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It has been a productive day on the Lanchester, plenty of footage for an upcoming Lanchester video.  Almost got the interior back together now and decided to plonk the Ekco in the cabin to see just where it might fit and... er...


That's going to require some thinking.  One advantage of the tiny interior of the Lanchester is that the orange carpet I saved from the Princess has actually got enough material in it to do the Lanchester, at least on a first trial fit, and the colour is a lot less offensive than you might expect due to the copious amounts of brown.


There will be a full and proper video update and write up in a few weeks when the interior should be all together.  As you can see, I did figure out how to get the dashboard in without removing the steering wheel and three out of four door cards are fitted, the fourth requires some fitment fettling and we simply ran out of time today to do any more.  These old car interiors are surprisingly labour intensive to put together and so cramped that recording-while-doing is almost not an option.

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I imagine in period it would either have been fixed roughly where it's sitting just now or had a U shaped bracket fitted under the centre of the dash - assuming there's nothing under there it fouls on anyway...

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Can't mount it under the dash directly because it would block the heater, unless it was put all the way to one side or the other of the dashboard.  We're considering a couple of sturdy brackets to lift it up to just below the heater, bolting the brackets to the bolts on the side of the radio and the bolts for the service hatch it's sat on.  Then put a little basket or similar underneath for storage.  I don't know if you can install a radio like this tilted, the other option is to bolt it to the service hatch bolts and then adjust the sliding brackets on the radio so it sits tilted upwards slightly for easier use.

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1 hour ago, vulgalour said:

I don't know if you can install a radio like this tilted, the other option is to bolt it to the service hatch bolts and then adjust the sliding brackets on the radio so it sits tilted upwards slightly for easier use.

I doubt it'll upset it - you're unlikely to run into issues of electrode sag in the valves. Certainly having a quick look at the data sheet for the Mullard EL42 (a typical car radio output valve) no mention is made of orientation. I should recognise that Ekco, which one is it?

If it has a vibrator unit for HT, I'd really be sacking that off forthwith and replacing it with a solid-state one because mechanical ones will fail, will weld their contacts and will burn out your transformer.

Myself, I'd have thought a Lanchester would have been more deserving of a two-part Radiomobile: not something as lowly as an escapee from Sarfend...

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@R1152 It's a CR32, arguably a little old for the Lanchester except for the fact it's a very make-do-and-mend sort of a car.  It does have a vibrator unit and it is mechanical, so it's probably seized as this is apparently a thing that happens.  Until I have all the bits and bobs needed to safely test it I shan't know what does and doesn't need doing to it.  For now, it's a little side project that just happened to pop up before we were really ready for it.


@JeeExEll it'll be good enough and make for a good template for the proper carpet further down the line.  Nice to have a use for this one really.

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@vulgalour thanks for that; it looks like there's technical commonalities with the A33 "Radiotime" clock radio, which is contemporary to it. Main things to watch out for are the waxed paper caps, the valve sockets and tarnished pins on the valves - frankly I can't think of a worse choice of a valve to go in a car radio than the "Loctal" series, but they were in vogue for a short while at the time and had the advantage of no top-cap connections.

I know someone who can rewind the transformer if it's knackered. Obvious thing to ask I know, but the radio does match the car's voltage I trust?

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Voltage does indeed match, both are 12v.  Plan is to change all the wax capacitors and probably the wiring (what little there is) too since while neither look to be causing issues right now it'd be better to be safe than sorry.  What this radio lacks in practical functionality it makes up for in aesthetics.

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The only problem is the higher frequency that solid state vibrators switch at causing unfiltered hum through the speaker.

But yes, mechanical ones are prone to getting stuck and causing significant electrical damage to the radio.

Just note the high voltage cap on the primary side of the power transformer is highly critical in terms of value so don't go about substituting.


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  • 2 weeks later...

As usual, check out the video above for more on how this job went and some nice footage of the Lanchester out in the sunshine.  This update's job was to try and reinstall the newly refurbished door cards.  As you'll recall, we'd replaced one missing escutcheon, the plywood backing boards, the padding, and the tacks and rivets that hold everything together.  All of the original elastic cord, rexine, carpet, and door furniture have been retained.  This is the approach throughout, replace items only where necessary.

First task is to identify the fixings for the door cards so we can reinstall them.  In theory, this should be a simple case of slotting the keyhole brackets on to the screws that are in the wooden frame of the door.  There's two of these screws for each door card.  They're the silver headed screws on the leading edge of the door frame in the following shot.  The upper one was missing on the passenger front door and the lower one not in great shape.


Then it's simply a case of slotting the brackets over the screw heads to hold the door card in place so you can put the other fixings in.  Only, we'd made a mistake.  You see, even when the eyes of the whole internet are on your project, you've taken lots of reference photos, and you've been really picky about making sure things are correct, sometimes you miss the obvious.  The obvious we'd missed was that every single keyhole bracket was on upside down.  Unfortunately, the rivets holding them in do an incredibly good job and are very difficult to remove without damaging the plywood.


To fix that issue, we had to remove half the tacks and peel back some of the rexine to get access.  We also found on the trial fit - we could still get a couple of the other fixings home to at least put the cards in the correct place - that the front passenger door card was catching on the leading edge.  The rear driver's door card was also catching on the trailing edge.  The other more annoying problem was that the escutcheons for the window winders could not physically be compressed far enough to get access to the locking pin hole... all in all it meant partially dismantling all of the door cards to correct these minor issues.  The hole for the window winder escutcheon was increased such that the escutcheon could recess slightly into the door card, 6 of the 8 keyhole brackets were removed and reinstalled the correct way up, and the two slightly oversized door cards were retrimmed accordingly.  A little time with hammers and tacks later and we had the door cards ready to go again.


Refitting wasn't too bad though it did end up being a two person job.  It's easier for you to see the struggle in the video, but essentially you need one person to hold the handle and drive the pin home, while the other pushes against the spring inside the escutcheon to keep it out of the way of the pin.  On attempting to do this job we understood why when we got the car the escutcheon and pin were missing on the driver's door and had been replaced with a piece of twisted wire.  To fit the door cards, there's the two screws that go in the keyhole brackets, two screws that go on the B pillar side through the door frame and into a bracket on the door card, one screw at each top corner that is hidden by the wooden trim, and two to four screws along the bottom edge through the carpet.  Once you've done all those, you can put the wooden capping back on, being sure that the screw holes are lined up with the holes in the metal tongues on the capping, and then screw in the door pull handle.  It was a far more involved process rebuilding these doors than expected and we hope nothing goes wrong inside them as a result.



They do look so much nicer now.  there's a little bit of fettling to sort out minor bits like the padding that's sticking out in a couple of spots that will be addressed later.  The only door card we didn't complete on the day was the rear driver's side one.  We'll be getting that sorted in the near future and it will be installed in a future video.


Foolishly, I then attempted to see if I could figure out a solution to the dashboard.  I reminded myself that I'd replaced the soft and rotting old screws with nice shiny new ones so the problem glovebox could be removed.  This then allowed me to thread the dashboard into place.


So far so good.  I also found I could get to most of the screws for the glovebox brackets with the dashboard sat in place but not screwed in.  An awkward job, but not an impossible one, there's not a lot of access.  After doing that, I reminded myself where the three screws were that hold the lower portion of the dashboard in place and, with Pat's help, got everything aligned and screwed in.  This is one of those jobs where it is easier if there's two of you because the dashboard does not want to stay in the place you need it to.  Screw the central screw in first, you can't really see what you're doing and you have the thread the screwdriver around all the things behind the dashboard, don't tighten this all the way.


Then find and align the side brackets that go into the A pillars.  This is also awkward because as you align one side, the other will want to pull out of location.  There's a sweet spot where it all aligns, but it's tricky if you haven't got a helper.


Once it's all loosely in place, tighten the screws down and you're done.


Then put the top capping on and screw it into place.


Then realise you can't get to the four screws for the top capping because you've obscured access by putting the bottom half in first.  Call it quits for the day and accept that at least the dashboard looks gorgeous and is in a safer location now.  We'll address this issue another day too.  Just before wrapping up I pulled out the spare Princess carpet I'd dyed and plonked one half in the car to see if there was enough to do a temporary flooring in the Lanchester.  It looks like there is and, as a bonus, the colour isn't as shockingly orange looking as expected so will certainly do until we can afford to get the much nicer brown carpet we eventually want to fit.


Finally, we took a quick look at the sound systems.  We're still planning to gut and modernise the Dansette as a removable unit.  The Ekco we're still planning to restore to functionality if possible.


The only slight issue is the size of the Ekco compared to the size of the Lanchester.  We've got some loose ideas of removable brackets and centre consoles as a solution there, it was just nice to see it sat in the car and imagine the possiblities.  The Ekco is something of a curio really.


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The interior is coming on really nicely. Your dashboard looks great too. Real wood, so obviously I'm jealous.

I'm not keen on the Princess carpet. Maybe it's just because I know the origin of it. I'm sure a man with your skills can knock up a new carpet set in the correct brown, easily enough?

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Watching the LD10 emerge from the garage I noticed for the first time that the cars front and rear doors look like they off totally different cars. 

The upright window shape of the front door could be off a prewar car or a Triumph Mayflower or something where the soft curve of the rear looks like it came from a Moggy Minor. 

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31 minutes ago, Angrydicky said:

I'm not keen on the Princess carpet. Maybe it's just because I know the origin of it. I'm sure a man with your skills can knock up a new carpet set in the correct brown, easily enough?

It's cost really on that one.  The carpet is there and free and will provide an excellent template for the proper brown wool we'll be installing later in the build.  It would just be nice to have some carpet in the car rather than lying on the bare boards.

@Timewaster it's a proper hodgepodge of styles.  The American nose, the dumpy rear end, the almost coupe bodyshape on a saloon car, it's like early Japanese cars where more attention is paid to each individual detail than the whole design.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 22/03/2021 at 12:39, PhilA said:

The only problem is the higher frequency that solid state vibrators switch at causing unfiltered hum through the speaker.

But yes, mechanical ones are prone to getting stuck and causing significant electrical damage to the radio.

Just note the high voltage cap on the primary side of the power transformer is highly critical in terms of value so don't go about substituting.


Not just that, but it needs to have a polypropylene dielectric as well.

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Okay, @vulgalour has that Ekco CR32 in the cabin: but I spotted this -


What intrigues me is the dial using pre-war station names even though it's a post-war set - but it's also a pre-"Copenhagen Plan" dial as the Third Programme is on 514m, which makes the dial pre-1950.

However... isn't the Lanchester 6V?

One modern (FSVO) transistor (spits) radio that really was intended to be a stand-alone pull-out radio for cars was the Bush TR90.

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A very quick Google brought up this page: https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/pye_p24crp_24_c.html  which dates it to 1950/1 rather than 1930s which does seem more likely given the style of the thing.  I can well imagine the Lanchester getting a unit like the PYE when brand new, the styling of it is very in keeping with the rest of the car.  The PYE is about the same size as the Ekco, it appears smaller because it has no speaker built in.

The Lanchester is 12V, which surprised us when we were looking for what battery it required.  Still positive earth, which was more normal for the period.  Not sure why Lanchester chose to go for 12V with the LD10 so early, especially since it's basically a pre-war car in most other regards (see cable operated brakes instead of hydraulic, for example), but they did.  The Ekco is also a 12V unit, which isn't as surprising since they were sold more commonly for commercial vehicles than passenger cars and those tended to be 12V rather than 6V as we understand it.

We're going to stick with the Ecko at any rate, we'll dig into it eventually and get it tested and whatnot, there's just been a LOT of other things to do lately and finding the time in the schedule to dig into the Lanchester has proven tricky.  There's no rush, we'll get there eventually.

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I definitely wouldn't have expected your Standard to be 12V!  I suppose there must have been enough of a saving between the two systems that cheap cars could really be kept cheap sticking to 6V.  The Beetle clung on to 6V for a very long time didn't it?

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16 hours ago, vulgalour said:

A very quick Google brought up this page: https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/pye_p24crp_24_c.html  which dates it to 1950/1 rather than 1930s which does seem more likely given the style of the thing.

Oh, I know the Pye's of that era (I know me wirelesses): I'm just surprised to see pre-war station names used on its dial - "National" especially was something you saw on the dial of later 1930s radio sets and post-war, most sets had "Light" at that position. The post-war concession on the dial is of course the presence of the Third programme, which was introduced in September 1946 - and which didn't take up its position at 464m until the Copenhagen Plan frequency reallocation was introduced.

464m is of course where Radio Caroline (South) now is.

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I'm pleased to report there will be another Lanchester video soon, because today Pat and I finished installing the interior.  It did involve getting enough dust and grime in my hair that I looked like I had a bad hair dye line and I ended up hitting my head and getting blisters, so it all went about as well as you might expect.  Far from the Mr Chodmondeley Warner experience, working on the Lanchester is much more of a series of suprising adventures that the likes of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar would venture forth on.


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Yaaay progress!

Smashing to see this all coming back together again; the dashboard really has come up a treat. Well done.

Hopefully if people have been using lockdown to clear out attics and garages, a battered Rexine suitcase or two might come to light and allow you to replace those missing trim panels?

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Instead of using a separate camera for photos, I'm trying out the screenshot function on the video editing stuff.  It makes this part of the update much easier since I can use just the one device and footage and means I have one less thing to forget when actually working on the car.

The first job was refitting the rear door card that we hadn't yet.  The video really highlights what this job is like, it involved making a lot of these sorts of faces.


Once all the edge screws were in to hold the door card in place, Pat fitted the wooden capping since he seems to be better at that than I am and we made sure nothing was binding on the door frame.  Happily, everything was good so we moved on to the next bit.


Fitting the pull handle was easy, that's just two large screws, fitting the window winder was another matter.  As previously mentioned, the window winders almost seem to have too short a post on them meaning it very difficult to get the escutcheon compressed enough (even on the original plywood cards) to get the pin to go in the locating hole that holds everything together.  We found it impossible to do solo, instead it usually takes three screwdrivers, a lot of huffing and puffing, and a dash of luck.


The door release handle, by comparison, is a doddle, partly because the post for that is just a bit longer.  All the door cards in and the windows etc. tested we could happily draw a line under this part of the renovation.  No more flappy door cards.  When it comes to replacing the carpet on the bottom, we wont' actually have to remove the door card to do it, there's enough flex in the plywood once the side screws are undone that you can glue and tack the new carpet on pretty much in the same way it was done originally.  This is no doubt deliberate since the carpet is the bit that's most likely to need replacement due to wear.  On to the dashboard then.  We'd already fitted this but did it wrong, so it had to come out again so we could reinstall it correctly.  Confusingly, the top rail that looks to be the last thing to go on is actually the first thing because once you fit the main dash board you can't get to the fixings that hold the top rail in place.


Visibility for the four screws that hold the rail in place is poor, opening the fresh air vent did help a bit, with the side effect that any dust and detritus you didn't want in your face got blown straight into it.  The screws go through metal brackets on the car's wooden body frame and into the rail itself, the first attempt we misaligned and screwed into thin air.  This turned out to be another two person job since I had to see where it was aligned and then Pat had to hold the rail to prevent it from moving until we got a couple of screws located.



You can make out where they're supposed to go in this next picture, spot the silver coloured crosshead screws.


Then it was on to the dashboard itself.  This is held in with three screws, one in the centre and one into each A pillar through metal brackets.  First though, the glovebox needed to be reattached.  We'd had to unscrew this to get the dashboard moved enough to fit the top rail, now it was a case of doing some contortions to get around the various obstacles to put the screws back in.  This time we got all of the screws in so the glovebox is a good bit more secure than last time, which was nice.  Access is not great.



Everything was then eased into place and the final three screws put in and we could call the dashboard done.  Hopefully it will never need to come out again.  We can do the wiring without removing the dashboard, access to the relevant bits is actually quite good for what it's worth.  Next up, the cables for the choke, starter, and fuel reserve were refitted.  The fuel reserve system isn't being reinstated but to save the cable just flopping about it made sense to put it were it belongs.  We may repurpose the pull knob for another function in the future, like the hazards or something, for now it's not a worry.



Then it was the turn of the temperature gauge and its fragile capillary line.  The wire on the back of the gauge is actually a very fine tube, sealed at both ends, that cannot be removed from the guage or the sender that goes into the water pump.  It works so we're happy to reinstall it and it keeps things nicely original.


It's held into the back of the instrument cluster with two stubby little flathead screws, like the rest.


It was nice to finally see the instrument cluster complete again.  The speedometer cable was reattached too.  We didn't attach the starter cable to the starter because the starter motor needs to come off for a service or repair and to do that it looks like we need to remove the exhaust to get access to at least one of the starter's bolts so that's going to be another fairly involved job.


We also learned that either one of the hose connectors or the non-return valve for the washer pump is leaking a bit.  We know it's not the heater matrix as that hasn't been used or disturbed this time, and you can trace the water to the washer pump connections.  That one at least is an easy fix using generic parts.


It's wonderful seeing all of these things coming together and we're eager to crack on with the rest as soon as time and weather permits.

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      Mg 1100 - 1965 - SOLD
      MGF x1 - one scrapped one now on the road. 
      Reliant Robin x2 - one scrapped one now on the road - SOLD
      1983 MG Metro - in temp storage
      1967 Austin 1100 estate - SOLD
      New cars to fleet:
      2000 Mondeo TD Estate
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