Sunday, 18 January 2015

Alvis TA14 Owners: An Apology.......

Whatever could I have done to upset them?

Has the hitherto undisclosed colour of FFU 297's coachwork after her epic seven month rebuild at The Bodyshop in Ely been leaked?

Stand up at the back the mongrel who had the temerity to suggest 'the only thing likely to leak on that old heap is the brake fluid'!!!!!!

(And feel free to comment on why this is highly unlikely, if not impossible, if you are an Alvis Afficianado.......... :-).......... as some of these fine fine ladies and gentlemen may have strayed this way by following a link from The Alvis Owner Club TA14 Secretary's blog on Wordpress. In her latest post, she had the great good grace to describe this nonsense as "entertaining and informative"............)

So I thought I'd better get an apology in quick before a bunch of irate TA14 owners tried to have me done under the Trades Descriptions Act ...........

If you are looking for Alvis restoration related material, then you need to scroll down to earlier posts for the rebuild story. To narrow it down a bit for you, the bodywork rebuild began in earnest in May 2013 at The Body Shop in Ely.

To be honest, this blog is a bit of a random mish mash of stuff that interests me on the day.

It's not dedicated to the TA14 rebuild any more than it concerns itself solely with the business of living aboard a wide beam canal boat on the River Cam.....

But if you've tuned in following Eileen's link from the 'Alvis Fourteen' blog expecting deathless prosings solely on matters mechanical, may I at least attempt to assuage your disappointment with the following:

Christmas and New Year over, and my birthday done and dusted, it was high time to get back out into the garage.

Today I refitted the rebuilt oil feed pipe from the brass tee-piece to the brass elbow that supplies the head and rocker gear with lubricant.

No great shakes you might think, and I suppose you'd be right.

But it was flippin' cold out there...........

If you need to do this job yourself, you will need a Medium Weight Adjuster (or 'Birmingham Screwdriver') and handy piece of wood to tweak the tee-piece and elbow and pipe round so they line up well enough for the unions on the pipe to screw on without too much effortful thread stripping......... which will inevitably lead to oil leaks later.

(Until we actually start the engine, there's no sure way of knowing if I have actually achieved this, but I feel we must at least travel hopefully..........)

Here's some pictures of that most pesky pipe now in posish:

I know it doesn't look like much, but repairing it involved nearly three days of Roger and I sodding about in a freezing-cold pre-Christmas garage.

The thicker bit at the top near the union to the cylinder head elbow is where we had to cut the pipe to remove the broken brass union and install a new one then sleeve it and solder it up.

So far, so straightforward..........

Except that the outer pipe has an inner, much finer capillary soldered into it.

The reasons for it are two-fold:

1) it restricts the width of the pipe and thereby stops an excessive amount of oil being pumped up to the rocker gear ( and then slooshing down the valve guides to appear as blue smoke on the over-run......)

2) it keeps the oil pressure up.

And of course, it too is soldered into the outer pipe. .......

Yes, you guessed it, our soldering of the outer sleeve completely mullahed the soldered joint of the inner.

Putting it right was fiddly and time consuming, but we got there in the end.

I am lucky Roger has the patience of a saint.

I returned the favour just after Christmas when I helped him lift the engine out of his Speed Twenty-five. This is six cylinders of pre-war cast iron and the sort of beast that requires quite a bit of careful manual handling.............

I am quite happy to admit that Roger supplies the brains, while I merely drag my knuckles and grunt.

But it's an effective team........

Next week, I've got a spot of annual leave.

In between juggling cylinder blocks and cylinder heads for Roger, we are going to hazard another job or two on the TA14.

Bate your collective breath, you lucky people!


And to round off, here's the ubiquitous Cute Cat shot: