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Rover Sd1

Richard Dye

master brummie
Ha, yes Nick, I recall the valve grinding, the grinding paste and grinding stick wearing into my hands - I seem to remember it became easier when electric tool became available. Or am I making the electric tool up!!
Peter, I think before the electric tool there was a tool like a manual drill brace that you turned and it rotated the valve and oscillated it in and out to replicate the manual lifting and rotating the valve. I did the engines on an MG TD, Triumph TR4 and in line 6 cylinder Chevrolet with one of these. Could not afford the electric one!
Happy Days! (I )
 

johnny082

master brummie
All this talk of grinding in valves brings back memories. Only threw out a tin of Chemico grinding paste and my stick a few months ago. Those were the days when you could work on car engines. Today can't even change a light bulb
 

nickcc101

master brummie
...or if you dropped one of the spring cotters, and had to take off the sump to get it!
Even worse when you had to take the engine out to get the sump off. My first job as an apprentice mechanic was to change the engine oil and filter on an F type Vauxhall victor, long story short after I’d ripped the sump plug out the foreman and welder worked all night to remove engine, weld up sump and put engine back in, they weren’t best pleased.
 

Peter1

master brummie
If you were really lazy you could use a drill with the stem of the valve clamped in the chuck only thing was you needed to keep changing the paste. Our Foreman used to check our work when overhauling Gardner engines by pouring Kerosene in the ports, any leaks from the valves and you started again.
lol. I worked at P J Evans in Granville St then after a few years we moved to Essex St. One of the mechanics at Granville street was Lloyd Hibbert another was Bob Johnson....coincidence guys? Two names on this thread!
 
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nickcc101

master brummie
lol. I worked at P J Evans in Granville St then afetr a few years we moved to Essex St. One of the mechanics at Graville street was Lloyd Hibbert another was Bob Johnson....coincidence guys? Two names on this thread!
Ryland Garage was where I started in 1960. Great thing was you were trained in commercial vehicles as well as cars which certainly helped with my future career as a PSV/HGV mechanic.
 

DaveHaw

master brummie
I worked on the construction of the SD1 paintshop in 1974/75. Only finished my apprenticeship a couple of years before but lacked site experience on the welding side. So they threw me in the deep end and got me welding up the undertank sections of the spray booths at high level on the ground floor, all 53 sections! I then had to weld up the electrophoretic dip tank, three huge sections. As Davesd1 as stated it was a massive project, The assembly plant built next door was probably one of the biggest plants that I have seen in this country. I remember finishing off works there in the red hot summer of 1975, nice to feel the sun at lunch time, but then back to work in the dark, cold inside. Unfortunately the country was just slipping into recession and hundreds of construction workers were released to find work outside of the car industry.
 
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DaveHaw

master brummie
Worked at PSF CAS BROM TILL 79 THEY BUILT BODYS IN WHITE THERE
Yep! I worked there for a short time during the construction phase of the Paintshop for the Jaguar line in 1977 and again about 1979. Quite an impressive feat turning an old spitfire aircraft hanger into a two storey building.
 

streamboy

knowlegable brummie
I worked on the construction of the SD1 paintshop in 1974/75. Only finished my apprenticeship a couple of years before but lacked site experience on the welding side. So they trew me in the deep end and got me welding up the undertank sections of the spray booths at high level on the ground floor, all 53 sections! I then had to weld up the electrophoretic dip tank, three huge sections. As Davesd1 as stated it was a massive project, The assembly plant built next door was probably one of the biggest plants that I have seen in this country. I remember finishing off works there in the red hot summer of 1975, nice to feel the sun at lunch time, but then back to work in the dark, cold inside. Unfortunately the country was just slipping into recession and hundreds of construction workers were released to find work outside of the car industry.
Did you work for Otto Durr, or Wesley shire, I had to spend hours standing by in case of fires during welding operations, in paint shops SD1, north works, east block , block 38, and others dotted around the two sites.
We used to have contractors gas welding with oxygen and acetylene pipes leaking and taped up with gaffer tape to try and stop the leaks, arc welders with no plugs on cables and bare wires pushed into sockets and held in with matchsticks.
The things that went on could give you nightmares, But it was a fantastic place to work every day was different.
 

streamboy

knowlegable brummie
My job at the Land rover was as a fire and ambulance officer, I started there in 1972 and worked there untill 1983.
My duties included attending fires in a LWB 101 fire tender and accidents with a Range Rover prototype ambulance perhaps LWB 168 H, not sure if number is correct.
Plenty of incidents going on every day from vehicle fires, grass fires on test track and canal banks, call out in ambulance to works accidents , and various injuries and life threatening heart attacks etc, never a dull moment .
We used to patrol the factory at weekends and nightimes to check on vulnerable areas for fires and floods and check on sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers around the factory.
When I first started a chap retired we called him Sampson as he was about 5feet tall and weighed about 6stone but he had been there all through the shadow factory days into WW2 were he worked in the daytime and fire watched during the night upon the roof area of South Works, the factory was camouflaged as woodland and lakes from the air ( how the bombers would have seen it at night I don't know) but it worked I don't think it was bombed even being next to the Grand Union canal and not far from Elmdon Aerodrome.
I could ramble on for days about the secret tunnels under south Works and the siphon into the canal as an emergency water supply in case the water mains got bombed.
Also the test houses in Southworks with 3 foot thick walls where Merlin engines for Planes and tanks were hung up and suspended to run test them before they left he factory .
With the passing of time all these. Memories of the vast amount of factories doing war work will be forgotten and all the dedicated people that worked in them helping this country survive the trials of wartime Britain will fade and be like those factories just Dust in the wind.
Enough for now , I was born after the war but have listened to people telling their stories of Our Birmingham as it used to be.
 

DaveHaw

master brummie
Did you work for Otto Durr, or Wesley shire, I had to spend hours standing by in case of fires during welding operations, in paint shops SD1, north works, east block , block 38, and others dotted around the two sites.
We used to have contractors gas welding with oxygen and acetylene pipes leaking and taped up with gaffer tape to try and stop the leaks, arc welders with no plugs on cables and bare wires pushed into sockets and held in with matchsticks.
The things that went on could give you nightmares, But it was a fantastic place to work every day was different.
The original install to the SD1 paintshop was by Carrier Engineering (not to be confused with Carrier air conditioning of America). They had been bought out by Haden Young in about 1970, who did not know anything about the industrial side of industry. I worked direct for Carriers for seven years before transferring to Hadens for two years. I then went to work for Otto Durr for the following six years where I trebled my take home pay compared to Haden Young (sounds good but still only about average wage for the time). I did come back to SD1 with Otto Durr early 1982 but did not go inside the paintshop although there were welders working in there, a bunch of lads that travelled every day from Gloucester/Cheltenham. I then moved onto the Ford plant at Halewood to weld up there stainless steel pre-treatment tunnel, miles of Argon arc welding, but thats another story!
 

PA739

knowlegable brummie
My job at the Land rover was as a fire and ambulance officer, I started there in 1972 and worked there untill 1983.
My duties included attending fires in a LWB 101 fire tender and accidents with a Range Rover prototype ambulance perhaps LWB 168 H, not sure if number is correct.
Plenty of incidents going on every day from vehicle fires, grass fires on test track and canal banks, call out in ambulance to works accidents , and various injuries and life threatening heart attacks etc, never a dull moment .
We used to patrol the factory at weekends and nightimes to check on vulnerable areas for fires and floods and check on sprinkler systems and fire extinguishers around the factory.
When I first started a chap retired we called him Sampson as he was about 5feet tall and weighed about 6stone but he had been there all through the shadow factory days into WW2 were he worked in the daytime and fire watched during the night upon the roof area of South Works, the factory was camouflaged as woodland and lakes from the air ( how the bombers would have seen it at night I don't know) but it worked I don't think it was bombed even being next to the Grand Union canal and not far from Elmdon Aerodrome.
I could ramble on for days about the secret tunnels under south Works and the siphon into the canal as an emergency water supply in case the water mains got bombed.
Also the test houses in Southworks with 3 foot thick walls where Merlin engines for Planes and tanks were hung up and suspended to run test them before they left he factory .
With the passing of time all these. Memories of the vast amount of factories doing war work will be forgotten and all the dedicated people that worked in them helping this country survive the trials of wartime Britain will fade and be like those factories just Dust in the wind.
Enough for now , I was born after the war but have listened to people telling their stories of Our Birmingham as it used to be.
I worked in one of the test hangers doing engine endurance testing, such as a 2000 rally car engine fitted with twin SU carbs and had to be run at 6,000 rpm for 100 hours.
Also did a bit of testing the V8 engine which still had an American Carter carburettor on it, before the engine was developed for running on SU carbs.
Rover tried to develop a 5 cylinder version of the 2000 engine, but gave up in the end and scrapped the whole idea.
Two hangers down, there was the gas turbine water pump assembly and test shop with pumps running outside 24 hours a day. The Rover-BRM gas turbine car was being tested at this time, and you could hear it returning to factory every night from half a mile away!
PA739
 

streamboy

knowlegable brummie
The original install to the SD1 paintshop was by Carrier Engineering (not to be confused with Carrier air conditioning of America). They had been bought out by Haden Young in about 1970, who did not know anything about the industrial side of industry. I worked direct for Carriers for seven years before transferring to Hadens for two years. I then went to work for Otto Durr for the following six years where I trebled my take home pay compared to Haden Young (sounds good but still only about average wage for the time). I did come back to SD1 with Otto Durr early 1982 but did not go inside the paintshop although there were welders working in there, a bunch of lads that travelled every day from Gloucester/Cheltenham. I then moved onto the Ford plant at Halewood to weld up there stainless steel pre-treatment tunnel, miles of Argon arc welding, but thats another story!
Forgot about Carriers, I more than likely met you then.
Funny story , I was walking through SD1 paint shop ground floor on patrol must have been bank holiday shutdown , when suddenly a piece of neatly cut Concrete fell to the ground two foot in front of me showering me with dust and debris , with astonishment I looked up to see a face peering at me through a two foot hole in the ceiling/floor above and a voice said what are you doing down there , to which I replied Nearly getting killed as politely as I could .
I climbed up the flights of stairs to the first floor and found a group of Diamond drilling blokes cutting out holes to feed pipes through to the floor below , having stopped them working I pointed out that there working practices were very dangerous and that before they could continue to post Watchmen below to warn people.
They said that they had looked below before they drilled and it was all clear , and it was a holiday and there was nobody about , I checked on them throughout the day and they had taken my advice and posted a watcher, to have stopped them completely would have delayed months of planning and work and held up production at the end of the holiday.
So the next planning needed safeguards and risk assessment .
I went back to the station had a coffee and wished I still smoked .
 

streamboy

knowlegable brummie
I worked in one of the test hangers doing engine endurance testing, such as a 2000 rally car engine fitted with twin SU carbs and had to be run at 6,000 rpm for 100 hours.
Also did a bit of testing the V8 engine which still had an American Carter carburettor on it, before the engine was developed for running on SU carbs.
Rover tried to develop a 5 cylinder version of the 2000 engine, but gave up in the end and scrapped the whole idea.
Two hangers down, there was the gas turbine water pump assembly and test shop with pumps running outside 24 hours a day. The Rover-BRM gas turbine car was being tested at this time, and you could hear it returning to factory every night from half a mile away!
PA739
I can remember the gas turbine artic lorry units coming in and out the factory , I think one was in BP oil livery.
Did the gas turbine unit get sold to Lucas.
 

DaveHaw

master brummie
Forgot about Carriers, I more than likely met you then.
Funny story , I was walking through SD1 paint shop ground floor on patrol must have been bank holiday shutdown , when suddenly a piece of neatly cut Concrete fell to the ground two foot in front of me showering me with dust and debris , with astonishment I looked up to see a face peering at me through a two foot hole in the ceiling/floor above and a voice said what are you doing down there , to which I replied Nearly getting killed as politely as I could .
I climbed up the flights of stairs to the first floor and found a group of Diamond drilling blokes cutting out holes to feed pipes through to the floor below , having stopped them working I pointed out that there working practices were very dangerous and that before they could continue to post Watchmen below to warn people.
They said that they had looked below before they drilled and it was all clear , and it was a holiday and there was nobody about , I checked on them throughout the day and they had taken my advice and posted a watcher, to have stopped them completely would have delayed months of planning and work and held up production at the end of the holiday.
So the next planning needed safeguards and risk assessment .
I went back to the station had a coffee and wished I still smoked .
I gave up working in industrial construction in late 1982 due to the long hours, lack of holidays and also because I had got married and my daughter was born in the November. Commercial construction was a bit more laid back and the demands were a lot less. I eventually had to give up welding about 1995 because I developed Asthma. I then stepped up to start supervising projects, developing Method Statements, risk assessments & Inspection & Test plans. And yes, I have come across those situations with diamonds drillers that I have had to control. I have been on so many H&S courses, seminars & Talks that by the time I reached the age 66 (yes I worked an extra year) I left work exhausted. Now when I take the dog for a walk along the South Wales coast every day, I cringe at the window cleaner hanging off a tiple extension ladder, builders walking along roof replacing tiles, etc
 

nickcc101

master brummie
I can remember the gas turbine artic lorry units coming in and out the factory , I think one was in BP oil livery.
Did the gas turbine unit get sold to Lucas.
It Was Shell Mex & BP that had one with Esso, BRS and I think Mobil. They were based on the Leyland Marathon with a permanent Leyland/Lucas engineer in the passenger seat monitoring all the test equipment. They were only allowed to carry fuel oil when operated by the oil companies as the twin exhaust stacks were mounted vertically rear of the cab. The Shell Mex & BP vehicle was based in Ellesmere port (Stanlow Terminal) and also picked up product from the Warley distribution Terminal. When they required bunkers they would also call in at Kingsbury terminal where I was based but were not allowed under the loading gantries as Shell Mex & BP Kingsbury was white oil only.
 
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