Reply To: Allett Regal No.1

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Last week was a bit of a trial to say the least!

I started off with the chain guard; as I thought, an easy 5-minute job so I’ll tackle it before taking Mrs. Geoff down the shops. First problem was that I noticed the cutter clutch cable had stretched and was allowing the operating fork to rub on the roller drive chain, so a quick adjustment sorted that out but it is quite a fine adjustment.

Next was the rubber sealing strip (AKA the Mk1 GT6 overrider rubber). A sparing application of spray glue on the inside face was enough to secure it and it took just under 2 metres of rubber strip to go all around it. Once it dried I thought a quick trial fitting was in order and then the trouble started!

The guard is secured by three countersunk, socket head nuts which tighten onto a tube welded inside the guard. The tubes fitted over the three 5/16″ BSF studs which were fixed through the mower side frame and that’s when my luck ran out. Two of the nuts started on the threads nicely, then the third just would not catch; it had to be the lowest one that you couldn’t get to easily, didn’t it? Obviously the three nuts used to work but the mower came to me with no rubber seal, so it was the thickness of the seal that was throwing it out and making the lower stud too short for the nut to catch on.

Half an hour later, having re-arranged the garage so I could tip the mower backwards, I was lying on the floor cursing all things that came into view when finally the locking nut on the back of the stud started to move. Winding it backwards and forwards with plenty of WD40 applied I got it to the end of the threaded portion, so I turned my attention to the other end. The stud had been threaded through a tapped hole in the side frame and so two nuts locked against each other on the exposed thread on the chain side gave me something to put the spanner on; never be tempted to use Stilsons or grips on a thread or you’ll be replacing it in short order! The nuts did the trick, starting with a small amount of movement and working it backwards and forwards to get the muck and rust out and to let the oil in. I managed to get another 1/4″ on the length of the stud which was enough to start the nut on. Phew!

Mrs. Geoff was not happy by this time so I had to dip into my pocket to buy her a dinner. Why do we do this to ourselves?

The other job I was putting off I tackled this week as well. The fibreglass lid has a small decal on the left hand side to show the operator the gear layout. The more I looked at it the more I convinced myself that it was a later addition, probably added after the re-paint with the thick paint. Talking to Roy Allett, he told me that Reliant used to change the position of reverse gear on a regular basis so they used to have to keep modifying the gear pattern decal to match the gearbox. The decal on this machine had evidently been chopped about a bit so it was most likely a later decal modified to match the earlier gearbox. When I painted the lid I masked it off to protect it; OK, I was delaying having to make the decision, but this week I persuaded myself that it had to go as it looked too worn and messy to keep. I masked off the surrounding panels so that I could concentrate on this one, rubbing it down to provide a good key for the new paint and removing the old decal. Whilst doing this I felt justified as four or five orange circles appeared as I rubbed through the transfer- it was that lumpy orange primer again, proving that the decal had been a later addition after the re-paint.

A few coats of Allett Green soon sorted out the last part of the lid so now I’ve just got to wait for it to harden. Ever tried watching paint dry?