Monday, 23 July 2007


Tonight - in the middle of the night - (why, oh why, especially before a big day, am I up in the middle of the night!) I am applying POR-15, a several-stage process, which starts with Marine Clean (degreasing), drying, Metal Ready (keeping wet for 30 mins) rinse with water, allow to dry, as dry as a bone.

Metal ready is a rust remover that leaves a zinc phosphate coating on base metal, the perfect pre-primer for POR-15.

When the surface was bone dry (achieved with a halogen lamp), I applied a coat of silver POR-15, recommended because it has tiny metal filler particles which fill pitting better than the black or clear versions....and worked liberal amounts into the back of the drip rail, where rust has created a rusted gulley which will need filling with POR-patch in 24hrs.

POR-Patch is a "pudding" version of the same substance and is used as a filler. I shall work a radius of it right along the front of the cab.

When it has had time to dry (2-6 hrs) to the touch, with slight finger drag, I'll give it its second coat and then leave it overnight....and for the next 24 hrs, after which I shall apply the pudding.....which is the bit I have put lots of faith in. It is meant to be the ultimate filler: hardens like steel but flexible, so won't chip or crack, will be waterproof and non-porous, will be moisture barrier, will be impervious to all fuels.

It says in the blurb that in lab tests it was applied to a metal box used as a raw sewage filter and put into action within hours of being treeated. The welds were checked after 6 months and no visible rusting had occurred. Mind you, they don't say what had occurred on the non-weld areas of the box, LOL.

If it is as strong as they say, as I hope, it will strengthen the compromised front at the bottom of the sub-windscreen channel, though I have filleted it with welds inside the channel anway.

The big day tomorrow, by the way, is the collection from Truman's store in London, of a Gold Seal B series engine with my mate with his trailer. That said, I talked to my B series mechanic today and he told me that he'd found a cylinder head and fitted it for me, so the engine will be a fall-back position.

4 a.m. before eyes closed!

Sunday, 22 July 2007

new scuttle support rig

This is a poor quality film taken on my phone (under a halogen lamp used for drying some POR15 Metal-ready) showing a rig I built this afternoon to support the cab scuttle while I work on the wheel arches. I need to bolt the wings up so as to be able to reference the back half of each wheel arch.....and weld the parts (made by Iain Mackenzie) in place.

Friday, 20 July 2007

a major job finished

It may not be apparent from what follows just how important this job is...and just how difficult it has been, or how much problem solving has been involved. You might like to follow some of the links to see what I mean. The job will need cleaning up, but it is essentially finished - it works - and I am ready to move on.
I am absolutely chuffed that this bit is finished.

The welding inside the channel, providing fillet reinforcement to the ropey front, had been completed and the right hand panel completed, so the channel was ready for its interior surface with its captive nuts. - You will recall that the originals had been rusted to buggery. The circular holes will accommodate the captive nuts.

I had made this dash-panel up in two parts, welded together in the middle. You can see from the shadow that it is bowed (like a kid's drawing of a bird in the distance); and it is made of two subtle arcs. I drilled the fixing holes by using the original panels as patterns; same for the vertical slots, which had to be chain drilled and chiseled out.

The steel came from the roof of a 1958 Ford Popular, incidentally, which was suitable because it is good, solid 18 gauge stuff, which was coated in thick rust-proofing etc. It needed a fair amount of preparation to get it down to a weldable, workable surface. I have used a lot of this reclaimed steel for patching...and it feels rather special it coming from a car of the same era.

Then I bolted the panels (the Right one can be saved; the left will be a pattern for a replacement) to the dash-panel using specially purchased 6mm button domed hex bolts, which are tightened with an Allen key.

Above you can see the dash panel before I welded the nuts "captive". Captive nuts (which will be inaccessible inside the solid channel) mean that it will be possible to bolt-on and unbolt panels from inside the cab (without holding the nut).

Incidentally, the painted labels date from when I was dismantling the van. I also photographed, bagged-up and labelled smaller bits. Photo reference is essential for putting stuff back together again a year or more after dismantling!

Above, the panels were then bolted to runners on the cab (separate from the workpiece, so as to ensure correct alignment) and the top edge was cramped to the channel and tack welded, care being taken to tack the dash-panel, but not the cab panels, which were then removed.

This is what we call pigeon-shit! It is weld done in blobs (after having tacked it every inch or so - kind of dot to dot welding), rather than one steady, professional stream. Not pretty, but once cleaned up it does the job.

And here you can see the panels bolted to the cab for the first time - without the assistance of cramps.

Next I think I shall tackle the POR-15 treatment, especially the radiusing of paste along the front of the windscreen surround.

I also need to go to a steel stockholder and get some steel to make up a new left hand cab panel - as the Ford Popular stuff is all used up! Incidentally, if you want to know what happened to the rest of the Ford, have a look.