Wednesday 24 November 2021

Slough Swapmeet Swag

First time that I have ventured over to the annual Slough Swapmeet and it won't be the last. It was a quality event with plenty of old air-cooled wagons to inspire and motivate thyself (particularly needed in these colder darker wintery days):

From Bristol, it was only an hour down the M4 motorway to get to Newbury Racecourse on a sunny Sunday morning. Met some intresting folk and managed to bag a few items for Gretch: 

6v battery cover. Although this will never be fitted to the car it is my intention one day to make a larger version that has the same original appearance, but will fit the dimensions of a 12v battery. This is low on my priority list, but I think that a period looking cover for a modern battery would be a nice touch. Eventually. Some day. Maybe.

Original Bilstein jack. Not sure this is the exact 'year correct' version for a '65 (comment below if you can enlighten me), but it appears to be around the right era. Good enough for now and it was an absolute bargain for a clean one in working order.

Heater channel vent covers. I was missing the passenger (left) side, but got them as a pair for a low-low price. They fit up into my Klassic Fab channels, but I may need to rework the top lips to enable the covers to freely slide underneath as they are in ther pretty tight:

So, a great day out was had and a few more OG parts have been ticked off of the list!

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Reinforcement panel clean up

After lengthy consideration, I decided to make more work for myself by removing the petrol tank support rails. They seemed fairly solid on the top facing planes, but were wearing thin along the bottom edges (water moisture + gravity + decades of road use = crispy metal). It's always difficult to know how to proceed when things are in a grey area (ie: the condition is not too bad, but not too good either), but I think that ensuring things are made solid has to be the overriding factor. So, more spot welds were drilled out followed by careful separation of the parts:

One huge benefit to having this section split into component parts is that I could now fit the reinforcement panel into the blast cabinet, so that it could be properly cleaned up for assessment:

I identified a few areas of concern as I went along. One was a slight kink/dent on the front edge that was likely caused by the front end shunt the car had sustained in the past:

This was easily rectified with a hammer and dolly: 

After a numbingly long time blasting I had things back to bare steal on the front and back:

A potentially chronic issue may exist in behind some swelling visible along the overlapping seam of the washer bottle recess. See how it bulges outwards between the factory spot welds:

I fear that can mean only one thing ...bloated rust! That will likely need addressing... 

As for the tank support rails, I do have a couple of options; either replace with NOS ones (that come spot welded to the replacement quarter panels) or attempt to repair the originals. One of those options is obviously far easier, but that is not always how I choose to approach things. We shall see...

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Separating the wheel well

Although I would like to strip and paint more chassis related parts (namely the front beam), I need to accept that the UK weather is now less favourable - it has turned cold and wet, which doesn't make for the good painting conditions in the garage. I shall come back to that task when the northern hemisphere is pointing back towards the sun.

So, I have pivoted my attention to something different - the crusty wheel well that I previously removed from the car in one piece along with the adjoined petrol tank rails and washer recess panel:

I gently removed the paint from the area where a row of spot welds holds the pieces together along the seam:

Carefully drilling out the spots:

To do a neat job without distorting the flanges takes some time, but means less fettling and straightening down the line. I have found that a good approach is to drill a hole 70% the size of the spots to be removed. Then come in with the rotary multi tool with a small grinding/burr attachment and careful enlarge the holes to the exact profile of the spot welds. Also, working from one end to the other ensures that the spots come apart in sequence, which makes the separation easier. 

Eventually I had the old well wheel separated without any drama:

A reminder that even the most solid of cars is likely to have rust lurking in the untreated overlapping seams. Unfortunately it is inevitable unless the car has been kept in a vacuum since its date of manufacture:

I shall source a replacement panel for the wheel well section only. I will intend to clean up the rest and make an assessment. I am optimistic that only minor repairs will be required:

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Any colour you like...

My poorly eye is now free from all rusty particles and recovering well.

Back to it then... all recently sandblasted parts were cleaned up as per the usual process (described in previous posts). On this occasion I shall let the photos do the talking:

After a couple of liberal coats and with the masking removed: