In the June 2015 issue of TTT 2 I mentioned that Norman Verona had contacted me to say that he had found the TTT 2 website and that he had registered his newly acquired TC on the T-Database. He promised that he would send regular updates of a total restoration which he intended carrying out himself. The first update was published in the August 2015 issue of TTT 2, the second in the October 2015 issue, the third in the December 2015 issue and the fourth in the February 2016 issue. This is Norman’s fifth update.
WORK COMMENCES ON THE HOOD AND SIDE SCREENS
On the 17th November I took the radiator to a repairer in Angers, about an hour from where I live. I left it with them to repair. On the way back I called into the bodyshop and collected the hood and side screens as I have found a trimmer to repair them.
SOME DISAPPOINTING NEWS ABOUT THE RADIATOR CORE
Then I spent the afternoon washing the interior of the hood and the side screens. They came up reasonably clean except the two rear side screens which are the original canvas. The previous owner emailed me to inform me he fitted a new vinyl hood and front screens in the 1960s. At about 1700 the radiator man phoned to say the core wasn’t repairable as it had gone soft. A new core would cost 290€ or £202. Not too bad.
Hood and side screens. You can see the difference in the colours of the windows. The side screens (rear) are pink, not yellow. The rear window is yellow and cracked.
The material looks good now it’s been cleaned.
The front side screens are good, the windows are clear, but very brittle.
The rear side screens windows are pink not yellow as in this picture.
The rear window. It seems to have had a demister panel stuck to it. Remember them?
Ed: Yes, my Dad had one with his Morris 8 Series I (EMU 419)
The interior after cleaning with Vanish. I’m pleased, (which makes a change)
The newly painted grille refitted to the shell.
I have an optician’s appointment at 0830 on 19th November. This is not where you buy glasses but have a full eye examination and come away with a prescription if you need new glasses. So I have all the usual examinations with chin on a rest and instructions to “look at the cross” or “Regardez le croix”. I’m then shown into the optician’s room and we start by looking at letters in a mirror. I fail. Then he looks at my eyes through that brightly lit magnifying glass. After which he puts some drops in my eyes and I have to wait 15 minutes and have the back of my eyes photographed again. Back into the surgery where he looks again. Then tells me the problem is my eyes have swollen areas from diabetes and the cure is to have a sequence of injections into the eyes. I have to have 3 starting next Thursday and then in January and again in February. He also tells me that I shouldn’t drive.
So, why have I been working flat out for 6 months rebuilding a car only to be told I shouldn’t drive?
Anyway, never mind, I’ve been driving for the past 4 months and have got used to the poor vision so I’ll continue. “Shouldn’t” does not mean “mustn’t”.
On 25th November I removed the plugs and set the ignition timing to 0 TDC using an Ohmmeter. Then connected the battery and turned it over on the starter. I have oil coming up to the head but nothing coming out the rocker squirt holes. I’ve asked the supplier of the new pillars if they all have an oil feed or only one. If only one (or he’s not sure) I’ll take the rockers off and look.
This is a picture of the workshop as I left. It’s in darkness and this is the result of using the tiny, tiny, ickle flash on the camera.
On the 25th I was going to have a whole day off. However, by 1000 I was bored so brought the side screens and some tools into the house and started to remove the frames. Got most of the nuts off but a few were turning in the studs which are captive in the outside chrome strips. Got my Dremel but I’ve run out of cutting discs so that was as far as I could go.
First thing next morning I’m off to Brico for new Dremel cutting discs. Also bought some small rivets for the rear side screens, however, I think they may be too small. I also bought a strip of 300mm by 2mm metal to make a new end on one of the front side screen brackets which has broken at the end. Then I thought it would be a good idea to get a tin of rust killing grey metal primer. As I didn’t have a trolley I stuck the tin of paint under my arm. Queued at the checkout and when my turn came I put the discs, rivets, metal strip and 3 ali cases on offer for 23€ on the checkout counter. The girl, who I know, pointed at me and said something I didn’t understand. I thought she was pointing behind me so turned round to look at what it may be. She started laughing and lifted her arm. At this point I realised that the tin of paint was still under my arm. Oh, well getting senile!
I got back and set to work cutting off the last frame nuts. Drilled out the 12 rivets on the rear side screens and got told off because I hadn’t changed into working clothes.. An email from Roger Furneaux arrived in reply to mine about not getting oil to the valve gear. He explained the rocker shaft could only go in one way. Trust me, two choices and I pick the wrong one. I whipped the rocker shaft off, turn it round and refitted it. Two bolts were really hard to get in (the remade pillars have the holes drilled slightly offset) but I eventually got them all started. Pulled the rocker pillars down to the torque setting I found on the TABC site, which are different to the one printed in another document I have but can’t find. Anyway, torqued down and tappets set I turn the engine over on the starter. Still no oil. Then I notice the oil is running out of the two ends of the new shaft. Rummage around for the old shaft, remove the end blanking screws and fit them to the new shaft. This time I get oil to the tops of the rockers. Now, as I type this up I realise I forgot to turn the lock tabs over, so I’ll do that first thing in the morning.
Me, cutting the nuts off the frame screws. Please note the new very short haircut, I’ve not gone bald, only been shorn.
The blanking screw(s) in the old rocker shaft.
SUCCESS The oil coming out the rockers.
It’s so good I just had to take another picture. It’s oil, it’s beautiful, it’s wonderful, it’s marvellous, I’m beginning to break into song.
I’m hoping the radiator will be ready tomorrow. I’ll collect it from Angers and, in the Afternoon, paint the frames. Then Wednesday off to St Bruiec with the hood.
As I proof read this through, I remember where the document I’ve been using which has different torque settings for the rocker shaft pillar is. It’s on the scanner as I scanned in the list of spark plugs heat ranges for the TABC group. This document says they are 29 and 43 and the other says 16 and 33. Oh well, they’re tight and when I’ve turned the lock tabs up it’ll be OK.
On the 24th I started at 0900 by coating the side screen frames with rust remover. Whilst it was drying I removed the rocker cover and turned up the lock tabs on the rocker gear bolts and refitted the cover.
I then rubbed down the frames and welded the one that had fractured and then made a piece for the broken bracket and welded that on. Having done that, I then painted all four frames with rust killing primer (the one that I keep under my arm!). Lunch!
I’m not sure why I’m spending so much time on the hood and side screens, they’ll probably never get used. But, having taken all the time and trouble I’ve taken so far, may as well do the whole job. Which reminds me, I wonder how much labour I’ve spent so far – hang on and I’ll do some working out………….
Hang on, calculator is buzzing…….
OK, I reckon I’ve worked on the car for 121 days. I’ve not counted the time the family were here or the ten days I had off. So, assume I averaged an 8 hour day that gives us 968 hours. So below is the
cost at different rates.
968 at £25 ph = £24,200
968 at £35 ph = £33,880
968 at £50 ph = £48,400
I won’t go on. it’s a lot of money even at £25 per hour. Add to this about £35,000 on parts, consumables and tools and the real cost of renovation would be £57,200 so far. Probably another £6,000 to add when the bodywork is finished.
If anyone wants to make me an offer of £65,000 I may consider it….. What? No offers, oh well I’ll just keep it then.
Next day (26th) I collect repaired radiator. Looks good.
The radiator. I know it’s sideways. You can lay down to look at but it’s still a rad.
We’re off to St Bruiac tomorrow to take the hood and side screens to the boatyard place. Then to a nice restaurant for lunch.
It’s 0700 on the 26th and I’m going to have needles stuck in my eyes. I’m really looking forward to this (why is my nose getting longer). I’ll report back later. One thing is that my darling wife has banned me from the garage until at least Monday in case I get an infection in my eyes. So, I’ll be laying the new tiles in the bathroom, something I was supposed to do last year!
Whilst I’m waiting for my darling wife to get dressed I’ll publish the picture of my box spanners. Don’t get too excited, I know it’s very sexy, but keep control.
Box spanners. They fit the starter motor bolts just lovely.
The nurse put loads of anaesthetic drops into my eyes as well as an anti-septic. Then the doctor (or whatever he’s called) tells me to look down and puts the needle in the right eye. I thought this is OK, I can’t feel anything…… then he injects and it’s painful. He then does the other eye. I didn’t feel too good after this trauma. We go home, Lynne driving and I sit down, put the radio on and close my eyes which feel very sore. It’s now 1700 and the soreness has worn off and, apart from a big black blob floating around my right eye, I feel OK.
The big problem is they have said I shouldn’t do anything which could get something in my eye as infection is the main risk. And this doing nothing is for the next 15 days! No work on the car or laying tiles then. I’m going to the doctor on Monday (for a prescription, no repeats here, you must be examined every 3 months) and will ask him.
In the meantime, I’ve been searching for an original tool kit and bought most from different sources.
Tools, wonderful tools!
It was now 1530 on 28th here Final Score was on the BBC red button. So I settled down to watch the scores come in. When the games were finished I checked my emails and looked on FB…… my son had pm’d me with a photograph of the missing headlamps. My daughter had, by mistake, left them in the office when she brought the tub and all the other stuff I’d had sent to the office over the previous few months. When we had the vans back-to-back in the hotel car park in Portsmouth (1st August) I was about to open a package which I assumed was the new headlights. They all shouted at me to leave it for now as they wanted to go in to the bar. I therefore assumed the headlights were in the van but couldn’t find them when we got back. I’d dropped the tub and body panels at the bodyshop on the way home so spent ages searching the workshop, the house and the bodyshop for them. They were in the office all the time and my son found them as he’s moving offices over the weekend.
What a result! a mystery solved; I hate mysteries, and I now have a pair of new unused headlamps for sale. So I send an email round to the TABC group offering them at, about £150 less than retail. Within 10 minutes they’re sold. I am having a good day.
The horn with chrome effect paint on the centre nut.
The headlights. These are the replacements but will be the same as those now found which are in Sheffield. Sounds like Tolkien, “the light that was lost and now found”
This takes us to the end of November. Only worked a few days in December as I had some sort of virus and then it was Christmas. So I’ll combine December and January in the next instalment.
You can read the whole blog on www.frenchblat.com. Click on MG TC at the bottom left.