Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Front Indicators

Back again, good trip nice and quiet, got given a good photo taken from the supply boat of the gas being flared off from our boom. The reflection showing on the seawater overboard from the aft end makes it look like everything was on fire.
I have been searching eBay for the indicator lights I require and found everything I needed.
The side indicator was easy to find as there are lots for sale, this is the Lucas L734 and I picked it up for £12 inc p+p.
The new/used one is in the middle and you can see from the one on the left why it required replacing, I should be able to clean up the other although it has a broken thread but I shall make one good one from the two.

I also bought a fog light Lucas L 921 as mine had a broken back which was more than likely caused by me trying to remove it from the rear valance, this one has the chromed back and is in great condition for only £8.
I stripped off the exterior bracket, polished the glass and fit in position, I tested that it worked before fitting then wired everything together and tested all three lights.
I have spent some time searching through images on Google and searching eBay for the best looking and fitting front indicators, and I came up lucky.

I found a Lucas L781 left hand indicator from a Vauxhall PC Cresa & Vicount from the 70's that looked perfect unfortunately there was no right one, so I contacted the seller who deals in Vauxhall parts and he knew who had the left unit. It was another Vauxhall dealer who had the twin and both indicators where new old stock, so I took a chance that they would fit and bought the pair for just under a hundred pounds.
What made these perfect was that they followed the curve of the bend in the bumper, or near enough and weren't to big.
I tested that they worked and had to replace one of the lamps as it blew straight away.
I was thinking that I would have to make brackets to fit these but after a test fit I realised that I could bolt them directly to the bumper.
I masked off the bumper and indicator them marked off the best position and drilled.
I then marked and drilled the bumper for tapping 5mm threads, then bolted the indicator in place.
I was lucky that the heads of the 5mm bolts allow the lens to fit without hindrance, the curve of the indicator is a little sharp but nobody will notice at 70 mph.
I matched up the other side as best I could then bolted that in position, I have fitted the bumper and crossed my fingers hoping it looked good.
The only problem is that they aren't enclosed fittings and you can see the lamp fitting at the back, I can't hide the back but I can paint it black then wax oil which will disguise them and protect them.
Not bad for a first day home, I have a few projects in mind which I hope to complete and to test and repair all of the indicator and headlight electrics.

see ya Paul

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Quarter Light Seals

Last day home and managed to get a couple of hours work in on the quarter lights, polished the last one yesterday and the seals arrived this morning.
I was was going phone Bruno up for the seals but thought I'd have a search and the first place I found was Sussex Classic Car.
They had everything on site and the prices where great so I put my order in straight away and the seals turned up this morning, the main quarter light seals are Midget RH #AHA7416  L/H #AHA7417. These are very reasonable at £11.88 each.
I also ordered the lower Quarter light to door seals these are Midget RH # AHA7746  L/H #AHA7747.
There are a couple more seals I still need to order, they are the Corner Blocks for the S/S frame. I was going to order with the other seals but wanted to double check which ones they where as there are 2 different types, for the S/S and the Chrome frame. I removed one when I pulled the seal and checked it against the picture on the web site.
These are only 84p each so very cheap I shall also order new felt guides @ £3.38 each.

The old seals have received a lot of wear and tear over the years and you can see where the water has gotten in.

Fitting the new seals was a lot easier than I had first thought, but I found that starting on the long leg I could pry's a section out with a little force just using my fingers.
After it starts to come out then it's a simple matter of forcing the rest of it out.
Once removed I had to re-polished the frame as a lot of gunk came out with it and stuck on the shinny, the new seal required a little lubrication to assist its fitting so I gave it a good spray of silicone lubricant.
 I found that by positioning the seal in position above the rounded section I could fit one edge and with a flat bladed screwdriver I could lever the rubber into it the groove. Once started it was a simple matter of working around until it was all in position.
I then Fitted the glass and tightened the spring, a couple of swings and it settled into the rubber seal very nicely.
The other light went a lot faster than the first after I learnt the procedure.
Well that's the start of the polishing and everything is wrapped in bubble wrap and put away nice an safe, back in 2 weeks and will get a bit more done.

see ya Paul

Thursday, 11 April 2013


I have started polishing the large amount of shinny bits to be re-fitted, some of the parts that got damaged on removal like the door handles and side mirrors will be replaced. The damage was caused by having to drill out the rusty self tappers, you would have thought that the manufactures would have realised that rust would attack the screws, just a few more pence and they could have fitted stainless, mad.

I started out though by checking that all of the lights work, I bought a Sealey electrical tester the other year but haven't really had a chance to use it. I have a meter but these testers use the battery and allow you to put a current through whats to be tested and light it up or if its a small motor like my heater fan will run it.
You can do a variety of testing but I just used it to check that the lights work.
I connected to the battery and clipped the return to one side of the light circuit and put the probe on the other side.
I am pleased to say that all of the lights worked as they should.

I am very pleased I built my polisher, it would have been a lot of elbow grease without it or extra cost sending everything to a polisher.
I started on the bumper bars to get the biggest items out of the way, I removed what brackets I could and polished these separately.
I started with the medium polish to get rid of all the oxides that have developed before moving onto the green high polish of the cloth wheel.

A while ago I bought a set of chrome end caps that I found on eBay on a search for Kallista parts and they look great, in fact I have searched eBay for a set for the badge bar and found some under bicycle handlebars and have bought them.
That's the bumpers all finished even the parts you can't see look great.

Next up was the badge bar, the bar itself is in excellent condition but the chrome on the support's are a little worse for wear. 
I managed to slacken the lock screws off easily enough and slide the supports off the bar to polish separately and made things a little easier.
Still, even with the pitting it looks good and hopefully the new end caps will fit.

Once these were finished I thought I would start on the door parts, the quarter lights need a little work so I started by removing the bottom seal and the hinge nut and spring keeping the glass panel in place.
There was damage done to both doors due to water getting in through part of the seals, possibly the bottom seal which did not look in the best condition so I will replace all of the seals to ensure I find the correct one. I shall ask Bruno for a couple of sets but I believe they are from an MG Midget and are easy enough to get hold of.
Again mild steel screw were fitted instead of stainless, I've polished them up but doubt I'll be able to remove them without drilling so unless I need to remove them to fit the new seals then they are staying put. 
All in all I am pleased with the end result , the polishing looks great.

see ya Paul

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Rear Valance and Indicators

One of the things I have been looking into this last week are the indicators, I have been finding the i.d numbers and tracking them down. 
I started with the licence plate light as this was the easiest to remove and had the broken lense, this is a  plastic version of the Lucas L467, I found a new one on ebay for £25. This one is the chromed brass light with a glass lens, very good quality.

The next ones to find where the side indicators, these are Lucas L734 and are easy to find on ebay for around £35 a pair and other sites.
One of mine could be salvaged but the other is in terrible condition.

The rear valance has 2 lights attached, these lights have the same body and only the lenses change, these are the Lucas L921 in red as the fog light and in clear as the reverse light.
These are the black plastic bodied lights although they also come in chrome finish, my reverse light is in good condition but the fog needs replacing as the lense is all cracked and the surround is broken. I have found one on ebay so shall buy that one.

The front and rear indicators are from a company called Cobo and are more from the industrial side of motoring, I have tracked them down for sale from a company called Malpas Online and are the Cobo 02.356 Rear combination light for a Massey Ferguson tractor at around £34 each.
Mine are in very good condition and will clean up great, I have other plans though for the rear indicators and think that the tear drop shape of the Lucas L815 would look great.
The front indicators are also Cobo and have 03.178/1 stamped on the lense unfortunately I can't find this on the Malpas site but can find it down as an 03.189 Front combination light at £27 each also for a Massey Ferguson tractor.
Both the front and rear lights have stood up well to the years of abuse from the weather although a couple of the reflectors are a bit dull, but I can mix and match from the rear lights.

The rear valance has had a bit of a rough time with bits broken off and a few cracks.

I stripped out the lights and gave it a good clean with de-greaser.

I never realised when I had all of the small parts powder coated that a bracket was still attached to the valance, so now I have 1 nice powder coated bracket and 1 rusty bracket.
I shall give it a sand blast then prime and paint.

I repaired the valance by super gluing the broken section in place and run some glue around the crack, I used fibre glass to repair the damage but as the broken area is where the bracket sits I did not want a big lump sticking up. To make a neat thin repair I used Jointing tape that is used to put a skim between plasterboard joints, this is sticky backed so you can place it where required and it will stay until the resin is applied.
Once all dry I had a search around the loft and found some Turtle wax Black Chrome polish designed to restore bumpers back to original condition, I was very pleased with the results as after only one coat it came up like new. I shall let it harden of overnight and give it another coat tomorrow, I attached the down light to see what it would look like and it was a perfect match for the holes.
The number plate is a little flyblown but I am loath to replace it as it is the original Panther plate with the logo and address, so anyone know of a firm that can replicate it.
Next job while I have the bumpers off is to get the polisher out and give them a good buff up, I have also bought chromed plastic end covers to fit so that's tomorrows jobs sorted.

see ya Paul

Monday, 8 April 2013

Bonnet fitting

Not so busy this last week as I am basically ready for paint and am just pottering around till then, I have been to see Paul who is going to work on the car for me doing the body prep and spraying but unfortunately I was a bit late. He has had a week of work and if I had seen him earlier and said I was ready he would have booked me in for last week but he already had 2 jobs on, he has though arranged with his friend for the use of his heated spray booth, so watch this space.

While away the Soundproofing arrived for the scuttle underside, I only ordered 5 sheets which was just enough to finish the job.
Very easy to work with as it is sticky backed and is easily cut with a pair of scissors.
All of the holes needed trimming through, hopefully it will deaden some of the engine noise.

I have spent some time sourcing the parts required for the wiper drive and was surprised to find that the covers where originally from an E type Jag, there are 4 sizes available from Holden's each for a different car. I phoned through my order with the measurements and the guy at Holden's kindly measured to ensure I got the correct ones. I also ordered a pair of Double jet Screen jets  
When ordering you need to count the flats on the nuts as there are 2 different types, 6 flats and 8 flats each are for a different type of drive, mine was a 8 flat. total cost for this little lot was around £45.

I also ordered from Vintage car parts the tread I needed for the steps, they have 3 sizes of tread 22mm 19mm and 16mm and I went for the 22mm with the aluminium cap ends, I really wanted the chrome plated end caps but could not really justify the cost as it would have cost over £60 just for the 12 end caps. So I ordered the Aluminium end caps and will have them colour coded along with the tread. I was a little disappointed with these as they look like they cost around 1p to make which is probably right and are sold for £1.40p each
The Tread can be cut to order and comes with the rubber insert, I just needed to clean up the sawn ends and drilled the step to fit them. I made the centre treads a little shorter than the others which wasn't the original design but the rubber that came was around 75mm short so instead of complaining I just change the design, which I think looks great.
I also bought a tube of black Sikaflex 255 FC which is used for windscreen and for sticking on spoiler kits, I used this to stick the rubber spacers on the end of the steps before fitting the treads.
Once I had finished the drilling I covered the steps again with vinyl before bolting on the treads and fitting to the car.
Next job was the bonnet, I have been warned about the difficulty and the dangers of fitting the bonnet with a new paint job so I thought I would have a practice.
I started by fitting the hinges to the bonnet and lifting in position.
Once on the car I lifted the front of the bonnet and tied it up in the open position, the original bolts I removed have a welded square washer to prevent them turning when tightening, this is important as to get the correct positioning of the bonnet it needs to be closed and tighten from underneath. This is where I had my first problem as the bolts are just the correct length which for me is a little short as my finger just found it impossible to reach the back bolts to get the nuts on. So I first tried fitting long bolts which was no good as they just turned so today I made up a plate to take the 2 bolts and instead of tack welding the bolts on (as they are stainless) I drilled and tapped them in.
Once these bolts had the nuts on slack I fitted the bonnet spring lock and the little rubber bumpers, I then closed the bonnet until the spring lock engages. It is this I found that gives the correct positioning of the bonnet, once locked the side to side can be checked and wiggled to the best you can get it now you can nip up the bolts and check again. So simple to do but took a whole day of messing about to get it right.
I still need to remove the bonnet again to finish the work on the scuttle but now I know the correct procedure and how easy it is, I don't see a problem. Now I just have to repair all of the scratches on the scuttle.
See ya Paul