Can’t think of a heading – bah!

September 18th, 2011

A little more progress this weekend.  I cleaned up and painted some more small parts. Mainly the front brake cylinders and adjusters. A quick going over with a wire brush on an electric drill takes care of those.  The Girling adjusters (which seem very similar to the rear ones on the MGB – maybe they are all the same?) are steel so I gave them a coat of paint to stop them rusting. I also painted the brake lever springs.


Brake parts.

I also bid on and won an early steering column and box on TradeMe. It’s in great condition! Missing the steering wheel though as well as the little levers for the ignition and gas controls. The ignition lever controls the ignition advance. On a hand cranked car you set that to be fully retarded to make the car easier to start and less likely to backfire with it breaking your thumb on the starter handler when it suddenly kicks back. The gas setting is some kind of throttle. I am not exactly certain how that works but I believe it is over ridden by the throttle pedal. I would love to use this column if I can as it is in the correct idiom! Maybe using the gas lever as a choke instead? But I would need to get an appropriate steering wheel from somewhere as well as the little arms that clamp to the bottom of the column although I can easily make something appropriate there.

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Early steering column.

This column bolts onto the top of the chassis rails. Later ones bolt to the side of it. Whatever I do I will need to lower the column angle which opens up a whole can of worms. This is something I need to investigate more but it is definitely easier to lower the later column, you simply drill a new hole to mount it in the side of the chassis rail. There will be a way so I think this column is the way to go. The little brass button on the end between the levers is the horn!

To get the car back  on her wheels I reassembled the rear diff. First I took some more pictures of the rust pitting since that’s all hidden away now of course.

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Pitting on gears and crown wheel.

I reassembled the rear axle and springs to get the car back on her wheels. I can’t do anything with the front end yet. I did order a bunch of parts from the VAR spares department but unfortunately they went missing somewhere between here and Chch. I rang NZ Post but unfortunately as the receiver I can’t do anything so the senders need to follow it up which they will do this week. Hopefully it is all sorted out soon. It’s a good reason for being a member of the club. You’re dealing with reliable people. Just a pity the post/couriers in NZ aren’t so reliable! Once I had a whole rear quarter of an MGB go missing between here and Cambridge, a whole 150km away! The couriers apparently just lost it.


Anyway, rear axle was assembled and put back on the car. I did have a problem attaching the rear wheels but this turned out to be the wheel nuts. Some fo them aren’t threaded all the way down or have been stripped! Something else to put on my next parts order list.

IMG_0742_1 IMG_0748_1 Wheels back on the car.

Finally I can start thinking about laying out the body. Well her back half anyway. I bolted the gearbox to the crankcase and sat it on the car. Interestingly (well, not surprisingly actually) the angle of the gear lever matches that of the steering column. Way too high for the car I have in mind. Since the clutch pedal comes directly out of the bell housing and the brake pedal fits through the base of the steering box the pedal positions are pretty much fixed. The seats will be low on the floor and further back meaning the steering column needs lowering. But I think it can all be made to work. Hundreds of people (thousands?) have done it before with all manner of A7 specials so I am confident.

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Getting an idea of the layout.

So, hopefully my front end parts are sorted out soon. I have been bidding on a few more parts on TradeMe I will describe later if I won them. I need to sort out some 19 inch wheels from somewhere so I can base the body around that. As Joss, who has offered me help and advise,  says I should throw the car together temporarily and start on the body as soon as possible. The mechanicals can all be done later.


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