Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bugly's brakes checked out

I had some time available this afternoon, so I decided to sort out two things ... Bugly had two different size tyres, being 6.00x16 on the left, and 6.50x16 on the right! That's right, different sizes on each end of the rear axle! It also had the effect of putting a lean on Bugly to the left, which looked a bit silly.

Here's a photo showing the two different sizes against each other for comparison!


I decided to fit the smaller tyres to the front, and the larger across the rear axle, and at the same time remove the brake drums and check out the brake condition. When I bought the van, it had apparently had a recent brake recondition, so I wanted to confirm that all was good in that department.

Here's the front left brake assembly, after the drum was removed ...


The brake linings are like new, but note that the upper return spring between the two brake shoes is missing! I pulled the front right drum apart to check the other side, and found that the lower spring on that side had fallen out, and was just sitting there. This lower spring was a tad stretched, so I decided to fit the best two springs to the left side front, and I would sort out a set for the right front.

On stripping down the left side, there was the return spring, sitting in behind the brake shoes! So I had four springs after all, but two were a little longer by about 4mm or 3/16 of an inch. Brainwave ... there was a choice of two holes on each brake shoe for fitting the return spring. I simply reassembled both sides with the springs in the second hole, which put all springs into tension. The front brake shoe on the left front brake assembly was also bent in at the top, and sitting at an angle which forced the adjuster to also sit off-line. I straightened the shoe, and all seems to align correctly now.

Here's a photo of the right rear brakes.


After finishing the brake reassembly and changing the tyres around, Bugly is now sitting perfectly level!

Although the tyres are OK for moving Bugly around during the resto, they will require replacement before the van is registered for the road. As the original tyres were 5.75/6.00x16 I will see if I can get a set of 6.00x16. If they are too pricey, or unobtainable, I will fit 6.50x16.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Starting the restoration soon!

Bugly's restoration will start real soon! Darwin has nearly finished the worst of the wet season with the high humidity, so panel and paint will be able to be done without the humidity problems.

Also I'm hoping that the rear wings and the door shut sections will finally be manufactured and shipped from Iain McKenzie of Fairmile Restorations in the UK. Iain has finished making panels for Charlie in Canada and despatched them, so I'm hoping that my turn is next. I know that Iain is a follower of this blog, so maybe he will see this post! Please, Iain?

The workshop has been cleared to provide additional working room, and there's not a lot to stop me starting, except time to do it. But I am finishing off a few other odds and sods to allow me more free time! And with the onset of the north Australian "dry season", the grass will die off until next season, which will save mowing for 6-8 months or so.

But the biggest bonus of all is with my recent weight loss program "Bugly - Wannabe Loser". I can now fit under Bugly!