Thursday, 29 November 2012

back on the road again

 Driving an old Morris isn't all Housewives Choice on the radio and bowling along Devon lanes in search of cream teas and ginger beer, you know.

Sometimes, maybe.

Grubbing around underneath the car on a winter's day is a whole lot less fun, but sometimes inescapable. The rattle that had been coming from the front wheel was getting worse. I'd thought it was a worn rubber bush in one of the trunnions (trunnions are the things that connect the upsy-downsy bit to the lefty-right bit on the front wheels. Sorry, but sometimes you have to use words like 'trunnion' and 'kingpin', because otherwise there aren't any convenient words available).

It wasn't that, though, it was the damper. The damper has an arm that connects to the top of the wheel assembly, and smoothes out the up-and-down motion as the wheel rides over bumps or leans into and out of corners. It's got a little hydraulic piston inside it, that damps the motion. Hence the name.

Anyway, the damper had come loose from the bulkhead, and the retaining bolts and the place they screwed into had been damaged beyond repair.

So there was much quiet intaking of breath at the thought of the narrowly-averted disaster of a wheel collapsing at speed. And 'O no! How am I going to fix this?'. There was quite a bit of that, too.

When I  finally got going, and had all the stuff I needed (after cycling miles and miles all around Bristol, to the Charles Ware Morris Centre on the southern fringe of the city (UNF bolts and recon damper), Bristol Tools (ace shop on the Gloucester Road) and Stone's Fastenings in Old Market (ace nuts and bolts shop in Old Market)) ....finally, as I say, getting the bit between the teeth, it was quick and straighforward.

I drilled two big holes in the cross-member, to get access to where the retaining bolts go through. Then drilled out the worn threads of the bolt holes. Then inserted extra-long bolts, and secured them with nuts and spring washers. Job done.

You can only see one of the holes in this picture, because the torch is sitting on top of the other hole, illuminating the bolt end there. See?

Here, by the way, is what the damper arm looks like if you take away the wheel assembly. The trunnion sits on that pin there, with a couple of rubber bushes sleeved on.