The pinion shaft preload is catered for within the design of the double thrust race supplied by Bearing Services, and it is necessary only to torque the pinion shaft nut to 60lbs. The crown wheel preload was set as for a 90, but when setting backlash between pinion and crownwheel, readings varied quite a lot round the diameter of the crownwheel, so I checked every four teeth and set a minimum of 0.007”. The differential wheel thrust washers were much too thin and needed as much as 0.030” on each side to take up backlash. I made resin impregnated cloth board as used in electrical insulation which I obtained in 1/8” thickness, and machined it in the lathe to the required thickness. There is no backlash in the transmission when driving the car, and the overall backlash at the road wheel is less than the Rover specified 3 degrees. The diff is quiet. Rover rear axles seem to go on forever so were fitted as they were. The drivers of this car must have been very gentle; the axle splines are in perfect order
Royce Page 3
Freewheeling 5 November 1983
I spent about three weeks repairing and stripping most of the plated parts. All door handles inside the car had been broken in the square end by people using them as door pulls, and these I found could be made from P4 handles which fit the square shafts but need reshaping to match the P2 handles. They are much stronger in the square section. All the plating was done by Westwood Winter. Mr. Westwood is quite interested in old cars and will supervise the work himself. I was critical of some of it but CVVTMC judges asked who plated the car and were quite impressed with the work so the standard must be good. They only charged $360 so it’s a good idea to repair the parts before sending them.
The caps on the ends of the bumper bars, the metal dash and the bonnet centre strip are stainless steel so only require buffing. I sent the hubcaps to Mike Cauldry in UK to be reskinned in stainless steel. I polished them myself. The cost excluding postage was £30 but is now about £50, Mike Cauldry can also supply lots of rubber parts and water castings, I think door handles are available in chrome brass.
The painting came next. After sanding the whole of the metal with an orbital sander and hand block, I filled the rough spots with plastic body filler and sanded smooth. Deoxidene, etch primer and 30 undercoats were applied and left to dry for about eight weeks before sanding. Two light coats of colour were sprayed and the whole sanded to show up faults. The painting procedures are detailed in the Dulux publication “The Complete Refinisher” (Club Library), but not enough emphasis is placed on allowing plenty of time for drying of undercoats, two months if you can. I used all Dulux products, finishing in Admiralty Blue acrylic lacquer. One of my friends in the ROC helped me get the paints at trade prices, which I much appreciated.
While waiting for the finish to dry, I cut the new linings for the doors from 3mm luan plywood. The glue line is highly moisture resistant, ICO: it is called, and is about a quarter the price of marine ply. I coated both sides with polyurethane lacquer. These were covered in good quality vinyl which I got from W.T. Greenwell, Abbotsford, Vic. I also obtained a black vinyl for the pipings and the sliding roof from the same source. They were much cheaper than any of the local suppliers and better quality.
There was only one good piece of timber in the sliding roof frame, so I recut it all from cedar which I happened to have. I curved a piece of 3mm ply by weighting it and treating it with hot water, to cover the front bit that slides. The original metal lattice is still there and the timber is rebated to take the ply, keeping the thickness of the frame as original. This is covered with a piece of woollen blanket and made a good foundation for the vinyl. I’ve heard of some people using aluminium sheet but you can probably bake a cake in the car during the summer months. I replaced the plastic strips that slide on the roof opening, with Teflon. It does slide nicely. The metal bits that slide up the ramps at the back were replaced by stainless steel plates
Freewheeling 6 November 1983
Carpet binding material was supplied by Nolan O’Rourke. The binding is a seat material which you have to cut into strips. I used this to recover the dust seals around the doors. It wears well and it is designed for sitting on and won’t fade (I hope). Leather for the seats is from Birdsall Bros, Mancot. It was $40 per square metre and I had to buy two hides of about 5 sq m each. I have had a lot of experience with leather over many years and this is as good as I have seen. I have a machine for sewing seats and carpets so I was able to do the interior at quite a low cost. The headlining material came from David Jones, Sydney. This is English wool dress material and is identical with the original. Cost was about $80. The whole of the stitching has been done using Coates Patons threads, synthetic mixtures with cotton, just about everlasting.
Interior timber was stripped to bare wood and after repairs and fine sanding, stained to colour with Wattyl spirit stain. I avoid oil in the timber as I’ve found that after a few years in the sun, the oil dries and the timber shrinks. The grain then opens and crazes all the finish lacquer. I filled the grain with the finish lacquer tinted to colour with spirit stain, and sand and recoat until the surface is satisfactory. It can be polished with cutting compound and then car polish to finish the job.
The entire restoration has cost slightly less than $2000. This includes two tyres, four tubes, insurance and registration on Club plates, so it pays to do the work yourself and hire or buy the machines required. One can learn a lot in the course of a job like this and there are plenty of Club members who will advise and supply the bits you need.
Many thanks to the people who have helped me along the way.
Royce Cole (314)