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Working on it

Minor update

This weekend I:
  • Spent a few hours practising welding bits of scrap sheet metal together with my dad's MIG welder. I've got to the stage where I can manage to get decent weld penetration without blowing holes in the metal most of the time, but the resulting weld still looks rather ugly. Not a big deal, because you can always grind off the worst of it without affecting the strength of the weld. I'd like to take night-classes to improve my welding skills, but the only welding courses the local colleges offer are ones structured towards obtaining professional welding qualifications, and they cost insane amounts of money (hundreds of pounds per course, and there are several 'levels' to go through). Since I have no ambitions to become a qualified professional welder, it would be rather a waste of money.
  • Welded a new section onto the bottom of the lower rear panel.
  • Wire-brushed the floor under the driver's side sill, and discovered that it is in worse condition than I first thought - it's going to need patching along most of the length of the sill.
  • Welded the first of the patches onto the floor under the driver's side sill.
  • Freed up the fuel gauge sender unit and reassembled it.
  • Cleaned and painted the area around the hole in the boot floor where the fuel tank sits.
  • Fitted the new ignition switch.
  • Screwed the new back door handle in place.
  • Dismantled the driver's door to get the handle mechanism out in order to change the barrel. This proved to be one of those instances where the task proves to be far more difficult than how it is described in the manual. It says something along the lines of, "unbolt a, b, and c, then lift the window frame out." There is a picture of somebody casually removing it with the caption, "The door window frame lifts out easily as shown." Does it bollocks lift out easily! The bolts are all hard to get at, it jams in half a dozen places when you try to lift it, and I still haven't figured out how to get it completely out because there's a bracket glued to the bottom of the glass that's wider than the slot in the top of the door, so you can't lift the glass out and the frame won't come out because the glass is in the way! To compound the problem, it proved impossible to remove the handle mechanism without unlocking it first, which rather misses the point that the reason I'm trying to remove it is because I don't have the key. The crappy security of 1950s locks saved the day there, because I managed to unlock it using a different key and a bit of judicious jiggling.

I also went to the local Townley Classic Car show today, which proved a little disappointing. It was overcast and there had been a little rain in the morning, so I suspect a lot of people stayed away, expecting the rain to get worse. There were quite a few Morris Minors on display, but there wasn't an auto-jumble section. I found myself watching the show-ring when, slightly bizarrely, a group of pretty young girls dressed like cheerleaders came on and performed an ambitious choreographed dance routine with rather more enthusiasm than skill, to some really awful backing music.

The back panel after welding the new section on (not cleaned and painted yet):

Step 1 - I've just poked a screwdriver through the floor pan under the sill; looks like it'll need a little patch (the hole on the left is a drain hole).

Step 2 - Wire brushed the underside of the sill; eek, looks like it was worse than I thought.

Step 3 - Welded a big patch over the rotten metal (need to drill a new drain hole, grind the welds, and clean/paint it yet):

No pictures of the cheerleaders at the car show, sadly ;)


Yes, I had to fit a new barrel in the lock. It went back together easier than it came apart, apart from losing a bolt in the bottom of the door, and the keyhole not lining up. I'm going to have to rebuild the door properly at some point because it's badly rusted underneath, but that's a cosmetic thing so it can wait until after I get her back on the road.

I like this weather - not sunny or rainy, just pleasant. Classic car enthusiasts tend to be rather protective of their motors though, and will often refuse to take them out of the garage if there's even a hint of moisture in the air.

The dancing cheerleaders weren't awful, apart from the backing music, just a bit unexpected at a classic car show.

I put the petrol tank back on, and she ran for a couple of minutes before she died and refused to restart. I think some muck has been sucked into the carb (the inside of the tank rusted a bit after cleaning all the gunge out). I really need to fit a proper disposable inline fuel filter after the pump.
Yay! Sounds like it's going really well ~ it's always good when things are easier to fix than take a sledgehammer to ;-)

It's rained here all weekend :-(