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The Start

 

November 29

Well I decided to start on the Riley again.  In preparation for the separation of the body from the frame I outfitted an old boat trailer with wooden bunks that follow the couture of the Riley's cills.  I also added a support  to hold up the rear of the body via the spare tire compartment floor.

 

 

December 2

I prepared the Riley body for separation by adding some internal bracing.  I don't want to risk the body distorting when it is removed from the chassis.  I used the large boat lift to lift the body.  But first I had to maneuver the car down the hill without any brakes or steering, not easy.  I placed straps under the body and lifted it off the chassis. It all went smoothly.  The body was then dropped ( placed carefully) on the modified boat trailer. The body now occupies one garage and the chassis the other.

 

December 4

The next step was the removal of parts from the chassis.  The fuel and brake lines were removed as well as the wiring harness. Many of the bolts required heat to undo and some got the old, weld the screwdriver to the head of the bolt, treatment. Some of the  clips for the wiring will have to be replaced as they are too rusted to use.

 

December 5

More work on the chassis today. Removed the drive shaft, shock absorbers (aka dampers), clutch rod and actuating mechanism.  I had to remove the gearbox mount on the drivers side to get the clutch bell crank out.

 

December 6

Yet more work removing things,  throttle linkage exhaust pipe and front fender (wing) supports.  Then moved the Riley out of the garage down the hill and under the lift.  Out came the engine and gearbox and I pushed and pulled the chassis back up the hill and into the garage.  Now the very heavy engine gearbox combo had to be moved.  After playing around with some ideas on how to move it, ( most involved 10 friends with strong backs and weak minds) I had the brilliant idea to put it on a piece of plywood and drag it up the hill with the tractor.  With the the ground frozen this idea worked well and the engine was soon placed in the garage.  By soon I mean 3 hours of sweating and swearing later.

December7

The right side rear body mount was too rusty to save so I fabricated a new one from 1/8 inch steel.  To bend this thickness with my bending brake I had to heat it in the coal boiler fire box until it was red hot. The door post body mount needed some work and I cut out the rust and welded in some good metal.

 

December 8

Still more disassembly of the chassis. The steering rack, front brakes and hubs all came off without trouble. the torsion bars were easy as pie.  The upper suspension arms were a we bit more difficult.  Now it came time to remove the lower suspension arms.  The large nuts required lots of heat and a chain wrench and a long pipe extension. The arms themselves came off with the use of a two leg gear puller, except for the forward left side. I could not get it to budge.  I tried heating different pullers and a crowbar.  How it ultimately  was removed I can't recall.  I must have blocked it out as too painful to remember. Tomorrow the torsion bar sleeves and bushings have to be removed.

 

December 9

After yesterdays difficulties I took the bull by the horns and made a large puller for the torsion bar sleeves.  The puller is made with an aluminum tube and a large threaded rod.  It pulls the sleeves forward and out of the suspension sub frame. The left sleeve was difficult to remove. this may have been because of surface rust on the sleeve. I agree with people who say the bushings rarely need replacement, on the other hand there is no better time than when you have nothing in your way.  After the challenge of the torsion bar sleeves unbolting the front suspension sub frame was easy and quick. With the sub frame out of the way I bolted a 2x6 plank to the frame and attached a engine stand to the plank.  I want to be able to rotate the frame so I can do a good job of cleaning and painting it.  With the front of the frame able to rotate I started to work on the rear. 

 

December 10

 Finished the rear mount and modified an old rusty engine stand to hold up the rear.  With the frame supported front and back I was able to unbolt the rear axle from the frame. The spring hanger bolts will have to be replaced.  They are bent and corroded. The frame now spins around and I can get to all sides easily.

 

December 11

I took advantage of a warm up of temperatures to above freezing to move the frame outside and power wash it with hot water.  This removed most of the cakes on grease and now the frame is ready for sandblasting.