"Ruby" the Riley
Her new life from 1 Dec 2019 - Rick & Joan Fletcher

UPDATED:    12 Feb 2020

1953 RILEY 1 ½ litre Model RME in a previous life as a wedding car ("LEDA").

As purchased from Bill & Julie Skully (SA) - with my mate Bob who kindly provided the tow car for a 2,800 km return trip.

Back home in the workshop.

I'll add some comments on these photos ASAP along with a batch of other photos.

Clearly there is a need for new rear engine/gearbox mounting rubbers and they have arrived from the very efficient spare parts man
Paul Baee in the Riley Motor Club of Australia (NSW). Paul has been very helpful and the club has an extensive range of spare parts.
Front suspension undergoing replacement of bushes and wearing parts. This photo shows the Mk1 puller for extracting the splined sleeve in the torsion bar tube. The Mk3 version went from 8mm to 20 mm H/T threaded rod. Better photo below.
The head had been removed before I purchased the car and all the parts were stored in the boot.

Dismantling commences
Inlet and exhaust ports cleaned up and polished
Valves and seats were in good condition and valves were refaced in the lathe.
Combustion chamber cleaned up and valves were lapped in using the old fashioned way. Note the brazed repair done some time ago - remains to be seen how it holds up.
Valves were lapped as shown here via a rare vintage reciprocating lapping tool and some fine paste.
The head is ready to go back on the block when Ruby is back on her wheels
N/S front suspension bits and the original jack cleaned up and painted.
First real sign of "bits" going back on. Here the top suspension links,
pins ("spindles" as the manual calls them) bushes etc are on.

This was another attempt at installing the torsion bar bushes. It did succeed in getting the rear rubber bush in place but the front one was totally destroyed!

Notice in the photos that there is machined mandrel front and rear to guide the high tensile 20mm threaded steel bar that I used to pull the torsion bar sleeve into place. The same bar was used to remove the torsion bar sleeve.
This looks to be the same as the one on the left, but there were a number of failed attempts when I had both rubber bushes in place & tried to pull the torsion bar sleeve through BOTH bushes. The important difference that worked for me is that I left out the front bush & pulled the tube through until the rear spline was part way through the rear bush. It would have been better to take it even further through
.
The result is that the front of the torsion bar sleeve is well forward of the chassis tube such that there is enough space to work the front rubber bush over the spline and into the chassis tube.
                           SEE FULL NOTES to the RIGHT >

I had a lot of help from the Riley community to come up with some sort of solution that worked for me. There are other ways of doing it! But this method was suggested by Raz Hansen (Vintage & Classic Garage, Dandenong VIC) and I am grateful to him and to the President of the Riley Club VIC (Paul Edgar) who suggested I contact Raz. Paul Baee (Riley Club NSW spares man) was also a big help in providing photos, ideas, and the necessary parts.

If you are doing this job, you will be aware that there is a spacer tube in the chassis (handbook - section K page K.6 & K.7) illustration # 34 which is located by 2 small machine screws. This spacer is NOT centrally located in the chassis (not in my car anyway).

The bushes are 60mm long and the space at the rear of the chassis tube is 53mm long meaning the bush protrudes about 7mm. But the space at the front is only 45mm long. Raz suggested that this bush may need trimming. So I shortened it by removing 7mm.

The bush in the LH photo was well lubricated (rubber grease, but I used white soft paraffin) and can be slid over the forward spline and coaxed into the tube. A hose clamp can help to constrain the rubber & guide it in.

A bit out of sequence but this is the method I used to draw out the torsion bar sleeve. A piece of 3" gal. pipe with a steel cap was used to apply the necessary force. It's long enough (14") to enable the torsion bar sleeve to pull fully out. I slotted the gal. pipe so that it would go over the 2 small machine screws holding the spacer in place.
Finally I was able to re-install the front bottom link onto its spline with plentiful anti-seize. Same stuff was used on all metal to metal surfaces. The visible shock absorber was still OK as was the other side front.

                                         PROBLEM!!
I can't believe I didn't notice this. The top suspension links are asymmetrical. It is very clear in this photo. The right link is actually the one which should be at the front of the car.

You can see in this photo from above that I have accidentally flipped the links 180 degrees such that the top of the king pin is offset to the rear of the car and it did not align with the lower links. Blast! - take the top apart and flip it over!
The torsion bar sleeve has internal splines closer to the front of the car. The spring ring for the torsion bar sleeve nut is in place.
The king pins were in good condition and the rubber covers are not fitted yet - I will slit them and fit them over the pins with cable ties. The spring rings for the torsion bar sleeve nuts and the bump restrictor are also yet to be fitted.
Perhaps I should reiterate that my intention is NOT to "restore" the Riley in a full nuts and bolts exercise,
but to replace worn components and to keep the car as original as possible.