The Saga of TC4332 (Chapter 3)

The Soda blasted and painted chassis was collected and returned to the garage where it was elevated onto axle stands and cuts from old railway sleepers. Assembly to a rolling chassis could hopefully now commence.

The front and rear springs were dismantled, mechanically cleaned and painted in a primer prior to being reassembled, the leaves being lubricated with Graphite grease all as the excellent article in TTT 2 by Eric Worpe and John James. New polyurethane bushes were purchased along with new rear spring front silent block bushes and the rear springs mounted on the chassis. The front springs followed again with new polyurethane bushes and new front pins supplied with certificate of quality by John James.

The front beam axle was mounted on the front springs using new long hexagon bolts, six being purchased at Stoneleigh and two from “From the Frame Up”, care being taken to ensure it was the correct way round.

The stub axles were re-bushed and new king pin assemblies bought and assembled on the axle. When dismantled, a number of very thin washers came off the stub axles; enquiry with Doug Pelton at From The Frame Up (FTFU) showed these to be associated with tapered front bearings and not needed with the new standard bearings fitted.

In the intervening time the front brake back plates were sent to a machine shop in Birmingham, (yes some still exist!) and repaired, the unwanted holes being filled and re-drilled to accept the correct brake cylinders. These were fitted and the front hubs bolted on. The track rod was fitted with new ends and connected. The dampers were refurbished by Raj Patel of Recon and Return in Leicester, new bushes were purchased and attempts made to re-bush the damper arm and damper link, my advice is “don’t try this at home”. I enlisted the aid of a local independent garage who installed the bushes for “buy me a pint”. All now appeared complete at the front end.

Attention now turned to the rear end. The differential was refurbished recently according to the previous German owner, although no proof was provided. I decided to accept this as fact and bolted the differential casing in place on the rear springs using new bolts. The rear brake back plates were bolted on; the inner hubs were fitted with new bearings and the hubs bolted to the casing using a new seal and 50mm diameter nut kit supplied by Roger Furneaux at Mad Metrics. These are a massive improvement on the original castellated nuts, much mangled in my case, and good value for money.

When I dismantled the rear hubs the outer hub and the half shaft came out separately; in my naivety I assumed this was correct. When I came to reinstall the half shafts it soon dawned on me that there was nothing to prevent the half shafts moving laterally inside the casing. Enquiries revealed that the half shafts should be a high force (140 KN being quoted) press fit into the outer hubs with approx 3mm of the shafts showing inside the hub. More £ signs started to flash! I managed to locate two second hand half shafts and hubs but these had badly deformed 42mm spinner threads and the spinners would not run on, so I bit the bullet and purchased two new half shafts and hubs.

The refurbished dampers, bushes in place, were bolted to the cross member, now reasonably straight and the re-bushed link connected.

The amount of time, let alone the money, to arrive at this current state should not be underestimated. The cleaning and painting of all the individual parts was very time consuming and very messy. In hindsight it would have been easier, if not cheaper, to have had all the ancillary parts soda blasted and primed ready for painting by myself using “rattle tins”.

A better looking newly painted TC4332 chassis (upside down for ease of spring pin replacement) than the one shown in Issue 14 of TTT 2.

The existing brake linings were about 50% worn so I decided to have new shoes and linings, whilst retaining the existing shoes and having them re-lined for future use. I therefore purchased a complete set with new pull-off springs from the Internet. More problems! When I came to fit the new shoes the combined thickness of the shoes with that of the compressed Thackeray washer could not be accommodated on the bottom pivot pin. A comparison with the existing shoes showed that the shoes were identical except for one important detail, the way the offset at the pivot pin end of the shoe had been formed. On the original shoes the offset had been made by reducing the thickness of the metal around the pivot pin hole at the base of the shoe. The new shoes had simply been folded, the original thickness being retained. Also the new shoes were 0.75mm thicker than the originals, this causing a total greater thickness of over 2mm. More expense, as the shoes had to be sent for grinding, because I was not confident of achieving a good surface using a normal grinding wheel.

The replacement shoes were an inferior copy of the originals no doubt manufactured in the Far East; the moral is clear be careful what you buy!

A similar problem was encountered with the handbrake cables, but more of that in the next chapter.

lestc4332(at) {substitute @ for (at)}.

Ed’s Note: Raj Patel of Recon and Return is at 39a Avenue Road Extension, LEICESTER LE2 3EP. Telephone: 0116 244 8103.


I’d wish I’d known the following when I made an octagonal GB plate to go on my PB:

– Make sure you have a calculator and a measuring device on hand. – Start with a perfect square i.e. all four sides of equal length and all four inside angles a perfect ninety (90) degrees. – Measure one side and multiply that by 0.2929, then take that dimension and measure from each corner, both ways and place a mark. Join the marks to form an octagon. Easy!

I have to admit to ‘stealing’ this from a paragraph written by Dick Knudson in a past copy of The Sacred Octagon.

The Editor

One thought on “The Saga of TC4332 (Chapter 3)

  1. Peter Jones says:

    Back to the old adage that original parts are always the best.

    There should be loads of original shoes about – if not gibe me a call as I could probably help there.

    The only exception to the above is the new hubs and half shafts on offer from Roger Ferneux – in all my years I have only broken one of his (despite my best efforts).

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