Saturday, 23 December 2017

Next Kit arrived

I hadn't started on the next Kit, but the GA shows what I am aiming for, preferably painted.
It seems as if there will be a battery involved in running the boiler, as there is a "battery box" and holes in the chassis for wiring.  Perhaps we can use some of that available power for lighting. 

The kit is now unpacked and laid out roughly where it will be assembled.  Well made, but in need of de-burring and softening of sharp edges.  One sharp edge had cut through a bag of nuts and bolts which had made a bid for freedom, lurking in the packaging.   They were tracked down and re-captured.

Looking in the other direction one can see the ghost of the wheels and chassis under covers.  (If RR can have a Silver Ghost, I should be able to have a Green Ghost). The chassis had to go out in the cold while work progresses on the superstructure.  Next tasks are to: remove sharp edges, do a trial assembly, put some holes in the plywood sides to match the frame, paint all the bits and final assembly.  Oh yes, and it will have to fit the chassis!
It might also be a good idea to thread some chord through the chassis members so that it can be used to pull wiring through at a later stage.

Saturday, 11 November 2017


Everything so far is (or has been) in place.  The replacement front stub axle assemblies are fitted.  The leaf springs are at last all painted and assembled. 
The new front axles were much more easily assembled than the earlier version, thanks to Steam Traction World for that improvement.
Both the front wheel inner bearings still have a small washer fitted alongside so that the wheels are further out and disks align neatly with the brake callipers; I spent several minutes re-checking the distances, and I think I have got the offset correct, using one 1.5 mm washer on each side. 
The disks still bind on the brake pads; I  am hoping that when hydraulic fluid is put in and maybe a short running-in period has elapsed then there will be sufficient play to allow the brake pads to withdraw and allow the wheels to rotate freely.  The front wheel toe-in will now have to be adjusted again.
I am trying to make sure that everything is painted before assembling any new kits.  I am having to remove some fitted parts in order to get access to some bare metal - the front wheels and leaf springs are currently removed for this purpose.  I am going round the current assembly to check for correct fitting and to ensure that bare metal is protected with paint, or WaxOyl chassis protection, or grease or other oily lubrication.  I am trying to imagine where moisture and dirt might get in when the car is in use.  I am considering using a small blob of silicone sealant (removable) to prevent dirt and moisture getting in to sensitive spots (The lower spring mountings are the only places I have found so far).
I have changed my painting materials to include a better primer, as I was having difficulty in applying paint reliably to shiny machined steel surfaces.
Current work in progress is to paint any remaining unprotected metal surfaces, to make good any damaged or sub-standard existing paintwork, and to check for adequate fitting and lubrication of parts. 
My inexperience with using paintbrushes means that I have some brush marks and paint sags to put right.  I have abrasive papers and a good paintbrush to help.  For improved cosmetic effects on the more visible areas, I am wondering about, in the future, using a fine abrasive followed by a coat of lacquer, as used on some modern cars with metallic finishes.  I shan't be applying any lines until much later.
Pictures will follow when I can photograph the Lykamobile with all parts fitted and no primer showing.  In the mean time we have had an inspection from the Assistant Chief Engineer.

Friday, 8 September 2017

All four wheels

All four wheels are now attached, with hub covers in place.  The drive wheels had keys and keyways which had to be made to fit.  Some needed little more than de-burring, others needed a substantial amount of fettling.  I am not sure that I have the right touch for a fitter, I seem to take forever trying to get a good fit without removing too much material. 
The rear disk brakes fit with no problem - Wa-Hay!  They dragged a little, but the pads can be persuaded to sit at their outer limit to relieve the binding.   I have added some more grease to the rear wheel bearings, while they were still readily accessible.  Any surfaces which cannot be reached by paintbrush have been treated with a rust proofing layer of WaxOyl.  To make life easier for myself, I filed the space between the castellations on the castellated nuts, so that I could insert the split pin without too much difficulty.
Now, back to the leaf springs.  they will be prepared and painted, including the front springs which I attached for the look, and will now dismantle.  Before doing a lot more, I shall re-check the assembly and bolt tightness so far, apply grease and WaxOyl missed the first time around.  Next, any poor paintwork will be improved, a bit at a time on this occasion.
I think that there are some parts which could collect moisture and dirt.  The only one I have noted so far is the hole in the securing plate for the front spring assembly.  If that fills with dirt or water, corrosion seems bound to follow.  I thought that a little silicone sealant might prevent dirt and moisture getting in, and not be difficult to remove if necessary.
I am wondering if a sympathetic local garage man should be asked for an independent check for roadworthiness at some future time - it is a principle that a workman is the least able to check his own work in an unbiased manner.
My handcart has arrived, together with fittings for being pulled (intended for a pedal bike).  I intend to use it for extra water and fuel, and for miscellaneous bits and pieces, e.g. shopping bags.
I note from the main drive sprocket dimensions that a 60 pitch chain will be used.  This (according to international standards) has a tensile strength of about 7000lbf, well capable of transmitting the 800lbf load generated by a 2.25 inch diameter piston at 200 psi. Let's hope that the rate of wear will be low.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

More springs

I have now filed down the matching parts so that all tops meet their bottoms.  I could not resist the urge to assemble and install the next set of springs without completing the painting on them.  I felt as if the builder has been left to bridge the gap between blacksmith and machinist.  I have the impression that the leaf springs were made in a hot forge and persuaded to take their shape by a large man with a hammer and anvil.  I think that the assembly tolerances are less than those needed for fitting horseshoes.

Friday, 25 August 2017

First spring

One spring completed, and installed back left, two more in progress.  The lower main component, with bearing inserts, proved to be a bit larger than the space available in the upper component, so some fettling was needed.  The end of the spring, where it bends round the bearing insert, was decidedly concave - until I attacked it with file and mini-grindstone.  Even then, the insert was held at a slight angle - the hole in the mounting disc on the upper component was enlarged slightly (0.5 mm) and is now oval; the pin now goes all the way through.  The other end was much easier.  The lengths of each were slightly different, but were persuaded to match up by using a G-clamp; they are springy of course.  I compressed the set of leaf springs with a G-clamp, rather than rotating the set of 4 leaves as shown in the STW video, I was not keen to spoil the paintwork.  It seems to me that the springs will be quite firm.
I have been thinking about "bolt-ons" while the paint was drying on the leaf springs, and have updated my "Bells and Whistles" page.  I have decided to buy a small trailer, before the effects of Brexit make it more expensive.

Monday, 21 August 2017

This could get boring.

I have made 6 half sets of springs, with five items in each.  One set is fully painted, the next awaits its final coat, the next two have been de-rusted and washed, one has been scrubbed, and the last is waiting for me to pay it some attention.  "Are we nearly there, yet?".
While waiting for paint to dry, I was thinking that it could be useful to combine chocks and a wheel clamp, so that any weakness in the handbrake is allowed for while discouraging other people from making off with the treasured Lyka.
No pictures this time; leaf springs may be necessary, but they don't really get exciting.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Words = Work

The Lykamobile as it is at the moment. We have front wheels fitted.  The rear axle is now on axle stands on a trolley (not seen here), so the whole thing can now move.  What is not obvious from the picture is that the brake callipers don't fit yet.  The words "fit the callipers" means a lot of work for the builders or the makers, or both.  Full marks to STW for their prompt response to the problem.
A careful look at the picture will show the latest delivery unpacked: the leaf springs on the floor.  It is suggested in the words that the "parts should be painted before assembly" (another short phrase which means much effort):  that means that the thirty leaf spring components must all be de-rusted, chamfered, de-greased and painted.  It seems to be taking a long time - thirty times 'a few minutes' seems to be expanding to be quite a while. I am pleased to have selected a more expensive paint which will go direct onto the residual rust, without the need for primer or undercoat.  I have also ransacked the wardrobes for old wire hangers which have been bent so as to support the leaves while the paint dries.
The lower picture shows the axle stands on a trolley.  Some of the leaf springs can be seen on the bench.  An un-prepared leaf can be seen at the top of the picture suspended from its hanger.