(Morrigan, as a synonym of Morgan of Arthurian legend)

Friday, 4 June 2010

Not much progress...

Its been several months since the last update, I've slowly been accumulating the parts to re-build the engine, just the shims for the tappets and a couple of bushes for the timing chains left to buy.

With funds being spent on re-building the server and some other unexpected outlays the engine re-build has been on hold for the last few months.

  Hopefully next month will see the engine built and mated to the gearbox, then it will be mothballed/crated up for much later.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Engine rebuild - last of the machining

Well I took the crank, con rods, pistons, fly wheel and clutch cover over to the engine builders in Edinburgh, where they steam cleaned the pistons and con rods and balanced the whole system. Its surprising the amount of difference between items such as the pistons, even for stock parts.

Cleaned up cam shaft

The crank has been wrapped in cling film to protect it from dust and damp, I just need to get the head shims measured up and the head finished. then the whole thing can go back together.

Crank after balancing and cleaning

Balanced con rods - both ends checked

New gapped piston rings - steam cleaned pistons

All Pistons balanced

Last bits of engine cleaned and painted

Cleaned and lacquered gearbox adaptor

Friday, 5 February 2010

More engine building

Well, have been making slow progress, no photos for the moment, but I've cleaned up the castings for the timing cover, sump and bell-housing, the bell housing has has a coat of clear high temperature lacquer and the other parts several coats of the engine block red.

The plan is to take the crank, flywheel, clutch cover, pistons and con rods to the engine builders for balancing and indexing. The con rods and pistons need separating, but there is a build up of carbon which is stopping the gudgeon pins from being removed easily.

I've still to gap the piston rings, so might check them this evening before heading off in the morning.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Piston clean up

Cleaned up the majority of the carbon deposits, lots of scrubbing of the piston tops with a wire brush and then cleaned out the grooves with a cunning tool that frosts sell for the very purpose.

Cleaning Ring Grooves

Got fed up with cleaning fluid getting silted up and not flushing clean, so have invested in a parts washer. I'll polish up and flush the pistons when it arrives.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

First conceptual geometry

Well this is the first attempt at building a set of guiding geometry for the overall size and style of the car.

With so little information to go from ive had to use scans from the "Illustrated directory of classic cars" which has some water colours that can be used to get the overall ratios. The front end of the pictures is from a different build, so this area will take a fair bit of work to get right.

First Geometry

Having the digitised engine and gearbox is a major help with checking the shape of the bonnet. I will be replacing the stock alternator with a DENSO unit which will knock 50mm off the width of the installation.

The throttles will have reasonable space, what with them being further back in the vehicle. And there should be a fair bit of space for a good sized radiator, so cooling should not be a problem.

The manikins have been sized to me, so there should be reasonable leg room when i'm done, I dont think i would fit in an original terribly well.

Monday, 4 January 2010

The search for design inspiration..

I've been searching through numerous 1930's and 40's 2 seater's for a basis of design for this project, in the considered and rejected list we have:
  • Morgan Roadster
  • 1930 Duesenberg
  • various Bugatti's
  • Lagonda Crailville
  • Lagonda LG45
These have not quite had the style that I'm after. One car that nearly fits my (current) tastes is the 1934-Lagonda-M45-Tourer but the current winner for a basis of design is the 1933-Squire-Vanden-Plas-Sports-Tourer. This is a stunning vehicle, only 3 were made by the builder Adrian Squire with a 2 seater body, with a remaining 4 produced with 4 seats. The high cost proved un-viable (~£1,095 or £278,773 in 2008 money) and the company went out of business, Adrian Squire went on to join Lagonda before being killed by a bombing raid in 1940.

1934 Squire Vanden Plas Sport Tourer

Due to my use of the XJ40 running gear it wont be an exact replica, but I aim to follow the styling closely. The rear suspension components will be well hidden. The original use of huge 15" brake drums means that front independent suspension will not be overtly out of place.

One final thought is that it may be possible to have hybrid pressed steel and wire wheels, this would allow the use of the standard hubs, as I've so far been struggling to find wire hubs for the XJ40. This would mimic the effect of wire wheels with large brake drums.

In other news i'm in the process of purchasing the parts for completing the engine, some are very scarce now so the full cost is going to be in the region of £650-700. This blows my current funds for a while, and will require an additional means of financing the project. The current plan is for selling custom aluminium and brass castings along with glass work.