Monday, September 15, 2014
Monday, September 8, 2014
Visit us online at www.robisonservice.com or call 413-785-1665.
(c) 2014 John Elder Robison
Friday, August 29, 2014
It didn't start out that way. This is what we began with. And it was described as "restored!"
What did we do instead? Try powder coated seat frames, new marine plywood bases and cushions, Connolly leather upholstery and top-grade Wilton carpet. Which seats would you prefer?
Some people would change the engine for a new hot-rodded piece of iron. But why? This engine was good enough to take American solders to victory all around the world. Surely a rebuilt version can take a few modern day connoisseurs to the club and back!
Here's how it began . . .
And he she is today . . .
|1948 Jeepster engine bay with Go Devil engine|
We started with what was optimistically called "a well restored example."
In the image above expert body man Al Keinath looks at what we're facing. Three different shades of burgundy on the nose alone. A full quarter-inch of plastic filler in some spots. Rust holes covered in household caulk. A cardboard firewall that's painted car color to hide the crumbling. Chips, bangs, and nothing fits. It takes two hands to shut the door, and a good kick to get it open. The bottom of the hood has a layer of black goo to hide the imperfections. And the condition of the undercarriage . . .
But we will make it new again! Better than new, in fact. We'll be finishing this with the level of craftsmanship you find in a fine wood boat. No corners cut in this job . .
|Reshaping the rear contours|
|The body work is done on a stand|
|A thousand little parts to refinish or rebuild|
|Almost ready for paint|
|Lots of metal work|
|The burgundy paint is on!|
|Painting the gloss black two-tone|
|Some final welding on the body|
|The convertible top attachments are handmade wood|
|Inner panels get painted first, in Glausurit|
|Fitting the frame for the convertible top|
|Fitting up the interior|
|The finished body|
|Rebuilt engine and transmission ready to install.|
|The Go-Devil engine goes back in place|
|Installing new vintage wiring|
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The spark plug manufacturers went to exotic metals to reduce wear, and for the most part those materials work. However, wear of the carbon steel electrodes is still an issue, and a tired engine can actually foul the exotic metal spark plugs more easily than before, because the exotic metal contact area is smaller.
These images clearly illustrate wear in a modern high performance spark plug, from a car that just arrived for service. The top photo shows how the electrode wore at an angle, and the top-on view of the plug shows how the deposition pattern (left side only) reflects this pattern.
As the plug wears in a sloped pattern the flame front becomes more and more one-sided which leads to knock and misfires. The worse it gets the more this particular cylinder's timing will be backed off to compensate, with lower efficiency, more heating, and less power as a result. Uneven plug fouling will raise the necessary firing voltage, which will over stress coil packs.
This particular plug came from a 2009 Range Rover with 80,000 miles. It's clearly due for replacement even with 20% life remaining by the schedule. The moral of this story - manufacturer service schedules are a guide, not an absolute. Some cars will benefit from earlier plug changes.
Remember - as a carmaker their goal is to sell new cars, and part of that plan rides on wearing out the old car while another part rests on low advertised cost of ownership (defer it all till the last possible moment!)
As an owner, your goals may be rather different, especially if you plan to keep your car a long time or pass it on to a friend or family member.
John Elder Robison is the general manager of J E Robison Service Company, independent restoration and Bosch Authorized Car Service specialists in Springfield, Massachusetts. John is a longtime technical consultant to the Land Rover, Porsche, and Rolls Royce Owner's Clubs, and he’s owned and restored many of these fine vehicles. Find him online at www.robisonservice.com or in the real world at 413-785-1665
Thursday, August 7, 2014
|This Silver Spur was a winner at Newport|
|A very clean original 1983 Corniche|
|A 20,000 Series Silver Spur|
|1980 Silver Shadow|