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Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Phew Martin! You really started something with that thread it's giving me a headache, how did the average 1950/60s ex school boy with a tool kit left over from his bike, plus maybe two new spanners and a yellow plastic handled screwdriver (and maybe his Dads paint spattered hammer)manage to strip and rebuild his Austin Seven engine plus anything else that broke or fell off? Who could afford or even knew the existence off a 'micrometer' for instance.
If it had been 'Rocket Science' we wouldn't have touched one with the proverbial barge pole.
So someone please tell me what's changed? Ian M

Location: Bristol

Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Hi Ian,
Nothing has changed apart from the Internet which has allowed people to ask advice before they do something which if they take it can save them a lot grief
.At least they are working on there cars which I hope is giving them a lot of pleasure

Cheers Colin

Location: TINOPAI NZ

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

How right you are Ian.
The chance to use two hundred words to describe a problem that can be answered in two proves completely irresistible to certain members of this forum in particular.

Location: Bristol

Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

In the 50s and 60s there were motor reconditioning firms everywhere and ordinary mechanics were fully familiar with ring replacement,reboring, honing, measuring, normal clearances etc etc whereas few now rarely see inside an engine or repair (as distinct from replace) anything. Persons could wander into nearby premises and talk directly with the workmen, who possessed micrometers, and could use and read them. Whist service manuals for many cars were rare, general books on automotive work were in all libraries, and very popular magazines regularly covered ring replacement, rebores etc. Many tinkered with their cars and did major work and it was a common morning tea subject.

The original proposal to place pistons intended for one engine rebored for aftermarket pistons into another and significantly increase bores using a surfacing hone was not a routine practice and hence the lengthy response.

And far more than one topic was covered.

Cryptic replies are fine for those who know all the related info, but very often inadequate and possibly hazardous for those who do not.

I suspect some found the interchange informative and interesting.

Location: Auckland, NZ

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.


Just wait 'til you see how I've resurrected a set of main bearings!

It'll never work. Tee-hee!

Location: Herefordshire, with an "E" not a "T".

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Oohhh.
You are awful Martin.
But I like you.

Location: Bristol

Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Quote: Martin Prior

Just wait 'til you see how I've resurrected a set of main bearings!

It'll never work. Tee-hee!


I don't suppose you roughened up the surface with a hammer and cut nail? It works for a few hundred miles....

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Quote: Ian Dunford
How right you are Ian.
The chance to use two hundred words to describe a problem that can be answered in two proves completely irresistible to certain members of this forum in particular.


I might be wrong but I made it 181

Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

I appreciate all suggestions as to how to carry out jobs on the 7. However, I have a very limited budget, to keep my 7 on the road. I do about 4000 miles a year, but the car would be stuck in the garage for 3 years, should I choose to fit a phoenix crank.
Keep all advise flowing...I'll select the most appropriate route for me.

Martin - appreciate updates on how your budget engine build goes.

All the best,
Colin

Location: Towcester

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Hi Alan

Despite my years I am still keen to learn.
I would be very grateful if you would apply your professional background and provide a model reply to the question Ian asked, and show how it could be adequately answered with substantially less words.

Location: Auckland, NZ

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Quote: Ian Moorcraft
...how did the average 1950/60s ex school boy with a tool kit left over from his bike, plus maybe two new spanners and a yellow plastic handled screwdriver (and maybe his Dads paint spattered hammer)manage to strip and rebuild his Austin Seven engine plus anything else that broke or fell off?...


Not just ex schoolboys. I can't be the only one rebuilding engines while still at school? The difference was that us schoolboys had a different outlook on life - to make the engine run was the priority. If it only ran for a couple of thousand miles who cared. Six months was an eternity in those days.

I was always very careful. I spread lots of newspapers on the living-room carpet before bringing in the engine.

Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.


I bought my RP when I was 15 and rebuilt it in time for my 17th birthday. I regularly got up at 05:30 to put in a couple of hours' work before breakfast and school.

My engine never got further into the house than the back door!

Location: Herefordshire, with an "E" not a "T".

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Im not sure how anyone else lives. But I grew up with Austin 7 engines being built on the kitchen table.

Here I regularly have steam engine parts in the dishwasher. And parts sat on the central heating boiler while paint hardens.

Location: not north wales any more

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

In the late 1960s I built up an engine for my ruby tourer following a crankshaft break.

This was built up out of bits and pieces. Certainly the crank was rusty, it had been buried in the garden 2 years previously to help it rust and get pock marks in the journals to help oil retention. My late father in law Nick Nicholls alleged that Jack French had advised this treatment.

The rods were a mixed bunch and caps and rods filed and scraped to achieve a satisfactory fit. The pistons apparently were about right for the bores.

Now for the reason for this post. My parents had a typical 1960s Formica kitchen table coloured yellow. The blueing of the bearings spread cheerfully and permanently onto this table. It was never mentioned by my parents.

It never occurred to me that three bearing and two bearing engines fitted differently onto the chassis. I just did it and the engine ran reliably until I sold the car about a year later. It was my everyday transport. The car survives still as an Ulsteroid.

I don't think I spent more than £5 on the engine build. Mind you in those days £5 could buy fifty pints of Ruddles Ale.

Roly

Location: Upton upon Severn

Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

Hi Roly, very interesting about pockmarking your crankshaft. When I worked for Bristol Omnibus in the 1970s an old fitter called Wilf Masters told me that before the war they had a bus that would overheat the bores and seize because the bores were too polished. Deglazing only lasted a short while and the problem persisted on this particular bus. The cure was to mechanically pock mark the bores, run the hone down to remove any high spots and this would retain oil in the bores and the problem cured.Ian M

Location: Bristol

Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

I got a camshaft from Jack French for my Nippy in about 1990. The only one I had for exchange was rather rusty. Jack said that was no problem, it improved the lubrication.

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

I think Ian largely answered his own question when he mentioned bicycle spanners. Few today have even that background. A fix it mentality was common. Very evident from the fascinating Popular Mechanics of the time.

There is the crude lash up to get a car mobile for a while and the careful selection and correct assembly of used parts to give a service life comparable new. Quite different situations.

From my experience, for makes which have required professional “mechanics“ unfamiliar with to work on, a chain of compounding trouble is often generated by their efforts. Patient and observant amateurs often do better.

I have been told that dishwashers are a remedy for oily clutches and brakes, but not good for aluminium shoes.

Location: Auckland, NZ

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

OK, I was a privileged schoolboy, but it seems to me that the biggest differences today are price and availability. Back then, if you got it wrong, you could get an entire replacement engine from the scrappy for 30 bob.

Location: Richmond, Texas

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Re: Re. Cylinder bores yawn.

30s for an engine is certainly cheap but when adjusted for the price index (or better typical wages) those old prices were not quite such a bargain. Our money is comparable to UK but old cars were much more expensive. In the 1960s £20 was a very good wage. I paid 10s and £2 for gearboxs, £3 for a good diff assy, £5 for a derelict RP and reasonable but non running Sevens were usually at least £25. The labour to rebore a Seven block was £3.10s, remetal big ends £6. I used to buy smooth motorcycle tyres for 10s each.
A comparable wage today is $1500 or so, but legal satisfactory running late 1990s cars can be had for $1000 down to $500 or less with a little hunting. So cheap that nobody works on them to devlop skills for maintaining Sevens in future!

Location: Auckland, NZ

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