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Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

triddell
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:08 pm

Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by triddell »


Simon Hyslop
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by Simon Hyslop »

This was the car I first saw 34 years ago and tried to buy then. Unfortunately the very greedy owner wanted an outlandish sum for the registration number. I have bought the car and will see what I can do about the number, as one of the dealers reckons it might be available. With a known mileage of just over 13000 miles from new I would suspect it to be one of the lowest mileage LA11s on the go but that isn't a particularly major factor. I'm just pleased to have saved a car originally registered locally to me and which I have sort of "known" for a long time and which had gone off the radar for such a long time.
It has some good work done to it by Classic Restorations in Alyth and I'm pleased to say it has been done to totally original standards. Unfortunately the previous elderly owner died just last week and so concluding the deal has taken longer than might have been usual but I am pleased to say that the deal has been concluded.

I went to see the car a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised by some of the work that had been done but mechanically I suspect that I might have quite a few things to see to. I have the correct control box for the car but the wrong one was on it in 1987 and there will be much more. I am already on the lookout for the correct cigarette lighter and interior light. This is the second car this year I need to find an interior light for and my stocks have now reached zero. How can so many have disappeared? I felt there was an element of karma on the go with this car as I often wondered what happened to it and now I've found out and at a time when I could buy it.

triddell
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by triddell »

congratulations Simon, it's a nice story
Tom

Simon Hyslop
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by Simon Hyslop »

I thought any anorak wearers might be interested in an update on how the 11 has turned out. "Well" is the short answer. It would actually be 35 years this autumn since I first saw the car in a very poor state, having been stored completely untouched for about 16 years since its first owner died. I have found her address in Moffat and hope some time to be in touch with the current owners.

Usually one of my first jobs with a Lanchester has been to send for all the control ball joints in the preselector mechanism. Fortunately, this time they aren't needed. They're all nice and tight and I'm also interested to see the amount of bolts underneath that have the nuts wired on. The thermostatic choke appears to be working ok (so far....) but I am really interested to see that someone has fitted an electric SU pump. I'm a great advocate of original stuff being fixed to work as originally intended but one of the (many) stories I remember my father telling me about his first Lanchester was how, just after the war and getting it back on the road, he fitted an SU pump because "he couldn't understand why they fitted that stupid wee AC pump with that flimsy arm to work it".

Bearing in mind the mileage of this car (13700) the SU pump must have been seen to have failings quite some time ago so whether the problem was more because of time stood standing, i.e. the war, I don't know. I'd reckon the pump on this car dates from the 1950s which would also be about the date of the RF95 control box, stamped 9 54. This has in turn been supplanted by a hidden RB340 but both of them will be replaced by a rebuilt original type regulator and fuse box I have for the car, and the wrong fuse box you see too will go as it's integral with the RFJ unit.

I've changed the oil and filter. The sump felt pretty clear of anything in the bottom of it. The wrong plugs were in although probably its original set of white Lodge detachable plugs were in the tool box. I'm trying a set of Accuspark 3 electrode plugs which are, surprisingly, almost the same pattern as the Lodge ones except they're one piece. The plug caps aren't original but the coil and its two "Lucas" bakelite terminal screws are. In the tool box I had a good feel around for what was hiding in the murk. I found the original grease gun, well the same pattern as the nearly as new condition one my father had kept from his car, except rather rusty, various Snail brand spanners, a proper valve spring compressor for the car, the flat hub cap spanner, a wheel brace, Dunlop tyre lever and I thought that was it. After a clean out with a vacuum cleaner I went round it again by hand and was surprised to find the feeler gauge for the tappets. You'll have seen them referred to in the books. What I didn't realise was just how absolutely minute they are ! It took a little bit of work to restore it to working order (WD 40 and a wire brush) but that must have been sitting loose in the tool box for who knows how many years. The other thing that was loose was the spare valve spring supplied new with the cars.

However, there are two missing parts. That's a lot less than the number of parts missing from a car I bought years ago which had been in the hands of the same restoration firm. I should explain, the last owner of the Lanchester had put it into the auction while alive but died just days before the auction. He must have asked the restoration firm concerned,( who have, to be fair, done a nice job of painting the car (sans coachline, something to attend to ) and trimming the doors, making carpets and sorting out the seat backs) to put the car back together so he could sell it and four others he had. It is missing a door wedge (photo attached) and also an interior door handle, but I can't include any more photos with this post. I have found an interior light of the period. I can only think the firm concerned must either have a very large stockpile of bits or a very active ebay account.

The one job I felt needed fairly immediate attention was to replace the floorboards so I'm on with that and should have them made by tomorrow. The one thing I can't do this minute is replicate the felt underneath them and round each each edge but I shall leave enough room for it to be attached. I have also enclosed a photo of the "bung" over the fluid flywheel hole to show how well covered in material it was originally.

The removal of the floor gives me the opportunity to clean and paint most of the chassis and also oil all the brake joints and attend to anything else. Then it's onto the four corners and a suitably period number plate rather than the c*%p thing that it has been inflicted with and we'll see how it all goes. It even has the original lighting system with the dip and switch lights. Better not be caught after dark!
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Last edited by Simon Hyslop on Fri Jun 04, 2021 9:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Simon Hyslop
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by Simon Hyslop »

Feeler gauge as mentioned in the previous post and the door handle, also the floor with the floorboards out:
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Attachments
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Simon Hyslop
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by Simon Hyslop »

I thought I would add a bit just to wind up the story. Floors remade as original in 12mm ply, chassis cleaned and painted. All good. However, this is the second Lanchester that has come to me in the past six weeks, with about 250 miles separating their previous owners. However, both share a common fault. The brake linings on both had been relined with bonded linings, the shoes looking exceptionally "new". Both cars had their drums banged on absolutely rock solidly tight because the linings needed a lot, and I mean a lot, taken off them. The 11 had the Girling adjusters in the wrong way so that didn't help either. Having reduced the linings on the first car carefully and tediously, I cut out the faff on the 11 and went straight for the bench sander and reduced their thickness by half. Somewhere along the line there appears to be a school of thought which is that linings as supplied by whatever firm bonds these on are just ready to fit and everything will be hunky dory. Clearly not. They need fitting and that requires a bit of time and effort, just in case anyone buys somethings and intends driving it back home or using it immediately on the basis that the brakes have just been "done".
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JT7196
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by JT7196 »

Hi Simon, I note that you are considering replacing the Voltage regulator with an “ Original” type, I would highly recommend that you get your original converted to Solid State.
I had mine modified as above and am really pleased with the result, I no longer need to worry about having both Head Lights and Electric Cooling Fan running as even with these on, the Reg is still charging 2 or 3 Amp’s !
As for the sound deadening material , I used Hardura Felt which has a kind of coating on one side which makes it easier to keep clean and is as near to original as you will get, this is available from Vintage Supplies, they will also be able to supply the Felt you require to go around the edges of your Floor Boards .
As for Brake Linings, I prefer to Re-line the Brake Shoes myself, I have heard of other people experiencing the same problem as yourself , with the Bonded Linings being too thick, I realise that not everybody is able to do this , but it certainly makes life easier if you are able to do the job yourself
Ferodo Lining No is DA11 I believe , I’ll check my “ Stock” and will confirm later .
Just as an aside, it’s well worth the effort to Ream out all of the joints on the Braking System, and fitting slightly oversize Clevis Pins, you’ll find that it will improve the Braking efficiency no end !!

If I am able to assist you in any way , don’t hesitate to contact me .

Best wishes Al 👍👍👍
Last edited by JT7196 on Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

JT7196
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by JT7196 »

Hi again, my “Eleven” unlike yours, did not have the original Solex “ Thermostarter” Caburettor fitted, mine had a Solex fitted but was the incorrect type and always had a tendency to run” Rich” , which I believed was to have caused excessive Bore wear due to “ Fuel Wash” .
You may have read my “Tales of Woe” way back in 2018/19 ! !
Anyway, having tried unsuccessfully , over quite a long period of time to find an SU SV2 Carburettor, ( Originally fitted to the 1936 LA10 with the 1444 CC engine) I purchased an HS2 SU , as fitted to the earlier Mini Cooper etc , I then produced Adaptors to allow it to be fitted onto the original Inlet Manifold, and have to say, that the improvement in performance, and being easier to” Tune” , was well worth the conversion .
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Incidentally, with the Solex Carburettor fitted, I always had to “Prime” the Carb by using the Actuating Lever fitted to the mechanical Pump, now no need with the SU fitted, problem was “probably” due the the Solex having a vent in the top of the Float Chamber , and of course with these modern Fuels they probably Vent off more readily !

Best wishes, Al 👍👍
Last edited by JT7196 on Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JT7196
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by JT7196 »

Hi, just taken a closer look at your pictures, and noticed that the Front Engine Mountings are looking rather knackered.
If you purchase Jaguar E-Type engine mountings they will do the job very nicely, the only difference is the need to secure them through the centre threaded hole with some long bolts , just a thought .......👍

Cheers Al 😊😊👍

Simon Hyslop
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Re: Lanchester LAII for auction 951UXE

Post by Simon Hyslop »

Thanks Al, yes, I've already bought a pair of Jaguar engine mounts and also a new rubber for under the gearbox as it was missing. The rear ones I'm looking into as there are various options of rubbers which might be possible but I may need to see them out and work out what might fit best. I have the original front dumb iron covers which are well past their best but have found that two of Vintage Supplies' gearlever covers make acceptable substitutes. Fortunately the running board rubbers will do for a while although cracked somewhat.

I was puzzled as to why the passenger door lock didn't work right as there were two keys that fitted the lock but neither would turn through 180 degrees. The number on the lock is 4500 but it actually is an MRN sequence lock and MRN2 fitted just the same, a benefit of having a set of MRN keys to hand. I had a thought and took the escutcheon off, turned it round the other way and the lock works. The person who had put it on hadn't realised that there would just be one hole for the peg to engage in.

The linings are DA28/1, fortunately a common size with pre and post war Rileys so I already had them on the shelf. Interesting that Lanchester retained using their 10 pattern drums for the 11 while utilising Girling's other parts. Possibly the ost amusing part, while painting underneath, was to think that someone must have looked at the 10s already sturdy chassis and thought, maybe this chassis needs some more support near the gearbox, what can we do to make it even heavier? Weld on a 2" box section right across the width of the car, that'll make it last another 100 years !

I also have a tin of David Beales engine paint and will get to grips with the engine bay shortly. Having been over it all underneath , the one thing I found that the front hubs had their original grease in them. It was almost solid and had to be scraped out. Other than that, fortunately all the nipples worked. I wondered what icky stuff might have been in the Tecalemit grease gun but the answer was - nothing. It had never had grease in it and was just as new and the outside of it is looking rather better now.

The most potentially shocking thing left was the wiring. Fresh from a week of rewiring the 10 sports saloon, I thought the bullet had to be bitten and have removed all the underdash wiring. I'm going to replace it first as it all joins at the control box then in the autumn I'll replace the rest once I see how the car behaves. I was checking through my boxes of cable and will need to replenish the Lucas pre war colours as there's barely enough to do another complete car now. The other thing I'm waiting on is to get a new V5C through as I have an almost correct period number for the car which is an Edinburgh WS number, very close to the one my first Lanchester had so it will have another change of identity, hopefully for the better.

Vintage Supplies sent a pair of new pre war pattern wiper arms, the collets of which needed some fettling to fit but that's another job done, the Klaxon horn has been to pieces and is looking better. Another job for over the winter is to attend to the wood inside the doors. I suspect that'll be some more woodworking to carry out.

Just on the subject of the pictures, something that caught my eye in them that didn't look just the same in reality was at the bottom of the A pillar on the driver's side. It's not wood that's missing but it's a couple of bits out of the rexine round the door shuts. I shall have to try and fit some material to try and blend in with what's there as it would be a pity to lose it.

Anyway, I'm pleased to have finally got this one, it's been a long wait and I suppose I'd like to think that there are aspects of working on it I can do better now than I would have done as a 23 year old. I hope !

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