Monday, 8 September 2014

Humber Speedster Project - Update # 5

With the '47 Studebaker truck back on the road, and out of the workshop I was able to get back to working on the Humber. I had been tinkering with the front Luvax, (dampers), shock absorbers in the evenings but not much progress had been made. These were a mystery to me until I did some research and pulled them apart. The principle is quite simple with a vane fixed to a shaft that attaches to the front axle via an arm and link. When the up and down motion of the axle is transferred to the shaft, the movement of the vane is restricted or slowed by a heavy grade oil forced through small holes in the inner casing. The photos below show the various parts, also the rust holes I had to braze up in the outer oil reservoirs.

The pic above left shows the dampers complete with the arm before dismantling. The pic above right shows the rust holes in the outer oil reservoir.

This pic on the left shows the dampers components; the base plate that bolts onto a chassis bracket, the rotary vane housing, the vane shaft, the outer housing/oil reservoir, with holes repaired, and the sealing gland nut. (The shaft is made oil tight like steam valves with a stuffing box and gland nut). I intended to make my own stuffing from jute string, plaited to the right thickness, impregnated with bees wax and copper coat anti-seize.

The pic below shows the assembly sequence. The two recesses in the base plate allow the dampers to be assembled for left and right application, (I think!) I guess I'll find out when I start assembling them.

The pic on the left shows the vane in place. The amount of travel is approximately 35 mm

With the workshop now clear I could set up my combination Roller / Folder / Guillotine in preparation to start work on the Humber body panels. But of course nothing goes exactly to plan. The roller needed a stand to bring it up to a comfortable working height, and I had also acquired a bead roller that needed at stand as well. I've made up the roller stand but have left the bead roller stand for now as it won't be required until the later stages of the body is in progress. I'm contemplating fabricating some heavy duty castor's that can be fitted to the stand when not in use so it can be moved. I had to use the engine crane to shift it for now as it weighs about 500 kg.

I picked up the 1mm zinc annealed sheet steel a week or so ago ready to start rolling the bonnet, but then realised the bonnet was longer than I could fit in the roller, bugger ! After a bit of head scratching and beard tugging I came up with the idea of making up a frame to weld the sheet to, therefore giving it the right shape and added rigidity. I chose 5mm x 32 mm flat mild steel to make the bonnet 'ribs' from, and then another realisation - my roller is for sheet metal only up to 2mm thick, (bugger again), and I thought the bonnet was going to be the easy part! Well there was nothing else to do but bend them the old fashioned way using the open jaws of a vice and a cross pein hammer, tedious but effective.

The pic below is of the rear rib following the contour of the firewall bonnet ledge.

The pic below shows the string lines I had to run from the radiator to the firewall to give the curvature of the bonnet half way so I had something to go on when bending the middle rib.

     The middle rib curved to the string lines - now this was tedious to do! I swear I walked back and       forth from the Humber to the vice 100 times.

When the ribs were finished I stuck some news paper over the strings to give me a look at a mocked up shape of the bonnet, then stuck the cardboard side templates on to give an overall look. Apart from the sides not having the door openings cut in I was very please with the shape. I should have sat the mudguards on, but didn't think about that until after I had taken off the paper.

So as of today the 9/9/14 that is where I'm up to. Next Saturday I'm busy at the 'Studebaker of Australia' shop with the open house for International drive Your Studebaker Day. Sunday I'll be welding together the bonnet ribs and cross braces and hopefully skinning it with sheet metal - whoot!

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