Haha Paul very good. Damn that filler cap! The Alfa's actually been going pretty well other than me driving about 10 miles on a tyre with about 1psi in it. I finally got the message when the tyre partially detached from from the rim though. Obviously I hadn't checked to see if there was a spare. Luckily there was it but seems it was painted by a toddler spinning a pot of paint around their head.
I gave the tyre a scrub with the abrasive side of the sponge we use for washing our dishes at work and the paint came off no bother. Don't tell them though as I just put it back in the sink...
Unsurprisingly theirs been a small niggle involving not being able to lock the doors. It seems to be related to the microswitch on the bonnet catch indicating it's open so you can't lock the door. Basically you can drive 300 miles with the bonnet flapping about on the safety catch without even a warning on the dashboard but when you get to your destination you can't lock the door! That'll learn you. I've faffed around with it but the bonnet catch is jiggered anyway so I've ordered a 2nd hand one off ebay.
It needs a cambelt and I've asked the local garage for a price but I think he's avoiding me. If I could get it inside I'd have a pop at it myself as I got the service manual for it and it doesn't look too horrific as you can get in via the wheel arch. GSF car parts sell the belt and tensioner kit for 88 quid but you need the cam locking tool (you can't use mole grips apparantly) or just risk slipping the belt over the pulleys and hope timing doesnt go out too much.
The Rover's still plodding along. I found a little hole in the sill about the size of a 5p. By the time I'd finished chipping away at it, it was the size of a 5 pound note. It was right on the joint of the inner sills so it had successfuly rotted through 3 layers of metal. Nice one.
Imagine my delight when I saw all those wires through the hole I'd just been hacking at with a 1mm cutting disc for 15 minutes. In my mind I thought I was cutting into the the sill but I was actually cutting into the floor at exactly the point the loom runs past.
After frantically pulling up the carpet I found I'd nipped but not cut through 4-5 wires and just caught the edge of the loom. jolly pain in the backside but it could have been much worse plus Aldi are selling soldering irons for 6 quid.
So this is the hole I need to fill in. It couldn't be any more awkward as there's a bit of floor, two layers of inner sill and one bit of outer sill to weld in. It's all funny angles, the whole area is covered in in-penetrable seam seal and it's surrounded by stuff that would like nothing better than to go on fire.
In better news the drivers side's starting to look a lot healthier. After alot of grinding I've put on the first skim of filler and sanded it back. I bet the Ferrari 250GTO's at the concourse de elegance will be sh*tting themselves when they see the finish on this . I'm not overly bothered thought I just want it to be metal and not look a total disaster area.
Once I get the patch welded up I've got lots and lots of schutz underseal to wang under the boot area and floors. Then I'm gonna stick the tank back in to make sure my re-wire of the loom works and it'll actually start before I put the interior back in. Oh aye and there'll be lots and lots of rubbing down.
The problem is I'm too easily distracted as I've also got the Alfa to fiddle with and various other non car related projects on the go. I did knuckle down to weld up that hole but then ran out of gas. Bloody typical. Breng, this car has magical rust properties all the major bits of welding I've done on it have always started with a hole the size of a 5p then magically turned into a foot long gaping hole.
In other news though the I fixed the door lock on the Alfa. I just swapped the lock unit out for one I bought off ebay for 30 quid, which means I can now take it out and leave it places.
A bit better once it was ground back abit. IMG_1742 by cort16, on Flickr
I'm pretty sure that's all the welding done. I've said that before. I seam sealed it all last weekend so this morning the guy in the garage next door ran me an extra long airline so I could underseal all the previously welded bits and the floor where I'd taken the tank out. I'm chuffed at doing this as it means it's starting to go back together at long last. GR8-fotoskillz
That arch that I had to weld back on is starting to take shape. I know there's a lot of downers on using filler but I had to build these arches out of generic arch repair kits so I have to use a bit of filler to get the shape looking half decent. It doesn't bother me as I know it's all new metal under there and no hidden grot.
The plan is to get the tank back in and get it running before Christmas then it's mainly bodywork. The car's been sitting for about 9 months and there's a massive pool of oil under it. It seems to be engine oil and I've a feeling the crankshaft oil seal is goosed.
Does anyone know of a decent additive, which will slow down the leak before I can fix it properly?
Gearbox side . You know it'll be a £2 seal that will take me 2 days to fit. It was leaking before I put it away but you could be right about it drying out and getting worse. Once it's rolling again I'm going to try to get it up on a ramp to have a closer look.
Well it's running again. I put the tank in on my, which was a serious pain in the erse. I feel sorry for the people who live around the lockup as they would have heard me shouting very naughty words and hurling tools around late into the night. I didn't help myself by coating the tank in all that underseal gunk as it was like trying to manouvre a massive sticky wurthers original into an up turned speed boat.
I finally got it in and hooked up, stuck a gallon of petrol in it and... nothing.. It was cranking okay but I could see the fuel filter didn't have any fuel in it. I disconnected the filter but nothing was coming up the line. I did a circuit test on the pump and it was getting power. I'd recently soldered all the wires i'd chopped through with the grinder back together and was becoming increasingly nervous I'd created some incurable fault. I pulled the pump out the tank and it was suspiciously dry and when I peered in I couldn't see any fuel in the tank. That's when I realised the car was sitting with it's bum in the air and that gallon of fuel had just rolled to the front of the tank out of the reach of the pump. I lobbed another gallon of petrol in it and it fired right up. Phew.
All that's left now is body work. Lots of sanding and filling, which I find really really boring. It's never ending!
I was pretty desperate to do anything other than sanding for 10 minutes so decided to take off the back bumper to prep for paint, and promptly snapped all the fibreglass mountings. I could fibreglass them back on but it's got a big dent in it anyway so I need to look for a 2nd hand one.
It's been a long time, I shouldn't have left you / Without a strong Rover to step to.
I've mostly been rubbing this thing down although other cars and projects have been slowing me up. Mrs UselessInc was working all weekend so I decided to to stop faffing and put a couple of solid days into it.
First off I got the wheels back on it and back on the ground so it actually looks like a car again and reminding me how frickin ace this car is.
The plan was to prime the car so I decided to remove the front indicators. Easy right? Wrong! I had to remove the washer bottle on one side and a headlamp on the other and sheared a bolt on the headlamp mount . Also while undoing the mounting bolts for the washer bottle all the washer water started p1ssing out the bolt hole. Who designed this thing?
Eventually I got them off the car after a lot of swearing a small cake. Previously all the trim had been painted satin black but it had all flaked off as it hadn't been primed before being painted.
Next up I painted the front spoiler. Originally the paint had flaked really badly partly because it's been taking a pounding every time I dragged it across my steep drive. Rather than repaint it blue I thought I'd paint it this dark coppery metallic colour. I painted it using plastikote primer and satin black then used this rustoleum stuff I found in B&Q, which is basically a dark laquer with a big flake in it (metallic not chocolate). I think it's for painting stoves or something but I'm quite chuffed with it but if it looks rubbish on the car I'll get it repainted blue.
NEXT. Well I was determined to get the thing in primer so I could stonechip it and get it in for it's MOT before I had it painted.
To do this I needed to mask it all up. Like this. IMG_1869 by cort16, on Flickr
Ouweeee my finger hurts. You may spot a slight flaw in my plan, which is I painted one side and the back in High 5 high build beige primer, ran out and finished it in Halfords filler primer, which is orange. Oh well.
I've also done a trick stolen from nightmare racings thread to freshen up the rear lights. I've filed all the writing off the rear lights and wet sanded them with 1500 grit. I just need to buff them up now.
No1 priority is getting an mot on this so I need to get the interior, bumpers and lights back in and service it. I'll then need to take it all back off again to have it painted but I'd rather get it mot'd then I can get it painted at my leisure.
Also the Alfa is gone and I now have this. 4 litres and 271,000 miles.
So it's back on it wheels and in primer now. The plan is to get it all together, get it mot'd then paint it. To that end it's time to put it back together.
Being a world class divvy I didn't really take any note of how things went together and just slung all the nuts and bolts into containers, my tool box the bin etc so I had my work cut out for me a bit.
So with a big bag of nuts and bolts bought from the hardware shop I soldiered on and re-fitted the interior. The AWZUM photo skills doesn't give away how bogging it it having been sitting sweating in open ended wheely bin bags for a year. I cleared most of the fuzz of them and hoovered them out but it's going to need a proper clean before you'd want to spend anymore time in it.
When I took the front bumper off I found a big old crack in it and also snapped off one of the mounts. Being a bit short of fibre glass I whipped up a nice recipe of fibreglass and filler (easy on the onions) and set to work smearing it all over the bumper and myself to fix the crack and re-secure the mount.
Ah b0llocks. This bumper really is a lump of sh1t I should have tried to replace it when I got the new rear bumper. It's now been glues back together using some 2-pack stuff used for glueing the doors on the space shuttle or something so we'll see if it holds up.
Next up the the rear lights where looking a bit sorry for themselves and being that I didn't want to buy new ones I tried something nightmareracing had done to his cars before with (obvious) mega success. I filed off the lettering on the lights then 800grit then 1200 grit wet and dried it before wizzing over it with the polisher with some compound.
They look even better on the car. You can also see my new rear bumper here refusing to fit properly. When I put the bumper on at first it was way out on the passenger side and adjuster bolts where rusted up rotten. No problem though as I gave them a few good scooshes of wd40 then they SNAPPED RIGHT OFF.
Cue 45 minutes of fannying around with the welder and I finally got the mount tacked roughly into shape. It's still a fair bit out though so is going to require a bit more fettling after the mot.
Paint wise I should probably get it it re-done blue. However, and I know it's been done to death I think this car in satin black with gloss back bumpers, trim and spoiler could look pretty good. Or it could look like a very camp batmobile. Still undecided.
I found the prep a mega ball ache trigger. I've spent untold hours fillering, sanding, primering, fillering sanding primering repeat x 1 gazzilion but I don't want to paint it then see a big dent I've missed.
Different story if you know what you're doing as I've seen the bodywork guy who's in the garage next to mine do it 3-4 hours what it takes me a week to do. It's all experience I guess.
I really don't like matt black but that satins got quite a good shine to it plus I'm thinking having shiney black bumpers, spoilers and arch extenders may lift it a bit. I'm thinking it's £40 in paint and if I don't like it then I can just get it re-painted although I don't relish having to rub it all down again.
I was thinking something like an unlaquered gunmetal grey might be quite cool. Am I right in thinking that if you use a metallic 2 pack paint it's man enough to seal the car and not rub off without laquer?
I was down working on this thing until 11 last night after I finished work. I spent an offensive amount of time trying to get the fog lamps mounted. All the mounting nuts had fell off and the bolt was so thin I didn't have any nuts to fit onto it, which mean re-fitting it using m6 nuts and bolts. To fit the bigger nuts I had re-drill the very thin mounts on the fog lights which didn't go well and somehow ended in 1 broken drill and another twisted mount. I ended up just fileing them out before I ended up ripping one of the mounts off either with the drill or an incredible sulk type rage. I also had to drop the under tray to get access to spotlights but this thing's so low I didn't have any screwdrivers short enough! Bad times.
Next up I had to remount the headlamp where i'd sheared the bolt off. I just welded in a couple of M6 bolts (I could have used less weld but once you start it's hard to stop).
Just as a side note how does anyone fix up an old car without a welder? I use mine all the time not just for fixing grot but for making up brackets, welding in captive nuts etc.