Alex Holden (alex_holden) wrote,
Alex Holden

Ten wheels on my wagon

Things done so far on Fenchurch, my recently acquired Morris Minor:
  • Persuaded the back door to open and took all the spares out of the back. Discovered there are in fact two complete sets of wheels - ten in total - with a motley collection of ancient cross-plys on them. I'm going to invest in a full set of radials before I put it back on the road.
  • Partially sorted through the boxes of spares and assorted junk. Some useful parts, like a new master cylinder and several new slave cylinders, some parts from other vehicles, loads of weird non-car-related crap, and some stuff I can't even identify but don't want to throw away in case it turns out to be important.
  • Removed the steel rear crossmember panel, which is rotten along the bottom. It was bolted and nailed to the wooden frame underneath, which is reassuringly solid and non-rotten. I think this is the only panel that's going to need welding, and it'll be an easy job.
  • Realised the car has no indicators. No trafficators either. It has an indicator stalk and a flasher relay, but no lights and no obvious big holes where an old set could have been removed. Bizarre. The previous owner obviously planned to remedy this as there are two pairs of brand new indicator lights among the spare parts that came with it.
  • Went into town and bought a new battery and a can of Duckhams 20W50 engine oil. Ordered an oil filter for collection later in the day.
  • Drained the petrol tank, to find that despite what the seller said about it being gunged up, the old petrol is clean (no rust-flakes or grit), and will probably be fine if I put it back in. Cleaned the petrol filter, which also had very little dirt in it.
  • Discovered the radiator drain cock is stuck open, and it had been bodged with a bit of pipe to make it hold water long enough to show the engine running before I bought it, but it wouldn't have held any pressure. The top hose is knackered too, the radiator has at least one pinhole leak, and one of the galleries has previously been cut and soldered (a bodge-repair). Had a bit of fun removing it as one of the bolts had rusted in due to water leaking onto it - a job for Plus Gas and a bit of gentle persuasion of the Big Hammer variety. I'm going to simply buy a new radiator and hoses as they're not expensive.
  • Went back into town to pick up the oil filter and buy some rust-killer, anti-rust primer, etc. I'm in two minds as to whether to paint the underside in black Smoothrite, like we did on the Land Rover chassis and axles, or under-body sealer. The trouble with sealer is it's sticky horrible messy stuff, but in theory it's supposed to give you better protection against stones because they just bounce off instead of potentially chipping the paint. I suspect I'm going to go with the Smoothrite because it worked fine on the Landy.

On the way back from town I just missed the bus. Annoyingly, this was entirely down to my own pessimism. I saw it in the distance and thought, I've 0% chance of getting to the bus stop before it does, so there's no point running and missing it anyway. It then stopped to let some people on, and took so long doing it that if I'd started to run when I first saw it, I would have had no problem catching it. Then I thought, the next one won't be along for another 20 minutes so I might as well walk home. Two minutes later, a second bus roared straight past me. Strike two for pessimism. About 2/3 of the way home, up a very long steep hill (actually the valley side), I got a bad stitch and it started raining, so I ended up waiting in a bus shelter for another bus to come along and take me the rest of the way up the hill.
Tags: about me, fenchurch, morris minor

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