Tuesday, 22 January 2008

All for want of a horse-shoe nail

Fantastic news: after months of searching and disillusionment, I have got springs for my brakes. Where I got them from was a hot tip from Magpie (aka Tardis), who recommended NTG Motor Services in Ipswich. Now, infuriatingly, I realise I read a review of these good people some time back in the club magazine of the Cambridge-Oxford Owners' Club, but it hadn't occurred to me to try them.

NTG's Paul Banyard is a very useful chap to know. He supplies parts principally for old MGs, many parts of which, of course, are compatible with the J Type and the Austin 101. The springs turn out to be MG TD compatible. They weren't cheap, it does have to be said: with discounts, before VAT the pull-offs are £4.30 a piece, and six are needed. The punier tensioning springs are £5.25 before VAT! The latter don't look exactly the same as the ones I took off the van, but are the TD pull-off's natural pair. Total bill just over £42. But I paid it happily - partly because having them has solved so many hassles - and is a relief - and partly because I am realistic about limited run manufacture being expensive.

We need people like NTG to continue in business, so we need to support them. I know they will be seeing a fair bit more of me.

Incidentally, they carry the rubber mounts for both the engine and the gearbox at, all told, £39 incl.

Call Paul on 01473 406031 or see them online at

I can't mount the restored engine in the chassis until it is free-standing, which means that the wheels and axles have to be fitted back on with restored leafsprings and new shocks, and none of that can happen until the wheels have been reassembled, before which brakes have to be done....and that has been held up for want of a spring (or 8). All those other bits aren't 100% ready either, but it has felt like most prgress has been held up by the springs. Things should now start going together rather quickly and progress will be more tangible.

This was the boost I've needed for a while. So watch this space.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Brake assembly

After collecting and cleaning my lamb chop today, I spent most of my time in that endlessly infuriating task - searching for something you always put in the same place....except that last time you put it down, you put it down somewhere else and knew you'd remember; but actually forgot - bugger! I have lost the tap for my welding gas regulator. I searched EVERYWHERE - including the completely illogical places, like my pockets.

Then, to make myself feel like I had achieved something, I took the brake assembly off the rear axle (circled in blue) and cleaned up the part circled in red, which centres the cables. Interestingly, as I removed the bound cable from its running tubes it was apparent that it had some kind of rubber bush (about the size of a pasta tube) to stop the cable getting chafed. I wonder if these can be replaced easily? Anyone know? Magpie?