1913 36 model 17 in the UK

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Evenin Barry and all,


Sorry again for the lack of updates, life seems to take over sometimes,


Barry, the Alton I was in is the Staffordshire Alton, this is where the famous Alton Towers theme park is based, it is a really nice village with several pubs including my favourite the Bulls Head.


As usual I have been working on various projects including removing a set of pistons that were seized in their bores, this an engine for another project but I thought I would show you how I managed to pull the rusted-in pistons from the block, I put the block in the bonfire and got it nice and hot then used the ram from my press along with a few laser cut plates, my assistant Jack and out they came.






A couple of weeks ago we took a ride out to Great Haywood for lunch near the canal,




it was a lovely day but the Chalmers wasn't happy on the road and seemed to get very hot and ran quite erratically, when we came to leave the engine would not start, I did just about everything I could think of, when I tried to flood the carb the fuel seemed to "boil" in the float bowl, very concerning indeed, I removed the plugs that were very overheated with gaps way to wide, I re-gapped the plug's and after letting the engine cool down I managed to get it started, we headed for home with a rather unhappy running engine.

Thinking back to when the problem started I realised that I had filled the tank with fuel just before the poor running started, when we got home I drained the tank and refilled it with fuel from a different petrol station, after this had been done the engine started and ran beautifully and has done so ever since, I have sent a fuel sample away to be checked, watch this space for the results and always be aware of poor fuel.


Today I drove out to Audlem which is a favourite even now when the temperature has dropped,




on my way back I stopped at Woore church to look at the sculpture of a WW1 soldier that has been made to commemorate the end of The Great War,




with over 3100 miles traveled over the year I think the temperature has now beaten me, the warm workshop beckons with the rebuild of the spare Chalmers engine up first.




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Evenin everybody,


Happy New Year to you all, yes I know I have not posted an update in ages but that doesn't mean I have been sitting around doing nothing, well not all the time !


Since my last update I decided it was time to go through a car I have not used in 15 years, it is my 1988 Ferrari 328 GTB, I have gone through the car from indicator lenses to cam belts, injection metering heads to brake disc's, as soon as the sun comes out I will have the car back on the road,






I have been spending most of my time on the spare Chalmers engine I am rebuilding,


I have modified the spark plug carrier's just like I did on the first engine, it allow's the electrode to be in the mixture rather than up inside the thread's,




I have again used Caterpillar D9 engine valves, I shorten them to suit and add a new collet groove, I have also used new valve spring's,




I cleaned up up the camshaft bearings and gave the camshaft a little "run in" on the lathe,




The spare crank has had a light grind, new bearing's and has been pressed back together with the help of my Riley driving friend Andy in the next village who has a 100 ton press,




the timing gears are all lined up and the lifters fitted,






the con rod's have been re-metaled and I am making new big end bolts,




I am waiting on suppliers of wrist pins as the original's are pitted, I have yet to modify the pistons.


Again sorry for the delay in updating.





Daves model A (3).JPG


Sorry I forgot to add that my friend Dave came round in his model A.



Edited by racer2_uk
Forgot caption (see edit history)

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I always enjoy reading your updates. No worries about their timeliness. I would rather believe you are out enjoying that wonderful automobile than sitting and posting anyway.

I mostly wanted to comment that we also get bad gasoline (petrol to you) from time to time. About eight years ago, I got a bad tank-full in my older modern vehicle, plugged fuel filters stopped me about four times in five miles. A really annoying pain in the----. And that was from a gasoline station I had traded at for years with no troubles. It was about two years before I went back there, and I have had no troubles since. 

There is also one particular brand of petrol in our part of this nation that has terrible gasoline. I don't know how they get away with it. All their posted fuel grade numbers given are what they are supposed to be. However, numerous people have tried their product and find that the fuel economy goes down about 20 to 25 percent (consistently) relative to even other cheap brands of gasoline. The extremely poor performance and the fact that one must push the pedal (foot-feed?) all the way down for even poor performance also confirms the fuels poor quality. 

I can only guess that an awful lot of people over here are totally clueless about their car's proper performance, and they get used to it by always going in for that cheap gas to "save money". They of course are also clueless that saving 10 percent on the price is no savings whatsoever when the mileage goes down 20 percent.

Ah, what a world we do live in today?


Good luck with your winter projects!

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Are you OK, Andy ? Missing you here. I hope you are just extremely busy enjoying things.   -   Carl 

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Good evening Barry, Wayne, Carl and all,


Yes, I am still around, I have too apologise even more than normal due to my late updates,  I have been doing various projects and non Chalmers stuff along with Life !


Since my last update ( just after the last century ) the Chalmers has been here, there and everywhere.  


We went on a lovely trip to Jersey to see family and friends and found a great museum,




won the local pub's car club's best car award,




Curborough sprint went well and I was a second better than last time,




I put my Ferrari on the road after all the work earlier in the year, it is so good to be driving it again,




Dave turned up in his stunning Riley special one morning,




Harewood hillclimb was just as good as ever, although I didn't improve my time I did get the Chalmers very sideways a couple of times,




We have attended many pub meets, and have been on lots of trips and the Chalmers is doing well with over 1500 miles so far this year,


Shelsley Walsh is alway's special, such a long motorsport history, the Chalmers went 3 seconds quicker up the hill mainly due to fitting the spare carb, the downside is terrible mpg although I still couldn't get even close to this Le Zebre with a Curtiss OX-5 !




I was invited to the Chateau Impney hillclimb near Droitwich to run the Napier Lion engine for everybody, I had the assistance of Jack to help start the engine, the event was one of the best motoring weekend's I have been to,




I found this great piece of footage on Youtube, thanks to the poster for his great camera work,



I found this wonderful 2 owners Brough SS100 outside the Saturday night party,




we had a flyby on both day's from the Lancaster,




and in true supercar fashion the Fiat S76 "Beast of Turin" outshon a Bugatti Veyron,




I will try to get my update regularity back to normal, thanks to everybody for their messages, I am still here !





















Edited by racer2_uk
grammar (see edit history)
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Holy Mackerel there Andy !  You have more than made up for your recent lack of posts !  You live an amazing life true to the VSCC ethos. Great photography as well !  

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Good evening Barry and all,


Happy New Year,



Well as usual I have to apologise for the ridiculously long time between updates and this time it really has been a long time, sorry !


Since the last update loads of things have happened, we had a lovely VSCC Prescott weekend, I took the Chalmers to a very old well known iron landmark along with several trips over to the Welsh border, a great VSCC Loton Park hillclimb, a wonderful holiday in Barbados, a complete computer meltdown and subsequent loss of photo's and info, a total knee replacement and various  other sundry annoyances and disasters, other than that everything has been normal !


VSCC Prescott was it's usual delight of mad old cars and mad old people, we blended in quite well,




The Chalmers looked well with the backdrop of the Ironbridge in Ironbridge gorge,




on a wonderful run out to Llangollen I found the motor museum was open , they have a very rare Alfa Romeo Montreal,




Barbados was wonderful and here are a few typical holiday photos,    the steam power plant at Nicholas Abbey,




the incredible HARP gun,




and a really fun track session at Bushy Park in a Radical,




in October I had my second total knee replacement, I am now starting to get back to normal but they do hurt, a lot !




after a really good year hillclimbing the Chalmers has won 2 awards from the VSCC, the Edwardian trophy for the most championship points by an Edwardian car and the Marc Birkigt trophy for the most championship points in the 5 to 10 litre category, I am yet to understand how a car that will only manage 53 mph downhill can actually win trophies for going uphill !


I have just started to get back into the workshop even if it is only for a few hours until my knee is 100%, I have started modifying the pistons for the spare Chalmers engine and have been working on a repaired cylinder block for another project, I have to keep remembering to rest my knee !


machining the block after extensive cast iron weld repairs,





We travelled just over 3000 miles in 2019 and had a lot of fun doing it, I have decided that for 2020 we will give the hillclimbing a rest and take the Chalmers touring some interesting places around the UK instead.


Thank you all for your patience and hopefully I will have some interesting stuff to report this year.







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Good evening everybody,


I hope you are all being very careful while we are going through this very unusual time in the world, self isolation is the new way to live so we are being told, although I have to admit I have been trying to self isolate for years !


I have been able to be in the workshop a lot recently now my new knee is performing well, 


I finished modifying the Chalmers pistons and added new gudgeon pins,




the repainted block assembly dropped onto the bottom end fairly easily,




most of the ancillaries went on and the engine is now sitting on it's stand ready to be fitted in the future,




I have been worried for a long time about the magneto on the Chalmers, the cast aluminium bearing carrier plate that sit's behind the points is very weak, I have bought a couple of these Splitdorf model X magneto's as basket cases over the years and they have all been broken,




I decided to make a new carrier out of aluminium plate, it is a very time consuming job but is very satisfying,




I will keep you updated as I progress with the machining and hopefully I will end up with another functioning unit.


While all this workshop time has been going on I helped Jack make a 4 branch manifold for his Riley 9,




just before we all went into "lockdown" due to the virus I made the most of a warm day and drove out to my favourite canalside stop,




I had already decided not to compete on the Chalmers this year but due to the virus all motorsport has been stopped until further notice.


I will update the magneto progress soon.


Be safe everybody.





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Hi Andy, Your spare Chalmers engine rebuild looks superb. What mods did the pistons require? I have a large stash of early pistons including many cast iron all NOS. 

Probably scrap metal only as most go with aluminum replacements these days. I recall that one can run much closer clearances with iron but probably not a worthwhile endeavour.   Looks like a very nice lathe, Gratziano? Harrison?   just curious as I am in the market for  a bigger newer unit . Over here one of the favourites in the Hardinge, I think they have or had a UK factory as well as headquarters not far from here in New York. I am also getting a lot of shop work done on my 1926 Brough and 1980 XR 750 Harley projects. I abandoned the Lagonda  project after completing the chassis restoration as the bodywork etc  was too intimidating for me. The chap who bought it lives in London and has a saloon 2 serial numbers from the one I had !  It went to the best possible home. 


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Hi Barry, thumbs up-ers and all,


Barry, I use Lister Petter generator pistons, they come in the correct size, are very good quality and are very reasonably priced, I modify the gudgeon pin bosses to give more little end width and weld in an alloy piece to get rid of the diesel combustion chamber, I have given up on re-inventing the wheel !


I use a Colchester lathe, it has been an excellent piece of kit, I have had it for over 20 years along with a Bridgeport mill.


I have finished the Splitdorf magneto repair, I made the replica bearing carrier plate to replace the broken item and also gave the distribution disc a light skim,




it went together quite well,




I then fitted the distributor cap and points assembly,




finally the magneto was trial fitted on the spare engine,




I now need to make and fit a leather drive disc and then time the magneto.


I know we are hearing this all the time but will everybody please be careful at the moment,   STAY SAFE,     stay in the workshop as much as possible !




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Hi Andy, Alastair Chalmers here, aka Kiwi carman, I've just trawled through your photos and posts, only one word, all awesome with 2 standouts, the Chalmers sideways on the hillclimb and the Napier Lion aero engine at Chateau Impney. I was due to be back in the UK during June and July this year but that's not going to happen now although it will be as soon as possible after things return to as near normal as they are ever going to get to because my younger son and his family live just north of Manchester and we have a 6 month old grandson that we've not met in person yet. When I eventually get there I would love to come and see your Chalmers, it looks a stunning work of mechanical art and obviously gets well used, just how they should be. Cheers, Alastair

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