Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Where was I...

It's been a very frustrating winter. To cut a long story short really weird things started to happen to my skin after we got back from holiday in October. After some initial improvement my hands deteriorated very quickly developing what I later found out was severe hyperkeratotic eczema that didn't respond to initial treatments. This put an end to the possibility of doing any work on the cars over the winter. Anyway, thanks to a fairly new and very effective drug treatment it's been on the mend since late February and has improved to point where I can start getting on with things again.

The end result of all of this is that I'm six months behind where I should have been with the Saloon by now. The plan was to finish sorting the bodywork over the winter to have the car ready to go for painting in May. There's no way that the car will be ready for the RBRR in October so sadly I've had to withdraw our entry. More than anything I'm disappointed for my co-drivers Glenn and Dan - I know that Glenn in particular would love to take part in the RBRR.

So, where the hell was I? We got some cracking weather last weekend so I fired up the old girl and got her out into the sunshine. Doesn't look too bad from this side:

But not surprisingly the other side - the side I'd started working on - doesn't look so good:

I have to be careful and not overdo it for a while yet so I found a couple of not too taxing jobs to begin with. I have a pair of salvaged rear floor sections from which I need to make up repair sections for the rear floor. The N/S has gone in the area just in front of the rear wheel arch:

The O/S looks like it might be OK but since I've only had a cursory look at it it's better to be safe than sorry so I got salvaged floor sections for both sides.

There was something very therapeutic about cutting them down to size! There's still a bit of work required to get the repair sections I need out of them but they're a lot more manageable now!

Next up was to the get the car back in the garage with the rear wheels up on ramps so that I can get easy access to the bits of the rear panels that need derusting and painting. There's not much needing done here so it should only take a couple of weekends.

It'll then be time to fire up the MIG in anger and get on with the real work - starting with the N/S floors, sills, wheel arches and wings:

What isn't obvious in the picture is just how bad the N/S inner sill is. Once the front floor and cross member have been repaired the plan is to completely remove what's left of the outer and middle sills. The inner sill will be repaired with sections cut from an OE N/S inner sill I have. I also have OE N/S middle and outer sills which will then go on. There are some small repairs required to the inner front wing and the inner wheel arch before the new outer wing goes on but these should be fairly straightforward and it's mostly OK in these areas. The rear wing is somewhat crusty around the wheelarch but doesn't seem to be too bad otherwise. I've not had a proper look at it though and I'm not at all sure what I'll need to do in this area.

At least there was nothing to stop me getting hold of more of the bits I need over the winter. I now have everything I need for the power steering and anti-roll bar conversions and the plan is to work away on these - and overhaul the front and rear suspensions - whenever I need a break from the bodywork!

A big thank you is due to Lloyd Reed and Andy Dann for letting me purchase the sample O/S middle sill that Andy got manufactured for Lloyd to show at Stoneleigh. It really is exceptionally well made and it is a superb fit with the other O/S sills I have. I'm much happier with Lloyd and Andy's middle sill than I am with the other repro O/S middle sill I have. Lloyd and Andy's sill will be going on the car.

So - a huge amount of work to do. I just need to get on with it...

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