Her new life from 1 Dec 2019 - with Rick & Joan Fletcher
Page by page description of her refurbishment:

UPDATED:  13th November 2021

This Page
Scroll down to see:   As purchased / Gearbox mount / Head rebuild / Front suspension Part 1
Torsion bar bushes / Front suspension 2 / Setting Torsion Bars / Rear half of chassis / Dashboard removal

Rebuilt steering wheel / Safety cut-out switch / Rear shock absorbers / Trafficators 1 / 12V LED Bullet style rear blinkers / Old wiring loom / BSF taps & dies

Radiator shroud / Steering rack rebuild / Oil Filter / Air cleaner-silencer / Firewall / Battery Box / Windscreen Wipers 1
Windscreen Wipers 2 including Video / New wiring harness / Mystery of the missing switch / Trafficators 2 (Video)
Tail light rebuild / Thermostat housing deliberatons / Headstuds (new) and helicoils / SU Carb rebuild / Waterpump housing modifications /

Head finished & replaced / Safety switch installed / Engine almost ready to start / Starter solenoid fitted (later failed) /
Engine started (with
video) / Installation of Electronic ignition.
AC Fuel pump rebuild / Thermo fan installed / Wiring loom installation / Dashboard going in /
FIRST RUN of the engine (with
Videos) / Windscreen Wiper stuff-up / First drive / Engine bay complete /
Doing a cold re-set of the rear springs.
Registered! / Diff pinion seal replaced / Gearbox oil changed / Radiator Catch Tank fitted / Delaney Gallay Heater
rebuild 1. / Radiator recovery cap / Wheels painted.
Delaney Gallay Heater rebuild 2 / Brake rebuild and relined (all wheels) Part 1 / Rear axle bearings & seals replaced
Brake rebuild Part 2 / Master Cylinder rebuild / Pedal seals & draft excluders. / Additional steering coulumn support.
Replacing sump gasket (in car) / Hi Torque starter / Replacement exhaust sytem
BLOWN HEAD GASKET! Repairing with a solid copper gasket / chasing oil leaks esp. timing cover / permanent TDC mark on front pulley / radiator recondition / thermofan moved to front of ragiator.

Here is "Ruby" - a 1953 1 1/2 Litre RME Riley in the hands of a new custodian:

PPlease note that I am not a Riley expert at all - I just have the workshop manual in one hand and a spanner in the other. I am not doing a full restoration of "Ruby" but just trying to keep her pretty much as she was when I bought her - with some of the "tired" bits replaced or rebuilt.   I listen to advice and seek out info and photos from all around the world on the internet. The Riley Clubs have been a great help and Paul from the Sydney club is a constant source of help and advice. The following pages of photos were taken to help me (and perhaps others) in the enjoyable task of getting her registered and usable.

Rick Fletcher - Far S Coast NSW... 0417 416 516

These photos were provided by the previous owner - Bill Skully, Adelaide SA
The engine was partially dismantled as can be seen in the following photos showing the head off the engine and all the bits in the boot.
But it was enough to convince me that I should take a punt, and head off to Adelaide with a trailer and to pick her up.

The head had been removed before purchase ...
...and all the missing bits were in the boot.


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. The steering wheel - which now has a restored rim.

The car is quite original and I intend to preserve as much as possible - a refurbishment, not a full resotoration.

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.
One of the obvious first steps was to replace the gearbox mounts.....
...and to make a start on removing some of the crud build-up on the chassis.
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. Continues on Page 2.
The head had been removed before I purchased the car and all the parts were stored in the boot as shown above.
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 on the head some time ago - remains to be seen how it holds up.

Valves were lapped as shown here using a rare vintage reciprocating lapping tool (above right) 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.