Jimmymac & Alistair's Cars

JimmyMac

Lifetime Supporter
On making original style Wiper Blades.

Firstly I want to say that I don't think the other forum "ORIGINAL GT40s" is the correct place for this kind of post, nor a few other threads recently posted on there.
Anyhoo I am posting my work here ....

Some views on refreshing these wipers to start with :

They are practically useless and just "concours" snake oil for judges at car shows, and by comparing asking prices to actual value - honey pots for dealers in black market parts or for kit-car builders like me deluding myself about originality.

The patent raised in 1963 by Trico Folberth Ltd for these wiper improvements specified "either die-cast metal or injection moulded plastic for the fasteners"

Although similar in appearance, some folks now call them "Speedblades" but the fully metal SB's used a simpler blade refill arrangement.

The original plastic parts are not white nylon and are actually formed in a pale grey lesser plastic. They only appear white probably caused by sun bleaching or oxidation.

There are major issues with these wipers - and probably the reason for their rarity is their early mechanical failure, being not fit for purpose and being binned early by dealers.
Reason ? material, on some sections the actual wall thickness of the so called fasteners is a very thin and brittle plastic. Or about 30 thou. which is easily molicated by a temperamental Lucas wiper motor and a sticky screen.

Four of the two-piece plastic parts connecting to the refill spine also have stainless angle inserts in them and also with patent Latch Locks at both ends. These inserts are also weakening the parts by reducing cross sectional mass of the plastic mouldings.
All of the examples of these wipers that I have inspected have linear stress cracks on every plastic piece in line with the wire and inserts and many with complete break failures which probably started propagating on day one of their use.

The die-cast versions mentioned in the patent registration were probably not considered due to reaction with the stainless wire, brittleness or calculated as too heavy. Also assembly of the two-parts of each fastener around the inserts and wires might perhaps be more involved than just hot ironing plastic through stud versions.

We have some genuine unused wiper refills for our Tricos and I think that we are half way there with the idea of making four working units for us, if we get more refills we will think about more, however for the rest of the frames I will be making parts using titanium wire and bar-stock and maybe trialling Duratron / Torlon for the fastener material.

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Davidmgbv8

Supporter
As with the ‘52 MG TD I am just finishing, the number of people who would be able to tell little details like the wiper from a durable period piece are few and far between. I say put something on that looks close but performs the job of clearing the screen.. Tell the concours judge to bugger off!
 

JimmyMac

Lifetime Supporter
Spot on David.
My car will never be eligible for entry in a marque competition unless it were for for mongrels so no problems with judges.:)
 

JMCGRATH

Supporter
Sir,

Would you be willing to sell a steering wheel center, wiper blade and a mirror set?

Looking for P/1170.

Thank you,

JM
 
That's a good photo of the red bezel on the gauge. I remember reading a while back on here that it was possible to paint the inside of the gauges to make them look like the originals. That does not seem to be the case with the CAV gauge. What were the Smiths gauges like? similar with the red bit in a similar way? it is a cut out in the housing with red plastic in it?
 

JimmyMac

Lifetime Supporter
Ryan
The original CAV ammeter had a metal case and a calibration button on the front lens like the one above.

The case internals of the 4" Smiths gauges were painted with a red segment over white.
The other 2" diameter gauges were experimental and made by Smiths Competition in Cricklewood, London and were not painted red but had a red plastic filter ring inside the bezel twixt the dial and the front glass. This filter material was a patented cellulose sheet trademarked "Celastoid" which was popular for all sorts at the time.
The Smiths cases were backlit so usually solid with no perforations for external lighting unlike the early Healeys or Lotus cars.
Lotus also used a blue Celastoid on earlier cars.

Lotus gauge

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I know mine is not correct, does not match the period photos, but it is close enough for me.

So, on the perforated cases was the back light globe external to the case? I think on mine, the globe goes inside the case?
 

JimmyMac

Lifetime Supporter
Ryan
The backlit bulb was internal. to the case. On other cars lighting was provided using a ring attachment to the case for a bulb holder.
This was not used on the GT40 as far as I know.
Here is an old photo of some of my gauges showing the rear bulb holder. (the tacho has been replaced since)

Gauges.jpg
 

Davidmgbv8

Supporter
So my CAV ampere gauge is a plastic body. One pole has a black dot and one has a red dot. Which wire goes to each pole?

Thanks
David
 
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