Friday, 30 December 2011

Xmas period! Lots of catching up!

Due to having a fair bit of time off this year, I managed to get a lot of  jobs done on the cars that I'd been putting off for ages. The engine that I dropped into the engineering shop to be inspected is still sitting there untouched (Or even looked at) so it freed me up to get other bits done.
I'll start with the estate. Ever since I've had this car there have been things that have either been missing or not working. I'd kind of got used to just not having them, but recently I decided to finally get them sorted out. The first thing was that after finally getting the interior light working a few weeks ago, I'd now become spoilt and wanted it working when I opened each of the doors too. Four new courtesy light switches were ordered from Mr Witor and once fitted all worked as they should. The load area light was the next to come under attack and once the switch had been cleaned up and the wires reconnected this worked fine as well. (I was on a roll now!)  With the success of this I then tackled the nasty job of fitting a roof mounted radio aerial. I'm not a great lover of wing mounted ones and always manage to snap them off somehow. This was done without managing to tear any of the roof lining which was a relief, although it was quite tricky trying to get the aerial coaxial cable down the inside of the roof strut. It all went well though and I can now finally listen to the radio instead of boring myself to death with the same Cd's all the time!
The next job was something that I, nor anybody else had noticed all the time I have had the car. This was that my side light and indicator units were upside down!  (See pic below)

As you can see, the side lights are at the top and the indicators are at the bottom and it should be the other way round.  This only came to light after reading Mike Weaver's blog and seeing pics of the front of his estate. Once I had taken the lenses off I could clearly see a large LH & RH (left hand and right hand) moulded onto the units, so God knows how the previous owner missed that when he restored the car? Perhaps he just wanted to be different? Anyway, these were swapped back over and the car now looks as it should.  The other jobs that I did were to fit two rear drive shafts complete with brand new wheel bearings and swap the thermostat for a hotter one. My temperature gauge had barely been reading anything since the start of the cold weather and as a result the heater was only luke warm. With the new thermostat fitted, the gauge now reads a quarter and the heater is much improved. In fact, in the past few weeks, the car has gained lovely comfortable seats, an  interior light that comes on when you open the door, and a heater that blows hot, not warm, hot air. Oh what bliss! Life doesn't get much better!

Onto Gertie now, and the first job was to try and sort out the appalling demister situation. Mk1's don't have great heaters at the best of times but the demister on my car is virtually non existent. (Ferny found that out while driving the car when the rain came down in Germany on the 10CR!) I started by removing the heater box and the fan. What I found in the recess in the bulkhead came as a bit a surprise....................... This was half of Scrapman's Oak tree from his garden where Gertie sat for a few years before he decided to sell it. Needless to say, it was having quite a negative effect on the airflow from the fan. With the fan and heater cleaned out and back in place there was definitely an improvement. It's still not great and I will be visiting this area again, but for now its better than it was. As least you can feel some air coming out of the vents now.
Another job I had been putting off was replacing the trailing arm bushes. I don't know why, it wasn't that bad in the end. I guess sometimes, the thought of doing something is worse than actually doing it. As expected the old bushes put up a bit of a fight coming out, but not as much as the new ones going in.
(Gertie minus trailing arm.)

In the end a good dousing of boiling hot water made the rubber bushes squishy enough to 'give' a bit and I managed to persuade them to move into their new home. Hopefully, the car will seem a bit firmer on the back end now.

Once Gertie was all back together, I fitted a set of 15 inch compomotive wheels to her. This is only temporary as I am going to have her TR6 rims shot blasted and repainted. The wheels have started to look a bit grubby over the past few months and some surface rust has started to appear, so a good blast and paint should tidy things up a bit.  

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