Saturday, 31 December 2011

Disc brake kit fitting to a Hillman Imp/Singer Chamois Sport

Since this set fitted so well,we have seen another set being imported for a local Imper who drives his imp on the road.The difference from drum brakes to discs is quite something of course.

Let me know if you want this option,we can back your order up with our next one.

These are fitted only to the front of the car,many small modern cars have the same set up,no brake servo will be required,you can even use the .625 brake master cylinder that is standard on the Imp but the sports .700 size is said to be better?

The brake caliper with a mount plate.

In this case I did a dry run on a spare stub axle,in all cases I assembled the brakes to the cars actual stub axles on the same bench,it made drilling and bolting together very easy to do.

With the kit as supplied,the job is very straight forward,the longer wheel studs are not part of the kit and the two large nuts are only there to hold the disc in place.

Drilling of the front wheel stubs 8mm holes (two) will be required,the new size being to 10mm,this is easy to do with most tools found in the home garage.

Note the black painted plate,its that which bonds the parts together.

Refitting is easy,I recomend removal of the stub axle when your doing this upgrade,new king pins and wheel bearings  are almost certainally going to be required as well.

I have a good reason to smile,this job was quite straight forward,there are detailed instructions and a picture page of the process supplied with the kit.

SKF Speedy-Sleeve

This Hillman Imp / Sunbeam Sport / Singer Chamois, crank pully has a Speedy-Sleeve fitted,normally we have them ex stock or to other applications the next day and by post to you.

This Lower Crank Pully had the normal shaft wear from its old Lip Seal,using a new seal and a suitable stainless steel Speedy-Sleeve makes the pully servicable again,its a fast fix job too!

This S&L Windlass gear box was loosing its lubrication oils,at the high cost to repair the gears,it was vital to ensure the oil loss was controled.The alloy casing has been bead blasted and primed with twin pack Sigma Coatings etch primer.The assembly will now be stripped and the two new lip seals and Speedy-Sleeves inserted.
Speedy-Sleeves are stainless steel,so no rust will take place at a later stage.

When rebuilding engines and transaxles,it is normal to find output shaft lip seals have created a small 'wear ring'in the metal shaft face,in the past,this could mean undercutting and inserting a larger seal,or by welding then re facing the shaft,both a very expensive option and ones that leave you with what is really a stop gap solution,we now use SKF Speedy Sleeves,they are simple to install and allow the original size seal to be refitted.We can post world wide.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Hillman Imp and a mad elephant

We had assumed that this picture was done by the world class painter David Shepherd.
I tried to make contact with his agent but the response was silence,then another thought David had done it. Being in the style of the expert, I agreed and we went along with this presumption.

The Imp Club published the
picture in Impressions,the award winning monthly club magazine.

Then Richard Sozanski sent me this mail yesterday:

Hi Roy

Trust you’ve had a good Christmas.

Ref that picture of the imp/elephant I've been in touch with the administrator at David Shepherd and he says he’s never seen it before, so who painted it is the big Q

Regards and have a good new year festivity


This now leaves the issue wide open again,does anyone know who painted the picture?
A clue is the age of the Imp,its clearly a Mk1,so around 1963/4,was it a South African or Rhodesian Hillman Imp sales advert I wonder?

Any ideas?


News just in today, dated 14th September 2012

Dear Roy

Whilst recently searching online for information about this painting done by David Shepherd many years ago, I came across your blog from last December making enquiries into how the painting came about. Unfortunately the person who you contacted (if you contacted them via the website) thinking they were David’s agent/administrator, is not in fact anything to do with David. He just happens to have the “ website” address and is an independent agent selling David’s prints.

However, if you are interested, this is what David has to say about the painting:

“Seeing this painting again has revived many happy memories I have of the Hillman Imp. I received a commission from the Rootes Group to paint a painting of the Imp in Africa for their calendar; it certainly made an exciting picture. To achieve this I photographed the Imp at the factory and then added my own material for the elephant and baobab tree. I then painted the painting from the photographs and my existing material.”

I hope this answers your questions, if somewhat belatedly!



Sue Smith

PA to Avril and David Shepherd CBE, FRSA, FRGS

Tel: 01342 302480

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Puddle Duck Racer gets wet

Or PDR for short,just come in this past 24 hours,news that a customer of ours has finished his Mike Storey dinghy,the PDR.

I trust you had a blessed Christmas. We were blessed with rain that broke the dry spell of two months.

I have completed the boat and I am very satisfied with the outcome. I have had quite a few compliments from friends who could not picture the completed project unill now.

In boat building I learnt the four P's which are key to success


I have several vehicles in the garage and it was a planning nightmare to move and re-arrange everything to keep every one kind of happy. Leaving cars outside overnight was not an option.

The mornings were spent shaping, gluing, screwing hull bottom and bits together. Once done the epoxy or paint was applied and the project stowed so the cars could come back in. Space for storage is still an issue but I will dry sore the boat in the back yard under a tarp


Waiting for glue, poxy and paint to dry tests the resolve to the limit. I did my best to use this time to fabricate smaller parts, shape the daggerboard and rudder foils and make cleats etc.

Finding a reliable source for epoxy in South Africa was a challenge and I had to wait two weeks for a delivery from Cape Town via snail mail

The whole project took me three and a half months to complete, working on Saturdays only.

I spent excessive time (procrastination?) trying to figure out what type of paint to cover the boat with. It is impossible to compare brand names of South African products versus those available in the US or Oz.

Here I setlled on a paint, called "Wall and All" which is a water based latex. It took about three coats to properly seal the epoxy undercoat


The project took up a lot of my time but the one objective of my first boat sustained me despite a destroyed jigsaw and belt sander which were replaced as funds became available.

When I got stuck with problems, I could go and mumble on the woodworkers forum and the members rose to the occasion and gave sound advice.


Measure thrice and cut once is definitely true, but with epoxy, filler and copious amounts of fairing I could fix the 1-2mm mistakes. I trust the pics reflects the final product.

I have a couple of people to thank for their advice, Roy McBride from CKD Boats in Cape Town, Manie from Compax Boats in Centurion, Dries Laas and lastly my daughter Bronwyn for her assistance with the painting.

Lastly thanks to you for a brilliant boating concept which puts affordable sail boating back into public domain

CKD Boats cc Four P's

Prompt Payment Promotes Precision  (which is what you will get when we CNC cut this boat as a kit for you,just ask)

How hard can this be?


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ex Mine Sweeper, Snow Petrel

Just in today,December 28th 2011,a web site on German Mine Sweepers,my thanks to Jens for the link.

An ex German mine sweeper,one of our customers from 2009 to 2011,materials to repair her hull (white oak) and a large selection of hand made mouldings to trim out cabin windows with.

Pictures by R McBride using a Canon G11 camera.

What great looking ship,as she looks today she is a fine looking vessel and a credit to her owners (who are they?)

Restored in the Simonstown Naval Dockyard, Snow Petrel can now be seen at Hout Bay on the North Wall.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Winchcombe in December

This came in just yesterday,its a card from Ken and Geraldine in a frosty Winchcombe, England,I have been there but not with the snow on the ground!

Happy Christmas to all of our friends at christmas 2011,

This is real,its not a film set! I have had a few pints in the White Hart Inn with my good friend Ken who supplied and I assume took the picture,many thanks Ken.

The White Hart is on the right with the pubs sign lit up,click on the picture for a better view.
This is a green, 

carbon neutral,

 energy saving, 

ecologically sound , 

21st century means of saving postage costs!

All the best for 2012

Which Ken tells me is also a leap year.

 Happy Christmas to all the readers of this blog,who ever you are and where ever you may be!


Monday, 26 December 2011

1967 Singer Chamois refurbished

The car was for sale a year or so back,we then moved that sale to the race imp and started a refurbish in general on the Singer Chamois as well,looking fine now,there are some paint miss matches to sort out but the main works are done.

The interior wood work received special attention and is now back to being a very high gloss clear lacquer as it would have left the factory with. The paint shade is based on the Rootes Group (scotland) Claret Metallic 126,which now about 45 years on,is a popular paint to be seen on modern cars.

When a man with a private whisky distillery in the UK wanted to buy the car,I declined saying the car was not yet ready as a go anywhere type car,we are nearly there?


Argie 15 mast building

We have done a number of these,its a setting up process that really does need a long and quite straight work bench.In the case of the Argie 15 you need six meters of bench.

We machine the two halves to accept a standard 6mm bolt rope with an entry slot just above the boom.The main section of the mast is hollow,the wood being removed with a very large 32mm router bit that was specially made for the job.

How hard can this be? not too sure,its was all a very common process some decades back.


Coventry Climax brand name stickers

Seen here on a 1967 Singer Chamois,we have more stickers in stock once more.They last too,the first were used nearly seven years back and are still just fine.Made in a flat silver mat finish to match the factory originals.

Cost pack and post price on request.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Some have snow

The sun will soon see it making the days longer but not quite yet in Maghull,Merseyside,North West England.

That white round thing in the sky,is not the Moon its the Sun!