Saturday, 21 July 2012

GSM Delta?

I helped Pete Johnson pick up a couple of cars today, so this morning at South Yorkshire Triumphs there were a few more rare cars. GSM Delta. Not a name known to many I would guess, (I had to google it when Pete told us about them earlier in the week) but today 2 travelled 400 yards from a residential garage to Pete's workshop.

So what are they? A fibreglass vehicle produced in South Africa and West Malling Kent, in the late 50s early 60s. With a tubular ladder chassis and Ford pre crossflow engines, they were around 500kg with a bhp/tonne ratio of well over 100.

This example would appear to have always been a roadcar, certainly very different and not unattractive, I like it anyway.

Shades of 50s corvette in the dashboard design

Stylish door card for a very limited production run.

Ford engine looks fairly normal, transverse leaf front suspension is more unusual and look how far behind the axle line the engine is mounted.

The second car has racing history which is gradually being researhed, it certainly raced at Goodwood back in the day. It does need some work now though.

When we picked up the race version there was a hardtop that wouldn't fit in the Vectra estate, so I carried it back. It rests on the roadcar to see how it looks.

In the picture above you can just see the front wheel of Pete's mk1 pi estate and in the workshop is the shell of the 'barn find' laurel green mk1 pi we had on the Register stand at Stoneleigh last year, lots of new panels and bare metalling has got it to this stage. As I said lots of rare cars at Rawcliffe at the moment.

Last but not least a Stag, not that rare but just being fitted up after a paint job, this one has never been welded, has all it's original panels and exhibits all the spot welds on the lips of the arches that it left the assembly line with. An RV8 with Weber 500 and manifold and Monarch headers make this a powerful and very smooth driver. It also has USA high back mk1 seats.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Back on the straight and narrow

Shortly before the 2000 Register national in Dorset last month I had investigated a vagueness in the steering on HOE. What I found were signs of deterioration in the rubber coupling at the top of the steering shaft under the bonnet. This shaft joins the steering column to the steering rack and is bespoke to the PAS equipped cars. Chris Witor always attends the National and offers to bring parts orders to the event with him. So along with some other bits and pieces a new rubber coupling was ordered and duly picked up at the event. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, I should have looked at the UJ at the bottom of the shaft too because as soon as I started to dismantle a couple of weeks ago the play was obvious.
This UJ is part of the shaft and unavailable, Chris Witor sells a new version of the shaft complete with a new style of rubber coupling at the top. So this was ordered instead.
Removal is simple enough, two pinch bolts are undone and removed from either end of the shaft and the steering column height adjustment handle is loosened off. I then pulled the column up through the bulkhead using the steering wheel. The first picture shows the rubber coupling with a screwdriver stretching the splits, there were more than I realised as this is the unseen underside of the coupling. 

The next picture shows the old and new improved shafts next to each other.

One plus of the column being out of the bulkhead was that the perished rubber bush that the column passes through could be replaced with a Superflex item. Wear in the old bush is obvious to see in the picture below.

So with the new bush installed and care taken aligning the steering column indicator self-cancelling mechanism (I had set the steering rack dead ahead before dismantling) the top of the shaft was slid on to the coumn and the UJ end slid on to the rack. A bit of pushing and shoving backwards and forwards of the column to allow the pinch bolts to be installed and NEW nylock nuts tightened, the engine was started and the lack of vagueness was obvious. Not a bad hour's work.