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Monday, 26 October 2020

Buckle up in the Austin pickup: fitting seatbelts

 The Pickup is back in the shed for a set of seatbelts. Though seat belts are not mandatory for such an old commercial vehicle, I still find it peculiar that no one ever fitted them to our car. I'm sure the prospect of hitting that steel dashboard at more than light braking has very little appeal to any passenger, so I ordered a set of static belts. 

One of the advantages of owning a very late version of an old model vehicle is that by 1969 the mountings for a set of three-point seatbelts were standard fitment to our Austin, so it was just a matter of removing a set of plastic bungs from the threaded mounting holes. With the floor and mountings accessible I sprayed the bare bits with some cavity wax too.      

The new belts came with all the required bolts and brackets. These are static belts, because there does  not seem to be enough space between the wide seats and the B-pillar for an inertia-reel system. 
Even though the instructions seemed clear enough, I found that when mounting the "A"bracket in the designated mounting hole "A" the whole assembly was upside down and adjustment impossible. After refitting the first set for the second time, ignoring the instruction leaflet, both sets of seatbelts were soon in place. Now I can use those new brakes with confidence!       

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Precipitation day

 Summer seems a long time ago already. Temperatures are lower, scudding clouds and intermittent rain don't seem to bother this gull. Good paddling weather actually.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Matching colours and blue box


I ordered a matched can of paint for the pickup and sprayed the sill and part of the rear sill under the box. 

 Though the colour was scanned with a special device, the colour is almost correct, but a little bit too blue, so I'll ask if another can can be made to match.

Meanwhile I used the remainder of the can to paint a steel box to use as covered storage. 

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Last day of summer


The last day of summer (officially) gave us it's best light into this covered cove. The river is low, so the cove is almost dry. 
Not a ripple. 
At this water level all sorts of artifacts come to light. Not sure what this anchor is anchoring, but you can see there is a rusty chain going up the bank, vanishing under the basalt boulders. 
This yacht could be as old as eighty years, but the fort on the other bank was built around 1870. 
Looking upriver towards the German border.

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Paddle into town (Arnhem)

A fine day to paddle down river to Arnhem
The town looks tranquil from the river, but there is a buzzing town beyond the tower. 
One of the "new bridges"
After a rest we paddle back upriver. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Austin A55 Pickup: fixing a rusty sill and a rename to "Ziggy"

This is another messy job.  I knew there was a hole in the sill, but always when you start poking a little hole, there is more.
Starting with a hole drill shows how far the weak metal reaches. 
Inevitably it turns into a large hole
After a short time it was clear that the lower part of the sill under the door was bad. The interesting thing was that the rusty sill was mostly limited to the part that had been repaired about a decade ago. There was no cavity wax or other protection inside. 

The light through his part of the sill had a certain "Stardust" view, so it seems we're stuck on the name "Ziggy" now.    

Even the inner sill needed a new patch that had been patched before. 

L-shaped steel for the inner sill, so the outer sill can be attached later. 
The new sill ready for welding. I bought 1mm steel, but when I started working on it I found it hard to bend. Turned out it was 1.25mm when I measured it.  Took a lot of pounding and bending. 
Outer sill in place. First coat of primer on.
A little repair patch ready for fitting  to the floor. 
Almost done. I will get the correct shade of blue soon. 
Next hurdle was the safety test that star struck Ziggy passed without throwing a tantrum. Isn't that a relief?  

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

MGF Headlamp failure and door handle failure


After buying a set of refurbished headlamps I was confident the MGF would pass the annual safety test, but I was very disappointed that the tester could not adjust one of the lights correctly. It took us quite a while to see that the culprit was an incorrect lens fitted to the right hand headlamp. It had a left hand lens fitted. 
With the headlamp apart the nice new reflector is evident. 
Here they are two identical left hand lenses. They are handed. The tester removed the correct lens from the old headlamp to fit it to the new one. 
Of course the bumper needed to come off again. Not so bad now we know how to. 
Here the headlamps are back in the car and it's a pass?
Well..actually no ! Now the door handle does not open the door anymore, so we have another fail situation. It was working fine yesterday, so something must have dropped off. I couldn't see very well into the door, so I took the car home to fix. 
After some fiddling (took a while) the handle is out and I could see this rather short screw has broken out of the plastic. Using a longer screw and superglue I could refit the plastic and a new screw. 
It attaches to this lever. 
Here the new screw is back in place and the handle works again. 
Finally we have a pass! Isn't it fun playing with old cars?