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Everything posted by BenHawkins

  1. It has been a pleasure to share the project with others. It was useful to see how other people had approached their projects and the help and advice has been invaluable. We have been working through the finishing touches whilst working on other projects. Shortly before the wedding I managed to purchase a bar end of brass just big enough to machine two new king pin covers. I had previously fitted slightly larger (rusty) ones so I could get the lorry on the road. A conclusion from the wedding driving was that there was probably not enough height difference between the carburettor and the petrol tank. The petrol tank is under the seat so around four feet behind the carburettor; the Aster engine was originally fitted to a generator so does not have a heated inlet manifold (as would often be fitted to a lorry of this period) and therefore the carburettor sits quite high. The gradient between the top of the main jet and the bottom of the tank was only around 1:6 so I decided I needed to move the carburettor down. In order to move the carburettor down it also has to move sideways to clear the crankcase flange. I chose to make it 2" long with an offset of 1/4" so I scribed the lines onto a billet of aluminium and roughed it out to size. I tilted the head on my milling machine and used a boring head to open the hole out to size. This has definitely improved hill performance but it will still not quite manage the 1:6 canal bridge on my test route (but the brakes have no problem holding it there) The manifold and carburettor get very cold when running. It was around 15C when I took it for the test drive but frost was forming on the new aluminium adaptor. On the above photo you can see a boss pointing away from the engine; this is to allow for connecting the carburettor to the cooling system. I need to plumb this in to keep the carburettor warm but I am not sure if I will get a performance boost.
  2. We have just spent a few days in the Cotswolds which included providing transport for the wedding of some good friends. Getting the bride to the church on time adds a little stress to the drive. But after that trip went so well it was much less concerning to make it to the village social club. The cab, doors and windscreen provided ample weather protection as described in the original sales catalogue (40mph winds and rain). Back to the venue where the sun came out for the photos. The hill performance is slowly improving (and probably my driving also), but there is probably some more tuning to be done.
  3. Dimensional drawing of the T4 engine I need to find.
  4. I only found this drawing after Steve had problems with his. 1920 piston design for M type engines All the old cast iron piston drawings I have seen show the top of the piston a few thousandths smaller to allow for the thermal expansion.
  5. I think the valve caps have been removed at some point and replaced at random. Period literature suggests there should be dual ignition on a 1908 Singer but there is no magneto bracket in the kit of parts. The reliability was certainly a good reason for two ignition systems. It is possible this chassis started life as a taxi. I can see for that type of work that the trembler coil ignition would be quite useful; when waiting for your passenger you can turn both ignition systems off and stop the engine. When you are ready to go it should be possible to switch on the trembler coil; if the engine still has a charge of fuel in the cylinder it will usually start without the need to get out and crank. Switching to magneto then conserves your battery charge. Having put some light oil in each of the bores last night it was possible this afternoon to rotate the flywheel several degrees. I will not turn it any more until I have taken the sump and/or cylinder blocks off.
  6. We had a trip out to East Yorkshire today and collected this 1908 Singer. It is believed to have been converted to a lorry for war work in Aberdeenshire during WWI but we only have documentation going back to 1945 when it entered preservation. I would be interested if anyone could confirm what vehicles like this were used for. A few things were borrowed from it over the years to keep the 1907 Singer car going but most of them have been returned. All the metal work was given a coat of red lead paint and this (along with dry storage) had kept it in remarkably good condition. The mudguards will need quite a lot of welding and reshaping but I am keen to get them serviceable. Mechanically it is almost complete. The engine is an 80x90 four cylinder White and Poppe; this is missing both the ignition systems (trembler and magneto), the fan and the water pipes. The water pump is in a box and requires some repairs and one valve and tappet parts are missing. It is unsurprising that the engine (probably not run for nearly 100 years) is seized but seems to be in reasonable order. I have put a little oil in each bore; hopefully it will make getting the pistons out easier when we get that far. The clutch springs are in a box but the studs probably need replacing. The casting that carries the pedals is broken; it may be repairable. The bronze blocks are missing from the universal joint. The gear selection mechanism is loose but the gears look to be in extremely good order. Some new shackle pins will certainly be needed for the rear suspension but over all I am amazed by how good the condition is.
  7. It has been a good week for the purchasing department. There were a couple of good purchases from eBay including a job lot of Rotherham's of Coventry parts and we found quite a lot at Beaulieu autojumble. There is at least one item for each of the vehicles and quite a lot for stock. The Dennis car hub cap is just for the display case (not quite enough to start a project, yet).
  8. I don't think there was any requirement for headlamps to start with . This one left the factory with only sidelamp brackets but had a headlamp added by the original owner, I don't think my 1908 Dennis ever had any fitted. Period photos often show a single headlamp on early vehicles but most surviving vehicles have now been upgraded to two. Did the subsidy specification require two headlamps? Thanks for all the positive comments!
  9. I booked Friday afternoon off work and went for a drive to the nearest weigh bridge. It is only one and a half miles from home but gave us the opportunity to try another couple of short moderately steep hills (in the form of canal bridges). The bridges are not steep enough for gradient marker signs but we are gaining confidence to take it further afield. If does go better in warm weather; I don't know if that is just the oil being thinner in the transmission and wheel bearings. Anyway, the result was a total mass of 2580kg. 1100kg on the front axle and 1480kg on the hind axle. The petrol tank was half full and there was a supply of oil and tools. Technically it would just go on a car transporter trailer but a serious tow car would be needed.
  10. As mentioned on another thread we are preparing for future projects. There were a few hours spare this afternoon so we got the paint stripper out and started to clean the green paint off the valve caps and distributor drive. Under the green was red paint from its past life in a Liverpool salvage tender.
  11. We decided the London to Brighton run was too optimistic for 2019. Clayton hill has a 13.6% maximum gradient and we were unable to get up the 17% gradient nearest our house. There have been lots of things to concentrate on so we have been catching up on other projects and making preparations for future projects. Some progress has been made on the Dennis though, the universal joint gaiter has nicer looking clamps. I got fed up with starting handle blisters from the split wooden sleeve so have turned up a new one in brass. Generally both this and the Morris car are starting first time (and I sometimes remember to put on a glove) so I have been blister free for several months. And we have added a crude choke return spring. A couple of the previously unexplained stops turn out to have been the choke being sucked closed; once the engine stopped the flap would drop open again so it was difficult to spot the cause until the occasion where we managed to keep the engine going long enough to spot it. This weekend we have probably driven another ten miles or so, starting with a simple circuit locally with many of my visiting relatives taking short rides. We still can't manage the 17% incline from a standing start but with the improved reliability we took a drive into the town up an incline of around 11% with no trouble at all. We still have fine silt coming out in the petrol filter but there is not enough to be a problem now if we clean it out every ten miles. I imagine this service interval will increase as we use it more. The Claudel Hobson has a 1.1mm jet so is fairly immune to fine particulates but the Zenith I have rebuilt has a much smaller orifice in the slow running device and may be more susceptible to blockages so we will persist with the Claudel until the fuel is coming through a little cleaner. One of the Zenith carbs I found had the float weights retained with small nails; these had rusted solid in into the weights and it was impossible to extract them. I was not is a rush to recover these components so we immersed them in a solution of Aluminium Ammonium Sulphate for around four months; there was no damage to any of the brass and just a small amount of black sediment to remove from the holes. Thought this trick might be useful to other people with ferrous parts rusted into brass as drilling out is rarely satisfactory.
  12. Wow, it has been a year since the chassis arrived and I have only really managed to do research! I decided to have a scrub at the side of the chassis to see if I could find the chassis number in this location. No luck, but after rubbing through the top layer of greyish paint the Carter Paterson red is exposed. I like the idea of restoring this one as a commandeered lorry made into a mobile workshop. So when I saw this Austin lighting set I had to add it to the collection (I do like T head engines with separate cylinders). It needs quite a lot of work as the water jackets are split, it has the wrong carb and has been converted to coil ignition. The dynamo is just as bad; seized, missing the rotor windings, commutator and brushes. Quite a lot of research to be done on this one too. So it is a compound wound, 1200RPM 110Vdc 27A 3kW generator connected to what appears to be two cylinders from a 10HP 4 cylinder Austin built in 1914. Now I need to try to work out how the armature should be wound, I guess I should start by looking at the one in Duxford. Does anyone have any photos or information?
  13. I forgot to say that I have finished making the missing jets, covers, screws etc. for the Zenith carb. I will try to drive a few more miles with the Claudel before fitting this one.
  14. We have continued to tinker over the past month despite the cold conditions. Another job off the list was fitting the door pocket covers. We had some friends over a couple of weeks ago and they helped us fit a ceiling in the garage. This should reduce the risk of anything from the loft space falling on the vehicles and now I have added some insulation it is also possible to get it several degrees hotter than outside. This was useful when sewing up the gaiter for the rear universal joint as it had to be sewn in-situ. I need to trim the leather at the front and find some more appropriate pipe clips. We used up all of the first batch of petrol. Draining it out the tank several times and passing it through a filter collected plenty of sediment but by the time we were down to the last gallon it was quite a brown colour.
  15. I look forward to reading about the progress on this project and will have to look in this location for a number on my Thornycroft chassis.
  16. The Morris is a bit of a distraction but I am trying to maintain some progress on the Dennis. We had another day of driving it around as the weather was good and there was no salt on the roads. 311218trimmed.mp4 After running around for a while we emptied the petrol filter bowl into a jam jar. The one on the left is new clean petrol and on the right shows particulates and a little water. No stoppages today which is a definite improvement but I think I will continue to flush the contaminated fuel through a filter each week and burn all this brown fuel off before putting fresh fuel in. I have been making the covers for the door pockets. Starting with the leather off cuts from the seat cushions I used a cardboard template to mark out the leather and started to stitch the edges. After stitching the whole way around I treated them with some leather balm.
  17. Sorry for the lack of updates. This has mainly been due to concentrating on other projects such as clearing some space in the garage and workshop so we can move on to the next projects. I have flushed the same couple of gallons of petrol through the system on numerous occasions and the level of particulates has greatly reduced. We have bought ourselves a Christmas present (one of the reasons we needed to tidy). It is a 1913 Morris car and said to have been laid up from WWI until 1970 (when restored) and had occasional use since. I can't imagine any were used in WWI so we have little excuse for posting it!
  18. We have taken a few more trips and can get further between stops for clearing the fuel filter each time. Next time it is convenient we will attempt the canal bridge again and see if it is any better now the fuel is cleaner. In case that is not successful I have been considering swapping the Claudel Hobson carb that came with the engine for a Zenith. The Claudel is a simple single jet carb; the one fitted is a 22mm but this size refers to the bore of the throttle barrel; the Zenith size is the bore into which the choke tube is fitted. There is a lot of documentation available for the Zenith carbs; for example this gives the suggested fitment of carburettor, choke tube and jets. For the 75mm bore engine the 26mm carb with 16mm choke tube is recommended. However this carburettor is quite a lot smaller than my inlet manifold; mechanically a 36mm would be the correct fit for the flange but a 30 could be fitted with an adaptor. I have borrowed a box full of Zenith carburettors but none are in a serviceable condition. There is a 30mm carb in the box and I have given it a clean, purchased the suggested jets (I don't make everything) and made the suggested 16mm choke tube. There is another part to make for the slow running device. And finally for this week a testimonial.
  19. Today I was looking in some Dennis literature and found the testimonial referring to the subsidy model.
  20. Sorry it has taken so long; a scan of the book is attached. Thornycroft M Engines.pdf
  21. There is far more rain protection than was typical for 1914 but certainly room for improvement. The fixings for the windscreen and canvas supports were blasted and painted this week so we managed to make some more progress with fitting those. As the weather was very good this weekend we decided to have another go at driving around. We took it for several trips out on the road with only one unscheduled stop where we had to clear some water and debris from the filter bowl. Overall I think we covered a little over three miles. We did a fair bit of tinkering with the Claudel Hobson carburettor; the Aster engine is half the power of the White and Poppe originally fitted to this chassis and it does show out on the road. It is fast when it gets up to speed in 4th (over 25mph) but does take a while to get there. From a standing start we were unable to climb the 1:6 gradient of the local canal bridge, but on a positive note the handbrake had no trouble holding it on the slope. We tried changing the carburettor jet from 120 to 130 (purchased at Beaulieu) but I thought the performance on the level was worse so I did not attempt the bridge again! Once we were done for the day we adjusted up the handbrake and but it back in the garage. Today we have drained the fuel out again but jacked one side up to get a bit more out the tank and removed the additional drain plug on the bottom of the tank releasing a little move sludge and water. Quite a successful first road run but certainly still improvements to be made.
  22. We have been working through the list of tasks, many are not worth photos. The second seat base cushion was made in the same way and looks quite nice in place; I might need to screw a couple of battens in place to prevent them from moving around. The windscreen brackets have been in the press another few times to get the shape right. We then bolted them in place and offered up the windscreen. I was then able to drill through the pilot holes to mark up the positions for six coach bolts. After drilling and filing it all looks like the factory photo. We then took it all off again so we could blast and prime the bolts. It has just stopped raining but the light is fading so a test drive will have to wait for another day!
  23. In the selection of drawings we looked at in Hampshire were marinised versions of the T4 engine; this explains where at least some of the engine numbers not in the production registers went. This book for the marinised version of the M1 M2 and M4 engines; I don't think it is of use to anyone with a J Type but I can scan it in if anyone has a boat project in the shed!
  24. The lorry was blocked into the garage by pallets of bricks this week, I had to work into the evening on three days and was away for the weekend. Hopefully we will have another go at driving it soon. At least we managed to finish the first seat cushion.
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