Front panel and radiator assembled and fitted

After many coats of zinc-rich primer to the repaired front panel, and then two coats of grey undercoat, I rolled on three thin coats of marine blue top coat, lightly sanding between each. I literally flooded the inside of the bottom section with paint in an effort (probably futile) to keep water from this susceptible, expensive lump. I keep a list of parts that I know I’ll need in future and keep an eye out on Ebay for bargains as they arise, or buy new parts as I save up for them. So this panel was acquired ages ago, however I do wish I’d waited as there is now an Ebay seller (maybe the same chap) offering galvanised versions at a reasonable price.

Likewise, the series radiator. This has been boxed up in the pantry for months. On unwrapping this Britpart item yesterday I found that some of the fins were damaged. Whilst only superficial, it’s really annoying that I didn’t check it over on receipt. The damage must have happened before or during the packaging process as the undamaged box is reinforced with MDF both sides. Also, there were quite a few rattles and I spent ages shaking out huge solder splatters. I reshaped the fins using my old GPO wiper pliers.

I sat on the back lawn in the glorious sunshine and assembled the parts: radiator, horn, protector plate, warning label and bonnet catch. Having just recovered from another chest infection it was lovely to get some fresh air.

Front panel assembly

The inner wings should attach to the front panel using two steel captive-bolt plates per side (MRC5519 and MRC5520). Again, these were missing from my vehicle, large penny washers having taken their place. I made up my own plates from aluminium to replace these in the hope that it would reduce the effects of galvanic corrosion to the already thin inner wings. I tapped the bolts into the aluminium to make fitting easier without an assistant as I don’t have one of those to hand.

Homemade aluminium bolt plates

Also acquired ages ago from Ebay was the ‘apron panel’ (336786) which was missing from my vehicle. These are available new if you have up to £100 to spare but I got this one for around a tenner, minus the lower screw holes that as usual had completely corroded away, and a pair of supporting brackets (345192) that are plentiful and cheap.

I snipped out and pop-riveted on a couple of repair plates to reinstate the fixing holes:

Repaired apron panel 336786

Repair plate, apron panel 336786

I used filler to feather out the repair, primed it and rolled on three coats of marine blue paint.

Before fitting the front panel and radiator I reattached the now clean windscreen washer bottle and pump, forgot to take pictures, I will add in a future post.

Front panel installed

Installation was easier than expected, thanks largely to my plates which with the aid of spring washers allowed me to fully tighten the nuts working alone. Everything lines up nicely so full credit to the Ebay-selling front-panel-repairing man’s accuracy. You may notice in the picture above that I forgot the apron panel brackets at this stage.

It’s actually starting to look like a Land Rover again which gave me some much-needed encouragement as we near the end of a summer that promised great progress that sadly didn’t materialise.

Front panel installed

Front panel installed

I roughly adjusted the bonnet catch that had been sitting in my shed for over 2 years and until I fit a new rest strip have laid an old towel over the top of the panel. I notice that every time the bonnet is raised or lowered it showers the engine bay with rust particles so this needs attending to.

I haven’t threaded the cabling through as yet as I will be renewing all wiring to the front of the vehicle and will be better routeing it hopefully. Also I haven’t yet added a cooling fan. The one I removed is too far gone and I’m not keen on the capillary thermostat, so I will be running without a fan and see how it goes, keeping an eye out for a suitable replacement.

More to follow soon, we’re nearly up-to-date with current progress. Thanks for reading.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Front panel and radiator assembled and fitted

  1. Well done Nige – it is starting to look like a Land Rover! Nice to see use of the BT word routeing rather than the USA routing – which has a different meaning in England.

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    • Thanks Mog! Hope you’re well. Yes we’re fully English and GPO/BT here, and proud Norfolk too so it should really be spelt rootun. Was planning a Landy day today as no gig tonight but a sudden non-scheduled plumbing job has cropped up so there will be plenty of French words I think! Take care, Nige.

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