Friday 19 June 2015

Milestones Progress Report - 19 June 2015

So, a few milestones achieved to date.

1) Engine delivered to Rodney and Andrew at Superior Automotive Services for strip down and rebuild. My intention is to replace all 'consumable' internals such as pistons, con rods, buckets, springs, valves etc but hopefully (subject to crack testing and condition assessment) retain the camshafts, crankshaft and camshaft drive gears. Rodney likely to have the engine stripped down within a week or two. Will post photos of progress. All original parts will be kept for posterity.
2) Gearbox stripped down assisted by Garry Simkin. Crawford Hall (Aus) has made some neat tools to assist in strip down, as all the special tools we have for Hewland gearboxes are of no use on a BRM made box. Waiting on Hall and Hall (UK) to advise what gears and parts they have in stock so I may order and have made those items that are not readily available.
3) Wing delivered to Mike Trueman to have a new wing manufactured using the original as the template. The original wing has a fiberglass main plane with an aluminum section added on at the back to give it a curved lip. The original wing has seen some hard work and is a bit warped and I am concerned about structural integrity of the fiberglass so I will keep it for posterity and use the new one for competition. The new wing will be fully aluminum however so will be a bit heavier. I will need to avoid breakfast and morning coffee on race days to offset the weight gain.
4) Rear suspension and Drive disassembled. Having now personally stripped the car down I have a far better understanding of it's assembly and complexities. Taken 1,254 photographs which I will print out as an A4 photo book to assist in reassembly.

Next immediate steps involve:

Suspension - fully dismantle front suspension and send front & rear suspension arms to Elwyn Bickley to manufacture spares. Depending on the crack testing / metallurgical analysis results from Steve Hooker I may use the originals or may use the spares in competition however it will be good to have a spare set irrespective.
Wheels - dismount tyres and send wheels to Steve Hooker for crack testing and then to Dave Mawer for repairs and checking. New spares have been ordered from Hall and Hall but unsure of delivery date for these.
Brakes - Garry Simkin will dismantle calipers and order new seals and pistons and refurbish. Master cylinders (brake and clutch) to be sent to Crawford Hall to bore out and fit stainless steel tube inserts in order that I can reuse the original master cylinders.

Engine delivered. Rodney appears excited. 
As long as he is still smiling when we dyno test the engine after the rebuild.

The above is the bearing assembly for the drive shafts in the gearbox. 
Amazingly complex bit of engineering, beautifully made but complex for what it is. 
Shame there is no easy access to engineering drawings as it would have made dis-assembly much easier (thank you to Crawford for figuring out how to disassemble) 

Example of new special tools now required for disassemble, the above made by Crawford Hall to enable the ring and pinion to be held without damage whilst bolts are undone to check the condition of the pawls.

Another special tool made by Crawford, this one to hold / undo the oil pump gear mounted on the input shaft in the gearbox. 

Original rear wing, Michael Trueman is now making a new replacement. There is a clear line in the photos above on the main plan where the rear aluminum curved lip joins the fiberglass main plane. End plates are aluminum. The wing is light but fragile. Nasty things tend to occur if a wing fails at speed so I will sacrifice some lightness for a more structurally secure item. The original will be stored. The new wing will also be painted in the manner that the rear wing was painted when the car was first driven by Lauda at the Italian GP in September 1973 (white end plates and red with white stripes on the main plane).