Sunday, 4 November 2012

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Provisional Update

Some recent photos of the restoration work - just to show that the workshop has not been standing idle!

Detailed update as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Neary there...

The chassis now has the lubrication system, the front cross member and the rear springs still in place.
(Items such as the torque bars for the front suspension, have been removed and their assembly will be covered later)
I spent quite a long time mapping the route of the lubrication system in order to be able to replace the pipework - even though there was no intention at this stage to re-connect it as the various points will be serviced by grease nipples instead. There is quite a lot of 1/8" copper pipe here! over 60 feet, all culminating on the right hand front inner chassis, where the six lines connect to the lubrication pump mounted on the sump.

Ok this is a bit of a cheat, this has jumped ahead somewhat, but at least its now clean and clear so that you can see the new pipework in place leading to the unions that take the pipes from the lubrication pump. Its all looking good though don't you think?

Also in the photograph, you can see the front cross member which needs to be removed, four of the eight castle nuts can be seen, the bolts draw through the aluminium block that the steering arm pivots mount on to, and then through the chassis, and the two plates that mount the front suspension.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

More chassis

Next in line for the spanner is the throttle, brake and clutch pedals, a straightforward strip out, disconnecting the master cylinder, and the clutch pull rod, the assembly the looks like this -

The shaft can be taked apart by drawing of the bearing housing at the bottom of the photo, the clutch actuating rod in the top of the photo then comes off, then the braket, then drive out the pin through the clutch arm, then the ring holding the brake arm to the shaft and hey presto, ready for cleaning, plating and reassembly.

The brake master cylinder comes out, new brakets will be made, the cylinder itself cleaned and lightly honed to clean the bore, new rubbers sourced - the Lagonda club kit is wrong - fit a bedford truck I think...

Eventually we get to the lubrication system pipework, but thats a different story!

Chassis stripdown part 3

Next inline for removal is the engine and gearbox. Major items like these are simply removed and stored for the moment, although I did have a look inside the gearbox just to make sure everything was there, and still attached, and not lying in a coagulated mess in the bottom of the casing!
The engine was going to need to be fully rebuilt anyway, and most parts would need to be hand made, so it was assumed at this stage that the work would be about the same as Alfreds Aston Martin, only three times as much being twelve cylinders! - more later...

There she blows, the engine crane just taking the strain, and creaking well!

The radiator is normally something I take to a local rad company, and have rebuilt with four cores, the V12 rad however is something else. Mel Crammer came up with a name for us, so on his recommendation off it went, along with the rechromed shroud and slats. All other chrome work went to S&T in Yate, a company I have used many times, indeed I have repaired quite a few pieces of brasswork for them so I know them well and would recommend them for any chromework, ah if I was only on commission...

This leaves the final part of dissassembly, all those brackets nuts and bolts pipes and... ah yes, the handbrake cross shaft! That caused a few sessions of head scratching. For those of you who have not been there? well, Mr Bentley seemes to love making things well, and also to possibly over engineer things a little?

The photo above is me being kind to you, it shows part of the handbrake cross shaft restored and raring to go, however getting the thing out is a different matter, imagine this all covered with grime and grit and who knows what from years of storage let alone use! The bar to the right of the image does go all the way uninterupted to the other side, ending with a bearing housing just like the brass one at this end of the shaft - they hold a twin ball race that can run quite a way offest to the pivot line, but the housing is bigger than the hole through the chassis that they cover?

Eventually you will find a clamp, yes it is visible in the photo! by undoing this clamp not alot happens, though it will allow a little movement to collapse the bar, but only a little bit ####!
So the next thing is to take one of the bearing housings apart, preferably the other end rather than the one above, this allows you to draw the long bar through a hole in the chassis, which in turn allows gives you the room to take the short shaft apart and draw that out through the chassis on the other side - Simples eh!

Chassis stripdown part 2

Having packed away the front suspension, the attention turned to the bulkhead. I tend to use photographs to record relevant information, I also write notes onto pieces I know I will be replacing with notes and detail of fixtures.

Jumping ahead slightly, the photograph above shows a few notes on the bulkhead.

Images like this above just serve to remind me which way round a linkage fits, this is the throttle pivot from the accelerator pedal to the carb linkage.

Replacement parts are then made using the originals as templates, the image above shows the aluminium firewall, which is a sandwich of 1mm aluminium on both sides of 1/4" marine ply. holes are drilled for fittings and services, the elongated hole in the bottom right hand side is a direct copy of the original, the wiring loom for the fuse boxes pass through here. The white coating on the ali is a protective plastic, and is removed when all handling is done.

The steelwork behind the firewall - the battery boxes etc are also replaced as the originals were corroded and tired, so each section or component was fabricated, and assembled into the final piece.

Which was then primed and topcoated!

The aluminium side pieces for the bulkhead were bead blasted cleam ready for reassembly as a sub section. I chose not to paint them as there is plenty of evidence on this car that this black paint seems to be overspray from the finishing process...

Front suspension

As you probably are all aware, the lubrication system on the V12 was supposed to be automatic, and all the various oiling points being fed from brake or clutch pedal movement, great idea, but!
The left hand king pin was great, the right hand however was another story. Not only was there heavy wear on the pin itself, the thrust bearing over the top of the pin was also pretty useless, neither of which are available parts... mmm here we go then!

Having repared a fair amount of brass work for a local chrome plater, I remembered a conversation I had with one of the guys who worked there about recovering metal parts using hard chrome plate... This evetually led me to a guy near Birmingham who could build up the diameter with chrome, and the grind back to size, so off went the king pins in the post. The thrust bearing took some tracking down, and whilst trying to get hold of a pair (one for the left hand side) only one similar bearing was available. I say similar because the depth of the replacement was deeper, this was not so bad as the extra depth could be taken up by adjusting the spacers within the top trunnion.

The hubs were sourced from Birmingham too, the wheel bearings locally to me in Bristol, as were the seals for the hubs and for the wishbone pivots, though they are now full lip seals.

Removing the screws from wishbone pivot bearings was nigh impossible, they were solid and had to be drilled out in the end.

The front susension components were all refinished, and any part that needed re plating added to the ever growing tray of parts!

Just a few of the relevant parts hanging out to dry, as with virtually every part on the car, these were washed, bead blasted and examined, before either replacing or refinishing. When dry they were then packed away in a sealed bin with notes attached if parts were being sourced, or where they were, for example in the zinc bin awaiting plating.

One of the "zinc bins" just back from being electroplated in "zinc and clear", rather than colour passivate, which gives the zinc a yellow finish and not the "Correct" zinc colour!
All these parts were then sorted and placed with other refinished parts into the relevent bin. Alfred the owner of the Lagonda was rather good at putting all the fastenings into order of size, and challenging me by picking up a part and asking me where it came from! I find it difficult to remember names of people, but give me a part of a car I have worked on and I am the mustard!

Plenty of trolling around various suppliers of fasteners local to me has meant that I have most of the BSF and Whitworth fastners here, so if you cannot find much on your searches, sorry!