Thursday, 30 August 2007

Progress this summer

I have achieved quite a lot this summer (schools back next week), but not as much as I'd have liked; everything takes so much longer than you expect. August in the blog archive contains 20 articles, but to summarise, this month's achievements break into four sections: the sourcing of parts, the making of others, the restoring of the engine and negotiations with neighbours.


I have bought wheel cylinders, wheel bearings, a fuel tank, VHT paint, found two wheels (one of mine was wrong and I didn't have a spare) and hard-to-get domed cold rivets for the leaf-springs. Magpie has also provided info on windscreen rubber profiles and how to fit them, wheel sizing, etc (will do a piece on this); Truman has told me that I can get an exhaust made up fo £75 - and he will collect it for me! I have found someone to do a thoroughly good job of recoring my radiator, after I have modified the frames from one provided by Colin to replace the completely rusted away ones on the radiator Truman very kindly gave me earlier this year. I had hydraulic brake pipes made up (ready flared and with threaded fittings), using dimensions from the original parts manual.

I shall be making up a parts source list in a column on the right of the blog in due course. In the meantime, Truman's blog is a useful place to look for ideas.


I made up the radiator support, the driver's side panel, the radiator baffle, cleaned up the front leaf springs, made chassis reinforcing plates and outriggers, did some experiments with the doors using a template, made a trolley for the cab front and reorganised the workshop to work on the chassis - ready to reassemble the parts on it.


The highlight of the summer - Colin got the engine finished! Marvellous. I probably should have done it myself, for the complete experience, but I am on a tight schedule and anyway am doing lots of processes other J Type owners are never forced to tackle. This way I have had an expert on the job and have been spared the irritation and frustration of having to research every stage and try to find parts I don't know the names of. And I haven't needed to work out how much wear on old parts I can allow, etc. No, Colin was by far the very best solution.


I'm glad to say that I have got convenient storage and workshop space for the van once my next door neighbour gets her garden back at the start of November, and she has even agreed (in return for me replacing her fence) for me to have a gate through to her neighbour's garage, which is where my van will be. At last I won't be land-locked! I have until then to get both sets of leafsprings sorted out, the axles back on the chassis, the brakes reassembled, the steering reassembled...and the wheels that I can steer-roll the lot through the gardens in two months' time. It all begins to feel possible now.

It WILL be done for the 60th Anniversary of the J Type in June '08! Brilliant! That means that next summer I can do something else.....for a change!

No comments: