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

Thursday, 29 March 2018

0045 Putting Gidget back together

20th - 29th March 2018
Putting panels, trim, and many small parts back on the car - At last

Rear wing & black piping
It is always quicker to take things apart than it is to put them back together.  But when many of the panels to which you are affixing everything are new themselves, then there are not even any holes or indentations there to use as guidelines, so everything takes a great deal longer even than the normal slow process !  But this is truly a part of this project that I really enjoy - Fettling, as I call it.   The effort to make the car better and more usable, so that when we set off on our Adventure, it will feel like putting on an old favourite glove.  Well, as close as possible, anyway !!  My first task was to bolt on the rear wings, and design and manufacture the rear mud flaps.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

0044 The panels are painted !

18th March 2018
The panels come back painted and we start putting Gidget back together

Battery & storage boxes
Open storage boxes
On Monday I spent the day working on the battery box and the storage
box which will fit behind the passenger cell down in the void near the rear axle. This whole area is where there were originally two 6 V batteries, but with the car converted to  a single 12 v system, this is valuable space that we need to take advantage of. It is low down, and in front of the rear axle, so is really valuable. Thus the storage box we have had made to fit there.   The only trouble is it is pretty tight in there, and drilling holes in the battery bearers (not the chassis) was difficult and then trying to get bolts in and tightened up with only one pair of hands turned out to be impossible.  So everything is ready and I am waiting on someone to come and help me !!

Sunday, 11 March 2018

0043 Finishing the body panels

11th March 2018
At last ready to paint all the body panels !

The door at the bginning
Since the car came back to my house from Classic Car Clinic
Same door at the end
about 10 days ago, I have spent the entire time working on the body panels - de-rusting them, stripping the paint and old bog, re-bogging the recent welds and old damaged areas, and priming them. Finally after 10 days of non-stop work, with sore fingers, tired legs from standing all day, and with bog dust everywhere in the garage, the panels are "finished" and ready for painting in Coronet Cream, after which they can be bolted back onto Gidget and the final mechanical work completed.  Time to line up the painter !

Sunday, 4 March 2018

0042 Strip, Scrape, Bog, Sand, repeat.......

4th March 2018
A week spent working on the body panels......

Scraping and stripping
Basically the entire week was spent stripping paint, sanding, de-rusting, and bogging Gidget's panels trying to get them ready for painting as soon as possible.  Because the green enamel paint had to be totally removed before we could paint with 2 Pack, this meant virtually every panel needed attention.  Luckily both Daryl and Winno came down on a couple of days and donated their time to the cause - Although I fear that now they have found out what a soul-destroying job it is, they may never be back !!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

0041 Fixing a major crack

1st March 2018
How to deal with a major crack in the bodywork

It has been a long time since we started this rebuild, and there have been some great solutions found
How it started out
to major problems that were discovered with the car as we dismantled it.   It hasn't been easy, especially due to the major accident(s) that the car had been involved in earlier which left the bodywork out of shape and often full of bog.
As we draw near to completing the bodywork and get close to painting Gidget's panels, I have one specific "fix" that I think is worth documenting in detail, as it has all turned out really well, and is very representative of several other similar repairs that have been effected on Gidget to make her a much stronger and effective rally car.