Bentley Blues

Btuch runs a leak down test

Butch runs a leakdown test

After the close of World War II the product planners at Bentley Motors (1931 Ltd.) concluded that the era of the bespoke coach built car was at an end and that most new Bentleys would be owner driven.  Accordingly, the primary new model was a “Standard Steel Saloon” with a body built by Pressed Steel (who later on built bodies for MGB’s).

The engine is an in-line six cylinder with overhead intake & side exhaust valves, and pumped up a little bit compared to its Rolls-Royce counterpart by a slightly beefier camshaft & twin SU H6 carburetors.

Lock wiring Jaguar camshaft sprocket

Lock-wiring the Jag. Mk2 intake cam sprocket on Tuesday

Another Rolly-Royce innovation first appearing on this engine was a chrome cylinder sleeve in the upper half of the cylinder bore which had a disasterous effect on piston rings after the lower part of the bore started to wear while the upper portion did not.

Your scribe has previously had the gearbox of this car spread across his workbench and as described elsewhere, strength-wise, it’s entirely suitible for a fire truck.

In the first picture, Butch is chasing a rhythmic misfire by running a cylinder leakdown test after a standard compression test yielded no abnormalities.  Regrettably, the engine didn’t leak down, so we’re still stymied.

Strippng a steel dahsboard out of an MGB for refinishing

Stripping a steel dashboard out of an MGB for refinishing

After replacing  a bent camshaft bearing cap stud and lockwiring the cam sprocket bolts, a step apparently overlooked during a recent rebuild, and re-installing the cam covers, I went looking for a “does not run” condition of the RHD Jaguar Mk2 sedan.  This turned out to be a failed  electronic ingnition, cause of failure unknown.

A reversion to points & condensor and the temporary substitution of a rebuilt E-type dizzy has it  up and running again.

Jaguar Mk2 on test on Tuesday

Jaguar Mk2 on test Tuesday

Next up with this car is a complete lubrication as well as fresh  gear oils and brake & clutch fluid, then it’s a comprehensive tuneup.

Tuesday I got it out for a brief road test ahead of the rains that have been with us all week now.  I ran it back in the barn and brought in this red MGB in order to strip out the dashboard for refinishing as per the owner’s request.  It’s over at Excel Powderwerks in Walpole, N.H. now because we’ve found that while crackle paint lasts for a few years, powdercoating is forever.

TR3 in New Orleans

Report from the Big Easy

Middie O’Malley’s car has finally made its way back to New Orleans and he sent along this picture and these kind words:  ” I am tremendously happy with the results of your work which have absolutely transformed this car.  It is so good, in fact, that I can’t stop myself from driving it.  The car is an absolute joy to drive.  I strongly recommend to anyone contemplating serious suspension work on their TR3 that the Revington Fast Road Suspension kit that completely replaces and upgrades the original front and rear TR3 suspension be given serious consideration.  The ride and handling improvement is amazing which make it more than worth the money.”

UPS driver Jim Coffey on his last day of work

Last Call

Jim Coffey our UPS driver made his final appearance here  Wednesday afternoon after 30 years of work.  He’s got a big smile on his face because he’s kissing all of it goodbye.  No more 14 hour days during Christmas Week snowstorms or inane Supervisors who know his route better than he did, even if they’re never driven it.

I was once in the terminal for an early pickup of a critical Next Day Air package when I tail-ended one of their driver safety meetings.  When shouted out  by a Napoleonic-sized Supervisor for a useful safety tip, one of his conscientious drivers shouted back”  KEEP YOUR SHOE LACES TIED !”  And that is also my advice to you.

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