Radiator cap

The nice radiator cap I purchased at Beaulieu of course doesn’t fit a Riley radiator so a bit of engineering needs to be done.

Problem – the diameter of the new cap is MUCH bigger than the neck of the radiator. Sorry about the rubbish photo – but you can just see the problem I think.IMG_2124.JPG

Solution : make a spacer to thread into the radiator with an external thread that matches the new cap. How do I do that then? A wrinkled brow usually does it and after a nice cup of tea a solution pops into mind. The original cap is made of brass AND is big enough to be machined down to meet the needs… now where is that tatty old cap… below is my nice one just for reference… i have a tatty, bashed about one that will be a great donor.IMG_2170.JPG

And the tatty version of cap gets mounted on a lathe and machined down to be the convertor that I need…


The convertor screws into the radiator and the the Racing Cap screws onto the convertor like this:



Nice. I like that.


More Fuel Tank repairs

I *think* have now decarbonised the inside of the fuel tank, certainly an awful lot of scale and rubbish washed out after repeated flushes with an industrial de-greaser. Next rust removal – the hard part… well it is inside the tank…

Hydrochloric acid is my chemical of choice, otherwise known as muriatic acid or stomach acid. Now I was not prepared to be repeatedly sick into the fuel entry pipe so a less dramatic approach was required. A trip to the local DIY store to pick up some concrete cleaner. Yup, good old concrete cleaner is hydrochloric acid. Pretty smelly stuff it is too and it steams like dry ice. Best to wear a face mask for this then. Diluting it to 20% with water was the plan which meant i could obtain quite a lot of the acid and could afford to refresh it frequently. Tip in a couple of pints and swoosh it about. Leave for 10 minutes and swoosh it about again and then do it again. Pour it out and mix up a new batch. After the second set of swooshings i noticed a puddle on the floor. Forehead wrinkled I examined the tank. The liquid was escaping through tiny pin holes and around a few of the seams.

So it appears that the tank was holding water by virtue of a thin layer of rust only! lots of leaks are not the best thing to find in a fuel tank. Well isn’t it lucky that I have a tin of fuel tank sealer that will go in as the next step then…

Next step thoroughly drying out the inside of the tank… a hot air stripper on low should do it…. ah the tank gets pretty hot doing that… umm… compressed air then… Oh pants what a fine time for the air compressor to spring a leak (a job for another day). Aha I know… I will consult m’lady  to borrow a hair dryer… hmm that doesn’t seem to be an option either. Ebay then for a cheap hair dryer. Now on order for a few pennies.