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Working on it

Minor update

I've got disappointingly little done on Fenchurch over the Christmas holiday. Part of that is down to busses not running on various days thus preventing me getting over to Nelson, and part is sheer laziness. I've:
  • Cleaned up the alloy inlet manifold I bought on eBay and sorted out a plug for the brake servo vacuum hole (it was the same size as the thermometer hole on the old cylinder head).
  • Attempted to extract a broken thermostat housing stud from the old cylinder head and failed miserably (the remains of the broken stud are still stuck fast in the hole). I was hoping to clean up the old head and keep it on hand as a spare, but that can wait for now.
  • Attempted to extract all the seized/broken screws from the captive nuts that held the headlamps on, then gave up and ground the nuts off (I'll simply replace them with non-captive types instead).
  • Chipped the horrible hard black underseal off the inside of the front wings (I couldn't simply leave it there because there were patches of rust underneath that would only get worse if left untreated).
  • Wire-brushed the insides of the front wings.
  • Welded up the aerial hole and the wing mirror hole on the driver's side front wing. This went better than expected - the hardest part was filing the patches to fit in the holes without any gap. The aerial hole patch is sunk in by a fraction of a mm but filler will easily hide that, and the wing mirror hole is practically invisible even without filler.
  • Cut out and replaced the part of the driver's side front wing that bolts to the lower rear inner wing (in other words, the bit I had to replace with a repair panel because it was rotten - it turned out that both the inner and outer wing had rusted in the same place). I also had to replace a small section at the top. This job took a while because I had to make up three fancy-shaped repair pieces and butt-weld them to the old metal and to each other. At least Fenchurch's wings are no longer in imminent danger of dropping off.
  • Sanded the thirty or so tiny rust-bubbles on the outside of the driver's side front wing back down to the bare metal (I did it by hand which took hours, made my wrists ache, and kept clogging up the emery paper - that green paint is really thick).
  • Temporarily bolted the driver's side front wing back on to check that it still fit after all the work I've done (it did - yay!).

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