Bonnet Support & Ignition

The bonnet as constructed by the coach-builder fits as it should with the standard radiator cap. Naturally ‘standard’ doesn’t fit in my car building world and I had upgraded it to a sporting quick release filler as you may recall. Problem is that the bonnet when opened fully slightly hits and then slides down the side of my nice aluminum filler cap. Up until now my solution to this has been a short length of oak doweling cut to size which I manually insert between the two pieces of folding bonnet so that the top section is lifted clear of the filler cap. This is fine as far as it goes, but I thought I would machine  a more permanent support.

Essentially my solution is a length of brass rod machined to have a load spreading brass washer and tapped to have a securing ‘bolt’ inserted into it through the bonnet. A securing bolt is obviously not aesthetically pleasing so I machined a slim circular ‘bolt’ to take over that role. This is fairly wide and matches the washer on the other side (load spreading). I am happy with the solution to the point where I had forgotten I had made this and simply open the bonnet now. This post is therefore a slight catch-up.

The view from the outside. It will almost certainly be painted along with the bodywork.

…and the view of the support inside the bonnet. It is so subtle. I dont think anyone will ever notice it. All I need to do to finish this off is fit a rubber (or maybe cork) pad to the bottom of the brass support so that it doesnt wear on the hinge. You can see that it misses the radiator cap quite nicely now.

Ignition timing

Up until now the ignition timing has been a complete guess, there are no timing marks whatsoever, the manual merely advises to  set the ignition to fire at zero degrees before the piston is at top dead center (TDC) of its motion. TDC I can locate, having the ignition fire at exactly that moment is impossible to work out. So I constructed a removable timing tool that when using a strobe light (it flashes a light at the same time the spark plug fires) I should now be able to set the timing accurately. I do of course need to have the engine running to do that which I cant do at the moment as I have given the exhaust manifold to a friend to machine flat which will prevent the exhaust gasses on cylinder 2 escaping.

Having converted the engine to have a water pump, I lost the ability to have an engine driven fan because the pipe work is in the way of the pulley location. Taking advantage of the pulley mounting I fabricated a tube to extend the mounting forwards past the offending pipework. Onto the face of this tube is fixed a disc that will rotate once every revolution of the engine. I then carefully set the engine at top dead center for Cylinder 1 and fabricated a ‘pointer’ to provide an indicator above the disc. Marking the disc with a silver line where the pointer happened to be means that now when the mark on the disc is rotated by the engine and it aligns with the pointer – the engine is at TDC. Simples. So in theory when I next start the engine I can use the tuning Strobe light to check the setting of the distributor by pointing it  at the mark on the disk. Adjustment of the Distributor position means that now the timing can be advanced or retarded until the strobe flashes at exactly the moment the mark on the disk is directly below the pointer.

Once the ignition is set I can easily remove my new ‘ timing tool’ but repeat the exercise if I ever need to. Nice. Looking forward to having the engine running again.

Below you can see the timing disk and the pointer with the ‘timing mark’ visible below the pointer. Both the disk and the pointer are easily removable but will always mount in the same position again.


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