oldcar

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About oldcar

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  • Birthday 11/09/1936

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  1. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    One of the things that made the Pre-select gearboxes so popular with English and European, Racing and Sportscar drivers was the ability to make virtually instant gear changes either up or down without lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal. Bj.
  2. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    OK I am sure you are all anxious to learn more about these fascinating transmissions so I have gone back to square one, The ENV 75 supplement to the original 1934 Lagonda Rapier "Owners Hand-book". The drawings contained therein will explain the workings far better than I, a humble, uneducated lay-person. If nothing else it may help you appreciate where all those fascinating whirrings and whining come from. To move from a simple straightforward non-synchronised "crash" gearbox of the 1920s to one of these just three or four years latter must have had many of the mechanics of the day, scratching their heads.\ At first glance it may appear as though I have duplicated the drawing on "Plate one". This is no so. Please look again. Bj. It is one thing to be able to look at the drawings and understand why it should work. It is another totally different thing to take one apart and put it all back together so it will work. Bernie j.
  3. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Thank you Mike There were the two main suppliers of Pre-select transmissions in England during the 1930s. Wilson and ENV. Both transmissions were made under Wilson Patents. The ENV 75 box as fitted to the Lagonda Rapiers was slightly smaller and lighter than the Wilson equivalent. The gear selection was in a straight line with a lock out latch for reverse otherwise the principal was the same as on the cord. The Rapier's gear lever was floor mounted originaly the drivers right hand side. This was moved later to a centre position with the gear selection lever moveing in a straight line with Reverse furthest forward with Netural next then as the lever mover back first, second, third and top. This acted on a small lever on the left hand side of the gear box. This in turn rotated a "cam" shaft that pre-selected the require gear, depressing the pedal in the same position normally occupied by the clutch. This pedal depresses the large spring seem in earlier photographs allowing the strut for the next selected gear to move so that its "foot was sitting on the "Bus-bar". As the pedal was released the spring tightened the band controling the next set of gears and thus bring them into action. Gears are epicyclic revolving around a drum. By stopping the drum from rotating caused the planetery gears to revolve inside the selected drum in turn transmitting the drive via a central "Sun" gear this then took the drive to the rear wheels. Unfortunately to fully explain the principle required would take far too much space and time. The photographs below show the gear selection lever with the reverse lock out. The final photograph also shows the there pedals with the "Change"pedal on the left, the accelerator the small pedal in the middle and the foot brake pedal on the right. The last two photographs show the layout of the planetery gears inside the drum. The final photograph shows the complete "gear train" with a "soup tin" to show it's comparative size.
  4. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    The four bands and the top-gear cone are now on their way to England where they are to receive new Asbestos Free linings. Meanwhile I am throughly cleaning both the inside and the outside the housing and the various internal parts to be sure that there are no rogue Asbestos fibres remaining. Today I also chased down an amoying oil leak at the "banjo" fitting taking oil to the valve gear in the cylinder head, fitting new copper washers on either side of the "banjo". I have also made contact with the Royal Holloway, University of London at Egham, Surrey, England. I have recently learnt that in the New Year they are to open a new Building the "Beatrice Shilling Building". It seem that she is finally after almost 100 years receiving some recognition. For people with short memories she was the Carburation Specialist at the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough in England during WW2, and is credited with saving many young pilots lives having solved a serious problem with the induction system in Spitfire and Hurricane engines. This problem caused their engine to cut out without warning when the Pilot was making avoiding action during an heated battle with German Fighters. After the war she owned and raced my Lagonda Rapier. Some people still think that I destroyed a historic car when I rebuilt it in 1978. I doubt that it would still exist if I had not saved it. When I bought it, it was already partially dismantled and the engine was in pieces. Certainly today it would be hard to recognise it as the same car. Bj. Re:- The green words seen here on the trailing edge of the bonnet (hood) "Equipe Australie", is French for "Team Australia." It has now been removed, It was put on the four Rapiers and one Riley that went with us to France almost fivge years ago, to identify them as belonging to the group of six cars visiting from Australia.
  5. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Thank you Craig That 501 was always a second choice, Being 1924 it was a wide track and only a borderline "Light Car" and not completely to my taste. I have never made it a secret, that my project cars have one purpose..... To be the vehicle for compulsory saving, this saving being used to help pay my share of our five yearly visits to the UK and France. I do not look to make a profit, I am not that silly, but it is one way to accumulate the money that would otherwise disappear. I know that I will never get all the money I spend back but I do try to recoup around 80 percent of the money I spend. We live on a very tight budget and it is one way that I can contribute my share. I doubt that any of the people reading this fully understand what I am talking about. It makes me sick seeing all those full page colour advertisements that fill a large part of our newspapers. The thought of having the ready money to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on a week long"Cruise" is beyond my conception. Yet every one of these Cruises are full, sailing it seems about every other day. I do not consider it rash or a flagrant use of money to have one holiday every five years. At 83, after this one I may never do another. Taking the Lagonda away with us is actually saving us money. The cost of shipping the car to the UK and back again is far less that the amount we would spend on a Hire Car and there is no comparison to my way of thinking, between driving a modern economy car and the Lagonda. We avoid Highways and Motorways as far a possible driving mainly on Local roads. In the Lagonda with the hood (top) down we see far more that we would from the deck of a Cruise Liner or a seat in a Tourist Coach AND we actually get to meet the local people virtually every day. But please do not tell anyone, we do not want to see all those wonderful almost deserted roads, full of snotty nosed tourists. Bernie j.
  6. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Hello Mike "Great minds think alike!" I have the "bands and top gear cone" from my spare (Wide ratio) box all packed ready to go to Jeff on Monday morning. He will require them for two weeks (he says) and about the same for postage each way, which takes up all of one month. My plan is as you suggest to rebuild one or the other or both boxes once I get the relined bands back from the UK. We have the five day VSCC Alpine Rally at the end of this month which we are committed to attend so I will not start taking the Close Ratio box out until after then While It only takes one day to dismantle one of these gearboxes it seems to take considerably longer to put one back together and get it operating smoothly again! Below are two more photographs the first showing the "female" section of top gear cone. You can just catch a glimpse of the "male" cone next to it on the bench. If you look at this even closer you can just make out two points of the "star spring" The purpose of this is to prevent the male cone becoming stuck in the friction lined female cone when another gear or neutral is selected. I hope you are all following this very closely. I have been "playing" with these gear boxes for almost 50 years and I am still learning......... Please note This gearbox has ben on the shelf for more than 20 years and I have not as yet started to clean anything. The bands and a top gear cone are already packed ready to be sent to the UK tomorrow morning (Monday) Bj. Bj.
  7. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    It would appear that it is 99% decided that we will take the Lagonda away to the UK and France again early next year. Part of my preparation will be to remove all the friction material containing Asbestos. i.e.. Brake linings and the four "Bands and the Top Gear Cone" buried deep within the gear box. Not having a huge amount of time to complete these preparations I started yesterday to dismantle the spare gearbox. hopefully the attached photographs will give you some indication of the complex nature of the gearbox, This view is lookingat the rear (reverse) band closest the the camera. The second photograph shows the reverse band on the right hand side. Top gear is actuated via a cone clutch which is already removed. In effect there is absolutely nothing wrong with these bands except that the friction material contains asbestos. Rather than wait until the friendly litle men of the Australian "Border Force" (Customs) to impound and dismantle (destroy) the gearbox when the car returns from our holidays I am now about to have the bands relined with "Certified Asbestos Free" material. This involves sending the bands and the cone to England to have them relined, then rebuilding the gearbox when they return. It appears that there is no one locally (in Australia) that stocks the linings or is capable of fitting them correctly. You can just see in the right hand background the four "gear sets" In the third photograph shows the "workings" of the gearbox with the actuating spring and "bus bar" . In order to dismantle the box the spring must be held in a compressed position. The long bolt at the bottom right hand screws in, through the hole normally holding a brass plug, to compress the spring. This spring normally applies the pressure to contract the selected band to activate that gear. I am sure that you all understand exactly how it all works. Unfortunately I do not have the space here to include a full description of the workings of a "Preselector " gearbox. The final photograph is of the four bands removed from the gearbox.. You will have to "look in" later to see the top gear "cone". Bernie j. .
  8. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Perhaps I should explain for many years now I have suffered from Depression. I have been taking a daily dose of medication for the past 30+ years. It is one of those things that you can never fully recover from. Provided I continue to take the doctor perscribed the four tablets per day I stay relatively OK. It seem as though the last three or four projects have all struck the same stumbling block and I get them progressed to a certain stage and something happens and I just do not want to know about them anymore. Thankfully the Lagonda seems to avoid this fate although I did actually sell it once a very long time ago. The purchaser was one of the dreaded "Collector" crew. He left it standing in amongst the rest of his "Collection" with all four tyres flat and piles of what could only be described as junk across the rear of the car. Fortunately for me he decided that he really needed an Ocean Going Yacht and he agreed to sell it back to me. Having almost lost it once I doubt that I will ever offer it for sale again. I have just spent this afternoon mainly just looking at it. Something I (hope) that I will never tire of. The Rapiers "designer" seems to have managed to get everything right first time. There is virtually nothing that I would even think about changing. From what I have seen of other peoples Rapiers, any attempt to modify or change anything is a retrograde step. Yes, even after almost 85 years. Having said that I have modified the exhaust to a swept four branch set-up and carried out some other mild tuning exercises but nothing major or detrimental. About the only thing that I should do is to give the radiator a flush out before going on the VSCC Alpine Rally at the end of this month. Bj.
  9. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Thank you Wolfgang I have now sent an email to Peter. His was a name I had not come across previously. If you compare the band you have the photo of with that of my bands you will see that there are some slight differences. Bernie j.
  10. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Hello Again Mike Anything is possible, I think that maybe the first step is to have some tests done on a sample of the oil from the gearbox; I would sooner not have to take my gearbox apart and put it back together again before the car would be due to be shipped to the UK. I have done it before but not in recent yearsThere is no problem having the brakes relined & to obtain a certified statement that they are asbestos free. Time has a nasty habit of slipping away when you least expect it. The car would need to be ready to be shipped by late March next year. I need to think about it (perhaps an age thing) I could take the gearbox out while I am waiting for the brake shoes to be relined. I will probably have to fit new (roller) bearings in the planetary gears too and you never know "what else" until the box is fully dismantled. Probably the worst part is "thinking about it". At least with the Fiat sold and gone to the UK I should not have any other distractions. All this sounds to me as though the decision to take "KG" away to Europe with us again next year has been made. How did that happen? Bernie j.
  11. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Hello Again Mike These bands are either new or very near new. They are from my ENV spares shelf. I bought them a very long time ago, without having them tested for asbestos content I have no way of knowing exactly what they are but I do know that I am not about to throw them away. I have to look at the "shelf" again but I should have a new "top-gear cone" too. Bernie j.
  12. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Hello Mike What you are saying is probably correct BUT to my knowledge there is no supplier of new ENV 75 bands in Australia. The main source of these bands is from one or possibly two Preselector Transmission specialists in the UK. They will not supply bands to do it yourself people. The only way they will supply bands is if they fit them whilst in the process of totally rebuilding the transmission. This involves removing the transmission and shipping it to England. You then wait for anything up to three or four months. When they have rebuilt your trans they will send you an invoice. After you pay what ever the choose to charge they will return your transmission. The last person I know who had a trans rebuilt in the UK paid over $10,000. I have a spare trans BUT it is a "wide ratio" box. ENV in their wisdom built three versions of the '75. One as used by Riley 9, Triumph & Crossley 10hp had "wide" ratios. The one supplied to Lagonda for the Rapier had "close" ratios, the one supplied in very limited numbers to MG for use in the "Q" type had ultra close ratios. The linings and bands were probably the same for all three versions. The various other preselector transmissions Wilson, Daimler etc whilst similar are totally different and not interchangeable with the ENV 75. I have on my shelf, spare bands and harnesses similar to your photograph but being all "old stock" it is almost certain that they contain asbestos. The spare linings that the Rapier Register stock are probably from the same source and age as mine. There is another option, I can fit a clutch together with a modern Toyota 5 speed gearbox. This involves making non-reversible changes to the bell housing together with a new drive shaft. If I was going down this path why not fit a new Toyota motor as well. Better still why not sell the Rapierand buy a completely new car. As it is my Rapier is worth around UK£65/75,000.00. It has an incredible history prior to my owner-ship. I have owned it since 1978, we have travelled over 100,000 miles in it. We have at various times driven it through the UK, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy and Spain. The photo shows our car as it was in the 1950s & 60s When owned and raced by Beatrice Shilling. It is worth looking up Miss Shilling. She was the Carburation specialist at the RAF Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough in the UK throughout WW2, There is a book "Negative Gravity" written about her life. When I rebuilt our Rapier there were a number of people who complained bitterly that I had "destroyed an Historic Car" Bj. .
  13. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Thank you Mike Perhaps I am becomming slightly senile? I seem to have been unable to complete any of my recent projects. I am sure that it is going to an enthusiast who will have it finished in no time. I know that it is different but I do use my Lagonda Rapier a car that I restored from a basket case after buying it in 1978, so I do not sell every car that comes into my hands. If you look at the thread devoted Lagonda Rapiers under British Cars, you may start to understand. Bernie j.
  14. oldcar

    Lagonda Rapiers

    Now a "couple of days" later we took the Rapier out for a 'decent run' out into the nearby Yarra Valley on Thursday and the car went extremely well which only reinforces the question why I bother getting involved with anything else. With the end of this year getting closer every day I need to make some decision about whether we take the car to Europe next year or take the soft option with a modern hire Car. It is only the question about the Australian "Border Force" permiting the car to return to Australia without all the fuss, searching for any asbestos that may be hidden within the bowels of the car. The one potential problem is with the friction linings in the preselector gearbox. Bj.
  15. oldcar

    1922 Fiat 501 Targa Florio

    Hello again. It all happened rather quickly, I had intended to "just test the water" and next thing I was swamped with buyers. I am sure that there will be something to replace the Fiat but hopefully not another "Basket case". Having just returned from a longish run in the Lagonda Rapier it is such a good "drivers" car I wonder why I need anything else. Nick Williams who is buying the Fiat lives in England but he is familiar with this Forum and has said the he would like to continue the "story". You do not get rid of me so easily. What is it that say about teaching old dogs new tricks? Bernie j.