Saturday, 29 May 2010

Bits and Bobs

I really cannot find anything left to do on the body shell prior to its trip to surface treatments, so I started work on some other items. I suppose I could have pulled the date of the body dipping forward, but at least I haven't had to panic with a lot of work left to complete, and this way I can now do some of the jobs on other items that will need doing sooner or later.

Firstly the gear selector, like everything on the car this is rusted solid, so I drilled out the rivets

and then stripped it into its constituent parts, using plus gas (and a hammer) to release the cross shaft, and this is what it looks like in pieces

The arm on the cross shaft is quite bent, I presume this was an intentional mod by Ferguson Formula as its far too stout a piece of metal to have happened accidentally. I shall send the sheet metal items off for power coating, and then I will rebuild it.

The handbrake horse shoe is in a poor state too

That needed the angle grinder to dismantle, and these parts too are off to the powder coater.

I have gone and purchased a car trailer to move the shell on. I have worked out that with the number of trips that the shell needs it was easier to buy a trailer and perhaps sell it on later rather than hire one in.
So far as I can forsee the number of trips the shell needs is as follows:-
2 to and from surface treatments
2 to and from the exhaust company
2 to and from the painters (unless I do this myself)
2 to and from the MOT station (maybe more if it fails on anything)
2 to and from the DVLA when I reapply for the registration.

Thats at least 10 trips and with the hire costs and travel to get and return a hire trailer this should work out well particularly as I can sell the trailer afterwards.

It did mean that I have had to attend to the trailer socket on my company vehicle, as when I towed one of my masts yesterday I found the left hand indicators were not working at the socket, so that was another estate related job today, replace the socket.

Hours worked now 566 - 5 hours today.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Exhausting Work

Took a few hours off work today to catch up on the estate, and offered up the Stag exhaust system to the rear underfloor.

Once I was happy with the position I welded the mounts in place

And with the car the right way up, this is how it looks

As I was doing this I ran out of welding wire and found that my spare reel was .8mm, and not .6mm which fits the welding tips I have, so a quick trip to Machine Mart, where I also bought a new gas pipe for the welder as I had carefully melted a small hole in it, which resulted in rapid gas use, so 1 hour of today was spent stripping and fixing my mig welder.

Hours worked now 561 - 4 hours today

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Shiney Shiney

2 parcels of shiney new parts arrived at work for me today,

firstly the final rear exhaust mount and a Stag rear silencer assembly, so I can now weld the mounts in place

And, the Leda front struts and rear dampers, I haven't unpacked them all, but look at the quality of this kit, its almost a shame to put them on the car ! - the adjusters are beautifully designed, no chance of these rusting up and being unuseable, and also easily adjustable on the car too (unlike Koni).

A large packet of very large Leda Decals came in the box too, but I don't think I will adorn the car with those!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Got some Gas

Despite working this weekend, I managed to get my oxy-acetalyene bottles from BOC this weekend, so bonnet bulge removal happened, I simply heated the braze and pushed a stainless steel metal scraper through the join while the braze was molten.

The thick white line on the left of the underside of the bulge, is just seam filler that had been used to close the gap between the bulge and the bonnet, it was about 10mm thick.

Now another nervous moment, cutting a hole in a perfectly good bonnet

And bulge now transplanted

It'll look better lead loaded and painted!

I also started to do various other items of brazing on the car, such as this joint on the front wing / scuttle panel, which I know the factory did like this

And I have started to braze the front wing seams - not original, but it stops the paint cracking here, and I will grind a small grove in it later

Thats all for now.

Total hours worked now 557 - 4 hours yesturday

Sunday, 16 May 2010

How many parts are in a 2000 Heater ?

The answer is quite a lot, but I will come to that later.

No welding today (no grinding either, Anne (and probably the neighbours) are delighted!) so on to other jobs.

Stripped the instruments out, these are rusty and need attention. I purchased a recon speedo off ebay the other week, so the rest of the dials are now going away for attention.

I stripped all the wood from the dash to in readiness for some attention to this, like most of the door cappings there is some revarnishing needed.

Now for the heater. It may seem strange, but its worth getting these right. They are a pig to remove when the car is complete, its a steering column and dash out job. I certainly want to change the matrix, especially in view of the state of the engine waterways, and I want to strip and lubricate the motor bearings - why? Because the bronze bearings dry out over time, this results in a horrible squeal when the motor is switched on. How do I know ? take a drive in my Stag on a cold day!

So here is the strip down, plenty of pictures, as I want these for a reference upon rebuild, there's all sorts of foam strips, dumdum flexible sealer and other bits and pieces that make it work properly, you can also see the cable clips that slip when the heater valve seizes up. The lever arms on the end of the flaps simply "tap" off, as they slide onto splines on the shafts.

Thats it, all in bits and ready for powder coating - and I didn't count the parts - far too many!

Hours worked 553 - 6 hours today

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Poor Customer Service

Today was supposed to be the day that I transplanted the bonnet bulge, but it didn't happen.

The day started well enough I managed to locate the fuel tank mounts and welded them in place

And the tank fits too

So onto the bonnet, I cut the clearance hole for the stag radiator filler

And then I waited for the hire company to deliver a Portapack. Although I own one, the cylinders are out of contract, and it was cheaper to hire a set with full cylinders than renew my contract for another year and buy the gas, especially as there isn't that much work for gas welding now as MIG is so good and cheap.

The set gets delivered, with new sealed cylinders, but I couldn't get the oxygen regulator to seal on the bottle, it wasn't the regulator as I swapped it for mine with the same result. It must be a damaged bottle, now to be fair to the hire company they couldn't have known, BUT after reporting the fault, they promised to call me back and never did, simply shut up shop for the weekend. Very poor customer service. I wouldn't have minded if they had telephoned to say sorry, we cannot sort it out this weekend, but nothing, no reply. I suspect they won't be getting any more business from me for a while. So there is no way of doing the brazing this weekend. I may go back to plan B and simply get my bottles put back on contract, the problem is that I may be away working next weekend, so that only leaves 2 weekends before Surface Treatments.

Anyway rather than waste the rest of the day, I went back to snagging off the car, and even remembered to fill the access holes in the cant rails.

Well thats it, apart from the rear exhaust mounts and some brazing the shell is finished, I cannot think of any thing left or outstanding, and I have checked all the welds and joints several times now.

I would have done the exhaust mounts too, but I have been away working and I forgot to order a Stag rear box, so that I can weld them in the correct location

hours worked 549 - 8 hours today.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Boot Floor Finished and other jobs

Although I have put another 8 hours work into the car today, there's not too much to report of interest, as most of the time was spent in tidying up jobs, more rusty seat belt bolt removal, more grinding back of welds and other stuff which while essential to a good finished result makes for a pretty boring blog report. So onto the good stuff, finished the small section of boot floor plug welds that I couldn't get to, so the boot floor is finished now.

While I was working in the boot, I had removed the spit and supported the car on axle stands, because as well as fitting the spare wheel strap hook I had intended to weld the fuel tank mountings back in place. I have carefully kept these since removal, lying on the boot floor. I found one, but could I find the other - not a chance.

These are the mounts

I hunted everywhere without success, and then had a flash of inspiration - maybe when I rotate the car it had dropped into a box section behind the rear wings. Nothing else for it, but to refit the spit and rotate the car. no luck nothing dropped out, but then by banging on the wings I dislodged it and it fell to the floor. The fuel tank mounts will now have to wait until another day.

I also investigated the Stag rear exhaust mounts shown here

I am going to have to get a rear exhaust section before deciding where to mount these. Interestingly the ribs on the boot floor are the same spacing as a Stag, as the reinforcing plate fits well.

I also finished the welds on the D pillars to the rear wing, after removing the lead, they are not continuous because I cannot get the grinder to the whole length due to the rain channel, but there's plenty of strength, as the pillar is welded on the other side, and in the middle.

As far as the tidying up work is going, I only have to check and perfect the welds below the gutter, and on top of the sills by the doors, so that too is nearly finished. Looks like the car will be ready well in time for Surface Treatments.

Hours worked 541 - 8 today

Saturday, 8 May 2010

No More Cage

I spent a long day on the car today, but its was all time consuming little jobs, tidying off welds, grinding back  plug welds for the second time that were not flush, and trying to prepare the car for the Surface Treatment process.

I removed a few mechanical bits that were left too, such as the wiper arms and rack, door latches, battery earth strap, and various clips and small plastic mountings.

Finally got the cage out and the car looks like this - much better without the iron work

By the end of the day, I had finished the front end to my satisfaction, and also addressed a few dents that the panels have - I am not too fussed about inward dents, primer filler and lead loading will take car of those, but there were a few small "mole hills" that projected outwards, these have been gently hammered flatish, or at least below the surface of the surrounding panel, this will save damaging the ecoating later on.

While removing clips and other bits and pieces I had a few projecting bolt threads where the heads had sheared off, leaving thread in the welded nuts on the body shell. I drilled these out and re tapped the threads.

So tomorrow I shall continue with this type of work at the rear of the car, and if all goes well it will be finished by tomorrow night.

The remaining other jobs that I know about on the shell are:-

fit the fuel tank mounts in the boot.

fit the Stag rear exhaust hanger mounts under the boot floor.

fit the spare tyre retaining strap mount in the boot.

Because I have been away working this week I have not been to BOC, but I will get time next week, and then I can attend to the bonnet, and also put braze down the wing / valence seams. - They are welded, but braze doen't crack like seam filler.

I also got a few new parts off ebay this week, rear lamp, front chrome horseshoe, some Stanpart rear mudflaps and a reconditioned speedo (my instruments are all rusty).

So hours worked now 533 - 8 today

Costs 9256 - ebay parts, front wheel bearings and 2 gas fills from BOC

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Body Finished

Well 12 months after I started, the welding is done, just the snagging off to complete.

I was going to remove the bird cage today as my final job, but just as I started cutting it up, the grinder died. The motor works but it appears the gear drive is worn out as the disk doesn't spin. I'll take it back under warranty as it was a new one I purchased when I got the car, it was all of £29 from a DIY superstore. I think the grinder was trying to tell me something.

Todays jobs, I started with the bad gap at the bottom of the drivers door and welded metal on, and ground down the rear, here it is done. The gap is now 3 to 4mm along the length, instead of 0.5mm widening to 9mm.

Next the passenger side sill that is a little proud of the wing and door, more visible here

After cutting out a small fillet of metal and rewelding it now looks like this, nice and flush as it should be. I am not sure how this happened, but it may have been the after market inner sill that I used that pushed the front of the Stanpart sill out. Funnily enough I had never spotted it before, even when I originally trial fitted the original wing. But I have to get the gaps right, or people will say rude things about the car!

Next the bonnet, removed the bulge finisher, any one any idea what it off ?

From underneath the hole has been cut quite crudely as you can see here

I started to remove the bulge, by melting the lead off, and then started grinding back the braze

I had to stop here, as the rear of the bulge is flat and simply brazed to the rear of the bonnet. The best way to remove this is with an oxyacetalene torch, and melt the braze, but my portapack is empty, so this work is also on hold until I make another trip to BOC, but as its brazing and not welding I can still say the welding is complete.

Next time snagging, remove bird cage and bonnet work again - its a very small jobs list now.

Hours worked 525 - 7 today

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Doors Done

Started today on the rear passenger door. As both my originals had lots of rot I had purchased a new door. It looked good, and my supplier had run a grinder round any rusty patches to make sure they were only surface rust. Sadly when the skin was off it became apparent that there was lots of rust under the filler.  Additionally the fit was dreadful, not on the shut edges, but the door was bowed.

 So nothing else for it but to use parts from it to fix the original white door. So I transplanted the bottom section and repaired a few small holes in it.

That went well, if a little time consuming, so I put the new skin on and fitted the door.

Well pleased with that, so onto the front passenger door, the final one. Sadly when the skin was removed from this, there was lots of hidden rust in the bottom lip. Here's the first repair section going in.

And after a total of 4 repairs here's the finished door frame

That took a great deal of time too, so trial fitted the frame in the car

So fitted the skin and fitted the door next

The gaps are good except at the front edge

This is easily fixed by building up the wing edge with weld and grinding back, like this - still needs a little finishing though

One other problem has appeared, the front of the sill is proud of the door and wing on this side

Its not too clear in the picture but the sill is about 4mm proud of the door at the front. I shall fix this tomorrow by cutting a section out of the sill and rewelding.

I am glad the doors are done, they were not simple reskinning jobs and have taken a great deal of time.

I need to finish the work on the shell before 7th June as I have moved forward the date for dipping and ecoating to then, once the sill fit is sorted, I have a little work to do on the driver's door, then its the bonnet bulge transplant

Hours worked 518 - 9 hours today

Total Spend £9016 - £75 for the passenger door - an expensive repai panel as it turns out!

Where am I?