Needs Recommissioning, continued
Sweet Pea had been owned by Roger Firth and previously, in the ‘60s by the Moores who had taken it apart and redistributed the pieces.
Roger had reunited the car with its original body frame which was in Desmond’s motor house and had then gone on to get a Second Class award in the Lakeland Trial. (This photo was sent to Desmond the day after we had been talking about the history of my new car)
There was a lot of history with the car including the original log-book and the Bowers’ picture shown in Fournier’s book.All of which was rather fortunate as I discovered that someone had blocked off the drainage hole between the gearbox and the clutch which may account for why I only found 100ml of oil in the box…
Starting at the front of the car, I took off the radiator to have a leak in the header tank fixed by Brighton Radiators (01273 611102) in Newhaven.
Dr van Hoof (the previous Dutch owner) had modified the cooling system to run a pipe from the rear of the engine via a Mercedes heater pump to the base of the radiator; maybe this was a pet foible of his or perhaps he had plans for some form of competition as I cannot think that the dykes of Holland would cause massive overheating. But it does seem to be rather effective.
Anyway having cleaned out the oil-ways with a 12 gauge shotgun cleaning brush as recommended by Craig Little, I filled the engine/clutch with Castrol XXL and the gearbox with a pint of Penrite 90 and moved onto the back axle.
Then there’s the external oil pipe which seems to drain the front main bearing into the rear of the sump; I hope someone can tell me why.
I filled the back axle up with Castrol Spheroid grease; uuuugggh, what a revolting job. It reminded me of one of those TV quiz or reality shows where a contestant has to put their hand into a box of who knows what?
So the last job was the brakes; should have been easy, after all there aren’t very many of them. But…the last brake shoe that I take off snapped in half as I took it off and so began the great brake shoe hunt.
Desmond sold me his last brake shoe casting which someone had made and I took it along to his machinist. To cut a long story short, the casting was a casting of a casting without any account being taken of shrinkage…I think it will make a very unusual photo frame for a suitable picture of Sweet Pea.