Thursday, July 20, 2017


I'm still at it..................I think.

Money is tight, the sun is high and work long.

Struggling to keep up the enthusiasm without cash.........the kids need new shoes......blah blah.

Seriously, having money issues with life in gereral but thought I'd post just to let you all know I'm still here, the MG's still under tarps on the drive and still in my dreams.

Promise I'll post I know my google account and password !
This is what the wind did in early January 2017 to the Tarps !!!!

Monday, October 03, 2016

3 strikes and your out ! not quite.

Another odd title.

Its because that's how many colours I've tried on the engine bay. Bear in mind the engine bay should be the same colour as the rest of the car.
So, in theory I had to make this monumental  decision  NOW ! as I was keen to get all the stuff I'd taken off, back on before I either lost the parts or forgot from where or both. The Inner engine bay sits in a nice shade of fresh grey primer. The pedal box, Vacuum cover, coil, expansion tank, heater and various brackets, nuts , screws and bolts have all been cleaned and are looking great in Black gloss  (Halfords).

Thing of beauty, Brass Expansion tank. Seems a pity to cover it but needs must. Came up excellent after 2 coats of black gloss and probably the best looking thing so far. The cap looked good in Plasti-cote Silver too.

Above was the Vacuum cover before cleaning with wire cup in drill for 20 mins 

After 2 primer coats and 2 Black coats

Same treatment for heater  too. ( Note it looked this good 4 years ago when I first did it )

So now the real gripe of late and cryptic answer of title thread.
                  The colour took three attempts at a costly £8.00 per can to decide, and I'm still not convinced but went ahead anyway.
First Attempt was Plasti-cote Brushed Aluminium Silver. Lovely coverage but oh so very silver and reflective. It also showed any flaws in the bodywork ( several small patch welds by P.O ) like a poke to the eyeball. Was very surprised how metallic it was, but not a good look for under the engine bay.

Next attempt was Peugeot Iron Grey Metallic. This I thought would be very close to the body Colour I envisaged. WRONG ! Very WRONG. It was almost Iridescent bluey/green. I don't have photos as I'm too embarrassed. Besides, money was low and I needed to crack on.

My Third and final option was the Halfords Gloss Black. I bought this at the time of the Iron Grey so I could re-coat some bolts and brackets etc. But in it went to coat the bay, quickly, the original colour I bought it with...doh

Below is the engine bay in 1 & 2 wire wool'ed and cleaned then 3 & 4  just Grey primered

How I wish I'd left it in grey primer, it looked good. But the deed was done and there was not a lot of time left in Lostsocks weekend.

An early start saw the heater go back in without drama. Pedal box too, although some BSF bolts seemed to strip partially or at least grab gingerly. The vertical bolts on the outside were a swine for me with my fat-ish mitts.

This is where I hit the frustrating and typical Leyland enigma !

The coil bracket (2 fasteners), Pedal box (7 Fasteners) Fuse box (2 fasteners) electronic Ignition (2 fasteners) earth screw ( 1 fastener)  2 relays ( 2 DIFFERENT fasteners) and overflow tank brackets ( 2 Fasteners)


So In an act of complete rebellion and a vote against BREXIT I used M5 bolts, nuts and washers for the fuse box, relays, earth screw and Ignition box !!
It looks good, has a shiny chrome Phillips heads in the bay and M5 nuts in wheel arch but who cares !

I must admit it was very frustrating when undoing them, as if rusty , old, gnarled heads were not enough to deal with a different method was required. In truth most needed mole grips as the phillips heads were well rounded or slotted heads gnarled.

So this is how I left it. Look at that expansion tank and cap gleam.  Still needs more work after spending hours cleaning the mess of wiring with WD40 and brillo pad thing. It shines. Just ordered some new black wiring tape from Frost Auto, so when that's done I may actually start the engine before winter, I may not, who knows. Here's praying for a mild winter or money and a garage/shed

Keeeeeep restoring !!

Friday, September 09, 2016

Just a little bit more

The recovery from my three nightshifts and fair weather saw me set too with some more restoration.

I managed to get the pedal box and Vacuum cover back on easily enough with wifeys help ( I only swore once) and all the bushes, washers, split pin and screws back where they belong plus the Brake pedal.
I left the Clutch pedal since this has to be done from under the car as both pedals won't fit through the nasty hole in the engine bay as well as many wires and pipes have to be "persuaded" to move even with just the Brake pedal attached. It has to be done this way as access to the brake pedal bush, screw and mechanism are impossible to attach solely from the top access of the pedal box.

Then the bit I was dreading, cleaning the engine bay.

These are these slightly after shots, as I think its going to take a lot of effort over the coming months.
I put these on as inspiration, comparison and achievement for when its complete. Hopefully !!

The four below are general shots of the current state, alas with no garage to work in its a case of two steps forward four back.

This shows the pedal box hole after setting too with white spirit, scraper/screwdriver & wire wool.
Look at the shine of the LH wiring loom. Good Ole WD40. Bet its back to cruddy next time I look though.

I think I may remove the heater box too and re-paint it the Peugeot black I used on the vacuum cover. I did it some years ago in "Pound shop Gloss black" but it looks weather beaten and dull now, besides the heater core is leaking so that's another for the list to buy, at some point !.

The big question is though What colour do I paint the engine bay ?

For those of you who can't be arsed to read from 10 years ( yes 10 years !) of restoration the car was originally White ( which White though, for a  77 model ?)   but had a thorough re-spray early on in its life to Black. Its now mostly several shades of primer grey. Wifey wants "Old English White". I'm afraid this will show up any imperfections, poor filler repairs ( with rust surfacing) and crap shut lines.

I'm thinking a slate metallic grey, very similar to my current Renault, which I think will look good against the Black sunroof and chrome finishings. Let me know what you think........please. The comments appear to have stopped.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Well. I've been at it again. Today was my last day of bank holiday fun and spent most of it with Wifey at Carsington water and Bakewell.

Later on I set to with new workstand ( £10 Lidl...bargain !, the B&D one only lasted 18 years) electric drill, wire brush cup, curved hand wire brush and white spirit plus my old fave..autosol grey primer ( £1...poundshop) I'm often seen carting five of these round town Saturday mornings.
Here it is after its first light coat.

 I then set too cleaning the pedal box and cover. The pedal box was too complex and internally greasy to do too much with so after a clean on the outside I gave it a light dusting of Peugeot black gloss left over from the previous chariot.

The thing didn't half look bad to say its not really visible. The diaphram looks brand new  and a quick wire brush on the back half of the vacuum cover and all was good to go.

So the I gave the main cover a couple of coats of gloss black. It looks bloody marvellous and brand new. the pedal box cover too gave the same result as did the 8 screws holding it on.

Overall for very little effort, paint and time the results are not in proportion. See the previous post for the state of the cover before I removed it. I've still to try to assemble the cover back on yet with its giant conical spring but a least today has given me renewed optimism.

What to do about the big hole and area where its come from though. It looks very fiddly to try and look reasonable. What colour should I paint it ? Will all the pedals, bushings and pipes all go back together ?
That's for next time, anyway back to irradiating the ill and accident prone folks of the east midlands for the next five days including 3 night shifts...ho hum !

Monday, August 29, 2016

Still at it

Bank holiday weekend saw me at it again.

I've managed to finish welding a fillet to the RH side light aperture ( did the LH one some months ago) filled and sanded to look acceptable. The holes cut out during the moving from Rubber bumper back to chrome don't look pretty but at least they won't be seen. Likewise with the fillets welded in but at least they give the lower valance below the sidelights some strength. I'm amazed the welding works at all as the cheap 2nd hand MIG welder is on its last legs.

Today I removed the brake servo and pedal box. A bit of a faff reaching the bolts below and behind the pedals but done easily enough. The reason I removed it was the servo looked "Orrible", all rusty and decrepit with surrounding area of paint ( black  & white) bubbling from what I presume is spilt brake fluid on my many attempts to replace the brake master seals. Well I broke the master cylinder last year so I though might as well go the whole hog.

Not a pretty sight is it. The hole it left is just as bad.
 So my plan is to wire brush ( in drill) the servo cover. It was much easier to remove than I expected with a gentle tap with chisel and hammer after bending some of the wavy crimps  back.
The cover shot of with a mighty ping as did the huge spiral servo spring. One good thing is the diaphragm is in good shape. In fact all the internals of it are, so methinks there was just probably a leak with the servo hose connection, if at all.
           I think I'll make the servo all black and try to polish the clutch reservoir too, as when I eventually buy a new master brake cylinder I don't want it to look too out of place.
What to do about the hole though ? and the pedal box ? They will go black also. The surrounding area is going to be a nightmare with all the wiring and bubbly paint. Where do I start this ?

I'm determined to get at least these jobs done and brake cyl fitted this /next month as I feel I'm still taking things apart when I should be putting things back on. Wish me luck folks.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

I'll never make a body man

Yet more sanding and wet/drying the front ST spoiler.
Had a good couple of hours with 240 grit emery and trusty half milk carton of warm soapy water. Got it smooth as silk everywhere............or so I thought.

With my trusty £1 rattle cans of pound-land grey primer, I gave it a nice even coating. On viewing it after and even during I could see the glaring areas I'd not smoothed and flatted enough.
However, after a couple of hours I circled all the areas needing more effort. Approx 15 of them varying in size from a thumbnail to a whole thumb. So I set to work flatting again and did about five of them till the next one would not feather out, it just came off in tiny wet fragments. Obviously not dry enough yet then !. Never mind, the finish is good and compared to how it looked last week a major improvement.

Peeped at the spark plugs. All show signs of last run last summer of it being too rich. I knew that anyway. Also removed the alternator to check all the pulleys and the cause of the alarming rattle/squeak last start up. Water pump pulley seems fine, water pump is newly fitted (3 years ago! ) this also was the source of a major noise, on investigation the bearing and impelor was well and truly shot, hence the replacement. Can't be this again surely?. Alternator bearings good and free with no wobble and crankshaft pulley seems ok ( hand turned when plugs were out )

So just have to wait till I run her again. Looking at the engine bay depressed me. A bit oily, a bit rusty, a bit red leady and a bit dirty. I'm determined to get it all running fine before I attempt to renovate this area first though.

After spending a small fortune having bathroom totally renovated its time to paint. I'm gonna have to do it as wifey tends to lallop it on a bit and is a liability anymore than 1/2" above solid ground.

Its going well though and enthusiasm is returning slowly.

A view of last years spoiler before I ruined it by applying primer by brush....looks good dunit !

Sunday, May 22, 2016

And yet another list of to-do's

Alzheimer's must be setting in. I just realised I've repeated most thing in the last two posts.
So here is the definitive list I made this morning on the status so far, in no particular order.

1/.   Replace both rear tyres.
               It would appear these have only lasted 15 years plus and can no longer hold air. What I did with the front cost me a tenner ( £10 =$ 14.5) having a local company fit 2 good but bald-ish scrappers. Albeit they are low profile, but sealed up to the hilt and with new valves. Next day off will see me visit said establishment for a repeat ( but not low profile though)

Sadly I see no point in buying real tyres yet.

2/.    Buy and fit new brake servo. Had the money for it last year but frittered it away on god knows what. Commonsense say to replace rubber hoses to front too, and free of the cylinders. I replaced the caliper pistons, seals and discs ( rotors ) a few years back so I must add more effort to make them work and appear new again.

3/.   Weld/repair lower valance. I converted from RB to CB and the new holes for the side lights/indicators looks a bit dogs dinnerish with little support below.  I have to find the Jigsaw first, no mean feat as I've not yet done this years clean up of the shed and outhouse.

4/.   Yet more expense. The small heater radiator is leaking. I'm not letting this bother me yet as I'll bypass it with some jiggery pokery of hoses and it won't affect the running of the car. ( Thats if it will run after this years lay up)

5/. Buy and fit Indicator stalk mechanism. Nuf said, broken through sheer stupidity and Lostsock logic.

7/.   Re-set tappetts. Sounded very noisy when last run, or was it timing chain rattle ?

See what you think

8/. Check oil/water levels......... !!

9/.   Check dash bulbs and in crinkle finish ?   naah, its good to go and has only a little patina of  " old car"

10/.   Re-cover dash top panel. Not as easy as it sounds. Need hardboard, foam and jigsaw !!!

11/.   buy front bumper fitting chrome screws. A little vainglorious but hopefully it will at least look like being finished............from the front....low down, anyway.

12/.Clean engine bay..........big job and difficult with engine and all ancillaries there   !

13/.   find/acquire starter motor bolt.........for some reason the top bolt is different from the bottom and I can't find it..............or remember weather its the top or bottom I need.

14/. Sand spoiler. Well documented in previous posts. Did 3/4 of it today. Sanded off most of the ...nay all of the real primer that reacted. Even managed a quick tickle with rattle can of primer. Wish I had not. Shows up all the flaws in "too course sanding". Mostly wet an drying this today but getting there.

More next week folks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wot a faff

So, the saga still continues.

Sorry I've not posted of late. The trouble is good ole Google. I have over the years got several google accounts + the kids accounts set up on this laptop. And that's where the trouble starts, trying to log on now its all controlled by Google.

Anyways, I've written down the log on Name and password and linked it to my iphone, so, hopefully some posts on my progress with images directly from my phone. I did say hopefully, as I always have trouble with the youngster specific apps like itunes and Google+.

To fill you in regarding the MG. Nothing has happened since the last post last year.  I've still not purchased the master brake cylinder yet, but since it was birth month I may have enough cash to buy and fit.

The nice weather this week has seen me cut and strim lawn, replace 6' x 8' trellis panel after hammering in 2 fence posts, blow away leaves from autumn, paint said trellis and archway + shed front. I had only one day for MG stuff and that was spent removing all the tools and stuff, cleaning, oiling and re-organising as they suffered a major ingress of water this year due to a leaking outer cover.

Next job up is to get 2 tyres ( scrap ones) from local friendly tyre fitting company so I can at least roll the MG fore and aft to sweep the drive. Then fit master cylinder and maybe just may be run her up/down our little cul-de-sac. Todays fact..........the word Cul-de-sac is not recognised as a word or entity in French.

p.s The spoiler looks nothing like this now. In my wisdom I coated it in "proper" primer. Its reacted and needs sanding off again.....ho...hum !

More soon folks !