Some Hints and Tips Relating to a Popular Model THE numerous remiests for information On pre-war ears has prompted Inc to record lily experienees of a 19:S5 Riley Niue “Monaco’ saloon for the benefit of new owners and those unable to obtain a handbook. Although similarly placed I was fortunate in being able to borrow one and make notes of the more important subjects, which have been supplemented as time passed with information obtained from various sourees and from personal experience. Iii
to the 1935 model, the following notes are applicable to the 1034 Riley Nine ” Monaco,” as with few exceptions the chassis and engine are identical.
My car is fitted with a ” Special Series ” engine which is a four-cylinder unit with abore of 60.3 tam. and a stroke of 95.2 mm., giving a total capacity of 1,087 e.e. Safe limits when the engine was new were given as 13.4 m.p.h. in first gear or 3,500 r.p.m., 22.5 m.p.h. in second gear, or 3,750 r.p.m., 41.0 m.p.h. in third gear, or 4,000 r.p.m., and 65 m.p.h. in top or 4,370 r.p.m. The twin camshafts must be separately timed, the inlet valve opening at. T.D.C. and closing at. 50 degrees after 11.D.C., and the exhaust valve closing at 30 degrees after T.D.C., and opening at 55 degrees before 11.1).C. The clearances between rocker and valve stein are : .002 in. inlet and .003 in. exhaust with the engine hot.. The firing order is 1-2-4-3. Adjustment of the valve tappet rockers is carried out. With a screwdriver and a i in. spanner. Care should be taken to tighten the locking nut after each adjustment, avoiding too much force for fear of splitting the rocker.
The topping up and tilling of the sump is through the rocker boxes .after removing the four covers. It is advisab!e to pour the oil through each box alternatively so that all parts of the valve gear obtain a supply of fresh oil. Failure to do this may result in the rockers squeaking. Severe squeaking which cannot be cured in this way is usually caused by a choke in the external pipes which feed oil from the sump. It is a simple matter to disconnect these pipes and clear them with it suitable length of wire.
The distributor is timed by turning the engine with No. 1 plug out, until the piston is on T.D.C. Of the firing stroke. Set the distributor linger opposite No. 1 lead, then turn it in a clockwise direction until the cam is felt against, the contact breaker lever. Then push the distributor straight; in, allowing its gear to mesh with the nearest tooth on the camshaft pinion. The distributor head turns in a clockwise direction to retard and eke Versa for advance. The contact breaker points should be set to open at T.D.C. with full retard with a gap of .012 in. Decarbonising is straightforward. The rocker boxes must be removed to gain access to the cylinder head nuts and it is important to note that when removing the head, only the rubber water hose should be diseonnetted and not the F. E. RICKETTS 4.11MIIMINISOSIIIMMID*1111111111111111111431111111111111110411111An* water outlet elbow which is held in position by a yoke-bolt. This should not be removed, as after the nut, above the pipe is unscrewed there is nothing to prevent the yoke dropping into the water chamber. It is also important, to make sure that the two tappet springs, situated on either side of the block are in position before the head is replaced. The order of slackening and tightening the cylinder head nuts is :– 7 5 1 :1 9 9 4 4 4 9 4 9 9 4 4 10 4 2 6 8 The plugs reconunended by the makers for this engine are Champion 16 or 17, K.L.G. KS 5 or M 80 Or Lodge CB 3 or
11 2. I have obtained good results from a set of Champion 17 with a gap of .022 in. but am very particular as to cleanliness and clean them at fairly frequent intervals. The electrical system is 12 volt, provided front two 6-volt batteries carried under the rear seats. A third adjustable brush is fitted in the dynamo which LS secured to the timing case at tlw front of the engine by three nuts. The charge fate is increased by moving the brush in the direction taken by the commutator and decreased by moving it in the opposite direction. A worn dog at the end of the
dynamo sets up a noise which is often mistaken for worn timing wheels. Removal of’ Lite three nuts and the dynamo before starting up the engine (in the garage of course) will soon settle this question.
The self starter is bolted to the near side of the crankcase and is also easily removed if necessary. if the starter should stick in engagement it can be freed by turning the square end of the shaft in front of the starter with a spanner using a rocking motion.
It is very necessary, partieularly at the present time, to see that. the carburetters are properly adjusted and kept clean. Mine are Solex Type 131″, and for the sum of 9d. Solex, Ltd., will supply an Instruction Booklet which gives all the information necessary to assist efficient maintenance and obtain more m.p.g.
This car is fitted with an Autovae and I have found it to be thoroughly reliable and require very little attention. Here again a handbook giving full details of maintenance can be obtained free upon request to The Autovac Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Stockport.
A final word on the engine for enthusiastic owners. who would liketo fit a water thermometer. The normal engine operating temperature is 75/85 Centigrade. These engines tend to run too cool in the winter although they are not. fitted with a fan, and, to obtain a good performance it is advisable to blank off half the radiator. Ltibrication, as always, is a very important stiltject. Regular greasing and draining of the sump, gearbox and back axle pays dividends. A very useful
chart, which is an essential requirement if the owner intends to carry out his own maintenance, can be obtained free from Messrs. C. C. Wakefield & Co., Ltd. The sump holds between 6 and 7 pints and should be removed every 5,000 miles to clean the filter. My tar, which is fitted with an Armstrong preselector gearbox, uses engine oil and has a capacity of 5 pints. The rear axle requires 3.k. pints of gear oil and when topping up it is ‘a recommendation of the Makers that both the oil in the axle and the oil being inserted should be warm. When I purchased the car it was fitted with a ” One-shot Lubrication ” system, but on examination I discovered that certain pipes were fractured and 110t supplying oil to vital places ; the universal joint being one. I, therefore, promptly removed the whole system and fitted grease nipples. It makes the work of maintenance a trifle harder, hut I de know that the grease is getting where it is needed.
The correct oil pressure is 40-50 lb./sq. in. with the engine hot. Pressure should not fall below 40 lb./sq. in. at a speed of .40 m.p.h. in top gear at the normal working temperature. Pressures below and above this figure when the engine is ticking over and when it is started from cold are normal. It is very important that the owner takes a frequent look at the oil pressure gauge when the car is in use, as in the event of the failure of some component the pressure will fall suddenly. The most likely cause of falling pressure is failure of the oil-pressure release valve. This is situated on the off side of the crankcase just above the sump drain plug. The plunger may have worn, or the spring become weak or a particle of -dirt become inserted between the valve and its seating, thus preventing its closing. To examine the valve the lock-nut should be unscrewed and the adjusting screw withdrawn, when the spring and plunger can be removed. Any signs of bright spots on the plunger indicate the possible presence of dirt. The spring should be tested for weakness. On one occasion I noticed that pressure had risen to 80 lb./ sq. in. and discovered on investigation that the lock-nut had worked loose, allowing the adjusting screw to move and it is, therefore, advisable to check this in the event of a sudden change of pressure. Turning the adjusting screw to the right increases the pressure and Dice versa. I have purposely omitted any previous reference to the petrol consumption as it is so bound up with the lubrication of the engine, gearbox and back axle. When I purchased the car it had only just been re-bored and had run under 50 miles since that operation. The crankshaft had been reground and the engine generally overhauled and brought back to a good condition. Consequently it was on the tight side and petrol consumption was 29 m.p.g. When the engine had been well run-in I carried out a petrol cheek but could not better 81 m.p.g. under any conditions. It was appreciated that the car was heavy for a Nine and with twin carburetters I decided that I must be satisfied with this figure. I also discovered that the engine was very prone to condensation (quite ustud with these early models. I believe). Half an egg cup
full of water could be drained from the sump every week if I liked to take the trouble, but the odd thing about it was that if I left this operation for several weeks the quantity removed was still the same. I dismissed this with the Riley specialist from whom I had bought the car, but he told me not to worry as it had no ill-effects. However, I was not happy to leave it like this and decided to add Redex to the engine oil to offset any ill-effects front the addition of the water. After doing this I thought no more about it and it was not until some time later when the petrol tank overflowed during the taking on of a small quantity that I discovered that the consumption had decreased. Accordingly I carried out a check which disclosed between 33 and 34 m.p.g. I then remembered that a lower petrol consumption was one of the claims made on behalf of Redex and realised that I had reaptal this benefit unexpectedly. I slionlil mention at this point that My petrol gauge does not work and I have to keep a record of petrol purchases and estimate the consumption from periodical checks. Following this discovery I decided to add Redex to the gearbox and back axle when they became due for a drain and refill. Eventually this was done and at about the same time I fitted a Vokes Distribution Rectifier to each carburetter. After a suitable interval 1 made another check which showed a figure of just over 36 m.p.g. I can, therefore, highly recommend all owners to use Redex in the correct proportions which are Sump—one part Redex to three parts oil ; gearboxand back axle–one part Redex to five parts oil. The makers of Redex also recommend using it in the petrol at the rate of one ounce to two gallons, but I have not done so, having always used Duckham’s ” Adcoids.” have not troubled to separately test the rectifier and Redex, but if any owner is prepared to adopt both these methods of increasing m.p.g., I suggest the Redex conversion first, followed by a test, and then the fitting of a rectifier, or two of course if the engine has two carburetters, followed by a further test. Before leaving lubrication I must refer to the suspension. Greasing of the spring shackles, of course, is dealt with during the periodical maintenance, but I refer now to the springs. The suspension on the early Rileys is fairly harsh, and unlessthe springs are kept well oiled a very hard ride will result with much body shaking. A considerable amount of mud and water is thrown up on to the rear springs and I recommend the fitting of gaiters. The front springs do net suffer in this way and gaiters are not necessary and a good painting of old engine oil will last a reasonable time. Before fitting the gaiters I well scrubbed the springs using an old tooth brush and paraffin, drying them with newspaper. I then sprayed them with penetrating oil, followed by painting with old engine oil. Finally they were liberally coated with grease. This treatment of both front and rear springs has proved very ,satisfactory. The car feels nicely flexible on uneven surfaces and I think I have obtained as good a ride as is possible on a Riley of this year. The suspension will be further improved if the spring clips are kept tight
and the tubes through which the bolts pass permitted to revolve slightly on the springs. These tubes touch the top of the springs and should revolve when the springs flex. If the tubes are allowed to become seized on the bolts, they will rub on the springs and eventually there will be clearances between tubes and springs which will give rise to chattering of the spring leaves. These tubes should, therefore, be examined for any flats and renewed if necessary and kept lubricated and free on their bolts. It should not be necessary to say that it is important to remember the shock-absorbers, but I did hear of’ one owner recently who did not know where they were on his car ! Good results from regular lubrication of the springs and shackles cannot be obtained if the shock-absorbers are neglected to the extent that the owner does not know whether they are functioning or not. Luvax hydraulic shock-absorbers are fitted to the 1935 Riley and normally they do not need ninth attention. Occasional topping up and adjustment is all that is recommended. This LuVax is of the vane-type and removal of the plug on the top of the unit permits of topping up with the correct oil. The level of oil should not. be higher than in. from the top, it being essential to leave this air space, otherwise damage necessitating a new unit will be the eventual result. On removing the plug on the top of the unit the owner will notice the regulating screw. This should be turned to the right to increase damping action and to the left to decrease it. This screw provides a very fine adjustment and a quarter of a turn is sufficient, the car being tested on the road before any further alteration. At one time I toyed with the idea of removing the front unitS and substituting Hartford friction-type shock-absorbers, and if any owner is contemplating such a change and is on the look-out for a secondhand pair the makers recommend Type 502 M. and point out that it is essential that the length of the short arm from centre to centre must be 5 in. and 7 in. for the long arm. Any other Measurement for these arms will render the shock-absorbers useless.
The standard tyre size is 4.50 on 19 in. wheels and the makers recommend a pressure of 34 lb./sq. in. laden and 32 lb./ sq. in. with unladen rear seats, although I prefer 32 and 30, respectively.
As already mentioned I have an Armstrong preselector gearbox and owners who like doing their Own repairs may wonder whether they can carry out any adjusnlien Is which may become necessary front time to time. This is possible and well within the capacity of the type of owner likely to tackle such work. It is not possible here to set out the instructions, but were it so I could not hope to set out half as well as Riley Motors, Ltd., do in an illustrated leaflet which I obtained free from their Service Department at Abingdon-on-Thames, and I hope they will not mind may mentioning this fact and will be able to supply any reader who might write for a copy. At thus point 1 should like to express my thanks to the Service Department for the help they have given to Inc in the past. I have never hesitated to write to them on any problem connected with the car and I have always found them willing and anxious to help.