TC10178 – saved from sitting on bricks since 1967 in a Sheffield lock up garage (Part 6)

3 May

I got on with the radiator grille on 1st December. I coated it in paint remover (you know the stuff, it burns holes in your bum). I jet washed it off and did it again. Then I rubbed each slat down with wet and dry. I left it to dry under the arc lamps. I gave the grille another two coats of Reno Red and left it to dry under the arc lights.

Today (02/12) I’ll finish the grille and then strip the spare wheel for sandblasting as soon as it’s a dry day.

(Left pic) The slats drying under two 2,000 watt arc lamps. (Right pic) the grille now painted with 4 coats of primer and about 5 or 6 coats of red. I haven’t looked at it close up but it looks smooth but flat. I’ll leave it at that and see if it will polish when its fully dry, like January.

The radiator painted and rebuilt and protected.

(Left pic) The tyre is nearly off the spare wheel – very difficult with 50 year-old hard rubber! (Right pic) and two new spokes fitted; the old ones were damaged because the spinner had been wired to the spokes.

I started at 0820 on 3rd December and welded the side screen frame. Good news is I can see much better since yesterday and was able to do a better job than the first attempt. It’s not perfect but OK. I then set up the sand blaster. I have two sacks of sand in the back of the Land Rover so backed the LR in front of the workshop. Cut a box to use for collecting the sand and got the airline, the blast gun, the vacuum cleaner and.. oh yes, the wheel! Cut a slot in the top of one of the bags and pushed the pick-up pipe in. Started blasting but it stopped. Went to the sack to wiggle the pick-up and realised the sand was very damp. Oh well that will have to wait for next summer to dry out.

The wheel blasted up well but not the areas with oil and grease. I then washed out the large cleaning tray, poured some petrol in and washed the wheel thoroughly. I then set up the jet wash, got another cardboard box (not short of them) and, in the middle of the field, jet washed the wheel. I took the wheel into the house, put the new gas fire on, and dried the wheel. Only took about 10 minutes whilst I had a coffee. I then gave the wheel another blast with the sand and it was as good as it was going to get.

Placed the wheel on the bench and gave it the first coat of primer. Had lunch and half an hour later, went back and gave it a second coat. Then watched the rest of Bargain Hunt and, at 1400, gave it the third and final coat of primer.

I now started to rub down and prepare to paint the side screen frames. I have an aerosol tin but I’m spraying it into the lid and brushing it on. Before starting to paint the frame I took the vacuum cleaner apart as it was making loud clanging noises and whistling. Got it apart and found the fan has disintegrated. Oh well, a new vacuum cleaner tomorrow. I then applied the first top coat of silver to both sides of the wheel. I did not overspray so it wasn’t fully covering the primer. I carried on brush painting the frames. I would paint one side with it laying on the bench then string it up and, holding the frame with mole grips on one of the brackets, paint the other side. After two frames I gave the wheel a second coat of silver. When the last frame was completed I gave the outside of the wheel a third coat.

I’m now writing this up (I do state the obvious sometimes, don’t I) and will go back in an hour to fit the new tyre and inner tube. Well, in an hour and a half, which will be 1800.

(Left pic) Welded frame (Right pic) the piece I welded on. The slot will be cut later. I also have the rivets to drill out of the rear frames. But it was painting day so I’ll finish the metalwork later and touch up round it.

(Left pic) just starting the sand blasting ……(Right pic) …..a close up.

Two ‘shots’ of the finished spare wheel – looks OK, well I think so …. and that’s what matters.

One of the frames hanging from a bit of string. I know it’s sideways but it looks the same the correct way round, believe me.

A member of the TABC group has a TC just 22 chassis numbers from mine. His car doesn’t have a body serial number plate. As his engine is also 22 more than mine he’s assuming, probably correctly, his body is 22 more than mine. So here it is…….

Left for the bodyshop at 0730 on 4th December with the wheel, the radiator, tools in a box and a nut for the track rod ends and the lower link on the front shock absorbers. On arrival, jacked car up onto axle stands whilst one of the lads took the tyre off the wheel to repair the inner tube. By the time he’s finished I had the other four wheels by his machine and he then took the tyres off those. Much easier than with tyre levers. I then took the incorrect nuts of the TRE’s off and fitted the correct ones. Problem! the 5/16″ Whitworth socket didn’t fit; it was too large. I borrowed a 13 mm and 14 mm spanners but they weren’t right either. I’ve made a note to take some AF spanners when I go back. I then went to fit the nuts on the lower shock absorber links but needed some spring washers. They only had Citroen concave washers but the largest they had was too small. Note to take two 7/16″ spring washers next visit.

I called in to Brico on the way back and bought a new vacuum cleaner, a roll of masking tape and 2 tins of primer. The plans of mice and men…. the mice may get it right – I never do. I’d planned on getting the 4 wheels blasted clean by tonight and apply the primer inside the rim tonight so it would be dry and I could paint the wheels tomorrow. Read on…… Got home at 1030, set up the sandblaster and washed all 4 wheels in petrol to get the oil and grease off. Started sand blasting the first wheel. When the compressor needed time to catch up (the sand blaster used huge volumes of air) I washed the wheel I’d painted yesterday as I needed to paint the rim again. I’d got some of the primer I used for the inside well on the rim and it was “lumpy”. I wet and dried it smooth and gave it a coat of silver. Back to blasting. I carried on for about 45 minutes and then broke for lunch. Fell asleep until 1400. Carried on with the sand blasting but ran out of sand. So, at 1530 went to Chateaubriant for 3 more bags of sand. I carried on sand blasting with the new sand. I bought medium grade instead of the usual fine. It does get the paint off quicker but leaves the surface black and rough. It also stings a lot more than fine when it hits hands and cheeks. Not worried about it being rough, the primer will fill that. I have enough fine left to go over it again to get it grey. I did about 20 minutes and then had to stop because the light was going.

So, I’ve got to finish the sand blasting tomorrow as it may rain on Sunday. If I can get the wheels blasted by tomorrow night and the inner wells primed I’ll be happy as I can paint on Sunday morning. It won’t take that long with all four wheels being painted at the same time. I’ve left the camera in the workshop so pictures tomorrow.

Started at first light on 5th December. The medium sand isn’t very good. I may have to get more bags of fine. Put a tea towel around my face held together with a bulldog clip and have donned gloves. This medium sand really stings when it hits your face and hands. It’s about 1 or 2 degrees outside and the goggles steam up as soon as I put them on. I’ve stopped to let the compressor catch up, it has almost run out of pressure. So, a coffee and I’ll start again. At 0930 I gave up and went back with the two unused bags of medium sand to replace them with 3 bags of fine. The medium just wasn’t getting the wheel down to metal. I get back at 1030 and start blasting with the fine. It’s much better but this wheel is taking ages. Unlike the others, this one has good paint with little rust. I can blast for about 6-8 minutes then have to stop for ten whilst the compressor catches up. Whilst waiting I fit the fuel filter bought from Doug Pelton in the States. This entails removing the soldered extension pipe I fitted to bring the outlet above the bottom of the tank. No problems, it came out easily and the filter went in.

I have lunch in one of the 10 minute breaks and paint the inner rim of the second wheel which was finished about 1430. It’s now 1540 and I’m onto the third wheel. I’ll finish this one tonight leaving the fourth to do in the morning and then to paint all four. The final session, before it got too dark to see, got both wheel rims blasted clean. The centre is done as is the outer outside rim. All that needs doing is the inner outside rim. However, this enabled me to get the rust-proofing primer brushed on the wheel well. So, three are painted and will be dry in the morning. I have the third to finish and the fourth and final wheel to blast. If I can get finished blasting by 1100 I will be able to get all four painted by the evening. I will lay all four on the floor outside facing up. I can then spray all four wheels together. Three coats of primer and two coats of silver then turn them over and do same. If I do this every half hour I will be finished by 2100. I can then take them back to the bodyshop first thing Monday morning, get the tyres put back on and refit the wheels.

The work area.

The fuel filter from Doug Pelton of ‘From The Frame Up’ in the USA.

It has a raised section, so it will leave some fuel in the bottom of the tank along with all the ‘crap’.

Ed’s editing of activity on 6th December: Norman started before first light as he had fallen behind schedule in getting all the wheels sandblasted by the previous night due to getting the sand changed. He had also wanted to get all the wheel wells painted because the paint he was using took ages to dry. In the event he still had one wheel to finish sandblasting and one wheel well to paint, after which all the wheels would need to have two coats of primer and three coats of silver paint. The reason for the rush? Norman wanted to get the finished wheels to the bodyshop by the next day to have the tyres fitted and have the wheels back on the car.

The finished wheels.

Ed’s note: back to Norman……….. In the workshop at 0715 on 7th December and loaded the wheels, tyres, tubes and tools in the car. Left at 0730 and arrived at the bodyshop dead on 0800. No one there, which is unusual. However, the forecourt is full of new cars which reminded me that they had an open day over the weekend. They had an automated phone system inform every customer by phone. Jean-Luc turned up at 0830, opened the doors to the workshop and I drove in. The workshop was full of new and a few second hand cars and a large table with nibbles and wine. Never mind, I take the wheels, tyres and tubes to the tyre machine and the tools to the chassis. I tighten the track rod end nuts, they’re 9/16″ AF and split pin them. Fit the lower link nuts and spring washers and all done in 15 minutes. I say goodbye and agree to return Wednesday afternoon to refit the wheels to the chassis. I want to rub down the inner and outer surfaces of the hubs so there’s no paint between the wheel and hub and the spinner and wheel.

I didn’t mention it but Monday (8th December) saw me finish (apart from some very minor jobs) the car. I’ll now have to wait until I get the chassis back and refit all the mechanicals and interior trim. In the meantime I’ll catch up on jobs in the house, lay the new floor in the garage and fix the Mini, Land Rover and Caterham, all of which need work. I guess I should be delighted but I feel a bit “flat”. I’ve really enjoyed working away in the garage with Radio 4 playing….. The results look good to me. I hope the finished car doesn’t look over-restored. I’ve tried hard to keep as much of the original as possible. However, I suspect it looks a bit blingy as you cannot tell the chrome plater not to do a good job and make all the re-chromed parts look a bit old. Likewise, with the interior trim, the seats are good as I restored them but the trim was beyond repair. It had gone brittle and was tearing as I took it off. The new trim looks lovely, but far better than when the car was built. The paint is being done in the correct colour cellulose so will be very shiny, but original. The bodyshop owner wanted to do it in two pack but I insisted on using the type of paint it had when it left the factory.

I started at 0700 on 9th December by taking TC rad to the workshop. The rad needs to have the casing lowered on the rad as the cap won’t fit. Looks like I’ll have to elongate the holes.

January 2016

Left at 0830 on 21st January and picked up the chassis. Back here by 0930, unloaded and pushed it into the workshop. Took the deparnage (flatbed trailer) back.

22nd January: You’ve all been there. It’s 0530 and you’re wide awake but it’s too early to get up. So I read another few pages of The Lord of The Rings and….. wake up at 0910. In the workshop by 1000. Clear the bench and floor area and lay out all the boxes and cabinets of fixings. Then get the chassis lined up ready for the engine to go on. First I spend some time finishing the handbrake and fitting it. Then the pedals go in. Lastly the engine and gearbox assembly goes in. Only problem is the rear plate on the gearbox is stopping the gearbox mounting bolt going through. Solved it by running a drill through and grinding a flat off one of the bolts. Then the prop shaft goes in.

So, at 1645 I have the engine, gearbox and prop in. The pedals are on as is the handbrake. A good day’s work.

I have the split pins to fit into the prop shaft flange bolts, the handbrake to adjust and the brakes to bleed. Also I’ve to fit the front engine mounting bolts when they arrive, probably Tuesday. I’ve searched for them but can’t find them so NTG are sending me a set.

Chassis in the workshop, up on stands, the engine in place to refit.

Engine now fitted.

Started at 0800 on 23rd January and did the following: Locked the prop shaft bolts with split pins. Checked all fluid levels and greased all the grease points. Topping up the diff took ages, 140 grade oil is like pouring grease. I then cleaned up one of the pipes that fit on the handbrake cable for greasing. Got it all cleaned and fitted and pumped some grease in but most was coming out the joint. I looked for the other pipe but can’t find it. If I can’t find the pipe it’s £96 for a new kit. 

The wheels were next. I used some sandpaper to remove the paint where the wheel touches the hub and, on the outside, where the spinner makes contact. I fitted the handbrake stop bar, which I’d forgotten and then filled the engine with a mixture of water and phosphate to loosen any rust/silt left in the block. Problem was the bottom hose, which I’d blanked off with some plastic bin liner material and rubber bands leaked. So I put a jubilee clip over the bands and it stopped most of it. It’s dripping a bit, so I’ve got the oil drain can under it.

Time to bleed the brakes. Lynne came and helped and I ran into trouble straight away. The pedal still had the old actuating arm on it and it doesn’t have any threads left as they’ve rusted away. So, I had to remove the pedal shaft to fit the new pushrod. Took about half an hour and then my little darling worked the pedal and kept the cylinder topped up whilst I went round bleeding. We bled twice, had to unblock the new bleed valve on one of the front wheel cylinders and we now have a brake pedal that operates the brakes.

The handbrake now fitted with the stop bracket.

In the workshop at 0730 on 25th January (aren’t I keen), wheels off (again) and drums painted gloss black. Then moved the earth strap to the correct bolt (bell housing rather than gearbox mounting), changed split pin in pedal shaft. Then tried to fit the heat shield to the master cylinder. It won’t fit because the cylinder has different width ends. So I file/grind the cut outs on the shield to suit. Still won’t fit as the new master cylinder is in the way of the shield fixing to the chassis. So I wrapped a piece of heatshield material around the cylinder. Then fitted the exhaust front pipe, which meant I had to heat up one of the studs to bend it straight so the copper and asbestos (or whatever they use now) will fit (as well as the downpipe flange). It went on OK and I then tried to fix the bracket to the bell housing bolt. No chance. I had to remove the pipe and grind the top of the bracket to be half round. Fitted it all back. Then for the silencer. I can’t find the ring that fits between the silencer and the front pipe or the U clamp. I re-organise all the bits into boxes and have a good clear up but still can’t find them. I do have a clamp for the rear tailpipe. I fit the silencer but leave the 4 fixing bolts – silencer to chassis – loose as I’ll have to remove it to fit the ring. Then I find the rear clamp is too small. I’ve ordered parts, last night, for my friend’s TC from Moss Paris so I come in and ring them to add the exhaust parts. They don’t open until 1400 on Monday so I go back to work.

Let the car down and push it out so the front is outside the workshop. I turn the water hose on and set the engine flushing. I’ve already slackened the dynamo so I can use the electric socket gun turning the water pump. Whilst it’s flushing I look for the missing parts for the O/S handbrake greaser. I have the pipe and find the union on the old handbrake cable. Then I find the other union, bleed nipple and triangular bracket in one of the boxes of bits. So I clean it all up and fit it. Pump some grease in and I’m happy. Turn the tap off and blow the water off the engine and chassis and then leave it all to dry in the sun whilst I have lunch. At 1400 I ring Moss Paris and add the exhaust parts to the order. They have it all except the rear clamp. Never mind I can fit that later. I’m hoping it will be here on Thursday so I can go back to the bodyshop to finish the exhaust and fit the front engine mounting bolts which are on the way from NTG. At 1415 Lynne helps me search for the missing exhaust bits but we can’t find them.

Up at 0645 on 26th January – out to the bodyshop at 0720 and arrive at 0755. It was foggy hence a bit slower than normal. Left with the flatbed at 0830 and got back loaded the MG with Lynne’s help, she is a darling, got up early to help me push the chassis to the flatbed. I can’t get the flatbed to the workshop as the ground is too soft. Returned, got the chassis off and then had a search for the engine bolts and found them. So have cancelled the new ones from NTG.

The stuff I ordered yesterday from Moss Paris arrived. I now have the parts to fit the exhaust properly so I’ll go over on Thursday and do all the little jobs I haven’t done. Like fit the engine mounting bolts, refit the dynamo, fit the exhaust and fit some grease nipples to the track rod ends. I’ve also got a bit of the tub to prime and paint.

Off to the bodyshop on 28th January (after a visit to the blood testing laboratory) where I pick out the chassis numbers stamped on the chassis (which I masked off) in yellow paint. When that dried I sprayed the area with a clear lacquer. Then fitted the newly found and cleaned front engine bolts and refitted the dynamo. Removed the silencer, located the two studs in the silencer flange into the flange of the front pipe, positioned the joint and tightened the two nuts.

Went to fit the new U clamp on the silencer to tailpipe joint and find it’s too small. Would I be out of order to complain to Moss that their parts are wrong? Won’t bother as they probably won’t do anything about it. Swapped the clamp I had for a larger one the bodyshop has in stock and fitted it. Then removed the rear clamp, which is too small and reshaped it, cut a bit off and drilled a new hole. It fitted perfectly. So exhaust now finished.

Kept spraying more lacquer on the chassis and fitted the grease nipples to the drag ling and track rod joints. I’ll have to re-visit this when I get the chassis back here as one TRE doesn’t seem to have a hole for the nipple and one I did fit won’t let the grease gun lock on. As it’s a bit dark where the chassis is I couldn’t see very well. Lastly, I masked the tips of the fan blades and sprayed the tips yellow so no silly bug*er, i.e. ME! puts their fingers into the blades when the engine is running.

Got home at 1230 and took the tools out the car. Then sorted out the windscreen frame parts. I have the old bottom corner brackets to drill out and fit new ones and build the frame onto the screen, Only problem is that I seem to have forgotten to order new corner brackets. Ring Linda at NTG and they’re on their way. So, after lunch I drill out the four seized screws and then clean the tacho and speedo cables and lightly oil them ready for refitting. Tomorrow we’re off to St Bruieac to collect the hood and side screens.

Up at 0800 on 30th January and bring the two front side screen frames and screens (collected yesterday) and the strips and special screws into the house along with some tools. Now, I’m worse than useless at doing mitred edges so, of course, I bug*ered the cutting up. The edges don’t meet correctly and I’ve ended up cutting the strips short. Fitting the frame was a nightmare. The screws don’t come through enough to get the nut on. After a lot of struggling and pulling the screws through with a small pair of long nose pliers I get all but two nuts on. The two that I can’t get on will have to remain ‘nutless’, one is by the weld and the other just hasn’t enough thread showing to pull it through. After lunch I started on the other side. This time I decided not to mitre but just butt the edges together. I also got all the screws into the channels and stuck matches under the head so the thread will go through enough to get a nut on. I marked the edges and then slid the trim forward a bit so I could raise it from the screen and cut it off with the Dremel and a cutting disc. I then got all the nuts on and tightened them. Much easier this time.

You can see the gaps on the mitred side (left). The right hand one has the butted edges.

Up with the lark, well 0900, on 31st December – lazy larks. Had breakfast and went into the workshop. Got the old loom laid out and the new one in the same orientation. Then marked with a piece of tape where the armour should go on the new loom. I cut the old loom to get the armour off and then cleaned it on the wire brush. I cut the ferrules so that they will fit over the new loom, the intention is to solder the cut joint. Then I unwound the armour coil. Took the ends, coil and tools inside. Sat in my chair with a cover over me, I proceeded to wind the armour on to the new loom. Having done a few turns I realised I had started at the wrong end and was winding it on with the next bit going under the previous. So I unwound it and started at the other end, with the next coil winding over the previous. It was very hard to do with my arthritic fingers but got there by 1245. Put the ferrules on and pinched them together, I’ll solder them in the morning. Lunch and then I cut the smaller section armour off the old, cleaned it, and onto the new. All done by 1445.

Two looms laid out like a nest of snakes.

The section of armour that has to be removed from the old and fitted to the new.

Cutting the old loom to get the ferules and armour coil off.

The coil, ready to be unwound.

The coil unwound.

And started. Only problem is this is being wound on the wrong way, so after about 8 coils I unwound it and started at the other end.

Nearly there!

The whole picture, over half way.

Done, now for lunch!

The smaller section…..

..getting there.

……………and finished.

And that’s the end of January. How time flies……

I’ll solder the ferrules in the morning.

You can read the whole blog at www.frenchblat.com and click the shortcut to MG TC.


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