It's been a very busy day with all sorts of things going on and all sorts of jobs being tackled. The first one was a start on the chain guard for the Bianchi Stelvio, it's coming along quite nicely but half way in to it the postman came with the tool I have been waiting for - the Triumph tappet block removal tool. I have been wanting to get on with that for ages so I left the chain guard where it was and set about removing the tappet blocks from the old barrel and putting them in the new barrel, I was amazed at how tight they were, it took some serious force to get them out and back in.
With that job done I set about putting the barrels on, the piston ring compressors were already in place so in theory it was quite an easy job to slide the barrels down, and so it proved to be until I spotted a problem. One of the head studs was fitted with a locating collar, somehow I hadn't noticed until the block wouldn't sit all the way down on the crankcase. I had to take the barrel back off and drill the hole out so it cleared and then refit the ring compressors and give it another shot. Second time lucky, the barrels slid down beautifully and nestled on to the gasket. I fitted all the nuts, snugged them up then torqued them in sequence, it looks a bit more engine like now. I span it all over on my drill, very slowly at first and then a bit faster. It feels absolutely splendid, no stiff spots, no noises, happy to ho on to the next stage. This is where things got a bit tense, the head itself is easy enough to put in place, you have to remember to put the push rod tubes in place, they need new sealing rings and a smear of Hylomar or similar to make sure they don't leak later. The difficult bit is fitting the rocker shaft assemblies - you need at least 4 hands, two pairs of eyes and fingers no thicker than a twiglet. It's kind of hard to explain but the push rods want to rest against the wall of the tube but you need them centered so that the cup in the rocker arm mates with the ball end of the push rod - trust me it's a proper mare. I am making a pair of simple jigs to make my life easier.
Before I got too stressed I decided a change of scenery was a good idea so I went to see Russ and Malcolm to see what they were up to. Russ was just about finishing up on fixing Josh's race car, he wasn't doing it to show room standard, just beating out the dents to the point where it looks ok, it's a fair old job he's done on it. A local company are doing some graphics for it, they will come down next week and apply them, it will look really cool then.
I showed Malc the Berneg 175 running, he had seen it but not heard it so I booted that up for him. We moved a couple of cars about while we were at it, it's easier when there is 3 or 4 rather than 1 or 2 of us on hand.
That all went wonderfully until Malc had the brilliant idea of me driving Josh's car rather than us having to push it. It's a proper race car so has a multi point roll cage, race seat harnesses and all that sort of thing. It is designed for safety rather than for the comfort of a worn out 60 year old with clunky joints. Russell was most helpful, he stood back and filmed, Malcolm added some sarcastic comments, nobody called a Chiropractor, which is what I really needed. Full sordid tale is captured on glorious Technicolour here - https://www.youtube.com/shorts/3qo-70Rrlds If anybody needs me I shall be in the corner sulking. Again.