Finishing touches and a drive in the countryside
341 days to go
|New gearbox lid gaskets|
|Steve takes Dave for a spin|
After checking over a few final items, Steve drove the car to my house and I brought him back to work - Time for me to go to work and make up for some of the time lost over the weekend.
everything must be clearly labelled, and easily and quickly available in wind, rain, or the dark, should we need them in a hurry. Thus the weekend was a continual effort to solve the puzzle, moving boxes around the boot, trying to strap them down and see if they were secure, moving them again, and again, until I came up with at least a starting set-up. Then I started to put all the spares and parts into the boxes, labelling everything as I went, and aso creating a master list that we will be able to refer to when in the car, so we can move quickly to the required item if required.
|Slowly working out the puzzle !|
Also had to make up a bracket to hold the smaller boxes in place, and the strap across all the boxes is secured to the chassis rail extensions that go through the boot, so should be pretty secure. This is actually the part of the preparation that I enjoy and am quite good at - And to be honest, what I thought most of the preparation was going to be about when I originally signed up !! There were some late nights involved in doing this, and I needed the light from our in-car boot light to see what I was doing !!
|Trying to get wing mirrors to work|
|Original "American Style" unit|
|The first R100 Healey ?|
(To be fair, we have since learned of a beautiful "Healey 100 R" that was built in the USA a few years ago, but since our "R" is before the "100" and not after it, we can still lay claim to being the first "R100" !!)
|Anti-slip rubber on all boxes|
|Andrew at work|
|Front tow hooks as made|
|Front tow hooks painted|
Just to give you a clue to the quality of his work, there was a slight cut or nick in one of the plates, and Andrew insisted on welding up the cut and then grinding it back, so there was no potential stress point in the plate which might weaken it.
|Rear tow hook straps, plates & bolts|
We then worked on one wiper arm whch I had been unable to drill a hole in for fitting a tensioner spring last week. Somehow I had managed to drill one arm, but not the other. Anyway, slow speed, high speed, hand drill, drill press, and different types of drill bit - Andrew was unable to make a dent in the arm !! Unbelievable. Going to have to find a diamond tip bit, I think !
|Definite lean to the right !|
|Roof is just wrong on the right|
Once I got home, I quickly cleaned all the parts up and gave them all an undercoat. 6 hours later, before I hit the sack, I went out quickly and gave them all a second coat so they would be ready for a top coat in the morning.
|Front bumper brackets all painted|
|Making holes in webbing|
First thing in the morning I added the black top coat which unfortunately takes about 12 hours to dry properly, so once this was done on the bumper brackets and front tow hooks, I worked on the rear tow strap plates. I decided they could be silver rather than black, since this paint dries faster, so I was soon able to work on them.
|Soldering iron tip|
|Rear tow straps all made up|
I put them all together to make sure they worked OK, before dismantling them,
working the strapping into the small space over the chassis rail, and then bolting the plates together firmly, Perfect. Then I ran down to Supercheap and bought two short bungy straps and tied the straps rearward towards the rear bumper so the straps were tight and the metal plates wouldn't bounce and bange on the chassis when on the road, yet be quickly and easily accessible if we need a tow....... Job done.
|Front tow hooks mounted|
able to mount them. Then I went to mount the spring onto its
|Lights wired up & working|
|On a Queensland winter morning|
|water temp & oil pressure|
Steve drove while I kept my eye on all the gauges. The day was 22 deg
A day out on the road
Basically the engine is running cool, which is good. Water temp could easily be 190 F, while obviously the oil temp could come up some. But this is a far better situation than having everything running hot, and gives us a couple of choices - We can either fit a radiator grill cover in order to restrict air into the radiator (which we were going to do anyway in order to protect us on river crossings), or we could even fit a small electrical pusher in front of the radiator for use in traffic. We did hit traffic at one stage, and the temps did go up quite quickly, so this may be worth considering since we have temperature to play with.
|Blocked return line below spring|
During our run, we also found the brakes were binding on - Not initially, but only after we had been travelling a while. We had noticed this happening slightly previously, but after an hour or so it was quite bad, and the brakes (and wheels) were getting very hot. Steve quickly assessed the problem as a build up of pressure in the master cylinder which, being sleeved, has perhaps had a pressure relief passage slightly covered, resulting in a gradual pressure build up as the brakes are used. The pressure is releasing, but just not fast enough. He loosened off the lines and sure enough lots of pressure in there - So he then loosened off the main rod of the master cylinder and drive the rest of the day with a very soft brake pedal - But at least the brakes were no longer building up pressure and binding. We ordered a new master cylinder on the phone that will arrive on Monday, and we will then have our current unit refurbished and carry as a spare.
|A great day out|
Overall, the car is brilliant. The engine pulls like a train, and has tremendous low down torque, as one would expect from a big 4 cylinder 2660 cc donk. The suspension is firm, but not overly so - The body lean on corners is evident from the rubbing of the guards, so I don't think we would want to be any softer. There isn't much space inside - I spent a lot of the day trying to work out where we can put stuff - The pockets in the doors will hold a lot, but of course will not be very waterproof, so everything will need to be in sealable waterproof pouches (already purchased !). And finally, the seats were not too bad. I think they are too high, and the headrests will be useless except as a back support, but they were not as uncomfortable as we feared. Now Ashton needs to spend some time driving the car in order to make his own mind up !
In the meantime, I will continue to do all the million other things that need attention, with a view to driving the car down to Sydney on the 5th / 6th of July. I will then fly back to Qld, leaving the car with Ashton to play with for a month, before returning to Sydney in August in my Land Cruiser, from where I will tow Gidget out to Alice Springs for the COT rally., while Ashton will fly out. That is the plan, anyway !
Rest of the pics are here :- https://photos.app.goo.gl/psYvr5nH1VSW9oJKA