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Hello Mike

Those big-end bolts and nuts are a standard 4.2 Litre Jaguar XJ6 so they go with the con-rods. I am sure that Mr Jaguar could explain how they are self locking. Did not assemble the bottom end this time. I would think that the blue may be some remnants of Bearing Blue used by old fashioned mechanics when checking that there are no high or low spots when assembling.  I must be becoming neurotic in my old age I was terrified of breaking piston rings if I had assembled it myself. Silly isn't it?

I use a minimum of Loctite and I refuse to use any silicone based "Make-A-gasket".  I use only old fashioned "Aviation" shellac based non hardening gasket cement with heavy brown paper or sheet cork

 I do like wiring the heads on small bolts etc. You can see this in one or two of todays pics.DSCN5387.thumb.jpg.8d3db8b9f08abd48eb3b6a62454c7d4b.jpgDSCN5388.thumb.jpg.50b584d7351330b42c0688d922eacd18.jpgDSCN5390.thumb.jpg.2fb21929fbfcd1ff07d4515719c896d3.jpgDSCN5389.thumb.jpg.5f6432aac6bf7e73a36d2410bd97f1c9.jpgDSCN5391.thumb.jpg.ed912e2d1a3bee577bed8da2d2125ab4.jpg  

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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DSCN5252.jpg.a3e477dd7c373967d6a92c74c5996e56.thumb.jpg.e99c2b3ab6ae3d9fe61d4c5c5c6de4ea.jpgOne the subject of silicone based "Gaskets in a Tube" there are one or two photographs taken as I took the Humber engine apart. They show lovely long silicone "snakes" just waiting to be free so they can crawl into the works.

 

Bj.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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If you have not already worked it out my Rapier engine is rather special. I have shown the attached photograph to a number of people and to date not one can even guess what is going on. No prizes but what is your explanation?DSCN5391.thumb.jpg.afb123db97b10eec4fd03e45d8ddfbed.jpg

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Bernie,

Asymmetric piston crown orientation is obvious - block changed for more capacity, but head casting not changed ? Block bore spacing changed, but not the head to match?

 How does coolant get from the block to the head ? One connection at the rear that is not visible in the pics?

 

thanks

john 26 Rover 9

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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

 

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2 x 1.5 " SU is a ot of carb for a 1500 - very sporting. Last big carbed engine I had was Rover 2000 TC with 2 x 2" SUs.

 

So why are the piston crowns offset ?

 

thanks

john

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2 minutes ago, jp928 said:

2 x 1.5 " SU is a ot of carb for a 1500 - very sporting. Last big carbed engine I had was Rover 2000 TC with 2 x 2" SUs.

 

So why are the piston crowns offset ?

 

thanks

john

Great thing about the SU design,  there really isn't too big. Well, up to a certain point that is.

 

SU's are a dynamic throat design, the carbs will supply as much or as little as the engine asks for. I'm a big fan.

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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.

 

 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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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.

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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There is supposed to be a Lagonda Rapier here in Brisbane, Banyo,  though I don't know if it has a new block to give it the 1500cc capacity. A friend (who was unwell)  told me he had found one up the street from him, but I never got around to visiting it before my friend passed away. At the time I was told the owner was in the process of converting the preselector gearbox from plain bushes to roller bearings.

Matthew

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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...........

58c499b50da24_HSD239jpeg.thumb.jpeg.84cf30145a830d0d906550e1990f8837.jpeg

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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,

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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,DSCN5395.thumb.jpg.5d4b4c601f10c9fbf329a84a51b6faae.jpgDSCN5396.thumb.jpg.eaaa7a784299fef1da1daa4d7745fd75.jpgDSCN5399.thumb.jpg.d391fe3fcdfe92afa517d331b6727a28.jpg 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. 

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)
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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.

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Hello Bernie

What are the purpose of the extra lobes on the cams? Were the cams new blanks that can be fitted to other engines?

Gear drive Riley engines have an extra lobe, square,  on each cam which is intended to even out the load on the drive gears as there are only four lobes per cam. These are not on the later chain drive engines. This does not look like the purpose of these though.

Matthew

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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. 

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DSCN5404.thumb.jpg.4e310e91dd38d79b4a4a48177bc65fad.jpg```````````````````````DSCN5406.thumb.jpg.9557fbd82a90052976d68d124358c0f3.jpgStandard 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

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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There were many unusual designs in the early years, before things were fully understood. I know Riley's with gears are very noisy in the geardrive if the lag tappet is left out.

It is a good looking design for a standard rod, and I fully understand about becoming fatigued with age. It happens to everything. I have chosen new rods for one of my Riley's for a similar reason.

Matthew

 

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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

DSCN5408.thumb.jpg.8679484240363b7ee040e4294d0be47b.jpg

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Hi Bernie !

No , we are all with you. Just look at the huge amount of views you have generated here and with the Humber also. I expect that your vast fan club eagerly devours your every posting. This communication broadcast format certainly tolerates huge passivity among the masses of appreciative members.You are among the top last percentage point of lifelong driver mechanics on the forums. You are extremely fortunate to still be doing it. As a strong young man , I certainly enjoyed an unusually large amount of adventure miles. That is winding down , and probably will end this year. You ask how many "Spanner Jockeys" there are among us. I guess probably up in the 90+% range. Many are or have done so professionally, including some highly experienced machinists. Personally , since you ask , I admit to having been merely a parts replacer. So at best , you would have found me somewhere in the bottom , say 10 - 20%. I would say you are in the top 10% or so. Almost two years ago , after working inside on the aft end of the pictured 1924 Cadillac , I  had to do the front end work outside. It is a clearance issue. "Big Joe" helped with his strong arms , but I ended up in the hospital due to my beat-up ibody. No longer able to work as before , I called an old friend to help me. He is about your age , and still capable of the acrobatics and contortions needed for universal mechanics duties. You see him in the white T shirt in the middle of the pic.

 

Please be assured that all readers admire your work and driving adventures. I'm am 100% sure we all enjoy your every word , and would happily accept more yet. I hope more of us chime in to encourage you , and express gratitude for your interesting , detailed postings. Whether while taking a break from the workbench , or posting from the armchair , I am certain the admiration is heartfelt. Thank you , Bernie !   - Carl

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  Get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, Bernie?  :D    You put most of us to shame and intimidate me with your knowledge and ability.  As C Carl said, your thread is read daily. I am disappointed when you do not post. Now get to work and post some progress.

 

   I DO use wrenches , almost daily. Some I have I used with Dad at about 12 years of age. Others, including a torque wrench, I have had since my first car in 1952.

 

  Ben 

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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.

 

58d047c73c20c_HSD239.jpeg.7e36841502b8647a9e8e3b02a40cd487.jpeg

 

*

"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

Edited by oldcar (see edit history)

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Been away a few days due to work. Yes, I am interested in what you write Bernie!

 

And I do my own work, but I only use spanners on my Triumph TR3A......I use wrenches on the Studebakers. :)  Seriously, I do all my own work for three reasons -- I can't afford to pay someone the going rate to work on my cars, I want the work done right, and most of all I enjoy the satisfaction of doing it myself.

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