On the road again, but still problems…

Unfortunately even after the combined efforts of the challenge trio and the dedicated garage team the dynamo refuses to work. With no time left, Chris (Dada Vanya) and Will (Yura) said goodbye to Sputnik Ilya, bought a spare battery and a charger and set off for Krasnoyarsk.

Co-pilot handover

Chris is immensely grateful for all the advice and support from the Austin 7 community. He feels very strongly that the challenge is truly a team effort, even from afar.

Nice weather, nice road! About 45km from Kemerovo

This team in a fleet of BMWs passed the car, they are on a mission to help in poor orphanages across Russia.

Then, 80km down the road, a nasty noise started coming from the dynamo… at the same time they were flagged down by the police, who wanted to get in the car for a photo.

Chris and Will decided that they should find somewhere to stay and spend the afternoon working on the car. The police directed them over the road to a trucker’s hotel.

The usual crowd gathered round the car, and with typical Russian generosity tried to help by phoning friends who could speak English, and searching contacts for a suitable mechanic. One man called Alexei impressed everyone by doing the timing (fag in mouth) just the way Chris does – he took out the plug from number 1 piston, and found top dead centre with a screwdriver!

He knows what he’s doing!

The upshot is that it seems there is a dynamo specialist in the next town, so Chris and Will are going to try and get there first thing tomorrow. With the deadline to arrive in Krasnoyarsk rapidly approaching, Chris is thinking that they may need to hitch a lift on a lorry – he was offered a lift (car included!) already, but the lorry was going in the wrong direction!

Here is a message from Chris and Will about the dynamo problem…

“More advice please, different problem!

We made it 80km down the road and Chris noticed a grinding noise coming from the Dynamo which is new. We never fixed the Dynamo in Novosibirsk but bought a spare battery and a charger and are running illegally without side lights…

There is a nasty grinding noise coming from the distributor end of the Dynamo – without the distributor there is no noise on the Dynamo when spun up, the distributor on its own has no noise when spinning.

When meshed together there is this graunching noise which every time we try something different gets worse. All screws and nuts are tight as far as we can at the side of the road, and nothing is missing as far as we can tell.

The noise came on suddenly. The Dynamo has been taken apart and put back together many times in the last two days to try to fix it (without success) so maybe something internally is making the noise, a gone bearing perhaps?

The brushes look good and the commutator also looks good.

The gear on the distributor is a newly fitted good original after a brand new one was chewed up. The gear in the Dynamo is tired but looks fine for the purpose. We have a spare gear in better condition but don’t see this is the problem.

Would anyone know what this might be, thanks again in advance.”

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  1. Have circulated to some 50 members of Hereford A7 Club to see if we can find an answer for you Best wishes Kip



  2. I have partially stripped the dynamo and distributor from the box saloon which were on the bench to see if I could get any pointers to the problems. Firstly, is there any fore and aft play at all on the main shaft of the dynamo; ie:does it’s main shaft move in and out when in mesh? I am wondering, in view of the break up of the drive gear, whether a piece of tooth or a bit of broken pin could have lodged in the grease behind the main dynamo end gear and, if there is movement in the shaft under load whether this is causing this bit of swarf to get picked up and make the noise you describe. When under load, the main shaft will be pulled back towards the camshaft gear end which would squash any swarf behind the gear at the distributor end. (Not easy to describe this!!) You may be advised to take off the distributor end gear of the dynamo and wash and clean thoroughly to make sure there is nothing floating about in there. Secondly, have a good look for witness marks in various places. On the ends of the pin holding the new distributor gear in place for one. Look for marks between the brush holders and the dynamo inner casing, marks here could indicate a short which may explain a lack of charge (unlikely though I think). Could you have a spare dynamo sent to Krosnayarsk? Transfer of noise can be deceptive. If the noise is in fact coming from the distributor I think the driving load would push the centre shaft of the distributor upwards so there could be something caught above the replacement gear but the noise could sound “bigger” than just coming from the distributor.
    As a suggestion for the illegal road running without lights, how about cycle lamps as a temporary expedient? I can’t think of anything else at present but keep us posted and I’ll let you know if I think of anything else. Steve Barker


    1. That’s amazing advice, so quickly! I have sent it on to Chris and Will via WhatsApp – they will be working on the dynamo again when they get to Krasnoyarsk. I have to say his lights are so rubbish you can’t tell if they are on anyway! They don’t do ANY night driving. Thanks again Steve. Helen


    2. You Mr Barker are a star in a very small car! Great you are with us. The gang of oily thugs in Kemerovo must have been kicked out of the same mould as you! Supportive, kind and generous. There was fore and back play in the dynamo and after 10 hours on it our Kemerovo support team seem to have cracked it!
      To infinity and beyond! As Buzz light-year once said!


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