Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Dash structural repair

I came home from school at lunchtime today, after a 3.5 teaching Reception, got changed into roughs, had a quick lunch and got straight down to the workshop. Talk about the work-life balance!

I cleaned up the replacement panel for the right side of the dash and marked and cut the slot, drilled the neighbouring hole, then file-fit it ready for welding.

I made and welded an insert piece to the right hand inside of the part, then slotted this inside the right of the gap to provide leverage and reinforce the fit. It worked well. I welded the lot in and ground it flush.

The radius, incidentally, is correct and was achieved using my shrinker and stretcher. The part looked like an oblong but there is a subtle arc.

It really is so much easier welding fresh metal. The weld for the insert hissed sweetly; it sputtered more when joining the replacement part to the old metal. I say new metal, but of course it is actually taken from the roof of a scrapped Ford Prefect with layers of paint and rustproofing removed. It is nice, thick clean stuff....from when cars were built to last.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Welding the "A" pillar replacement

The corner piece/section of "A" pillar was taken from the remains of the Goat Lady's van which, ironically, was in better condition, in places, than mine.

I marked and cut my windscreen surround, having braced it (as I explained earlier) and filed it to fit in several different places, which was very tricky indeed. What my picture below does not show is that, in order to give structural support and to provide a little bit of a heat sink behind the butt joint, I inserted a couple of small pieces cut from the same donor piece, welding one into the lower part of the screen surround and the other into the bottom of the piece to be welded in.

(above) shows the front of the cab; (below) shows the same piece from within the cab. Fitting was tricky with the heat sink parts added.

Positioned, then tacked in place before being welded properly.

Red oxide paint to protect bare metal from rust. This can be rubbed back if needs be later. The front has needed a fair amount of finishing and will need a little more to get surfaces completely flush, but so far so good. There are pin-prick holes on the red side which will need dealing with, and some POR15 paste will take care of imperfections on the front surface.

Not a bad day's work!

Friday, 11 May 2007

A-pillar replacement - preparation

(Above) I have welded in (but not dressed) the surface of this corner bracket (taken from the Goat Lady's van). It isn't perfect but it is a heck of a lot better than it was. It was tricky because it needed 3-d adjustments and had to be right on 4 mating surfaces. Considering how awkward this was, I don't think I've done badly.

(above) I braced the windscreen so that the gap did not widen and the frame sag, when cut. Then I carefully cut away the rusted section of the A-pillar. Then (below) I inserted the replacement section. What you have to imagine, though, is that the replacement part includes the upper left internal corner, mirroring the right hand one you can see at the top of the page. Filing it so that it fit in 4 places was tricky and accounts for the discrepancies at the front.

I will need to clean the rusted surfaces at the front before I can weld the part in place. I may put a small over-lapping insert piece in to brace it....but fitting the part once the insert is fixed in it will be difficult.

I am quite pleased with how this is going because when this is done, all of my structural rust problems around the scuttle will have been solved.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Roof rack ransom

Just got off the phone to Brian Squirrell in Pulham St Mary, Suffolk (roof rack man) who made a whole palaver of this not being the roofrack on ebay, when it so blinking obviously was (and interesting because I didn't mention ebay this time!) and then said that if we want it back we have to pay him his expenses.

What expenses?
The cost of taking my roof-rack from where I had it (before I gave it to him for his project) to his place + the money he paid the landowner for it! I owned it.....he didn't need to pay the landowner a penny, but presumably did so to assert ownership, even though it actually belonged to me then.

This really irritated me, to say the least, and I said something like, "Look here, you want me to pay you for a roof rack I gave you completely free and which we gave you as a fellow J type restorer? !"

Then he said "actually, I'd rather cut it up".....and he hung up on me.

What a completely unprincipled bastard.

Well, some would say it serves me right for writing all that naive nonsense about restoring bringing the best out in people and how we are like a co-operative and it is not a money grubbing business. I suppose I can say goodbye to those springs of mine in his garage too; I expect they will be added to his ebay list.

Make a note of the guy's name. He's not the sort of character you want to do business with.

There's a moral, which is to make clear to someone you give something to, that it is for their project and must not be sold for profit; that if they decide not to use it, it must be returned to the giver....and put this in writing. If they can't agree to that, then they must pay the going rate for it.

I feel really hurt by Brian's attitude because I feel we were very generous and he has completely slapped us in the face.