Progress with the Restoration of PK2613 (Update No 4)
Three years ago I was able to report that since collection from Common Wood Cottage in July 2007, the car had moved to Steeple Morden near Royston and a big leap forward had been made with restoration. Four years on, 2011 was my first year of complete retirement and there has been a distinct lack of focus and failure to achieve milestones. Time has drifted on, books newspapers and magazines read, the garden tended and holiday trips to Devon, Wales and South Africa undertaken. Life has been enjoyable but the Trojan has advanced rather slowly an appropriate pace for such a vehicle.
After some major works to my MG TC's transmission and replacement of a front hub, in May work recommenced on the Trojan with installation of the dashboard instruments. The speedometer which had come to me fully restored was refitted and the mystery of how it obtains its cable drive resolved. The bronze right angle drive, which I found at the bottom of one of the Trojan's many boxes of parts and had I thought belonged to an electric drill fitted in to a blanked hole on the transfer box. Unfortunately the original cable was badly corroded, the inner cable kinked and an adaptor bush missing. I sent the remaining parts to Speedy Cables in south Wales. A few weeks later a new cable complete with fork end adaptor arrived by courier in a bag marked "Urgent vehicle off road" a little excessive in the circumstances perhaps!
The centre of a Trojan dashboard has a Lucas control panel and a knob labelled "on-off-reserve". This operates the three way valve on the fuel tank outlet and the ignition via a cam contact. After several attempts I concluded it was not possible to assemble this with the fuel tank in place. So with a friend who had come for a relaxing weekend we removed the fuel tank and fitted the valve, operating spindle and sleeve. Our first attempt at reassembly failed as the spindle did not align with the recess in the dash panel. With some judicious bending and enlarging the hole in the bulkhead alignment was achieved and the fuel control rod fitted.
Attention was now turned to the engine and with a set of modified pistons fitted with small end bushes it all looked straight forward. However a set of engine gaskets was required and tab washers for the connecting rod pinch bolts. As these are not available from the TOC or Tesco suitable materials have to be acquired and cut to size. I purchased a set of punches from eBay for the multiple holes required. All the internal components were cleaned, external ones painted or polished and copious amounts of carbon residue removed. Various household materials were pressed into service including gloves, Scotchbrite pads and heating oil. An empty tin of dog food was cut up and slips made to expand the piston rings and slide them back into their grooves. Gradually a complete set of refurbished components was assembled and with copious amounts of SAE 40 and help from another long suffering friend the pistons slid back into their bores and the crank shaft located in its bearings. The proof of the pudding as they say is in the eating and awaits the first test run.
A number of engine ancillaries now require completion including the manual starter which requires a pawl return spring to complete. I have also been trying to understand the priming system adopted for the PH engine. This is a peculiarity of two stroke engines and injects fuel directly into the transfer ports to aid starting. The dashboard showed evidence of a hand primer but this was replaced by a cable operated type located under the bonnet. I have been unable to find any trace of this in my collection of parts nor the connecting fuel pipes to the transfer ports. David Vincent was able to supply a suitable primer from the Club stores and assembling a new set of fuel lines with the correct fittings is a job for the spring.
Restoration of the gearbox has still to commence before rebuilding the rear bodywork, restoring the seats and weather equipment and refitting the electrical accessories and wiring so there is still plenty to do.
Pippa's niece Emma however has established the completion date by stating that she and her friends would like to be driven to their end of school ball after completing their GCSEs. This gives me until July 2013 to have a roadworthy vehicle available for the assignment. In the meantime the TOC has announced that Centenary Celebrations will be held in Croydon to mark the first Registration of Trojan No 1 in June 2013, attendance at this event is mandatory for all surviving Trojans!
Steeple Morden, Royston, Herts. SG8 0NA.