Still here and wishing you all the best for the Christmas and New Year holidays

The Daimler project has been a bit silent recently. I would like to say we have been working on being mysterious but that would be only part of the story. As you know we work on a lot of different objects and we have had to give the Paddle Steamer Enterprise a lot of TLC lately. We are also proud to report that the National Museum’s Model T Ford Truck – the Aeroplane Jelly truck – is now on display in Canberra airport. And it is getting a lot of visitors.

Nonetheless, work on the Daimler is progressing and – yes – we have been a bit mysterious and will have some nice news for you in the new year.

We are not the only ones being mysterious. The Daimler has been holding onto her own information but our intrepid contractors are gradually getting more information about the wiring systems and we aim to help them along the way with a bit more dismantling in the near future.

Wishing you all the best for the Christmas and New Year holidays and see you here next year.

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Testing Testing

Shortly after the installation of the engine’s crankshaft, the team here at the National Museum got busy bolting on the auxiliary engine components with the aim of reuniting the vehicle’s engine to the newly treated chassis.

But before the engine is installed, we need to carry out a few leak tests and pressure tests.

For the non-mechanically minded, the Daimler is fitted with a mechanical lubrication system. A mechanical pump is activated by the spinning of the crankshaft and pressurises the oil channels. In basic terms, as the engine spins, oil is pumped throughout the internal workings. This reduces friction and corrosion and ensures that the engine runs smoothly and reliably.

By engaging the vehicle’s starter motor, Ian and Ken were able to rotate the engine at speed, activating the oil pump and in turn pressurising the system.  This oil “pressure test” also gives the team the opportunity to see the valve train in motion. After seeing the chassis and engine in so many pieces, this test was quite a milestone and the Museum’s conservators gathered to watch – as result the test was repeated about 6 times.

Here is a link to the video: Oil Pressure test

After the successful testing of the lubrication system, we are now set to install the engine into the chassis.

As the newest member of the team, I am really looking forward to posting more information and meeting some of the extended Royal Daimler community in the not too distant future.

National Museum of Australia Royal Daimler project

Ken Houlahan and Ian Stewart securing the starter motor to the engine.

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Mixed Feelings and a Very Big Engine

It's a big engine - ready to be fitted into the chassis.

It was with both a sense of regret and considerable excitement, that the Large Technology team completed the assembly of the motor for the Daimler.

Ken Houlahan (l) and Ian Stewart (r) fitting the sump to the engine block

Regret – because our beautiful crankshaft, with rods and pistons, installed was going to be covered up and would no longer be visible. Everyone involved in the project really wanted to be able to see it in operation. Ian Stewart fantasised about fitting a Perspex window to the sump so that the crankshaft remained visible. The new crankshaft is Ian’s baby, so he more than most people was sad to see it disappear from sight.

With the cylinder head fitted, a nearly complete long motor.

Excitement – because this is yet another milestone marking progress in the project. Furthermore it is a milestone that heralds even greater milestones in the near future.

Now it is assembled it is ready to be fitted into the chassis and mated with the transmission.

Watch this space, we are anticipating more good news very soon.

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New Year, New Conservator, Forward Planning

Nathan Pharaoh, Large Technology Conservator and Prue Castles, Senior Objects Conservator examining damaged areas of paint on the Daimler body

Happy New Year.

Work is continuing on the Royal Daimler and we are hoping to provide more updates in the coming weeks. We have made progress with the engine and more detailed planning for work on the body is gearing up.

But first, an update on our team. We are delighted to announce that we have a new conservator heading up our Technology area. Nathan Pharaoh started work at the Museum on 2nd February. He is working closely with our engineering contractors Ian Stewart and Ken Houlahan who are currently focussed on the engine and commencing more indepth investigation on the wiring in the body of the car. Nathan is also meeting with the the Museum’s senior Objects and Textiles conservators to plan the work on the Daimler body. So moving into this year we will have an expanded team working on the Daimler.

Please keep visiting our blog to see what is planned, what we have achieved and to keep up to date with the dilemmas we face and decisions we make in the project.

Thanks also to those people who continue to contribute to the project – financial contributions, advice and thoughts and your interest and support, all gratefully received.

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The Queen is in town

When the Queen Came to Town, poster

When the Queen Came to Town, poster

It was 1954, post depression, post World War II and the visit of the young and beautiful Queen Elizabeth transfixed the nation. Continue reading

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Testing, testing

Crankshaft test fit.

The much-awaited test fit of the crankshaft has happened. Ian Stewart has fitted it, checked and blueprinted the bearing oil clearances and the thrust clearance. All clearances have been set to standard Daimler specifications. The new main bearing has been line bored to suit these specifications. Continue reading

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A bit like Christmas

There was much excitement amongst the Daimler team when a large package arrived from Crankshaft Rebuilders – a bit like kids on Christmas morning. Continue reading

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More love for the Royal Daimler

Merv McDonald and Vicki Humphrey

Donation from DLOCCA for the Royal Daimler

The Royal Daimler Project might be over but the work and interest in car continues.

It was great to see so many members of the Daimler SP250 group at the Museum on Saturday. Travelling to Canberra from various parts of the east coast of NSW, all arrived to the Museums’ offsite campus in Mitchell to see the Museum’s Royal Daimler car.

The SP250 is a V8 sports model produced by Daimler between 1959 and 1964. According to Alan Hunt’s article in the book Travelling in Style Daimler and Lanchester and Australia, over one hundred SP250’s were imported into Australia. Continue reading

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Farewell to the Royal Daimler

A close up of the Royal Daimler chassis

A close up of the Royal Daimler chassis

The Royal Daimler has left the building!

After a short sojourn in the Museum’s Hall, today the Royal Daimler returned to the offsite conservation lab for ongoing work. Continue reading

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Thank you

In 2012, we set out to raise $60,000 by July 2014 for the Royal Daimler Project. It might have looked like a blue-sky target back then, but I am happy to say that due to the overwhelming support we have had from our Royal Daimler Conservation Partners, and all the Royal Daimler Project followers, we have not only reached our target, but we have exceeded our goal and have raised $61,863.80. Continue reading

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