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Triumph - That was a year that was..

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Friday I drove for seven hours to buy and collect the engine,  then Saturday late morning / early afternoon I managed to inch it out of the back of my Chrysler Voyager (with tail lift rams which no longer hold the back door open :angry:) ..without dropping the motor and smashing it  (..or my toes).    yippee !  :D

Thereafter, for just a couple of hours in the afternoon I started into scraping off the heavier crud and a first wipe down with home-mixed cleaning penetrating lube  ..so I might dismantle without that grit dropping inside. 


^ This is as was, and below is after getting my hands dirty.


Access to clean around the front cases was awkward and in any case I would need to removed the fan and pulley sometime soon, so I got on and did that. (NB. I am taking photos of their assembly order).  The water pump was seized but that freed off nicely with a squirt of penetrating oil and a little careful tapping.




^ This is a rare-to-survive six blade fan for hot climates. To remove the pulley and extension ; the fan itself is taken off first. Then under that is a long bolt (30mm open ended spanner needed) which goes all the way through the extension nose and threads into the end of the crankshaft itself. With that removed the pulley and the (straight machined) coupling is eased off the crank with its woodruff key.

The fan has aluminium blades and the pulley itself are lightweight (two piece) pressings, but that extension and its bolt are massively heavy.  I guess this is left over from the side-screen TR's and TR4 model which had starter-handle dogs on its end.  

With those removed, I continued to scrape and clean the front engine mounts, the camshaft chain cover and surrounding area. I guess that front seal must have been leaking because the oil-grit crud was pretty heavy under it and down either side of the engine and its sump.  Note to self ; Buy some rubber gloves. !


The paint on the front cover and sump pressing is very thin & applied without primer  ..and scrapes off very easily.  It's pretty amazing that any of it remained after five a half decades. There's now a coating of light oil on them, which will fend off surface rust until I get around to cleaning them up for paint. I haven't seen under the sump yet but it's sides and this chain cover are in very good shape. 

I also mixed-up some penetrating fluid and poured that into each bore in the hope it might free the cylinders up.  The spark plugs were in very tight.  Three of them were Champion and the fourth was Esso branded.  And aside from being a bit sotty, all looking in half decent shape.  I hadn't realised they were short reach plugs. 




^ so that was the heavy crud off the outside.  Mind you the black sludge deposits on the rockers (below) indicate a prior owner(s) ran the car on negligible budget...


^photographed before cleaning up the crankcase.  I'd removed the rocker cover and so aware of this before I bought the engine, so it wasn't a surprise.  Despite the oil sludge (which oddly looks blue-grey in this flash photograph)  I'm pleased that (aside from the rocker cover studs) its all there and the adjusters aren't all chewed up, from having been adjusted with a pipe wrench !    Still, I would not be surprised if the bearing journals were scored and very worn. 

Hey-ho it is some 54 years old and from a car which was most likely a fun ride for at least one generation of student.  The forward-most manifold stud has been sheared off but there's a good amount of shank to get grips onto.   Cylinder#2 is on its exhaust and #4  inlet is open. Their pistons are 1/4 the way down the barrels, and their piston crowns can be seen through the spark plug holes. Conversely #1 & #3 are 3/4 of the way down so are out of sight. But poking around with a bit of wire through the spark plug holes #3 piston crown feels very lumpy ..which is not what i might have expected.  I wonder if there's a hole through it ?        

There's still oil in the sump so I couldn't turn the engine on its side yet.  So I guess the next task will be to remove the oil filter, drain the oil and lift the block off the sump. Then we'll see if there are any horrors lurking in the slimy darkness.  But I'll not be doing that tonight.


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Sunday, so I'm just pottering, but I wanted to see if my home-brew penetrating oil had worked any ..to free up this seized engine.

I started off by releasing the rocker / tappet adjusters ..to minimise as much resistance as I could.  And then scratch marked the flywheel mounting flange so that I might see any movement relative to the rear-main bearing cap bolt head. 


Using two long and two short extension bars from 1/2" drive socket sets for leverage  on the flywheel mounting bolts  (..so what that ; 70cm (28") ..I struggled.

Trying to do this and hold the engine upright isn't very easy on your own.   Working back n' forth from one side of the engine to the other with no movement whatsoever, I then heard a gentle thud.  It was barely discernibly, which I wouldn't have heard if the radio had been on.  Did I break something ?  :wacko:

Not sure., but the mark appeared to have just moved a tiny amount  ..perhaps 1/2 mm I couldn't be sure.     I continued working one way and then the other, tiny thud to tiny ..it wasn't going very far ..just that 1/2mm.    No hang on that time it was a whole mm  !   Back n' forth, around the bike lift, I could now get the mark to move 1mm each time. And then the mark jumped 3mm (1/8").   whoppie  !  :)   ..but it then locked up in that position :huh: 

So with my considerable weight bearing down upon the end of the lever ..  Yeah !    ..It moved back 1/2mm.  Working again, much back n' forth to get leverage and yet hold the engine up .. 1/2mm  movement .. then 1mm ..and then aargh .. I thought an extension bar had broken. The four pieces clattered to the floor.

But no it was  eureka !   it wasn't yet free but the crank had turned perhaps 20 degrees.   Then it was just a matter of working that around and back again.  There was pop sound as a valve opened opened or perhaps closed (?) for the first time in numerous years. And then another. In short time I got the crank to turn 360 degrees. You could hear the surface rust being scraped off a rear cylinder bore (most likely #3).  And then as if a spit of disgust, my penetrating fluid splurted out of #4 cylinder exhaust port.  Ha, I side-stepped just in time !   I steadily worked the crank around until I had seen each of the tappets dip their head in reverence to the lever bar.   Job done, as it became easier and freer with every turn.        

I added some more penetrating fluid, and am now leaving that to soak through the piston rings. 

It only took an hour but I feel it was a good days work. I'm well chuffed. B)

It might all still need replacing, but being free does make dismantling things so very much easier.



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. . spending money like it's going out of fashion  ..

I must be getting old and suddenly consciously aware of just how easily an engine of this weight falling over might put me out of action for months, if not do more serious damage.  A crushed foot or hand even sounds painful !   ..when did I become less than a young fool ?  

I guess my aluminium motorcycle engines just never presented such a risk.   So for £37.67 including 48 hour delivery . . .

SwitZer Transmission / Engine support Stand 1000lbs / 450kg  < here  > .

I have a welder so might add a few bits. I think it'll be strong enough but sometimes a little extra bracing for stiffness is useful. And I'd like to add some sort of brakes.

I'll let you know how well it works. 


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^ Good point.  The motorcycle lift the engine is presently on will raise the engine a bit more.  I don't know how the heights will then correspond, but I can always lever the motor higher up on addition wooden packing-blocks.   I have the boat's block n' tackle from the roof's rafter which I'm just using as a safety line. That's strong enough as a main-sail sheet on my 30ft 3-1/2 tonne cruising catamaran, but I really have no idea what lifting load that would safely take ..so perhaps a chain or wire block n' tackle ought to be my next purchase.  I could do with a wire winch for my boat but I'd have to think how that might be used in conjunction with a roof beam.    

Any suggestion would be welcome.

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Engine crane is a possibility I've considered buying, but I really don't have the space to have even a folding one permanently stored in my single garage, so perhaps I'll have to hire or borrow one.  Even then I'm not sure how useful it would be as there's very limited space to move it around when it's erected for use.

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1 hour ago, SiC said:

Engine crane

Thanks, it got me thinking.

ok., more spending.. just in case I need it to lift this motor,  but also something I was going to buy for my boat (for raising / lowering its mast).  

1200lb winch using webbing for £16.35  < here >

I considered half a tonne (545kg) was about as strong as anything (roof beam or boat) that I might attach it to, so why buy heavier duty.?   And I chose the webbing because I prefer the feel when handling it and it won't scuff across the boat deck the same as wire does.  Nor will it corrode.

Again I'll let you know how I get on with it.  


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^ I guess it all comes down to purchase ratio,  but yes I find the relatively lightweight Sunbeam motorcycle engines a bit of a lift nowadays and that's probably quarter the weight of this Triumph lump. 


This afternoon I set about tackling the sheared off manifolds studs in the head, and those in the exhaust manifold itself.  I thought I had one sheared off in the head and the three in in the exhaust manifold where the down-pipe clamps to it.  But then I found another one in the head which had sheared off just proud of its hole (mostly hidden in the old gasket).  

24 hours soaking in penetrating fluid, and my attempt to remove the longer sheared off studs failed.,  with three out of the four shearing off just inside their holes. Just one came out,  so the others needed to be drilled . .


^ Buckling down., starting off with a centre punch and then a small drill ..constantly checking that was going in perpendicular to the surface.  

Similarly with the one sheared off in the cylinder head (below) ..




^ ..and then this is the other one I found after scraping the old gasket away.


Looking on the positive side...  drilling out all four sheared off studs at once wasn't so bad - as I already had the right size of drill bit in the cordless. :P


^ all studs were first drilled through with a 1.5mm bit,  and then the sequence was ;  3.5,   5mm,   6.5,    7   and  7.5mm.  The latter being the largest hole without cutting into the original threads. 

Of course,  the previous smaller hole drilled through the stud guided the next size up, so helped keep things central to the hole - but as a visual guide to each drilling I eyed up the drill parallel to another stud I'd screwed into the good hole.


^ Drilled with 7.5mm.  I had hoped to be able to prise the remain stud (thread coil) out of the hole,  but it didn't want to play nicely.  So I had to tap each hole out again. The tap bit into the original thread so it was just the old stud being cut out.  Btw. each is a  3/8" Whitworth thread.



The same was done with the two sheared off studs in the cylinder head.  . .


Naturally I ran the tap into the other holes just to clean them out. 

I'm pleased.. The task (try to remove four studs, only one of which came out, and to drill out four studs and clean their threads out) took 4-hours this afternoon, so not nearly as bad as it might have been, and I'm glad not to be paying someone £50/hr + VAT to do them.!      

I now have just the one, rear-most original manifold stud, that will have to come out.  I'm expecting it to shear off, which is why I didn't do it today (..I used it as a visual guide for my drilling square into the block).  



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7 hours ago, Bfg said:

Engine crane is a possibility I've considered buying, but I really don't have the space to have even a folding one permanently stored in my single garage, so perhaps I'll have to hire or borrow one.  Even then I'm not sure how useful it would be as there's very limited space to move it around when it's erected for use.

Agreed, they are a bit of a pain to store. Not light either! The Clarke one I have (ex @PhilA ) weights around 80kg. However my thoughts were not only moving it onto the engine stand but also for you to get the engine back into a car. 

They do have their uses in moving other really heavy stuff around too though. 

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^ yes indeed, It's suggested that they're useful when lifting the body tub off the chassis too.  

If I was planning on doing more of this sort of work then I'd go for a crane ..but I'm hoping not to.  It would be nice, just for a change like, to restore a car and then to actually seriously enjoy it ..year after year.

I don't know what weight capacity yours is but I'm told that I would have needed a 2-ton  ..because the jib needs to extended fully when putting the engine in. I'll see how I get on with the winch from the garage roof beam. I that doesn't work I'll hire or borrow an engine crane.   In the meantime I need to get a lifting eye for the back of the engine and perhaps a balance beam.

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stole another couple of hours away ..into the garage this afternoon.  It was chilly cool but a little more progress was made  ..and that was even in the right direction !


^ I started off with wrestling with the last, rearmost manifold stud.  It was *rather* tight !  I had been forewarned this stud goes through to collide with the rear RH cyl.head stud (the one which is missing) ..so anticipated its thread would be damaged inside.  I was not disappointed, but with the cyl.head stud out the way I managed to free the exhaust stud by going inwards. I'm sure the big hammer helped rattle any rust on the threads too !   Thereafter it was a matter of carefully back and forth reshaping its damaged thread (inside the cylinder head stud hole) back into its tapped hole.  It took a time but we won. 

Very kindly the seller of the engine gave me a cylinder head stud, so after cleaning out it's hole of crud - I then proceeded to fit that. .


^ fitting the cylinder head stud took a fair amount of back n' forthing to clean out and reshape the threads, but again - Success. 


^ It's starting to look like a complete engine.   Tbh.,  This engine is built like the Forth Road Bridge, there's nothing lightweight, sporting or finite engineered about its construction. 

I happened to find the 7/16" Whitworth studs are much the same size as used on my 1950's Sunbeam motorcycles (where they are used as cylinder head bolts !). These are a tad too long in their threads so I'll have to trim them off to suit, but I reckon even used Sunbeam ones would be fine to simply hold the manifolds on with.   

And the other end had 7/16" BSF threads so that'll be odd, because the Triumph appears to generally use UNF threads.    Ding !  that triggers a thought..  If I recall (some ?) Whitworth sizes correspond to UNC threads.  So perhaps that's what the Triumph holes are tapped for., UNC to go with their UNF ?

^^ I also found a screw adapter to go into the water heater hole in the block.  Funny things I keep over the years.  No idea where it came from but it may have been off the TR4 I part restored in the early 90's.  It doesn't do anything but raise the hole from the block to 2" above it, but it looks more complete.  More importantly it tells me the exact tapered thread size for when I go shopping for the correct fitting.


Moving on .. to the other side of the engine. .


^ Oil filter removed, and the clutch slave cylinder tie bar, and to drain the black crude oil.

That square-head drain plug had me wondering because it's a 7/16" size spanner and it wasn't going to shift without chewing things up (both the jaws on a lightweight spanner and the square peg).  So instead I used my biggest adjustable spanner (which has wide jaws) and hammered that on as an interference fit and then with a two-foot extension bar ..and at the same time hammering onto the end of the square peg,  it came loose surprisingly easily (and undamaged).  So more success.  This is becoming a nice habit. !

Tonight at the Sorrel Horse, Barham is the local TSSC club night.  So that's it I'm off to have a beer.

I bid you a good evening. 



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parcels arrived ..early Christmas an all


^ yesterday,  a day or two earlier than expected from HandyStraps..   

I'll mount that onto a plate with an eye on it's end, and I'll pull the side cover off to grease the gears before use. . then I'll see if it it works hanging from the roof beam in my garage.

And then today  . .


^  The engine stand, half a day later than the "48 hour delivery" might have implied, but still within reason.   B)

Yesterday I looked on line to see how to attach an engine to one of these, as I'd never done this before.  And then took myself off to Suffolk Fasteners to buy an assortment of bolts I might need.  I had to guesstimate the length I'd need,  so today we'll see if what I have will do. 

In the meantime, I got back from the TSSC club night on Tuesday, where aside from other things a friend (who's a bit of a Del boy) from the TR group was talking to someone else about having missed a few worthwhile purchases by asking questions first, and then before he even gets an answer someone else has got in there and bought the item. He was saying how he now tends to take a risk on the item's condition and buys first and asks questions thereafter..   

Well, on getting in on that chilly cold evening, I happened to spot a pair of 1966 Alfin style rear brake drums, for sale, to fit the TR4A - TR6.  There was no photo but then they were also not a lot of money.  I knew Alfin made different styles but I didn't know what these were,  never-the-less they are described as being from the right era ..as my intended car is from 1965 - I thought they can't be too wrong.  At 11pm I wasn't going to find out which particular ones they were - but I followed the message of what I'd overheard just an hour before, and dropped the seller an email to say I'd happily buy them as long "as they are reusable even if a little refacing is required"


I guess I was the first, so yesterday morning he sent me a few piccies and offered them to me. I've agreed to buy.  So now all I have to do is to get them from Berkshire to Suffolk.

Lots of nice toys ! 

This now means ; I have bought a set of original steel wheels, their hubcaps, a pair of seats, a steel gearbox cover,  a bit of a dashboard, an alloy rocker cover, then an engine, and now rear brake drums - but not yet the car itself.  Am I doing something wrong here ?   :unsure:


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Hi Dave, 

The chap has had a difficult year but he / we are still in touch every other week or so.  A month or two ago I did ask him direct if he'd rather I just go away ? But he said no, and he still wishes to go through with it.  It was the beginning of May that we came to an agreement, but I'm sorta Ok with it ..as I have lots to get on with in the meantime, I just shuffle my jobs-to-do around.


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Yesterday was not so productive, in terms getting on with the engine itself, but I did get the winch set up and also a first arrangement of the engine stand. .


I removed the covers off the winch and greases the gears inside. As expected they were bone dry.  And I drilled a piece of flat bar which I through-bolted to the base of the winch. This is plenty long enough for the handle to turn, however with the weight of this lump it bends so I think I'll make another from a more robust length of steel.   

The hook on the winch's strap I clipped onto the rope I have around the garage roof beam ..so the winch goes up n' down with the engine. This means that they are always in close reach of each other.  The garage roof beams are 5-1/2" x 3" timber, but as this engine lift is midway to its span - I cut a 3" x 3" timber prop to place under it.  I don't know how much the beam would have bowed under that sort of weight but I had left 1/8" between the end of the prop and the beam ..and when the engine was lifted - that prop was in tight.  

I tentatively lifted the engine, just taking the weight ..with the motorcycle lift still under it.  Then lowered it and adjusted the position of strop attached to the engine to better adjust to its centre of gravity (so the engine lifted up squarely.  The winch's inside ratchet clicks as it goes up, and holds that engine's position without the need to activate a locking latch.  Turn the handle the other way and it slowly comes down again.  I don't know how it works because there's no ratchet lever to release ..but it does work. 

I tried again and decided to relocate the wire strop, where I had fastened it to the bellhousing end of the engine. I used a block of wood to hold the wire away from the cylinder head.  Setting these things up for the first time takes a fair amount of fiddling around ..but hopefully will be easily / quickly repeatable next time it's used.


^  Fraction of inch at a time I tested it, up and down, allowing the winches strap to slip tight around its drum. I left it for a while (as I was greasing the castors and assembling the engine stand) just to check that the winch wasn't slowly loosening on its own.  It wasn't.   In time and after a few more lifts and lowerings,  I felt a little more confident and so removed the transport pallet out of the way.  Success.!


With the castors greased the engine stand was then assembled. I must admit I'm pleased with the apparent quality of this very inexpensive  stand.   There are x3 through-bolts at the upright to base joint,  but only one of those secures the socketed forward extension to the castored wheels ..so I reckon (when the stand is not being used) I could pull that out and then the two parts will lay flat for storage.  

I checked the rotisserie spindle in the tube, as I'd read that sometimes there can be a burr from the holes being drilled. These were fine, and the holes locking pin holes all aligned, so I greased the spindle and its tube.

I had looked on-line how these stands are usually attached to the engine around the gearbox mounting flange.  But surely that would make turning the engine over (crank, pistons, etc) really difficult ?  I'd like to get to that end of the engine to turn the crank via its flywheel ..or at least its fixing bolts.  I also seemed to recall reading that with the stand mounted on that end makes removing the rear main-bearing awkward, and sometimes impossible. 

I had seen on an American website and here on the TR forum where engines had been mounted from their side. That made more sense to me, not least because the engine's weight (frightfully massive to me !) is  lesser cantilevered so far out from the stand.   The LH side of the 4-cyl engine is lumpy.  It has a ridge for the camshaft half way down the block and a sizeable lump of casting poking out where the distributor is fitted.  Where the oil filter and the petrol pump were fixed would provide good places to bolt the stand to, but there is nowhere below this and the only place above them were the two small holes intended just to mount the ignition coil.  The engine's weight partly hanging on such a small fastening might be theoretically plausible ..but to me would be a worry.       

Ok I thought - the RHS of the engine then.  That's reasonably flat, but is of limited use ..if the cylinder head needs to be removed ..because the stand's top fixing brackets go onto where the manifolds bolt. That side's lower fastenings are where the dynamo bracket fit at the front, and the drain tap for the water jacket at the rear. These  have a decent size boss so also ought to be plenty strong enough.  So with four good places to bolt to - it's where I chose to do it.   There is another issue though.. if one wishes to spin the engine over, because (..on this stand) the turning one way - the starter motor mounting would interfere with the stand's upright leg.  And turning the other way - the front the engine mount plate likewise sticks out. 



^ taking the engine's weight for the first time. The stand's upright leg is just 1/2" clear of the sump flange, so the engine's weight is least cantilevered. 


^ The base of the stand is not bending, what is seen above is distortion from the camera lens. Indeed this stand feels very sturdy with or without the engine on it, and the balance point I chose is (so far) good.  However the engine can only be rotated to this (above) angle in either direction before the stand's leg fouls the engine mounting plate or the starter motor housing.  It needs to go out 3" (75mm) or thereabouts to clear.  The rotisserie spindle is 6-3/8" long (160mm) so with it pulled out to clear the front engine mount, there would still be 3-3/8" (85mm) of the spindle in the tube.  I won't need to fully rotate the engine very often, so later today I'll see if doing this, with the winch as a security line, is (safely) feasible.  

Hey, I can always reattach the stand elsewhere if it doesn't work out, or if I remove the cylinder head.   But in the meantime, this position does give me access to easily turn the crankshaft,  the front end of the engine including the cam-chain cover, and of course the rockers and the LHS of the engine (distributor, oil filter, fuel pump, etc.).  The sump can be dropped ..and at 45 degrees either way - I'll have reasonably decent access under the engine.  It seems that wherever these stands are mounted will be a compromise to something.

As I say I've never used one of these engine stands before, and I find the weight of this cast iron engine quite intimidating, so I'll take things at a slow pace. I'm slowly learning. 


p.s. the flywheel supplied with the engine is the wrong one. Its pcd is 2-1/4" and the flywheel mounting appears to be 3-1/4".  I've called the seller and he'll check what's what and let me know.

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a little more this afternoon. Starting with spinning the prop  ..oh OK.,  the engine.


^ with the winch slid back along the strop rearward - Take the weight of the engine on the winch. Pull the spindle part way out of the stand (..it's still in the tube by over 3",  but I have a scaffolding pole in there just in case the winch should fail).


^ lift it a little higher ..so the stand is lifted, a couple of inches off the floor, and rotate the stand under and passed the front engine mount bracket. Stuff a rag in there to prevent it scratching the stand.  And then gently lower the winch.


^ with the engine hanging front end down - push the spindle back into the tube. And lower the winch.  It's simple but a little nerve wracking first time around and with equipment I don't yet trust. 

I didn't rotate the engine further than this ..because the sump, although drained of oil, has not been cleaned out of its sludge.  And I didn't want that gunge up inside the block.  However at the moment I cannot see why it shouldn't now fully invert - on the stand.

Turning the engine back upright is the same operation ..in reverse.

It worked fine but I think I'll extend the length of this spindle ..and add a couple of safety pins. Then it will just be a matter of sliding the spindle out along its tube, turning the engine, and then pushing the spindle back into the tube (ie. normal position).   

Although I can't remove the cylinder head with the engine stand mounted onto the side ..all in all - I'm happy with it being like this. 


Now back to work .

When the engine was on end I took the opportunity to just slightly loosened all the sump bolts.  So then, with the engine back upright on its stand, but canted to 45 degrees . . .


^ bolts out and straight into a jar of old petrol ..to clean them.




I reckon that reddish colour is the penetrating fluid I put into the bores. It's leaked passed the piston rings. 


Otherwise yuk in the bottom of the pan. Black sludge with white metal by the look of it.  BUT., there are no nasty hard chunks !   Yippee !


^ a pair of disposable plastic gloves, half an hour with a scraper to get out the heavier deposits, 1/2 pint of old petrol,  a dozen paper towels ..and both inside and out is clean enough to handle . 

That's the progress I wanted to make.  And I'm really chuffed there's no nasty surprises (no big bits) in the sump.  

I also replaced the link from the winch to the lifting strop with a piece of 6 x 50mm flat bar.  So all in all ..a good afternoon's work.


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