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(the months are 2015/2016)
The French Blatting Company
1949 MG TC
01-01-2016 to 04-01-2016
Still feel crap. I get up and don't feel too bad but by mid morning I'm aching all over and find it difficult to stand up and walk. Let's see what tomorrow brings.
At last, beginning to feel better. I'll stay inside, in my chair for now as I have the second set of injections on Thursday.
Resting and watching TV, listening to Radio 4.
Up early and go to get my eyes injected for the second round. Get there, hand over the box of injections and ..... Should have two, not one. Lynne has only got one so I'm booked in for a second next Thursday. Right eye this week, left next. It's not too bad but different to last time. This time he gives me an anisthetic injection first. I get home and spend the rest of the day asleep listening to Radio 4. My right eyes hurts, a bit.
As my right eye hurts a stay in the chair today. Watch the football, good match.
Listen to R4 and watch the snooker then the football.
A repeat of yesterday.
Up early and out to Angers to take Lynne for her asthma checkup. They are really pleased with her progress. Next appointment is next January. She's very pleased and I'm very proud of my girl who has doen very well. We have a really nice lunch at Atoll and get some stuff at Castarama. I should be back in the workshop tomorrow.
Plan was to get up at 0730 and start work at 0800. Reality is I got up at 0830 and started at 0900. It's OK. I've docked an hours pay from my timesheet. I drained the compressor and threw out all the old TC carpets so I could stack the bags of sand against the back wall. I then got the compressor back into position and plugged it in.... nothing. I had to come back in at this point the toilet wanted me and my wife wanted to torture me with eye drops. I'm now going back to reset the trip switch on the compressor and see if it works. There may be a problem as it stood outside for a few days in the rain. It's had over a week to dry out so should be OK. Next update at lunchtime, or maybe tonight. 1100, compressor is running, floor is swept, vacuumed and the remaining dust blown away. Having a coffee now and then getting the vinyl tiles from the bathroom to the garage. Hope to have some laid before lunch.Stopped for lunch at 1250 and restarted at 1410. 1600 and I've now run out of adhesive so I'm off to buy more. The outer edges, two tiles deep are laid. Lucky I don't do this for a living, there's glue everywhere. I'm hoping it will scrape off with a razor blade when dry. That's my hands, not sure about the tiles :) Oh, forgot, after lunch I pumped up the tyres on the Land Rover. Easy I hear you say. No, I reply, two valves won't let air in so I had to loosen them off to get air in then tighten them. Turns out it's the tyre gauge which has the ickle pin missing. Off to the local DIY, Toute Faire ("any make" or maybe "any job"). They don't have lino glue in stock so off I go to Brico Marche in Segre. They have some and it reckons it uses 400 grams per square metre. I have about 6 square metres to do so the small tub will do , 3 kilograms. I also buy a tyre gauge for the airline. Get back at 1800 and oil the lock on our post box at the end entrance to the drive. We keep the key under the box, held on with a large magnet inside the box. Only problem is the magnet has gone. Can only be the post girl/man but I have more so no problem. I then back the Mini into the garage and jack the rear up as high as it will go and bleed the cooling system. There is an air lock in the heater matrix and this is supposed to get it out. I bleed away and can see air and water coming out the bleed screw. After several bleeds I remove the rad cap to check the level, drop the cap right next to the exhaust. I try and get it out with a set of spring claw thingies but it won't get a good enough grip. I then try a pair of long nose pliers but I only manage to knock the cap further down in between the rack and power steering pipes. I've left it to cool down and will try and get it out later.
The bench, needs a sort out.
The floor, needs a sort out
More floor, needs a sort out.
More floor, needs a sort out. Note the new extension reel, the old one, now 15 years old is getting past it. The brown stain is the rusty water I drained out the compressor.
More floor, needs a sort out. Guess what, I sorted out the bench and floor.
The tiles, laid out but not stuck down.
Have you noticed the brilliant sunshine? Not bad for Jaunary the 12th. (I only know the date because it says so on the pictures)
An MGB dash which will be offered at 50% current price to the first person who wants it and books a gite.
Looks good from all angles.
The floor at close of play, this is now stuck down. I hope all the glue I've got on the top will come off, should do..... I hope. Tomorrow, after physio, I'll lay the red tiles in the centre. Then more blue at the front and the remaining red around the bench and tool boxes.
Up at 0740, shower, dress and breakfast and off to physio at 0845. Get back at 1015 and feel so rough I lay down....... and wake at 1400! Sat in the chair for the rest of the day. I was going to sort out the Mini but it'll have to wait now. Tomorrow starts with needles in the eye and the rest of the day and Friday will be rest and recuperation.
Off to the optician at 0900 and get there at 0930. Eye is done at 1015. Now, let me explain. I have to lie in this chair and with eyes open and look down whilst he, first injects an anisthetic and then the stuff to repair the rear lens. I must not blink or move my eye. Only problem is I moved my eye. It hurt and now my eye is sore and aches if I move it or open it. So spend the rest of the day with one eye closed in my chair.
Up early, eye still aches but not as bad. It's minus something outside, all the Velux windows upstairs are frozen. So no work today. It won't be warm enought until next Thursday or Friday to finish the floor so Tomorrow morning I'll finish the mini and then on Sunday on I'll do the bits and pieces on the MG. I have the rad to sort out, the casing needs to do down further as the cap won't go on. Then I have the 4 side screen frames to paint (second coat). The windscreen frame to build around the screen but one corner bracket needs siezed screws drilling out. I also plan to fill the block with a 4:1 mix of ... whatever the anti-rust stuff is called and water. I'll leave it in for a few days and then flush it out thoroughly. Should take me up to next Friday. We'll go out on Wednesday and I'm bring the chassis back on Thursday.
Spent two hours bleeding the cooling system on the Mini. Went in when I got so cold that I couldn't feel my fingers. Heater is still cold.
Too cold to work on anything outside today.
I've made an executive decision. I'm leaving it all until later in the week. It's snowing now and just above freezing outside. The only job that needs doing before I can do the planned work on the chassis is to refit the centre rod to the handbrake, I can do that in the house (if I can find the bits!). Now, I have a confession to make. I left the bathroom trap runiing this morning. The sink is an old slate jobbie with no overflow. I've wiped most of the water up which has run off the ceiling onto the floor in my room.
We are going shopping later, in the snow. Never mind, I like water everywhere.
Did nothing, nothing at all. Listened to the radio in the morning then watch TV in the afternoon.
We left home together at 0900 and I went for my physio. Finished at 1000 and we set off for Chateaubriant to visit Norauto for new tyres for the Honda, They tyres on it are about 50% worn but 5 years old. They keep losing pressure. So four new tyres. We left Norauto at 1200 and made our way to a restaraunt in Ancenis. What a fantastic restaruant! I had a sea food platter for starter, Lynne had ham, cheese and salad in a really great dressing. We both cleaned the plates. Then Lynne had a pork dish and I had a medly of fish. Mackrel, Salmon and Cod with a langoustine and a prawn all on a bed of sourkraut. Another two clean plates. I had the coffee gourmande and Lynne had a chocholate with creme anglaise (custurd to you and me) followed by two Coffee Irelande. Funy but if you say it that way instead of Irish Coffee, they don't understand. Same with After Eight, if I say I'l have apres huit I get the funny looks and a "Errr".
Left at 0830 and picked up the chassis. Back here by 0930, unloaded and pushed it into the workshop. Took the deparnage (flat bed trailer) back and then went to the bank. I wanted to pay of a loan but last week she said I should wait until August as I then wouldn't have to pay any penelty. However the penalty was less than the interest I woul pay for anther 7 months payment so I paid it off.
Got back at 1200 having picked up some bird feed on the way. I'm now going to fill Lynnes car up and several petrol cans. Then lunch and I'm barred from working today as it's too cold. It will be warmer tomorrow.
You've all been there. It's 0530 and you're wide awake but it's too early to get up. So I read another few pages of The Lord Of The Ring and..... wake up at 0910. In the workshop by 1000. Clear the bench and floor area and lay out all the boxes and cabinets of fixings. Then get the chassis lined up ready for the engine to go on. First I spend some time finishing the handbrake and fitting it. Then the pedals go in. Lastly the engine and gearbox assembly goes in. Only problem is the rear plate on the gearbox is stopping the gearbox mounting bolt going through. Soleved it by running a drill through and grinding a flat off one of the bolts. Then the prospshaft goes in.
So, at 1645 I have the engine, gerabox and prop in. The pedals are on as is the handbrake. A good days work.
I have the split pins to fit into the propshaft flange bolts, the handbrake to adjust and the brakes to bleed. Also I've to fit the front engine mounting bolts when they arrive, probably Tuesday. I've searched for them but can't find them so NTG are sending me a set.
Chassis in the workshop, up on stands,with engine in place to refit.
From the rear.
Looking more like a car. Should finish it tomorrow, other than the front engine mounting bolts.
Started at 0800 and did the following: Locked the propshaft bolts with split pins. Checked all fluid levels and greased all the grease points. The gearbox was sligtly over on the dipstick so I tried to suck some out with my oil syringe. Couldn't reach the oil so I drained a bit out then topped it back to the mark. I was left with an eggcup full of oil, wasn't really worth the bother. Topping up the diff took ages, 140 grade oil is like pouring grease. I then cleaned up one of the pipes the fit on the handbrake cable for greasing. Got it all cleaned and fitted and pumped some greaese in but most was coming out the joint. I looked for the other pipe but can't find in. Plan is to fit the exhaust on Monday (we're out tomorrow) and get the car out of the way so Lynne can help me sort oll the parts still laying on the two blankets. If I can't find the pipe it's £96 for a new kit. The wheels were next. I used some sandpaper to remove the paint where the wheel touches the hub and, on the outside, where the spinner makes contact. After lunch I fitted the handbrake stop bar, which I'd forgotten and then filled the engine with a mixture of water and phosphate to loosen any rust/silt left in the block. Problem was the bottom hose, which I'd blanked off with some platic bin liner material and rubber bands leaked. So I put a Jubilee clip over the bands and it stopped most of it. It's dripping slightly so I've got the oil drain can under it.
Time to bleed the brakes. Lynne came and helped and I ran into trouble straight away. The pedal still had the old actuating arm on it and it doesn't have any threads left as they've rusted away. So, I had to remove the pedal shaft to fit the new pushrod. Took about half an hour and then my little darling worked the pedal and kept the cylinder topped up whilst I went round bleeding. We bled twice, had to unblock the new bleed valve on one of the front wheel cylinders and we now have a brake pedal that operates the brakes. I've packed up now as I want to watch "Final Score" on the BBC red button but it appears that snowboarding is more important this week.
The oil drained from the overfilled gearbox. Hardly worth bothering with.
Nothing new but It does look good, doesn't it.
The handbrake, now fitted with the stop bracket.
OK, Final Score is now on so I'm going to sit down and watch as the scores come in, drink my tea and eat my crips then shower at half time.
Went to lunch at friends in Nantes. What a great day. Lovely lunch, lovely family and lovely weather. We were sitting outside in warm sunshine. Not bad for 24th January.
Tomoorow's plan is: Paint brake drums gloss. Move earth strap to correct position. Fit new split pin to pedal shaft, fit exhaust. Drop car to groaund and position in drive to flush the cooling system. Whilst engine being flushed I'm going to tidy up all the new parts on the floor and see if I can find the missing engine bolts. Hoping to finish it tomorrow (other than front engine mounting bolts, which I can fit at the bodyshop) and get it back to the bodyshop on Tuesday. Lets see what can go wrong....
In the workshop at 0730 (aren't I keen), wheels of (again) and drums painted gloss black. Then moved the earth strap to the correct bolt (bell housing rather than gerbox mounting), changed split pin in pedal shaft. Then tried to fit the heat sheild to the master cylinder. It won't fit because the cylinder has different width ends. So I file/grind the cut outs on the sheild to suit. Still won't fit as the new master cylinder is in the way of the shield fixing to the chassis. So I wrapped a piece of heatsheild material around the cylinder. Then fitted the exhaust front pipe, which meant I had to heat up one of the studs to bend it straight so the copper and asbetsos (or whetever they use now) will fit (as well as the downpipe flange). It went on OK and I then tried to fix the bracket to the bell housing bolt. No chance. I had to remove the pipe and grind the top of the bracket to be half round. Fitted it all back. Then for the silencer. I can't find the ring that fits between the silencer and the front pipe or the U clamp. I re-organise all the bits into boxes and have a good clear up but still can't find them. I do have a clamp for the rear tailpipe. I fit the silencer but leave the 4 fixing bolts - silencer to chassis - loose as I'll have to remove it to fit the ring. Then I find the rearr clamp is too small. I've ordered parts, last night, for my friends TC from Moss Paris so I come in and ring them to add the exhaust parts. They don't open until 1400 on Monday so I go back to work. Let the car down and push it out so the front is outside the workshop. I turn the water hose on and set the engine flushing. I've already slackened the dynamo so I can use the electric socket gun turning the water pump. Whilst it's flushing I look for the missing parts for the O/S handbrake greaser. I have the pipe and find the union on the old handbrake cable. Then I find the other union, bleed nipple and triangular bracket in one of the boxes of bits. So I clean it all up and fit it. Pump some greaser in and I'm happy. Turn the tap off and blow the water off the engine and chassis and then leave it all to dry in the sun whilst I have lunch. At 1400 I ring Moss Paris and add the exhaust parts to the order. They have it all except the rear clamp. Never mind I can fit that later. I'm hoping it will be here on Thursday so I can go back to the bodyshop to finish the exhaust and fit the front engine mounting bolts which are on the way from NTG. At 1415 Lynne helps me search for the missing exhaust bits but we can't find them.
Plan for tomorrow is to leave at 0730 for the bodyshop, returnwith the flatbed and take the chassis back. I'll finish laying the lino tiles in the afternoon.
The heat shield with hlaf round cut outs made wider, but it still wont fit.
An out of focus picture of a clad master cylinder.
The O/S handbrake cable greaser. This saved £96 for a new one!
I just think it's so good that I took another picture.
Ditto. I'm hoping the front mounting bolt will go in without having to remove the dynamo completely.
Up at 0645, out to the bodyshop at 0720 and arrive at 0755. It was foggy hence a bit slower than normal. Left with the flatbed at 0830 and got back loaded the MG with Lynne's help, she is a darling, got up early to help me push the chassis to the flatbed. I cant get the flatbed to the workshop as the ground is too soft. Returned, got the chassis off and then had a search for the engine bolts and found them. So have cancelled the new ones from NTG. Then went to Segre and filled up and washed the car. On to Brico Marche for more lino glue and then home. Got back at 1200 and spent an hour checking all the fuses for the blown fuse that works the spot lights. The 3rd fuse was blown so I replaced that and the spots still didn't work so checked the next 30 and all OK. Then remembered a little box in the compartment on the left hand side of the engine compartment. Opened it, tested the fuse-blown. Fitted new and spot lights work.
Had lunch then took the panel off the side of the heater. The heater has been cold since I changed the thermostst housing. I've been told that if the matrix is blocked one pipe will be hot and the other cold. They need bleeding and can get an airlock which is difficult to move. Well one is scalding hot and the other is hot. If the heater was as hot I'd be happy but on max it's cold. So I jacked it up at the rear and, having got the engine hot, started bleeding. I spent all afternoon laying the rest of the floor tiles and bleeding the colling system every 10 minutes, in between laying a row of tiles. I also tried to get to the cigar lighter as they don't work. They, are the one in the car and the one in the boot. At 1800 I dropped the car to the deck, refitted the interior and vacuumed the interior. Then cleaned up the two engine bolts. The stuff I ordered yesterday from Moss Paris arrived. I now have the parts to fit the exhaust properly so I'll go over on Thursday and do all the little jobs I haven't done. Like fit the engine mounting bolts, refit the dynamo, fit the exhaust and fit some grease nipples to the track rod ends. I've also got a bit of the tub to prime and paint.
The floor so far. Picture taken with my phone.
Went for a blood test, the post office, the chemist and physio. I'm exhausted and it's only 1000. I must tell you a story... I bought the MIni in May 2014. Yesterday I found a 5 amp fuse blown. Today I found the car has reversing sensors. Wow! We're going out today and, when we get back tis afternoon I will pack up a kit of tools so that I can fit the exhaust and engine mounting bolts tomorrow and, on Monday, visit my friend in Nantes and remove his clutch, flywheel, sump and front cover to find why his engine leaks oil. He has taken the engine out and he will refit it.
There are four of us going to the 24 Heure du Mans this year. I've already got the grandstand tickets but you also need entrance tickets. As we were going to Le Mans for lunch I thought I'd pop in to the circuit and get the 4 entrance tickets. OK, no problem, that will be 75€ each, sir! HOW MUCH!!!! So paid the money and left the circuit with tears rolling down my cheeks. Then on to the restaurant. Set the SatNav and followed the route into the centre of town. But when we got to the cathedral the SatNav (built in unit in the Mini) just didn't know where to go and we were going all over the place. I stopped and phoned the restaurant and the chap gave us direction. I still wasn't sure so pulled over to set the SatNav to a larger scale so I could see the street names. Lynne says "why don't you pull in and park", "Why" says, trying to sort the SatNav out. "because there's the restaurant. It was about 50 meters in front of us but I hadn't seen it as I was trying to sort the useless SatNav out. Great meal, Lynne thoroughly enjoyed it. We then took the longer route home and got back at 1700. I got changed and loaded the car with the tools I may need tomorrow and Monday.
Out at 0745 to the blood testing lab for the results of yesterdays tests. Get them and they are good. My prolactoline (spelling?) should be between 4 and 18. It was 170 and is now 3.8. I'm seeing the specialist next Thursday so will find out what happens next.
Then to the bodyshop where I: 1 pick out the chassis numbers stamped on the chassis (which I masked off) in yellow paint. When that dried I sprayed the area with a clear lacquer. Then fitted the newly found and cleaned front engine bolts and refitted the dynamo. Removed the silencer, located the two studs in the silencer flange into the flange of the front pipe, positioned the joint and tightened the two nuts. Question: If you're supplying an MG TC exhaust system shouldn't you go to the trouble of getting the threads correct, BSF instead of metric? Never mind, I'm dreaming again. Went to fit the new U clamp on the silencer to tailpipe joint and find it's too small. Would I be out of order to complian to Moss that their parts are wrong? Won't bother as they probably won't do anything about it. Swapped the clamp I had for a larger one the bodyshop have in stock and fitted it. Then removed the rear clamp, which is too small and reshaped it, cut a bit off and drilled a new hole. It fitted perfectly. So exhaust now finished. Kept spraying more lacquer on the chassis and fitted the grease nipples to the drag ling and track rod joints. I'll have to re-visit this when I get the chassis back here as one TRE doesn't seem to have a hole for the nipple and one I did fit won't let the greaee gun lock on. As it's a bit dark where the chassis is I couldn't see very well. Lastly, I masked the tips of the fan blades ands sprayed the tips yellow (so no silly bugger, ie ME, puts their fingers into the blades when the engine is running. I forget to take pictures so I'll get some next week.
Got home at 1230 and took the tools out the car. Then sorted out the windscreen frame parts. I have the old bottom corner brackets to drill out and fit new ones and build the frame onto the screen, Only problem is that I seem to have forgotten to order new corner brackets. Ring Linda at NTG and they're on their way. So, after lunch I drill out the four siezed screws and then clean the tacho and speedo cables and lightly oil them ready for refitted. Spent the rest of the day glueing more tiles down. I'm typing this and peeling off acrylic glue from my fingers. Tomorrow we're of to St Bruieac to collect the hood and sidescreens.
The floor when I got back at 1230.....
.... and tonight at 1700. You try lifting the tool box with a long bar, the acetyline bottle with a screwdriver and then sliding a tile in place. Any suggestions which hand, or other appendage, you use for the tile.
It's 0630 and I've got up because this stupid old man cannot remember where the side supports to the windscreen fit. So I'll do some research on Google and find out. Then I'll have a quick breakfast and give the side screen frames another coat of paint. W're leaving at 1000 to go to St Bruiiec, about two and a half hours away. We're having lunch with friends then going on to collect the hood and sidescreens. If I can get the frames painted by the time we leave I can fit them to the side screens tomorrow.
I took this picture with my phone the other day when I was out early. The tractor is lit by the flash but the moon is lit by the sun. There endeth the science lesson. Bright moon.
0815 now and the frames have had their second coat.
It's a sad day today.
Land Rover Defender production ends today, 68 years after the first Series 1 was made.
LR say the car can no longer keep up with safety legislation and they are planning a replacement. However I've read that the Defender will be made in India with an Indian made engine.
Used prices are rising which is good if my Series 3 is worth more than the £2000 I paid for it.... so not so sad a day.
There are clever people, normal people, idiot people and then there's me. I spend half hour on Google trying to find a picture of the windscreen hinge brackets.... then have a brainwave and look at my own blog and find a good picture in 30 seconds. THIS ONE...
Just to complete yestaerday's saga. We left at 0945, went to Super U and filled up and set of to St Bruiec via Rennes. We were meeting friiends at a seafood restaraunt in the centre of town. We were slightly delayed due to the N12 being closed where the protesting farmers had started a bonfire with straw and tyres in the middle of the carriageway. If you want to see why, click HERE
We got to the restaraunt at 1230 and had a glass of wine while we waited. Then got a text mesaage that they were held up by traffic because the main road was closed and they were in the diversion. They arrived at 1315 and we had a great lunch of fish soup followed by mixed fish stew. It was great and not expensive.
From there we went to the trimmer to collect the hood and sidescreens. Now, I've lived here 10 years now so I wasn't surprised that he had done the hood and front sidescreens but was apologising for not having finished making the new rear side screens. I just said no problem, ring me when they're ready. A few years ago I would have gone ape, I'm getting used to the French way of doing things!
Up at 0800 and bring the two front sidescreen frames, the screens and the strips and special screws into the house along with some tools. Now, I'm worse than useless and doing mitred edges so, of course, I buggered the cutting up. The edges don't meet correctly and I've ended up cutting the strips short. Fitting the frame was a nightmare. The screws don't come through enough to get the nut on. After a lot of struggling and pulling the screws through with a small pair of long nose pliers I get all but two nuts on.The two that I can't get on will have to remain nutless, one is by the weld and the other just hasn't enough thread showing to pull it through. After lunch I started on the other side. This time I decided not to mitre but just butt the edges together. I also got all the screws into the chanels and stuck matches under the head so the thread will go through enough to get a nut on. I marked the edges and then slid the trim forward a bit so I could raise it from the screen and cut it off with the Dremel and a cutting disc. I then got all the nuts on and tightened them. Much easier this time. By the time I was finished it was gone 1500 so I called it a day as I want to watch the football scores comung in on "Final Score" My team, Sheffield Wednesday are away to Shrewsbury (FA CUP) who are at the bottom end of the division below us so we should win. Tomorrow I'll get the loom armour off the old loom and onto the new.
You can see the gaps on the mitred side (left). The right hand one has the butted edges.
Up with the lark, well 0900, lazy larks. Had breakfast and went into the workshop. First thing is to tidy all the tools away and then sweep up and clear up the debris from tile laying. I had Radio 4 (LW) on when the news came through that Terry Wogan had died. Sad day.
Got the old loom laid out and the new one in the same orentation. Then marked with a piece of tape where the armour should go on the new loom. I cut the old loom to get the armour off and then cleaned it on the wire brush. I cut the ferrules so that will fit over the new loom, the intention is to solder the cut joint. Then I unwound the armour coil. Took the ends, coil and tools inside. Sat in my chair with a cover over me, I proceeded to wind the armour on to the new loom. Having done a few turns I realised I had started at the wrong end and was winding it on with the next bit going under the previous. So I unwound it and started at the other end, with the next coil winding over the previous. It was very hard to do with my artheritic fingers but but got there by 1245. Put the ferrules on and pinched them together, I'll solder them in the morning. Lunch and then I cut the smaller section armour off the old, cleaned it, and onto the new. All done by 1445.
The new window in the hood. It is there, really. He's also replaced all the stitching.
Two looms laid out like a nest of snakes.
The section of armour that has to be removed from the old and fitted to the new,
Cutting the old loom to get the ferules and armour coil off.
The coil, ready to be unwound.
And started. Only problem is this is being wound on the wrong way, so after about 8 coils I unwound it and started at the other end.
The whole picture, over half way.
Done. Now for lunch.
The smaller section.....
... getting there.
... and finished.
And that's the end of January. How time flies......
I'll solder the ferrules in the morning and then I'm off to Nantes to sort out the oil leaks on my friends TC crank. I have a new set of sump and front cover gaskets, a new lip type seal for the front cover and he has a new Moss lip type seal for the rear.
See you all in February.
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