New parts, track rod finished and hacking the chassis.

October 16th, 2011

Last week all my parts arrived. Four big packages with a lot of good things I need.

IMG_0873_1 IMG_0874_1 IMG_0875_1

IMG_0876_1 IMG_0877_1 IMG_0878_1


What I got was a new diff (not bent or worn like mine), control panel and switches, rear brake cylinders, pinion bearings, front brake levers, a new handbrake lever, correct steering column and wheel (complete with control levers and horn button), rear hubs and front radius arms.

The column is the correct early one that takes the wheel I already have. The new wheel I got is the same as my original but the rim is in worse condition. I will use that as the basis to make a nice wooden wheel.

The radius rods are the correct later one which are much thicker than the early ones. This was because the semi Girling brakes on the later cars generate a much greater braking force and the early rods would twist and bend when braking.

The other thing I got was a new CWP (crown wheel and pinion) which are in great condition but unfortunately the pinion is too long.I believe this is from a later Big 7 car so I can’t use it unfortunately. You can see the difference in length below.

IMG_0879_1 Wrong pinion shaft length.

This weekend I went back to TradeTools to get the 3/8ths reamer I forgot to get the other week. This is needed to ream the track rod end bushes. I did this and got them all reassembled.

I reamed out the bushes and also ran the reamer though the rod ends themselves so the pin would push though.

IMG_0883_1 Reaming track rod end bushes.


IMG_0886_1 IMG_0887_1 Shaft and cotter.

The track rod is another thing on the car that is held with cotter pins. The way these work is as wedges. The shaft the track rod pivots around has a notch cut into it, When it is pushed into the housing the notch lines up with the hole the cotter pin pits though. The pin itself is wedge shaped with a thread on the thin end. The flat on the wedge pushes up against the notch in the pin. When you tighten the nut on the end of the pin everything pills up tight and the cotter stops the shaft from moving.

IMG_0889_1 IMG_0890_1 Cotter filed to fit.

One problem I found is the pin was too fat. I filed the flat on the pin until it would push in far enough that the thread protruded through the track rod end enough that I could get the lock washer and nut on. Then I tightened the nut locking everything together.

The track rod was finally all assembled. Now there is a trick here. The rod ends are handed because they two parts aren’t identical. The red book mentions this but doesn’t tell you which way they go or give you a diagram. The parts book does tell you and the arms have the parts numbers stamped on them. For my later car the nearside lever is labelled 1A4004. The offside is 1A4003.

IMG_0885_1 IMG_0892_1 Assembled (nearside and offside).

I had taken pictures of things when I dissembled them but it is best to not assume things were assembled correctly when you took them apart (although in this case they were).

Joss paid a visit on Saturday and bought over the spare front end he has I am borrowing while I sort out rebuilding my own. With this on the car I am able to get the car back on it’s wheels and start on the body. Talking to Joss it looks like it is back to a wooden body with an aluminium skin. In order to do this I needed to remove the rear chassis extension so I can make my own rear end. I needed to leave part of the extensions there as this is where the rear shocks mount to. I decided to cut them off flush so I can lay down a flat floor and start building the body off that.

First I used a straight piece of wood across the chassis to work out where the rear rails needed to be cut so they were flush. I used masking tape to mark the points to cut.

IMG_0896_1 IMG_0898_1 Marking chassis rails  for cutting.

With the tap line in place (both sides) I used a cutting disc on the angle grinder to lop off the rear extensions. I cut above the line so I could grind down to the final level. I finished off with a hand file to ensure everything was flat. I then used some cardboard to make templates for some steel plates to close off the top of the cut rails.

IMG_0900_1 IMG_0902_1 Rails cut and filler template.

I traced the pattern onto some 3mm steel plate, one of the few left overs from the old body that I didn’t recycle. These I cut out with a hack saw then used the bench grinder and finally hand files to shape them. I then MIG welded them in place and finally ground and filed the welds flat. I re-drilled the original mounting holes which are between the  shock mounts and just in front of my filler plates. These were originally threaded holes I think but they’d been buggered by a previous owner. I welded them up and re-drilled them to provide the rear floor mounting points.

IMG_0903_1 IMG_0909_1 Filler plate welded and painted.

While I had the welder out I also filled in the old side mount steering column holes. The column I want to use mounts to the top of the chassis. I cut small plates and welded them into place then sanded then flat. I drilled the front most hole for mounting the new column. I haven’t done the rear one yet because I need to make a wedge to alter the steering column angle. I will drill the rear hole once I have made the wedge. I did go to Bunnings this morning to look for some steel to make the wedge (1-1/4 wide by 1/4 inch mild steel).  I asked someone for mild steel. He showed me galvanised. I said no, that’s galvanised. He said well we have this directing me to the aluminium. I said thanks and walked away. Will need to go to Enterprise steel on Rosebank Road sometime.

IMG_0905_1 IMG_0907_1 Filling steering column mounting holes.

After welding and grinding and filing and finally sanding everything I gave it all a coat of paint to stop rust. I found I can run a long air line from my big garage to the small garage to enable me to run a spray gun without moving the compressor itself. I used my touch up gun since I have used up all my rattle cans but I do have a 4L tin of the same paint. A much more economical way to buy paint.

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IMG_0912_1 IMG_0913_1 Painted.

The chassis looks much better without the odd up and over extensions I think. Now I have a flat chassis and can now lay down the floor and start work on the body. I do need to get the right radiator cowl since the body all flows back from that. Joss has one to lend me while I find my own.

This week I will make up a template for the steering wedge. I can fiddle with that to get the angle right then make the proper one from steel once I get some.


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