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11 May 2008 - While the car is away...

Okay, so only two weeks to go before the wedding and while the car is away being painted, I have a load of other things to get ready. Things like, servicing the engine, painting it, along with the gearbox, sorting out the wiper motor and wiper mechanism, finishing the dashboard, interior, etc etc....

So needless to say, I am am keeping busy and trying to do a little bit each day. I did have a few evenings off last week after the car had gone so I could forget about it and catch up with some other stuff. However, time is pressing on and with only a week to go now before she comes back from paint, I thought I would get some bits painted and at least make some progress so it will be easier for the fit out.

As you can see, I got hold of a fibreglass gearbox cover and I added a foam seal (made up from old draught excluder I had lying about the garage), and also I covered the underside in a foam padding so hopefully it will be soundproofed a bit. You can also see that the wheels now have tyres on and are looking nice. They are simple mini-lite replicas, 13x5 and the tyres are 165/70. Another advantage is that they are reasonably cheap and I suppose with the tyres they have cost be £360 in total, so not too bad.

The engine was going to have a clean up and minor service, but on closer inspection I wanted to take the head off and check out the pistons as one of the plugs was a little corroded. The car sat for quite a while and although it ran okay when I bought it, I don't want to have to do any major work on it for a year or so once it is back in. It was also a glorious day, so I was having a great time on the driveway stripping it down. The waterpump will need replacing and it had no thermostat, so I will get one to put in, and generally, it was just in a neglected shape. I took off the head and found the pistons, rings and bores were okay, so I will leave them and just drain the oil this week. Unless I find metal in the oil, I will assume the crank and bearings are okay at this stage. The head was actually better than I thought, and the valves and seats were just slightly pitted. I did strip them all out and regrind the valves to the seats, so hopefully the engine should have good compression.

As all the bits came off, I painted them is black smoothrite for now. The intention is to recon another 13/60 engine I have and put that in in a year or so, probably when the other convertible I have gets put on the road.

The clutch is relatively new, and the head and pistons cleaned up very well, so I am confident that the engine will do for a year or so. (mind you now I have said that....)

Very kindly, Kevin (at Stubbbingtons Bodyshop in Fernhurst) is taking photos of the paint progress, so here are a few of the first ones. Apparently she is now all in one colour (white primer) so I am really getting excited now to see the finished car on Friday.

It is still getting tight, and I am not sure that we will have enough time to finish it before the 24th, mainly because I know that I will have bits missing and that I haven't thought about and Iwill only have a week to get them ordered and delivered! Oh, and then the small matter of an MOT and a shakedown run to make sure nothing is going to break or fall off! Oh, well, I am going to give it a good go! Watch this space....





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