“Charlie Markham tests a “B” series Rapide”

This arrived in our e-mail earlier this week and seemed to cool not to pass along…

Charlie Markham road tests an early 1947 "B" series Rapide

Charlie Markham road tests an early 1947 "B" series Rapide

“Charlie Markham motorcycle journalist road testing an early build 1947 “B” series Rapide near Stevenage Hertfordshire UK in full period costume at speed”

A "flamed" Vincent HRD

A "flamed" Vincent HRD at the shop, September, 2006

“This may be off a glass plate negative because british motorcycle press photo-graphers were still using this technology into the early ’50’s.  Love the cap & goggles,

1928 Flat Tank Norton at S.C.S.  July, 2010

1928 Flat Tank Norton at the shop, July,, 2010

the courier bag, the whole package.  Had to pan that big camera to catch a Rapide on the boil.” In other news…

Extracting an MGA pilot bushing

Extracting an MGA pilot bushing using 18G 279 clutch plate tool

Your correspondent is pictured below attempting to extract an MGA clutch pilot bushing by the hydraulic method.  This works by packing the pilot bushing with grease and using a tight fitting mandrel and a hammer to drive it out.  Usually this succeeds, but this time all it produced was a lot of flying grease.  Too much wear so I cut it out, instead.  Note the unusual very late engine backplate.  The 18G 279 factory clutch plate tool, a.k.a. clutch alignment tool is also a pilot bushing installer, being accurately sized to locate the bushing in it’s housing.  The striking device is a copper hammer.

Butch & John confer on strategy

Butch & John plan their strategy for this Austin Healey Wednesday morning

This week we were also tasked with chasing down a squealing noise coming from the front of this Austin Healey.  We deduced that the squeal was located at the front of the timing cover.  Butch found it with his automotive stethoscope.  It turned out to be the crank pulley chewing its way thru the timing cover seal because the cover had been installed without using the pulley to centralize it.  Jaguar & Triumph timing covers have dowel pins for positive alignment, but BMC engines (MG & Austin Healey) don’t.  Because this was a high end car, Butch & John decided to sequence their operations before they started ripping.

We always have concerns about noises in this area because we’ve seen a number of Austin Healey four & six cylinder engines on which the crankshaft pulleys and sometimes the lower chain sprocket are loose on their woodruff keys.  Caught early enough they can be changed out with little or no damage done, but when neglected over a long period of time they can pound out the pulley & sprocket and damage the crankshaft keyway.

We have fixes for those problems, too.

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