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Thursday, 2 July 2020

MGF instrument cowl repair

The cowl over the instrument cluster on our MGF was broken and showed large cracks.
"Luckily"the fixing clips at the rear had also broken, so I could remove the cowl easily by unscrewing the front. The rear clips seem to have been screwed in from the rear of the dashboard before the air ducts were assembled. Extremely hard to reach. What were they thinking when they designed that? 
I glued the cracks with epoxy glue. The gaps were filled with a polyester filler.
Underneath I strengthened the cowl by glueing thin metal strips to the plastic.
It was hard to sand the repair to make the joint invisible.
I used a textured coating to cover the joints. At first I thought it didn't work
But after several coats a regular texture covered the cowl.
With the cowl refitted the repair is hardly visible. If I want I can cover the cowl with cloth or some other material later. If I find the cowl rattles I'think I might fix the rear with one or two magnets. 

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Austin A55 pickup Carburettor fix

Don't you think the MGB Rostyles look rather funky on the pickup? This is an experiment to see how a larger size of tyres would work to limit the revolutions at motorway speeds. They do make an improvement, but steering is too heavy, so the experiment is still going on. Meanwhile the car was running rather too rich while the adjustment was at its leanest setting. Clearly something was wrong with the SU carburettor.  
So I ordered the correct needle, spring and jet assembly and a set of gaskets. 
I could determine the carburettor was the correct one as the indentification label states: AUD40.
Taking the assembly apart showed some missing gaskets, so maybe an air leak was causing the problem.
Still I checked the SU and replaced the needle, Jet and spring with the correct items.
The needle was firmly stuck in place and also the Jet needed some heat to be dislodged from the float chamber. The needle valve worked fine, so I left that in place. 
Strangely the vacuum chamber seemed to be slightly out of true as the piston would not slide down as intended, so I used one from another SU. Now the piston works perfectly.  
After reassembly the SU didn't look much different, but after adjustment and a test drive I could discern a big improvement. Job done!
Meanwhile I decided that 175/14 tires were too wide as the steering seemed too heavy, so the final verdict was to fit 16/14 size tires. This is the correct replacement size anyway. 
 One of the old tires looked fine, but when fitted to the spare it blew off the rim because there was a break in the cord. The new tires look much better and drive better than the old tires. 

Friday, 5 June 2020

Austin Pickup adjusting adjusters

 The new brake adjuster had arrived, so it was time to remove the temporary bodge.
 This was the temporary fix I found on the car. It didn't work well anymore, so I was happy to receive the new adjuster. 
 Fitting the new shiny item was easy. Now I could adjust the brakes and the pedal is quite firm. I like that.  

The brakes work much better now. I would almost say they work well. Now we'll make a start at collecting the parts to perform a proper brake rebuild. 
Now we can start hauling stuff. 

Wolseley 18/85 service and creeky balljoint cure

Again it was time for a biennial service job on the Wolseley. Oil and filter were changed and the other fluids checked. 
Also the brakes were inspected, cleaned and inspected.  Look how similar these brakes seem compared to the A55 pickup.
At the front a good clean was all we could do. The brakepads were fine and the pistons all moved freely.
At dry summer days and temperatures over 24c one of the balljoints was making an awful creeking sound. I removed the balljoint, but could not find anything wrong, so it was regreased and refitted. I greased the other swivelybits, but could not find anything wrong. So now we'll have to wait if the noise reoccurs at the next heat wave. 
For now the Wolseley looks ready for another  couple of fine road trips.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Austin A55 Pickup revisited

 Remember this 1969 Austin pickup? We visited this car in 2011. At that time I had just started the Wolseley Ten project, so I decided not to adopt the pickup as one project was enough. The car was sold to a trader and then ended up with a friendly couple up north. The trader had fixed a few issues and the gave the car a good polish. He also changed the Austin A60 facelift front to the older a55 version. The strange thing is that it should have been registered as an A60 pickup, but it seems that from new it was registered as an A55. The car was offered for sale again.
 Having a soft spot for pickups and British cars we went to see it and before I knew it I was driving the car home a week later. It was a fairly long motorway run, but the car coped very well and arrived on our drive without drama. I did find the brakes were not as they should be. I expected the rear wheel adjustment to be completely out, so off came the rear wheels.

It turned out the left rear adjuster had broken and someone had made a clever fix by fitting a large bolt. It probably worked for a while, but now the thread in the adjuster had completely stripped, so the brake shoes were as far away from the drum as they could be. The pedal was almost on the floor before engaging the brakes. 

 I did not have an adjuster available, so I ordered a new one.
 But as I did want to drive the car while waiting for the part, I threaded an M10 thread and bolt as a (very) temporary solution. Now I could adjust the rear brakes again and this made a big difference. The next job will be a full brake service as soon as I have the parts I need.
Though I have a little list of things to do, the car is fully operational and great fun to drive.
 On the saloon cars the dash was an off white colour while the van and pickup were black. Maybe I'll change it.
Our "Bakkie"is already running errands for us.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Coffee to go

Obviously we could not go out for lunch,  but we could take the Mini out after lunch to pick up two 'coffee to go' and enjoy them at a scenic spot.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Friday, 24 April 2020

Goodbye baby Wagoneer

We could say we have arrived at the end of an era.  In 2002 when we went to pick up our "new" Wagoneer, we thought we'd just drive the car for a few years, but we never imagined it would be so many. It was such a big and compicated car, compared to the other cars. But it just kept going and it was such a strong and useful vehicle, after some years we couldn't imagine going without.
 We drove it to Spain in 2003 with the rooftop tent.
 We drove the car to spots no car was supposed to go
 It often transported kayaks on the roof rack
 In dry and wet weather.
Living outdoors and being used on the salted winter roads too, rust was inevitable and rust repairs were necessary once in a while. I knew this couldn't last for ever like this.
 The car was a good tow vehicle and  the Seven was trailered to events annually as well as other cars that needed to be hauled out of trouble or hibernation.
This time car just stopped in the middle of the road and would not start again. For the first time it left us stranded with no way to restart. An extensive electric short disabled the car thoroughly as if telling us it was enough. Together with a list of rust and mechanical repairs and rising cost of taxes and fuel it was just not practical to fix, so now it was time to say goodbye to the old Wagon. They don't make them like that anymore.