While I wait to be in a position to put the Princess into service, I might as well crack on with jobs. This has turned my working day upside down since I do leisure in the daylight hours and work afterwards, but that's part of the joy of being self employed.
I was going to work on that rear pillar...
...but the weather has been unpredictable so I thought I'd get on and clean the interior. Quick job, thinks I, foolishly.
I'm so retro I even use retro cleaners ;D I don't think Stardrops has changed for decades, and very glad I am too!
This is what I'm having to contend with.
I used the Stardrops in hot water, a nail brush for the larger areas and a toothbrush for the fiddly bits. I've never had to take a scrubbing brush to a car interior before, but I did on this one.
The vinyl comes up a whole different colour, and the colour of the water running off is unpleasant.
Once the dirt was off, I could see the line of overspray.
Tackled that with a green scouring pad and kept scrubbing the vinyl. I spent about an hour just scrubbing.
A full bucket of water was very much required.
While it was drying, I took the opportunity to investigate the window winder. I wasn't sure if the winder or the mechanism were at fault but I now know it's definitely the mechanism. Gave me a chance to clean up the winder handle too.
Once the vinyl was all dry, I got the Autoglym out. I do like Autoglym, it's effective and smells nice and is priced according to effectiveness.
Door card came up lovely too, no longer sticky and feeling like silicone spray, just as it should be.
There are still areas in the car that make me cringe, filth-wise, like the Choke pull.
And the headlining complete with head grease stain, nicotine tint and finger grease.
With that accomplished (about an hours work, I kid you not!) I could have a look at other stuff. The sill trim needs cleaning and the best way to do that is get it off the car. It also gave me chance to investigate for nasties. Happily, it's nice and solid just needs a bit of a scrub and a few touches of paint.
Original sticker? It's on the B pillar, I assume it's talking about the locks.
I wanted to investigate the doors better too, after rovamota gave me the scares. I think I'll be okay though, there's still a lot of metal evident with some poor paint and filler so eventually I'll go round the car a door at a time and investigate. The drainholes are there, just not where I thought they were so I'd not seen them before, but the one on the worst door is gummed up with paint, which is probably why it's bubbling so badly.
I thought this was a large rust bleb, it was just flaky paint.
Small bleb on top of the driver's door.
The other side of that bad bubble on the passenger rear door. Evidence of filler and thick paint here.
All in all, not bad. To finish off I tried again to get a size comparison picture and I swear, the Princess looks smaller in pictures than in person.
Wheels are chocked because otherwise she slowly creeps out of the drive and into the lane. Need to get the handbrake adjusted.
Eagle claws are a bit like bear claws- anti-burst locks. Once the latch goes over the pin the head of the pin is secured inside the latch by the thick metal of the claw and the top of the striker plate.
In theory, with that locked in place the door can not pop open, like earlier styles of locks could. (Think front door of your house latches- deform the frame and the door can open).
...and that is what I meant by "Old people grime".
My first Bluebird had a blue dash under the brown. Took days of cleaning to get it all out. I can still remember the smell.
You may find a bit of plastic cutting compound will remove the cataract the choke pull has.
It's coming up nicely. The doors don't look toooooo bad but good luck with them
Phil: I almost thought my interior was going to be orange with the amount of dirt being lifted.
rovamota: That's really helpful. It looks like someone has put more filler than necessary in the bottom of the doors on mine, the pictures make it look far worse than it is, and now I have a better idea of the profile I should be seeing I actually feel reassured. I did buy it with a view to having to have all four doors repaired no matter how good they looked, it's to be expected on any car this age really. When I've finished the rear pillars I'll have a proper look at the door bottoms, no point making it worse by exposing the metal/rust to the elements at the moment.
I notice that there is black paint (underseal) around the kick plates. This area should be body colour as the original anti chip coat was only applied up to the bottom edge of the chrome sill trim strip. Unusual for them to rot around that area but check anyway.
There's some surface rust, but nothing serious. There's spots all over the car where there seems to have been unnecessary restoration, where it would have been better to just leave it alone or at least treat it properly. Most of the work in the car is rectifying these cosmetic anomalies I think. I'm guessing the trims are made of unobtainium too, this one has got some corrosion around the screw holes and while I can clean it up, it won't look like new.
It's nice to have a quick job to do when I'm at a loose end. Thought I'd have a go at cleaning up that sill trim.
There's some rust contamination and the trim itself has corroded in places, but overall it didn't look too bad for its age.
Here I've cleaned up the left side, the right side still has the paint from a previous owner bodge. I started by using turps to clean this, but needed the more abrasive green scourer to get it moving properly. The scourer is soft enough not to damage the surface of the metal.
Cleans up okay.
All done. About 10 minutes work.
The worry is the screw holes which have corroded a lot, probably because it's steel screws into steel through an aluminium plate, which can make all sorts of unpleasant corrosion happen.
There's even some corrosion on the back.
Before I refit this I'll clean up the sill step and repaint it in the correct Champagne colour rather than the black. I need to then decide the best course of action for refitting. I doubt I'll be able to source a new set of trims (which is why I cleaned this one up), or be able to afford to have a new set made and I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to just refit them by screwing them back in to the sill as they were when I removed them.
What's my best option to keep everything watertight and rust free here?
I'm not sure if it's that readily available- check aircraft supplies- but best thing you can stick on the back of that ally is zinc chromate, topped with something watertight like rattle can paint.
It'll keep the corrosion at bay. You'll still see some bubbling where you have dissimilar metal contact, but the paint's base is sacrificial (might be catalytic, I forget). It's also really nasty stuff.
PhilA: I'll keep an eye out for that, not something I've heard of but there may well be something out there already for this application.
garra: good thinking. I think they'll look better with the indents than without, but in a pinch I could just use a right angled piece of aluminium, not thought about that. I don't know if the stainless steel screws would work or not, I shall have to look into it.
Looking good so far - I hope that the filler isn't covering up anything too nasty, and that the cleanup project goes well. I'm impressed by how quickly this went from "I wonder" to "it's on my drive", as well. ;D
Caution: As the buoys marking the shoals are often out of position, mariners are cautioned to be on their guard when navigating these shores
jrevillug (is it Junior Evil Lug? That's how I always read it): *educated* once again I'm amazed at how quickly it was mine, I keep going outside and being surprised that it's sat there and I'll soon be allowed to drive it.
Weather was a bit more reliable today so I could do some more work on that C pillar. First thing was to dig out my car cover and put it on my housemate's car so it didn't get covered in overspray, because I'm nice like that.
Then clean up and rust treat the door shut.
Just in time, my brother arrived to give me some pro tips on painting with new paints. It's been a while since I used aerosols and the formulas have changed somewhat so it was useful to have someone with a bit of experience to give me some info. First job was to flat the panel back to a good smooth finish.
Then off to the shop to buy a couple of cheap newspapers, dig out the masking tape and primer.
Mask up everything and get some primer on the panel.
There would be much flatting and reapplying of primer, 3 coats in total.
Now it was time to get a lovely fresh coat of sparkly brown. Worth noting that with the flatting back all trace of dimples from the spray paint is eliminated, this was done using 1000 and 800 grit paper and a very, very light touch, allowing the paper to do the work for us. The smoother the finish, the better the coats of paint go on.
You aim for it to be this smooth. Doesn't take a huge amount of time with two people working on the same panel. A tiny bit of water for lubrication and regular wipes of the panel so you can keep an eye on how much is coming off is important too.
Eventually we were ready for another coat of brown, the clouds were drawing in and threatening rain.
Rested the bottom trim on the pillar. The top trims are probably going to be painted sparkly brown to match.
The paint is darkening nicely as the layers build up, but I ran out of paint on this coat so I have to wait for pay day to pick up some more now. It's waterproof in the meantime.
I had enough light left to get stuck in to removing the seats. My manual says to remove the four screws that hold the rails in and remove seat and rails as one unit. Those 'screws' are allen bolts in my case and while 6 came out without issue, the two front outer bolts (one on each seat) are stuck. The passenger seat bolt is making an alarming noise and is incredibly stiff, hinting at a problem. The driver's seat bolt is just stiff. The light was going rather rapidly so I doused them in WD40 for the night and I'll come back to them tomorrow.
Quandary: I prefer driving a car with wing mirrors, and I'd like to put a set on the Princess... but that means drilling into wings which are just about the rarest and most expensive panel on the car and the set I want are made by Tex and come out at around £90 for a pair before postage, which is a lot for a pair of mirrors. I could just strip the black off the existing door mirrors and polish them, but they have to stay on the doors and being flat glass instead of convex they're next to useless.
I would get hold of a pair of chrome finish tex door mirrors from an MGB supplier on eBay - They look the part, are cheap as chips, are very easy to install neatly and are much more useful than wing mirrors. Tis what I used on my old Allegro!
I can't believe how good that brown C pillar looks! Are you going to do the roof and the area between the rear screen and bookie too?