Mar 10, 2013 at 10:35pm plockley said: It's looking good.Will we be seeing it at the SMC110/STAR 90 celebrations? Peter Lockley
Peter - SMC110 is a good target. Atlas needs painting and a new windscreen rubber to make the van weatherproof. I should have a few longer journeys done by then as well. I'm intending to do the TSSC's SEM at Leatherhead the week before. I'll treat it as a dry run. Watch this space!
Herald948 - Captain? ... or Lieutenant Colonel if we go by torque. Of course I don't want anyone to know there's anything special about this van - much like my Spit. I was thinking of covert ops, MI5 & 6 etc. but they're just "case officers", aren't they? Or go down the Ian Fleming route and give our Atlas a "double-0" designation
Post by rlubikey on May 13, 2013 at 8:58pm Well, I'm sorry I haven't posted any progress since March. The newly re-cored radiator was fitted, along with a new thermostat. It broke my heart to yank an original style thermostat out with a screwdriver, only to replace it with a modern pattern part
I bought a piece of polycarbonate and fashioned a pretty good sliding window to replace the broken one absent from the driver's door. Also fitted a decent size battery and she now starts on the button. (See below)
Then, just as I thought I was ready to drive the Atlas home again, I took it for a test drive and, parking it back at Picton Sportscars, stalled, and the "£^%!!! starter switch failed. Fortunately we could just push the van back into the workshop. So, next week I turn up with a new switch (and some convex mirrors to supplement the appalling plain glass ones on stalks) and install said switch, aaaaand ... NOTHING! It's not the switch but the starter itself. Fortunately David has one I can fit. Bingo! Sorted. But the weather closes in and it's too late to to drive home. That was Saturday.
So yesterday, Sunday morning, we turn up and pick up our pride and ... ? You're meant to say "joy" at this point! The weather's fine for driving home but it's going to rain later.
There's a vehicle fire on the M25 so we drive off towards Potters Bar to get on the M25 there. Me in the Atlas and my Nearest & Dearest in hot pursuit. ;D HOT PURSUIT!!! ;D All goes well and I bowl along the motorway at the dizzy speed of 45mph. 50 down hill, dropping to 40 up an incline!
Well, as we get to the M1 interchange, I feel the engine loosing power. Just as I'm passing the slip road with M1 traffic joining us, I realise this isn't trivial. Mercifully, there's nothing on the slip road so I get on the hard shoulder, yards from a phone box. The Atlas is idling nicely but just as I think it's worth continuing, it stalls and won't restart.
We get recovered to Beaconsfield where a leaking radiator is diagnosed.
That's right, my newly re-cored radiator is leaking!
The recovery people do a jury-rig repair with some sort of putty and I'm on my way. Only, by this time, the rain has started and we get back to Reading in the wet
We tuck the Atlas away in my emergency backup secret storage location, drying off as much moisture as possible before leaving it. This morning it comes out into the sun shine, only to go back in when the showers the Met Office *failed* to forecast, appear over the horizon.
But there's enough of a break in the rain (Rain Radar is wonderful!) to take it along to the first painter on my list for a quotation.
Post by Ian Leggett on May 13, 2013 at 9:39pm Hi Richard, Just read of your exploits with the Atlas and in particular the new radiator. Have you got the correct rad cap (4lb) as it is an easy mistake to put a 7lb as I once did on a re cored rad and it caused it to leak. Regards Ian.
Post by rlubikey on May 14, 2013 at 1:47pm Had a look at the radiator cap and there's no pressure marked on it. I'll make a wild guess and say that they only started marking the pressure when they went to 7psi?
But in any case, the rad leaked where they had disturbed one of the tabs on the frame which is bent around the lower chamber. It drips very slowly when up to temperature on fast tickover but I'm guessing a significant amount gets out when thrashing down the motorway.
Post by stevenpwebb on May 14, 2013 at 6:59pm Now I might be wrong, but I would have thought that fitting a 7lb cap where a 4lb should be should not cause any problems unless there is another issue. Though having the wrong (higher) pressure cap means there is inadequate protection of the system. The cap should only open if the pressure rises above the rating, intended to be 4lb in this case. The most common reasons for overheating are sludge in the system or a small leak. The latter means that there is coolant loss resulting in poor heat transfer and gradual loss of pressure which eventually allows boiling, leading to very high pressure. As your rad has been recored but there was still a small leak that could be the problem as you say, but it is worthwhile having a check that the waterways are clear. These can be blocked with hard silt which is not easy to shift. Try taking the drain tap out of the engine block to examine the waterway here, it's often a good indication of how silted the engine is. The cylinder block will often be more silted than the head in my experience.
Post by rlubikey on May 14, 2013 at 8:03pm Thanks Steve. I should have said that, with the thermostat out, I spent about 10 mins flushing through from the top with a hose until it was running clear before installing the freshly re-cored radiator. I didn't think to reverse flush. But in any case, I'm pretty sure it overheated because of water loss - we had to add quite a lot to the system before diagnosing the leaking rad.
Anyone know why they changed from 4- to 7psi? It means you can run a higher temperature before boiling but why the change? Perhaps the rubber (hose) and gasket technology improved? Or the later engines (I'm thinking Triumph) needed to get rid of more heat?
Post by stevenpwebb on May 14, 2013 at 8:37pm Like you I suspect the leak might well be the problem in your case. However, if the overheating persists still look at the possibility of silting up. Flushing doesn't always clear the sludge that sits to the bottom of the waterways and the cooling system on our cars is really only just sufficient, though a recored radiator is often a modern core replacement that gives some advantage in efficiency. You can buy cleaners that get the sludge out but this can move sludge into the radiator so you need to flush extra well after use. The reason for increasing from the low pressure cap won't be to get rid of more heat because it has no effect on the normally running engine. My guess is that, as the cars never had a temperature gauge, the opening safety level was set lower. I assume an Atlas has no gauge too.
Post by Ian Leggett on May 14, 2013 at 11:33pm I can only reiterate my problems having had the rad re cored and repainted some years ago. Twice it sprung a leak and I returned to Sercks, but they stated they would not repair a third time.When it did leak a third time I returned and they wanted to charge which I refused. It was only then I checked the cap and although I thought I had fitted a 4lb it was a badly embossed 7lb. Changed the cap and 14 years later still perfect.Regards Ian.
Post by rlubikey on May 15, 2013 at 10:01am Thanks for all your suggestions and comments.
May 14, 2013 at 8:37pm stevenpwebb said: I assume an Atlas has no gauge too.
You're right Steve - no gauge! I'm planning a "flip down" dash panel with gauges and lights right in front of the driver - Temp, Tacho, Main Beam, Indicators, etc. And if possible, a duplicate Speedo! Fold it back completely out of sight for shows. The number of times I've found the indicators still on, half a mile down the road ... ! (And I'm used to cancelling my own indicators; I've swapped the side of the stalk on my modern and it doesn't self-cancel except after tight turns!)
Oh, by the way. Yes! That gooey, extra thick oil *is* dripping out of my steering box. Have you ever dropped a jar of honey on the kitchen floor? I tried tightening the collet nut but fear I'm close to stripping the thread. I think I disturbed the gland when I rebuilt the horn/trafficator assembly.
Post by rlubikey on May 29, 2013 at 3:32pm Two steps forward, one step back?
I've just got the radiator back from Berkshire Radiators in Caversham. Good to see their son has taken over the business. He had the rad on leak test all b/h w/e to find the problem. Turned out there were two tiny leaks but I reckon they were worse when the rad was bolted in the van. Time to put it back in and get some more painting estimates.
In the mean time I've been getting to grips with the sliding doors as they don't close quite right. There's an angled bolt shoots into the A-post and a lever & cam arrangement on the B-post. The combination should pull the door inwards the last inch or so to close.
A-post bolt, lower left. Control bar to the lever/cam, upper right.
In the A-post there's an aluminium mortise block with a lead-in hole and the combination of this and the angled nose on the bolt pulls the front of the door closed, squashing the rubber seals (absent). The passenger door mortise has been assembled incorrectly and one of the two 10# UNC set screws is AWOL. So I tap it out to M6 and fit so it lines up - a right pig as it's double-skinned behind the A-post. Now the passenger door looks a lot happier!
Time for the driver's door.
At the very moment I go to see why the back of the door doesn't pull in as it should ...
... The Lock Mechanism Breaks!
Out with the lock. (Picture above) I was hoping maybe a link had failed, but the problem is inside the lock itself. Drill out the rivets ...
There's a break between the left & right side of the rectangle
It's an aluminium casting - looks like it's been cracked on one side for some time and just freshly broken on the other.
The cam shunts the casting backward to open and forward to close. Broken like this, not sure what would have happened had the door been locked at the time
Time to ask around my contacts to get this mended; machined & pinned - or whatever. I'm guessing no one has a spare Atlas sliding door lock handy ;D
Post by stevenpwebb on May 29, 2013 at 5:46pm It's not a very strong looking bit of metal. How about get one lasered from thick steel to overall profile then mill the flange for riveting, mill/drill the bush for the other end? I'd make a couple so you have a spare.
Post by plockley on May 29, 2013 at 9:45pm Be careful with the sliding door.I once heard a story about Standard demonstrating an Atlas where the sliding door would not open ,much to the embarrassment of the factory people present.They pushed and pushed and eventually the door opened along with the entire side of the van which peeled back. Peter Lockley
Post by rlubikey on Mar 21, 2014 at 10:19am Yes, sorry for the lack of updates . I've been driving the Atlas all summer, just getting out & about and also taking it around several restorers for quotes on painting. It's amazing how many *don't* get back to you! I tweaked the carb and got the little 948cc engine running really sweetly. My brother machined a new lock slide so I got the driver's door working again and I did more work on getting the doors to hang and slide as they should. I also stripped all the oily mud off my spare steering box, plonked it in the van and found it was a bit better than the existing one.
Then I did an electronic speedo (cable drive broken inside gearbox) using an ABS geartooth sensor and a tacho. The Smith's tacho is conveniently calibrated 10, 20 ... up to 80 and, with the sensor reading off the 4 bolts on the prop shaft and the 3.7 diff, it just happens to read bang-on the correct MPH instead of 100's of RPM. No calibration necessary! I can confirm that the top speed of a 948cc Atlas is indeed about 52mph on the flat and that this rapidly falls to 40 with even modest inclines - unloaded!
Anyway, autumn came and I plumped on taking it back to the same place for painting - the devil you know! - so I drove it over to Picton Sportscars and that's where it is right now. It's been bare-metalled and had some further remedial work done to the shell. We've just had a new panel made for under the windscreen. The panel beaters mad a pattern which I now own, so if there's ever a market for Atlas windscreen panels I'll be quids in .
I've got pictures but can't upload them at the moment as my FTP client seems to be on strike - don't know why yet. I'll post them when I've solved the problem.
The van's still in etch primer while we sort out some more issues before painting begins. Pictons are also buildng the 1650cc engine - a stroked 1500, so it's the same size as the 948cc - and a 4-sychro gearbox with overdrive.