A rare weekend without a gig so I spent the whole of Saturday, from morning til dusk – gardening.
The good news is that I’m now up-to-date with the hedges etc and apart from some normal chores and an hour’s work, Sunday afternoon could be spent in the drive.
The outside toilet has been home to my new exhaust for over 2 years so I thought that would be a good first job. I loose-fitted the front pipe. This is awkward if you’re relying on jacking the vehicle, it would be so easy if you could get more height. The problem is you have to thread the back end between a chassis cross-member and the transfer box while the lengthy front end is flailing about knocking over anything in its path. Still, it didn’t take long to get in place but much of my silver heat-capable paint was scratched off it in the process. Oh well….
I don’t think the front pipe will be a long-term success. The manifold I bought (3-bolt type) takes an exhaust with a larger flange so the stud spacing is wider than the exhaust. So to get over it quickly I had slotted the holes in the flange, which doesn’t really leave enough material for long term use. Still, the front pipe is quite cheap so if the joint fails I shall ask a welder friend to cut and shut the pipe with a larger flange, he has quite a collection of exhausts in his garage roof space.
It was getting really hot outside, sapping my energy, so I stopped for dinner and listened to the first half of the England vs Panama game on the radio. It was eerily quiet outside so I guess most people were watching it on TV in spite of the glorious weather.
Several more days of dry weather are forecast so I decided to leave the remainder of the exhaust for now and work on the windscreen, bonnet and top of the bulkhead, then the front would be just about complete and it wouldn’t matter that it was left open. Also, I just didn’t fancy lying under the vehicle sawing through rusted exhaust fittings in such hot weather.
I removed the bolts holding the roof to the windscreen assembly loosened the 6 bolts that hold the hardtop to the rear tub and ran a palette knife along the join. I used offcuts of wood to lift the hard top a couple of inches or so at the front.
I undid and swung away the hinge bolts inside the vehicle then slackened the two bolts on the bulkhead. The first one was relatively easy, the second (above) required a breaker bar, and of course, the bolt wrung off. So I carefully drilled the bolt out to leave a threaded tube inside the bulkhead lug, it was then easy to saw through the remains of the bolt with a junior hacksaw.
I have been concerned that the top of the bulkhead beneath the screen would be rusted away which would cause me considerable problems as a non-welder, so I hardly dared look as I eased the heavy assembly forward.
I was delighted to find virtually no rust at all, just very slight surface corrosion at each end.
I removed the fresh air vent flaps and the rubber seals. The seals were OK but the point of this exercise is to inspect for rust, treat as necessary and paint. On removing these I could see that the seal recesses had not fared so well, but they are still solid and will rub down to shiny metal quite easily.
I removed the bonnet hinges so now I have full access to this part of the bulkhead. I then spent quite a while rubbing down by hand with a wire brush and sanding block. I noted that the young lady next door came in from work and as she works again today until late I didn’t want to use power tools in case she was trying to grab some sleep between shifts.
I was pleased to see that the upper dash is still looking good, I had wondered if temperature extremes would cause the fabric to split where the bolts pull it tight, but it seems to be lasting well. I hope the weather forecast is accurate as the vehicle will be left like this for a few days.
There are a few small parts to clean up, the bonnet hinges and hinge bolts. I have checked that the hinges do indeed line up with the holes in my new (S2) bonnet.
It appears that the exterior of the windscreen frame has at some time been painted black. This will have to come off. Also there is some rust so it may have to be painted. Working a tiny bit at a time, it simply isn’t practical or affordable to have parts re-galvanised so apologies if this offends!
Once out of the vehicle, these remind me of the old ‘Critall’ windows that were installed in many homes years ago, and whose mention always generates the memories of ‘ice on the inside’ and how kids have it easy now.
On my lightweight I restored the windscreen assembly with great care and attention to detail, removing every part and even replacing the glass. But it took ages and I don’t get the time now to do such a thorough job so a quick tidy will be the best I can do.
End of the day
There doesn’t seem much to show for a whole afternoon and evening, but it’s been a most enjoyable day so that’s all that matters I guess. Hopefully I will grab an evening or two in the week to get some painting done.
Thanks for reading.