Monday, 25 June 2012

Good and Bad

First the good news:-

I took the car to the 2000 Register National this weekend, where it won the Best Restoration award - thank you all.

Now the bad news, 2 problems have come to light,

Firstly, the power steering pump is leaking from the front seal - that's easily rectified, despite having rebuilt it, so I have ordered another seal kit, which after a quick strip down and rebuild should rectify the problem. I presume the problem is the front seal.

Secondly, and far more serious, there's a nasty noise from the gearbox / transfer box - not sure which at present, but its certain that the whole gearbox assembly is going to have to come out. I know I took a chance with the transmission by not stripping it completely, but I thought it was worth the gamble. I should have known that 30 years stationary in a damp barn was going to cause issues, but the inspection looked OK. The noise is worse in first gear, than in reverse, so it could be the rear epicycle gearset

I am hoping that by disconnecting the prop shafts and the rear gearbox mount, that I can unbolt the FF unit from the gearbox and remove that. This will then leave room to remove the gearbox from the engine. If this doesn't work then its engine out, which I think will be 2 days work with the front diff and drive shafts.

I'll let you all know, but it will be 2 or 3 weeks before work can commence due to pressures of paying work, then look forward to a blog dedicated to stripping and rebuilding a BW35 which I suspect is the culprit. if not its rust in the transfer box bearings, which are going to need some special tools to remove. I am going to drain the gearbox oils, so it will be interesting to see if there is anything nasty in the oil.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

I have in my hand a piece of paper

Its not peace in our time, but far better than that .................

an MOT pass certificate valid until June 18th 2013.

That's it, chuffed to bits, car checked over, and apart from a set of wheel nuts not tightened no issues.

Headlamps are now aligned and Tracking done.

I'm not fitting the grill tonight, we are opening a bottle of champers.

see you all at the 2000 Register National

Then old registration number application, drive it and fettle it and shake the bugs out.

Cheers All

Saturday, 16 June 2012

I have been waiting a long long time for this

Flatted the bonnet off today, in a away, I am pleased that it will need a respray in the correct colour as there are a few little defects in the paint, but its ripple free, nice reflections, so a few coats of the correct colour will do it wonders.

So bonnet on the car

will it close OK?

If you forget the mess in the garage this is the first time I have sat in the driver's seat and looked down the bonnet . A Magic Moment for me.

The car sits right now with the bonnet fitted too, that extra weight (and all the lead) have corrected the ride height at the front.

So its off for its MOT on Tuesday, I have booked a couple of hours with the garage, to put it on the ramp, check it over, do the tracking, align the headlamps and MOT it. I hope it passes, its going to be a nervous time for me.

I have checked all the usual MOT items today, and although the screenwash motor worked, it didn't pump water, stripped that and found some dirt in the non return valve. So all the obvious stuff seems ok, I want to check the brake servo tomorrow, the pedal is very hard, which maybe how it is, or perhaps I am not leaving it to run for long enough to build vacuum with the large reservoir tank, or perhaps there is a fault. We shall see. Then its a few fettling jobs to tidy bits and pieces up. I also got the seat belts fitted today.

So fingers crossed for Tuesday.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Finished Painting, but it doesn't Match!

The expression is Oh B****r!

The paints done, needs a flat and a polish but the shade is wrong - still it'll do to MOT the car and take it to the National.

So started the day with undercoating and painting the underneath

Then after I was happy this had gone off nice and hard started blocking off the guide coat, you can clearly see the sunk areas here as they are still black and the surrounding area is grey

Its not just my work that isn't flat, look at the untouched parts of the pressing in the next picture

that done time for another coat of primer

and then the top coats of paint

just needs flatting to get the over spray off, and a little polish

however look at the colour match when the plenum is compared to the other bodywork

although the pictures don't show it well, its a little pink in comparison, but it will do for now, it can be repainted later, I had hoped for a better match, but I could always paint it matt black! like a rally car.

When the paint is fully hard I will flat and polish it and fit the bonnet.

The MOT time

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Today I have been painting

Slow progress,

etch primer on

first of 2 layers of high build primer

and finally a quick and dirty coat of guide coat, ready to be flatted back. When its flatted, any black marks left are imperfections that need fixing, before a final primer coat is applied and then the top coats.

Before I do this, I am going to turn the bonnet over, give it a quick coat of primer and then 2 top coats. Once that dries, probably by lunch time tomorrow I can then turn it over flat it off and recommence painting the top.

What is good is to note the reflections from the semi dry paint - there don't appear to be too many large ripples yet, but famous last words, tomorrow night will tell.

Monday, 4 June 2012

More Bonnet Work

Another day spent on the bonnet, applying filler, and then sanding back with a large wood block, using 40 grade, then 90, then 160 grade wet and dry.

There still a few small pin holes to be filled with stopper, and a small grove where I finished the front edge that needs a little smear of filler, but basically its ready for paint - the small imperfections will be done this week.

There isn't much filler on top of the lead, when wet its almost transparent and you can see most of the lead under it, so the lead must have been pretty flat. Anyway its smooth to the touch, and I cannot feel any ripples, although what it looks like with paint on it will be the true test.

The two front corners of the bulge need a little more shaping too

So a little finishing off, and I shall paint it next weekend

Sunday, 3 June 2012

This weekend I have been mostly lead loading

In fact its not just the weekend, I started at 2pm Friday, and apart for breaks for food and sleep I have been working on the bonnet, adding lead and then taking it away with a large body file.

Its been monotonous hard work. Lead is soft right, so it files away easily, well yes it does, but not when it covers most of a 2000 bonnet, and when its a lead / tin alloy. I wish now I had fixed the rusty old dented original bonnet, rather than cutting the old bulge off it, and transplanting it to a new bonnet. It seemed like a good idea at the time, well it wasn't.

Because of the surface area of the bulge, when you add lead it distorts with the heat, so then you have to hammer it back into shape from underneath with the new lead applied, then add more lead and repeat the process. That's noisy and hard work, as the now cold lead resists the hammer blows. It doesn't come off either during the reshaping of the panel, so you can see why its liked for car body repairs

Eventually you get to the point where you need to remove lead - easy you think, well a little lead removal would be, but it clogs the file, so you need to clean that with a wire brush, and so it goes on. Remembering that you need to shape the lead so its flat and even over a VERY large area.

Now I had started doing the bonnet several years ago, but kept giving up because of these issues, so god knows how long this part has taken in total, but the MOT is booked in a week or so, so there was no giving up.

Anyway by 5pm today I had ended up with this

Its not 100% perfect, but its symmetrical and as flat as I can get it. there are a very very small spots on some edges, and a couple of small hollows in the lead that require a smear of filler but otherwise it seems pretty good, although I hope it doesn't look like a dog's breakfast when painted. So tomorrow I am going to skim it with filler and then block it back.

To give you an idea of how much filing there has been to remove the extra lead, I kept the filings in a box - that is the bits that didn't fall on the garage floor - its funny I don't remember putting that much lead on in the first place.

I can finish the seat belts now, as the binnacle for the Britax units has arrived - I know the car should have stalks, but the Britax belts will fit, they are period, and its far far better than the aftermarket ones now available.

Next week I hope to paint the bonnet, carry out a few last checks and take it for an MOT. The speedo cable hasn't arrived yet from the other company so that needs a chase too.

Where am I?