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(the months are 2015/2016)

The French Blatting Company

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1949 MG TC

May 2016

 

01-05-2016

Got up at 0600 with the intenion of having breakfast and getting the tractor belts on before 0900. However, as it was frozen outside, with ice on the windscreens and white grass I didn't start until 1000. I mowed the drive with the ride on then the edge of the field. When I'd done that I started the tractor and backed it the the garage door, I had to give up as I need the Dremel cutter to cut the rusetd bolts off the cover over the belts. I'll bring it home tomorrow and change the belts on Wednesday afternoon. Then spent an hour weeding the front of one gite. I have the other to do but want to listen to the Man U-Leicester game which is about to start.

02-05-2016

Before we start with today, can I finish off yesterday. I took the hedge trimmer and chain saw to to entrance of the drive to clear the hedge so you can see down the road when leavingHaving cut all the thin stuff with the hedge trimmer and filled the back of the Land Rover to move it all I started on the bigger branches. Chain saw job.... but, you've guesssd it, it wont start. I remove the plug, dry it with some matches and refit it. Still won't start. The annoying thing about this bloody chain saw is you're supposed to put your foot in the handle to hold it down whilst starting. Now, most men, with any sense, using a chain saw will wear work boots. But the handle isn't large enough for work boots. So, I go back to the house and change into trainers. I can now stand on the handle. Still won't start. I give up, get the hand saw and cut away.

At the bodyshop for 0750. Start by fixing the bonnet rear hingebracket then nail the rubber seal at the bulkhead to the body. The bonnet looks good. I only need to adjust the left hand radiator bar and it will be in line. I won't have to pack the body.After that I put the six body bolts in but have to drill another hole for the right rear as it no longer lines up. Now it's time to tack the sill palres and the reat quarter panels. By the time I've drilled the holes and tapped the tacks in it's lunch time. A quick sandwich and I start putting the doors on. They have wood screws in the hinges but I will change them for setscrews and nuts before the interior panels go on. Spend some time sorting out the hinges as they haven't been marked. Struggle a bit on my own, balincing the door on my thigh whilst doing up the screws. Doors are on but the fit is terrible. We discuss it and decide to leave it until the morning and let Jean-Maurice sort it out.

I then drop the car onto the ground, literally! Having removed the front axle stand and the front wheels are on the ground the car tilts off the rear stands which have tilted as I let the front down. No damage done. I push the car forward for more space (actually it was now I fitted the drivers door, the door was too close to the bench to fully open when the car was on stands.) I then spend an hour and a half setting the track to 3/16" toe in. When I've got it correct I push the car back, tidy up and go home. We have a plumber coming to fix the water leak under the sink in the MG suite gite.  He's already there when I get back and after a lot of looking and mumbling he finds it. It's the joint where the outside plastic joins the inside copper. The joint is in a hole inside the wall. He has to remove the wooden frame and break a hole in the wall to get to it. He packed up at 1830 and will return at 0800 tomorrow. In the meantime I fitted the two new belts to the tractor mower. I'm now completely done in so I'll do this blog and sit down and watch the snooker.

The drive after working on it all day.

The second heap of branches. There's also some 20 foot branches laying in the field. I'll take a pictire of the view tomorrow.

Not a good picture the bright rail at the lower part of the picture is the sill and you can just see the nails.

The top of the right hand rear quarter panel with the tacks in.

This is how it looks tonight. Poor light but I've brigthened it in photo shop.

It's better side.

 

03-05-2016

Talk about fed up. Last night I fitted new belts to the large mower. I had to drill a hole to rebolt the drive plate down. I spent twenty minutes trying various drills in my drill box, all like soft cheese. I sharpened them on my drill sharpener but still rubbish. I found a new drill bit and it went through in about 10 seconds. So, this morning I've ordered a set of Dormer drills and a proper sharpener. £250! But it'll be worth it if it allows me to drill holes in 1 minute instead of taking twentty.

Got in early but the valeter who was booked to do the Mini wasn't there, and never turned up all day. I took the doors off and refitted them with set screws and nuts other then the bottom body hinges which are blind so have to have wood screws. WhenI finished the doors fited perfectly so that was one job done. I then tacked the front door frame caps and after that the rear inner wings were to be fiited.. This brought us up to lunch and I had Robin to help me after lunch to fit the inner wings. As we finished lunch at 1300 and they don't re-start until 1330 I spent half hour hoovering the car (Mini) and throwing all the rubbish out. The inner rear wings went on OK, I had to drill holes in the new quarter panel to fit them. At this point I was getting really tired. I had wanted to have all the wings on before I left so Maurice could carry on. I did get the rear wings on under the direction of Maurice. However when I put the rear wheels on we realised they were too far in. He got the running board and held it in place and it confirmed the front edge of the wings need to come out to align with the running boards. He will do this and fit the front wings over the next few days. He'll then take it all apart and spary 4 or 5 top coats and reassamble it. I wont be there until Thursday week. I only hope he does it all, they've promised to have it finished by the 20th.

Doors fitted perfectly and a rear wing that is too far in. nThe chap in thebackground is Marcel who is rebuilding a 2 CV engine.

The other side. This one isn't too bad but still needs bring out a bit.

Hinges held on with setscrews and nuts

The veiw through the new gap in teh hedge. You acn see down the road other than to 100 meters outside the property. nYou'd hear a vehicle that close but a 10 second wait would see it go past.

A closer view.

04-05-2016

Forget to mention that when I got to the bodyshop yesterday I showed Jean-Luc the newly arrived headlights. Opened the box and one headlight glass is cracked. Not a problem as I have two original U shaped lenses to go on.

The plumber found the leak,. The chap who plumbed the gites, a local Brit, had put the joint for the plastic to copper inside the 18" thick wall. The plumber had to remove the timber covering the pipe that go upstairs and dig a hole in the wall to get to it. I reckon this has been leaking since fitted as we've had very high water bills. So high the water company wrote suggesting I had a leak and to get it fixed. It's taken all this time (10 years) to find it!  I knew it wasn't in our house and couldn't see any leak in the gite until last summer when the floor board by the sink in the MG suite was damp.

After physio we set off for Ikea in Nantes. Long story short (Oh yes, that'll make a change, Verona). Four years ago I renovated the house and installed an Ikea kitchen including a fridge freezer. Last year, about this time it packed up. The Ikea replacement was 650€ so I bought a cheaper one elsewhere. Then I was told that the Ikea fridge had a four year warranty. I called them and they send a service company out. The chap took the fridge away for repair. Many weeks went by with no news then they told us it was beyond repair and Ikea would give us a new one. That was October and we're still waiting. So today, as we needed some bits and pieces for the gites I went to the customer service desk and asked what was happening. The chap on the desk found the file on the system and said they'd sent me an email and were awaiting the response. I've not had an email he rung the department and we requested a copy. We went to lunch and still no email so we went back in and he rung again. We'll just have to wait; it'll take a day or so for the copy to be sent out.

We came home and I started cutting grass at 1615. The bloody mower has a broken welded plate that holds the drive pulley. I did all the front of the gites and half the field when one of the belts came off. I put it back on but it almost immediately came off again. I parked up and left it. I'll weld it first thing Friday morning.

Forgot to mention that I need a new tyre for the Caterham. The O/S/R loses pressure and I assumed it was leaking through the split rim. Took it to the bodyshop and it turned out to be a damaged wall which is leaking. It's an Avon 245/40 R15 V88 and their supplier want to supply two at 300€. I rang round last night but Caterham were closed and the others didn't stock it. I spoke to Avon and they have stopped making it but made a last batch in January and will supply one if Caterham agree and haven't one in stock. So this morning as Lynne drove to Ikea I rang Caterham. They will get Avon to send it if they haven't got one. That'll be £190 Sir. Hell the last one I bought was £115. Just my luck at the moment. However, I'm planning on using it once a week this year, the first time in 4 years.

05-05-2016

We cleaned gites, that's it, just cleaned the two gites, two of us started at 0815 and stopped at 1730. And we still have a couple of hours more to do in the morning. Tell you what, renovating a 67 car is much easier.

06-05-2016

We've all had them. Days where all goes wrong. Plans? Why do they rarely work out. Got up early and started finishing the gites at 0630. At 0830 I went to Segre, about 20 minutes away to a) wash the car, b) fill it with petrol, c) get stuff for the gites in Super U (supermarket and d) get stuff from Brico Marche (like B&Q). I also bought a 6mm thick steel bar and some new drill bits as well as a new electric drill. I had thought about the tractor mower overnight and decide that as well as re-weld the platform I'd fit two right angle brackets to take some of the load. Got back at 1100 and finished the gites. At 1200 I started making the right angle brackets. All went well and they were made without hassle. I then tried to refit the belts and found the one that had come off was jammed inside the pully and a bolt that holds teh drive gearbox on. This bolt is welded on. Took me an hour to get the belt out. I put the two belts on and bolted everything up. Put the tools away and started the tractor. Drove it a few yards away from the Mini that was parked next to the tractor and lowered the mower and engaged the drive. The belt broke with 5 yards! I just parked it and walked away. I'll take some pictures tomorrow.

As it happens I've heard from the guests coming this weekend and they won't arrive until Monday, so I have all day tomorrow to get another belt on and cut the grass. I'm going to the bodyshop first thing to give Maurice some bits and explain how the rear wings should be aligned. I should be back for 0930 and I would like to get the belt on and grass cut by 1530 so I can watch "Final Score". Bet I don't get to watch it.

Good thing is that Lynne finished the gites whilst I was fixing the tractor. They look a treat. Should do with all the effort that's gone into cleaning them. We always do the first "deep" clean of the year, after that Angela does them every changeover.

07-05-2016

 Happiness, joy, ectacy.

All these things and more. I go to the body shop this morning. Imagine my surprice when I see an MGC partked on the front. I drive in and .... wow, there on the left is a wine coloured TC. I then look to the right and see mine.

Getting there, at last. This is the trial run to get all tye panels aligned. When fully built it will be taken apart, painted and re-assembled.

Maurice was fitting the front apron when I left, if you look at the pictures of the car before I pulled it apart you will see it was damaged. He's done a brilliant job repairing it. I reckon he'll have the rear wings on by the time he goes home at 1200. He showed me a photo on his phone of the car with the headlights on. Looks really good.

The red TC. We're so lucky it's there as it amkes a perfect opportunity to copy. I had to point out that the piping on this car is wrong. There's no break beween the running board and the rear wing. I'm going to buy some quarter inch rubber pipe to make the correct size for the apron. I could fit the 3/8" that I have but I amy as well get it right.

I'm not sure why the car is there, but I did notice the doors were wobbly.

I'm now getting Herbie Duex out. Lynne gave the first ride-on the name "Herbie" because the French for grass is Herb, (pronounce "Erb"). So the new one is Herbie two, or "Erbie deux".I'll cut the grass in front of the gites and our house. I'll put another belt on the tractor Monday morning and see if I can finish cutting the field.

I'm having a nightmare with this tractor, or rather the topper it pulls. The blades jammed and I didn't hear it. The belt got so hot it split. I got two new belts and fitted them which isn't an easy job. I got half way round and the drive platform weld broke, The drive pully dropped down and a belt came off. I've welded the plate back on in two spots and made two 6 mm steel plates to support the frame. Went to finish cutting last night and the belt flew off. I refiited the belt at about 1300 and when I engaged the mower the belt flew off again. I've left it for now and will order another belt on Monday. I'm watching Final Score now as I'm really done in.

08-05-2016

 Ever wished you'd not bothered. With nothing to do this morning (it's now 0830) I decided to add up all the costs.

The car and parts: £31,790

Tools and sundries £7,778

Total|:..................£39,568

I'll have to get these figures checked from tha company accounts as some have VAT and some don't. The parts all have the carrtage charges included. The tools include a new compressor and a few trips to the UK

Never mind, I didn't do this to make a profit.

We went, with friends from Dinan, to the races at Sennones. Great afternoon. Then come back home, had a salad and hot cheese on the cheesy thing and had a great evening.

09-05-2016

 Pottered about in the morning and Phil and I went to the bodyshop so he could see the car. They left about 1200 and then I got ready and went to the hospital. Checked in and shown to my room. The nurse proceeded to glue all the electrodes, microphone and heart monitor. I was plugged in at 2230 and went to sleep fairly quickly. I awoke at 0230. This morning the professor came to see me at 0830. Yes, I have two types of sleep apnea. I nearly let out a scream of joy. I will go back in for two consecutive night to have a mask fitted and adjusted. I'm so pleased, I should be able to get back to normal and do all the normal things again, like walk!

 

Wired for sleep. The electrodes are glued on and it needs a solvent to get them off. You can't see it but there's a microphone plastered to my throat. That hurt when it was ripped off.

10-05-2016

We're going to lunch at Bufallo Grille and our two guests are joinng us. Richard has an MG YA and it's in very good condition. Originally sold by University Motors, the clue is the registraion number, UMG XXX.

After lunch we're going to buy some large pot plants to put at the front of the house.

Pictures when I've put them in place......

As promised, pictures.

I intended to take a picture before but forgot. So this is almost how it was before.

Percy Thrower at work. Looks like I know what I'm doing. Just shows you.

Finished job. Lynne will buy some more small one to put inbetween these. It looks better for real.

11-05-2016

I'll start at the beginning. I went for physio and, at 1000 we set of to the tax office to pay a tax bill and get last year’s average exchange rate so I can complete the annual return (French). Then onto the bodyshop and unpack all the interior trim and seats. From there we went to Ancenis (about 40 minutes) to a good seafood restaurant on the banks of the Loire. We finished the meal at 1330 so I suggested we go to Ikea, only 30 minutes away. Now, you may ask, why go to Ikea when they went last week. Well, it's all Lynne’s fault. When we got back from Ikea last week Lynne mentions that we could do with some decent mattresses. We have two single beds, as she has to have an electric one to raise the top half and I need to lay flat. I just sighed and asked why she didn't say when we were there. Usual reason "I didn't want to spend the money, we may not have it" So we went there and spent half hour in the bedding department and bought two new mattresses. The Ikea at Nantes has a huge warehouse about 10 minutes away where you have to collect large items. We only had her Honda Jazz. I assumed the memory foam mattresses came rolled up. Before going to collect them we popped into the service area and tried to chase up the replacement fridge. Long story but the fridge stopped working and the service company came to repair it in October. The chap took it back to his workshop. Later, when we chased it up they told us it was beyond repair and we should contact Ikea who would supply a new one. When we chased Ikea they kept saying something about sending an email. No email came. Today we chased it up and it turns out they meant we should send them an email with the model number we wanted. That's the next job after this. We get to the warehouse and find that one mattress is rolled but mine isn't it's in a cardboard frame. We now have to fit 2 meter mattress in a Jazz. Easy.....

This is how I got back from Nantes whilst Lynne drove. It's only an hour and a half journey. The tailgate was closed.

12-05-2016

Forgot to say that I was severly chastised the other day, and rightly so, when I called our guests car a YA. It's a YB. I have grovelled an apology and it was accepted.

Proof positive that I am a certifable idiot. I get to the bodyshop at 0750, Jean-Luc arrives a few minutes later and I take the car across the road. I switch off and it's boiling. Open the bonnet so I remember to top it up tonight. I'm going to put the floor boards in and then the trim. I lay the floor in and then the tunnel. I then place the tunnel in position. It won't go down, a good 4" gap to the floor. I start looking at the gearbox mountings and really confused why the gearbox appears too high. Maurice comes over so I show him. He looks at it for 3 seconds and shows me the tunnel goes under the gear lever extension housing. See, Stupid. I also find that the tunnel goes on first then the floor boards. I run a die down the two studs and Maurice welds a nut on, the old one has come away. Sort out some setscrews, nuts and washers, fit the tunnel and then have lunch. After lunch I fit the boards. The shape isn't correct and they won't go down fully because the corners are getting in the way. Also the holes are drilled in the wrong place. Drill new holes. I've struggled all day with the floor, mainly because, apart from me being stupid, they aren't the correct shape and the holes were in the wrong place. I just finished screwing them down at 1800. In the morning I had looked under the other TC there (to see if the gearbox mounting were in the same position-they were) and noticed that the speedo cable was routed through the opposite side. Last job I did was to change my cable from right side to left side.

They've told me to have a holiday tomorrow whilst Maurice fits all the fidly door jamb bits. He's going to paint the car next Tuesday.

I'm going in with the Land Rover to fit the new exhaust.

The tunnel in. Correctly this time. It's 1200 and lunch next.

1800 and the floors are in.The rubber gearbox cover isn't screwed down. I'll do it next week.

13-05-2016

 As I coiuldn't work on the TC today I decided to use a ramp and fit the new exhaust on the Land Rover. I went to the tip on the way to empty the back which was full of rubbish. Got in at 1000, put the Lnad Rover on a two post ramp then took it off to turn it round then got a steel box section across the two rear spring to get the ramp arms on. Opened the bonnet and undid the nut and bolt on the downpipe. Car in air I put the socket on the second nut and.... it broke off. I looked at the third, or rather I looked at where the third should be and it wasn't. It had been broken before my time.I carried on and got the system off. Meant cutting one mounting bracket bolts off with the Dremel cutting disc and hacksawing the pipe in two. OK, bite the bullet and remove the manifold to drill out the broken studs and tap new threads and fit new studs. Problem with a Land Rover on a two poste?  If you have the vehicle high enough not to keep hitting your head you are standing on tip-toe to reach the bolts. I now have several cuts on my head. I had planned on being home for lunch so had no lunch with me. I worked on through lunch and eventually finished at 1800. I set of for home and get a text from Lynne "where are you, you're supposed to be fitting a cigar lighter to the YB". So, got home and fitted the cigar lighter. Then we went out to a local restaurant as Richard and his friend have decided to leave now and drive through the night and get the morning ferry.

The CNC lathe the boss has just bought.

Bit of a tool, eh.

Manifold being drilled. I wasn't driling at an angle, just the drill not being held whilst I took the picture.

Cutting the bolt thread down so it can be a stud.

Job done. Two new studs and a new bolt and nut

New exhaust fitted. What I thought would take two hours took eight..

 

AND NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS.

 

Maurice has been busy. Tank, apron, running boards, fuel tank straps, battery cover and rear number plate backing.

One front wing and two rears. The other front wing is done.

The skin peened over.

Rear panel

The door closing panel, all smooth and finished.

The headlight mounting.

I'm fitting the carpets, seats and rear wheel arch trim tomorrow and Monday. Maurice will paint the whole car on Tuesday and then we will rebuild it.

14-05-2016

I didn't mention it yesterday but the past two days I've been totally exhausted by the evening. It's probably down to now knowing that I only get 2 or 3 hours sleep a night. I have the mask fiited on 24th/25th and may, then, get a decent nights sleep. Forever the optomist, that's me!

Have you heard about mice and me... their plans never work. Maurice was going to paint the car on Tuesday so I planned to fit the carpets, rear wheel arch trim and seats by Monday night. The rest of the trim needs to be put in after the car is painted. I get there this morning and get the carpets to the car. I walk back to get tools and when I return (to the spray booth area) Maurice is masking the car. He's covered the rear and is about to do the driver and passenger area. OK, so no carpets. I look around and decide to fix the loom to the headlight brackets. This turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it would be. The passenger side was still blocked with rust but we got it clear with the airline and a piece of welding rod. At 1030 Maurice and I pushed the car back into the oven and he started to prepare for painting. The wings, apron, tank and other bits will be painted seperatly on Tuesday but the car should have it's firts coat of paint on by now.

You may have noticed that Monday has disapeared. It has becuase it's a bank holiday in France. So our day out will be on Monday and I'll work the rest of the week. I'm in hospital (for my apnea mask fitting) Monday and tuesday week. However I can see the car being finished by Friday 27th.

After 13 months of very hard work I can't get used to the idea that it will (should) be finished in 10-14 days time.

Ready for 5 or 6 coats of shiny black cellulose paint.

And by peeking under her skirt you can see the side and headlamp wiring going up the tube.

15-05-2016

Did nothing. Well not exactly nothing, I hung my overalls out to dry after they'd gone whoosh around the machine. Then stripped the two beds in the gites. Then set up a new page on the TC section. Look at the "gallery" and see what's new. I will post one more picture of it during painting then a few of the finished car.

When I pulled the wires through the wing stays, I pulled them all through to the end so it would make it easier for Maurice to paint the stays. When he's painted them I'll pull the two headlight wires back. One of the TABC group noticed this and emailed about my error. They are so eagle eyed, which is great because I'm always making silly mistakes.

16-05-2016

Had a nice Chinese meal, bought some summer shoes and then wandered around Casterama. Bought a cheap standard lamps and then..... bought an awning for outside at special price of 89€. Nothing remarkable there, except it's a public holiday today and this is the first time I've known shops open on a public holiday. France is catching up with the UK, 15 years later.

17-05-2016

Mice and men, plans. So much for mine. Get up at 0500 and get all my bits together, get the last remnants of the MG (interior trim) out of the house, put some boxes in the back of the Fiat to go to the tip and answer emails. Get to the bodyshop for 0750. The Mini is now losing water at a fair rate and I have to top it up before and after the home to bodyshop journey. I've decided to do it up over the summer. See below. I start by getting all the parts on the floor in boxes on a mobile table. I arrange all the locks in one shoe box, the interior chrome brackets in another, all the lamps (not headlights) in yet another and all the screws in dishes. Maurice comes in and I expect the TC to be outside the oven and ready for me to start on the interior. It's inside and he has sprayed two coats of primer on Saturday. He is now going to push it out, rub it down and then put it back for top coats. In the meantime, Robin (apprentice) is finishing the doors and petrol tank. I cannot work on the car. I stop and think. This is very difficult for me. I had less that two hours sleep last night and feel like a zombie. Whatever that is. I can't concentrate or think clearly. I test the fuel gauge sender and it doesn't work. So take it apart clean the contacts, straighten the flange and rebuild. It works, I ask the TABC group (have to phone Lynne to do this as I can't remember the address) if the sender unit is painted or natural. At the same time, as I can't find the 6 screws for it, and I know they're here .... somewhere, I ring NTG and get Mike. I order the screws and ask him about the colour of the of the sender unit. He thinks it shoul be painted. I then get two replies that it's not painted. Unpainted it will remain. See the picture below as to why sender units leak. After this I take the spot lamp apart and clean the innards. Next is the windscreen. I get it out of the store and assemble the stantions. PROBLEM. The new thread I made for the driver’s side wing nut has stripped. I run a blind 10mm Metric tap down it and a 10mm bolt fits well. They have a new lathe which is now in position in the machine shop and the old one out in the workshop. I will turn the beheaded bolt down at home and cut a new thread tonight. By this time, about 1530, I feel really bad. I'm almost staggering about and can't find the windscreen butterfly nut. I search for about 20 minutes and then find it where I put it, in one of the screw dishes. OK, I surrender, I get all my stuff together, top the Mini rad up and go home. I feel really bad. Get home and plan to sit down. However, I take the bits I've bought home to the workshop and the walk across and the cooler air wakes me up a bit. So I finish the new bolt on my lathe and clean the plugs on the Caterham but it still won’t start. Tomorrow night I'll take the carb tops off and see what's inside. I suspect it's stale petrol.

We then go out to eat as Lynne hadn't felt too good during the day so I told her not to go shopping and we'd go out tonight and she could shop tomorrow.

Maurice rubbing down the two new coats of primer.

The flange of the sender unit. A couple of people have mentioned that the fuel tank units leak and can't be cured. When I've told them it's because the screws have been overtightened they look at me like I have got two heads. OK, this is what happens when the screws are overtightened. The flange distorts. Are you surprised that leaks. I've straigtend it by putting it in a vice with soft metal jaws. It's now flat and when I fit it I will just "nip" the screws up so it's tight on the rubber gasket (a later replacement for the original cork) which has a slight smear of gasket cement (black silicone or red Hermatite, but not so much it gets inside the tank) but not so tight that the soft metal flange distorst... and leaks.

All nice and tidy, if someone can tell me where it all goes, I'll be much obliged.

The car with 4 coats of top coat taken through the oven window, It will be brought out tomorrow, rubbed down and a final, fifth coat of celulose applied. After that (Thursday) i can start on the interior whilst Maurice paints the wings, doors, tank etc. Then on Friday and Saturday we can start re-assembly. There I go again, making plans. Will i never learn!

 

Instruction for repairing a non-working fuel tank sender.

The arm has a copper connector in the shape of a two prong fork. Screwed to the body is the screw the wire goes on. Remove the large plastic knurled knob, undo the nut and take it all out laying the washers and insulators in the order they came off. Clean the contact surfaces with wet & dry, the contact is at teh bottom of the plate, and prize the bottom of the copper plate out towards the middle. Put it all back, refit the cover and it should work. I used a slight smear of black silicone gasket cement on the rubber gasket faces, not too much, you don't want it dripping into the tank.

Also get some lead or ali plate and put it in the jaws of a vice. Then tighten the flange in the vice turning it round all 360 degrees in stages. This should get the flange flat and straight. When you refit the tank unit just nip the screws tight, do not use a huge screwdriver and use all the strength you can as this will distort the flange and it will leak.

MINI. Cooper S, 2005. The car has now done 98,000. The engine is "clattery". It is a very high spec car which cost £14,000 in 2005 and then had £10,000 of options added. I like it, it's comfortable, and has good performance. It's the face lifted first generation and was only made for two years. It has a supercharger. All later models have turbos. I will not get one like it with low mileage now. So, I've decide to do it up. New shock absorbers, wheel bearings and suspension bushes. Engine out and new crank bearings, rebore if required, new pistons and rings. Fast road cam, smaller pulley for the supercharger, light weight front pulley and lightened flywheel (which I may do myself). I'm also looking at a new exhaust manifold, but if it means changing the exhaust it'll stay as I've only just put a new exhaust on at the cost of 500€ This work should get it back to being sort of new and with a bit more oomph!

18-05-2016

I couldn't do much on the car today so, after physio I went to the tax office and handed in my tax return, then got a sandwich in a boulongier and a fruit drink in a super market. Arrived at 1130. I fitted the new stud to the windscreen frame. I drilled the first hole in the windscreen stantion for the mirror on the nearside. Then liunch. After lunch I finished drilling and tapping the stantion and fitted the mirror arm. I got the windscreen out of the store, laid it on a blanket on a table and fitted the stantions to the screen. I'm missing the "D" washers but they're on the way and can be fitted later. Time to change the lenses on the headlights. I got the clips off the new one and then found the "cats eyes" lenses I have are a tad too big. We (Robin and I) struggled to get the clips on. Having finally got them on I find they rim will not now fit over the bowl as the glass is in the way. Then Jean-Luc comes up and says they have a problem. Maurice has polished the four coats of paint he applied yesterday and was going to put the fifth and final coat on today so I can start putting the interior in. Jean-Luc wants to leave the paint dry more overnight. So, I will not be able t work on it tomorrow. No real problem, just my plans going tits up again. Maurice and I will refit the wings, doors and other panels as well as the tank on Friday and Saturday. I will start the trim on Monday, Wednesday (both short days as I'll be in hospital over night on Monday and Tuesday) and it's not worth going in on Tuesday as I will leave at 1000 and have to be back at 1600. But, I should have it finished by Friday 27th. When I got home I ordered a new headlight glass and two headlight bulbs as the ones I have are wrong anbd I can't find the correct ones. I also have been told where to get the horn bracket I can't find and it's on its way. All looking good.

I've also arranged insurance to start on the 30th. It's booked in for it's French MOT (Controle Technique) on the 30th. They want a valuation so it's cover 3rd part for now and I should get a valuation certificate from MGOC as soon as I get thejm the pictures.

Shiny enough for me. Problem is I think it's going to look over-restored. I'll sort that out, I'll use it all the time which will solve the problem.

19-05-2016

 I forgot to mention yesterday's highlight. You may recall that the piping for the apron should be 1/4" but I only have 3/8" for the rest of the body. I got some 6 mm pipe, which is as close to 1/4" as doesn't matter. I now wanted to get the piping unstitched and the 1/4" pipe sewn in. I went into the local dry cleaners thinking they did clothes alterations but they didn't. I asked Didier andd Valerie, our friends from the pharmacy and she told me where there was a shoe repairer in Segre that would do it. I went there yesterday and looked where I thought she's meant, no repairer but a shoe shop. I went in and asked. No they didn't do repairs but the "Cordinniere" along the road did. A customer took me to the street and pointed to it. I got back in the car, turned round and went to the shoe repairer. Amazing place, like walking back in time 50 years. The lovely smell of raw leather and the owner sitting at an old Singer sewing machine, a huge one for leather. He stopped work and came to the counter. I explained that I wanted the stiching undoing, the old tube taking out and the new, thinner one sewing in. He gave me a quizical look and I thought he hadn't understood me. I was just about to try and say it again when he took the piping, pulled the tube through and insterted the thiiner tube. "Is that what you want?" I felt a bit of a fool but thanked him very much and left. We'll have to pull the vinyl tight when we fit it but is should be OK.

Had a really good night, 3 hours sleep. Came down at 0400 and dealt with emails and then started filling in the French Insurance companies forms. They want a club valuation before they'll insure but will put it on 3rd party cover from the 30th until I can get a valuation. I've set up an express valuation with the MGOC but can't get the pictures to them until the body is painted and rebuilt and the interior is fitted. Probably late next week, In the meantime I will be taking it for its CT (French MOT) on the 30th. I came in to my room and looked in the insurance folder and found the Haggerty quote which is about the same as the French quote. It's now 0900 and I'm going to ring them...... back soon.

In the meantime, I've taken the top of teh carbs on the 7 and blown the stale petrol out and flushed through the pipes and filter by pumping half a gallon of fuel into a can. the battery's on charge and I will attempt to start it after speaking to Haggerty.

 

OK, now 0930 in the UK and I've insured the car from 27th with Hagerty. All I have to do is get a tax thingie with the DVLA, no fee as the car is old enough to be free. The transaction was totally hassle free, they sent me an update of the quote, value is £25,000, miles is 3000 mile pa, and the price was a little bit more than the French quote. Big advantage is I can keep the original UK registration.

Right, I'm a happy chappie and will now go and start the Caterham. The way things have gone this morning it will start straight away..... I hope. It hasn't been started for over a year. I will wash it and then go for a run.

Started first time. Got it out, jet washed the dust off, washed it and rinsed it off. Had lunch and then set off to the bodyshop in the 7. I didn't go too fast as one of the front wings had become un-glued. When I got there the TC was back in my work area having been given it's final coat of paint and polished. I could have gone in for the afternoon and fiited some interior bits. Didn't stay long and came home. Sand blasted the rusty fixings for the wings etc then swept the garage up where the Caterham has stood for a year. Took the front wheel off and epoxy-resin the wing bracket back on. Left to "cure" overnight. Next it was the Land Rover's turn. I hoovered it thoroughly and gave the interior a wipe down.

Our guests arrived lunchtime amd I've given them some suggestions for the day out tomorrow.

Looking good.

20-05-2016

Got to the bodyshop at 0750 and started straight away. I had to lay all the bits out on the floor as they had put them on my tool bench as they wanted the table. My target for today was to fit the rubber cover on the gear box and get the carpets in. I struggled with the rubber cover as I couldn't see the screw tops to put the screwdriver in. Got there in the end and not too bad. At this point I realised the three side trims have to be tacked in before the carpets can be fitted. So I tacked the front piece, the bottom sill section and was tacking on the rear quarter panel when Maurice pointed out that I hadn't put the beading in between panels and body. OK, all off and start again. Finished that side just in time for lunch. After lunch fitted the drivers side. Looks good. I needed more long tacks so whilst I awaited 1400 and the local Espace Terraine to open I glued the felt to the drivers side rear wheel arch. At 1400 took their van and got a pack of nails and put the last few in. I'll come back to why I used the van later. I then fitted the drivers side seat adjuster bracket to the wheel arch. I've used some brake drum screws and thin nuts. Should be rivetted but screws are easier. After getting the back rest in and screwed to the adjuster arm, I drilled and screwed the passenger side. Next came the carpets and they are all laid in then I laid the seat squabs on the floor.At this point Lynne arrived to take me home..... OK, the Mini died. They had it in to find the water leak and pressurised it and said the head gasket was leaking. Problem then got worse as the rad split and the car is no longer drivable. I wanted to borrow the car transporter overnight to take the Mini home but there was some problem, which I'm not sure I understand. Jean-Luc says he'll think about it. So I far exceeded my target. With abit of luck I'll get the vinyl wheel arch covers on, the carpet studs in and the seats in tomorrow morning. That will leave the dash to go back in. Hoepfull, Monday I'll be helping Maurice fit the wings, doors, petrol tank and front apron (as well as the bonnet). Plans again.... bet they go wrong.

The passenger side trims in place, with the beading.

The rubber cover, I'll have to find something to paint it black. How about paint?

Seats in. They need screwing down but that's easy.

Carpets as well....

Smart, eh?

You can just see the rear wheel arch vinyl awaiting gluing down.

 

And, as a tailpiece...

Apart from the fact it's an early Beetle, small rear window is the clue, look at the suspension.

Couldn't see the suspension? well this shows it better, low or scrapping on the road?

21-05-2016

Forgive me, MG TC'ers, for I have sinned. You will remember that I had to buy a new foot board. Well it looks like the captive nuts for the rubber housing are UNF. They're not BSF or metric. My UNF stock is at my workshop at home so I had to run a metric tap through and use metric setscrews. I have begged forgiveness and said three hail Cecil Kimbers.

Right, back to the progress. Used the Caterham to go this morning and got there in fifteen minutes! It can take up to thirty on weekdays. I only passed one car on the whole journey.Started work at 0745, drilled a hole in the bottom of the battery box and ran a pair of wires from the battery box to under the dash for the Ctek battery conditioner to be plugged in.  I then set about cutting and gluing the rear vinyl trim in. Having finished that a decided to leave the wheel arch covers until my daughter, Tanya is here week after next. She was a seamstress and will get it right, I'll cut in the wrong places and get it wrong. Maurice come over carrying a front wing and offers it to the body. Now what idiot has put the lighting conduit over, instead of under the chassis. The idiot routed them correctly in about teb minutes,  Having cut the square out of the drivers carpet it fitted correctly over the brake pedals and under the rubbber fluted boot. I will fit the "lift-the-dot" fastners later, it isn't essential now. Robin (apprentice) helped me fit the squabs into the back rest and I them screwed the seat brackets down. If anyone needs to know the front of the three holes in the bracket nearest the door is 61 cm from the wheel arch. As I had no sleep last night, I was feeling a bit tired so just plodded on steadily and, sitting in the car for the first time ever, not counting sitting on the seat with legs outside when it was taken of the transporter nearly 13 monts ago, asked Maurice to photograph the event. So, the interior is finished apart from the wheel arch covers being glued down and the carpet studs fitted. On MOnday I will fit the dash. I'm making two extension cables for the loom plugs I fitted so the dash can be pulled furter out than is now the case.

The rear trim showing the wheel arch covers yet to be glued in.

Seate installed. There is a lead light bunder the dash, it's not a presence in the car.

Seats again.

The rear compartment. The carpet over the diff cover isn't standard but it came with the carpet set, so why not?

Under the dash, The flash didn't work, it thought it was light enough. Probably the lead light confusing the camera.

Maurice is fitting the treads to to running boards. I couldn't find any measuremnts in the books so asked him to fit them centrally.

The "magician", Jean-Maurice. Nothing has phased him, he just makes new panels, welds patches in and fills in holes without any fuss and makes a fantastic job.

A grinning gnome sitting in a car. Could be Noddy.

Me sitting in the car for the first ever time.

22-05-2016

I was watching the football last night when our guests artrived in their MGB. Lynne showed them round and said I'd come in as soon as the game finished. It went to extra time, I fell asleep and awoke at 2200. Far to late to say hello. Said hello this morning. I have a list of jobs to do today, but you know when you think, "sod it" well today is a "sod it" day. I have fitted the black carpet I bought yesterday to the rear of the Land Rover. However, the awning will have to wait and the new belt on the tractor will have to wait. I'm now going to have a sleep. I've realised there's a pattern to my sleep. I get three hours, next night two, next one then none. I got three last night so probably only two tonight. I'm going to refit the dash tomorrow and have made two extension leads so the dash can be pulled well away from the body without unplugging it. Then off to the hospital to check in at 1600. I hope I'll have the mask on and get a good eight hours. If I do I may stop being a stupid idiot and a zombie, well maybe.

I started the rebuild on 28th April last year. If it's finished on Thursday, 27th it will be exactly 13 months.If the bodyshop had done what they're doing now three months earlier it would have been finished weeks ago.

Someone from the US has complimented me on the blog and wants me to continue after the car is finished. I may do that and, if people read it, I'll continue with the daily antics at La Foie. I will start a new blog called "Life at La Foie". So, if you think that may work, email me and I'll carry on.

UPDATE

I've packed my bag. I'm going to the bodyshop in the morning, will fit the dash and contriol cables etc and refit the battery. After which, I'll go to Julien to get a chemical cleaner for rubber and see if he has tyre gloss. Then to the hospital for my first of two overnight stays to get my apnea mask set up. I won't be posting a blog tomorrow or Tuesday but hope to catch up on Wednesday night. With a bit of luck all the body wings, doors and tank will be on the car by then. I've been inundated with requests to keep the blog going so have set up a new blog, to start on July first. This blog will go through June as I run the car in and sort out the bugs. The new blog shortcut is at the foot of the shortcuts, it's "Life at Le Foie-Daily Blog".

As I was packing the bag, my everloving put her arms around me and said "I'll miss you, but you'll come back a different man, a happy man, not the miserable grumpy man you are now.... or I'll get the gun out!" We are going to spend most of Tuesday at the shopping centre, Atoll, near Angers and not far from the hospital, what is there too miss being away for two nights? We sit in seperate rooms at night, her in the kitchen watching TV series and films on netflix, me in my room watching UK TV.

23-05-2016

Got it at 0745. Started work getting the dash ready to refit. I have made two extension looms for the multi-plugs so the dash can be pulled well away without having to undo wires. Problem is I only have 3 multi-plug ends so the fourth end is spade connectors to push onto the male end of a multi-plug. I had a nightmare trying to reach under the dash to refit a black wire that has come away. In the end, after an hour of struggling, I gave up and will ask Robin to do it on Wednesday. Left at 1300 meaning to get a sandwich and drink at the super market. Wrong  - closed for lunch. So I drove to Julien, the chap who sells the renovation products. He sold me a bottle of cleaner and a bottle of stuff to make the rubber black, I'll try it on the gearbox cover next week. I then went to Atoll, the shopping centre and had a sandwich and drink at one of the cafes's. After which I wended my way to the hosptital and checked in at 1530. Julien (they're multiplying), the nurse wired me up. Not so much this time. A microphone plastered to my throat, a sensor on my wrist, two straps around my chest and middle with sensors on and a sats monitor on my finger. A very nice young lady arrived and showed me the machine. I only need a nasal mask, the full masks arte for people who breath through their mouth. She set the machine to Auto, it will set the pressure depending on my breathing. I then had to practice putting the mask on and taking it off. From now on I will known as Zorro. I was tired, not surprising as I didn't sleep at all last night so went to bed at 2030. I seemed to lay awake for ages but went to sleep and awoke at 0300. Now, if I went to sleep at 2100 then I got six hours - more than I've had for months.

The two extension leads. They are on the boot of an MG F. So this Citroen dealer has two TC's and an MGB and MGF in his workshop.

Dash refitted.

Ah, that's better, the steering wheel has joined us.

24-05-2016

As I said above, I awoke at 0300. At about 0800 the nurse bcame in to unwire me. AGONY as she pulled the plaster of my throat holding the microphone. I'll ask Julien to use only one tonight. I was allowed out at 1000 and rang Lynne for her to meet me at Atoll. I went there and got a coffee and crouisant. Lynne turned up and went shopping, me in Castorama buying tools and Lynne in C&A for leggings. She didn't get any but I spent 160€ on tools. We had a small lunch sitting outside one of the restaurants. I'm off food so we had salads, no starter and no desert. We then went to the bodyshop to see if anything was being done. Not a lot, Maurice was polishing the bonnet which is still in four parts off the car. Got back to Atoll and had an hour left for shopping. I needed a needle and cotton to sew the small piping on the apron tight. All we could find was normal strength cotton. We also bought two, cheap, wooden chairs for the old table which is outside the front door. Will be nice to have breakfast sitting there in the morning.

The view from my window. This is the chapel at Angers Hospital. The wall paintings are amazing, all religous, but amazing.

Mask and wired up. I must learn how to do a selfie. Like look at the phone amd smile.

The condemmed man ate a hearty breakfast...Oh yeh! A bowl of black coffe and a bread roll with butter.

25-05-2016

I didn't sleep at all. Went to bed at 2330 but lay awake all night. In a strange bed, in a strange room, the strange man just lay there. The nurse had to rip the therre plasters of my neck again, it's now red raw. A bolwl of coffe and bread roll for breakfast. The doctor said not to worry, take the machine home and see what happens over the next five or six weeks and he will then have me back and do the tests again. Got out at 0900. Went to the super market in the town that teh bodyshop is at and bought a sandwich, fruit drink, a reel of cotton and a bar of saop to wash the nose mask of the machine. On to the body shop for 0945. Spent the day working with Maurice and I'll let the pictures do the talking.

This is how I found it this morning. Robin is joining the wire I couldn't reach, under the dash-well above the throttle pedal would be a better description. Please note. All the trouble I went to to get a needle and cotton to tighten the smaller tube in the piping for the apron and I get there and Maurice had fitted it and pulled it tight.

The other side.

Running board on.

Other side.

Piping in and all bolted up.

... and the other side (you knew that was coming).

Maurice, drilling for the screws for the rear wing.

OK, it's boring, but the other side.

From the rear... of the other side.

Tank on. The two top bolts need painting. Maurice will do them and the apron bolts with a brush tomorrow.

Looking good. Robin is handing Maurice a bolt.

Maurice fitting the rubber pad to the headlamp bracket.

I left them fitting the rubber strips to the running boards.

26-05-2016

 I forgot to mention that I'm becoming OCD. The cables from the test equipment in hospital; were, as usual, tangled. So I spent three or four minutes untangling them and laying them in straight line. I then sit on the bed and notice the wall pack with rubber gloves isn't right. So I turn the "L" around to be the same way as the "S" and "M" and put them in order "L", "M","S". Sad...

Those that know Lynne will understand her liberal use of "Anglo Saxon". I usually leave her notes in the morning as I leave before she's up. I get this text this morning.

"Up and just making coffee ring me on house phone in ten minutes. L U and I am saying prayers that the ducking toes will stop or maybe I will start saving u some xxx"

Oh, how wonderful predictive text is. No prizes for working out what "ducking toes" should be.

OK, got in at 0745 and started work. At 1200 I went to have my sandwich and drink when the phone rings. Guests at the gite are on their way to see the TC in their MGB and have broken down. Complaint is the car is swerving all over the road. I leave and get there. Drive the car-nothing apparant. Check tyres - all OK. Ian follows me back to the bodyshop we put the car on the ramp and Jean-Luc and I inspect and shake everthing and all seems well. They leave and I get on. Tonight when I get home, followed by Jean-Luc driving the breakdown lorry with the MIni on the back, Ian has found the problem. A collapsed front wheel bearing. I'm ordering one in the morning for overnight delivery. Will fit them Saturday.

I refitted the dash and looked for the short. Did a few tests and it turned out to be the live feed to the clock. Fixed that and will test everything tomorrow.

The pictures can do the talking again.

 

Maurice and Robin have fitted the running board strips after I left last night...........

.... and the spare wheel carrier, except I had to bolt it up.

And I finished fitting the spare wheel and the rear plate with lights and number plate. I know the rear plate isn't straight, I'll sort that next week. Now you now why Lynne calls the car Cassidy.

Maurice has fitted one dooor and is doing the other as I take this picture. The one and only time you'll see the hood on... other than the next picture(s) (can't remember if there's more than one other!) OH... and the windscreen is fitted, see note below.

This picture is supposed to show that there isn't a "crease" on the scuttle Those that ahve been discussing the crease will know.

 Looks good from this angle. From any angle actually.

See, I said the hood wouldn't go up again. Headlights, horn and spot fitted. I know one headlamp has no lens. It broke in transit and another is on its way. Held up due to petrol strike in France. One side light is partially fitted. I was so tired and the bloody thing has a double filiment bulb making it hard to store the wire that I gave up and will finish it in the morning.

A general walk around...

The toneau isn't fitted yet but the mirrors are. Maurice thought they were transposed so we tried swapping them over. Found the width between the screw holes are different so put them back this way.

Does look good.

Even without the bonnet.

So that's it for the penultimate day. Bonnet, inner door trims and locks, the rear light to wire up and the front sidelights. Should be finished by lunchtime with three of us working on it.... plans again.

 NOTE

We fitted the hood and Robin held it tight over the screen. we put masking tape where the stanchions go and positioned the screen so the hood would be taught. We marked the three holes with a pen and then drilled one side. Maurice them measured the height above the join and distance from the front edge, marked the three holes and drilled. Remove tape and fit new screws. It's a good fit. Easy.

27-05-2016

To say I'm furious is a huge understatement. I'm at least ten levels above furious. I bought the side and rear lamps from Moss. The rear lamps are £98.xx plus VAT, so just under £120. They are complete and utter garbage. They woul be complete and utter garbage if they were only a fiver. I ran the rear loom into the O/S rear lamp. Temporaraly connected the wires and the side light flickered and went out. I wiggled the wire and they came back on. I then went to fit the wires permantley. The connectors in the lamp are held to a brown board via a common ali rivet. This ali rivet was not holding the wires on and the thing fell apart when the ali rivet came out one side. It would not hold the contact and connector for the bullet. I took the lamp off, drilled the rivet out, made piece of plastic and fixed the contacts and connectors to the plastic. I had to go to Segre to get a couple of bottles of wine for everyone as a thank you for putting up with me for 6 months. I walked over to the parking lot and jumped (more like crawled) into the Land Rover. Key on... nothing. I then realised that I'd put the headlights on due to thick mist on the way in and forgot to turn them off. I borrowed the small van and bought 18 bottles of wine. Problem was were to put them in the van. I laid them out across the back and jammed the last one in. First roundabout they made a break for freedom. So I stopped and this time I held thim standing up with a bungee wrapped around. Next roundabout they're off again. I repacked them and this time they held. Gave everyone two bottles of wine and refitted the rear lamp and wired both up. This entailed cutting the loom short as it was far too long. So I now have four side lights but no brake lights, or no headlamps. I have noticed the petrol pump isn't working so dash down and after a lot of pushing and wire following find the white ignition lead is out. Eventually I get it back in it's correct socket but it keeps faling out. So I get it in and cable tie the multi-plug to the wire cable tidy to stop it pulling on the wires and all is well, except me. I'm exhausted. I tidied up ther rear loom then fitted the two door interior panels. Maurice fited the locks. The doors shut with a slight touch, no movement, marvelous. Robin and I carry (well Robin carried) the big booster over to the car park to start the Land Rover. The booster is flat. He takes it back and brings and even bigger one back. Land Rover started we drive over to the workshop and back into my workbay and pack all the tools and parts in the back. In the meantime Maurice is fitting the bonnet locks. He can't find the eight screws so I ask him to use metric screws until I can get the correct ones. Then he can't find one of the slides for the lock. I ask him to fit only three and I'll look for it tonight when I empty the Land Rover.

Land Rover is now emptied, workshop is full. Can't find the bonnet slide so I'll order a new one. The bonnet is on but the locks need adjusting On one side the bonnet isn't fitting very well so I'l have to sort that in the morning. Maurice is going to paint the exposed bolts with a brush in the morning, I'm fitting the half tonneau and the interior mirror. Then a wash and hoover and home. See, I'm still making plans, will this fool never learn.

Confession time, apart from the cable tie under the dash, I've used philips screws for the rear number plate. I'm going to make a temporary plate for the front number plate and order the correct one on Monday morning.

Forgot to say that I've chased the new headlamp lens and bulbs up. The lens that was on the shelf is on order and will be in sometime. Car has it's French MOT booked for Monday.

The sidelight which is provided with the wrong screws. I'll have to cut some down as the ones I've used are too long. The lamp has a two filiment bulb for an indicator. I've tape and taped the wire back.

Close up you can see the lamp isn't held fully down.

Door trrims, very nice and easy to fit.

The offending rear lamp. You can see my home made mods.

Close up. It works OK.

The, as good as finished, car. I've taken this with wide angle so you can see the MGC behind and the other TC on the right. There is an F on the right but not in this picture.

Looking good, but needs a decent photographer to do it justice.

Maurice fitting the bonnet.

He's still at it.

It will be as good as finished in the morning and I'll do the rest during the week.

 

28-05-2016

Happy birthday, Lynne.

Car is finished, I'll narate todays exploits later, but here are the pictures taken in the sun on the forecourt of the bodyshop.

Started at 0745. Whilst Maurice finished the bonnet fitting I made a temporary plate for the front number plate and fitted both. I was going to fit the tonneau but realised all the fixings had been taken home last night.I fitted the interior mirror and then sat around while Maurice polished the car. Did the photo shoot in the sun infront of the pumps. Drove home without drama even though teh brakes hardly worked. They are bedding in nicely now and are much better. The car has now travelled about 30 miles.

There's a small list of things yet to finish. Most are minor. Next week I'll take the car to the chateau at Challain de Potherie and do a full photo shoot in front of the chateau.

 

I'll update the list of things to be finished tomorrow. I'm going to drown in a bottle of red now. (we've been out to lunch in the car and Lynne likes it. So that's a big worry solved)

UPDATE

The list of work to be finished is:

Refit N/S interior trim panel (removed by Maurice to fit door lock)

Fit the side screen box

Fit the clips to the battery box lid and fit to car

Fit the Half tonneau. Fit the full tonneau (Tanya is bringing it next week)

Open horn and repair. (It doesn't work but has a short inside, according to the ammeter)

Fit new headlight bulbs and one lens (on order, should be here next week with Tanya)

Fix rear number plate brackets properly. (Only held on with one bolt)

Fit clips to rear loom to hold it inside chassis. Fit clips to rear loom to hold it to rear number plate.

Fix non-charging

Connect wiper motor wires.

Adjust brakes and clutch

Petrol warning light not working

30 mph light not working

grease and check oil and water.

I'll let you know how I get on. Will start in the morning by putting the tools away. This will probably take an hour, or more. Then get on with the MOT (CT in France) requirements.

The speedo was working but is now stuck on 35 mph and the milometer doesn't work at all. The clock doesn't work.

29-05-2016

 I've put the above list in order, CT items at the top, cosmetic below. My eyesight this morning is particularlu bad, I can't focus on a screw head to put the screwdriver in. Doesn't help that I haven't got the car in the well lit part of the garage because that has a ride-on mower on axle stands and the floor is covered with boxes of screws, nut, nails, wiring connectors and other stuff. So, here's a blow by blow batting order of the day:

I removed the carb dash pots and sprayed Plus Gas onto the jets followed by WD40. The jets have freed off from having dry cork glands. I've routed the cable correctly, it wasn't in a straight line to the levers and it should be rasier to work now.

0900 Come in to make a cuppa - and type this.

0905 Start taking the horn apart. Try it and it goes off like a fog horn.

1000 Come in to ask Lynne to come and help. I have the choke cable, the horn and the steering to finish, all of which need two people. She disn't swear at me or say "what do you think I am, a mechanic" so there's hope she may come over at some time. In the meantime I'm going to jack it up and adjust the brakes and clutch.

1145 and I come in for a drink. Fridge is empty of my fruit juice and then I remember that I'm supposed to go to Super U for an ink cartridge for the printer. Shoot of in the Honda Jazz and get there in 5 minutes. They close at 1200. No cartridges in stock. I buy 8 Nectarines and 8 peaches and a large box of cherries as well as a 2 litre box of multi fruit juice. Oh, yes, the car. We've fixed the horn and Lynne's in fit's of laughter, she says it sounds just like Genevieve. I've tightened a loose drag ling and adjusted the brakes and clutch. I can't make my mind up is the steering box needs a shim or three, it's still a bit tight. I'll ask those that know. The choke itself is now OK but the cable won't pull out. I had to lenthen the connecting rod between the two jets, it was not letting the front carb jet return. I think the cable clamp has crushed the outer cable. I'll look at that next and start the car and adjust the mixtures. After that I'll test the dynamo.

1240 I'm going to sort the choke cable then lunch, back soon.

1340 Have taken the clip off the choke cable, straightened it and refiited it. The cable is free but will not operate the choke. I've had lunch so now i'm going back to start it, warm it up, adjust the carbs and test the dynamo.

1430 Carbs adjusted, dynamo tested. No output! I'm letting it cool down before taking the dynamo off and I'm sorting out the rear number plate brackets and the wiring loom at the rear. Found out why the low fuel warning lamp didn't work, the wires wern't connected to each other where the main loom connects to the rear loom. It needs an old fashioned black bullet connector.... search the large box of old wiring and find one. I'll have to wait for the fuel to go down to see if it works now. Only came in to go to the loo, shouldn't really drink a pint of fruit juice in one go......

2052 I've finished for the night. I removed the dynamo, stripped it but can see nothing wrong. The F & D terminals are going to earth so there is something wrong with the internal wires, but I can't see what. Put it back. Lynne helped me remove one of the steering coloumn brackets which had the wrong bolt. The bolt was tight, the bracket wasn't. It also had the wrong threaded nut on it so it was difficult to get off. Re-fitted the correct bolt and now the steering column isnt wobbly.  Re-fitted the N/S panel . Vacuumed the carpets.

The items not done are

Fit the clips to the battery box lid, grease my nipples.... has been done but will do it again, fix the speedo and all the items where I'm waiting for parts.

I didn't take many pictures, you've seen it all before. However, I did take these.

A wonky rear, now sorted.

Right hand side engine bay, I'll take another in sunlight.

Dash, now screwed down tight (forgot to mention that)

 

Left hand side.

MOT in the morning, only problem is now headlight bulbs and only one lens..... lets see what happens.

30-05-2016

 Downstairs by 0500, ordered an exchange dynamo from NTG. I've had it apart and can see no broken wires and the insulation is intact so the problem must be in the windings. The French probably won't have lucas parts so it's an exchange, I'm sorry to say. Made a shopping list for Saturdays BBQ, and had breakfast. Went to the workshop at 0730. Tightened the cover on the wires of the dynamo (forget last night), cut a slot in the adjusting hole of the rear view mirrors as I'd prefer them landscape and not portrait orientation. Then marked and drilled the holes in the battery cover for the clips. I will get some 3mm screws this morning. Lastly I've glued the name plate strips to the door sill. Off now (0845) for the CT (MOT) and try and find some petrol and get those screws. Back for 1200 to fit a wheel bearing to the MGB belonging to the couple staying in the gite.

CT postponed until next Monday when the headlights and handbrake should be working. Went on to Chateaubriant to get petrol. Only a small queue and when I got to the pump pickedup the 95 nozzle. Got to 7€ and realised it was E10. So put the nozzle back and put 98 in. The old boy (says the 70 year old) in the Merc behind started shouting as he thought I was trying to cheat the 30 litre limit. I went over to him and explained. He grunted. I pushed the car off the pump, paid and went back to the car where he smiled at me a sort of apologised.

When I got home I was dragged off shopping. As I have to make up for 13 months neglect I went and as we were about to leave UPS delivered the wheel bearings. We went to the super market in Segre and they had no queues, no limits and plenty of fuel. Got back and Ian was half way through fitting the new bearings. We finished it off, took the hire van back to the local Super U and then spent the rest of the afternoon chatting about our joint motor trade experiences.

31-05-2016

Started at 0730 but got on with quiet jobs as our guests weren't up yet. Fitted the battery cover, fitted correct screw and nuts to the seat adjusters, found a good petrol can, cleaned the outside and found enough petrol to fill it and it now resides in the back. Took the rev counter out, took it in to the kitchen and took the glass off. Got the needle to rest on the zero mark, it was at the 6 o'clock position. This should make it read correctly. I also got the clock working by connecting the wires and giving the balance wheel a turn. As I walked back our guests were up. I refitted the tacho then jacked the car up at the rear to sort the handbrake. There was oil on one side but the other was dry. Cleaned the oil off and refitted the drums and adjusted the brakes. I then started adjusting the cables, MERDE! (that's French you know), the original cable breaks as I'm adjusting it. But then the other side is still slack when handbrake is fully on. OK, I'll come back to that. I start the engine, adjust the carbs again and then advance the distributor so the engine is as its fastest then retard it 50 RPM. seems more responsive. Then look at the oil leak. MERDE! oil is running out the starter bendix hole. I suspect this is the camshaft core plug as the rear main would drip from the bottom. OK, look at the tacho. MERDE! it's the same. I'm going to have to get them done again. Them? Well, yes, the speedo has stopped at 35 MPH and the milometer isn't working. I'll email the repairer but don't expect a response, he has a reputation. It was now time to refit the chassis and patent number plates. I didn't want to take the battery out so held the tiny nuts with a pair of long nose pliers whilst turning the screw. Bending sightly to do this and struggling to see the screwdriver slot in the screws I had an agonising pain in my back and was tired. Went in and got nagged about walking on the clean floor and washing my hands in the clean sink.

Finally I remove the O/S/R brake drum, except I dont. The drum screw I refitted an hour before is siezed tight and will not come out. I drill the top off and pull. The drum and half shaft come out. Lynne pulls the handbrake on and off and I can see the speader isn't opening the rear shoe. I've left that until tomorrow.

I cleaned the rad grill and bonnet as the rad had boiled and there were water marks on the chrome and paint. Took some polish to get the marrks out but all is now shiny again.

At 0550 I go to make a payment to the watch repairer who has fixed my watches. The online banking system tells me that the data doesn't match. I know all the correct data to enter as I go onto the bank at least three time a week. Then it locks me out. I ring the help line. Takes 12 minutes to answer and then I get confused as to which password I have to reset. They don't refer to the passwords as Mobile and internet, just "password". so I try and change the wrong one. Eventually I get it all reset and it tells me the "memorable Name" has been reset. So, I suspect their system had "lost" this which is why the data disn't match.

Now 2110 and I'm going for a shower and will drown my sorrows in a whiskey.

Oooh, June tomorrow and summer will arrive in a few days. June is the last month of this blog but I'm starting a new one, by popular demand. There will be plenty of cars for the next few months. My friends TC engine has to come out, mine has to come out, the Mini engine and car is to be renovated. I have the small ride-on to fix, the mower on the tractor, grass to cut (if it stops raining) I might sit down for Christmas.

 

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