Monday, 9 May 2011

Oily and Greasy part 3

The lower rear wishbones represent the last of the donor suspension parts that I needed to clean and protect, so it was out with the wire brushes, and a fresh tub of elbow grease at the ready. These took some effort, mostly from their sheer size and weight, however they are fully cleaned and painted now.

Some replicas shorten the rear drive shafts and wishbones to give a more 'original' look to the rear wheel offset (deep dish on the rear wheels) however, most Gardner Douglas kits do not do this and mine will not be an exception. I still need to procure most of the bearings, spacers, shims, shields, washers and the other 101 parts that make up the working elements of the suspension, but for now I am happy that what I have is good to go into storage until needed.

The other source of grease and oil (the engine) has also received some attention. I purchased a cut-out short block which needed final disassembly and assessment for machining requirements. All was going well until I removed piston number 8 (actually, it fell out of the block once I had freed the big end – this was not a good sign!) Upon closer inspection, It appears that this piston had made a bid for freedom from the engine through the exhaust valve in the form of aluminium vapour. Apparently, it is a known fault with engines of this age in certain vehicle installations where part of the induction system becomes blocked, forcing cylinder 8 to run lean. If it is left unchecked, it gets to the point were detonation occurs which eventually melts the piston – this is what appears to have happened in my engine. The upshot of it all is that the remains of the oil ring scratching the nicely honed surface along with aluminium being smeared up and down the bore means a re-bore and new pistons all around. At least I had budgeted for this!

I now need to put together a shopping list of all the parts required to turn this into a fire-breathing Cobra power plant, along with a list of banks I might raid to pay for it all!