It is a long time since my last article, lots of reasons (excuses) for the gap, an extended trip down to Invercargill plus distractions when we returned. All that aside in the last few weeks some progress has been made.
The brake calipers have been overhauled with new pistons and seals. Just Brakes of Onehunga did the job at a very reasonable price. New urethane bushes for the whole suspension were obtained from George Stock & Company and these have all been fitted. A major job to get the old ones out, in one case on the lower front I had to hacksaw through the bolt both sides of the arm and then cut the old bush out, then had to get a new bolt to fit. On the lower trunions the adjusting pieces had frozen in and had to be driven out, these have been freed up and are now working as they should.
Every part is being examined and repaired where possible, otherwise it is replaced. The chassis extensions that the bumper is mounted on were badly knocked about, but with some serious metal work I managed to get them back into what I hope is the right shape. Everything is being painted as each part is passed, this is a tedious job as most are coated all over this means that I paint half, let that dry then complete the other half.
The first order of parts now to hand including new rear brake discs. I wasn’t looking forward to the task of pulling the rear hubs as they can be very difficult to get off at times. I was lucky, I borrowed a large bolt on puller and they came off with only a belt with a 4lb hammer, I was prepared to use my large sledgehammer. The new discs have been fitted onto the hubs, and the hubs refitted to the axles. I’m using a torque wrench on most bolts to be sure of getting each bolt done up tight and even.
The rear springs are now back in place and the axle in fastened in position, a start has been made in assembling the front suspension, a bit of a hiccup here as I have found the right hand vertical link is bent. The tow truck people did this along with some other damage. The unit has now been dismantled and a mate with a press and a lathe will be pressed into service to correct this, I will then get it crack tested. One of the major problems is remembering after such a long time where everything is and in particular which are the correct bolts to use. I have bought in a quantity of new Nylock nuts to replace the old ones at final assembly, no use taking the risk of reusing the old ones.
Rear brake calipers are now in place, when the car was dismantled there were no shims here, they had just been bolted in place. I now have no idea if they were in the correct position or not as with the new discs the position must be different, all I know is the hand brake was never any good (very uneven wear) and shims were needed this time. What I did was clean the mating faces then bolt the calipers on, then using a heap of feeler gauges I measured the gap on each side of the disc, calculate the difference, halve that and that is the shim thickness needed. Find or make the necessary shims ( the micrometer came in handy here) fit the shims and check, I got them lined up within 2thou of true. Has to be better that before. The hand brake pads have been rebonded at great cost and the hand brake assembly is ready to be assembled.
Spent some time on the press and lathe getting the vertical link straight, then took it in to get it crack tested. Sad news, the vertical link has cracks in the threaded portion, so panic stations, wires are running hot on the net, contacting anyone who may be able to help, even put word out on the DLOC Forum. Lots of advice and some good leads to follow up, just shows that all is not lost as first thought. In the end located a replacement in the USA, this man doesn’t know it yet but he has made a friend for life. I wonder how long all this would have taken without the Internet. As an aside this part has a patent number cast into it, is this a Daimler patent or has this part been used in other British cars, someone with more time than myself could maybe do some research on this matter.
Even though I have overhauled the original steering box, I have never been happy with its condition so a search was made to find a replacement. I reasoned that there had to be many lying about out of cars that now have R & P fitted. In the end I located one with an adjustable steering wheel.(See article.)
This has now been dismantled and seems to be in good condition. I must admit it took me some time to fathom out how the adjustable wheel system worked. Simple really once you see how it all fits together, next was to make sure it would all go together at the final assembly. New gaskets were cut and everything cleaned again. I lost count of the number of times the box was pulled apart and put together again to get the whole thing to turn freely without play, but success at last. A final wipe over and then a coat of paint.
Having had bilateral knee surgery I cannot kneel and have difficulty getting down and up off the ground so I must avoid having to work under the car if possible. To help this I have a plan to assemble the chassis complete, with everything in place, this includes the exhaust. I have to decide if I temporarily use the cracked vertical link to create a rolling chassis and then replace it when the new one comes, all these decisions are so tiring.