This is initially for Cobbadog who has asked about my handbrake arrangements. About 2 years ago, I decided I must do something about the brake(s). The foot brake was non-existent, and the handbrake about the same. I obtained a set of brake linings, intended for a Hillman Hunter, Sceptre or Sunbeam something or other. (UK made "Rootes Group as it was stuff) I will try to find the details later. One or more of the shoe return springs was rusted away, so I did an Ebay search. I think the first lot were wrong, but I did get a set eventually.
Next was simple routine stuff, I slacked off all adjusters before fitting new shoes, then one wheel at a time I adjusted the taper mushrooms to just take up slack then backed off a little. (I seem to recall one was badly seized, but I got it working eventually).
Next, all linkages, pivots etc were freed off and greased, and then the foot brake adjusted to feel just right. Finally I adjusted the handbrake, which I recall is just a length of Bowden cable inner. Both brakes I seem to recall were adequate at that stage. However, having stood again outside over winter, they are quite poor again. To stop on a slope, I need to press on the pedal (bulging eyes stuff) AND operate the handbrake to over-centre.
Now if the last two paragraphs seem vague, it is because I forget the exact detail, but it really was all common sense "mechanicalling". I will try to take a photo later, it is sitting there right now with a ladle full of clay.
But that was just one job. I took the dumper up the lane to collect logs, very stony and uneven, and very little grip. I eventually manage in reverse with neighbour in bucket to try to ballast the wheels. When I came to return, I lost drive. The prop shaft, all 2" of it, had sheared off. I suppose that you can't expect much from a layer of yellow paint on to a layer of rust! A pal who repairs old cars had a prop shaft (off a land rover I think), and a short length was cut off. Cleaned up on the lathe, at exactly 2" long, and the two ends were mounted (4-jaw chuck I think) and were cleaned up. The whole was re-assembled, then carefully welded up using my new inverter welder. I gave my old oil cooled Citringham welder to my pal who provided the prop-shaft, rather than just scrapping it after 50+ years.
Of course more disaster was to follow; I left the dumper ticking over whilst emptying the ladle (hand spade as usual) when I realised it was labouring and slowing down. Before I got to investigate, it stopped. Like a total idiot, I had allowed the oil to fall too low! It was very difficult to start, not at all in cold weather, then only using a quick start spray, with all the risks of handle kick back. Now the weather is warm, it does start OK, but it is dripping oil so quickly that it needs regular top-up. Once this back filling is done, I will get my pal to take it away and investigate. He has stripped a few Lister and Petters engines before, so I should get it back as a "gud-un" once more.
Since I last visited, I have moved maybe 25tons of stones (The PO left behind a big pile of Manx building stone, i.e., big lumps of Manx slate and large rounded sea-stones). I have created a 45 degree slope up to a newly laid lawn, and in the far corner of the garden, where water runs off the hillside, carrying the soft silt with it, my cottage's PO had put up retaining barricades to stop the hillside "falling down" onto the garden. I took a risk, removed it all, dug deep with the little JCB, then handballed about 10 tons of the stones again to a 45 degree slope, over filled it with sand and soil, and now it is covered with fresh foxglove growth! The first job entailed digging 3 feet down, adding drainage, then taking the slope up to just over 4 feet with a small decorative wall in front. The "hillside retention" job was again about 3 feet down, drainage channel and then pile the stones to about 7 feet. Needless to say, the little Roughrider had the task of carrying all the stones from the big pile to each destination. I still have about 20 tons of stone left, so a wall alongside the lane will finish the pile off if I can judge it correctly.
Next I am planning a conservatory at the back of the cottage, and said I would prepare the footings for builders. Of course I "found" the land drain I installed about 8 years ago, so had to dig a new trench further out. Why did that drain have to be EXACTLY where I had planned the footings? ALL CLAY, real good blue stuff. With more water running down in part of the slope, it was almost impossible to work there. Elsewhere, the clay is mostly dry and hard, and the JCB's narrow bucket will make two deep tooth marks, but NOT dig a layer of the clay. It is so hard and strong that the bucket has to be crowded in order to lift a small layer, and even that takes about three goes to get a small bucket full out. With luck, today I will join up the plastic land drain in the new trench, then the easy bit, back fill it. I should get out there this morning to make the final connection, but the first race (this year's TT racing ) starts in two hours, so I may give it a miss.
I will try to get the photos later, and the details of the brake shoes.