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Tales of a new business, trials and endless uphill battles


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Thankyou all for your kind words there's no doubt its going to be a stress fest but I'm relishing the challenge my sister has been the star really as I've basically thrown her right into the deep end with welding/fabricating and quite intense mechanical work without any sign of flagging so far, not bad for a former office based employee!

We're based at Derwent foundry, Whatstandwell DE4 5HG 

01629 818296

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Thankyou all, very kind uplifting words

So today's work has been in 2 stages 


This crafter is in for a mystery engine problem, it was bought by the owner stripped like it is with the engine unable to start, when attempted it basically just made like a knock sound every crank rotation and would just fire, so checking it manually I found all 4 cylinders felt like they had compression 1 maybe less than the others and the timing marks all made sense, so I kept persevering to which it did fire up and run on 3 seemingly


Next up today this bad lad, 2.0 petrol freight rover in the exact spec i wanted for a recovery truck, decent underneath too !


The convoy doors offend me greatly it had to be saidbso I'll have to swap those for some earlier jobs 


Chassis is all sweet so that's getting painted up ASAP and the cab will go BL blue I think 


Here's a wierd thing, the pistons stop short by 8mm which to me seems mad, its a 2.0 O series so has the 89mm stroke rather than the 75mm of the 1.7, the engine itself seems to have been bored out 20 over and maybe overheated a few times as the radiator is new as is a few ignition bits, it running terribly prompted me to take off the head as the carb settings and ignition timing seemed to make no difference to running at all !,,I might end up building a new 2.0 out of a 1.7 and reusing the oversize pistons !

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Having a look at the freight rover again, I decided to whip out the +0.5mm pistons to reuse in a seasoned 1.7 engine block as I feel the bores in this engine have suffered through an over heat, so I instructed the chief apprentice sister to whip the sump off and bop out the pistons so I could strip the 1.7 to a bare block and get the parts off to the rebore shop expeditiously 


Easy work for wor kidda who is a bloody fast learner at this sort of work 


i compared the crank to a B series but alas the bastard is different, I could have coverted a spare 1.7 to 2.0 without much effort if so !


this VW 2.0tdi which runs of three but feels like every cylinder has compression actually snapped off 2 of the exhaust rocker arms so it might be that with a set of new ones fitted that it might be OK however I dislike the idea of valves that have been forced up by the piston so will recommend a head rebuild at the very least.

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Just replacing the rocker arms on a diesel is pretty common, the valves tend to go straight up and down so don't get bent when contact happens.

Might be a slight love bite on the piston but nothing really to affect running.

I would definitely stick just the rocker arms on first and run it up and see what it sounds like.

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On my old mk5 transit the belt went and bent the pushrods and I reckon a lot are sacrificially designed for the rockers to pop as much easier to do.

The old tranny just had a new belt the rods straightened in the vice.

Good luck in the new venture and if you are considering selling the sister on let me know.


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Today's job was to fit a roof rack to a camper which had hit a bridge and crushed the rack and bent all the brackets, after welding new rails onto it and straightening out the brackets we got the rough smoker forklift out and immediately had to mess about with 'fork extensions' 20240420_154111.jpg.7c1f2035c49ae6631b44f93901f0330f.jpg20240420_151235.jpg.f6315043e93f9063fc6b35d65e89d75c.jpg


Tightened on and missing fasteners repatriated, and also we fitted our own design of fabricated pannier box carrier frames to the door along with relocating a ladder to the side and number plate and lights to the top of the door !

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You look like you might have the right setup to have a look a job for me actually.

I've got this thing sat on my drive slowly getting fettled. Stud pattern on these is 4 x 110, really odd size. I've got a quite rare set of refurbished Lotus Eclat (not elite) 14" alloys that i reckon would look the business on it, but they're 114mm pcd. I can well imagine that fitting them might involve redrilling hubs or whatever, if its even possible at all. Might you be up for taking a look? I guess I'd have to send the car & wheels over to you on a truck (no big deal as I'm only about 9 miles from your workshop) and you could see what you think about it.


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On 21/04/2024 at 09:47, jon.k said:

How much weight do you think the back doors will be able to take in those boxes? (genuine question)

Great thread!

I stood on the frames a few times to get on the roof and it flexed the door skin a smidge but wasn't enough to be concerning, he's on about using it for sleeping bags only 

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On 21/04/2024 at 11:42, robt100 said:

Looks like you're going great guns at this. Liking to work so far, I'm also hoping the change of freight rover doors means you might pick up the old sliding ones from the Daf versions😆

Would need a panel van for those I think! 😆 

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