Friday, 30 September 2011

Hurray!!! back on its wheels

Hurray!! It´s back on its wheels!!! I cleaned with an old tooth brush and some clean fuel, all the wheel hubs, as there was old grease and dirt. The spindles have some light surface rust, that shows there was no grease there. I used some fine sand paper to clean the mating surfaces between the wheel and the hub, and applied liberally amounts of lithium grease.

Now the car has 4 lovely restores wire wheels with new tyres. Have to say, that 3 out of 4 wire wheels had  some important wobble at the outer rim, with about 4-5mm off-set. Normal value should be 1-2mm so let´s see what happens. Sending them to a specialist to center them would cost a fortune, specially because in Spain now there’s no tradition for it, and I have new wire wheels on the UK for as little as 110 pounds. So I will use them, and If I really feel I need to change them, I will do it. But for now, they will make the job.

Although the main electrical harness is correct, some of the outer sleeve has gone in some portions. Reproducing the cotton sleeve is not possible for me, and I just could not stand using black pvc tape…. That´s what any normal mechanic would use when he’s just repairing a car and not restoring a car. So I used some cloth tape I ordered from autosparks. It really gives a nice finish, more period style than normal pvc tape…

Lastly, I painted yellow the fan blades of the water pump plus the pulley. I did not have the correct yellow to match the original paint, and the one I had was too yellow. The original paint, at least on my car, is just the same as what airplane enthusiast now as Piper Yellow. I know an RC plane hobby store that can order me a small can of piper yellow for RC use, so if in the future I need to remove the radiator, I will take the opportunity and paint the blades with the correct colour.

Now the engine bay is looking much, much better: removed a lot of rust, new blue paint, most of the accessories have been removed, and restored, etc. Not it looks neat and tidy. I still have some work with small parts like the washed bottle, new washer plastic tube, clips, brake line (which has been already cleaned and silver painted), etc…

Ahhh, I forgot, As said at the begging of the project, both bonnet hinges where almost gone… very rusty and with no possibility to repair them. I found on ebay a NOS hinge, made by Unipart at a good price  of about 10 pounds, so I ordered it. But I needed one more, do ordered one from MOSS. They sell heritage made hinges, and sadly found when I had both side to side, that holes did not match, and the chances to adapt them where little. So I ended ordering another from Moss, so I had exactly the same two. Having different ones on each side, could make the bonnet not to open/close correctly damaging for example new paint! I sanded a little bit the surface, gave two coats of primer, and a coat of the blue colour.

After checking that the original hinges where mostly rusted on the inside of the hinge, that tells me  it was due to water being trapped there. The new ones have a draining hole on the lowest position, but I will coat them with a thick layer of cavity wax, just to prevent any future rust.

Just one comment on the heritage hinges: it´s extraordinary to see what these people do at the Heritage workshop, taking care of all the original tooling and making new repair panels or even complete body shells, to keep alive their british classic car tradition. Take a look at this awesome article on their work. I really wish other countries had the same level... 

Next Monday I will tow the car to the mechanic to fit the brake parts and suspension. Hopefully in one or two weeks time, I should be able to pass the MOT and then get the insurance to drive it. Looking forward!!!!

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