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Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:50 pm
by f1steveuk
Yes, I still lurk, mainly in the Cobb?Crusader/Railton thread!!!

The book on this is done, but there's some flack from the Railton bio' I contributed to, so the November publishing date may slip by.

Anyway, K3, the engine is basically a Meteor, but an oddball, because I built it out of five different piles of spares and one decent engine. This was done to get rid of the tank ancillaries, which meant brackets cast as part of rocker covers etc. The decent engine was early Centurion, other parts were Cromwell, we had manuals for both, though there's no way I can remember the differences now as I have slept!

The basic blocks/heads are Merlin, as is I believe the crankcase, there being an adaptor so the starter could bolt where the supercharger once lived. Mike Evans, who was the chairman of the RR Heritage Trust was quite clear though, very little was interchangeable between Merlin and Meteor, which is why always said it was a Meteor, and Paul would always say it's a Merlin, because that sounded better!! It isn't, and never will be an R Type.

The hull frames, sides, bottom, tail and fittings are original. We found some repairs to the frames in the deck area, and the deck covering was replaced in 1969 (it was written on the bottom of it when I crawled around inside) for the Castrol exhibition. I made the dashboard, and on there, about one third of the instruments are original, including the rev counter. I would say that it's about 75-80% original. The engine is fitted to a wooden sub-frame, made to fit in the original place but accept the smaller Meteor, by Ken Pope. When first installed, I was the only one who started and ran it, because the emergency stop system was very dodgy! So I was standing in the hull, operating the throttle by hand. But yes, it sounded bloody great! No flywheel, so it does rev well, though the mags cut power to the 24 plugs (like rally traction control) if the revs climb to high, which means unburnt fuel in the exhausts, so good to watch too!!

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:54 pm
by DisneyDumbo
Although I washed K3 down a few times, the only notable work I did on her was to jigsaw the hoop behind the cockpit seat. Paul had casually asked if I had a jigsaw with me, when I got back with it, well, get on with it then; he said! When I asked about what? He said cutting out the hoop for the new Saddle Fuel Tank. I managed it but only after breaking about four blades. There just wasn’t really enough room between the frame and where Paul wanted the cut to be.
During my time working at Filching, as well as washing several very rare cars, I also washed both of Gina’s boats, I took on the alteration and rebuilding of the original ‘Across the Lake’ Buck, from which they made the actual one used in the film.
In 2005 (I think) we had a week’s holiday in Whitby, and during this, I spent a couple of days working in Bill’s workshop. He had saved me a rather special little job; this was to replace the damaged sections to Donald’s seat uprights, where the seatbelts had been pulled through. The damaged parts themselves will be preserved and kept with other salvaged items in the museum.
Thanks for that Bill, it made the trip really worthwhile.
This means that the only Bluebird boat I haven’t worked on was K4, quite a record that!

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:52 pm
by f1steveuk
Yes, Paul was like that, and you'd do the work while he lent on something!

I can go one better, I did a lot of work on K4, but it was the Goodwood replica, with Jerry Judha and Hothouse, and they are a very clever bunch of blokes!!

Blue Bird K3

Posted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:18 pm
by chorlton19
I'm not sure what everyone would think of this or if it's been said before. What about running the restore Blue Bird K3 at a venue with K7 it would certainly be a great sight Father and Sons boat together.

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:07 am
by Richie
IMHO that would be cool 😊

I’d like to get the car and boat together,
But both would have to be in running order.

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:29 am
by Richie
Running V12 yes ? Was that not what it was running back in tut day ?

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:54 pm
by f1steveuk
Absolutley no chance of getting the R going, especially R37. There was only one full tool kit, which got lost when George Eyston had it (after Leo returned it after the demise of K4). I made loads of tools at Filching, but I only did a partial restoration. She turned over ok, but sounded very gritty, and I later found out that Thorpe Leisure had at one time, had the engine sand blasted.........

The operating life spans of most of the components are also WAY past it, even the monoblocs, which have been stitched twice anyway. There are no spark plugs either, I only know of eight Lodge X170s worldwide, though there is a Bosch equivalent which DC was using, but they aren't really hot enough. Then there's the fuel to get mixed. Nothing is impossible, but the shear cost, you could probably develop a Griffon for a lot less.

Finally, spares. No one in the right mind will let you take bits off R25 or R27, the Schneider Trophy engine, and the air speed engine (and left and right from Thunderbolt). The only other engine is that in the '35 Blue Bird car, and that is probably and empty dummy based on R39. So you couldn't build one good one from the four that are left. All that would be gained is originality, as as K3 will never get near top speed, she makes the right noise. Trust me, I would love to hear an R, but it will never happen. A Griffon on th other hand!!!!

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:53 pm
by Richie
So basically like K7 you are merely running a variant of the correct engine 😉

Bet it sounds amazing, when we are away doin tank stuff, the best alarm clock is my pals Cromwell :D :D

Re: Blue Bird K3 Henley on Thames

Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 5:29 pm
by f1steveuk
Mike Bull wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:57 pm
You're easy beat, Steve! :lol: ;)
I fight like a girl!!