Sunday, 25 April 2010

Normal Progress is Restored.

Sometimes a good nights sleep is all you need to sort the problems that you had.

Although the replacement doors wouldn't fit as they were, I decided to strip the door skins, and see if they could be made to fit the hole. Without the skin they are a lot more flexible, and with some persuasion, (big hammer) success on the passenger rear door.

Although this frame is in good condition there is a small rust hole visible, so I repaired this by letting in a patch cut from the old door

So on to fitting the Stanpart door skin, and here it is done.The skin is only welded to the door where it meets the window channels, the rest of it is simply secured by folding the metal lip on the skin round the door frame flange. I use a special (but cheap) tool for this job, a bit like a mole grip, but with a 30mm plastic jaw on the skin side, and a 10mm jaw on the flange side, which simply folds and compresses the skin round the flange.

Now the nervous bit, will the door still fit ?

Almost perfect, opens and shuts nicely and good gaps, so emboldened by this success, I had a go at the primrose door to fit the drivers door. A big heavy rubber mallet is a wonderful tool! I got this to fit too

And now new skin fitted (its got a little surface rust, but NOS Stanpart door skins are hard to find, particularly driver's side, I think I found this in Dover)

Another good result, even the front edge / wing fit is good

Thats it for today, time for a barbeque and some wine.

509 hours - 6 hours worked today.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Good Day / Bad Day ?

Why is it when you have had some really good days progress on the car, you can have a bad day when nothing seems to go right ?

Started the morning by going to BOC and getting a refill of Argon Shield, as it happened I need not have bothered.

Next job was to have a good tidy up so I wheeled the car outside, picked all the scattered tools up and swept the floor. Now I have cleaned up a few times during the course of this project, but the quantity of grinding wheel dust did surprise me. The picture doesn't show it, but that pile of rubbish is several inches deep.

So back to the car, time to start on the doors, so i started by stripping the mechanisms and glass out. For those of you who have wondered how to get the glass out of a rear 2000 door, the secret is to remove the pop riveted plate from above the door lock

and then rotate the glass out of the top of the door, putting one corner through the hole uncovered by the plate

I then hung all the old doors back on the car

They all fit and the gaps are reasonable, so no distortion in the shell either.

Decision time now, all these doors have rot, some more than others, but I have some really nice doors from another estate. You may remember that I fitted the passenger side doors previously and they didn't line up at the top of the door aperture, but I thought I would try again on the driverside.

So nice primrose door in place, and it doesn't fit, as before is not the body of the door thats wrong, but the top window frame.

So there is nothing else to do but fix the old doors. I started with the rear driverside door, I  thought this would be simple, removed the skin, and had a look at the rot. No wonder Zeibart went bust, despite all the holes they had drilled large areas of the door were not protected. The black streaks are the Zeibart.

Now the simple way to fix this, is to cut a repair section out of the spare rear blue door, but when I looked at this door, it was bodged with a previous repair and no use - I need a spare rear door in good condition now.

So moving on, I removed the passenger rear door skin

This was in far better condition and only needs a simple repair, until I found the rot in the frame area

Thats not so simple to fix, and really requires a channel rail transplant. In desperation I tried the blue door in place of it, and no it still doesn't fit correctly, even though it looks OK it catches the door frame at the top right

There ended the days work with no welding, and a feeling of not having made any progress.

Getting the shell outside into the daylight also made it clear how many little areas need attention in terms of regrinding welds down, or doing little bits of remedial work.

Not my best of days on the car, I hope tomorrow will be better, or I will have to visit Dave Pearson for some encouragement!

Hours worked 503 - 9 hours today

Friday, 23 April 2010

The End is Nigh

Had a cracking good day on the estate today, started by cleaning off the wheel arch welds

Then remembered a small hole in this arch that I had discovered ages ago and left

Repaired this with a small patch

Then on to the drag strut mounting, this shows the two repair pieces of 2mm steel let in. When you are used to working with normal panel material 2mm is a bugger to work with. You cannot cut it with snips, and it wont bend easily, so everything has to be cut with a grinder, and manipulated with a large hammer.

Then fitted the closing pieces

and finally finished. Thats not going to rust easily or move under braking or accelereation !

Next job finish the other front wheel arch, grinding off the plug welds on the wing join, and also grinding back the welds on the inner arch repair panels, which I had left - I seem to leave all the unpleasant and nasty jobs for another time, but they do catch up with you in the end.

Final body panel to go back on the estate is this corroded window fitting from the rear

4 pieces of new metal let into it and it looks like this

and trial fitted to the car

I need to put the rear door in place before welding this, so my next job is to start the repairs on the doors.

The good news though is that the shell is effectively finished, no more panels to be fitted. I still need to go round it and "snag" it off, check all welds are ground back and smooth, and that I haven't missed anything, but really no major jobs left to do. From a personal point of view its quite exciting, I am delighted to have got this far, and I haven't even had the car for a year. It might make the RBRR yet.

So I am going to repair the doors now, fit them, and make the rain channel adjustments needed on the front wings. The bonnet needs the bulge transplanting too.

When the bird cage gets removed, I can finish a few inches of welding in the boot floor which I cannot get to and, fit the fuel tank mountings.

My first job of tomorrow is go to BOC as I am out of gas again.

hours worked 494 - 9 today.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Don't have a barbeque if you want to get on with the car

First job of the day was to drill the alignment hole in the bonnet hinges, to mark the fitted position and aid subsequent refitting

Then remove the bonnet, and get on with plug welding the wings on.

Door alignment was checked, there's a small area near the top of the door, by the rain channel that will some "relieving" but otherwise a good fit both sides. The problem is that I have made the channel too deep here, but some attention with the grinder will fix this.

I had some difficulties aligning accurately the lower valence to the wings, but then I found I could get to the seam through the headlamp holes and use mole grips inside the wing to hold things in place

and the other side

By now it was 2.30, and as it was a sunny day and all the boys were home we had a barbeque, with several bottles of wine. I fell asleep - as you do, and recommenced work at 5.30 feeling a little groggy. Anyway, finished all the plug welds, here are the wheel arches

These need grinding off, but at 8.30 pm it can wait for another day. I have already ground the welds off on the other plug welds on the upper seams.

Work will continue next weekend as I am off to Gaydon tomorrow, then I will do the plug weld grinding and the drag strut mount.

Hours worked now 485 - 8 hours today

Monday, 12 April 2010

Parts Progress

On my work related journeys today, I also managed to get some estate parts organised too.

Not 400 yards from my works there is a bearing stockist, so I visited them to order the new front wheel bearings and oil seals. The bearings are certainly not standard triumph sizes ! The bearings will arrive tomorrow.

Then off to the powder coaters to collect more parts. The circular items are the top spring seats

I went and collected some other powder coating from an ebay seller, nice air intake box and rocker covers

And when I got back there was a large package of parts from Rimmers

Doesn't look much, but its got rear drums, shoes, springs brake cylinders, fuel pump, heater matrix, nuts and bolts galore, and numerous other bits and pieces at a painful total of £420.

So no real time spent today, but costs of the project have now increased as follows
Powder coating £30
Air box and cam covers £80
Rimmers £420

Total spend now £8941

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Front Wing Day

Todays the day the estate should look like a car again, I am intending to finally fit the front wings, but first there are a few small jobs to attend to :-

A small rust repair in the lip of the bulkhead where the wing fits - I'd left this as too small to bother with originally, but its got to be done.

Welding up the remaining hole in the Driver's A pillar

Then fabricating the bracket which the wing sits on infront of the screen

and now welded

Remove the flange from the passenger side inner wing, I had kept this as my original  secondhand wing was minus the flange, but my NOS one that I now have has the flange

There were a few other little jobs too, such as welding up and grinding off the drill holes where I had taken the wings off down the A pillars, anyway all done so I commenced to trial fit the wings

It wasn't bad but not perfect and required adjustment. However because of the bonnet damage that had already been caused, I couldn't be certain about parts of the fit, so I swapped the bonnet with the bulge, for the one I had kept from the green estate.

This was much better, and I soon got the passenger wing nicely aligned. The driver's side one had to come off a few times, firstly to alter its fit with the headlamp panel - I let metal in, as the wing was pushing the top panel down

Eventually it all fitted nicely, the wing gap is completely parallel on the passenger side, but tapers slightly on the Driver's side

The panels are only held on with pop rivets, so the next job is to plug weld them on.

The green bonnet fits well, and has no rust, unlike the white one, which has dents and rust, so I have decided to transplant the bulge, and make the other modifications to the green one.

So apart from the drag strut mount, the passenger rear window and a few little bits and pieces of tidying up welding thats the shell finished. At times I never thought I get here.

Hours worked 477 - 8 hours today

Where am I?