Sunday, 12 June 2016

Lapping the valves and other jobs.

 . . . with not long to go (six weeks) till Bonneville Speed Week in Utah preparations are ongoing with getting my engines ready for the event.    All of the work on both the frame and the three engines have been done by my Team-mates Chris and Richard who have shown considerable patience with my lack of skills in this field, but as I spend more time with the machine, I am gradually making more sense of it.
    Recently I tackled some wiring installation and have been checking clutch plates and ajusting brake shoes,  and with supervision have been introduced to 'lapping' which involves a smear of different grades of grinding paste onto the lip of the valves which is then rotated in it's engine location to ensure absolute even seating into the casing.    
Lapping !

I have seen traction engine builders with the little tin of grinding paste with lids at both ends, one end for course grade, the other end for fine grade and at last, I know what the stuff is used for.   Like most jobs relating to engines it cannot be rushed and requires both patience and precision to be done right.
  The results are simply a better performing engine which is just what I need for the demands of world record attempts.

Another job has been bedding in the traditional drum brake shoes which when new have a shiny surface which can make braking more difficult.    By lightly roughing the surface with a file or sandpaper the ability of the brake surface to perform is improved.   There are many other jobs to do yet, but it's all coming together and I am learning a lot from the experience.


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