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December 2006

Finally the garage is almost complete. I actually got the Code Compliance certificate yesterday.
1 year and 6 weeks after paying the initial deposit with is pretty disgusting really. Between
the council and the hopeless Bettaway buildings this has taken forever! I had the wiring done
last week and spent yesterday lining the bottom half with plywood. That still needs painting
and today I will finish building my new workbench but basically the garage is done. So this
morning, early this morning so there were no cars about, I took Vicky on her first drive. From
the old garage to the new one! All of about 40m. Now all I need to do is get the $500 pavement
damage deposit back from the council. They are better at taking money than giving it.

She started fine as always then spluttered out after a few minutes. That was easily fixed by
remembering to turn on the fuel pump! Once she was nicely warmed up and I had taken all the
parts out of the boot and duct taped the doors shut (no door locks fitted) I was ready to go.
Clutch in, carefully into reverse and the slowly out of the driveway. It is only short but
quite steep down to the road. I tested the brakes which worked fine and was very careful crossing
the gutter in case my exhaust, which is sitting lower than standard, scraped. But it was fine.
No scraping at all. I inched onto the road then clutch in again and into first. The new tyres
grabbed a little on the coarse chip road but they are brand new and sticky. Once I had a little speed
up down the street I turned left into the new driveway and up into the new garage. The steering is so
light and free. I don't have the wings and bonnet in place yet of course but still the steering
felt great. The effort that went into lining up the steering shafts must have made a big difference.
I was only ever going slowly but there were no noticable clonks or clunks from the diff or
propshaft. She felt so good in fact for a second I did consider doing a quick round the block
but with no lights, windscreen, front wings, boot, bonnet, seatbelts, doors duct taped shut, etc
it wouldn't be wise!

And here she is in her new home. When I had the garage built I had an extra roof truss put in
so I can put up a strong steel pipe and then hang my chain hoist over it for future engine and
gearbox removal. I have my new wiring loom from Advance Autowire to fit (that is excellent
quality by the way, well worth the investment) and of course lots of bodywork still. The springs
will all be changed and the ride height sorted out as it is too low at the back now and too high
at the front. I also need a uprated front ARB. But things are going well and she is really
starting to look like a proper little sports car!

Oh, those wondering what I used the garge for while waiting for it to be complete before
moving the car in might like this picture of my last project!

After todays historic drive I spent the rest of the day painting and building a workbench.

And since people asked here is how that other project came out. That's phase one. Phase two
in the planning stages and awaiting parts.

If you want to see how this came out in the end take a look here: TARDIS MAME Console

May 2007

I have to apologise for the lack of updates. There has only been slow progress in the last few months.
Due mainly to a somewhat expensive year last year (new garage and trip to the states) funds have been
rather short. Coupled with the fact my company are cheap bastards who don't do annual salary
reviews I haven't been able to spend much on the car. Finally, six months after I first asked, I will
get a pay rise so work can begin again. Here is the current state of things.

The car is in the new garage and I have started to strip the doors and fix them up and clean and grease
the locks and winder mechanisms. I will clean up the window frames too. I also bought two new front
wings which are in much better condition than my old ones. They need acid dipping to get all the
old paint and crud off then I can repair and modify them. They are U.S. ones so have extra holes and
they were also off a RB car so they need some mods around the side lights. The plan is to get the doors
fixed up then the front wings and boot and bonnet lid. I will then strip the paint off the body of
the car and spray the first coat of etch primer myself. Then I can apply the filler and primer over that.
The actual colour coats and cleat coat I will leave to professionals. I also need to get the windscreen
rebuilt and will probably send that down to Neville Lucas (who did a good job on painting my dash). They
will clean it up and powder coat it in silver for me. Once the windscreen is done I can then fit
it in position along with all the body panels, lights, grille, etc. Basically get everything heavy onto
the body. Then with all the weight on it I can get new springs and get the ride height correct. Then it's
final trim. Carpets, seat covers, soft top, etc. And finally get it warrented. Still a lot to do. And a
lot of expensive things to do but I am well past half way now and heading towards the finish!

One little job I just did was refurbish the headlight mounts. These consist of the bucket part, a metal inside
part held in place with a spring and two small screws and a inner chrome ring. The metal inside part is what
the headlight bulb itself is attached to and it is this that is adjustable via the two screws to correctly
position the beam. The bulb sits on this piece and is held in place by the inner chrome trim. This is held to
adjustable part with small stainless screws. I stripped everything then sprayed it all with zinc primer to
prevent it rusting in the future. The bucket part I then sprayed with several coats of gloss black enamel. One
small issue I had to solve was that the adjuster screws thread into small plastic inserts that clip into the
bucket part. There were in a sad state and one was missing entirely. I don't know if real relpacements are
available so instead I modified a couple of trim clips I got for a few dollars at the local auto parts place.
I just used a sharp knife to make a notch in the base of the clips so they would lock into position on the
bucket. Then I simply drilled out the middle slightly smaller than the screw thread. The adjuster screws then
screwed into the clips which spreads the back of them so they can't fall out. They are very tight so there is
no danger of the screws coming loose once the lights are adjusted. Sometimes a little lateral thinking gives
you a nice, cheap solution to a tricky little problem!

June 2007

This is the state of the left front wing after I had it dipped. Lots of filler fixing dents that could have easily
been panel beaten out! Especially the one behind the front wheel arch as you can easily get to the back of that
panel if you take the splash panel behind the wheel off. I got all the remainging filler off and have started
beating out the dings slowly. At the rear someone drilled holes to be able to pull out the dent so they will
need welding up once I get the panel straight again.

July 2007

I have been shockingly bad over with with working on the car. I bought and installed a new Lucas gold sports coil
and opened up the spark plug gaps to .035 as suggested by people on the MGBBS. Another job was cleaning up the
the centre console kindly sent to me by Des in Western Australia. We chat via email about each others progress
(or my lack of it) on our restorations. Des sent me some spares from his parts cars including the
console here and several old rear vision mirrors I will rebuild. One thing I always loved in my old 70GT was
the cool mesh centre console. I think they look fabulous in the middle of the car there. This one is in pretty
good condition but the bottom right corner is cracked. I am not sure the best way to fix that yet. I suspect I
can glue and strengthen it from behind with some kind of epoxy resin.

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