Ed’s introductory note: I hope that Norman will forgive me but I’ve had to edit his contribution quite severely due to space constraints.
Got the engine balanced on the two axle stands that the car was on so the sump was pointing upwards then took the clutch and flywheel bolts off. Then all the sump bolts and replaced the front and rear crankshaft seals. I think the rear oil leak was from the half round cork seal but not sure why the front was leaking. Reassembled with plenty of black silicone gasket maker. Got the sump on with all bolts started and the four corners tightened then realised I hadn’t put the flywheel on. Off with sump, on with the flywheel and sump refitted.
New rear seal fitted
Got to the bodyshop at 0800. Unloaded the tools from the car and laid them out on the bench. I put two pieces of lino between the front stands and chassis to get the chassis level. I had few problems. I had to cut the top hose shorter and the hose from the pump to the metal tube as well as the bottom of the metal tube. After all that, it fitted. Then I brought the bulkhead out of the store it’s in but couldn’t see the bonnet panels, so I asked where they were. Ah, says the panel beater and he gets a key from the office, goes outside and in a lock-up next to the garage are the bonnet panels which have been primed. Last problem is that I asked if they could paint the bulkhead by Friday so I could run the loom and fit all the bits to the bulkhead. No chance as they are on holiday next week. So I’ll have to have a week off.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking…..
I picked out the chassis number in yellow and sprayed with a clear lacquer. It was better than the pic shows, but the lacquer melted the yellow paint!
AT LAST, it’s beginning to look like a car.
I’m going back on Friday to fit the bonnet centre fixings as I left them in my workshop. I think it will all line up when the bonnet is fixed. Then I have to take it all apart for the bulkhead and bonnet to be painted. But the body is now bolted down and all is in line. I’ve drilled 20 holes in the front face of the body for the bulkhead to be bolted.
Called in at the bodyshop on the way home. Jean-Luc has said they will paint the bulkhead week after next. Once that is finished I have a week’s work and it will be running with floorboards and seat. I won’t finish the interior until the rest of the panels are painted and on.
Glued the rubber strip for the rear edge of the bonnet to the frame and had a good look at the bonnet alignment. It will be OK when I refit it all and adjust the position. I then drilled the holes in the bearer at the rear of the tub and bolted the rear of the tub to the chassis. Bonnet off and wrapped in bubble wrap then removed the bulkhead. I treated the rear of the tub where I took the strip that goes over the back of the hood, with undercoat. I then decided to wait until 1700 so I could get a second coat on. Whilst I waited I greased the track rod ends and drag link…. no I didn’t, because one of them has no grease nipple, must find out why. Then touched in. with black paint, the fan blades where I’d painted the tips yellow. I also painted the new chassis bolts.
When I popped into my friend’s on Wednesday to collect my wood blocks I noticed the cup washers on his front engine mountings where upside down so told him. I thought I’d check mine as I didn’t remember if they went on correctly. Just as well I did as they weren’t fitted! I found them in a box, de-rusted them and fitted them. I painted the underside before fitting and top side after. I was lucky as I could jack the engine just about high enough to get the N/S bolt high enough to get the washer in without having to remove the dynamo. Lastly I fitted the clutch and brake switch springs. Final coat of undercoat to the strip on the tub and home.
Jean-Maurice, the panel beater and painter had started painting the bulkhead in the spray booth. I think he will get the undercoat on tonight and top coats Monday week (they’re closed next week). He says I can refit it on the Tuesday.
Glass now fitted to the windscreen frame.
Plans…. never work, do they! Plan was to start at 0800 and build the windscreen. I need Lynne’s help to fit the glass to the frame but have a new stud to fit on one side. The old, broken, stud will not come out so I have to drill it. It is the stud that the windscreen butterfly nut goes to. End up drilling it totally so have to tap it with a 3/8 UNF thread and make a stud which steps down to the 1/4″ BSF thread. This takes time so don’t start building the screen until 1100. We gave up at 1315! The problem is the wiper wire, I’m not sure which way it goes in and none of the books show it. I think I have the correct route now but Lynne says it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.
I ended up putting 5 coats of varnish on the floorboards. As the lid was damaged I decide to use it all rather than throw it away so put another coat on every two hours. Final coat went on at 0030.
I noticed Doug Pelton has a battery strap to secure the battery as the modern battery has no ‘ears’, so I rang Doug from ‘From the Frame Up’. He answered the phone and we had a chat. He knew me from the TABC email group and is sending me a battery strap in the post. He’s a genuinely nice chap.
Now, let me say something. I started getting parts from another trader (I’ve deleted the name of this trader – Ed) but he let me down with an order and it took me 3 weeks to get him by phone/email. I then went to Moss and explained I’d been getting parts from their agent but as he’d let me down could I get stuff from them with their 10% discount. Yes, of course. Not a penny discount on the next two orders. I then rang NTG. What a difference! Nothing is too much trouble for them, they are very nice and helpful. Also they applied a discount even though I didn’t ask. Moral of the story – if you need T or Y type parts just ring Linda at NTG. Great buying experience from them.
Arrived at the bodyshop at 0800. The bulkhead was painted but he hadn’t painted the foot board yet. I glued the rubber strips for the bulkhead in position, put some screws in the bonnet rubber did a few other bits and pieces. About 1100 Jean-Maurice and I lifted the bulkhead on and I then set about bolting it up. I got all the top and side bolts in except for the bottom three each side. These six bolts were very difficult to get in as the side of the bulkhead needed pressing in to align the holes. Took a while but I got there in the end. Then for the six bolts, three each side, that go to the uprights. These were even more difficult to line up and get in. After an hour or so I had all six in. I then tightened all the bolts to the body and then realised that I’d have to take the six that went into the uprights out again as they go through the toe board, which isn’t fitted yet. Never mind, it will be easier second time around. I always say that and it never is! Then we lifted the bonnet on. I put three pieces of lino tiles under the 4 front body bolts to raise the body in order to align the bonnet. I also had to pack out one side of the radiator mounting as the rad was leaning over. All in all, this took about two hours but it’s all looking good. The worst job today? Feeding the battery cable through the battery box whilst trying to keep the grommet in position and stop the cotton braiding being held above the grommet. Did it the end with a piece of rubber tubing acting as a sleeve. Got the same to do tomorrow as it also goes through the foot board. Oh what fun!
Shiny black bulkhead in place. All main bolts are in but no nuts on yet.
I know we had it like this two weeks ago but this time everything is aligned and the bulkhead is a permanent fixture now.
What a horrible day! What a disaster! Ever feel like you’ve worked hard all day and have nothing for it? Did I say the six bulkhead to upright bolts would be easier second time around? Well, I lied, they were worse, much worse. So, what went wrong? Well to start the tale, the foot board was under a 1920s Citroen lorry which has no tyres on. This monster had been backed in to the lock-up and the steel rims went over my foot board! I knew Moss, Bradford had one so I asked them to send it UPS express. It arrived yesterday and he painted it in the afternoon.
So, this morning I get there at 0805. Started by fitting the right angle adaptor to the fuel pump and clipped the pipes. I also did a few other bits and pieces. Time to fit the toe board….. it won’t! Fit that is. I’ve either got to undo the eighteen bulkhead bolts to lift the bulkhead about two inches or it may go in if I take the pedals off. Easier to move the pedals. Clutch pedal comes off easily but the brake pedal is difficult. I have to remove the pushrod and that’s almost impossible with the pedal solid having bleed the brakes. But I do get it off and angle the pedal to the rear. The toe board goes in, just. I have to feed the battery cable through it so it will go all the way in but there’s no hole for the cable. I look at Sherrill’s books and the speedo and tacho cables aren’t there nor are the holes for the brass adaptor on the oil pipe or the hole for the pipe itself. I ring Carl at Moss and he’s surprised but thinks they may have been modified as the racing lads don’t want the holes. So, having struggled to get it in, it comes out. I compare my board with the diagram in TCs Forever! and can now see that the large holes for the grommets are “marked” with small pilot holes. Take the panel to their machine shop and drill a hole for the battery cable, two 30 mm holes for the cables and smaller holes for the oil pipe and bolt holding the brass adaptor. All holed out I refit the board. I have to remove those six bolts that hold the bulkhead to the uprights. Having got the battery cable through the toe board I get it flat on the inside of the bulkhead. Then to refit the six bolts. Jean-Maurice helped me get the top bolt in the right hand side and I refitted the other two on my own. Then I refitted the pedals, that took an hour!
Finally in! I’ll polish it next week…. probably not, it won’t be seen with the carpet over it.
I had three setscrews to get through two panels and into the captive nuts then the four setscrews along the top. I struggled. At one point I was levering the panels together and pulled so hard the car came of its axle stand. I had the upright supported on a jack trying to get all three holes in line. Farce followed as I tried to lower the jack so I could get it under the chassis and the car back on four stands. The French jacks they have are not easy to lower as they have safety devices so, with the rocking on three axle stands, I’m trying to lower the bloody jack and not having much success When it did go down I jacked it on the axle and placed the two front stands under the springs. I didn’t bother trying to raise the uprights again. It took me over two hours to get them all in and tighten the left hand upright. The last one was a nightmare until I noticed the captive nut at a weird angle. I took it off, ran a tap through it and the last screw went in easily. Only spent half hour on one screw. Lucky I’m not on bonus! By this time, I was so knackered I could hardly stand. So I came home, it was 1730. A full day’s work and only one panel held on with 10 setscrews fitted.
The two cable grommets, the oil gauge brass adaptor fixed to the bulkhead and I know the rad supports need the nuts fitting.
Now, we all know Rodney’s a ‘plonker’, but did you know that Norman is one too. (For our French and rest of the world readers, I refer to a BBC Comedy show). So repeat after me “Norman, you plonker”… we’ll come back to it.
I started by fitting the clip to the fuel pipe. Removed the rad case, elongated the holes in the frame and refitted the case an inch or so lower so I can now get the rad cap on. I then fitted the brake pedal springs. I’m not happy about the brake pedal, after fitting the return spring, which seemed to be locating too far back, it’s in front of the clutch pedal. When pressed it goes back to the correct place before operating the cylinder. I’ll look at it later.
The brake pedal springs.
So, I start fitting the loom, commencing by connecting the wires to the regulator. Looking at the lovely fan of wires on the “From The Frame Up” tech tip, I decide I’ll do the same. So I fan out the wires and cut back to the correct length to look as good as the pictures. Only problem, remember, I’m a ‘plonker’! I have the regulator back to front so the shortest wire has the furthest to travel. (Why am I telling the world this…. ah, because I’m a ‘plonker’, remember?).
OK, no real problem, I have some connectors so will join the three wires that are too short back on…. ah, yes ‘plonkeritis’ at work again, I left the crimping tool at home … ‘plonker’! Borrow a crimping tool from the mechanic who comes in on Monday (everyone else has Monday off, the French only work 38 hours a week). Wires crimped and run, looks OK and no one will see the joins under the dash, except the ‘plonker’ has told everyone.
Lunch and start on pulling the loom through the bulkhead. Take it slowly and do more damage to my ribs by laying across the sills. By 1600 it’s through and I fit the brown wire to the starter motor and strip the two green wires that go to the brake light switch. It’s now getting on for 1700 and getting dark. It’s too dark for me to see well so I call it a day and go home.
The first wire of the loom to be fitted, the brown main feed. Just visible are the two green wires hanging down by the brake switch.
The main loom which is the larger of the two armoured cables. The other is the tacho cable.
Under the dash. I’ve got to strip all those dash wires tomorrow, but I’ve put the wire strippers in the car so the ‘plonker’ doesn’t forget.
For those who have no idea what a ‘plonker’ is, this is the entry in the Urban Dictionary…..
dope, idiot, moron, wally, pillock, dunderhead, dimwit.
“You are such a plonker, Rodney.”
So, what did the ‘plonker’ do today…. not a lot it seems. First job was to fit the two wires to the brake light switch. Time taken 2 hours! Why? Well the two grub screws were very tight so I decided to take the switch off and free up the screws. Problem was the screws that hold the switch to the bracket were rusted and covered in POR 15 paint. One came off, the other had to be cut off. I freed off the screws and refitted the switch with new screws and nuts. Then the edge of one of the grub screws broke away. I cut a deeper slot with a junior hacksaw and fitted it all back. I also adjusted the brake pedal and can see why the pedal is returning too far. I’ve put the Thackeray washer at the wrong end of the shaft so the pedal is not coming to stop on the stop lug. It’s a bit of a job getting the shaft out of the pedal cage with the body on so I’ll extend the stop quarter inch.
Next was to fit the coil and petrol pump wires, no problems – then the dynamo wires. Problem here was the larger of the two nuts was missing and I spent about half hour trying to find a nut that fitted. When I did, it took a couple of minutes to fit the two wires…. after I had wrapped the loom in tape and pulled it through the chassis. After lunch I bared all… well stripped all the wires going to the dash, then I started on the dash. The dash has been sitting on my table at home for months waiting for me to finalise the wiring. Never got around to it. So I fitted all the earth wires and a few others but had a problem. I couldn’t work out why the dash bulbs wiring wouldn’t reach all three bulbs on the tacho side. I tried it every way I could think but one end was always short of the bulb holder. I then looked at the pictures I took when I first took the dash out. The centre bulb holder, the one for the oil pressure gauge is on the opposite side to the original. This is the new centre panel I bought from Barry Walker. No problem, I extended the wiring. At this point Jean-Maurice starts fitting all the side panels and points out a ‘plonkerism’…. more later.
Jean-Maurice fitting the nearside side panel.
Next problem is the wire that goes to the speedo for the 30 MPH light is terminating by the Fuel lamp. I’m not sure what’s happened here, I’ll check that the warning lamps are in the correct place. I’ve also got a problem with the new 30 MPH lamp and map lamp, they are not earthed and have the wrong colour wiring. I’ll sort it out, probably drill very small holes in the casings and earth the body that way. Last thing I did was to connect the battery to the dash lights. Some work some don’t. The bulb on one that doesn’t work seems OK. I’ll order new bulbs for the whole dash, it’s easy to fit them whilst the dash is out.
OK, today’s ‘plonkerism’, well actually it was last week. When I packed the body up to get a good fit on the front of the bonnet to the rad casing edge I only packed the front four bolts. I read somewhere it was OK to have the body slope slightly so I didn’t pack the two rear mountings. Jean-Maurice pointed out the body is split by the door hinge on the passenger’s side. I filled the gap with glue, undid the two rear bolts, jacked the body and slid the three pieces of lino tiles between body and chassis. The gap closed. I then tightened the body fixing bolts. I drilled a small hole through the hinge pillar and fitted a wood screw in to hold the split together. It’s OK.
After physio I clock in at 1100. Sort out the wiring loom which has one end the wrong way around. It now has the MPH wire next to the MPH lamp. I then put some ends on a few wires and test everything. The dash lights work as does the map and mph lamp. Don’t know yet if they work correctly but they do light up. After lunch I fit the throttle pedal, with help from Robin, the apprentice and feed the 3 control cables through. I make another connector for the dash wiring and then place the dash on two clamps which I’ve clamped to the frame. Only problem is the loom isn’t long enough to reach the connectors on the dash. So I put the dash in place and attempt to join the loom wires to the dash switches. No Chance! (Achieved later, as was the dash wiring, with lots of help from Lynne, Norman’s wife)
The dash in place ready to have the loom connected.
All we’ve got to do in the morning is connect the loom to the dash. With Lynne helping, she may be able to pull the loom out so I can connect the wires to the dash with the dash laying on two G Clamps on the frame. It will be much easier than grovelling under the dash. Of course, in my youth I would have laid on my back and had the job done in a few minutes…… but those days are long gone.
We set off at 0830 and arrived at 0900. We started by trying to get four red wires into the slot of the lighting switch. No chance! in the end we soldered all four to one heavy wire (OK, it’s black but is only a few inches long) and then covered the join in a shrink sleeve. We then realised that the wiring diagrams we had were not correct. I had three and all differed slightly. I have a new dipswitch/horn from Moss. It comes with a wiring diagram as it says it’s different. I can understand the loom colours being different but how do you explain that their diagram with their coloured wires do not correspond to the diagram. I eventually decided to follow the one that matched the colours I had, I had to leave the wires to the dip switch as there are two wires that have two wires going into one.
We tried soldering them but the iron wouldn’t get hot enough. I’m taking some Lucar spade connectors with piggyback spades so I can get three wires on the male/female connector. I tried not to use these as they weren’t used originally. In hindsight, if I was doing this again, I would cut all the wires to the dash, fit the wires to the dash on the bench and then use bullet connectors to re-join the loom.
Lynne went at about 1600. I carried on and fixed the inspection lamp black socket which the black plastic ring had broken. I made a new one from a bottle top, better than £54 for new ones!
My helper, isn’t she wonderful?
– well, I think so.
I then got help to install the battery. At first nothing worked. So I removed the earth lead from the side of the battery box, removed the paint to bare metal and refitted the lead. It worked! But there is a short somewhere as the battery terminal gives a hefty spark when touched against the battery post. Also, if I leave it on there appears to be smoke coming from the carbs! It may be from the starter below but it really does look like it’s from the braided petrol pipe between the carbs. The starter works but nothing else seems to, no ignition light, no map light, no…. well nothing! I’ll sort it out on Monday morning, we’re out tomorrow.
I’m so cold my fingers are frozen and my brain, what I have of it, won’t work. I get the short fixed and get ignition. I then go to sort out why I have no lights. Get lamps working. I test each circuit with a multi meter.
Can you see them all glowing?
I had a problem with the bezels on the tacho and speedo. They weren’t crimped over enough and were coming loose when the instruments were tightened. I removed them, tighten the tabs and refitted. Problem is now, the bulbs are not shining through the gap of the tacho. It’s on the list.
There has been some discussion within the TABC group about how best to refurb wheels. This is my effort with sandblasting, primer and rattle can paint from Moss.
To be continued in the next Issue……(Ed)