Saturday, April 17, 2021

Taking a Good Look

I hauled (well, pushed) my new acquisition into the garage today, put her up on jacks, and took a good look at what I have bought.  All in all, not too shabby!

There's been some repair work.  The outer sills appear to be replacements (not well done, and starting to show now that I have a better view).  The passenger's rear wheel arch has been repaired.  But otherwise, she's quite solid.  There's no apparent give in the floor pan, and aside from a bit of rust on the frame in the driver's footwell (obviously, something was leaking there) and some around the trunk (boot) lid, it's pretty tidy.

The underside of the car is covered in goo, though.  A long time ago, this car was undercoated.  That's not what I'm taking about.  Something else has been sprayed on... well, seemingly everything in the rear end.  It's going to take some cleaning and I fear it may take a pressure washer or powered steam to get it off.

The front suspension is in pretty decent shape, though it needs a complete rebuild.  The brakes don't look bad but the calipers are certainly frozen from disuse.

The front of the car took a few hits underneath and the bottom of the front valance is pretty trashed.  But that's what I think it's for.  The mechanicals all look okay.  The steering rack needs to be removed, cleaned, and rebuilt with new boots and tie rod ends.

I have not yet tried to turn over the engine, even by hand.  I'm hoping that being somewhat sealed up will have preserved it, but I may need to rent a bore scope to see.  I would prefer not to rebuild the engine with the low miles it has.

The exhaust needs to be replaced, as it doesn't appear to be correct and the hangers are cobbled together artwork.

I did apply power to the electrics, and the lights and hazards mostly work.  And the radio.  One must have tunes.  But nothing else showed life, and I didn't expect it to on a low amp circuit from my charger.  The battery has long since expired.

I took a little cutting and polishing compound to the passenger's fender (wing) and a corner of the hood (bonnet), and the paint did come back somewhat even by hand.  So maybe there's some life in it.

Without further ado, here's some pics.






Oh, and I removed the faux sheepskin seat covers.  The seats are not in good shape, but it looks better.


My plan for the car is:

First, get it running.  That means:
  1. Draining and cleaning the tank and rebuilding the carb (yes, only one).  It may mean a new fuel pump too.  New fuel lines and filter.
  2. Rebuilding the cooling system (water pump, heater control valve which is frozen, new hoses).
  3. Rebuilding the ignition system (cap/rotor/points/wires/plugs at minimum, hopefully not much more).
  4. Renovate the emissions system (test air pump, new hoses, EGR valve).  I plan to keep this car looking original given its low mileage.
  5. Change all fluids.
  6. New battery.
  7. Lubricate and turn the engine over by hand, assuming it turns.
  8.  Cross fingers and turn the key.
Once it runs, I'll worry about making it stop.  That means:
  1. Rebuild or replace the master cylinder.
  2. Rebuild or replace the front calipers (hopefully, rebuild - I'd like to keep the original).
  3. Replace the rotors (maybe) and pads (definitely).
  4. Replace the rear drums and wheel cylinders.
  5. Replace all hoses.  I don't think I'll need lines but we'll see.  That would be a major chore - I disliked it in the Midget, and this looks harder since I'm not planning to pull everything out.
  6. Bleed the system.
  7. Replace the parking brake cable (cut since it was frozen) and likely the remaining components.
Once it stops, maybe I can get it to go.  That means:
  1. Install a new clutch master and slave cylinder and hose.
  2. Bleed the system.
  3. Pray to the friction gods that the clutch isn't frozen.
  4. Recondition the driveshaft with new universal joints.
Once it will go, it needs to go where I want it to.  That means:
  1. Remove and recondition the steering rack and replace tie rod ends.
  2. Disassemble the front suspension, replace bushings and clean the assemblies.
  3. Replace the front and rear dampers (World Wide Auto Parts, I hope you're listening).
  4. Replace all bushings in the rear suspension.
  5. Replace the tires.
At that point, the car may run, go where I want and stop.  Then I'll worry about making things pretty.  This is of course hoping Old Man Lucas chooses to ignore me and the wiring and gauges function.  That means:
  1. New interior carpet, panels and seat covers (light tan).
  2. Replace the driver's side seat cushion (at minimum - probably will do both).
  3. Clean up and repair some dash issues.
  4. Remove the windscreen (which means the dash, lovely) and replace the body seal.
  5. Replace the wipers.
  6. Fit a new top (this one is hail damaged and gone to Top Heaven).
Then I'll have a functioning car.  Beyond that - I may do some body work and repaint the car in Iris Blue (my daughter's choice).

That's not a short list.  But it's a plan.  And there's no time like the present to get started!

1 comment:

  1. Exciting new project, Steve. Looking forward to the progress!