Spare Wheel(s) carrier

This week I finished off the fabrication and machining of the mounting that will hang 2 spare wheels at the rear of the car. This is a classic vintage car look but having TWO spare wheels is a little more unusual. The challenge was to make a mounting that looked like it was always supposed to be there. You may recall that back In November I started mocking up a wood template which looked like this:
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The wooden template was then transferred to a sheet of 5mm steel, cut to shape, welded together and then welded to the rather substantial cross tube handily placed at the rear of the chassis.
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Next I need something to secure the wheel to the bracket – that took the form of a rear axle splined hub which was then bolted to the bracket. The spare wheel then slides onto the hub in the same way as it would fit to the axle. But there is nothing stopping the wheel working its way off that hub and bouncing into traffic so I needed something to secure it into place. A normal wheel spinner would have worked except that i also need to use this mounting for the rear number plate and rear lights so I needed an engineering solution. My chosen solution is a 10mm steel bar secured to the rear plate with a spin on securing handle to lock the wheel into place
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A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that i was making a component on the lathe – well this is where *that* component is fitted. I had a nice chrome fitment that I *think* may well have been used to secure the spare wheel in the boot of the car (I dont actually know what it was for – it came with the car) but the central hole is about twice the size of my 10mm bar. So I machined a spacer to take up that difference which slides onto the bar and is held in place by the spin on handle.
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The spin on handle now clamps the whole thing together and I think looks pretty nice.
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Or it could fit on this way round which is not ‘normal’ but is pedestrian friendly.
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Ah I hear you say, what about the 2nd spare wheel…

Well… ages ago I saw on Ebay a fellow selling what he called an extended wheel spinner for very few pennies. I rather suspect he didn’t know what it was and he only had one hence the incredibly low price. I saw the potential for it to be used to mount a second spare wheel so I grabbed it. I have not seen another one ever!!!
What this extended hub does is spin onto the end of the splined axle hub just like a normal wheel spinner does and therefore clamps the spare wheel down tight. I had the thought that the extended part was sufficiently long enough to support another wheel but now i needed a longer 10mm bar for the securing handle. Making one was a thing of moments.
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The second wheel slides onto the extended hub and the whole caboodle is clamped down as before. When the 2nd wheel has a Tyre they are both realistically clamped together. You now know why the bracket had to be welded on – its carrying quite a bit of weight.
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Voila – i can now mount 1 or 2 spare tyres on the back of the car. As a design feature the exhaust pipe is designed to slightly curve towards the edge of the 2nd tyre, no one will ever notice this feature but it looks really nice 🙂 oh and the Bentley petrol cap is easily accessible with either one or two tyres fitted. This is something else that had to be thought about when the fuel tank was made.

I am now realising that restoring cars as they came out of the factory is easy in comparison to having to design everything way in advance of getting around to fitting it. So far I am doing okay with the advance thinking – fingers crossed / knock on wood etc.
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Why is nothing ever easy?

I am conscious I haven’t reported in recently…

This is not due to lack of effort, in reality I have been working on the car in a number of areas: primarily working towards getting the Engine up and running. Sadly I keep discovering that I cant do something because something else needs to be done first. Naturally I only discover this after working on the original something for a number of hours.

To get the engine running, all I basically need to do is

New oil
The Engine has been drained and all the filter system sludge literally scraped out – fixed the drain plug and wired it into place as per competition regs. New gasket made for the internal filter housing because it didn’t have one (no wonder it leaked oil)

Gearbox drained and all the filter system cleaned out (not as sludgy as the engine) – New gasket made for the internal filter housing as that too didn’t have one (no wonder that too leaked oil)

A barrel of vintage type oil ordered and received. The gearbox oil is replaced every 5000 miles as is the engine oil but initially the engine oil will be changed a LOT more frequently which hopefully will clean out all the internals.

A Battery
Sounds easy, but where does that get fitted (starts investigations into size / power), then there is the physical positioning (a standard battery definitely wont fit below the rear seats) – I also discovered the battery tray I had made for the purpose hits the rear suspension which had not been fitted when I made the battery box… also the battery needs a fat copper cable to transfer power the length of the car – further investigations into cable sizing / cost / terminals but how should I fix the cable to the chassis in a vintage style / where does it route into the car to feed the dashboard mounted kill switch? The starter solenoid will need a switch to operate it which also needs power (and a switch). All this prompts me to think about how to fuse the wiring etc…

Apart from the battery, where should I fit the ignition coil? Probably on the new firewall – but how then does the ignition cable route to the distributor at the front of the car without dropping a lot of energy? The ignition obviously needs a key switch (more wiring to work out). Then there is the distributor timing which I still havnt worked out how to do accuratly…

The fuel tank is in place but needs a pipe to be fabricated to feed the fuel to the fuel pump which sends it on to the engine – where does the fuel pump get fitted? Somewhere on the engine side of the bulkhead makes sense and is in keeping with other vintage sports car i have looled at. But what size pipe do I need to buy then bend into shape to run along the chassis and up into the engine bay to the fuel pump? How do I fix the pipe to the chassis that is in period? The fuel pump also needs electrical power / fuse / isolation switch.

I now have a working (in theory) water pump but I need pipes (that are non standard) to route cool water from the pump into the side of the engine block. I have a safely stored pipe for that (somewhere). Fabricating the pipe from the top of the cylinder head to the radiator has been completed but I now find I have to remove the bonnet in order to fit a rubber hose between the pipe and the radiator (what idiot designed that? Oh…. I will keep quiet)

I broke 3 of the 6 exhaust studs while trying to replace the original long ones with shorter ones. This annoyance resulted in more work careful drilling out the old stud and re-cutting of the threads so my special (smaller) fittings can be inserted. I now know the impact of not being 100% accurate in my drilling – the exhaust manifold doesn’t quite fit anymore – it needs the mounting holes adjusting to accommodate the very slightly off-centre fixings. I can advise that hand filing 10mm thick stainless steel plate is not only taking a while it is jolly boring… Once that is completed I need to make the exhaust gaskets from scratch because nothing is standard anymore.

Other stuff
I then looked at the minimum amount of things I needed on the dashboard to safely get the engine running and it occurred to me that if I made and fitted the dashboard now – I wouldn’t be able to fit the small wind deflectors (cant really call them windscreens) because all the gauges will be in the way. The wind deflectors need custom made support mounts (a fun job for the lathe) – oh and naturally I broke the glass for one of the wind deflectors and have to get another one made…

So bear with me when I am not blogging progress – I havnt ‘completed’ a task for a while and cant decide which item to part blog.

Progress is being made, i simply dont have a lot to show for it…