Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Old Wheels.........

James and Amy, of nb Willow, have a set of New Wheels.

It is called Jasper the Fford.......


(When I'm feeling particularly clever, I shall add a link............ :-)

Out here at The Parish, however, far away, as we are, from the bright, cosmopolitan lights of Cambridge, we are contemplating "Old Wheels".

Two sets, in fact.

A set of "Old Wheels", (new when James and Amy where in kindergarten: one Suzuki Vitara.......)

And a set of "Very Old Wheels Indeed": new when my sainted father joined the Royal Navy...... (he missed World War Two by a whisker, but had to make up for it in both The Malay Emergency and The Korean War aboard convoy escort sloop, HMS Alacrity. This was no-one's idea of a pleasure cruise.......... but I digress.....)


The Vitara.........

Well, I went to pick it up today, it's thermostat having, reportedly, been sorted, and met with our mechanic, Amato.

He wore a look that I can only describe as 'rueful'......

He'd done all the work that seemed needed, taken it on a shake-down run, and all seemed tickety-boo.

He'd then rung us to say it was ready and could we please pick it up.

For divers reasons too boring to relate, I was unable to do so until this afternoon.

By which time he'd taken it for another little run, and it had started to gurgle and overheat.

And also issue forth copious quantities of white smoke........

(Catholic readers please note, this latter symptom does not mean a new Pope. It does mean a new head gasket........)

Amato wouldn't take the money for the work he'd done, asking only £20 to cover the cost of the parts, and advised me to scrap the car.

(This, I think, was jolly decent of him......)......

But, as I write, the Suzuki's fate hangs in the balance.

Do we threaten Engineer Mark with the negatives and so get him to help us try to sort the car out over at Jane's place?

Or do we do the decent thing and put it out of it's misery?

(The car, that is, not The Engineer...)

Watch this space..........


Very Old Wheels Indeed.............

Despite various alarums and excursions, (not least my involvement in a spot of Guerilla Gardening...... which took place in the vegetable patch of a venerable member of the local clergy. It is, perhaps, something over which a veil should decently be drawn.....), work on stripping down the Alvis engine has progressed in a slow but steady manner.

Lots of photos and notes have been taken.

Every component removed has been meticulously cleaned, tagged and bagged.

(Pop into Halfords and ask them for a Haynes Manual for a 1948 Alvis TA14!

If you are lucky, the response won't include any coarse allusions to sex and travel.

You may, however, get told to "make your own".

Which is what I'm doing.....)

So, what's the condition of the engine looking like, now it's more or less stripped?

Well, it ain't good........

and it ain't bad.....

It is a gnat's nadger away from being completely and utterly and irredemably forked.

The cylinder bores are scored.

The pistons are plus 60 thou.

The rings fell off the pistons in myriad broken pieces.

The big ends are shot away.

The crank journals look mullahed.

The entire bottom end of the engine is caked in a Jurassic Tar so thick it needs an archeologist, not an engineer, to penetrate.

That said, I have been wielding the Gunk and the wire brushes.

Things are looking cleaner.....

It remains to remove the timing gear (a gauge has been made, photos taken, and notes made....), the journal bearings and the crankshaft.

The block will need re-sleeving back to standard.

The crank will need a re-grind, if, it is not outside tolerance....

(You can sleeve a block...... An undersize crank is a mud-weight in waiting.........)

Pretty well all the moving parts within the engine will need to be replaced.

It is all so completely shagged that I can but marvel at the skill of the designers and the engineers who put it all together.

It not only managed to run at all, but ran quietly and well, (if rather smokily).

Thus, in memory of these servants of St Alvis of Holyhead Road,

"We Shall Rebuild It".........


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