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

Pg1  Pg2  Pg3  Pg4  Pg5  Pg6  Pg7  Pg8 Pg9(new)

UPDATED:    12 Mar 2021

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.

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.
The rear engine mounts were a little past their use-by date.

Everything cleaned up and repainted with new rubber mounts.
These may look like misplaced washers but they are important spacers in the rear engine mounts.
RED LETTER DAY for me - wouldn't mean much for you, but I have finally won the "battle of the bushes" in getting the last of the torsion tube bushes in place!! Rear lower O/S link still to be easily added.
With all the suspension now back in place it was time to set-up the torsion bars. This method uses a piece of string and 2 elastic bands!!! I used
1 1/2" for the height difference as below. Here is the suggested method from the RM Riley Technical Tips web page
1 1/2"
IMPORTANT tighten Torsion Bar Adjuster with NO LOAD on the suspension ie. the wheel off the ground.
Here, the front link has its dust cover in place. A bit harder to see are the 2 swivel pin bush seals. My pins were OK so I slit one side of each rubber seal and held it in place with a zip tie. Not great but saved a total dismantle.
Poor old Ruby has finally had a wash! She was stranded on the hoist for most of January and February during the devastating fires on the far South Coast. Covered in dust, ash and grime she looks much happier now although the rear wheel spats are temporarily off & it's not a good look..

Everything forward of this centre universal joint carrier is fairly clean ...
...but behind here, things are a bit grotty!
This is the rear side of the previous photo. My plan is to have the rear half of the chassis cleaned with a heated pressure washer at a local facility.
The diff pinion seal looks like it's had it, so a new one is in-hand. It is important not to over-grease the universal joints. Use a hand-grease gun and stop injecting grease when resistance is felt (avoids blowing the seals)
The oil may be finding its way back from the pinion but I think a new gasket will be needed at the diff to n/side axle cover PLUS the internal seal on that side.
Oil seal needed. I also suspect the rear shock absorbers may need replacing. I haven't cleaned up the back half of the chassis yet as she is going in to have a heated high pressure wash as soon as she is registered.


Refit steering wheel (when rebuilt). DONE
Install the stator tube and wiring to blinkers and horn.
Re-install the cylinder head and all engine ancillaries.
Once the rear half of the chassis is cleaned up I will need to dismantle the springs and shock absorbers Rears DONE front OK, replace some seals and brake pipes.
The springs may need re-setting and will need new bushes (in-hand)

Wiring: t.b.a. See Page 2

Interior: t.b.a.

Here is my "BATMOBILE" - I just love the souicide doors!
Engine room work coming soon.
Decided to do a bit of work on the dashboard. Removed the cover panel housing the instruments and the clock. There is a problem in the bottom LH corner.
The original method of assembly would have worked for the factory but I had to realign the bottom LH corner (or totally dismantle the woodwork).
The clock will have to go off for repair and a new glass. Getting the 1/8" BSF slotted screws to hold the panel in place may be a problem?

I'll take another photo which might explain it better. But here the joint has been re-aligned and screwed back in place, although a little filler is needed. The n/s ashtray is out for a little panel beating.
The speedo is out so I can replace the cable, and the steering wheel is not back from the motor trimmer yet. That should enable activation of horn and turn indicators from the control head.
Wiper Switch. Some small things can take quite a while. The switch was supported on a metal plate but it needed an additional screw which required delicate gymnastics and a screw balanced on the screwdriver.
Two rear shock absorbers released from the rear axle. Both totally stuffed!
Replacements should make for a better ride. The toddlers wading pool is a great way to catch dirt and debris under the hoist.