Salty nuts…

^This^ is/was a tow hitch that Michael and myself designed and made for use on a cat 1 three point linkage. “Great!” you may think. But Freida has no working linkage at the moment? So I’ve had a re-think.

On the underside of the differential/axle casting there are four 5\8″ Whitworth studs set into it for the use of attaching a Ferguson hitch. So I’ve spent the past hour removing said studs and nuts, wire wheeling them up, re-tapping/dieing where neccesarily and inserting them to the correct dept into the casting. As they were highly corroded/pitted from the sea and years of moisture, (And I was taught that salt was a preservative. Hahaa) And some clown hadn’t screwed them in all the way, or gave up when the nuts siezed to them.

I plan to bolt a simple frame onto these holes which extends 10″ rearward, roughly inline with the rim of the wheel. Here, I shall mount my towball.



Much like this fine piece of engineering.


Puch Maxi

Work began today on the re-conditioning of a Puch Maxi moped.

So far water and stale fuel has been removed from the carb, the carb has been cleaned and serviced, and a spark has been achieved, no thanks to the existing wiring!

However, despite the presence of both fuel and a spark, the machine has yet to come to life, we suspect the cause is water in the crankcase contaminating each fresh charge of fuel… Hopefully the removal of the block overnight and the liberal application of water dispersing products to the crank case will remedy this;

Wiring Diagrams here.

Leyland glow plug and head gasket replacement

When I first purchased the Leyland it was impossible to start without using easy start, not ideal! However after some testing with a multimeter it turned out that all the glow plugs had failed open circuit, this should have been a simple job, but when I removed the plugs from the head I was greeted by this motley crew;

The tractor had been run with dead plugs for so long that carbon had built up solidly round the tips and caused them to break off when the body of the plugs were un-screwed, the only way to remove the stubs was going to be lifting the head…

Once the head was on the bench the next challenge was to knock out the combustion chambers, eventually achieved using a specially curved rod inserted through the injector hole and hit with a hammer;

Once the stubs from the injector were punched out, the remaning carbon deposits were cleaned out using a 11/64 drill, and the head was de-coked and refitted with a new gasket.

Since then cold starting has not been a problem, no easy start required.


With both side covers removed from Freida’s back end, all bolts undone and a severe amount of jiggling and poking of all parts, I can’t seem to remove her hydraulic lift assembly. Even after consulting Mr Ferguson’s Bible I’m none the wiser.

I can’t seem to disconnect the hand control fork from the control valve, even if this was done, it seems that there is another brace between the fork, yet below the main driveshaft that runs through the back end.  Therefore I can’t lift the lift assemly out.

Tools and more tools

Since the 1950’s and the birth of the mainstream “Home Mechanic” it is widely recognised that no man in the British Isles can have under his possession enough tools.

Whether you’re an Iron and Steam enthusiast with air hammers and fishplate spanners or a boy racer with a full plastic encased set of Halford’s professional, every man has his own specialised tool fetish.

My heart is set  in the golden era of engineering when brands such as Britool and King Dick were everyman’s market leader if he wanted a sturdy tool for his cantilever box which he tucks in the “work’s van.” The test of time has proved their worth.

One great supplier I’ve found in my countless hours of dossing about at college is , They sell what I can only imagine is ex-mod and railway tools obtained via warehouse clearances etc. The products that I’ve had from them have been nice and low priced yet really good quality. My favourite is a 1940’s Britool cylinder head spanner which is 3/4″ american fine on each end, it’s perfect for my Land Rover as it has a double bend in one end and a long handle, this enables my to tighten up the head bolts without removing the rocker cover, due to a socket not fitting above them. I also have a really good and strong pair of pry bars from them for just nine quid, bargain!

If anybody has any links to good websites selling old tools for restorers etc, I’d be extremely greatful if you left a comment.