Week three of ‘retirement’.

March 18th, 2014

Right, week three of my retirement. I just like to call it that as it makes everyone else jealous. My friend Dave says it’s a funny way to spell ‘BUM’.

Anyway, making progress on the car (and many other things too) which is the whole point of the break. Last week I moved the car into the new garage and set the Austin one up as a spray booth to do the firewall. I got that done but was in a big rush and cocked it up. paint runs and rough spots all over the thing. It’s supposed to look old but definitely not look shoddy! Being enamel paint I need to wait till it dries enough to sand back and respray. I had a go at it tonight with the sander and it’s ready to sand back and respray tomorrow if the weather permits.


Today I tackled the brakes. The brakes have had an issue where they were basically binding on as the cams were being sprung back past the off position. A post on the A7 friends site made me realise that if the brake springs inside the wheels are doing their job then the brakes should be fully off without the cables attached. I always did think the springs I had were dodgy and in fact I had previous drilled out a set of shoes to use the new, shorter spring. For some reason I ended up riveting the linings onto shoes with studs. The old springs were too weak.

So today I pulled the brakes off and drilled out the old shoes to remove the studs and leave holes for the new springs.


You can see the shoes above. The old springs that hook over the studs are one the outside and the newer, smaller springs with loops are on the inside. To use the newer springs you drill out the old studs. I drilled though with a small bit first then drilled them out with a 8mm bit since I was in my metric shed and because that’s the smallest size that the head of the new springs will fit though.

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Fitting the springs on the bench is easy. Fitting them on the car is another problem. You need a tool.

So first thing this morning (10 am when us bums, errr, I mean retired folks get up) I went for a walk to Avondale and visited one of the many (many) $2 shops and got myself a $3 screwdriver. That extra dollar must mean real quality!

I ground the end down to make a little hook to fit in the loop on the spring. You use the screwdriver to hook the loop, then pull the spring to fit it onto the shoes. The screwdriver is better than a normal hook since you can then use the flat to push the head of the spring into the hole as you pull it back.

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It works bloody well. I actually spent more time trying to get the first end of the spring in place as it means fiddling about between the shoes and the hubs. I found a clamp places to hold the shoes down in place while fitting the spring a great help.

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With the new springs in place the shoes most definitely are pulled off. There is a slight drag on the rear but I think that’s just the tight fit. The car will actually roll now and can be pushed with one finger. Any remaining high spots will quickly wear away in use. I think the main issue is the drums got wet at one point so have a bit of surface rust in them although I cleaned most of it off again once the drums were off today.

I also had a good win on a TradeMe auction this week. I got a 6 volt horn for $5 (and $6.50 postage). It’s missing the back but I can make something for that.

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It’s rusty but in very good shape. The wiring is a bit dodgy and a wire broke actually as I took it apart to clean. I  have it in the molasses now. I was able to sit it in in such a way that the wiring or coil wasn’t getting wet as the unit seems sealed up. That should take care of the rust which was pretty light to start with. As I say it does go and it’s pretty loud and definitely vintage sounding. I have made a temporary back for it from a fruit drop tin but might look for something better.

Also today I took the skin outside and rubbed the inside down with synthetic steel wool (the green 3M pads). The idea is to scuff it to a uniform (more or less) grey as the insides won’t be painted.


With that done I put the skin back on the frame. I can now mark around the tubes and then I am ready for final trimming then we can wrap the skin permanently onto the frame.

It should look quite nice with the grey frame and the dull aluminium.

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Once the skin is wrapped that’s the main body mostly done. Bonnet and hinge still to make. Boot lid also. With all that on I will see what sort of guards look right. Probably something sweeping rather than close to the wheel cycle guards.

Finally Joss has also been busy and finished restoring the truck. It came out really well!



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