Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Decision Time

I have been contemplating the paining of the estate and the rest of the body preparation for some time now. The what, how and whys of Do it myself or farm it out. Pros and Cons, cheaper to be done by me, downside lack of time, issues with toxic paint etc etc.

I have been to see a few paint shops too, had lots of conversations with various people and considered all my options.

Well the decision is made now, and its off to the paint shop this weekend, to be painted in 2 pack. They are going to finish off the lead loading (as its taking me an age, and I am very busy at work at present), finish the preparation, and paint it. Finish date is mid October.

I'll be a regular visitor to watch progress and take pictures.

So while its away, I am going to clean out the garage (again) and get all the mechanical bits assembled, at the very least its got to come home on its wheels, not resting on pallets after its painted.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Work of Art !

Got these back from Andrew Turner today. These were one solid lump of corrosion when I sent them off a few weeks ago.

FFFantastic, its not even worth buying a reconditioning kit and doing it yourself, when they come back this good, and as an added benefit all the brackets and bits and pieces are replated too. VERY VERY pleased.

Money spent now £13239 - £235 on reconditioned carbs

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Estate Bits and Pieces

After finishing work on time I managed to put a few hours in on the estate tonight.

Firstly, powder coating removal from bearing surfaces on the front hubs and bearing carriers. After much scraping and rubbing down with emery paper I got all the powder coat removed from where it shouldn't be and ended up with this

all ready for the bearings and brake disks.

I also unpacked a couple of recent ebay purchases, a set of Quinton Hazel handbrake cables - too boring to photo, and a NOS Stag distributor, complete with original points and rotor arm. It has the American emissions vacuum unit which gives advance and retard, so that needs swapping over, but otherwise a great ebay find.

I have also ordered some more body lead sticks for the weekend.

So hours worked now 607 - 3 tonight
Money spent now £13004, £75 distributor, £35 powder coating, £10 brake cables

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Not much to show for 7 hours work

A short blog report today, I started work on leadloading the bonnet bulge, and getting the scoop to fit.

After an entire day, I had managed to remove the ecoat, tin the metal, lead load all the joints round the bulge, and form the basic scoop housing. I cannot believe how long this took, I have still to load the bulge with lead, and file this back, at this rate of progress it will take 2 or 3 days.

The main issue is that as it is all flat panels, when you heat them to tin or lead them, they distort, and need hammering back into shape, so progress is slow. It does however explain why there was so much lead on the original bonnet, as all the distorted areas also need lead.

So here is how it looks now

The areas to the front and side of the scoop are where the bonnet needed loading due to distortion, and you cannot knock it back here, as the bonnet strengthening bars are behind the skin in this area.

I have made a decision on painting the estate, this is going to be done by a professional in a spray booth. He is coming to inspect the car later this week, and subject to agreeing terms, it should be painted in late September, early October. Its going to be in 2 pack.

Hours worked now 604 - 7 today

Friday, 20 August 2010

Estate Progress

I collected the latest lot of powder coating today, which is just about the last remaining items that need doing.

It comprises the brake reservoir, fuel pump brackets, some parts from behind the dash, and the wheel hubs and front stub axles.

I had asked the powder coaters to protect the bearing surfaces, but sadly they didn't so I've a bit of extra work to do, which involves scraping the powder coat off the bearing surfaces, so that the wheel races fit correctly.

I have also been after another bonnet scoop because mine is corroded, Colin from the 200 register has been good enough to send me one. It has the same part number in the die casting as mine, but when compared its different! The one I have is lower and slightly reshaped -

The one from the estate is in front, its lower by about 5mm - I think its simply been flattened as it does not have the curve or bow of the original, and its also longer, but I think this is a part of the flattening process, but looking from the sides there has also been some subtle grinding done to it, probably to improve the fit.

Now that I know this it will have to go for replating, but I can only do that when I have done the bonnet lead loading, so thats the job for tomorrow.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Lead loading and yet more lead loading

Although the lead loading works well, it is very time consuming, and the blog is likely to get a little repetative for a while.

With the time it takes I wonder how carbodies managed to turn the estate shells out so quickly. I can only presume that practise makes the whole proceedure a great deal quicker, probably the blokes who did the shells were more adept at just putting the correct depth of lead on, and smoothing it better to the finished contours with the tallow coated paddles, I seem to put too little or too much on, both of which wastes time, if there is too little in parts, you only find out when you file it down, and then have to carefully melt more on without wrecking the rest of the work - too much lead means it takes longer to file down.

Even so I suspect that I am going to have to put a few hours in on the shell each evening, if I am to meet a commitment that I have for the car in November.

So todays work, the seams on the rear pillars, firstly showing all the stages,

clean the metal off

then apply flux and tin / solder solution

then apply heat to tin the metal

then melt the lead on

then using heat and a tallow covered paddle smooth the lead out

then file to shape

here's the other rear pillar done too

and finally the dents in the roof

That little lot took 7 hours, how long the rear hatch / valence area, and the 2 rear window frames will take is anybodies guess at present, I suspect a long time.

The blob of grey paint marks a small dent where rectification is needed - I have been marking body defects as  I notice them in grey primer, so I don't miss them later.

So hours worked now 597 - 7 hours today

Saturday, 14 August 2010

At last some time to work on the estate

I have not been ignoring the estate, but I have had so much work this summer it has had to wait. However I have been progressing with parts and getting bits and pieces organised.

Firstly the heater, went and collected this and the machined down water valve

So thats finished and put away for now.

The front drive shafts have also gone off to Dave Mac, and I am expecting arrival of the front brake disks any day now.

Got some work done on the shell today, the first jobs were to repair the holes found during the dipping  and ecoating,

firstly the small hole in the FF driveshaft tunnel mods.

Then the front bulkhead hole


I repaired this by holding a piece of copper behind it, and then simply filling the hole with weld (the weld doesn't stick to the copper), which in this case was a flattened piece of water pipe

Then onto the plenum, into which I cut a hole

and welded up the inner holes, which were through to the passenger compartment, and then fitted a patch to the front

The following hole was not rust, but left by FF when they modified the chassis rails

I thought that I had better fill it though in case the MOT man complains

Finally there was the damage / rusty area in one rear floor pan near a grommet hole

Patch inserted, hole redrilled and primered

Nothing else for it now but to start the lead loading, commenced with the passenger side windscreen pillar

I was please with that result, it still wants a little shaping, but its all so shiny, its hard to see, so it can have some guide coat later before final finishing. The paper at the bottom of the pillar is to catch the lead shavings from the file, which can then be recycled, by melting back into a bar.

Total hours worked now 590 - 7 hours today

Where am I?