Sunday, 27 August 2017

First Engine Installation

After a two week wait the replacement bell housing arrived back from Westfield, the original was machined with a ~2mm error between the engine and gearbox interfaces that prevented the engine mounting bolts fitting when the input shaft was fitted into the spigot bearing.

After fettling the bell housing for the 1275 oil pump and clutch slave cylinder I fitted gearbox, clutch release arm, bearing and slave cylinder.

And with fingers crossed installed on the engine - fitted no problem.

Also fitted the WOSP hi-torque starter motor.

James came out to help and we got the engine onto the hoist and positioned the engine for installation.

After a bit of a faff with front engine mounts we eventually got the engine installed and marked up the gearbox mounting holes on the chassis, removed the engine, drilled and painted the chassis and then refitted everything.

Once fitted I found a number of potential fouls that need to be resolved, handbrake mounting bolt/prop shaft, reverse light switch/chassis and bell housing starter blister/chassis, however, the engine is staying put for now so I can sort out the megajolt wiring and all the engine plumbing.

And the sump is the lowest point - not as bad as I thought and once the suspension is adjusted it will raise it further.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Eleven Continues

Just before I left for Silverstone I got a call from Paul Hurley to say that the engine was ready for collection so this made my decision to travel home on Sunday ready to pick it up on Monday,
When I picked it up it was heat wrapped so I didn't get my first look until I got home.

Having found that the bell housing bolts were too short because of the additional thickness of the alloy casting I spent today:

fettling the bell housing to clear the increased oil pump size

fitting the clutch

The crank sensor bracket and trigger wheel

and the Denso 40A alternator

A Busy July

July started with the Crash Box Classic Car Show at Powderham Castle in Devon.  I met Chris, Malcolm, Dale and Glenn at Honiton and we made our way down to Powderham.  Once we got to the show we found our pitch (Colin's car was already there) setup the gazebo, flags and Euro Tour banners and then made our way over to the campsite to put up the tents.

Over the weekend we met lots of people interested in the cars and the team joined us for the Sunday.  On Saturday night we watched the band playing 70s/80s glam rock music and drank too much beer while surrounded by steam traction engines - an excellent night.

Colin joined us at various times but had to fulfil his duties as a member of the Crash Box Car Club - he and Pat lead out the member's parade lap around the show ring in "Dotty":

At the end of the month we went to the Silverstone Classic, Colin and I met up at Sparkford and then headed to Amesbury where we joined Chris, Malcolm and Dale and headed off to Silverstone.  We got split up on the A34  because the information signs warned of a 1 hour delay and Chris, Malcolm and Dale were able to avoid it unlike Colin and I - however, multiple trips to Oxford and Milton Keynes over the last couple of years gave me in-sider knowledge and after the initial incident cleared Colin and I made good time and ended waiting for the others for an hour at the services just after Brackley......

On arrival at Silverstone we went straight to the Woodlands campsite pitched the tents, setup the Westfield Bar and then headed to the circuit.

At the circuit we parked the cars on the WSCC site and the headed off to watch the racing and look at the cars in the paddocks.

I spent a lot of time looking at Lotus Elevens and Fifteens:

and then got distracted by the wider attractions at the show
 Westfield owners know better that to miss out on a filling station!
After a weekend of excellent racing and changeable weather we headed home on Sunday evening after having a final pizza with Chris and Colin who were staying a further night.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Eleven Build continues

At the Dorset monthly meeting yesterday I picked up the gearbox after an overhaul and long 1st gear fit - many thanks Malcolm/Wessex.  A shiny set of Minilites arrived today by courier

and I stopped in at Hurley Engine Services to handover a few bits and pieces and the head was being machined after having the new unleaded seats fitted.

The inlet valves are being replaced with the bigger A+ Series ones from an MG Metro and the head will be given a light port/polish.  The engine block was also in machining being re-bored for the new PowerMax pistons which are 73.5mm so taking the engine out to 1380cc and also reaming the crankshaft bearing mountings. The SEIW is now semi packed ready for an early start tomorrow down to Powderham Castle for the weekend.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Eleven Build Catch Up

The build has been moving on but has been a bit stop/start as I've had other things to be getting on with outside of the garage.

The master brakes are now installed all bled and the handbrake fitted although it still needs a warning switch fitted.

The fuel sender has been extended and the fuel tank installed.

I've also installed the side repeaters - into the alloy pontoon in order to allow for easy scuttle removal at a later date.

The dashboard has been installed and most of the gauges that have also been refurbished with new glass and bezels.  The speedo will need calibrating once the gearbox and wheels have been fitted.

I've installed the main wiring loom although the gauges still need some connecting up.

I've installed the radiator - new rather than from the donor.

And also found some nice period switch labels rather than dyno tape hopefully they'll be okay for the IVA.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Midget Engine Overhaul

On my way home I stopped at Moss to pick up a few Midget parts and then went over to Hurley Engine Services to drop of the gearbox conversion kit.

The engine had been fully stripped:

The main casting was awaiting full cleaning but the cylinders needed a re-bore so going +60 thou 1330cc

but the crank was perfect and the main bearings were showing no sign of wear although will still be replaced:

Eleven Build Days 2 & 3

Having replaced the differential input seal and cleaned off the powder coat from axle banjo studs and sealing face and fitted the differential and brake back plates to the axle and the fitted the whole axle assembly to the chassis

Fitting was reasonably straight forward with a little leverage required to fit the final bolts to the o/s lower mount and then to centre the axle with the panhard rod.

The next phase of the build was the rigid brake hoses; first the front which also required the master cylinders fitted:

Then the rear axle:

The on to the fuel tank, first replaced domed rivets with countersunk, applied anti-fretting tape, drilled the overflow hole and fitted the retaining strap:

finally fitted one of the original Midget wheels to confirm the clearances:

and another historic Eleven picture........

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Eleven Build - Day 1

The chassis is now up on build stands with the front and rear body clam shells removed.
The build guide starts with the front suspension, a reasonably straight forward assembly with a few minor tweaks needed to bushes, chassis mounts etc to get everything installed.  I ran into a minor issue with the lower shock absorber bushes being 38mm when wishbone bracket is 32mm, I cut down the bushes to 32mm and all is fine, Protech sell 32mm bushes for £1 each so I might get replacements later.  Fitting the upright there seems to be negative castor in the geometry that isn't fully catered for in the wishbone brackets which, coupled with the need to compress the top bushes to fit in the bracket makes things tricky but fitting the bottom mount first worked best.

I cut the steering rack and track rod ends down by 1/4", cleaned up both threads using a 1/2" 24 TPI tap and die to make sure I have as full a range of adjustment as possible fitted the steering rack.  The n/s bracket needed to be fettled to clear the chassis weld and then given a quick coat of satin black.

Fitting the new callipers next, they are the standard Midget ones and I used all new bolts from Moss, the original setup has a locking plate to hold the flexible brake hose and a locking tab, both were needed to stop the top bolt thread binding on the upright without clamping the calliper.

I left all the bolts loose at this stage so that I can have an initial go at setting the camber and toe even with the suspension at full droop I want to at least get them the same and also to make sure that I have plenty of adjustment available for the future, I also need to find some washers for the top upright bolts.

The next step in the build guide is to fit the rear axle so I spent the rest of the day getting started on it's refurbishment.  The first jobs were cleaning powder coating off the rear axle differential mounting studs and cleaning the blasting media and debris out of the internals with lots of petrol until repeating the process resulted in nice clean fluid.  I finished off the casing by fitting a new breather and then moved on to the differential giving it a good clean and replacing the input seal, a possible cause of an oil leak whilst on the donor.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Eleven Pick Up Day (and the goodbye to the Midget)

Regular viewers of the blog will recall that I only got around 50% of my first kit on pick up day and spent the next couple of months sorting through random boxes, on the phone to parts and waiting for deliveries; the contrast with today was remarkable, I was presented with a Bill of Material with every single part ticked off, furthermore, the location of each part was also clearly listed - boxes 1 to 4, fitted to the chassis or loose.

After Ian had taken me through the key parts, we'd given the polished bodywork a good look over and I was given a few tips on opening up and closing the clams, the whole kit was loaded into the van and strapped down.  Mark Walker confirmed that the axle did have some rust pin holes and after fitting the brackets he'd had it shot blasted, welded up the holes and then had it powder coated, again outstanding service; lastly the Parts Department also had the XI side mirror brackets in stock and I bought a set before heading off.

After a quick McDonald's breakfast we headed back to Yeovil arriving just after 1 pm; the kit was unloaded and the Midget body shell then loaded and taken to the local scrap yard (£18.20 for around 400Kgs of mild steel) before dropping off the van and getting home just after 3:30 pm.

After a short negotiation with Tricia the body clamshell were stored in the dining room - along with two lots of University digs kit - so I've probably got until the end of September before my current permit runs out.

I decided that I'd leave the kit alone tonight as I'd back at work first thing tomorrow morning and I'll have the whole Bank Holiday to get started - now to the Hot Tub to easy my old muscles & bones.

And finally a photo of Steve McQueen with his Eleven......

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Hand Brake Tree and Stoneleigh 2017

I dropped the axle casing and steering column of to Westfield the weekend before Stoneleigh along with the steering rack and mounts so that Mark can confirm the modification length with the steel mounts and 'thin' rack.  My kit was starting to be gathered together and Simon confirmed that it will be ready before the end of May with a tentative pick up on the 26th.

At Stoneleigh I spent a fair amount of time with Simon and his Eleven taking photographs and picking up dos and don'ts for the build.  The best ones were not to mount anything on the scuttle, mounting of the fuse boxes on the passenger side under a cover and a cover for the whole of the starter solenoid.  I also got some good ideas for rear fog and reversing lights that are more fitting for an Eleven and a lead on a replica Lotus Eleven steering wheel than can be supplied with a period quick release boss.

Plus all the usual Stoneleigh Beer, BBQ and Breakfast

I now have to finish off the Midget strip and arrange for the bodywork to be removed; the only donor item left was the hand brake mechanism that I unbolted from the axle when I removed it because the cable  adjuster nuts wouldn't budge.  Today an axle grinder with a cut off disc made short work of the cable and, with the tree in a vice, the adjuster nuts quickly followed.  After a good wire brushing the tree was dismantled, de-greased and painted with matt black anti-rust paint.

After leaving the parts to dry I re-assembled the tree with all new felt washers, clevis pins and even a new grease nipple.

When I ordered the engine parts from MED I also bought there stack and air filter kit for the HIF44 carburettor.  Having read a series of post on using an HIF44 on the Westfield-Eleven Register forum I may have to replace the manifold with something with less of an angle in order for it to fit under the bonnet and also something slightly longer.