension bridges (e.g. Humber and Severn suspension bridges) to stop them vibrating in the wind. The vibrations are caused by the wind eddies shed from the wire. The dampers can look like dogbones and can be designed to damp more than one frequency.

For copyright reasons I'm reluctant to just copy the article. His first task was to determine the natural frequency of the rear view mirror. He didn't have a rev counter so he used a small magnet, pick-up coil and an oscilloscope to measure the frequency. His damper was a flexible rod, fixed to the mirror stem near the top, with a brass weight on the free end and the clamp at the other end. The natural frequency was adjusted to match the mirror's natural frequency. A plastic tube slipped over the rod and mass absorbs the energy. Mark reported that it worked giving a clear rearward view at all speeds. One minor problem - the rod broke from fatigue after about 10 miles! He replaced the steel rod with a pultruded carbon fibre rod which has survived hundreds of miles of road use.

Further reading


January Jaunt

by

Colin Ferguson

Friday morning dawned, dark, and dismal 'dreich' as we say up here. Things didn't improve when I found that Tom had succumbed to the dreaded lurgi, and we were down to three. Never mind, the forecast for Saturday was for sun, with the odd shower. Fine for this time of year. As they say in another community, the show must go on. I set off with the car in the van, and Jock navigating. All went well until half way over the new Queensferry crossing, my sat nav assistant cheerily announced that the A68 was blocked. No mention of where, but she would helpfully provide me with an alternative route. I now have little faith in the information given in these circumstances, so decided to carry on with my original route. At the end of the Edinburgh bypass, there was a message on the overhead gantry saying that the blockage was after Carter Bar. A quick look at the map confirmed that there was a back road from Jedburgh which turned into a single track road going right into Bellingham. As it happened there was no sign of a blockage, no apology, nothing, but I did arrive at the Demesne Farm bunkhouse bang on schedule at 5.00pm. Geoff and Sam were already there, and had worked out where all the facilities were located. We were in the Cheviot Hotel by 6.30pm, sampling a very fine Tyneside blond ale, or two. Superb food followed, and a fine evening was had by all.

Saturday morning saw the sun rise, and although quite cold, it was a bit above freezing. We set of after an excellent breakfast at the Fountain Café, where there was a large table reserved for the'last of the summer wine club'. By the time we had had our breakfast, there were eight of them. All well into their seventies, and enjoying a communal breakfast. Nice! The clouds gathered as we sped along some very scenic roads, heading south and east. We passed Hadrian's wall, which seemed to be the signal for the snow to start. It didn't last long, but did make driving a bit more difficult, with both aero screens covered in snow. Shortly after the sun came back out, Sam pulled in with a charging, or lack of, problem. Much wiggling and pulling of wires failed to find a problem, and all the dashboard bulbs checked out OK. So, with a plan to swap batteries around, we continued on. By 12.00, we had reached Alston, and carried on SE towards Middleton in Teesdale. As we climbed up onto the moor, the snow returned and by the time we were at the top, there was an inch or so on our carriageway. I always enjoy driving on snow and took full opportunity to see how the little 'hopper coped. Very well, as it happened. I now know that the snow has to be deeper than an inch before the rear wheel kicks out in protest. I think Geoff may be persuaded to put up some video onto You tube to give a better idea!

After the obligatory photos, we dropped down into Middleton in Teesdale for lunch. We had a bowl of superb vegetable soup with a roll in the Conduit café in the middle. Very warming, and just what we needed. Sam's car had started charging again, but Geoff's had snapped a mudguard stay, and was beginning to show signs of carb icing. This got progressively worse during the day, and by the time we reached Allendale Town, a halt was required. There was ice for a good 4 inches on the inlet manifold either side of the carburettor! It was completely white. Very Christmassy! However, as Hannibal no doubt found when crossing the Alps, elephant trunks do not like the cold. Geoff's next job is to fit a pair of Dellortos, and bin the current arrangement.

It was just beginning to get dark as we returned to Bellingham "pronounced Bellinjum locally" and so back to the pub for more beer, and food, and accounts of the day's events. An excellent day's sport, and around 125 miles covered.

shop window pictures

While filling up at the local garage, I noticed a series of windows in a disused building next door. They had been spruced up with the addition of a series of period photographs of the town, enlarged to fill the space. Clearly, a lot of history to the place, and what a great way to display it, brightening up a down at heel building at the same time! While out walking Jock, I encountered several locals. Without exception, every one wanted a wee chat. What a lovely friendly village.

Waking up to a hard frost on Sunday morning made us grateful for the previous day's weather, so we said our goodbyes, and headed home. Gingerly for the first few miles back to the A68, as there were several icy areas which hadn't been treated. Jock and I had a beautiful drive home in strong sunshine, and after a thorough car wash to get rid of the salt, sat down to a welcome cup of tea.

That's it for another year, but I'm sure we'll be back. And a huge THANK YOU to Sam for organising it. Superb.


Tin Tub

by

Niall McLoughlin

I know some of you follow my exploits in the forum and some don’t. I've noticed that the early EPAG newsletters followed the builds more extensively than the more recently published quarterly newsletters. This is in part due to the build now being fairly well documented and people generally "know what they're doing" (myself being an exception). I love reading about peoples' builds, obstacles and novel ideas, as well as a lot of the mundane stuff that seems to get lost, but is very useful to a new builder (like myself), like what type of sealant/bond to use, and known (Pembleton friendly) VOSA centers etc.

With this in mind I plan on documenting my build and experiences here. I like to think I’m reasonably adept at spannering, but I'll let you be the judges if that. Advice is always greatly welcomed and it will be required.

First of all the name - when I first got my current Pembleton and my parents came to visit my wife and I, my father was keen as mustard to go out in it - he really enjoyed it. Upon returning to my house and unloading my dad I asked my dear mother if she would like to go for a spin? She looked up from her knitting and took a sip from her (very large) glass of wine and laughed, saying "lawdy lawdy, no thanks. It'd look like I was sat in an old tin bath!"

As soon as I bought the current Pembleton I knew it wasn't really big enough for me. I looked around at a few other kit cars and nearly bought a wide body Westfield, but it just didn't feel special enough. My wife looked across the table at me one Sunday and said "why don’t you build your own?" I knew she was right and was pleased she came to the conclusion before I suggested it.

I started collecting bits and gathering inspirations almost immediately. My 2 best purchases were my 2cv donor parts and a complete Nevada 750. I've sold about 75% of the Nevada and I've already cleared the investment cost completely, giving me a free low mileage engine with carbs, electronic ignition and charging system.

My donor pile of 2cv bits came from a guy up near hull who had a shed load of 2cvs that had been in a farmers field for 15+yrs. I got a whole Pembletons worth of parts from a single donor with the V5, number-plates and chassis plate for less than possible elsewhere.

I’ve amassed a whole folder full of photos in the lead up to my build, but my most inspirational visit so far was to the Brooklands Museum. If you have petrol in your veins it’s an absolute must, if you like old things and transport history in general then I’d highly recommend it! The biggest shock for me was seeing the banked section of track. It really is quite something to behold.

brooklands banking 2018
brooklands banking 2018
brooklands banking 1927

The surface really is terrible and I was chatting to one of the volunteers there - I mentioned how sad it was that it was no longer complete and how it had turned into a state of disrepair. He told me that the surface was always very poor due to the construction methods at the time, because of the steepness of it, the track had to be made in shuttering, in sections at a time. The concrete always tried to run down the slope so they had to make it very dry, and was therefore prone to cracking and crumbling. He then showed me this image taken in the 1920’s! He wasn’t joking! There’s no way I would drive a modern car on that at 50mph, let alone an aero engine car at 100+mph in the 20’s or 30’s.

Napier Railton

If you look closely you will see that all four wheels on the Napier Railton are off the ground! (This photo was taken during the speed record at Brooklands and clocked 143mph in 1935)

There were so many cool cars and fab ideas that I may try to replicate on the Pembleton, from blisters, bonnet strap configurations, screen mounts, dash layouts and seating ideas to name a few!

Its worth going just to see the stratosphere cabin test chamber which was designed to test aeroplanes just after the war for the jet era!

Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits
Brooklands museum exhibits

Building #406

by

George Steel

gearbox
gear lever
gearbox top
gearbox top

I've decided to mount the gear selector under my dash. I also added a heim joint, shortening the shaft and welded everything back up. Transmission, front drive unit mounted.

front shock
gear lever
dash panel
dash panel

Time to join my Speedway steering shaft to the steering cross member. I chose the Speedway because lots of choices for the steering wheel attachment and steering wheels. In my case I decided to use a quick release hub. I'm trying to keep everything as simple as possible due to my very limited knowledge concerning what I'm doing. I won't have an ignition key or way to "lock" the trike. So if I'm worried someone might decide to drive off with her - I'll take the wheel with me. Time to add a dash plate and configure the gauges.

front suspension arm
front suspension arm in place
rear wheel
rear wheel

Today is a good day to add the wheels. I decided to have a local machine shop (you will want to have a good relationship with one as it seems not everything is "bolt on"). WARNING, before you mount your front spindles and wheels. Decide how you will mount your front fenders. Once I got everything back from the powder coater I was able to follow the assembly manual and everything seemed to fit and work as it should. Time will tell.

fuel tank
fuel tank
seats

The kit came with the 2CV plastic fuel tank - I decided to replace it with a fuel cell, which required a small change in the rear floor pan. Probably a mistake - time will tell

rolling chassis
rolling chassis
rolling chassis
rolling chassis

OK, it's a rolling chassis now, time to put on some body work. I've decided to use a little stronger composite panel on the old girl. We'll see how that works out. There will also be a small change in the rivets as well.

pedals
pedals
pedals

Moving thru the trike with attention to the brake and clutch pedals... both will need to be moved a little to make room for the steering column. The front floor board is modified with a phenolic block to accept the lower gear selector as well. Time for more body work… this composite material is strong but lacks in the flexibility department…I'll need a bigger hammer.

wiring
pedals
speedo pick up

Finished installing and bleeding the brakes today ... amazingly the pedal is strong on the first try. Purchased a great wiring harness from Speedway Motors, everything pre labeled... ust plug it in. Also found a company in San Antonio that makes adapters for speedometers which picks up the signal from the transmission and converts it to a signal my speedometer can read. Nifty.

fenders
fenders
fenders

We need to add the front fenders today - I purchased two from Phil that when I add his mounting bars should "bolt on" - we'll see. OK, it's true these do bolt on - it remains to be seen how long they will stay on. Check out how much metal is left on the attachment area.

panels
panels
panels
panels
">

Will this body work ever end. The headlight added to the two side panels and two rear panels. I'm getting very tired of riveting…at first it was fun. But that was several hundred rivets ago.

panels

The fire breathing, oil belching behemoth mounts in her final position... the Throne. Well maybe not... it seems nothing fits... when mounted the engine locks up. Try taking a little off the input shaft... nope that's not it... try removing and remounting the fly wheel, the clutch plate... nope that does nothing... add some spacers to the bottom two mounting bolts to square up the engine to the adapter plate expertly welded on the tyranny drive unit at Pembleton... Yea that's the ticket... Who knew?

panels
panels

Will this body work ever end... more bending, stretching, crawling around, and endless rivets.

panels
panels
panels

Does that license plate bracket look crooked to you? It will have to wait, I'm not in the mood to change it for yet a third time. Thank God it was a nightmare... I thought for a minute there was another 2CV project waiting in the wings.

panels
panels

Today is a perfect day - my seat came back from Tony's upholstery shop and it's a perfect fit. I've got the gas tank in and fitted with its cap.

I have to find a fabricator to make new exhaust header pipes to fit my engine. The boys at Pembleton sent two that were supposed to fit but were too small for the clamping mechanism to be effective. Nothing is easy.


Death Valley Odyssey

by

Peter Richards

death valley

Last spring, I drove out to Death Valley, via back roads from Oakland, California - I did this alone as a fitting conclusion to my car building project.

I drove south from the Bay Area along San Andreas Fault to Carrizo Plains (a national monument that hosts one of the few remnants of California open grasslands.) We had a wet winter so the wild flowers were everywhere - gorgeous! I spent the night nearby and then turned east the next morning, up the Kern River and over the Sierra Madre Mountains and into D.V. I stayed at a hotel at Stove Pipe Wells, an oasis at bottom of the valley.

death valley

The next morning it took an hour to get out of the parking lot because of the queries about my weird metal steed. Among the admirers was a young attractive French woman who was very excited to know that it had a 2CV engine - her favorite car was the Citroen SM. It was a pleasant conversation. Soon after I stopped at the lowest point on the continent at -282 ft. This was early morning - it was cool clear day - life was beautiful! As I was driving on, I was thinking, "Jeeze, I should have offered her a ride". Just as this thought formed in my mind, there was a huge clunk from underneath - I pulled over, the engine was still running, so, I turned around to see what it was and found my alternator, in a battered state, sitting on the pavement. This, of course triggered many nervous thoughts about surviving in the heat of the desert, how to get home, and if God was really listening in on my thoughts. While driving back to Stove Pipe, I decided to buy a spare battery so I could drive on home to Oakland. I learned the nearest place to get one was 60 miles east in Pahrump, Nevada.

I took the risk driving out there even though it was in the opposite direction from home. The fellow at the auto store checked my battery and deemed it nearly 100% - this was after close to 100 miles with no charging. I did buy an extra battery and then retraced my trail, back through D.V. and further, spending the night in Lone Pine. I checked the original battery the next morning and it was still above 90%. I made it home that afternoon (500 miles) with no problems.

ebbets pass

I noticed that the car had more power and better mileage after the alternator fell off. This started me wondering why have an alternator at all? The deep cycle battery is built to withstand multiple charges so why not just charge it up after each drive? All of my driving lights are LEDs so they draw little. I am putting this notion to test now - I haven't bought a new alternator - I have the a larger deep cycle battery mounted behind the seat and all seems to be working well.

By the way, the day before the alternator fell off, I remembered grazing a rock that was out in the road on a blind curve - I didn't think much of it when it happened because it seemed like a slight tick but I guess that is what caused the alternator bracket to fail. I am planning a run up to Bellingham, Washington in late April, through the high desert of eastern Oregon and Washington. I will be keeping my mind on the road. Will report how it goes


Are they wheely from an Austin?

by

Niall McLoughlin


wheel options

For our wonderful machines, there are a number of options when it comes to wheels:

I was looking over wheel options for the Pembleton – I do love the look of wire wheels, I think they look more authentic. I did think about Phils lightweight wire wheels, but they come at a serious premium. I wanted bolt-ons, as it helps to do a quick swap or removal for any further works down the line.

Another popular option is the 48 spoke 15" wheels from an MGA or Triumph, fitted with the MWS adaptors. I did actually buy a pair of 16" 48 spoke wheels and sanded them back and painted them. They're very very heavy, and the wheels I had were centre laced, meaning with the adaptor too, the track was increased a lot. Add into this the tyres, which were only available at 185+ wide and expensive, I decided to bail out of this idea.

So the hunt was on for an alternative solution. As I scoured Ebay and other selling sites, I noticed that Austin 7 wheels were 3 stud bolt-ons, reasonably inexpensive, and readily available. I expected the PCD would be different, but how hard would it be to make an adaptor?! (As it happens the PCD difference between the two was actually the smallest issue)

Duncan kindly measured an Austin wheel he had, and I measured a 2cv stub axle.

Hmmm... this is where I realised that it wasn't quite as simple as I'd hoped! The difficulty is that the 2CV stub axle has a raised dome in the centre and then topped off with the castellated hub nut, and the OD of the stub axle is slightly larger than the ID of the pressed wheel hub centre.

2cv stub axle

There was a chap on EBay selling utterly shot Austin wheels, so he cut the centre out of the worst one and posted it to me for not much more than the price of P&P. After a tickle with a wire wheel and a lick of etch primer it gave me a good frame of reference. There's nothing like trying to fit 2 bits together when they're in front of you!

austin wheel hub
both together

I'm a CAD design engineer by trade, working almost entirely in the virtual world in design software called NX. I measured the 2 components to be mated together carefully and re-created them in CAD.

Where I work is fairly flexible, and they don't mind you doing "home work" so long as it's off the clock and you're not doing it for commercial gains etc. NX as a computer package is £10k per annum for a single licence, so the likelihood of someone having an honest copy at home is slim.

I created the adaptor with drawings and made a number of tweaks to reduce the number of overall operations, as well as doing a few 1:1 print-outs to make sure I wasn't barking up the wrong tree. After looking at how the wheel fitted on an Austin (Duncans Suggestion), I realised that the locating bosses on the drum were pretty fundamental to the design and should be included. I could have made the adaptor much lighter, but the number of processes and machine time would have increased a lot, along with the price. To make a feasible solution, each adaptor had to be as cheap as possible. I got it down to one turn and one mill operation, with the bosses machined separately and pressed in.

image 5 – adaptor
image 5 – adaptor

I sent the drawing off to a few machine shops and the best returned with a price of about £75 +VAT each for a batch of ten, machined from 42CrMo Steel from a company in Lithuania. Vince had already enquired about a set of four adaptors for a project he was working on, I needed four too (2x three wheelers) and it made sense to get another pair made up for spares or to sell to anyone else who wanted to do the same (since been snapped up by Duncan)– I discussed with Vince and after a bit more research we decided it was worth the risk to get them made in Eastern Europe.

wheel adaptors

4 weeks later the parts were delivered – here they are!

I'll make no bones about it, this wheel/adaptor combo probably aren't as light as Phils wheels, but neither are they as hefty as extremely heavy MGA 15" wires, tyres, adaptors and spinners. For reference I measured the weight of an MWS adaptor and spinner and it came in at 3.4kgs. I'm unsure of the weight of an MGA wheel and tyre. The 2CV wheel/tyre measured on my bathroom scales is a shade over 9kgs. My A7 adaptors are 2.3kgs each, and the 17" A7 wheels/tyres I source off ebay are around 10kgs each – I plan on fitting 19s to the next one. It would be good to get a reference weight for one of Phils lightweight wheel/tyre combo... anyone?

I need to sort out some mudguards and brackets as they obviously now don't fit!

wheel adaptors
wheel adaptors

Etching

by

Paul Straatman

etched plate

To make your own car more complete you can use, in some cases the etching method. you will need:

Put the salt in the vinegar, tape the object securly ( otherwise it will etch, see the corner to 4 th gear ) Link up the min. to the object, the plus to the Q-tip. Dip the Q-tip in the vinegar/salt and etch away.

In my case the battery was fairly soon hot and empty, so went to use the 12 volt charger. After a while the object went warm.

The method eats away the metal so you have a lowering of the surace.

So good luck in trying.