Driving a 1954 Austin-Healey 100/4 from Peking to Paris in the June 2019 ERA Rally.

Friday, 27 October 2017

0027 Starting to put things back together

27th October 2017
Now my job starts !

It's starting to look like a car again
When Ashton kindly invited me to join him as co-driver / navigator on this great Mongolian adventure, I understood my work to be "fettling" of the car - Things like polishing, locktighting or wirelocking bolts, fitting new seats, putting a few electrical accessories in, and maybe even changing a wheel bearing or suspension bushing. A few spare parts might be needed out of the UK, but, with my International Logistics background, I didn't see a problem with that.  Looking back 6 months, I now realise how much I (and I think Ashton too) underestimated what would be required, mainly because the car would turn out to be in somewhat poorer condition than we anticipated, but also because in fact we realise now that the ONLY way to REALLY prepare properly for such extreme events is to take the car totally to pieces and rebuild it.  It is no good making the chassis stronger if you do not also beef up the wheels / dampers / wiring / bodywork etc etc.  A car is only as strong as it's weakest part.............   Having spent most of the last 6 months taking the car totally apart, we are now almost at the stage where we can start putting it all back together.  Painting of the engine bay and other internal sections (in the original Coronet Cream) should be completed next week, and then re-construction begins in earnest.  It is still our target to have the car running and on the road by Christmas Day 2017, 55 days from now !!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

0026 We finally reach the end

24th October 2017
Its only the end because there is nothing left to take off !!   Now we have to put it back together !

Shower cape for a Healey
With the engine stripped, there really was nothing else left to take off Gidget, so, in theory anyway, there shouldn't be too many more unwanted surprises !  Last week I had taken my new stub axles and king pins to Peter Janetzki at JH Classic Restorations up in Yatala (half way to Brisbane) as they had a rare 2 step reamer that is required for these, and when I went to pick them up, I found a Healey with a shower cape on it, similar to those we used to have for the Elise.  These a great pieces of kit, easy and quick to put on, and at least they keep a convertible dry inside in the morning when you have to leave it outside in the rain all night.  Nothing worse than climbing into a sodden car in the morning and then having to sit on a water logged foam seat all day !   Coincidentally I found they are made by the same company in England from whom I bought a car cover for my Elise !  Might have to get one of those for Gidget.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

0025 In which we delve into the engine

24th Sept - 7th October 2017
We open the last thing left on the car !

Old floor panels to the tip

We continue to work on several aspects of the car at once - Juggling about 50 balls at once is about how it feels at the moment !   So, in order to make some space at Chez Cooper, we dug out the old "floor panels" (if you can call them that), and took them down to the rubbish tip.  Having not seen an original floor of a Healey before, I was stupidly keeping these in case we needed them again !   Now I have seen what the floor panels SHOULD look like, I realise what a terrible installation these galvanised tin sheets really were, and took them down to the tip.   NOT NEEDED !!