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1951 Lanchester LD10
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 325
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This time, it's fitting a carpet, which is a fairly easy thing to do since the Lanchester is a nice simple shape. Full write up and photos later, as usual. For now, here's the video:

https://youtu.be/oce6M9LlKOg
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 325
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How to do the carpet in the Lanchester then. The video above does illustrate this a bit better than I can do with photos and words so if you haven't, please do give that a watch for a bit more clarity on the process. This needn't be an expensive endeavour and indeed, this carpet has cost the sum total of 0 since I already had all of the materials required in house.

Ingredients are a pack of cheap printer paper, a pen, a good pair of shears (for cutting the carpet), a good pair of scissors (for cutting the paper), some sellotape, and a spare carpet set from the Princess. The carpet set I'm using here is temporary, eventually it will be replaced with proper brown wool, for now it's what's to hand and the bright orange doesn't actually look as bad in situ as you might expect.


If you already have a carpet in the car you're doing this job on, it's a bit easier, since then you have a template of sorts. Unfortunately for us, there is no carpet in this car and it didn't come to us with one. We've also been unable to find an off-the-shelf kit of any sort to hint at what shapes are required, so it's been a case of relying on photographs of other cars and clues this car has given us from what is present.

Luckily, the floor of the Lanchester is almost completely flat with the exception of the tunnel down the middle, and the fixings for the front seats. That means you can lay down the printer paper very easily to patchwork a pattern. It's mostly a case of lining up an edge of paper with the edge of a bit of floor, and then using a fingernail and/or pen to mark the edges before using the scissors to trim. Offer up the paper a few times and trim as necessary until each piece is as you want it. Then tape your next piece of paper down to the first and so on until the whole floor is covered.


The floor of the Lanchester isn't actually symmetrical. While the outer edges are mirrored, the front portion of the tunnel isn't, and the rails the seats sit on are also in different locations on each side, something that isn't as obvious when the carpet isn't present. That meant that a different template would be required for each side.

To get around this you can either make two whole templates, or if you're channeling your inner Yorkshireman as I was, cut out the carpet for one side before flipping your paper template and chopping and patching it as required to make it the correct shape for the other side. This means you use a few sheets less paper, a bit less ink, a bit less sellotape and quite a bit less time.

For the driver's side, I disconnected the balljoint from the accelerator pedal so that I could put the carpet over the pedal rather than unbolting the pedal itself. It doesn't make sense to bolt the pedal down over the carpet in this instance, far better to cut a hole in the carpet for the pedal.


When you're repurposing existing materials some compromise is required. The Princess carpet isn't moulded, one of the benefits of a front wheel drive car with a very flat floor, but does have a few cut-outs for various fixings so it was a case of figuring out where best the paper template fitted the carpet. It turned out that it was best to make four separate rugs for the Lanchester, choosing to join them at the crossmember that runs the width of the floors under the front seats. The Princess carpet was long enough in each half that a small overlap was possible too which is better than trying to make the pieces butt up to one another neatly in this instance. Because of how much wider and longer the Princess floor is than the Lanchester floor, there was actually quite a lot of material available and before too long, I had a complete carpet set created.


It's worth noting that the paper template will fit slightly differently to the carpet, this is because of the thickness of the material. So once you fit the carpet you'll likely have to go around the edges, particularly any radiused pieces, and just trim back until a nice fit is acquired. Since the Princess carpet doesn't fray, there was no requirement to bind the edges and it will serve as a very good template for the nice carpet when we get to that point.


The bit I got really lucky with was that the Princess' integral heel mat actually lined up close to perfect with the Lanchester's pedals, making the orange carpet look just a bit more proper than had it been plain. Less so was the central tunnel, something I couldn't use from the centre of the Princess' main carpet. Instead, I built a tunnel section from the two inner sill pieces of carpet which are more flexible, the profiles were similar enough that I could use some duct tape to hold the four pieces together and to the tunnel itself, and wide enough that the main floor carpet could be put over the top of the edges to keep them in place. It's likely the proper carpet will be glued down in one piece instead. We will probably leave the front section of the tunnel uncarpetted (and there wasn't a suitable piece of Princess carpet left to do this part due to the strange shape involved) since there are service points that could do with being accessed and, judging by the condition of the paint, it looks like there may never have actually been a carpet there originally. We haven't yet seen a picture of an LD10 with the original carpet intact to tell us either way what's correct here, only cars with replacement carpets which may of course be non-standard. So we're going with what feels and looks right for this particular car, like we have with other items.

Anyway, here we are with the carpet fully fitted and looking a whole lot better than you might expect. It also cuts down a lot of draughts from the door bottoms and generally makes the car sound, and by extension feel, a bit more refined and finished inside than it did. When we come to doing the wiring under the dashboard this will likely be a lot more pleasant to lie on and much harder to lose the various fixings since there aren't all those little gaps around the floor boards accessible now.


All in all, an okay job really. Once the seats were refitted, you could barely see the carpet anyway so the colour difference really isn't that noticeable. It's also worth noting for the front seats that the brackets that hold the locking pegs in place need the carpet trimming away from the whole of the square base of them otherwise the thickness of the carpet prevents the seat from locking into place as it can't sit down low enough in the sockets.




We have what looks like a very short list of items to attend on the car now. How short this list ends up being in practice is of course a different matter entirely:
- Fit new wiring loom
- Recondition and refit radiator
- Acquire and fit new front engine mount
- Refit water pump and fan belt
- Adjust brakes
- Fit new front and rear screen seals
- Fit pedal draught excluder rubbers
- Make and fit kick panels, and lower B pillar trim
- Replace missing/all door furflex trim
- Restore and fit Ekco radio
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1224
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good work Vulgalour.
Not sure I like the colour much seeing the bottom door panels are a brown colour. That makes matching it pretty difficult. And new carpet always look too new! At the very least you now have an excellent pattern to cut a brown carpet if you would want to, and not be afraid to make mistakes in cutting new carpet.
I have cut carpets for my cars many times and was always amazed the positive effect it has on the car. Suddenly it feels like a proper finished car, much more liveable and the amount of noise is a lot lower.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 325
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As stated in the video, the orange carpet is a temporary measure using what we've got. A nice brown carpet will come later when we've got all the wiring and whatnot sorted. Once we're sure we're not going to spoil an expensive new carpet after the shakedown, then we can risk putting one in and, as you say, we'll have a good template from the current orange one.

It's a compromise.

Our next update is being slowed down by schedule issues. It's a little frustrating that a lot of the jobs can't be done solo at this point. Now we're heading into wiring - the next planned job to undertake - it's very much a two person thing for us since we want to understand how it's all done together in case things go wrong in a future and one or the other of us need to fix it solo. Nothing really beats hands-on learning with these things.

The deferred maintenance of the house has been causing problems with free time too. It seems every time we have time off together we're replacing yet more collapsing fence. At least we've finally got all the overgrown trees and shrubs removed now and hopefully won't need another skip after the one we're currently hiring. It does feel a bit like every time we finish a job on or in the house, another job pops up as the next item in the chain breaks, wears out, or tries to collapse. It is a battle we are winning, happily, we'd just far rather be enjoying using the Lanchester now the nice weather has arrived.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 325
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Starter finally removed from the Lanchester. Plan is to open it up and clean the insides, the current theory being that the contacts are dirty or corroded. The starter isn't mechanically sticky, it's more that it's electrically unreliable. Given the state of other electrical bits and pieces being mainly down to corrosion, and working fine once cleaned, we're hopeful this will respond positively too.

We also learned you don't have to disconnect the exhaust to get the starter off, it's much easier to disconnect the brake rod instead. We're hoping it's trouble-free enough that we can get this stripped down, rebuild, and refitted to the car in time for the next car video slot on the 6th of July. No promises though, we don't know what we'll find inside it yet.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 325
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Little update on the starter motor, since I've been playing with that today. It appears that what it really needed was a thorough clean. Now that all of the build up of dust has been cleaned out of the casing, and the commutator thoroughly cleaned, the brushes are moving freely as they ought. There's lots of material left on the brushes so there seemed to be no need to do anything at all with those.

The contactor (or solenoid, as I had been thinking of it) switch was similarly just in need of a really thorough clean, the thick copper contacts in there nice and shiny again and everything that should be moving freely now does.

Starter is now in the process of being painted. Since we know the starter works mechanically, and should now work more reliably electrically (we'll test it before refitting), we opted not to full dismantle the casing. Instead, I've got the task of using the brush-on enamel to repaint the steel parts of the casing in black gloss as it appears to have been originally. This well match what we'd done with the water pump and be a good tough finish which is probably quite important given how exposed the starter is to the elements. It will take a few days, because of drying times, but we're still on target for the 6th of July video slot as things stand.

I've ordered some ACF-50 for the contactor points on the recommendation of another forum since I wanted something to prevent the build up of corrosion as much as possible without affecting the operation of the starter. The commutator won't get anything sprayed on it, my understanding is that commutators should be kept clean and the action of them being used with free-moving healthy brushes keeps the corrosion and dirt at bay for the most part.

As usually, a video will be up on this process, as well as a photo-and-words option for those that prefer.

Speaking of videos, I've been going through the older videos and updating and correcting the closed captions (subtitles) for those folks that make use of them. I do want my content to as accessible as possible, particularly with the Lanchester videos, so that the information can get out to as wide an audience as possible.

Pat and I are also always open to suggestions for what you'd like to see on the Lanchester's journey. Hopefully what we've been providing so far has been useful for the jobs we've done, and shone a light on what it's like getting into older cars when you're not a generation that experienced them first hand. We do often feel like we're asking stupid questions when doing any research, and accept that it's all part of the process. Everyone has to start somewhere.
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 4325
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vulgalour wrote:


Pat and I are also always open to suggestions for what you'd like to see on the Lanchester's journey. Hopefully what we've been providing so far has been useful for the jobs we've done, and shone a light on what it's like getting into older cars when you're not a generation that experienced them first hand. We do often feel like we're asking stupid questions when doing any research, and accept that it's all part of the process. Everyone has to start somewhere.


I for one admire your workmanship. The Lanchester has to be one of the most under - rated of classic cars and your example was absolutely ripe for a sympathetic restoration. I think you have caught it just in time. It wouldn't have needed much more neglect to go beyond the point of no return. I personally always read your posts to see how it's going.

I may turn to you guys for help with the trim in my TC which looks like it could be a bit tricky! The hood and side screens is definitely not for the faint hearted.
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6659
Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2021 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ray White wrote:

I for one admire your workmanship. The Lanchester has to be one of the most under - rated of classic cars and your example was absolutely ripe for a sympathetic restoration. I think you have caught it just in time. It wouldn't have needed much more neglect to go beyond the point of no return. I personally always read your posts to see how it's going.


+1

Peter
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2021 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+2
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 325
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2021 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Smile

Video update for you to enjoy today, which is us (actually mostly me) struggling with the starter motor, brainfarts included on the testing front.

https://youtu.be/yp64zFFut8o

Words and pictures later, as usual.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 325
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2021 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Words and pictures time. This was one of those jobs that you expect to be quick and easy and isn't. Certainly trying to edit the video and photos down for updates demonstrated how much time actually had to go into it. The job in question is the starter motor. Since getting the car, the starter motor works some of the time on first start up and fairly reliably after a few tries, in between those two states it has usually needed a few taps with a stick to get it to engage properly. Mechanically the starter operates very well, it's just getting an electrical connection that's been the issue. Given the state of other electrical connections and wiring in the car, we had expected it to be something along the variety of cleaning contacts and so it was. First job, push the car out of the garage and get it up on a stand.


Then get yourself under the car and try and figure out how you're going to undo the three bolts holding the starter on without removing the exhaust. I'd been advised removal of the exhaust was necessary and while it would certainly have made life easier, it turned out not to be needed. The big problem underneath the car is that when I had the socket and ratchet on the through bolt and nut, I couldn't swing either far enough before I hit the chassis or the exhaust. I didn't have the time to do this on the day I attempted it so packed up, put the car away, and waited until Pat was free of work when I was free of work to have another go.


The next free time we had the car was wheeled out again, put on a stand again, and Pat had a good look to see if inspiration would strike a fresh pair of eyes. It did! He found he could get in with the ratchet from above and get a bit more swing if I held the spanner from below. After longer than either of us wanted, we had this one bolt out. The other two were much easier. As it happens, I managed to put this bolt back in from underneath the car on my own with a socket and spanner, using the spanner to turn the nut a tiny amount in the space available, while holding the bolt with the ratchet. It took a while, but it was also less grief than pulling off the exhaust. Our next obstacle was the bolt holding the main lead which we couldn't get any tools on. Normally this bolt is really easy to get to by just going under the front bumper and undoing it, there's not even a need to jack the car up because of the impressive ground clearance and access. Here's the view from the front with the starter removed.




That's right, we had to remove the starter to undo the bolt. The reason for this was that the two wires that bolt on to the starter had been put on in such a way that the thinner wire with the crimped eyelet was acting like a locking washer and there wasn't any access to bend it out of the way. It looks like when it was last done up, it had bent and locked onto the bolt head as it was done up.


Ah, but I'm a little out of order here. How did we get the starter motor out without taking the exhaust off? Well, it was a lot easier to simply disconnect the brake rod. The brake rod is held to a bracket via a clevis pin and cotter/split pin. Remove the two pins and the brake rod simply swings aside allowing you to finegle the starter motor out of the restrictive gap it lives in between the exhaust and the sump. Here you can see the offending crimp, the wire it was crimped to had gone very brittle and broke off when we first attempted to undo the bolt.




It had taken us so long just to get this starter out that it was all we did that day on the car because of course we had to allow time to pack up all the tools and push the car back into the garage.


We have a minor complaint with Imperial measurements too, one which we'll likely make again in the future. Both Pat and I grew up being educated on Imperial and Metric so we're good with feet and inches, centimetres and millimetres, the usual. But when it comes to fractions for sizes it is the most frustrating foreign language to us. I want to go a size up from a 3/8ths? No idea. A size down from a 1/4"? Not a clue. It will come with practice I'm sure, but right now it's just so much nonsense. Anyway, we had the starter off and let it sit in the house for a bit while we waited to have some time free to deal with it.


As it happens, I was the first person to have any meaningful time spare and it being a mostly one person job, I got the role of starter inspector. We could have removed the inspection covers while the starter was fitted to the car but we wouldn't have got as good a look, nor been as able to clean it, as when it's on a desk. First job, unscrew the bolt that clamps the band around the body of the starter so we can get to see what state the commutator and brushes are in. Normally you don't need to remove the band completely, just slide it out of the way, but since repainting was on the cards we opted to remove it fully.


Inside we saw that the commutator and brushes were quite dirty. Just moving the starter around to inspect it ended up with a lot of debris falling out of the case. Our theory that the internals were corroded and dirty seemed to be a sound one thus far.






Next was to remove the end covers. The smaller cover allows access to the main spindle so you can rotate and clean the commutator without removing the starter from the car, it is held in with two small screws. The larger cover also houses half of the contact switch which is engaged by the starter knob inside the car by pulling the cable that's attached to the arm. The larger cover is held on by two additional screws. These both came off very easily.




Once this was open another problem was apparent. There was a contact being made between the disc and plates of the contactor switch but it looked to just be in one small spot for the most part which didn't seem ideal.


When you pull the starter knob in the car, it pushes the disc into contact with the plates on the starter motor, thus completing the circuit and allowing the starter to spin up and engage.




As you can see, while the lever does move freely, all the bits that should be clean really aren't. After some time with contact cleaner, an old toothbrush, and cotton buds, I finally got the brushes moving freely in their sockets and got as much dirt as I possibly could off the surface of the commutator. The commutator surface has got some scores in it but I doubt it will cause significant issues with the operation of the starter. All of the copper components inside the starter are quite substantial and crude compared to modern equipment so I daresay the tolerances aren't particularly fine and will work perfectly well even when in quite poor condition.






With all of the copper components cleaned as best as I could, I put the loose parts of the starter in the ultrasonic cleaner to remove the grime and some of the rust. It was quite effective.




I didn't put the main body of the starter motor in the ultrasonic cleaner in part because that seemed like a bad idea and in part because it wouldn't physically fit. Instead, I scrubbed all of the rust I could off the body of the starter with a wire brush. After that, it was time to paint. I opted to hand paint everything with enamel rather than opting for faster aerosols. I felt this would be more in keeping with the car and would save me the hassle of a lot of fiddly masking. To make the painting of the parts easier, I used a cardboard box with holes in for the screws and starter motor, if you make the screw holes a little smaller than the screws, you can then wind the screws into the cardboard to hold them in place.




A coat of Kurust, two coats of red oxide primer, and a two coats of black enamel later and everything was looking smart if not new. As with the water pump, this will give us both a quick visual reminder of what we've worked on as well as allowing the parts to be less than perfect and mellow out into the general look of the car. Cared for but not restored. Once the paint was hard enough, I reassembled everything and waited for the next opportunity to get on with fitting it to the car.




Before the starter was refitted, one item that needed to be addressed was the clamping bolt for the bowden cable. Previously it had been this brass... thing. I'm not sure what tool it was made to fit but it certainly wasn't any tool I own, someone had gone to a lot of effort to make sure that no spanner, socket, or screwdriver could work with it. Quite remarkable really. We had a rummage in the odd fixings tub and found a screw with the correct thread pitch and a good flat end to the thread that will work much better. A hex headed bolt would have been better still, but we didn't have anything that matched the thread unfortunately so a cross head bolt will have to suffice.




My plan was then to refit the starter and use the ACF-50 I'd ordered but hadn't yet arrived once the starter was back on the car. Typically, the ACF-50 then arrived, so I quickly removed the caps and gave the contacts a suitable coating. I didn't use any ACF-50 on the brushes and commutator, I had a memory (hopefully accurate) that commutators should be kept free of any sort of anything.


Then it was finally ready to go back on the car.


Which it did, with not too much difficulty happily.


I did manage to get all three bolts back in without removing the exhaust and from underneath the car on my own. It would have been easier with Pat swinging a ratchet from above, but with patience I got the awkward nut and bolt tightened. To prevent the thinner wire's eyelet from behaving like a locking washer again, I fitted it before the thicker lead which meant everything seemed to line up and stay flat a bit better. The last thing was to reconnect the brake rod, which now moves much better than it did, and put a new split pin through the clevis pin to hold it in place.


Now, you'll notice the distinct lack of one particular item. We haven't tested the starter. I had one of those moments where I looked at all the parts and couldn't for the life of me remember how to use them, realising only after the car had been put away how easy it would have been to hook up power and test the starter motor. So we're considering the fitting of the refurbished starter motor a calculated risk. There's no reason to believe it won't work now, it was sort of working when it came off the car after all and we've improved it internally so it should now work better, in theory. The next time we have the opportunity to do so we will test the starter motor, for now we'll just pretend it's okay. A surprisingly mentally taxing job in the end, probably because it was the first time doing this job on this particular car. We're looking forward to tackling either the radiator or the wiring next most probably, as time permits.
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MVPeters



Joined: 28 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit late now, I'm afraid!
A socket on a long extension will position the ratchet clear of the terminal end of the motor & the exhaust with more room to swing it.
If there's a 'next time', it may save some dis-assembly.
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Vulgalour



Joined: 08 May 2018
Posts: 325
Location: Kent

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well where were you when we were trying to think of clever things like that? Not that we have a long enough combination of extensions to reach for that particular socket size, but still, that's a really obvious solution that we failed to see!
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peter scott



Joined: 18 Dec 2007
Posts: 6659
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That all looks very neat. My old car has a solenoid instead of the pull wire system but the actual switch contacts are exactly the same as yours. I have in the past cleaned them up because they weren't reliable but it doesn't seem to last. Having said that it will often work if I just keep hitting the starter button and if all else fails just go under the bonnet and press the button on the solenoid.

I my case the three securing bolts are quite accessible but there is no way of extracting the starter motor without removing one of the exhaust down pipes.



Peter
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badhuis



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have not finished reading the complete post but want to comment to this

Quote:
Both Pat and I grew up being educated on Imperial and Metric so we're good with feet and inches, centimetres and millimetres, the usual. But when it comes to fractions for sizes it is the most frustrating foreign language to us. I want to go a size up from a 3/8ths? No idea. A size down from a 1/4"? Not a clue. It will come with practice I'm sure, but right now it's just so much nonsense.


Do yourself a favour and print a chart. Google "thread sizes chart" and you see what I mean. I taped a copy to my car lift and use it very often! So easy to see what size is just above or below a given number, be it metric, UNF or BSF. I use this a lot!

[/quote]
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