Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Fiddly (adjective): Difficult to do, handle, or use, usually because intricate work with the hands or small objects are involved

Well, since my last post I have been intermittently busy working on the bug. The reason I haven’t blogged for a while is because all of the jobs have been rather small and awkward, so I thought I would wait until I had made significant visual headway before summarising my progress.

I seem to be using the reciprocating saw more than the ratchet at the moment in order to remove the old corroded botched patches that have been haphazardly holding the car together for decades. Spot the difference in the images below:

Now you see it...

...and now you dont! Another messy chunk of rotten bug removed.

Because the car now contains less material, coupled with the fact that I am frequently discovering more corroded metal lying in wait beneath the suspicious layers of underseal, there is now less overall structural stability. Feeling slightly uneasy about the situation I decided to take vital precautions!

Using a couple of lengths of angle iron I made some temporary cross braces for the bottom of the doors to stop the shell warping and spreading as the support from those old heater channels diminishes.

It was just a simple case of drilling a couple of holes in the door posts (high enough up so that the metal was still sound)……

……Then using some self tapping screws to secure the angle iron in place.

The exciting news is that the shell is now finally ready to be lifted off the pan. Ooh, the anticipation! It is kind of funny that from what I have read in various manuals, a confident individual should be able to do this whole task in an afternoon! The reality is that this is not the case for a 45 year old car! 9 times out of 10 the old stubborn bolts just don’t want to budge, so the only solution is to douse them with WD40 and use the breaker bar for maximum leverage. The brief seconds of celebration that I feel when they finally start to turn is usually quashed by a disconcerting crunching sound. The bolt then spins freely indicating that the captive nut inside the car has broken free due to my arch enemy ...corrosion! Bugger, I sigh to myself - time to get the reciprocating saw out again!

Anyways, tune in next week for more cuts, bruising and musing!

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