Bush Mechanic

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About Bush Mechanic

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    Tasmania, Aus.

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  1. Bush Mechanic

    1966 Austin Healey Sprite

    Common rust points are the floors, sills, (rockers?), and the bottom of the A pillars. I am from Australia, so not really up to speed with the US values. That said, converting the price to A$, I would regard this one as overpriced, on what I can see. The paint appears to be a rough re-spray, which has been scratched and banged around somewhat. Hood, (roof), appears to have come adrift due to missing press-studs. That level of care in the maintainance of the vehicle would ring alarm bells for me, despite claims made by the seller. I would advise that, if at all possible, have someone with mechanical knowledge look at it for you. Perhaps try contacting a 'British' car club in your area. These little cars are great fun to drive, and easy to work on. I have owned a number of them over the last 50-odd years, and still drive a '72 model. There are plenty for sale in the US. A good place to start looking being the Sprite/Midget section of mgexp.com You will get lots of answers to any question that you may have regarding these cars on their forums. A very knowledgeable and helpful crowd of MG/Sprite owners. Good luck with your search. You car is out there somewhere!
  2. Bush Mechanic

    Car collectors knowledge needed

    Done. Fairly innocuous and painless survey. No soul searching required.
  3. Bush Mechanic

    Greasing universal joints

    Good advice here. Also grease nipples come in different lengths and angles. Long ones are especially handy in uni joints, as are 45 degree extensions. Bring them out to a point where your standard grease gun fits correctly. The little extra weight isn't noticeable in the balance of the shaft. I keep a collection of used nipples of odd sizes and angles. (No parts stores nearby).
  4. Bush Mechanic

    Valve timing, De Dion or Orient Single

    Very nicely put, Mr Hartley. Also, my concern over the strength of the inlet valve spring arose from envisaging it closing too slowly, allowing the incoming charge to begin to reverse flow back down the very long inlet tract during the early part of the compression stroke. You could easily feel the wet charge blowing out of the carb on each stroke onto your hand held 3" away. It is perhaps possible that this effect was caused by the gas in the long inlet tube being shut off by the valve, compressing a little due to it's velocity, then rebounding back toward the inlet. I'm unsure if this is possible, but something caused it to reverse flow. In theory a stronger spring may possibly accentuate this effect, but it did cure the blow-back, and also brought about a noticeable increase in power With the exhaust beginning to open at 70 BBDC, just 20 degrees beyond the point of greatest piston speed, you are left with just 110 degrees of actual power stroke, out of 720 degrees total in a cycle. A 4 hp vehicle doesn't have a lot of excess power to waste on inefficiency. I feel sure that we will get it operating correctly eventually, and learn something along the way.
  5. Bush Mechanic

    1970 fj40 for sale

    PM sent.
  6. Bush Mechanic

    1970 fj40 for sale

    Nick, they are wonderful vehicles, for their time. Landcruisers are still the yardstick by which everything else is measured, in this country. When you get right out in the bush, you rarely see anything else, (unless driven by a tourist). My current 1980 HJ45 is my third tray-top Landcruiser, and is still going strong after 38 years of hard work. Restored examples are bringing silly money, especially the FJ40, and it may well be worthwhile keeping yours running. Some parts are still available, and bodies didn't have annual changes like many vehicles, so sheet metal shouldn't be a problem. Love that snow plough! Not something we get to play with in Aus.
  7. Bush Mechanic

    Valve timing, De Dion or Orient Single

    Thanks, JV, that makes interesting reading. Earlier than any that I have here. At first glance it appears to back up my instinct that the exhaust is timed a little early. Not sure if an atmospheric inlet valve, or indeed the single cylinder, would have any bearing on the exhaust valving required. Mick
  8. Bush Mechanic

    Valve timing, De Dion or Orient Single

    Thanks Tom. A compression reading has not been taken. The engine appeared to have excellent compression, (but very little power), until it died suddenly on the road, with all compression gone. Currently waiting for the machine shop to fit an insert. I too think that it will make a considerable difference. Unfortunately the owner's eyesight is not 100%, (like so many of us), and the cracking was not detected until the head was pulled this time. It may well have been there for some time. The valve was just beginning to burn, and the mating surfaces showed patches of what looked like mill scale. Due to the pressures of being involved in a rally at the time, it was reground and put back in. Much of the compression returned, but power was still lacking, and the car soon became un-driveable. The car has a good few spares, including a head, which I haven't seen yet. Tom, in reply to your edit:- Your excellent De Dion diagram is indeed very similar to the Orient engine, despite it being water cooled, rather than air cooled. The layout is basically identical. And as to your question re the possibility of a freewheeling flywheel on one side. I guess it is possible. They appear to be on a taper, most likely keyed. I would expect a good deal of noise if one had come adrift, but it is an interesting question. The old girl certainly shakes, but no doubt that is the nature of the beast. It starts easily, idles happily, and revs freely, despite the flooding. Now if it would just generate enough power...... It uses a friction disc transmission, which works well enough, once you get the hang of it. Driving it keeps you fairly busy, but more power would make it easier. Of course then you would have to learn how to stop. (Not it's strongest feature). Mick.
  9. Bush Mechanic

    1970 fj40 for sale

    It is possible that it is stuck in low range. Top speed in high range is over 70, from memory. I well remember 'driving' a Morris Minor with no brakes, being towed at up to 55 mph by one of these. The downhill traffic lights were the worst. Luckily the spare wheel is perfectly positioned on the back for absorbing the impacts of the LHS Minor front mudguard (fender). 6 am Sunday morning, a 30 mile ride from inner Melbourne to the hills.
  10. Bush Mechanic

    Valve timing, De Dion or Orient Single

    The rule of thumb came from the Smokestak site, for 'hit and miss' engines, and was the only info on the subject I managed to find. The original problem that I was attempting to address was fuel spraying out of the carburetor air intake on each stroke. Progressively stronger springs were tried, until that was achieved. The current spring was made from .047" piano wire, 7 turns in 1.5 inches free length, and from memory it was 1lb 9oz at fitted length. Appears to be opening about .060" cranking by hand, and there is a brass sleeve on the stem to limit it to 1/8" travel. I have chamferred the sleeve internally, as it was hammering, and binding on the valve stem, which is not ideal. Personally, I think the valve timing needs to be checked, but I don't have a reference point. Currently the exhaust opens at 110 degrees ATDC and closes at TDC. My gut instinct is that it's a little early, but I would appreciate some input from people with experience with this type of engine. This is one of those situations where you come on board after others have been attempting a solution and failed. Not having assembled the engine yourself, you don't necessarily have complete faith in what has gone before. Thanks for the interest, Mick.
  11. Bush Mechanic

    Valve timing, De Dion or Orient Single

    1906 Orient Buckboard 4hp single cylinder. Engine lacks power. This is a friend's vehicle that I have been helping with, trying to resolve a 35 year ongoing problem that has existed since it was initially restored. I cannot find any technical specs for this Waltham Orient engine, but as it is a copy of a De Dion, I thought that perhaps someone may be able to direct me to specs, particularly the exhaust valve timing, for that engine. As 'Aster'? France, was involved in the company prior to this engine, perhaps it is a copy of their engine, which I believe was copied from the De Dion, anyway. This beast is a bit outside of my field, and I don't have much idea what timing these engines use. The exhaust may well be one tooth out. Any ideas? The inlet valve is vertical atmospheric, and we have tried a number of different strength home-wound springs, using the rule of thumb for tension of one lb at fitted length, for each ounce of valve/keeper etc. By doing this we have reduced the blow-back through the carb inlet, but the pundits think we have too much spring pressure. The carb is the original Waltham device for the engine, with a type of rotary vane which directs different proportions of the inlet air across the jet for mixture control. Or so it appears, to me. And it has a constant flooding problem, which we are yet to resolve, but I don't think that is behind the lack of power. There are a couple of cracks in the exhaust valve seat which concern me, but the consensus is that they will have minimal effect on power generated. On a smooth flat road you can coax 12 to 15 mph out of it, and it should manage twice that with ease. Climbing hills is out of the question. Any leads on specs would be appreciated. Thanks, Mick.
  12. Bush Mechanic

    Funny car stories

    Duh, I may have missed it, Frank. Thought it was a reference to Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi. The mongoose and the snake.
  13. Bush Mechanic

    1933 DODGE DP6 REAR END FLUID CHANGE

    As Ply33 mentioned, the use of a suction pump seems sensible, being standard practice on yacht engines, where no clearance is available under the sump. Mine resembles a large syringe, and is useful for both removing and refilling diff and gearbox lubricant.
  14. Bush Mechanic

    Delco Lovejoy Lever Action Shocker Rebuild

    'Staked', but not sure of the correct term. Meaning metal is punched into a depression in the adjoining part to lock it in place. I called it 'straked' until I was corrected. By the hefty appearance of the cam in your unit, I doubt if provision for staking has been included. Most likely just relies on an interference fit on a spline. The Armstrong units require considerable force to start the cam moving along the shaft. If there is more than about .010" slop in the shaft, new seals alone may struggle to rectify the problem, necessitating re-bushing. As the shaft normally turns in the actual casting, without bushes, I ream them and press in bushes, then ream the bushes to size. Tedious, but the company in Victoria 'reconditioning' them in the past seemed to be painting them black and returning them. I had a pair from them, at some expense, which leaked badly before the resto had even turned a wheel! On checking, I found that they each had different rate valves, (neither correct for the vehicle) and were not even the units which I sent for reconditioning! Another lot sent through a second party came back as bad. It was then that I started rebuilding them myself. At least you experience the satisfaction of having restored them.
  15. Bush Mechanic

    Prebent brake lines

    I'm with Rusty. Bought a good quality single/double flaring tool many years ago, and it has had a lot of work. My bender not so much, as I only use it on tight bends. The rolls of steel tubing here are 7 metres, from memory. That copper nickel tubing sounds good. There was a time when copper was not allowable for brake lines in Australia, due to it's tendency to crack with vibration, which is my reason for selecting steel. I guess not having a parts store down the road makes a difference, as well. Mike, the cracking is probably due to too much material standing proud of the flaring tool. Did that twice this week. (Single flare, where the steel pipe joins the flexible hose). A real pain when the length is tight, and you are working under the car..