Monday, 26 April 2010

The Last Alvis

Today was a day of from The Hole Making Shop: I was free to tool about as I pleased, as Jackie left early for London and a last-minute editing job in Kentish Town.

I did some more work on the box, then walked to the station to retrieve my bike, which Jackie had borrowed as hers is still not quite right.

On the ride home, I passed my friend Roger's house. He owns a beautiful Alvis Speed Twentyfive dhc......(actually, it's caveat time: if you aren't interested in old cars, look away now)........ and is often to be seen on his drive tinkering away.

Today, however, it wasn't the Speed Twentyfive that was being spannered, but a much more modern job. In fact, the TF concerned couldn't have been any newer. It was the last Alvis car (they carried on making tanks and armoured vehicles until a couple of years ago) ever made.

(And no, I'm not going to tell you its registration number, who owns it or where it lives!)

It was on Roger's drive for a bit of fettling due to having been recently re-commisioned after a long lay-up.

Well, it would have been very rude not to offer to help, now wouldn't it?

The usual overheating problems cause by the build-up of lots of crud in the cylinder block and radiator are probably not going to be solved by the usual stiff dose of Rad-flush, so its been booked in to a specialist for chemical cleaning of both rad and block. But how to get there safely, though, without cooking the cylinder head? Especially difficult as the temperature gauge was u/s...

Well, to cut a long story short, the offending capillary type gauge and sender were eventually extracted from the car, but only after removing an unfeasibly large amount of the dash and surrounding equipment......

We then reassembled the latter and blanked off the sender unit aperture in the cylinder head with another spare unit so the car could be driven back to its home.

Meanwhile, the old unit will be fixed. The recipe for a working temperature gauge is as follows: You will need a box of matches, a bucket of ice, a bucket of boiling water, a small jam jar full of Bradex Easystart and a soldering iron........

If anyone actually wants to know more, leave a comment and I'll post the method as well as the ingredients!

By the way, if you're wondering why, if I'm so clever, I haven't fixed Jackie's bike yet, I offer the following:

Bike with dodgy back wheel versus iconic piece of motoring history.

Go figure!

1 comment:

  1. So how did you fix the temp unit??