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Pete Ashby

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Pete Ashby last won the day on August 5

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About Pete Ashby

  • Birthday 01/01/1901

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    Small holder and restorer

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  1. It is very simple, not expensive and particularly useful when rebuilding to check correct clearance.
  2. Attention now turns to the big ends. When starting out on a rebuild I like to get an idea of the general mechanical condition of an engine before it's completely stripped down, information gained at this stage will impact on decisions made later regarding the degree of machining and the amount of replacement parts required during the rebuild. So here I'm looking at each big end bearing in turn at this stage I can only see half the bearing surface of both the crank and the bearing but it gives a good indication of the overall condition. First up check to see if the the big end caps have been marked either with factory stamps or punched dots to represent which cylinder they come from (No1 is at the front of the engine). If there are no marks use a sharp center punch and make your own on the side face of the rod and cap while it is still in place and torqued up, don't overdo the punching, on smaller engines you can damage the cap and or rod but paint will not do it will come off during cleaning or machining. On reassembly the right cap must go back on the right rod and the numbers or punch marks must coincide to ensure the cap is the correct way round. You can see here these are factory stamps for No5 big end. Just crack the each cap nut in turn then go back and forth until they are free do not fully undo one side then the other or distortion of the cap may result. Take note of any shims that may have been fitted between the cap faces and rod this is a standard feature on Chevrolet 216 cu in engines for example. OK so here's No5 cap just sitting on top of the vice for the photo it's not in it. Overall there's nothing too terrible here the stripe just above the oil hole is where the crank pin oil passage runs Next some close inspection is called for, I'm looking for scoring, flaking, burning or surface cracking of the shell bearing here. All of which will indicate various forms of ware or failure and can tell you a lot about the operational history of the engine and what ills that may await you elsewhere. That's what's going on here, on close inspection I found tiny steel particles embedded in the white metal shell surface this may indicate poor oil filtration and or maintenance issues in terms of oil change frequency. With the cap off one half of the crank pin can be examined for scoring, burning (which will show up as a blue discoloration) caused by oil film failure. Nothing untoward here, just a slight mark where the crank has sat for a number of years that I rubbed off with my finger nail. Now to get a feel for the ware between the shell bearing and the crank pin and I'm using Plastigauge to measure the clearance. This is not a definitive measurement but it gives a pretty good indication of whats been going on. Final measurements will be taken using micrometer, dial gauge and vernier when all the components have been fully dissembled. If you have not come across Pastigauge before google it, also a very useful aid during reassembly to ensure correct clearance between bearing and crank both for big ends and main bearings (more about those another time). A piece of Plastigauge (that's the thing like a piece of wire in the photo above, it's actually a sort of plastic) is cut to lay across the width of the bearing surface and placed on the crank pin, the cap is replaced and the nuts tightened in sequence back and forth in turn finishing with a torque wrench to set the specified (see your manual) torque on the cap. Now the cap is removed again following the same undoing procedure the Plastigauge will have been squashed out like this (arrow) Using the gauge supplied the gap between the white metal shell bearing and the crank pin can be determined You can see here that this is 0.002". As a rough guide acceptable clearance on shell bearings is given as follows: 0.00075" to 0.0010" per inch of shaft diameter So for a 2" diameter shaft the range would be 0.0015" to 0.0020" so for this particular engine it looks hopeful but the crank pin will be measured accurately when it's removed to confirm that no under size machining has taken place. Last job was to remove the Plastigauge squish with my thumb nail (never use steel tools on machined bearing surfaces) apply a squirt of clean engine oil to the crank pin and shell bearing, put the cap back on repeat the tightening sequence as before and mark the cap with chalk so I know which one I've done and move onto the next rod. In the next update in a couple of weeks time I'll be able to give an update on all the big ends and the main bearing caps and journals too that will enable an assessment of what will be required in terms of work and expenditure on the bottom end of the engine. Pete
  3. So after a slight diversion with some chit chat about vintage vehicle restoration in general it's back to the engine strip down, the last photo I posted showed the flywheel being removed. I don't like having a lot of bits lying around the workshop floor, two reasons really, first I will invariably trip over them, second and arguably the more important, small things will get lost and machined surfaces will attract dirt and corrosion and present problems down the line. So I started off by looking at the flywheel: Here I'm using a fine cut triangular file of the correct size to fit the pitch of the teeth to just remove any burs on starter ring gear teeth, I'm not filing the teeth, just any burs on the leading edges caused by the starter pinion (dog) trying to engage while the engine was still turning. The flywheel is just lightly pinched in the vice just enough to prevent it slipping out, to tight and there is a possible risk of distortion, note the wood packing front and back to prevent the jaws damaging the machined surface a pair of jaw protectors would be better. This work will reduce the chance of the starter motor pinion getting jammed in ring gear. It also provides an opportunity to clean and check the condition of each tooth on the ring gear. Very often an engine will favor to stop in one quadrant of flywheel due to fictional forces in the rest of the components of the engine and this can lead to increased ware on that section of ring gear here there was a little more ware in one section but not enough to worry about. I have on occasion removed and turned a ring gear where a replacement couldn't be sourced but it requires more space to explain than I want to take up here. Next step was to clean the flywheel up I use spray-gun cleaner for this as it cuts through the baked on crud nicely but petrol or commercially available de-greaser will do the job just as well. Once cleaned the machined clutch plate face is checked over for scoring, burning, flaking or cracking then the rear of the fly wheel is examined for cracks around the crank flange mounting holes. All good so the clutch pressure plate threaded holes were cleaned out with an appropriate tap. Various tools used to carry out the above work. To finish off the ring gear and clutch plate face had some clean engine oil wiped over them to keep the rust at bay and wrapped up and stored away. more to follow Pete
  4. Thank you Bruce I'm pleased your'e finding it interesting. Where I live it's a bit of a cultural desert with regard to MV collecting so I find keeping the blogs running and updated is a useful spur to meet my self imposed targets for the various projects. It's a digital media version of your mates calling into the workshop for a brew and a chat about the latest progress I suppose. Pete
  5. Many thanks Adrian, for the life of me when I searched last week on that web site I couldn't find them anywhere Cheers Pete
  6. Looking for 4 off of the following: 1/2" BSF 16tpi @ 3/4" long (or longer) countersunk slotted set screws My usual sources do not have this size or have sold out. Anyone have some? or point me to a source please Thanks Pete
  7. Thank you Alex good to hear from you again, Yes working on both projects, not an ideal situation in terms of the economics or division of effort. All the other restorations I have done have been single focus projects , but then we are not getting any younger and doing it this way moves both along all be it at a slower pace. regards Pete
  8. Back in the very early 1970's when the MVCG was formed there were a number of us in the 18 to 30 age group who were active members and owners of vehicles. One of the driving forces why Military Vehicle collecting become popular was the fact that a lot of the veteran/vintage vehicles had moved out of our price range. However the WW2 kit had been pensioned off into the scrap yards during the proceeding 10 years. My first jeep was £200 with an MoT, even so it still took a number of years to pay back my Father the money I borrowed to purchase it . There was a good cross section of ages in the club from WW2 vets in there 50's down to long haired Herbert's like me at 16. Good times with life long friendships made and petrol around 40p per/gallon but then I was only earning £4.50 a week. Pete
  9. No not seen that try putting some more dosh in the meter?? Pete
  10. In order of best finish under clean indoor conditions for me it would be Tig, love to have a set but can't justify the outlay, Gas Mig had my unit for 25 years now, Gas welding handed back my BoC contract last year they were just taking the mick, Arc welding haven't done any for years but still useful for larger work then Gasless Mig it has it's uses for outside high amperage stuff but I don't rate it for thin sheet I'm afraid. Pete
  11. Good usable machine I'd say. I replaced the wire sleeve some years ago with a steel spiral wound sleeve, transformed how the machine operated after that. It's worth pulling the wire out and taking the tip off occasionally and blowing the line through with compressed air clears out the fluff and dust that seems to get pulled into the sleeve and bungs things up. Pete
  12. Thank you for the comment, but I must stress I do not regard myself as a skilled professional. If these various blogs help and or encourages just one person to have a go it's achieved some small thing. The Historic vehicle media, club rooms and show beer tents are full of commentators noting the lack of young people attracted into restoration and collecting of any shape or form. It's noticeable at shows now that the average age is well above 40 and rising for a large proportion of owners, there are a number of factors that contribute to this which don't need rehashing here. I've spent over 49 years of my life outside of my professional career and large sums of money doing what I do. I was taught by men who are now longer alive. I have in my collection auto engineering books that are now over 80 years old detailing methods and techniques that have not been taught for over 50 years. I'm 64, many of my life long friends and associates in this game who also took time and trouble to teach me are older than me some by a good margin (you know who you are). If we don't start to pass on what little we know then I fear our vehicles will slowly disperse back into the scrapyards from which they originally came. For our collective effort and for what the vehicles represent it has to be worth more than that. The alternative is we sit in our little huddles in the show beer tents and our dark dingy sheds complaining about our various ills and pills struggling with the decision to have that second pint or not if we don't want to be up twice in the middle of night. Then when we can't climb into the cabs any more it'll be off to the crusher with them because nobody cares anymore in this bright new electric era. We are under threat from the vision of a brave clean new world the fewer we become the easier target we make. Phew!! that's all a bit heavy for a Sunday morning sorry chaps must be the pain meds for the bad back, I'm off to the workshop to measure some big ends. Pete
  13. With the clutch assemble out of the way the flywheel bolts fixing it to the end of the crankshaft flange were now visible. Those nice clever Dodge Brothers used special studs with a machined flat on the head that locks into the flywheel so you only have to undo the nuts on the other side there are no dowel pins or tapered bolts on this engine. To access the nuts the sump has to come off. Once again crack all the bolts working diagonally first then go around again then remove. Just as with the head if it's stuck don't go wedging a screwdriver into the flange use a block of wood a tap gently to try to brake the seal. Sump removed and you can see the nuts holding the flywheel onto the crank rear flange again just crack each nut in turn moving diagonally around the flange turning the crank to gain access. Here's the rear view you can see the machined flats on the studs, the flywheel face for the clutch friction plate and the gearbox pilot bushing for input shaft all will need to be checked out for spec and condition. The shiny thing lurking in the front of the bell housing is the clutch release bearing I couldn't get the return spring off so waited until the bell housing was removed to do this. The crane makes easy work of lifting out the flywheel, this is a heavy piece of kit with lots of lovely sharp starter ring gear teeth just waiting to trap your fingers in the bottom of the bell housing Last job was to cover up the block with a clean dust sheet it wouldn't go amiss to lay the sump back on if it was going to be left for any time in this condition. That pretty much brings this project up to date, I'll update with progress in a week or so's time. Pete
  14. Moving to the rear of the block it was time to remove the clutch assembly so the flywheel bottom cover and dust shield was first removed Point of interest here is the British army rebuild Odeneal paint ( duck egg blue to you and me) on the flywheel cover the item found on the engine with it on. With this particular model the clutch and flywheel assemblies have to be removed before the bell housing can be removed so the clutch assembly was next to come off. Here is the clutch assembly on the back of the flywheel you can see the fixing bolts around the rim, the rust is only atmospheric corrosion and will clean up easily. Just as with everything else under tension just crack all the bolts around the holding flange on the pressure plate working across the diagonal each time to avoid distortion then repeat until free. To access all the bolts the crank will need to be turned by replacing the hand starter dog nut at the front and using a socket to turn the crank. The assembly is not drastically heavy but there are a lot of sharp cast edges around and not much room so the hoist makes easy work of it and supports the clutch assembly while the last bolts are removed. That's what's going on here note the friction plate is coming out as well as it was stuck to the pressure plate Front view Rear view As an aside, the pot on the side contains the pressure plate bolts it will have the lid put on and labeled up then stored away for cleaning and checking prior to reassembly. I keep all manner of tins, pots and snappy polythene bags for this reason those a Black Sharpie pen for writing on the contents are your best mates here. I include this photo as it's a good example of how I now use a simple graphics pack to make notes on disassembly photos I still use the old fashion way of note book and pencil as well. You think you'll remember because it's obvious......... I can guarantee you wont't after a couple of years...... and the manuals very often are not that detailed. A light tap with a block of wood and hammer from the rear and the friction plate came away easily And here is the pressure plate, there's some scoring on the face, odd because the flywheel face is in much better condition but close examination will be for another day. more to follow Pete
  15. Time to have a look at the top surface of the block, piston crowns and a cursory look at the cylinder bores, these will need further examination once the pistons have been removed. Although this photo looks like the block face is badly corroded it is in fact a gasket paste applied on assembly in this photo the valves have not yet been removed from the block. The piston crowns look OK although very cruddy but with no visible damage or anything nasty stuck into them. The bores show a little light surface corrosion that will hone out but no scoring or surface damage, importantly there are no ridges at the top of the bores which if present would indicates advanced wear. Preliminary measurement suggest the bores are at standard so good news all round. the block was now lifted and a clean scaff plank cut to size placed on the pallet with a cloth over the plank to protect the block face. The whole unit was then turned over using the crane in a series of lifts adjusting the strops on each lift the whole block was turned upside down and put down onto the scaff plank and pallet. Working on these engines needs some form of lifting gear an engine crane would be sufficient manual handling is not a safe option, I have the bad back to prove it after a misspent youth with A series engines in minis. Posh people who do this a lot have an engine stand, they just turn a handle and round the whole thing goes. I have to do it the hard way with the Morris crane and strops bit at a time having said that you still have to get the lump on and off the stand and back into the truck so you do need some form of lifting tackle. Anyway so now it looks like this Left side Right side, with the valve chest open the cam followers and valve springs are still in place here as I haven't withdrawn the cam shaft yet but the valves are all removed. more to follow Pete
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