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Mick O'Malley 5th June 2021 11:31

Will she ever be finished?

Originally Posted by Mick O'Malley (Post 106430)
.....she should be on her maiden voyage on Saturday to Castle Combe Lotus Day

Well, my optimism was misplaced. Once the spanking new Weber was sitting happily on the manifold, I realised that I'd not only need a new aircleaner, as the DCD one wouldn't fit without surgery, but also the throttle and choke cable attachments would need modifying as well as the fuel supply run. Back to the keyboard: new air cleaner and a brass right angled union for the fuel hose purchased. I swapped the throttle quadrant from the DCD, and by carefully bending the outer choke cable clamp bracket, improved the run in a way that meant major bonnet surgery in that area could be avoided.

As there was no provision for crankcase fumes to be fed into the induction tract, I decided to run a hose from the outlet on the rocker box to a catch tank. An old 1litre Castrol oil can lent itself to this so I made an open topped ally box to hold it, which I tech screwed to the bulkhead.

I'd noticed that there was an oil leak from the fuel pump which didn't respond to tightening of the mounting studs, so I ordered a new one which arrived yesterday. Before fitting I thought I'd check the tightness of the six screws which hold the top on and two were loose! I attached the new air cleaner (lucky I had a supply of M5 nuts and washers, you'd think for £80 they'd chuck them in!) and offered up the bonnet. I felt tip marked the areas requiring surgery and set to with the jigsaw. Some dressing with a rat tail file was also needed to clear the vacuum pipe attachment and the choke outer.

Before at last firing her up, two weeks later than anticipated, I checked the water level in the radiator and realised I'd forgotten to make provision for the overflow. A search of my 'might come in useful' store unearthed a plastic Asda 700gm peanut butter jar and a Youngs Bitter beer kit tin to hold it. I M6 bolted the tin through its base to the frame behind the grille (with a penny washer to spread the load) and used my newly acquired stepped drill bit to cut the hole in the plastic jar's lid. I found a bit of 6mm hose, clipped it to the overflow stub and cut it to a length that would let it suck the overflow back. Job done, very fiddly but satisfying :) .

No further predictions!

Regards, Mick

peterux 5th June 2021 16:13

Nice work, Mick.
Does the new carb work ok?

Mick O'Malley 5th June 2021 16:42

So far, so good...

Originally Posted by peterux (Post 106457)
Nice work, Mick.
Does the new carb work ok? the guy said passing each window having jumped off a skyscraper.

Yes, smooth as silk, thankyou. I need a road test but have to wait for the access between the houses to be clear. This should be Monday, unless both my daughter and her partner are out tomorrow.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 7th June 2021 06:38

What next? Uphill all the way...
Yesterday I started her up and had a very short drive in the garden in front of the cave. After a couple of minutes the engine began to die and wouldn't respond to coarse throttle movement before stopping. Off with the bonnet, check electrical connections. Ouch! The coil is really hot. Remove same to test, it's leaking its oil. I can't remember where or when I bought it, but it certainly appears a budget item. Once again: buy cheap, pay twice :hurt:.

My local independent motor factors, two minutes walk away, can get most things same day if I'm on his doorstep as he opens, so this latest hurdle may be cleared later.

Regards, Mick

Lucky@LeMans 7th June 2021 07:58

Have you got a ballast resistor in the ignition circuit ?

Mick O'Malley 8th June 2021 06:16


Originally Posted by Lucky@LeMans (Post 106466)
Have you got a ballast resistor in the ignition circuit ?

No. My reconstituted wiring loom is old school. My motor factor guy could only get one for lunchtime today, so yesterday evening, once it was a bit cooler, I dug out my multimeter and made double treble certain that my wiring wasn't at fault. I goggled 'Overheating Coil' and found many comments regarding the poor quality of modern replacements. I thought I might borrow the one from my son's Midas, but it looked so manky I didn't bother.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 15th June 2021 16:04

New Coil. New Home.
Following my last post, I fitted the new coil and everything seemed hunky dory. Right, I'll drive her to the spot vacated by the dear departed A352. I didn't quite get the sweep around my daughter's planters right, so had to back up a little. I couldn't get reverse. On the three rail Spitfire gearbox, it's next to first and the lever has to be depressed (as I suddenly was) to engage it. I could hear a slight clunk from my end of the linkage so, after pushing her back into the cave, I decided to remove the ally side of the tunnel to investigate.

I just about managed to remove its fixings without recourse to footwell contortions, took it off, released the remote rod from the base of the gear lever - super fiddly through the puny hole - and realised my Harry Houdini credentials would have to be renewed to release the gearbox end.

This doesn't get any easier as the years pass, especially extraction, but I got the rod out. I could see the silvery scratches at the driver end where it was touching, so I disced off that area of the tube sleeve which Moss used to extend the rod, tidied it up with a flap wheel, and refitted it at the gearbox end. However, access at the lever end was too tight so I cut a 4" hole in the GRP side of the tunnel and completed that part of the job. Reverse now available!

Clearance between the brake pedal and the ally side was barely sufficient for my clutch foot so, using the scuff marks as a guide, I chopped a lozenge shaped hole in the ally, bent the edges back, and fabricated a sort of reverse power bulge about ½" deep which I riveted in place. Even that created a delay as the spring in my 30+ year old riveter let go half way through the job. I was on Machine Mart's doorstep at opening time the next morning for a replacement. Reinstating the tunnel side was even fiddlier and more contorting than the gear rod had been, but, once it was in place, clutch pedal depressing proved easier :). That saga was completed yesterday.

This morning I wheeled her out into the sunshine for a soapy bath and hose down, fired her up and had a quick drive ending so:

What my first car themed event will be I know not, what with the Covid uncertainty, but at least I can now use her for Asda trips etc :).

Regards, Mick

peterux 15th June 2021 20:18

Congratulations on finishing your superb little car.
I think you have absolutely nailed it in terms of looks.
Well done!!

froggyman 15th June 2021 21:33

Great looking car and pleased for you that it now on the road. It certainly seemed an uphill struggle as you were being tested with various problems. Top marks for sticking with it. Enjoy it now whilst the weather is good.

Mick O'Malley 16th June 2021 06:21

They're never really finished...
Thanks for kind words chaps, they're much appreciated :). It's certainly been a bit of a marathon over the almost four and a half years since this was taken.

There are still jobs to do: re-covering the seat squabs and making a tonneau cover. If I had the time again I would line the visible cockpit areas with ally before riddling it with rivets and chopping holes everywhere - I'll probably make do with rattle can stonechip to hide the green.

I see that the Stoneleigh show has been confirmed for 28/29 August. The Gloucester Retro Festival clashes on the Saturday so, weather permitting, I'll attend on the Sunday.

What, if anything, next? I check Kit Cars and Replicas newly listed on Ebay daily, but there's rarely anything that blows my skirt up. A neglected barn find Bugatti evocation (not VW based!!!) or Sherpley might surface, who knows?

Regards, Mick

Car photographer 16th June 2021 12:10

congrats on finishing it

Mick O'Malley 29th August 2021 10:47

First Real Outing :)
Yesterday's sortie in the Monaco, its first, was to the Gloucester Goes Retro day all of 1.3 miles from home. Each of the the four compass point roads which meet in the normally pedestrianised centre showcases cars from a different decade, so my Alfa Romeo F1 car :rolleyes: was in with its 50s sisters.

Kick off was at 0800 under grey skies which gradually brightened as the crowds arrived. I was asked a couple of times in which year I had competed in the Mille Miglia, but managed to keep a straight face when replying honestly. Once again, as with the A352, I was busy lifting small children in and out of the cockpit for photocalls and fielding umpteen questions. I received many compliments on my creation and there was not a little surprise at its humble underpinnings. A cracking, if tiring, day out which ended at 1800.

Regards, Mick

Jaguartvr 29th August 2021 15:47

Looks great, boiler suit and flat cap are a great addition but think you should invest in a pipe and cravat.

Mick O'Malley 7th September 2021 09:28

Uphill all the way...
My very short drive to and from the retro festival highlighted a couple of problems. Firstly, and easily sorted, was an oil leak from the top end of the braided SS hose which runs from the adaptor in the oil pressure light/gauge tapping in the block up to the rear of the cylinder head, its purpose being to prevent the rear rockers being starved. Despite having also fitted one to the A352, and being a proper squirrel, I couldn't find either of the blanking plugs. Canley Classics to the rescue!

The second problem relates to the rather vague remote gear linkage, the driver end of which is mounted to the body so is not in sync with engine/gearbox movement. This makes changes from 2nd to 3rd and back very hit and miss. I considered replicating the A352 solution of joining two butchered Triumph remotes with aluminium channel but this was a non starter due to the limited clearance. Sitting in the beast yesterday evening pondering the problem, I decided to fabricate a Ferrari style gate, so this morning I've ordered a small sheet of 3mm aluminium. Time will tell.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 11th September 2021 15:31

Dizzy Decision
In conversation at the Gloucester Retro Festival with the gentleman from whom I bought my 'Coventry Climax'engine I mentioned the suspicions I have regarding the new condensers I fitted to both the A352 and the Monaco. Despite their being supplied in authentic looking Lucas boxes they just look shoddy, and on the A352 lasted only the proverbial five minutes. Anyway, he told me that they are indeed inferior quality items and pointed me at The Distributor Doctor. After absorbing the info. on the home page and a telephone chat I decided to go the whole hog and send mine off for complete refurbishment. This takes about three weeks if (as I did) one opts to have ones own rebuilt, rather than exchanged. If you read the blurb you will know that he has both the condensers and rotors built locally to his own specification, he also supplies a new cap as a matter of course as he maintains that commercially available replacements aren't well enough fitting. Will this be money well spent? Again, time will tell.

Regards, Mick

Mick O'Malley 19th September 2021 09:31

Dizzy Doctor Delivers
Yesterday, having stumped up the necessary on Friday, my rebuilt distributor arrived by special delivery. It's been fitted with new bearings, O ring, points, condenser, rotor arm, cap, retaining clips and vacuum unit, all top quality. I'm particularly impressed by the new cap which needs careful alignment to be replaced, unlike its predecessor which, by comparison, more or less flopped into position. Included was the pictured graph showing the degree of advance at each thousand revs. Spot on!

Whilst it was away I'd made sure that the engine was at TDC with both no.1 cylinder valves closed so correct refitting was straightforward. Unfortunately, at that juncture, rain stopped play before I could try it out :( .

Regards, Mick.

Mick O'Malley 6th October 2021 06:03


Originally Posted by Mick O'Malley (Post 105891)
....except temptation.

Regards, Mick

Drool indeed...

Regards, Mick

paul_n 8th October 2021 10:00


Originally Posted by Mick O'Malley (Post 106914)
Drool indeed...

Regards, Mick

So what do we think is behind it in the shed ?

D Type ?

Original ?

Sad when this was someone's ar collection and they can no longer enjoy them , least the cars will live on.


Lucky@LeMans 8th October 2021 10:56

Bentley looks interesting, appears to be correctly registered but a later year than advertised. Blue car looks like a C or D Type perhaps.

Mick O'Malley 9th October 2021 06:37


Originally Posted by Lucky@LeMans (Post 106917)
Bentley looks interesting, appears to be correctly registered but a later year than advertised. Blue car looks like a C or D Type perhaps.

Judging by the year it's probably on an R Type chassis. There's a guy in Belgium who buys them and turns them into 'Le Mans' copies. Could well be one of his?

'D' evocation methinks with that 'screen'.

Regards, Mick

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