oldcar

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  1. From time to time I mention my Lagonda Rapier on my thread under Our Cars and Restoration Projects/Packard Coupe but I thought that I really should start a thread dealing with Lagonda Rapiers here where they belong. For all those who are blinking and asking "What is a Lagonda Rapier" they are a small British car made for one year in 1934/5, until the Lagonda Company (absolutely nothing to do with Aston Martin until the late1940 when David Brown who had recently bought Aston Martin needed a decent 2 OHC engine and bought Lagonda)went into receivership. After the wash-up the Rapier continued in production, as Rapier Cars Ltd until 1938/9. Lagonda's original design brief to Timothy Ashcroft the engineer in charge of the small team given the task of creating the car was..Produce the best Light Car in the World. The result was a brilliant little sporting car with an 1100cc 2 ohc 4 cylinder engine and an ENV pre-selector transmission. Total combined production of both the Lagonda Rapier and the Rapier was less than 400 cars. To my knowledge there are about half a dozen of these cars in the US. One of the things that make these little cars so interesting (to look at) is that neither factory built a standard production body. EVERY car has an individual coach built body. No two are exactly the same. This is illustrated by the photograph taken yesterday of five of the cars situated in Melbourne Australia. Four are Lagondas and one a Rapier, they all have a body built by a different coachbuilder. Can you tell the difference? Bernie J. oldcar,
  2. This photograph of the front engine bearer may help with the WHY (#314) That is apart from suggesting the whole car needs to be torn apart so I can clean down and repaint the chassis. Some may say that after 100,000 miles it is due. Perhaps over due.
  3. Thank you Kevin For someone to remove every nut and bolt to do this, they must have had a reason, Further clues can be found in the spring hanger and the bottom of the bulkhead (fire wall) support bracket if you compare them with the ones on your Rapier. Below are photographs of your Rapier when I first bought it & prior to restoring it. The next photo is just before I sold it to Austin Tope.
  4. Finally the cylinder head is going back on (slowly). While I was crawling about under the front of the car I thought that I should give you a little test of your powers of observation, there is one common factor with the other three photographs. What is it and why.
  5. Hello Kevin For this sort of information you must first rejoin the Rapier Register. The timing marks are on the rim of the flywheel and almost impossible to see unless you extend the marks onto the rear face of the flywheel or in your case onto the clutch pressure plate. It is helpful to remember that one tooth on the ring gear = 4 degrees. the only problem is that you cannot see the ring gear through the inspection hole in the belhousing. Once you establish TDC you can see the flywheel and ring gear through the opening at the bottom of the bell housing. You can then start a new set of timing marks at the bottom of the flywheel. The only problem is that you need to get underneath the car to see them. You need to remove both cam covers to establish when the valves are open and closed. You could always ask David N to assist you. With your engine with the spark plugs "masked" it is hard/impossible to see when the piston is at TDC but you should be able to just thread a thin wire in through the spark plug hole. Either that or feel for the compression stroke with your thumb over the spark plug hole. This depends on how much compression your engine has. If you want to be really tricky you can bend a loop in a piece of glass tube attached to a rubber "cork" fill the loop with light oil place the rubber cork In the spark plug hole and observe the glass loop as you turn the motor over with the crank handle. When the oil squirts out into your eye you have reached TDC. There is lots and lots of this information and more through the Register, membership gives you access to all sorts of information and assistance. There are well over 500 items of important tips and suggestions in Rosemary's Reprints taken from 33 years of Rapier Register newsletters. 362 typewritten pages. It is worth paying the joining fee and annual subscription just to have access to this stuff:- ROSEMARY’S REPRINTS of TECHNICAL TOPICS from the Rapier News 1977-2010
  6. Hello Kevin I see you are new to the AACA Forum so I do not know where you are or what car you have. Generally speaking, Timing a magneto is simply a matter of common sense. Give me some more info and I will attempt to assist. Basically the first thing is to find TDC at the end of the compression stroke (both valves closed)
  7. With the new (borrowed) head studs in place I can re-start putting the engine back together BUT look at todays photograph, not really the day to be doing engine work in an open carport! Bj 41607
  8. I have also decided to buy a new inlet manifold from the UK too. How is it coming? Speedy Air Mail, Parcel Postage! Surely lightening cannot strike in the same place twice. Can it? I am holding my breath. It WILL be OK, I have a "tracking number" so I can check on its progress. So far, I know for sure that it has been posted. Bj
  9. The latest report on the missing parcel. My friend in the UK has been doing some checking using the "Tracking Number." It seems as though I have nothing to worry about! It is not just my parcel that has fallen through the cracks. It appears that it is a whole big Post Bag containing lots of other people's parcels too, Some forgetful baggage handler has put it down somewhere. The problem is that he cannot remember where he dropped it. Someone is sure to find it some day, maybe not this week, month, year, decade. But at sometime in the future, someone will find it! Oh well! The Tracking Service? Their message is, "The case is closed". End of story. Bj.
  10. Hello Jp and Eric I am glad to see you are both hard at work. Right now work on the Lagonda has stalled. Good ole Australia Post seems to have crashed the aeroplane that was bringing my new head studs from England. The Tracking Service tells me that it took off from the UK at 4.14 PM on Saturday 11-3-2017 and it has not been seen since. Oh! MERDE! as my French friends are known to say in times of extreme stress. My local Post Master tells me that it is far too early to start worrying! My parcel may turn up anytime within the next month to six weeks. Now ain't that just something? Bj. What was that I said about Page 13.
  11. Hi Ben Thank you, I need some one to do that every so often to wake me up. I am just sending an email to Margaid, our Rapier Register Spares Person, She posted the head studs at her village post office in the UK to me 11 days ago. The parcel took a day and a half to reach Australia. It has taken (so far) another nine and a half days in the Australian Postal "Service". The Tracking Service tells me that it could-should be delivered this week. The CEO of Australia Post is due to retire soon, He is now in his mid 30s. He can just about afford to retire. He has just paid himself another Multi Million Dollar Bonus on top of his already Multi Million Dollar salary. After all he is the CEO. Now I know I should have started my working life as a Telegram Delivery Boy. Bj. To answer your question; about 1.5 to 2 mm. (one or two threads).
  12. Hello Paul I could not agree with you more on all three points. The big thing is to remember that this is a hobby and as such supposed to be FUN. For all those people saying "Oh Yeah!" I admit I have a problem, I have to be aware that my time is rapidly becoming shorter, As a result I become more impatient, there are so many more projects that I have in the pipe line. I really have a "thing" with people I perceive as sitting picking the lint out of their navel. Figuratively speaking of course! N.B, This does not include any of the regular contributors to this thread. Bj.
  13. Page 13. I hope that is not an bad omen! Hello Carl and Ben Not angry or even bad-tempered, possibly a little grumpy, but with good reason. At least I now know that there are two other people on the forum who are wide awake and who actually do work on their own cars. And are (hopefully) interested in and understand what I am writing! While I tend to use my forum threads/posts as a form of diary, it should also be a conversation and it seems (to me) that very often it is a one sided conversation! For instance and most recently, I still do not know how many other people go to the trouble of counter boring the tops of the holes the head studs screw into. There is a reason for doing this. If you all do it and know why it is done, then I would be boring you to go into a lengthy explanation. I can imagine any number of you saying (to yourselves) "Gee Bernie; that is "old news"if you cannot tell us something new, why bother?". At the risk of boring the rest of you, the reason why I go to the trouble of counter boring the head stud holes is quite simple, My good friend and proprietor of 'Crankshaft Rebuilders* Ian Shugg,'who for the past 30 of 40 years have been doing my engine work, some years ago suggested that I do it. Cast iron, as I am sure that you all know, is softer and structurally weaker that steel, more especially, the high grade of steel used in the manufacture of head studs and the nuts that go onto them*. As you tighten the nuts holding the head down, you are pulling the stud up. This in turn pulls on the weaker cast iron that the stud is screwed into. The counter bore gives the cast iron space to move before distorting the face of the top surface of the block, thus reducing the risk of causing 'high spots' that can eventually cause the head gasket to leak. This counter boring is a very minor thing that can reduce the risk of a major inconvenience at some time in the future. If nothing else it should be done after the top of the block has been refaced. Thank you for listening, I hope that you have learnt something new and that I am not boring you. Without some feed-back, I have no way of knowing if you are interested or not! And that you are not complaining (to yourselves) "There goes that "old-car", woofflling on again! Bj. * "Crankshaft Rebuilders" started out many years ago, specialising in recovering the large diameter bearing surfaces found in crankshafts fitted to large marine engines. They are now the engine reconditioners of choice of a great many of the enthusiasts engaged in all forms of "Motor Sport" in Australia. They also manufacture high quality crankshafts to individual specifications. When I was building the new 1500cc motor for the Lagonda Rapier, they made the new crankshaft that is used in it. Bernie j
  14. I am really disappointed! All the armchair experts seem to have gone to sleep. It seem a total waste of my time to post all these interesting photographs only to have their relevance go straight over your heads. Not one to give up easily while I am waiting for the slow boat from the UK to bring the new head studs I have been able to do one or two small jobs in preparation. Please do not get too many splinters scratching your heads over this one. The question is "what and why?". Before answering that one a much easier question. How many of the people looking at this have actually held a spanner in the last ten years? A supplementary question, EVER? We all know how much easier it is to hold a pen and sign a cheque (check). Even easier these days, to "tap" a credit card. Bj
  15. ```````````````````````Standard Rapier connecting rods are quite inpressive on their own and would have been sensational when new in 1934 but like all things they do become fatigued with age. Todays two photographs show a standard Rapier con-rod and one that hangs on the wall above my desk as a constant reminder! It had been in one of my earlier cars and what you see is the result of just a moments over enthusiasm. Starting on the front row of the grid, next to a very fast supercharged Austin that was in Pole Position. I managed to beat him to the first corner, just .................... Bj. 41005
  16. These small double ended lobes were for spring loaded dampers. They proved to be more trouble than they were worth so the spring bits were removed and thrown away when the cars went in for their first service. There are still a very small of cars that still have them. The Rapier still idles smoothly at 800 to 1,000 rpm without any vibration and will rev smoothly up to 5,500 to 6,000 RPM without any fuss. Not something I would recomend with original 82 year old con rods.
  17. Hello Matthew I have sent you a P.M. Re Phillip Island, Riley Rally. Bj.
  18. For the benefit of anyone wondering about the two modern replacement cam bearing caps, the original oil pump drive was a gear mounted on the camshaft between these two bearings. When I first bought the car all those years ago, the original caps had been broken and welded, quite possibly at the bottom of a chicken house, using the available materials.
  19. And some more photographs. The first one is a handy little tool I am in the process of making this afternoon. Then for people with even more inquiring minds, A photo of the cylinder head being lifted off the bench ready to go on the engine after my new head studs arrive from the Rapier Register "Spares" in England. I think that it is worth spending a moment of two looking carefully at the "head". But then I may be biased. The "other" lifting device is strong enough for me to lift the engine and gearbox as a unit. I USED to be strong enough to lift and carry the head by myself. I am told it is something to do with "anno domini" Bj.
  20. Back to more pleasant subjects, as pointed out to me recently, by using Jaguar XJ6 con-rods in the Rapier's engine, the third set of big-end bearings are free. No prizes for working that one out. Bernie j,
  21. As Those that are following my thread on "Our cars & Restorations" will tell you my 1923 Single Six Coupe is fitted with 23 inch disc wheels. These are the five bolt variety which quite obviously from the difficulty I am having finding a fifth wheel now extremely rare. To help me narrow the search can someone tell me which years the Single six was supplied with these wheels as optional equipment? Better still if you just happen to have one lurking unloved and unwanted in your shed PLEASE send me a P.M. Thank You Bernie J.
  22. Hello Matthew I know the of car(s) you refer to there are actually two. One is more or less totally dismantled the other has been "Under Restoration" for as long as I can remember and probably longer. There are three more Lagonda Rapiers in Queensland, one in Maleny and the other two in Northern Queensland. One of the cars at Nudgee has an earlier attempt at boring the original block out to 1500 cc. That the car has not been driven since 1964 or earlier must say something. The owner is, I am led to believe, an "expert" in everything, why else would he be converting the gearbox to roller bearings; when it already had them from new? The same person published in the Register "News" detailed instructions on how to turn a CD Disk into at timing diagram. There are twenty Rapiers said to be fitted with 1500cc blocks from the same batch as the one in my car. The only thing is that the owners of many of these would sooner keep this a carefully guarded secret. They are afraid that should this information "get out", that it may in some way effect the value of their "investment"......... Bj. The photo below is of the car Matthew mentions.. It is taken from my Book "EVER KEEN" from the section on this car, You may note the caption beneath the photo states that it was stored in this manner from 1963 to 1993. It has since changed location and is/was undergoing a restoration which commenced some years ago. In his contribution to the book the owner states "At one point in 1963 ( the same year as the photograph) I pulled an indicated 5,500 rpm...........
  23. Just as a matter of Interest I did a search through the Rapier Register's detailed list of cars and came up with 19 other 1500cc Rapiers all presumed to be using the same replacement cylinder block, about half of those are racing cars. It is just that no one else talks about their cars. I am led to believe that there are even more but I am told that their owners like to keep the size of their engines a very closely guarded secret. Bj.
  24. Hello All It really is very simple, Members of the Rapier Register arranged for new pattens to be made and had new blocks cast. Previously the maximum you could safely bore out an original Rapier block was to 66mm which suited idealy a Matchless motorcycle piston. This gave noninally 1232cc and 9.00:1compression. In the past I have done two or three Rapier engines to this capacity. The last one I did must have been a "lightweight" block because we "fell in the water" and had to have the bores sleeved and the sleeves sealed in using a total submersion in a vacuum chamber process. Some of you are correct when you say that the bores in the "1500" block are off-set the centre of the two end ones moving out towards the front and the back respectively while two centre bores are moved towards the centre. Because the original "hemi" cylinder head is retained the combustion chamber is slightly off set this requires the domes on the pistons to also be off set. More later...... The raised section of the piston, not really a dome , actually enters the bottom 5mm approx of the combustion chamber. which is why it must be off set. It all works very well and makes the car so much better to drive. You should remember that this is not a new development but we have been driving the Rapier as a 1500 for 10 to 15 years. I will have to go back through a whole lot of records to see exactly when the 1500 block was put into use. Initially I was still using cams with a huge amount of over lap and much higher comp. The car went very well but just was not nice to drive on the road. Once it was decided that I could not drive in competition in the future, it all became too hard and that is when I decided to "de-tune" the engine. It really is a great touring car and is so much more pleasant to drive. It has much more torque down low and pulls very strongly from about 2,000 rpm on.......... It will keep up comfortably with modern traffic on our (Australian) interstate highways. It will cruise at 60 to 65 MPH, hour after hour and it loves mountain roads. Bj.
  25. Hello Again John You are being busy. There are two water transfer elbows on the rear of the head, so you cannot see them just yet. One leads directly from the water pump via a gallery mounted along the side of the block the other is an external transfer from the rear of the block into the rear of the head. The cylinder head it original apart from larger inlet valves and enlarged and polished inlet ports. The car has basically had sixty years of development. It has been fitted with three different bodies, the first a two door fixed head coupe. Then a very basic two seater sports racing car then the sporting two seater body I fitted when I first bought the car in 1978 that it still has. I changed to the new 1500cc block after a major blow up all but destroyed the original 1100cc block. The bore started out as 62.5mm (1104cc) then grew to 66mm.(1232cc) The new block is 73mm,(1498cc) Stroke remains the same 90mm. Carburettors are 2 X SU 1.5 inch. Bj