Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Old Photo

Morris J Type waits at the corner of Macquarie and Elizabeth Streets, Hobart.
I've been flicking through photos in the State Library of Tasmania archive and spotted this nice old picture of a busy intersection in Hobart. It includes a nice view of a  J type van on the job.

There's no date on the picture but from the vehicles and the fashions it must be mid-'50s. Note that all of the women are dressed alike in calf length skirts, and the men all wear jackets and long pants. It must have been summer time too. Some of the younger men are hatless, how rakish! Next to the van is a Trolley bus, a bus powered from overhead wires like a tram. Its the later style that ran from 1950 until 1958.

Lyke-nu Dry Cleaners J type
Zooming in you can see that it is a Lyke-nu dry cleaning van. I seem to remember that name from my childhood (in the 1970s) but they are long gone now. The van seems to be a uniformly light colour with a painted, rather than chrome, bumper. I can't read the badge, but suspect that its a J, not a JB.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Brakes - literally.

Swiss cheese wheel
When I collected the J van from its previous owner he pointed out that the two extra wheels supplied had extra holes drilled. The wheels didn't seem to match the set that were on the car, but he mentioned that he'd had to "gas axe" some extra studs off to get the unmodified wheels on. I didn't think about it too much at the time, but then I was underneath the van not finding any parts for the handbrake and I noticed that the slave cylinder was missing from the drivers side wheel. I remembered what the PO had said and decided I'd better have a look.

RHS brake drum
What the ...?
Sure enough, on the passenger side there were the five original studs, plus another five that had been drilled and welded into the drum. On the driver's side it was even worse. The original studs had also been welded in but were now (mostly) gone -  probably bashed out - and there were five big bolts welded in to add extra studs. Whoever had done it has stuffed it up because they were all asymetrical and probably eccentric, and not the same on both sides. It would have made balancing the wheel a bit challenging.

A further problem is that the entire brake mechanism is missing from the drivers side. The backplate is damaged and everything, brake shoes, slave cylinder, springs clips, etc are gone. This thing would have been interesting to try to stop, with a six cylinder engine and no rear brakes.

I have no idea why anyone would need 10 wheel studs. Its possible that a shortage of correct wheel nuts was the problem, there were three different sizes on it. The split pin on the hub nut had been replaced with a big nail.

I might be able to salvage the brake drum from the passeneger side but I don't like that it has been drilled and welded. For the driver's side I'll definitely need to try to track down replacement parts, but I'm hoping to have some exciting news on that subject soon.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another Excuse for not Getting Anything Done

I've been making a small amount of progress in getting the engine cleaned up ready for measuring and machining. I've now got a parts washer and a bead blaster, which are doing a great job in converting crusty old engine parts into shiny ready to use parts.  I've also taken three months long service leave from work. Despite that things are going to grind to a standstill for a while now. Baby Adele arrived late last week and between her and big sister Sarah there isn't going to be much spare time.

I hope to keep things ticking over, but don't expect a lot of activity!