Earlier this year I was given a Lancia Aurelia B10 but as it was located in South Australia it was not until the first weekend in December that I was allowed to go get it. You may not know what a B10 looks like as it doesn’t get the publicity of it’s younger sister the B20 Coupe.
Here is a picture of a B10:
The B10 was a very conservatively styled postwar saloon but as with most Lancias, the magic was under the skin. It was the first V6 car, up until then no one had figured out that the “V” angle needed to be 60 degrees and the crank needed 6 throws among other things to get a smooth running V6. If you look under the bonnet of my B10 you will not find the engine as it has been reduced to its component parts and is currently residing where the back seat should be. I think this is the reason it went off the road. Another mechanical first was the rear suspension that a decade or so later Mecedes, BMW and Triumph thought they invented, it has the transaxle at the rear and the Lancia favourite, Sliding Pillar front end so a bit of old and new.
Here is my car:
The car seems to be all there and not rusty. It will need a repaint, it was originally black, discussions are currently in play with Mistress Susan as to the colours she can live with. It will need to be retrimmed as it has been previously trimmed in vinyl so will be going back to cloth and lastly it will need an engine rebuild and mechanical refresh which is the only part that I will get involved in. Unlike the Fulvia, the body is sound so maybe it will only be a matter of five easy monthly payments instead of thirteen.
The Chummy has no visible timing marks unless you remove the “bacon slicer” starter motor that lives in the passenger compartment on top of the bellhousing, it’s heavy and it’s dark down there so not easy to do a quick timing check. Luckily the head has the spark plug holes in the right place to allow a dial gauge to check top dead centre (TDC) so if I knew what 8 degrees of crank rotation was in piston travel it would be good.
I was a terrible student, what I did retain was lost soon after the exams but I have been saved by technology, firstly spelling and now trigonometry as they say “There’s an App for that” and on my Android phone I use a free app called aptly “Right Angle Triangle”
To cut a long story short, literally working on the back of an envelope there are 2 triangles in this calculation, the first one has a hypotenuse of half the stroke and the angle is 8 degrees, using my trusty triangle app I get the adjacent and opposite measurements. The second triangle is stacked on top with an hypotenuse of the distance between centres of the big and little ends on the conrod and the opposite side is the same as the first triangle’s opposite side from that we get the adjacent measurement. Lastly add the two adjacent measurements together and subtract them from the sum of distance between centres of the big and little ends on the conrod and half the stroke and bingo we have 0.46 mm.
So I zeroed the dial gauge at TDC disconnected the low tension lead to the distributor and connected my multimeter across the distributors LT terminal and earth, then cranked the motor (with the handle) and on the compression stroke the buzzing stopped at 0.45mm before TDC.
A bit of a letdown really as my original guess was just about dead on so no easy jump in horsepower so back it tracking down the oil leaks of which there are many.
As an aside this is the internet where everyone is an expert so feel free to shoot down my mathematics.
Over the weekend a group of us went on a pootle down to Wilson’s Promontory as we Regionals can, it was a lovely weekend but I think the businesses down there need the return of the Melbournites as we were the sole occupants at the motel.
While we were away during one of the many group male huddles around an open bonnet, it was noted by Colin Cheesman that I had a Grey Fergie tractor carby, this was news to me.
Then I stumbled onto a great article on why this is so, basically in the UK after WW2, old cars were being recommissioned as all the new ones were being sent overseas. A particular problem with late vintage cars was the use of Mazak instead of brass for carburettor bodies. As you probably know Mazak was a really crappy alloy that was used for all sorts of things but it corroded, so this left a whole lot of useful cars with useless carburettors, Zenith who was already making an updraught carby for the grey fergie tractor made a special one for the Austin Seven and that’s the one on my car.