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Everything posted by JimH

  1. Record of a BBC programme made a while ago: https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/c43e9881a91c40b0919e4f092b3f6c3b Nothing but a description of the show but you don't see them mentioned very often.
  2. Hells bells. You don’t have to look at them for long to realise why torsional stiffness was just something that happened to other cars.
  3. Two projects I find myself pondering when things get dull. 1. A Twini. As far as I am aware there is at least one decent recreation of what Cooper got up to. I’d like to do another. 2. If you get a copy of VW Treasures by Karmann and flick to the back you’ll see a sketch of a Beetle rally car they built but didn’t take it any further. It is essentially a 1302 with 914 front and rear suspension and a 2 litre flat six where the rear seat would have been. The one thing I don’t like about that is that I really can’t stand 1302s.
  4. This picture appeared on the BBC website earlier. I thought it was rather splendid.
  5. That is a DG which is the model after the Super. The big “development” over the Super is that it has a gearbox with a running gear and a get you out the shit bottom gear. This may have been an improvement when you were shifting loads but now we only play with them now so yes you get a bottom gear but you also have a pair of large, straight cut spur gears howling away on the road which I absolutely hate. They look very similar but almost nothing is shared between them.
  6. JimH

    Truck Shite

    I'll put this here rather than in for sale because it's likely to be of interest only to those who who are into trucks. I have sitting here a small box filled with negatives. They were rescued from a skip by someone who just happened to be passing when York Trailers place at Northallerton was being demolished quite some time ago (I'm guessing now but I think it was about 2008 or so) . Most of the negatives are of the "here's a trailer what we done builted" variety but there seems to be a fair few wagons photographed as a result. I've only had a quick rummage through and it seems to be mostly wagons and trailers with only the odd "Here's Ted Sprodgit being presented with his 95 year long service gold wheelnut" one thrown in for good measure so there is probably plenty to keep the truck wonk interested for a few evenings. The era I would reckon is mid 70s to mid 80s but that is just based on what few I've looked at. I'm no camera buff but most of the negatives are colour on something like 120x95 film. There is a sprinkling of smaller ones and B&Ws. As far as I can see there is no 35mm stuff but I haven't looked that closely. Just guessing the total quantity in the box runs to a few hundred negatives. Although they were pulled from a skip they are all in good nick and most are in their paper sleeves. They were pulled from a skip and we have no interest in pictures of things made by York trailers so they are worthless to us. If anyone is excited by that sort of thing and can promise them a good home then drop me a line.
  7. Things didn't pan out quite as they should but it's mostly forward movement. Here are most of the bits to make up the nearside cheekplate. And here is 67% of the offside one You should be able to see why it needed so much hitting to form the flanges on them so they can rivet to the apron plate. It starts off tight at the top then eases as you move further down the curve. Our guess is that these presented some difficulty to Sentinel. Our justification for this is that to the uninitiated (YCRTA go to pubs and talk to girls) the Super and its successor the DG look pretty much the same. However, there is almost nothing shared bewteen the two waggons. About the only thing that is common between the two models is the front of the cab. Why did they go to the effort to update almost everything (mostly in the name of weight saving) yet these bloody cheekplates were just the same. Seems very odd. Anyway, you can probably make out that there is still a lot of dressing to do on these before they are presentable. It isn't very clear from the picture but this one is fitting around curves on three axes which is a great thing to cut your tin bashing teeth on. Yeah, yeah, all well and good but why are they still in bits and not welded together. Well, the main reason is that in the process of hitting them I became more and more bothered that the apron was not quite right. We'd made a bit of a faux pas when it was fitted and the curves around the front of the cab were not right. We'd sort of ignored it in a "we'll sort that out later" sort of a way but it became apparent that the only way of dealing with it was to throw it away and start again. You'll see a lot of clamps around the front. That is us forming some supports for the apron plate that aren't meant to be there but we added on the last one to keep the curve right at the top of the apron plate. Ah well, it's only money. This is 2mm plate (a frazzle thinner than 14gauge) which it turns out is somewhat heavier than it was meant to be. We'll take the opportunity (always look on the posititve side) to go for 18 gauge sheet. We also took the opportunity of this one being scrap to form the D beading around the top edge. This has to be done hot so it means we won't have to put heat anywhere near the new one. See - we should be glad that we made a mess of the first one. Once the new apron is on then the cheekplates can get fitted and finished off. What we will do now the front is off is do all of the pipework, make the chimney and make the boiler cladding. That is very much easier with the cab in pieces. What else has gone on? Well flush with success at hitting 18gauge I thought I would make a start on the water tank ends. Turns out that forming 14 gauge is a wee bit harder. Originally these were pressed which isn't really an option so like the cheek plates these will need to be made in sections and gas welded together. Take sheet of 14gauge and mark it out so the corners can be tweaked on in the folder. The ends slip inside the body of the tank and are then riveted in. What is then needed s to make up the curves for the top corners and the bottom corners. Look on the top of the tank and you will see attempt one at forming the big corner. It is very much harder to stretch 2mm plate by hitting it with a bossing mallet. This attempt was not successful and we've gone back to the drawing board. We've had a picture like this before but what is that G Clamp doing there? It's holding the brake shoe on so we can measure things. Brakes that work. Well swanky. It took most of last weekend to do these bloody things. I don't know what the lining is made from but even touching it makes you itch like crazy. It was a bit of a pig to drill the stuff so it could be riveted on. The rivets were closed in the hydraulic press. I thought they looked pretty good. The upshot is that they fit spot on to the drums so we need very little movement on the shoes to apply the brakes fully. This is good because it leaves plenty of movement in the brake cylinder in reserve. So now we just need the front springs to come back (yet a bloody gain - they made new top leaves but made them from the wrong stock because they had run out of the right size. This meant they didn't fit in our spring hangers *rolls eyes*) and the tyres for the back to turn up and it will be able to sit down on its wheels for the first time.
  8. I've just twigged how late that GS is. Why was there such a big overlap between GS and BX production?
  9. While I appreciate that gentlemen never discuss money what is that car likely to sell for when you tire of it?
  10. Water is easy enough - you just carry a standpipe, hose and hydrant key. You aren't really supposed to do it but we've never been told off yet. Most of our running around is north of the border where the water is good enough to drink so we don't bother with any boiler treatments. The number of running hours is pretty tiny. If you were running day in day out then you'd probably take a lot more care over what you were putting in there. The tipping rams are just bonkers. There were all sorts of problems trying to fit everything in around the axle(s) and engine as well as position the ram in such a place as would let the body tip in one of three ways. What it meant was that to fit it in and keep the ram short the tipping cylinder is very close to the pivot point of the body which means that the load on the ram is very, very significant and the pressure needed in the cylinder is very high indeed and way in excess of the boiler pressure. Very late in the day some people messed around with engine driven oil pumps coupled to proper multi-stage hydraulic rams (I have seen a photo of one Foden steamer with such a set up and I believe the Argentinian Sentinels had proper hydraulics) for the tipping gear but by then the game was well and truly up.
  11. With a Super you should be pottering along at no more than 4 gallons to the mile. With the standard 170 gallon tank that gives you about 30-35 miles before you need to start looking for water which is a pain in the arse if you are trying to get somewhere. The S4 has a 450 gallon tank inside the tipping body which helps the range enormously. With the new Super there wil be the original tank behind the rear axle and then we'll make a pair of tanks to sit inside the body. My calculator tells me that will give us about 350 gallons which is a bit lower than I would like but shouldn't be too bad. That means you can bimble along at about 70-80 miles between stops. You can see the water tank in this photo - this should be pretty much the same as what the new one will look like but without the solids. We'll sit the tanks inside over the rear axle to keep some weight over them.
  12. 1. They're ugly. The S4 doesn't look too bad but that just looks like a short waggon with a big body. This was down to the location of the water tanks. On the S4 the tanks are in the cab whereas the Supers and DGs has the tank slung under the chassis behind the rear axle. On a tipper it had to be relocated to just behind the cab and the tipping body gets pushed back and I really don't like that. On top of that most Sentinel tippers are three way ones so they have to have stupid rear wings on them. Our S4 is an end tipper so it has standard rear wings which helps to keep things looking more normal and less tippery. A Super Sentinel tipper, yesterday. 2. Tipping bodies are nightmare to build. There is a lot (and I mean a lot) of rolled sections, teak and mahogany go into a tipping body. They are complicated, take a lot of riveting and a lot of wood. This is a lot of effort to go to for something that doesn't look good. 3. They are heavy. Like properly heavy. The tipping body on the S weighs about a ton which is a lot of weight to lug around for no good reason. It is worse on the Supers because later Sentinels used the boiler feed pump for hydraulic power whereas the earlier wagons used an injector (black magic device that produces a pressure higher than what you blow into it - real voodoo stuff) which needed a much bigger tipping cylinder. By big I mean about 12" bore. It is a truly massive bronze casting. Depending on the design of the body you are carrying 1 to 1.5 tons more than you need to be. 4. This doesn't apply to the Supers but the S4 tippers had a very short wheelbase which meant that the engine is pushed hard up against the boiler and is very close to the rear axle. That doesn't sound terrible until you want to slightly modify the valve timing... - Remove the cam gear covers. - Realise the cam gear covers cannot be removed because the boiler is in the way. - Opt to lower the front of the engine down to allow the cam gear covers to be removed. -Lift up the tipping body and prop it in place. - Realise that lowering the engine will mean removing the prop shaft. - Once the prop shaft is unbolted find out that because the shaft is so short there is not enough movement in the sliding joint to let the UJ clear the flywheel nut. - Block up the rear of the waggon and remove the pins from the rear springs. Now you can move the rear axle back a couple of inches. - Now you can remove the prop shaft. - Now with the overhead crane you can fight the engine mounts off and lower the engine to the ground. - Remove cam gear covers. - Modify valve timing. - Refitting is the reverse of removal. And some people thing they have it hard with Citroen CXs. The S4 was rebuilt as a tipper because it was built as a tipper and it was one of the few end tippers left. We regretted starting down that road from pretty much the first job we did and we are still regretting it now.
  13. I know Gilberns are shite. I know they are tacked together, low volume piles of stuff that no one else wanted. I know that the frames were wibbly wobbly things designed by someone who clearly wasn't the best chassis designer in the world and I know that as something to run they would be nothing but trouble. I know all that but I don't believe it. I love Gilberns. I love the fact they are Welsh and I love that they have a dragon on the grille. Top stuff.
  14. Not quite an entire one. One went down a ravine in Cumbria back in the late 20s (one story says it ran out of brakes, another says it was an insurance job) and for years what was left after the locals had salvaged what they could lay in the river. A lad from Appleby had known about it for a while and finally got round to sorting out the ownership of the wreckage so he could recover it. By the time it was dragged up what was left amounted to the boiler, the front part of the chassis, the front axle and wheels, the steering box and the remains of the cab. The waggon hit nearside first dso that side of the cab was mashed. The offside at least survived to be of some use building a few cabs. The waggon got rebuilt (as a flat bed on pneumatics rather than a tipper on solids - not that I am complaining because I hate tippers), lived in Scotland for a couple of decades and I think it has gone to live down in Cumbria again. I believe it is black these days.
  15. Things start to look a lot more waggoney these days so pictures of bits of cast steel begin to make more sense. Let's start with a first fit of the rear hubs and brake drums. When we last saw these they were in the lathe being turned. This is what they look like when they come out of the lathe. Note lifting strops. You do not lift these by hand. And this is what they look like when they are fitted for the first time to make sure all the measurements were somewhere near right. You will also see that there is a bit of chain held in place with some rope. This was to let us count up what chain we needed to buy. And from the front. It should now be clear how it works and why the crankshaft needed to have so many gears in it. Also in shot is the alternator which takes a chain drive off the back of the main drive sprocket. This is not original but the original set up looked shit, didn't work and you couldn't spin the dynamos of the day fast enough to get any meaningful output from them. This set up will let us spin the alternator fast enough to be able to drive round with full beam on at night. This is actually the smaller chain you could specify. If you were knocking seven bells out of the waggon you could opt for 2" pitch chains but these are more than enough for what we are doing. You will also see that everything lines up. Chain is surprisingly cheap these days even for Renold stuff. The alternator (it is an alternator in a dynamo looking body) so you can see the chain sprockets. Once the body is on you won't see any of this. Now we have some brake drums that just leaves the brake shoes to sort out. First you need a shaft to work the brakes. This is worked fairly hard so we've gone for EN24. Here is the shaft being turned down and having a thread cut on the end. And this is the paddle that screws onto the end. The brake arms turn the shaft and the paddle forces the shoes out. Modern wagon drums work in the same way. And these springs turned up. These hold the brake shoes about where they are meant to be. In the original set up these were the only return springs but on the steam brake modification there is a pair of big springs doing that job so we aren't asking very much of these. While in turning up mood these arrived too. They are the castings for the body mounting brackets. These bolt to the chassis rails and then mountings that are bolted to the oak bearers mate with these. I think the idea was to try to keep things flexible. For some reason this photo is upside down. And the S can't go out because the boiler inspector isn't coming out yet because lurgey so a historic wrong is being righted. When the paint was put on in 2008 something went wrong with the sides and we've not bothered to put it right. Here is some paint being subject to some major correction. Fortunately all of the paint which has gold leaf on it is fine. This is a relief. And at last we come to something that is almost, sort of related to the work of Autoshite. If you jump back to page 1, picture 1 you will see that the dominant feature of the cab are the two oddly shaped plates that fill in the gaps between the windscreens and the front panel which we shall call the cheek plates. Originally these were pressed and then "fitted" into whatever shape each finished waggon took. If you consider the manufacturing techniques, the materials involved and the tolerance between bolts and the holes shown in the drawings there must have been a lot of variation. Anyway, pressing them isn't an option so we'll have to do these by hand. This is a shame because I'm not a tin basher. What we did do was bought a copy of the DVD from this man here https://metalshapingzone.com/ . Which I would strongly recommend buying. I am sure there are others but this one is very helpful for no other reason than the rather important lesson that if something is going wrong just keep hitting until it goes right. The early stages of shaping something seem to be very disheartening and it was reassuring to see that when someone who knows what they are doing starts a job it also looks like you've driven over it. Anyway. some bits of 18swg sheet steel cut roughly to the right sort of shape so you have enough metal but not too much. The rotten piece of steel is roughly what we are trying to make. It was pulled from a river bed in Cumbria in the late 1980s so it's had a hard life. If you look carefully at the pattern you'll see felt tip pen markings on it. I came up with a plan to make it in three pieces. and the black lines show roughly what the three pieces will need to look like. And you need some hammers. We have amassed a fair collection of body hammers, spoons, slappers and dollies. If only we knew what we were doing with them. You can probably make out that the square faced hammer is a shrinking hammer. And because we are bashing curves then some stakes are a good idea too. A few years ago we found a job lot of stakes which I suspect came out of a school workshop and they come on all sorts of shapes and sizes. This is the one I have found the most useful. What I don't have just now is a picture of the leather sand bag which is also essential for hitting things. And off we go. I started by taking a best guess at the development of the slightly conical shape is was aiming for and formed it in the folders. I am quite sure those who know what they are doing are laughing already and I'm going to need to spend an age dressing out the fold marks but it was a start. Once the cone shape was there you need to start forming the flange where it fixes to the apron plate (they are rivetted in). Here is the start of the offside one. You can probably see that the flange is pretty tight at the top and then eases as you come along the front apron. The exact curve is difficult to get right but when it is wrong you can see it straight away so you just keep working until it looks right. And you just keep working it until it goes right. It is painfully slow. You can also see I've been messing around with a slapper dressing out the fold marks. I reckon that it is fitting pretty well here. And from the side. You will also see that the offside door got made and fitted too. You should be ble to see why the flange has to be stretched and dressed into shape because you are trying to form more than one curve. I am pretty sure that this is why apprenticeships used to be seven years long. The panels are handed so while we have a pattern for an off side one there isn't anything to copy for the nearside. What I decided to do was to get one bit of the offside done then straight away do the same section on the near side. That way I wouldn't forget how I made the bloody thing and the chances of making things look right from side to side got better. This is the nearside one somewhere near. It is not easy to make out but it should be possible to see where the curves are and why they have taken a lot of stretching and dressing to get the flange right. The piece of angle iron is part ofthe cab. That is what the windscreen sits over. Then flushed with success I pressed on with the second section of the nearside one. You can't make it out but the apron is curved across the front (about a 12 foot radius) so there was yet another curve to fit this to. It is about this point that the clamp situation became critical so more were ordered. And from the side. The join between the apron plate and the cheek plates is "hidden" by a D beading that is formed around the top of the apron plate. Note clamps everywhere. The butt hasn't been fitted properly yet but it is getting there. Once it is in the right place it I'll gas weld it. You see both the inside and the outside of these panels so the welds will need to be good. And that then leaves the spherical bit to fill in the corner. I only got this started last weekend so it is still a work in progress. Stretched it with a ball pein hammer over the sandbag and then just keep dressing it over the stake until the shape starts to appear. See? It curves in both directions. Note the elderly Sykes Pickavant body hammer. Nice hammer that. So this weekend's job is to keep hitting that until it fits and then start tacking things up.
  16. JimH

    Youtube moments

    I'll put this here because I've noticed some love for this man's work. Some kind soul has uploaded some good quality versions of a reasonably complete archive of Jonathan Meades' programmes just here: Arranged by series Not only does he witter on in a very entertaining fashion his programmes invariably contain no shortage of chod. As an aside, I have a daydream of an alternate reality Top Gear with LJK Setright, Jonathan Meades and Will Self. That would have been good car telly.
  17. The sprockets are just steel with no surface treatment. The chains are of the roller variety so the relative movement between chain and sprocket is not great. We did exactly the same thing on the last one and they’ve lasted for about 20k so far. You had a choice of 1.75” or 2” pitch chain back in the day and loads of people still make them in those sizes so we went for the smaller ones because they are more than up to the job. We need to order some of Renolds finest soon.
  18. It's been a while. I've not done a huge amount since the lurgey got out because I've been working/home schooling/trying to finish houses/trying to be Capability Sodding Brown. However, someone else has been working largely interupted by having to do any proper work so progress has been brisk. We left the hubs somewhere near machined. However, there is a lot of things to get inthe right place around these so here is a hub sitting on a dummy axle trying to work out what will go where. It should be pretty clear now what goes where. The straight edge is giving the line of the chain. The brake drum/sprocket bolts to the inside flange and the wheel to the out flange. And if the wheel is to be bolted on then you need some wheel studs. So someone had to stand in front of the lathe making 20 of the buggers. And you also need a brake drum. These were cast originally but mainly because machining the sprocket on would be expensive we have fabricated our ones. You won't be able to see them when they are on. Here is the rolled drum with the flame cut mounting flange. Then I missed a load of photos as the drum was bored out, the mounting flange machined and fitted then a mountain of weld piled in joining the two together. So here is a big jump to a welded up and partially machined drum being fitted to the hub. But the drum also needs some spikey bits for the chain to snag on. These were water jet cut a couple of years back but they needed popped in the big lathe to bore them out to size. Then once it is at the right size it can be slipped onto the drum ready for welding. This amount of welding tends to pull things all over the shop so there is plenty of machining allowance should anything not end up in the right place. The bit of pipe is temporary. It comes out once everything is welded. The reason that the drum overhangs the sprocket is to form a groove to catch the oil off the chain. Without this the oil runs onto the brake drum and doesn't help slow you down. Then you need an axle. Here is the second axle. The first bit of bar that was ordered as about 8" to short. You have to laugh, eh? We have to machine it like this because the big Swift is very big but the spindle bore is not big enough to take the axle. Another view of a long and heavy bit of bar. And once you have it turned down you can put it all together like this. Surprisingly it slipped together very easily so something must have gone right. A brand new Super Sentinel rear axle. Not too many people built one of these. In all this progress someone got bored and painted a lathe. They aren't DSG's but these Swifts are really nice to work with. And here is a front hub cap all machined and milled so your feet don't slip off them. Oh, and while we are at the front axle, what's missing? That's right. It's these bloody things which are going back for the second time because they are still not right. However, it was our fault they were wrong this time. I thought the front axle was very close to the ground. As well as front hub caps you need some for the rear. We had a pattern made for these because it was going to be too much of a pain to fabricate them. And the other cap sitting where it is meant to be. This assembly is very, very heavy. A pair of boiler clack valves (non-return valves) machined with their seats, valves and spindles in place. These let water from the feed pump and injector pass into the boiler. And this is the bottle that smooths out the flow from the water pump. This had one or two cracks in it from frost damage so it was brazed up and made to look pretty. It will be painted black. And Vintage Wings and Radiators made a pair of rear wings for us. With the correct swoopy trailing edge so they look all fast and high performance. And finally here is the S4 all back together and ready to go again. Incidentally I know I tend to rush through these things but I assume that most people don't give much of a toss about the finer points of lining up the drive sprockets. If there is anything you want to know more about just ask. Do understand that the answer might start to get a bit dull.
  19. Boiler insurance for models isn't that big a gyp. The standards refer to pressure/volume ratios and most models fall into the "sound engineering practice" category rather than having to meet any modern design criteria. I have my own views on this as there appears to be a number of people playing fast and loose with what is or isn't a model. Which sort ofreminds me...
  20. In a post about gearboxes @Talbot said... I never knew this car existed. I cannot imagine who drove a Horizon and thought to themselves "You know what? This would be great if only it were even more clattery"
  21. Glad it got there. BL Lickers will probably know that in earlier iterations of the handbooks the adverts for Special Tuning were more detailed and would usually have a long list of mouth watering things to buy like fuel injection systems and Amal carbs for your 8 port heads. Just the sort of thing you need to read about when you have just bought a 1300 Marina DL. I have somewhere a typed letter from ST with a list of things they could supply for Dolomite Sprints. This included an independent rear suspension set up which IIRC would have cost you 50% of the new car price.
  22. Nowt to do with the ignition. It's that funny foriegn food playing havoc with it. Get down the Berni and it'll be as right as rain.
  23. No. There is no way on God's clean earth that a VDP driver would drink something French. It is recessed to fit your sherry glass.
  24. Have you any experience with any of these?
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