Saturday, 22 September 2012

CKD Hillman Imps?

Yes its true but a long while ago and down to those Complete Knock Down days at a factory in Portugal.

Note, I have just checked both Impressions, the Imp Club Magazine and the print out from the menbers list for overseas members, I find no Portugese members listed at all and thats in a country who used to build CKD Hillman Imp cars!

Does anyone know where one of those cars are?

An extract from Ken Sharpes days with the Imp.

in 1963 at the introduction of the Imp
Portugese C.K.D. Imps

Actually getting to Oporto was interesting - the national airline T.A.P. were still using Constellations for internal flights. The visit to the factory was an eye-opener. The main assembly building had two tracks, one assembling Triumph Heralds (I think) and the other C.K.D. Imps. They weren't breaking any records in terms of cars per day, but the quality of the Imps was superb. I had driven many many Imps between 1960 & 1966, probably hundreds, but those built in Portugal were the best.

Why? They were doing nothing special on assembly just taking care to do the job properly. I think the difference occurred when they built the body shells. When the separate body panels were brought together and spot welded, the joint was filled with braze, with the result that the body shell was very rigid. We all know the scuttle and facia shudder the Imps have when you hit a sizable pothole, well these Imps just went thud - everything just moved together.

After this visit it was back to Ryton to carry on problem sorting.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Patent pending on Roys multi function painting tool

The job is to paint the exterior walls of a house with two coats of Plascons Polvin PVA white exterior coating. The lower half of the building was done first as its the part I can reach. Finding it impossible to reach up to the top of the house walls about seven meters tall, I needed a long reach painters handle and found one being used for another task, pool cleaning.

Check the picture out, the house painting was going fine, well fine on the parts I can reach but what of the second story and those I can not reach? We tried the local Mica hardware and paint store, they had nothing that would match the long reach we required.

Click the picture for a larger view, when the scraper is needed, the paint roller is removed, next will be the addition of  paint brush of course.

I had discussed a ladder and a broom handle extention, Jean had a much better idea, what about the 4 meter long alloy tube handle on the brush she cleans the swim pool with? (this now needs an extention on the extention and we are looking to extend by another 2mtrs, as drawn alloy is normally 6mts long I would just buy that off as a 31mm x 1.5mm thin wall tube next time.)

That we need a twin tool application was clear, we must first scrape of moss and litchen that had grown over the years, that and other bits and bobs, so I then added the scraper with two 40mm long posi drive screws.

Guess what, it works!

How nice is that.


News and more ideas on the same theme have just come in from a blog reader.

I liked your idea of the alu pool handles, especially the extensible ones. I have also used them for so many things incl:

-          Long range brush for removing spiderwebs form high windows. Also connect hose to the end to get the spray up high.

-          A (removable) pole mounted vertically in ground next to swimming pool steps to aid aged parents get out of pool without falling

-          Used with brush to clean boat on waterline

-          Long range boathook for recovering halyards etc in rigging.

-          Flag bearer on marina boat for opening cruise.

-          Emergency antenna mast

And counting!

ustin Phillips

Cape Town

A South African assembled S Type Jaguar markings

Recently I was asked if the colour codes on some Jaguar rear suspensions I restored were the orginals?

The reply was correct, I bead blasted the old paints away, re painted and did the colour bands as they were originally.

The splined rear hubs are none original to this car but could have been chosen as an optional extra in 1966 when the car was assembled.

The second colour, I wonder what they mean?

On this car the entire rear sub assembly was removed, taken apart and then rebuilt. The brakes front and rear had the same treatment, all new and that includes the booster,calipers and flexible hoses.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

A Hillman Imp disc brake conversion kit

Some mails have been buzzing as to whats in the Imp disc brake kits we import from the suppliers in the UK? a good question and why did we not bother to copy the kit when given permission? I am trying again and to that end I am looking to buy a set of Ford Ka front brake calipers, does anyone have or know where I can find any in South Africa?

Right click the image for a larger view.

The quality was outstanding and everything we need excepting brake fluid was supplied.

Delivery was on a 20kg load, next time we may use local afterparts discs to save weight but even then they need re drilling, so with that labour do we really save money?

Fitting was easy, I later sprayed the grey and brite metal parts with Hammerite gloss black. All nuts and bolts are supplied with the kit.

The special mounting plate when fitted, this is the nearside, check the Imps speedo cable center of the plate and held there by a 3/16 inch  pan headed machine screw.

A dry run on the bench soon prooved that this kit fits.

Now on the car, its was a clean and simple job to fit the kit.

Seen the right way up, note the flexible hose, it has the required UNF and Metric fittings on either end and was a part of the kit.

This kit gave us the best choice in as near as new that we could possibly ask for, only the caliper was refurbished.

Fitted with new Supalite  alloy rims and Yokahama race road tyres and we are ready to go.


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

PY 1 ZAK QSL card to Roy and Alan on Ocean Planet

I have posted this before? either way its worth a mention again as I have seen quite a number of emails from others who had the good fortune to visit the island and meet up with Peter at Ilha Grande, south of Rio do Janerio,RJ, Brasil.

We stayed at anchor about where this picture was taken for some days, in the evening we would go ashore and have drinks, as Peter would host us with some local limes and distilled sugar cane spirit, I am sure it was way over proof!

Peter Thurridl owned this beach and the land behind it, the land went quite a long way up a hill where Peter had his radio shack, as a Ham he got much better contacts from up on the hill than low down in his beach cottage. For us back home was Cape Town in South Africa, thats a long trip in a small yacht with no stops. It was not Alan Butler that did the trip with me but Alex Notman (notty) we had a decent trip of 32 days.

Ocean Planet, an Endurance 37 was more or less on the wind for the entire voyage, we had the broard reach that Peter hoped for just once and for a day, then it was back to wind forward of the beam. The boat was later sold and was last seen on a pendant mooring in Ibiza, Spain, no one knew who owned it, even the local Port Captain thought it was my boat as he had found my name in some documents aboard, where is Ocean Planet now I wonder?


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A KD 860 catamaran yacht hull is for sale

Up-date for the kd860 build.

The new and extended KD 860 is here in South Africa, now offered for sale, you can fit it out yourself or have a specialist do that for you. The boat has been extended to 10 meters long and in proportions in the other directions.

Design stretched as per idm10

For sale as is by the way..

All the best

We supplied Andrea with the full KD 860 materials pack, then as he decided to extend the boat, so then a second materials issue to allow the extension. All plys are a quality ockume marine plywood to BS 1088.   Contact me for pricing, the boat can be fitted out here by a specialist boat builder to a sail away finsh. 


Hillman Imp front brake disc conversion, fitting from a kit set.

In this case its a 1967 Singer Chamois which has a part Sport Imp 875cc engine but will eventually find itself with a much more powerfull 998cc engine.

This standard bore 875cc engine was rebuilt and is in perfect condition but its coming out one of these days to make way for the larger engine, so this one may be for sale?
Delivery world wide.

An Imp front hub with the mount plate for the caliper fitted, the hex drive plug needs
removal! note the longer wheel studs, also imported and said to be ex a Ford Escort, they are needed to take the Supalite alloy wheels we fitted to the car (still 5mm short really?)

This conversion was imported from its maker in the UK, I am about to (with permission) copy the design as a one off for my own use, thanks Colin!

As fitted on the Imp Sprint car I prepared for a customer.

Fitting is easy, the kit really works and is well thought out. 

Note the new Monte Carlo road springs, marked with a yellow paint stripe, they are stiffer and one inch (25mm) lower than standard road springs, this includes the Imp Sport too.

The car the brakes were made for, the Imp is now back in Scotland where the Rootes (scotland) Car Co, built it.

To be continued


Monday, 17 September 2012

Hillman Imp 998cc block crank line bore

The welded 998cc block became twisted after its last session of welding, If I ever went that route again I would have the block in a tank of water to take the welding heat away, sounds right to me I wonder is it?

The welding heat also distorted the alloy holes were the steel liners drop into, I was able to make them fit using my own method, they are near perfect right now but the lower landing will be lightly dressed to ensure the liners are level and the required 0.002 inch above the top of the block face.

Pictures will enlarge if your right click on them?

The block is not in too bad a shape really, there is a high spot on the center bearing though, just enough to stop the crank from turning as it should, with luck the engineer can remove metal from the bearing cap, then rebore.

Hope so!


August 26th 2013, the news is today that the line bore is complete and the crank turns in the block.
The crank is one of the early Imp type, said to be a better item? it was re ground to plus 10 thou, so still
has lots of life left in it.

Contact me for pricing on this 998cc Mk2 Hillman Imp block and crank in Cape Town, RSA.

IBEX will have the 001 Paper Jet 14 on display!

Paper Jet at IBEX in the USA

News  From the Dix Design blog spot

My last post was about IBEX, which is now a bit over 2 weeks away in Louisville, Kentucky.

News since then is that my self-built prototype of the Paper Jet design will be displayed at the show. If you want to see it, you will find it in the Lobby C Entrance of the Convention Center. I will set it up with the Turbo Rig jib and mainsail set. It will be there for the duration of IBEX.

Aside from my own presentations, I will also be attending other sessions. I will be at my boat occasionally during the show but can't say ahead of time when I will be there.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Aerogen 4 wind charger blade fitting, the right and the wrong way.

I was offered a decent but used 24 volt Aerogen 4 wind charger, my need was for a 12 volt supply, so
the old 24 volt stator was changed to a 12 volt one by changing them over.  later the central hub and bearings to the shaft needed changing too. The charger is now about twenty years old, so thats not an issue, more a fact we can still get the parts? I have an as new 24 stator in stock should anyone require one.

Looking new again after being off the boat some while, I fitted new shaft bearings, new blades and new hub alloy plates. Its a pity the blades will not spin too fast even in a 20 knot breeze, why?

The manual is 16 pages long, its well detailed and covers the start to finish assembly process, also a very decent hands on check list if the charger does not give any output.

As the blades are now, they are 180 degrees out, they are facing backwards, why would I fit them this way when they have a marker which is lined up to the alloy hub plates?

Check the pointed marker on the blades and lined up to the alloy back plate.

A close up of the markers on both the white blade and the grey alloy hub rear plate, you can see I got it right?

This is now the front plate and as I had assembled the blades, I had not realised they had markers on the alloy plates, front and rear but why, it makes no sense and leaves a 50/50 margin for incorrect assembly, as I managed to do!

I then had to remove the blade cluster and reset the angles, I released the nuts and bolts and finding the blades sticking, I applied Fluid Film from the spray can, note the red applicator tube, the blades moved easliy then and I could finish the job and without taking the entire assembly apart.

Re mounted and ready to work.

A coating of Fluid Film on the alloy hub and blades will help to extend the life of both.

I once saw a new Aerogen 4 installation on a boat on our marina. Our boats were close enough to be more or less in the same wind system but my blades moved at least three times faster than the new installations blades.

I could see what the problem was and went over to suggest he rotate the blades? The reply was : I have set it like that on purpose so I do not over charge the batteries?

How good its that!


Find the pages on blade installation but remember that this may be a bit misleading, a little like this blog I did some time back.

Launching Dave and Wendys Didi Mini Transat

The place is Arizona, USA, the yacht club waters are the Arizona Yacht Club, racing and cruising says my tee shirt that Dave sent to me some time back.

Summer is now here, time for me to wear this tee shirt again

The waters of the Arizona Yacht Club look really clean, Dave tells me that depending on the seasons, the lakes levels can rise and fall quite a lot.

Wendy and Dave christen their new boat that they built from a kit we shipped to them from Cape Town.
The entire build program can be viewed on their web site named D & W Boatworks. check the link below.

Well done to both of you, she looks great!