Bits and pieces.

June 21st, 2014

I’ve been poking about with little bits and pieces. It’s hard to remember what I’ve done! The head and black are still off being repaired so I am mainly waiting for those to be ready.

Lets see, I did get an alternator regulator off Trademe. It’s not the Lucas 37565A but is a generic Lucas alternator replacement. That should work for what I need to do. The main difference is the case isn’t the earth connection but rather the field connection. I have obtained most of the other parts I need. I am using a MBR3060 schottky diode in place of the cut out and a MJ2955 transistor as the field switcher driven from the regulator. I have several other diodes I need coming from overseas off eBay. I have a dead RB106 housing from the Joss collection to rebuild my regulator into.

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The chap I got the regulator off lives not far away so he actually hand delivered it. He arrived in a tiny little electric car. A converted Fiat with a forklift motor and 10 lead acid batteries in it. I think that car is actually smaller than the Austin although it weighed something like three times as much.

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What else? I made up a little steel engine stand to bolt the crankcase too. Basically using the instructions here.

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That allowed me to accurately hold the crankcase level under my pillar drill so I could drill out the buggered threads and insert the coils using Ian’s helicoil kit. Adding the coils is pretty easy actually. Drill out the old threads squarely with the bit used in the kit. Tap the new thread using the tap provided then screw in the coil using the little tool. The coil has a tang at the base of it that the tool fits into. That allows you to screw it in. Then you use a punch to knock off the tang and the thread is done. I used a little Loctite around the coils. I don’t think that’s really needed but I figure it can’t hurt and it also lubricated the coils as they go in.

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I still need to add an extra middle stud hole and tap that. I am waiting for the block to come back then I can repair any bad threads in that then I can return the kit. I’ll just replace all the coils I used.

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I didn’t replace all of the threads. just the ones where the studs were wobbly when screwed in almost all the way. I still need to drill, plug, redrill and retap the oil jet cleaning bung holes. I will also fit two extra studs either end of the block for extra support.

Speaking of tapping I bought on TradeMe a 1/4 BSP parallel tap. I have a taper one already but since I was fitting the new oil takes offs into the block I needed to use the parallel holes. At the same time I got that my parallel hose barbs arrived from the UK.  I ran the tap into the front hole to clean it up and still need to drill and re-tap the rear oil gauge takeoff point.

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You can see the difference between the tapered BSP and the parallel BSP threads on the barbs above. When actually screwed into the crankcase there is a copper sealing washer between the two to provide the seal.

I also got the brass NPT fittings for the remote filter housing from Brassfit.

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Now brass fittings are interesting. It all gets a little complicated around when you should and shouldn’t use sealing compound on them. If you have a tapered male BSP fitting into a tapered female BSP hole you don’t need sealant apparently. The taper means that the two threads lock together over a large area and the thread shape is such that they actually seal. If you use a tapered male BSP into a parallel female hole, which apparently is a standard European way of doing things, you do need a sealant since a tapered fitting will only make contact on a few of the threads. With BSP parallel to parallel you use a copper washer between the fitting and the thing you screw it into, the threads have nothing to do with sealing at all. And with NPT tapered fittings you have to use a sealant because the thread shape is such that the tips and roots of the thread don’t actually seal so you can end up with a spiral leakage path. Apparently there is a NPTF thread that fixes this problem (F for fuel).  Then there are all kinds of arguments about whether teflon tape is actually a sealant or is it just there to help lubricate the threads. I try not to use the tape too much in case any of it gets into the actual oil system. On an A7 it doesn’t take much to block up the oil jets. With the NPT threads though the thread was big and deep enough to ensure the tape is nowhere near the inside of the thing. Also when you do use teflon tape make sure you wrap it on in such a way that it doesn’t unwrap when you screw the fitting home.

I also broke my lathe! I was machining up a little piece for Joss. Unfortunately it caught the tool and flew out of the chuck. Even more unfortunately when it came down again it jambed between the chick jaws and the tool post. The lathe stopped in a  hurry with a bang! The motor still ran after that but there was no drive. After stripping the whole thing down I found out why. The plastic Hi/Low gear had shattered.

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A replacement gear isn’t too expensive. About $11 US for the plastic one. You can get metal ones but I figure if there were metal gears in there something else would have broken. The gears only break if something goes wrong or you’re doing something silly. I wouldn’t call it a weakness on the machine so I don’t see a need to ‘fix’ it. Also the metal gears are noisier apparently.

The annoying thing is for some reason if you buy anything in America and want it shipped anywhere but America the shipping costs are ridiculous. To ship one small plastic gear set to NZ cost me $17US! Apparently $5 of that is just for paperwork! And they say it can take up to 2 or 3 weeks to arrive. Possibly up to 8! By comparison the brass hose barbs I ordered cost 3.50 pounds to ship from the Uk and arrived in under a week. I try to avoid getting anything from the US if I can help it.

When the lathe is fixed I can make up the plug for the rear oil gallery and also machine up a new bearing retaining ring. I will replace mine as I don’t know what condition it is in. I bought new high tensile bolts to make that. The guy didn’t even charge me the full amount for them and just said errr, $5 will do.

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I have also cleaned up and repainted all the dynamo parts ready to assemble that. I bought a new, sealed bearing. The chap at Saeco was most interested in the old one it being a metric ‘Made in the USA’ bearing. He said you don’t see many of them about these days. I still need to get a new set of brushes and a new commutator end bush but these are available from the local VAR spares. I just need to remember to order them!

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I also bid on and won (for $5!) a nice old alloy petrol cap. Off an old truck apparently. That cleaned up great and suits the chunky look of the car. And it says PETROL on it! I just need to get a suitable filler tube and weld on some lugs for the cap to clip onto.

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Speaking of welding I also had to fix my MIG welder. One of the connectors on the front was arching failed. So I had to replace that.  I now how two extra chassis in my garage ready for us to weld in the boxing pieces. I also had to weld up the seat on my MGB. Unfortunately the seat reclining mechanism failed. I accelerated hard one day and the seat suddenly reclined. It’s quite alarming when it happens! Somehow I think the tensioning spring came loose and the little ratchet mechanism that locks the seat rake was slipping. It doesn’t take much slipping to strip the teeth which is what happened. I don’t think you could repair it without completely stripping the seat (and I am not sure you could even then). So I have done a temporary bodge and just welded the thing in place! One day I should look at replacing or repairing it but for now at least I know the seat is safe.

I think that brings up up to day. I still need to start folding up the edge of the boot hole so we can wire that. We need some metal cut so we can start boxing chassis. I need to order my dynamo parts so I can finish assembling that and convert it to two brush and I can start building my electronic regulator. I should probably document that one fully.

I also decided I need to find a real job again (engine building is expensive and I am also thinking about spending Christmas in London which is also expensive!). Going to interviews is annoying and take up a lot of time.  It amazes me how many companies there are that ‘only hire the top people’ yet don’t pay the top salaries!

One Response to “Bits and pieces.”

  1. Renaud in Brittany Says:

    The worldphaco.net site you mentioned last time is outstanding. Remarquable work on car electronics.

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