- Booked Fenchurch in for her MOT test next Thursday. So far we seem to be on track for having her ready on time.
- Got a new insurance quote from Adrian Flux. I was amazed that it came in at half the amount of the hypothetical Morris Minor Traveller I asked them to quote on a couple of months ago. I think the only things I changed were the age of the car (1963 vs 1970 on the hypothetical car); I said I would keep it on the drive instead of the road (slightly less convenient for me, but less salty road spray from passing vehicles in winter); and I think I probably picked a different job title (there are a few that fit loosely but none that exactly describe my job - I picked "computer engineer" this time and I suspect I may have picked "IT consultant" last time). There is one thing I have to ask them about before I can take out the policy as I had to make up an answer, not knowing what the real answer is (how much my previous claim was for - I did write to NUD asking them among other things how much they paid to the third party, but they never bothered to reply).
- Took all of the hydraulic suspension dampers off, replaced the fluid in them, and put them back. This was a pig of a job, mainly because the taper link joints were seized so solidly that I couldn't get any of them apart while they were on the car, and on the back the split pins that held the top ends of the link rods were jammed into the studs so well that they sheared off and I couldn't find the remains of them after getting the nuts off (!), so I had to drill new cross-holes in the studs. The rear left damper had some flakes of metal in the old fluid, so it may be on its way out, but it is still damping OK at the moment.
- Fitted a replacement for the missing left hand "hockey stick" (a chrome trim piece at the front which also holds the front end of the wing to the front panel).
- Replaced the faulty flasher unit.
- Fitted a new water bottle and bracket, and replaced the (thumb-operated) washer pump. The windscreen washers now work fine; better even than some cars I've driven that had electric washer pumps.
- Replaced the wiper blades, and spent ages dismantling and messing about with the wiper arms to try to get them to apply enough pressure to the blades that they will actually wipe water off the glass. Only partially successful, but unfortunately new arms are nearly twenty quid each and I'm not even sure if they'll be much better (one of the "joys" of driving a classic car is that they usually have rubbish wipers). Hopefully they're good enough to pass the MOT, and I can have a think about how to improve them some more later.
- Got the wheels back from the tyre fitters, but haven't fitted them yet.
- Fitted a new choke cable pinch-bolt thingy (the old one broke when I took it off).
- Painted the lower rear panel. We used a can of proper colour-matched paint, and the shade does look rather different to the paint that's on the car. Hopefully it will come up better when I T-cut it. You wouldn't see where the new section was welded on unless you were looking for it.
- Did a bit more patch-making and welding on the underside.
- Made a rubber liner for the battery box and sorted out the battery bracket.
- Fitted a set of new straps to the driver's side seat base and put the best of the old ones on the passenger seat. The new ones are rather awkward to fit as they need to be pulled very tight indeed to get them to clip in. You can tell the difference, but the new straps aren't enough to make the seat really comfortable.
- Fitted inertia-reel seat belts in the front of the car. This took rather longer than I'd hoped, as I ended up making and fitting some special heavy-duty brackets to attach the centre stalks to the floor pan, and cutting holes in my B-post trim panels.
- Re-fitted the front seats, after cleaning out all the captive floor nuts.
- Fitted and adjusted a pair of wing mirrors (as in actual mirrors on the wing, not door mirrors). These are pretty rubbish and I'll be replacing them with door mirrors and filling in the holes in the wing shortly after the MOT test.
- Cleaned up the number plates and repainted the silver letters by hand. They're still a bit tatty up close, but at least they look good from a distance now.
- Temporarily bodged the front number-plate mounting bracket, which was barely hanging on by a thin sliver of work-hardened and corroded metal.
- Re-fitted the door trims, window winder handles, etc.
- Oiled the distributor and checked the vacuum advance unit - which appears to be knackered. Since the only thing it does is makes the engine slightly more economical, replacing it can wait until after the MOT.
- Started tidying up the rear bumper, which was rather bent and rusty, and held together by a weird collection of mis-matched bolts.
List the towns or cities where you spent at least one night away from home during 2008. Mark with a star if you had multiple non-consecutive stays.…
January: Hope you're not all suffering too badly from hangovers this morning. February: Snow! March: I've just realised that I haven't posted yet…
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