Petrol tank again

Im getting there, i still have one tiny weep when the tank is filled to the brim but i will fix that when the tank is out of the car. This week, the tank gets a filler cap. This was a lot harder than i thought it would be. The neck of the tank was designed to have a rubber hose connecting it to the filler cap on the outside of the bodywork. My car won’t have any bodywork in that area and the petrol tank will be visible so thats not going to work. The problem  is that the petrol cap, like modern cars is of the push and turn variety but the neck of the tank doesn’t have the locking bit.img_2387_zpscca2739i

This took a bit of thought then a fair amount of research to find a filler ‘neck’ of the right size and type. After a couple of weeks I found a classic motorcycle shop that sold something that looked about right – I think it was for a BSA but I can’t remember. On arrival I found that the neck was fairly close to fitting the cap and with an hour or two of fettling with a hammer and some 2″ steel bar I managed to re-shape it to slip into the cap. only then did I find that the adjusted part no longer fitted over the neck of the tank and had to be cut down substantially until eventually it could be persuaded to slip onto the tank. In the end all i had left was the top most part which is basically just a ring:IMG_2388That was then put into place, tested for final fit and welded to the tank with great care because the metal is not very thick. The cap and the welding will be in plain sight so I smoothed out the weld with a file and gave it a skim of filler which will be sanded smooth and painted along with the rest of the tank. Below you can see the almost finished article:

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Next part of the tank saga is the fabrication of the fuel pickup pipes which need to come out of the top of the tank

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A slight diversion for the blog… learned council across the road is restoring a M Type MG, a tiny little thing which is hard to imagine was ever supposed to convey two people, maybe people in the 30’s were much smaller but i digress. He has had the bodywork stored in his conservatory for two years and his wife was threatening to use it as a flower stand. So this weekend along with his two sons we carried the bodywork round the house and popped it back on the beautifully restored chassis… IMG_2404IMG_2406IMG_2405

Radiator Brackets

How to mount the radiator has gone round and round in my head many times and i have fabricated a few ‘brackets’ in various styles that were simply not right. One problem is that the radiator also supports the weight of the bonnet and it is huuuuge so its pretty heavy when full of water. Another problem is the chassis rails angle away from each other so you can’t do a simple L bracket. The final problem is that the Dynamo has a tube for the starting handle sitting directly below the radiator preventing me from installing a simple flat support rail stretching from one chassis rail to the other.

Ultimately I had the thought – ‘lets keep it simple’ make an L shaped bracket BUT using a shaped piece of metal (rather than a straight flat bar) so that i could accommodate the angle in the rails but have both brackets pointing towards each other. Hmm, what a gobbledygook paragraph that is…

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The picture above gives you a better idea of what i am trying to say but I am not too sure about that strengthening strut – its not very elegant.

Aha a new challenge  – how to bend 5mm steel plate… i tried putting it in a vice and tapping it with a club hammer, then tried hitting it with a club hammer, then ultimatly belting it with a club hammer – all i succeeded in doing was moving the work bench around the garage. No there had to be a better answer and there was…

Having posed the question on a welding forum I was advised that the simple answer is to cut half way through the metal plate,  put in in a vice, then belt it with a hammer. Whats the difference? Once a groove is made, the 5mm plate becomes a 2.5mm plate along the cut… ah yes but now it is weaker you may say and you would be right. So the solution to regain strength is to now fill in the ‘cut’ with weld which builds it back up to 5mm again… sneaky – i like it.

Below you can see the slight shape of the plate to accommodate the angle of the chassis. Using an angle grinder i carefully cut down the marked line

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Popped it in the vice to bend it..img_2362_zpsnpudplbh

Then filled in the ‘cut’ with weld which was then ground back to make a nice curveimg_2361_zps8yjdxnjoimg_2368_zpsrf068eq6

The bracket as a simple “L” was strong enough to hold my body weight but it occurred to me that it could slowly bend out of shape over the years and maybe it needed a little support so i welded in a small fillet whilst it was on the bench and easy to do so. Also because its the kind of thing i do… i shaped the bracket so that it was more pleasing to the eye, rounding off edges and creating a large radius that is parallel to the radiator when fitted (if you were wondering  why it looks slightly off centre)

Oh and I needed one for the other side – so there you have it. Two brackets for the radiator. Strong and simple.

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Here it is in position: it just needs a good coat of chassis paint to hide those nasty bright bolts… a lot of work for something that most people will never see.

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