Wednesday 24 August 2011

Oily Rag

For those of you without a technical bent – look away now, today’s update is grubby.
Below is the sad tail of how my last blat ended 40-odd miles short of a cooked breakfast. Well after a week in the sun (Mallorca) I removed the clutch cable to find as suspected, the nipple had come away from the clutch fork – so I hadn’t connected it properly.
In my defence, hooking the cable on is an EXTREMELY awkward job, best accomplished by one of those lemurs with the one long spindly finger. Pity there wasn’t one to hand really. So, how to make sure it didn’t happen again? The simplest solution is to fit a tyrap round the clutch arm once the nipple is in place, but that’s even more fiddly than fitting the cable because the plate that the cable butts against (actually a cut-down Harrier cold-air-unit mounting) prevents all but the nimblest of Lemurs from gaining access. I set about re-engineering it.
I enlarged the hole in the plate so the cable outer could fit through it – that means I can slide it right out of the way while struggling to hook up the cable (assuming I remain Lemur-free of course) but doing that also prevents all the locking & adjusting nuts from being fitted. I also realised that the alloy plate was wearing where the nuts rub it, & the alloy plate was wearing away the cable outer – it’s a strange fact that aluminium is one of the softer metals, so wears easily, but when it wears, the dust is aluminium oxide, one of the hardest & most abrasive materials on the planet.
Among the accumulated detritus in the garage, I found a steel bush, slit it & then slit the adjusting nuts, I also drilled them for wire locking. It should now be a simple matter to fit & tyrap the cable end, slide the aluminium plate into position, fit the adjusting nuts & bush over the cable inner, fit the cable at the pedal end & adjust, then wire lock the nuts together for security & Robert’s your Mother’s Brother – Hopefully.

Of course I shall look a pillock if it does it again at Lands end.

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