The Winter Doldrums Draw Towards A Close

runaway truck ramp

Conditions normal

We’re near Brattleboro in the southeastern corner of  Vermont and the principal road to Bennington in the southwest corner is Rte. 9  up over Searsburg Mountain and down the other side.  I dislike this road, not because it’s always snowing on top of the mountain this time of year, but because it brings the down country ski traffic which for the most part is woefully unprepared for winter driving.

ice sculpture

Ice Sculpture

Real men (and women) don’t need four wheel drive, they need snow tires.  Yes, we have a couple of four wheel drives, one plows the driveway, the other hauls firewood, and when it snows we put chains on them.

Sunday morning early I hiked over the mountain to see Mark Goyette and pick up some polishing work he’d put the finishing touches on for us.  Way up on Searsburg I came across this quite incredible ice flow, possibly created by the by-product of a New England Power hydro plant, or maybe just the terminus of a spring line to supply water to a series of homes.


Jaguar cylinder head

4.2 E-type cylinder head

You can be the Judge, but I don’t think Mark’s work hurts your eyes any.  We added the paint.  Soon Patrick will add the valves & springs which were already clearanced before we pulled them down for painting & polishing, and they’re going back together with late XJ6 intake spring retainers so we can run a set of proper valve stem seals.   The early stuff didn’t use ’em.

There’s a wonderful expression in auto parts I’ve always liked,

2nd gear

N.O.S. 2nd gear

which is “If it’s automotive, it’s somewhere in L.A.”.  Maybe, but there are still a few pieces left in England.  Barry Price had a brand new Armstrong-Siddley second gear, Cor’ Blimey, it’s older than I am !   We’ll be  putting this ‘box back together soon.

Click on the picture for a better look at this magnificent piece (take a closer look at that ice flow, too).  Also in this week is the repaired MG TD oil pan.


MGA Twin Cam

Overhead Cam MG Engine

Searching for something else in the picture archives I came across this photo of an MGA Twin Cam engine after its teardown for the purpose of staunching the constant hemmoraging of oil, both thru leakage and combustion.

The leakage was the by-product of a quick tart-up to flog the car thru an Arizona January auction, but the oil burning was caused by the classic Twin Cam problem of the use of chrome plated piston rings which never seated in the chrome-flashed cylinder bores.  We solved it with a liberal application of the Flex Hone tool to impart some cross-hatch to the the cylinder walls and then put in a set of standard Hasting rings and , Et Voila !   Problem solved.

BTW: The paint on the crankshaft is factory.


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