Saturday, 19 April 2014

Front suspension woes 't Kreng

Last year I obtained a pair of nice shiny alloy front hubs for 't Kreng in preparation for another chapter in the cars continuing upgrades (and adding lightness). But as a result of lots of other commitments they were stored away  for future use. Most import reason for this was that the front bearings fitted  to the car were still fine. But I also wanted to have them anodised before fitting them. But you know how such things develop, as long as there is no pressing need to repair something, nothing happens. But while preparing the car for the Nacht van het Oosten in early March, I noticed that the right hand front bearings were rather noisy. As there was no play yet I decided to take the gamble and leave them for the time being. And all went well during the 500+ kilometres I did over the weekend, but the bearings had become noticeable louder by the time we got home. About time to change them, as I want to use the car for one of the planned trips to Britain this Spring and/or Summer.

Before fitting them, I first had to find a company to anodise the hubs. And thanks to Robbie I found this locally in the town of Weert, in the guise of a company called Aldor. And they did quite a nice job ...



So the bearing renewal could start in earnest. I have to admit I postponed this job several times as I really dreaded this. I knew it would be a real challenge to get the bearings from the right hand side of. Those who follow my ramblings on here know what I am referring to. For those who don't, please see post from 22July 2010 ...
And indeed after removing the large nut from the axle stump the hub refused point blank to come of. But luckily with the help of a flange puller, the hub came of after putting up a fight for about 15 minutes. Only the inner bearing remained firmly in place. This time I went for a different approach. To start with I booked some time in a friends workshop for the next Wednesday just in case I needed heavier equipment, after which I attacked the bearing race with the Dremel and a small cutting disc to weaken it as much as possible. With the bearing race cut as deep as I dared go without damaging the axle stub, I gave it two well aimed blows with a flat chisel and hammer. This proved to be enough to release the bearing race, a rather pleasant surprise to say the least. And as you can see only very minor damage to the coating, and in a place where it doesn't really matter ...


And time to inspect the bearing's damage in more detail. This is how a bearing looks when you fit it incorrectly and get a few thousand miles on it. Needless to say I paid much attention at removing the coating from the axle stub this time!


With the bearing removed successfully it was time to switch my attention to the hubs themselves. First the bearing races were tapped in with a hammer and drift, followed by the studs. And with the first hub ready it was time to fit the brake disc. Sadly here I encountered a rather unexpected problem. I ordered the hubs as a direct replacement for the original ones, but when I put the first bolt into the front of the hub it was clear that wasn't what I received ...


As you can see the bolt head just fits in the recess, leaving no room for even the most slender of sockets. And it got worse. The original bolts used by BL/Triumph are 3/8" UNC bolts with the bolts shoulder being a fairly tight fit in the hub, as it should be. But the holes in the new hubs were drilled to M10 or 0,5mm to wide. Not good, especially when you are clamping two alloy parts together with a steel bolt!  Contacting the supplier wasn't very helpful, and I wanted a quick and technically sound solution. With the fine weather driving season about to begin, I wanted to clear the drive to make room for the DHC as soon as possible . So I contacted a friend to see if he could help with a solution. Not really, but he pointed me to a small local company specialised in fasteners. I contacted them to see if they could provide me with a set of 3/8" allen head bolts to secure the discs temporarily so I could move the car and look for a permanent solution. They could. But after explaining the problem to him he immediately came up with a rather simple and permanent solution, actually the same solution I had in mind. It turned out he also runs a small machine shop specialising in fasteners and parts for classic mopeds. So he made me a set of allen head shoulder bolts, made from M10 bolts, cut down and machined so they now have the correct 3/8" UNC thread combined with a M10 shoulder. Nice and simple ...


With the bolts sorted it was time to fit the hubs to the car. OK there was a tiny problem as three of the bolts looked like the didn't have the thread cut far enough. But luckily a friend who lives nearby had the correct thread cutter, so that was easily rectified. The rest of the work was rather straightforward - as per the workshop manual - I'd say...


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

FHC resto nr. 9; Straight from the oven

Received some pictures from Habraken after the body shell came out of the oven and before it was shot blasted. As filler doesn't evaporate completely this clearly shows any dents that were covered up. And as mentioned earlier the roof has some nasty little dents ...





The same applies for both the rear wings ...



... and the nose panel ...



Will see what the body man has to say about it all. A meeting is scheduled for tomorrow evening, to assess the damage and the work involved, and also discuss the further planning.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

FHC resto nr. 8; Time to say goodbye

With the start of the FHC's restoration I made myself a promise to use this project as an excuse to sort through the parts I have collected over the years. The aim of which is to make an inventory and store them away in a more orderly fashion. But also to get rid of some of the parts that are really not good enough to re-use. Like two of my spare body shells. And this weekend it was time to say goodbye to one of them, a Speke built FHC shell.


I got this one cheap many years ago and at first glance it looks pretty good and solid. But it was badly butchered by a previous owner who tried to repair some accident damage to the front chassis, cover some rust spots and fit a V8. He failed. But the shell had what looks like a saveable boot floor and correct and solid early (large filler cap) rear deck for the '76 FHC. And it will eventually donate its solid and straight looking roof skin to fill in the rather big hole in 't Kreng's roof.


We also tried to save the rear wings but didn't quite manage. Sadly they got damaged in the attempt. So we cut them of, which did make things a bit easier. But they will nevertheless be stored for future accident repairs, but hopefully I won't need them. Also left the floor intact so it can be used as a template for the new carpets.



And we made a start on the second body (a Solihull FHC shell), but after removing the roof it was time to call it a day. This one should be easier to dismantles as only it's chassis legs are worth saving. But despite that it was time for a few well deserved drinks and a quiet evening ...