ody At concourse, originality counts for between 20-25% of available marks. So it seems to me that no MG at concourse should get more than 75-80%, since no unrestored cars are presented, and if restored, then by definition not original.
It was clear that not much of this car would be original. As I described earlier, it was in pretty poor shape. Every panel needed at least some attention from a panel-beater. Most needed complete replacement - the rear body shell apron, the side curtain box, the rear inner wheel arches, the tie bar, door pillar braces, front quarter panels, front valence, the running boards, propellor shaft tunnel, tool box, the firewall footplate. Most of the rest needed major attention, either because of dents or because of serious corrosion - the rear valence, rear mudguards, rear quarter panels, doors, scuttle, firewall, front mudguards. Only two panels needed only minor work - the petrol tank, and the bonnet (and even the petrol tank had rusty pinholes which needed attention, and the bonnet needed trimming, because one side was about an inch longer than the other, perhaps testimony to a story I heard from Martin Green about how MG's body fitters made the bonnet fit by judicious use of a big pair of shears - after it was painted). Being plated on brass, most of the chrome work was basically OK though dented, and merely needed straightening and replating (especially the radiator shell which seemed to have had a hard life), but one of the headlights needed significant repair, having been replaced by a steel shell which promptly corroded under the non-existent care regime.
I had no panel-beating skills at all, so on the advice of my mate Paul I enrolled in a night course at tech. This turned out to be excellent advice, because apart from basic tuition in handskills, and access to firstclass tools, firstclass help and ongoing advice from teachers, and to a wide range of people with like interests, and of course the pleasure of patiently restoring this car and finding out about the marque, there were many satisfactions. A couple of them stand out:
firstly, one evening at Meadowbank tech, while I was cutting away corrosion and making new patches for the scuttle, a class of apprentices had been held back. They didn't seem to enjoy their class, and first one then another slipped away to wherever they went, and on their way back came back past my bench and stopped to talk to me. I thought they were just avoiding class, but it turned out their teacher had told them to go discretely, and discreetly watch what I was doing. And the same evening, the storeman watched for about ten minutes, and then asked if I were a professional.
and secondly, at North Sydney tech, finding that I could repair the steel headlight with its complex curves, so that no-one could tell it had been repaired.
It was very, very satisfying, and to find that this esoteric skill was not completely beyond me gave me confidence to do the other vehicle trade courses - the painting and upholstery courses. Later I had a conversation with a tradesman who was affronted that vehicle upholstery had been offered as a one-year course part-time course. He thought it was insulting to tradesmen, who were apprenticed for a number of years. Of course I certainly didn't know what he knew, and what I could do I couldn't do as quickly or as well as him; but I only needed to learn enough for this car, and speed was not an issue for me.
Following advice, I kept all original parts, except those which had already returned to the earth: not because I thought that being original they would help me win concourse, but partly from parsimony, partly because with my skill level it would be easier to repair damaged panels than to make new ones, and certainly cheaper than buying replacements, but most importantly because you can reconstruct shapes and assembly methods even from badly corroded parts. At first sight, the car looks square and slab-sided, but in fact it is delightfully and subtly curved and shaped: there are no straight lines, no right angles, no horizontal or vertical planes (in fact this is not completely true: the sides of the front and rear mudguards and running boards should all fit into a vertical plane, up to the point where the mudguards curve away at the front and rear). The challenge is to reproduce these shapes in order to reproduce the harmonious whole, and mistakes stick out like - well, lets say they're pretty obvious and pretty ugly. So throw nothing away until the whole job is finished. (In fact I realise I have just broken this rule myself. As I write these lines, the body is almost finished, the upholstery is well under way, and I'm fitting the floorboards in preparation for making and fitting the seats. I find that with the thickness of board I am using, the gearbox cover doesn't fit as snugly over the propshaft tunnel as I would have wished, and I went to find the old tunnel to verify my measurements, only to find that I threw it away only last week in a fit of tidying up.)
STRIPPING THE OLD PAINTWORK Almost the first task is to get all the old paintwork off the body panels, so you can see what can be saved or repaired, and what must be bought or made from new.
I canvassed several solutions, but only one seemed plausible:
You can have the panels sand-blasted (or better glass bead-blasted, its just a bit gentler), but you can only do this with relatively small panels, it can be expensive, and if you have fragile rusty parts they're likely to be blasted away and lost forever, especially if you haven't got the resources to do it yourself and have to rely on someone else to do it for you;
Nowadays you can have the panels soda-bead blasted, which claims to be more effective and gentler than glass bead-blasting, and claims to be able to clean any size panel; but you almost certainly have to pay someone else to do it for you, which does defeat the purpose a bit;
I have heard that you can immerse the parts in a tub of molasses, but apart from the obvious problem with flies, I'm told that when the molasses ferments it goes acidic and can dissolve the parts completely;
You can use proprietory paint-stripper, but apart from being expensive I have never found a stripper that strips old paint remotely satisfactorily;
You can use a heatgun, as I did on the petrol tank, but there is a risk of distorting the metal if the heat is high enough to be effective;
However the one that works (which is due to Paul, again) is to immerse the parts in a bath of caustic soda, and set up an electrolysis cell. I got an old wheely bin from the Council, and used silastic to block up the holes where the wheels had been. Fill it with water, and add about 4kg of caustic soda (sodium hydroxide, what you can buy in hardware stores for clearing drains). You need some strapping around the outside, to help the bin keep its shape. Put the panel into the solution. Put a counterelectrode in as well - stainless steel works pretty well. Connect a battery charger to the panel and to the counterelectrode. This sets up a process of electrolysis, and I think the end of the process is oxygen coming off one electrode and hydrogen off the other. If I've got it right, the hydrogen comes off at the electrode connected to the negative terminal, and the oxygen at the other. You want the workpiece to be the one with the hydrogen coming off, because otherwise it rusts away (which is why stainless steel works well as the counterelectrode). There doesn't seem to be a downside to leaving it too long: it doesn't dissolve away the steel. You need the counterelectrode to be big enough so the current density is relatively low. Experiment. It isn't fast (I think most of my panels took 2-4 weeks, which fitted in well with the pace of my work). Its a bit faster if you score the paint with a scriber or similar. The paint comes away in largish sheets, right down to the metal, and settles down into the bottom of the tank, where over a period of a few years it turns into a thick black sludge which you will have to get rid of in an environmentally friendly way along with the caustic soda (I'm not saying how I got rid of mine). The stripped panels are left with a faint blackish scum, which you can wash off with clean water and a rag. I had the impression, which I wouldn't swear to, that rusty parts were cleaned up to some extent, which of course would be consistent with evolution of hydrogen and reduction of iron oxide. You can see in the two pictures of the scuttle how well it works: the passenger's side before treatment, the driver's side after treatment, showing the delicate, lacy pattern of bright steel remaining when the paint and corrosion have been removed. (You can also see how sometimes I made notes directly onto the photos, and from this you will deduce that these pictures were taken before digital cameras became so cheap and popular).
Once the panels are stripped, you obviously have to protect them, otherwise they'll go rusty again. I found a 50:50 mixture of old engine oil and white spirits worked fine: the mixture was runny enough to wipe on easily, and it seemed as though the white spirit cleaned the surface so it went on really easily. In time the white spirit evaporated, leaving the part coated with a thin layer of oil. To clean the part to work on, a wipe over with clean white spirit left it good enough for panel beating (but of course not good enough for painting).
BODY TUB - SIDE RAILS AND COACHWORK You'll need some sort of frame to support the body tub as it's assembled, to make it easy to move as you carry it from place to place. The picture below shows a frame which is probably a bit more substantial than necessary. Later I fitted wheels to it which came from a shopping trolley which I begged from the people who repair trolleys on behalf of the local supermarket: they were so astonished that I hadn't simply stolen one or picked one out of the local creek that they gave me not only a damaged trolley but half a dozen extra wheels. The wheels are now used in the garage for tripping over, but the trolley, minus its subframe, is used as a trestle for spray-painting. The subframe is used as a trolley for moving heavy things like engines around the garage, but due to its heritage it refuses to steer straight and is therefore probably more of a hindrance than a help.
The picture also shows what appear to be two cartons of beer in the background; unfortunately they contain old newspapers which Margaret couldn't bring herself to throw away yet, and they're probably still there. More importantly it also shows nicely the first two critical choices: the coachwork, and the Main Side Rails.
From time to time I indulge myself by pretending that I could have made the coachwork, but in truth the complex curves are well beyond my skill level, and of course I didn't know the proper shapes because there was so little of the original left (in his book on TCs, Mike Sherrell reproduces original drawings by Brian Wilkinson, but I've never seen equivalent drawings for TDs; and even if I had, they would still be beyond my skill level). So I bought the coachwork in ash from Brown and Gammon's in the UK, and was very pleased with it: it was good value for money, all the mortices fitted, and because it was made from the original jigs and templates I could be confident that it was the right shape. They had even cut the rebate for the little slip of metal that goes behind the join between front and rear quarter panels to hide the timber behind.
In contrast to the body timbers, I bought the door timbers from one of the major suppliers in US (name available on application). Well, it was crap. None of the mortices fitted, the timbers weren't even the same thickness (for example, the door bottom rail was much thinner than the door latch pillar, so it couldn't possibly fit right, and the angles were cut wrong anyway), and the material was wrong. And although I didn't find out until it was far too late to do anything about it, the curvature of the bottom rail was wrong, so that although the door fitted well at the back edge, and I made it close nicely at the top and front edge, the door has more shape at the bottom than the car, and will cast an ugly shadow line - and what's more it meant that, when I got round to it, the upholstery didn't fit right: the door trim doesn't quite line up with the quarter panel trim at the bottom of the door. Unfortunately it took me quite a long time to get around to doors, so any chance of a successful complaint had well and truly passed, and I had to make do the best I could. But I will never buy another item from that supplier and I'm astonished that they're still in business, even in America, where, as we continually learn anew - from their political and military leaders, from their bankers and financial institutions, from their commercial leaders and other special interest groups, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, occasionally even from their private citizens - truth is subordinate to ambition, what you say is more important than what you do, how you say what you say and whether what you say is what people think you should say is more important than whether what you do say is remotely true or fair or accurate, and what you can convince people you've got is more important than what you actually have.
I gave two coats of Everdur (two pack marine fungicide) to all coachwork, even (especially?) to the American crap, and it looked great - as though I'd varnished it - but more importantly I hope it will prevent the dry rot which eventually destroyed most of my original (English) timber.
The main side rails were the first serious bit of body restoration for me, and I was a little casual and quite lucky. The front parts - the heavy, curved sections - were rusty and pitted, but, I judged, in good enough shape to retain. The back sections - the lighter, straight sections - I judged to be too corroded to keep, and so I made new sections from 1" angle iron. I was able to save the angle brackets at the top rear of the rails, and this saved guessing what the angle of the top side rail should be, and I'll be able to claim originality. I don't remember how I painted them at first; but when I was doing the painting course at tech, I had access to a powder coater, and that's how they were ultimately finished.
Because the whole of the back of the car gets built up onto these rails, and then the whole lot transferred onto the chassis, their accuracy really does define what is to be its whole shape. So if the dimensions are right now it'll save disappointment later. Get it wrong, and it'll be very hard to make the rest fit; get it right, and it'll only be moderately hard. Although I did measure up the angles and distances, I don't think I appreciated how important these rails are, and I really don't remember taking a lot of pains over setting them up before welding them (or rather, having them welded by the teacher, because argon arc welding is a skill I still haven't learnt), so it was just luck that they came in as well as they did. And it was interesting, too, because I set up the rails as I wanted them welded, and Leo welded them; and then as the weld cooled, the metal contracted and the angle changed. So we had several goes at it over successive weeks before I thought of providing for the shrinkage. As it was, I made the drivers side rail about 3/16" too long, and this did cause some difficulty with fitting the rear quarter panel and the petrol tank.
What I did work carefully at, though, was getting the width right.
The width at the back is defined by the centres of the rear chassis brackets, given in the manual as 17" each side of the centre-line (ie spacing of 34"). If you bought the kit from Brown & Gammon, you'll have found that the width of bottom back rail timber is exactly 36", and that it's predrilled vertically at exactly the right spacing (34") to bolt onto the chassis. And if you bought the American crap, it'll be a relief to be told what the right size should be. This defines the width at the back to be 36". I found that because the metal side rails bolt to the timber through the bracket extensions I had to drill the horizontal holes for these bolts. (In this picture, you can just see, on the driver's side, highlighted by the black arrow, the horizontal bolt through the bracket extension and through the bottom back rail timber; and on the passenger's side, again highlighted by a black arrow, how the metal side rails finish exactly flush with the timber. So the width of the back of the car, between the outside edges of the metal side rails, is exactly the same as the width of the bottom back rail timber, ie 36"). The rest of the car is defined by the first and second sets of chassis extension brackets, and if you've got it right the support brackets for the firewall should fit snugly around the front chassis strengthening hoop. There probably isn't a great deal you can do to change this, either to get it wrong or to correct it; for the record, though, and measuring on my car, the width at the rear chassis extension brackets is, the width at the second set of extension brackets is 40 1/2", and the width at the very front, measured from the top of the firewall support brackets, is 36 1/2". At this stage, though, the width at the front isn't critical. (Wherever I remember, I have quoted dimensions in Imperial units, in defiance of Gough Whitlam's legislation, on the grounds that I have to be literate in both systems and I don't see why everyone else shouldn't be, and also of course the car was built and sold using - mostly - Imperial.)
The consensus of opinion is that the coachwork shouldn't be glued, so that as the chassis twists the body can flex without splitting the wood. I bolted the bottom main side rail wood to the side rails using stainless steel bolts: the head was countersunk into the wood, with a washer underneath to spread the load, and the nut on the inside so it could always be tightened if the tension loosened for any reason, for example if the wood softens. I screwed the rest of the coachwork together using stainless steel screws throughout - not what Lord Nuffield would have done, but my restoration will - with luck - last a bit longer than his original. You can see the drivers side coachwork assembled in the photo above. Provided the door hinge pillar is vertical, and the spacing of the side rails is correct, there doesn't seem to be a lot of scope for getting it wrong.
DOOR STRIKER PLATE The door striker plate bolts onto the striker securing plate using captive nuts in the securing plate, which then screws onto the latch pillar using woodscrews. It's almost impossible to stop people from slamming the doors, especially Margaret's Aunty Irene, and consequently, as the wood softens, the screws loosen, the striker plate moves, and the door doesn't shut properly. Watch owners of mature cars as they shut the doors, and you will often see that as well as lifting the doors to overcome the problem of their sagging due to the softing of the hinge pillar, they also reach inside to hold the striker plate while the door latch engages. My Morris 8, my TB, and this TD, all suffered from this problem. This time I routed out the latch pillar from the outside, and drilled, tapped and fitted a plate from the outside so that the striker plate would bolt firmly into it. The large area of the plate meant that if the wood softened, it would be unlikely to soften enough to cause a problem, and even if it did, I could simply tighten the bolts. I would have to make sure the bolts were long enough to engage fully with the thread, but not long enough to make a dimple in the quarter panel as they were tightened up. Naturally alignment was important, and I spent a long time making sure the holes would be in the right place. Jumping ahead, the door closes sweetly and correctly with no problems.
FOOTPLATE, TOOL BOX, FIREWALL I started here because basically it all seemed to be pretty good, with no major panel shaping needed, and so although this wasn't the first panel needed, it was an easy entry point. The footplate and firewall had very little corrosion, thanks to the covering of oil and grease. But the footplate was buckled, due to taking the engine in and out several times without taking enough care, and the firewall had pretty severe cracks on each side of the battery box. Somehow the battery box had avoided being corroded by battery acid, but because it was lined with felt, which was somehow always wet, the bottom was ready to fall out of the toolbox.
I started to straighten the footplate, but with Leo's encouragement I ended up making a new one. It was fairly straightforward, only two folds and a bit of shaping, and of course I had the old one as a pattern; but as the first major panel it was still pretty daunting and took several evenings. It has a number of captive nuts for the gearbox cover; I'm not convinced I did an outstanding job on them, as they have to be pressed in with a special tool which I didn't have and which I improvised. On the original they're very tight, but mine are a little loose.
I folded up a new toolbox, which was pretty straightforward. I impressed myself with the bit of reinforcing around the top, and the lip that the top closes down onto. I kept the lid itself, because it had no corrosion and the hinges would be difficult, and against all probability it fitted the box moderately well, within reasonable limits, approximately.
The firewall really only needed a bit of shape persuasion, and welding along the cracks. But when I came to fit it up, it didn't fit, and I am convinced that this was because of the residual twist in the chassis. I tried hard to make it fit, but in the end I bought a piece of Tasmanian Oak which I'm told is related to English Ash, and made a new right hand side scuttle pillar, planing a nice taper into it to fill the space, and you can't tell it's not right.
You can see the finished firewall with toolbox and foorplate in the picture and judge for yourself.
REAR QUARTER PANELS & WHEEL ARCHES
The rear body shell apron (who thinks of these names?) really wasn't too bad and could have been saved. But it was such a simple job to make from new steel, and easier than cleaning up and filling the old for painting. The only little trick was remembering to make it wide enough to turn the edges over to fit into the groove in the timber top back rail. It would be nailed in place after painting, so I drilled the holes now. Following advice, I would use silicon bronze ship-wrights nails throughout: they don't rust, and they have little corrugations so they grip the timber and don't work loose.
I finished my panels with 3 coats of clear 2-pack, then cut & compound, and I am very pleased with the result. I think it also has the advantage that light scratches can be repaired easily and cheaply with clearcoat, without worrying about colour matches. The teacher told me that with only a little more work I could have polished out all the little scratches. Bastard. I think it looks great.
Well the wheels were in pretty bad shape, due to numerous incidents with kerbs. I took the tyres off, in the process damaging my tyre tool because the rubber had gone so hard, and took the wheels to a tyre shop to have the runout measured and corrected. It turned out that the runout wasn't too bad, but the rims were a bit buckled. I chose to straighten the rims myself, reasoning that what kerbs could do, a big hammer and vicegrips could undo, and I was almost right.
Thinking that wheels get the hardest time of all, through water, salt, sand, and so on, I thought to have them galvanised, and took them to be sandblasted and dipped. But instead of hot-dipping they sprayed with hot zinc, so the finish was too rough for inner tubes. So if you choose to have your's galvanised, make sure you know how they're going to be done.
This particular piece of stupidity meant that I was going to be up for a great deal more work than I anticipated: I was going to have to paint inside the rims with 2K Hifill and then 2K gloss, to make them smooth enough for the inner tubes, and also outside of the wheels, to get an acceptable finish.
In the end what I did was take the wheels to be hot dipped. That fixed the problem with the finish, although there were some dags, from the hot metal cooling as it ran off, which I filed off. But there was another problem: a small hole in the rim, which no-one had noticed before. I don't know whether the hole was there from sandblasting, and was filled by sprayon zinc, or whether it existed but was just not noticed, or whether possibly some of the steel was dissolved in the hot-dip process; but there it was, about 1/4" across, right where the inner tube could burst through like an embolism. I made a small patch from 1mm sheet steel and soldered it under the hole - I found to my pleasure and surprise that zinc tins readily. A bit of smoothing with a file and sandpaper and we were back in business.
I wanted to use two-pack on the wheels. I primed the wheels first (outside face only) with something called New Generation Etch Primer from a company called K+H Surface Technologies, which says of itself that it is "a ready to spray 'new generation' pretreatment, which is now chemically safer than previous etch primers (no chromium compounds). It is a 1-2 coat system that is designed to provide excellent adhesion to metals that are difficult to bond to, such as aluminium, galvanised steel and other non-ferrous metals", then a couple of coats of Hifill. To get the colour right, following Peter's advice, I bought a pressure spraycan of aluminium paint called Enamel Silver Wheels T-Type from Heritage MG Parts in Smithfield. It's supposed to be a close approximation to the right colour, although as Peter says, who knows? Anyway, I painted up a swatch and asked the paint shop to match it. I found that to get two pack in aluminium finish, I had to use the Cobra system - clear over basecoat. I thought this would make the wheels unacceptably glossy, so I deliberately didn't rub back the Hifill in order to give a bit of roughness to reduce the gloss. It did indeed make the wheels more glossy than the pressure spraycan version, but I thought not unacceptably so. For what it's worth, the formulation I used is C925 (90%), C915 (10%).
DASHBOARD AND INSTRUMENT PANEL
The dashboard was originally covered with rexine, but I really don't think rexine does justice to the car. I wanted a walnut finish, although the last car to have a walnut finish was the TB. I made the dash itself out of marine ply, and had a burl walnut veneer hot-pressed onto it. Then my mate Ivan cut the holes against my template, saving the opening for the glove box with some difficulty ("some difficulty" means I'm glad it was Ivan, not me, cutting the hole). I varnished it using one-pack marine varnish, sanded it with 1500-grade wet-and-dry and polished it with automotive polishing paste, as we had been taught in painting class. There would originally have been a chromed steel strip around the edge of the dash, between the dash and the piping, and also around the edge of the glove box; but I think it was only there to hide badly fitting panels, and since mine was not going to be badly fitting, I didn't trouble myself.
The instrument panel was originally mild steel, with a swaged edge; the swaged edge was chromed, and the middle was painted a sort of bronze colour, which matched nothing else on the car. I can't now think why, but my steel original had been replaced by an aluminium panel which had pretty well oxidised, and was good only for matching the shape. My local supplier couldn't supply the proper part, either new or second-hand; he could have sourced one for me, but the price was frightening. I scrounged a piece of 1/16" stainless steel plate from a scrap dealer, had it cut to shape, and had the edges polished. With difficulty (because stainless steel work-hardens) I cut the penetrations, then painted the middle to match the upholstery as close as possible. I think, with the dark brown of the walnut dashboard contrasting with the polished edge and the cream painted panel, it looks appropriately art deco.
WINDSCREEN AND WIPER Well the windscreen is made up of eight parts, altogether, not including the glass and the rubber: top frame, bottom frame, left and right hand frame, left and right hand side supports, and left and right hand mounting brackets, although arguably these could be counted as body not windscreen because the bolts also hold the dashboard and scuttle in position. Now the frame is held together with four brackets, one at each corner: the top two are chromed brass, and the bottom two are steel. In each case, the brackets are bent to fit the screen, and drilled and tapped to suit. In each side frame is a brass reinforcing strip which is drilled and tapped to take the side supports. The side supports have two studs on each side to fit the arc of the mounting bracket and to allow the windscreen to swing down parallel to the bonnet. The studs, which are steel but which have brass threads (26 tpi), are screwed into the brackets and were originally pinned in place. The machine screws which fix the brackets are countersunk steel, one of the screws which fixes the supports to the frame is invisible when the screen is assembled and is plain countersunk brass, and the others (which fix the supports to the frame) are domed, and chromed. So putting it together is a bit like building a Meccano model of the harbour bridge without a plan.
Assemble the frame first, without the glass, to make sure you have all the screws and bits. And here you will find the first problem. You will find that the bottom brackets are bent to the correct acute angle for the bottom frame and side frames; but the screws are not long enough to engage in the nicely chromed top brackets. As you think about this, you will realise that the angle of the top brackets is wrong, and they will not fit. Enquiries will reveal that the top bracket was unchanged from TCs through to TFs. But the TD was four inches wider than the TC, so the width of the bottom frame increased while the top frame remained relatively constant, and it really doesn't need a PhD in applied trigonometry to realise that in that case the angle of the top bracket must have changed. I used judicious force in a vice to correct this; but for goodness sake, with all the other changes they made to windscreens and frames and mounting brackets and all the other bits of hardware, couldn't they have made a new casting for the top bracket?
Anyway, after a couple of trial runs, assemble it for real. The wire for the windscreen wiper goes inside the left frame (inside the right hand frame for left-hand-drive cars), and out through the hole in the top frame. The glass is held in position and waterproofed with a strip of uncured rubber, which you cut into four pieces and carefully bevel the corners to match the frame - not easy to get the angle right at first. Then tighten the screws bit by bit, keeping the corners of the frame aligned, then trim the rubber.
Now, apart from this, I found I had a few other problems, which I think most people will be able to avoid.
Firstly, the two studs on each side on the side supports. One of them acts as a pivot for the folding windscreen, and the other acts as a stop on the arc of the mounting bracket. This second stud has a flat on one side, and works in conjunction with a domed washer and a wingnut: when the wingnut is undone, the domed washer can clear the mounting bracket and allows the windscreen to swing up or down, but when the wingnut is tightened, the domed washer tightens down into position and fixes the windscreen into position, up or down.
And this wingnut on the driver's side was the cause of the first of my problems. I can only think that in its prior life, it must have fallen off (or was stolen, like the Silentravel door lock on my Morris, and I know for fact that other bits were stolen off this car while it stood in the street). Finding that none of the nuts I had in my spares box fitted the stud (because as I now know it had a brass thread having 26 threads p inch)
and being too parsimonious to buy a new wingnut (because even now the price takes my breath away), I would have drilled out the old stud (being unable to wind it out because it was keyed in place) and tapped the hole to a reasonably available thread. Well, I'm sure everyone knows how hard it is to drill down the exact centre of a steel stud in a brass matrix: inevitably the drill wandered off centre, so the new hole was only approximately in the right place, and what was worse, the edge of the old stud was still there.
All of this meant that the old stud had to drilled out, the hole had to be filled with braze, a new hole drilled - in the right place - and tapped to fit the new stud, and the support had to be rechromed. And all this was done quickly, accurately, and cheaply, and thankyou Graham.
And when this was fixed, I found the second problem, which was that each side support swung through a different arc on its mounting bracket. I found it because the swivel for the wiper on the driver's side swung down too far and fouled the bonnet; but I would have found it later anyway because the windscreen was twisted in the fold-forward position, and the glass would have cracked. I simply cannot imagine how this could have happened, and I know that at times I did drive the car with the windscreen flat. Anyway, back to Graham who did the braze/redrill/rechrome job again, and all now works sweetly as it was intended.
BEFORE AND AFTER
The body is pretty well finished, except for minor finishing, but some of the text is still to be written. In the meantime, have a look at the before during and after photos...
more to come...
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