Saturday 28 May 2016

Front End Assembled - End May 2016 progress

At the cardiologist for my annual checkup last week, running on the treadmill, electrodes strapped to my chest. 'So Doctor' I said (panting), 'As the expert, what are your healthy heart tips'? 
'Well' she says, pushing the button the further incline the treadmill, 'Good genes, low blood pressure, low cholesterol, lean physique, regular exercise, and a good diet'. 
'What about red wine' I say. 
'Well' she says, 'A glass or two on occasion may well be OK'.

So, cheers to the milestone of reassembling the front end.

There were a few odd jobs to do along the way however.


The mountings on the sides of the radiator had all come loose. They were originally spot welded on to the outer plate on each side and with vibration and flexing of the mounting frame (which also supports the nose) they had all torn out. 

So, Crawford Hall made for me some fittings that clamped the outer plate rather than re-welding the originals, as I am sure they would have simply vibrated / torn loose again.

I also had the radiator flushed out and pressure tested by Motoradco Radiator Service (Paul Stirton) who do work for various professional race teams. 
Fortunately it had great flow, no leaks and pressure tested fine. 

The radiator is the original and I recall there being very strong smelling and dark blue coolant when drained it after purchasing the car, so the Donnington Museum must have filled it with some good  rust inhibitor when they purchased it from BRM and put it on display in 1980.

The radiator efficiency is somewhat compromised by virtue of the design, as seen in the photo below, air enters the front of the inclined radiator through the center hole in the shovel nose and then has to exit out the back of the radiator into tight spaces with the triangular aluminium panel directing the air out each side, under the nose. Not the best for air flow. I suspect the foot well would have become somewhat warm by the end of a GP. 

Springs and Shocks

There were no 2.5 inch ID front springs available in Australia so I purchased 2 pairs of front springs (300 lb and 350 lb) from Hall and Hall in the UK. Unfortunately, the 'off the shelf' length is 6 inches which is shorter than the 6.5 inch length of the originals. 

Accordingly, I had Crawford make aluminum spacers to bring them up to size.

The shocks were sent to Ric Kemp in Victoria to be rebuilt. Ric is a suspension specialist and worked for the Australian Koni branch for 12 years with stints at Koni for training. He works for a number of race teams. The original Koni's on my car were in surprisingly good condition although the internal bump rubber material had degraded and effectively seized them. 

Ric has a Roehrig 5VS Damper Dyno and after running the rebuilt dampers on this and replacing some of the old stickers with new they are good to go. 

Engine Rebuild

The engine rebuild is further progressing with the heads now almost reassembled. A trial dummy build of the heads and pistons identified that unfortunately the newly supplied pistons do not have the valve cutouts correctly located and to the correct depth for my engine / heads and the valves fouled the pistons. So a bit more fine machining of all 12 pistons was necessary by Crawford Hall in order that the engine reassembly can be progressed further next week.

Photo above - Before machining, with the valve position in the head replicated by a special jig. Valve fouls on the piston.

Photo below - after machining.

Steady progress. Now awaiting the return of the fuel bags and the rebuilt engine in order to assemble the back end.