Frame off!

January 28th, 2013

I finally got the frame off to work on it but not after a few smaller jobs.  And a week spent fixing my MG who popped a core plug on the motorway the other weekend. I am sure she only does it since she’s jealous of all the time spent on the new car. I took the opportunity to also fit an oil cooler to her so she should feel loved and behave for a while longer now.

I have cleaned and painted the rear brake components. I had to weld up all the extra holes in my brake shoes first though! Someone went mad drilling extras that aren’t needed.

IMG_3381_1 Welding holes.

I also ordered some good second hand shoes for the front brakes of the A7 spares people.

I wanted to remove the frame but before doing that I needed to make the top bracket for the steering column. Joss lent me an some original Austin ones to use as template to make my own. I simply copied one of them adjusting the bracket to fit my car.

IMG_3382_1 Original bracket.

One of the ones Joss lent me was already apart and has one of the brackets flattened out so I used that as a template to make my own from steel. I roughly cut out two of them then pop riveted them together. Then I cut them to shape using a grinding wheel on the angle grinder then finished them off with hand filing. I then bend the straight bends.

IMG_3385_1 IMG_3387_1

IMG_3389_1 IMG_3390_1

I don’t have any pics of making the curved part since I did that using the oxy torch to heat the steel up then I was able to wrap it around a suitable round bar using two pairs of pliers. A little tapping with a hammer made them neat.

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The mounting bracket was made form more steel. I followed the pattern exactly then cut two small triangles and brazed them into the sides for reinforcing. I shaped the bracket to match my car. I will eventually rivet the arms in place as per the original but I couldn’t find any 3/16 mild steel bar to make the rivets from. For now I am using two small bolts.

The bracket bolts to the bottom of the bar that goes under the instrument panel. Since I swapped the round tube for a piece of angle iron it is easy to bolt this bracket on. The slots allow a little adjustment.

IMG_3398_1 Bracket in place.

I copied the original a little too well and it’s actually slightly big so when you bolt it up it closes a little too far and looks a bit wrong.

IMG_3401_1 Closes too much.

It’s not a problem as it still clamps the column firmly. The original does the same thing but it bothers me so I might wrap a thin shim around the column when I bolt it in place so the brackets are horizontal where the bolt passes through them.

With that done I was able to remove the frame finally. I finished MIG welding some of the tube joins and removed the rear firewall and redid the flanges on the bottom of it. I bent them on an angle to fit the car better.

IMG_3407_1 Bottom firewall flanges.

They will spot weld to the side panels. When everything is done the firewall will be a permanent part of the frame. It’s just easier to be able to remove it now while working on the frame. With that removed the frame itself weighs 14kg.

IMG_3405_1 IMG_3409_1 Frame off.

With the frame off I can next finish brazing it all together.

I also trimmed the front part of the floors again. This now gives clearance for the brake rod (just) so the brake pedal is now hooked up. I have cut the brake pedal rod and just tacked it for now. It needs cutting to lower the height to account for the fact that I am using a steering wedge on the steering box. Since the pedal attached to the box the whole thing gets raised up and the pedal needs lowering. I will weld that back together soon, probably with Joss helping as he knows the proper way to do it so there is no chance of the weld failing. He arc welds them but I don’t have arc welding gear here.

IMG_3403_1 Floors cut and brake rod in place.

Speaking of Joss he has also been busy. There has been some interest in people wanting to get into vintage racing but it seems most people aren’t so keen on making their own body. Joss and some others are looking at putting together a suitable off the shelf body people can buy (and customise) to make a Ruby based special (as Ruby gear is the most commonly available). It’s early stages yet but he’s been working on a body which hopefully should be on display at Hampton Downs at this years Roycroft meeting.

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I also got this picture of my car. It’s a real picture, taken on film as I have been getting back into doing black and white with a proper camera. Unfortunately I had trouble with the film when developing it (it didn’t go onto the developing spool properly) and the negatives were damaged and most were lost but I did get this picture. It looks suitably old fashioned I think!

2013-01-27_0 Black and white picture.

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