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Wiper investigation today.  First item to address was the play in the wiper mechanism which was causing one of the mechanism arms to chafe against the back of the dashboard.  The electric wiper motor has a drive shaft that comes out of the back and connects to a central piece on the dashboard.  This central piece then connects via a shorter arm to the passenger side wiper box, and then by a longer arm to the driver's side wiper box.




The problem is the longer arm which flops about too much.  By removing the split pin and inserting a very thin washer it removed what play could be removed and still allow the split pin to be installed.  The other issue is that the motor doesn't seem particularly strong and really struggled to move if the wipers were actually against the screen.  Grease in the gearbox of the wiper motor was the main suspicion here and, on opening it up, the grease inside looked and felt for all the world like window putty.



I don't have any suitable grease at the moment, but when I do this will be cleaned out and regreased accordingly which will hopefully restore proper functionality.  Did a bit more video experimenting too today, and braved putting myself on camera.  Be kind.



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I enjoyed that video, you came across really well.  I did chuckle at the 'wild' neighbour butting in to ask how you are getting on. 

I didn't quite pick up on the screw issue, but you mentioned that they weren't magnetic (perhaps brass?).  If the issue is that the screw won't stay put and it's recessed, you could use a captive screwdriver if the screw heads are slotted.


I have one and it sees the light of day occasionally for furniture assembly and work things.  It really helps when you have a screw that needs to be located at somewhere that you can't reach.

Electrical tape around a conventional screwdriver also does the job.

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I'm *just* old enough to remember the old slam door carriages and that scramble for the smokers in the bit between carriages to shove down the sliding window and start fumbling about for the handle. Top tip on the screwdriver, that's exactly the sort of tool that's needed.  The screws are steel, but I suspect the zinc plating is why they're not sticking to my magnetic screwdrivers.

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A bit of Blu -Tac can also work to hold screw. 

(The old slam door train doors were lethal in so many ways - particularly commuters who opened the door like a battering ram before the train stopped for a quick exit!)

Great work.  Every bit of this car is interesting to see. The wiper 'gearbox' was probably virtually hand made at the Lanchester works?

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We got a little further on the Lanchester today so here is an update for you.  First task was to try and install the dashboard for which the steering wheel had to be removed.  We're both used to cars where you pop off the centre and undo the big nut behind so when we popped the horn button off the Lanchester and found two brass screws behind it we weren't entirely sure how to proceed.  We did the seemingly sensible thing and attempted to undo the screws, one of which did, and one of which decided that the brass it was made of had about the same tensile strength as butter.

After careful application of a drill, we removed the head from the screw and got the contact plate removed to reveal... another brass screw.  Similarly this one appeared to be made of butter so it was time for the drill again.  It was also time for that sinking feeling that we weren't doing this correctly and were now too far in to go back since the first screw we removed the head from would not come out.  Neither would the second screw, they both just spin and spin.

It wasn't any clearer at this point and we're pretty sure this isn't how you do it.  Of course, now we have to remove all of this anyway to replace the brass/butter screws to stand any chance of removing the steering wheel and are no closer to getting the dashboard installed.  We made careful note of the order of components removed and have put them aside safely.  If nothing else, all of these components will at least receive a thorough clean and fresh grease before reassembly.

We suspect a puller of some sort is required.  There's no sign of a grub screw or pin or similar anywhere on the steering wheel, and no sign of other fixings inside the steering wheel hub, so our current working theory based on what info we could find is that the central boss for the trafficator mechanism is a push fit onto a spline and behind it will be a large nut that holds the steering wheel on its own splined mechanism.  Dropping the steering column isn't exactly straightforward, it looks like a good amount of the preselector mechanism also needs to be disconnected to do it and we may even need to disconnect the steering box.  Rather than make things any worse, we've left this alone for now to do some research and the dashboard is on the back seat awaiting instalation.  I suppose that means we've technically put the dashboard in the car, just not the way Lanchester and Barker intended.

We had rather more success with the new jigsaw for cutting out the new door cards.  We're just waiting on the bifurcated rivets arriving so that we can put the door cards back together properly and they should be a fairly simple thing to refit, we hope.


For a more in depth look at how the door cards are constructed, and to hear a very loud plane we couldn't identify, there is another video.


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Interesting getting in the minds of the people who built this car.  Presumably it was a rolling chassis around which the body was constructed at Barker. Whether it came down from the Lanchester works with or without the steering and dash in situ or whether these were built in 'in house' at Barker who knows. Attached is the kind of thing Rolls Royce sold to coachbuilders.


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It was probably done on the bench so it could be hauled in and all the wires and levers be wiggled into place, the assembly clamped in and everything attached. 

This is going by various advertising films and Pathé I've seen over the years, they all seem to treat the steering column as a single item to be put in when there was space to do so, easing construction.

Once the body's on, access is bloody awkward, I should imagine, and knowing coachbuilt stuff, probably at the wrong angle with the wrong access to actually come out as an assembly because the roof is in the way...



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On 10/11/2020 at 11:12 AM, colc said:

A quick Google shows that a Lanchester 10 wheel is held on by a "taper and key"...which is probably of no help whatsoever.......

Precursor to the splined shaft; all held together with a nut. 

Has one problem if it's not done up properly that the key falls out and if the wheel comes slightly loose on the taper it'll just spin. This is why steering is now done with splines.

Just make sure it's clean and torqued correctly and it won't fall off. (Same goes for any part of the car, really).



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  • 2 weeks later...

An update, but not a Lanchester one.  Work has stalled because the Princess engine needs rebuilding so my attentions are diverted that way.  As soon as I have the Princess squared away, momentum should pick back up here.  The weather is conspiring against us too, most of what's on the next phase is best done outdoors with two people in the dry and since we've now apparently entered monsoon season we've not had the free time together when it's been dry to get on with things.

We do have all the parts collected to put the door cards back together and we're almost at the point where we can put the first two back together.  Hoping to do another short video on building up the door cards to show how that goes, and another (or maybe part of the same video) showing how the steering wheel comes out and the dashboard goes in.

The wiring loom is due from now, so if we've not had that by the start of November we'll be contacting the supplier to get an eta.  Not worrying about this one just yet, we're still within the original estimated time scale.  Wiring loom is going to be a very big job when we get to it and might end up needing a headlining doing, depending on what we have to disturb.  Radiator is still waiting on schedules and funds (cheers, Princess)... we're just at one of those points where we've got to wait for a few pieces to drop into place so we can do another big push.  We'll get there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Glad we went in the garage today to dig out some spares, turns out the excessive rain we had last night has created a little problem.


This part of the roof has been a bit dodgy since we moved in but, since it was keeping the weather out, was deemed low enough priority to hopefully ignore until next year.  We learned this roof is only a couple of years old at most, and is that corrugated bitumen stuff, presumably done because it was the cheapest solution as has been the norm with the rest of the house.  Of course this has happened just as Lockdown 2 has kicked in and the weather is unlikely to improve, but hopefully we can get someone out to quickly repair it well enough to see us through the winter.



Lanchester isn't in immediate danger, it's still quite dry inside with no signs of mould, but it's something we'll certainly be keeping an eye on until we can get this fixed.  We'll probably replace it with some rigid polycarb sheet instead of the bitumen, there's not much cost difference and it shouldn't end up going all saggy.  We don't want to spend too much on the garage because we are planning to replace/rebuild it, but we do want to spend enough to keep it weather tight as much as possible.

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I don't know what your timescale is for replacement of the garage but the rigid polycarb stuff often doesn't last long, although it's marginally better than what's there. It's worth keeping an eye out for some corrugated galvanised sheet, when the time does come to build a new garage you can reclaim it and sell it on again.

Edit, @dozeydustman beat me to it!

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We only want the roof repair to see us through the winter, so six months or so tops.  Polycarb should manage to do that.  We're wary about spending too much because eventually this garage will be replaced/modified into a double so we don't want to be investing loads into a new roof if we're just going to have to rip it all off for a new garage.

That said, no idea when we'll have the money saved up for the new garage build, there's planning permissions etc. to check which may impact the final design, and we're wanting the new garage to be at least provided with light and power.  It's pricey however you go about that sort of thing.

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Nice to see the post back in action. Sorry about the garage - as as been said you may be able to bend it back and then support from below. A lightweight beam of old wood diagonally across the angle of the two walls and bracketted on might do it for the winter. 

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