Thursday, 30 November 2006

Bite the Bullet

I'm pretty pleased with the way things are going and I don't think that the refurbishment and re-assembly is going to present too many problems. So... it was bite the bullet time. I phoned Gardner Douglas and spoke to Andy Burrows - really helpful guy. End result - I'm going down to the factory in Nottinghamshire on Monday to have a look around - ask some questions - any maybe order my chassis!!

Monday, 27 November 2006

Cracking On.

Time to crack on - drive shaft components this time. Using boiling / hot water for rinsing speeds the process up a fair bit. Again the cleaning process turns out to be pretty straightforward - the

two components you see here only took about an hour and a half to prep ready for the acid bath.

Painting again proved no problem
apart from the wait between coats - maybe I should prep more parts beforehand and paint more in one go? Bit of advice - get a decent respirator that will filter fumes - this POR15 stuff is pretty nasty - And wear gloves - once it has cured on your skin even the solvent won't get it off! - you'll have to wait a week for your skin to shed. Oh - and and if using plastic containers check with a bit of paint / solvent as they seem to dissolve quite a few things!

Sunday, 26 November 2006

The First Painting Steps...... of Many

Here we go - decide to start with a rear lower wishbone casting. Cleaning and remove all the accumulated c##p wasn't as difficult as I thought - it took about an hour to to get to this stage - Which I thought was pretty acceptable - I don't think you would have got much better with blasting? I did end up with a few nooks and crannies that were difficult to get into - but I found I had a small stainless steel wire brush for my Dremel - so that was them quickly sorted. It was surprising how well the parts came up - as the lower wishbones are cast they don't have a tendency to corrode to ant significant extent. The accumulation of filth mad them look in a much worse condition than they actually were.

Having cleaned and degreased the next stage was to use the POR "Metal Ready" solution. This essentially comprises a concoction of phosphoric acid and zinc salts. It will dissolve any small areas of rust you either missed or couldn't get to and then etches and coats the surface with zinc phosphate ready to receive the paint. The destructions indicated 15-30 minutes was required (all you do is keep the surfaces wet - hence the spray bottle). However this would appear to be at normal temperatures - i.e. not my garage at the end of December! Maybe if the final rinse was done with boiling water the piece would warm up? would also dry quicker.

Next it's time for the paint - this proved to be a bit of a commitment. Any over coating must be done before the previous coat has cured. If it has then you will need to abrade it or use a tie-coat primer. Essentially this means don't start painting unless you've got at least the next six hours spare - it takes 2 to 3 hours for a coat to become dry (slight finger drag) before you overcoat. The careful degreasing and treating with "Metal Ready" seemed to be worthwhile as the paint covered exceptionally well. The photo shows the wishbone after one coat. It will probably take a week for full cure but by then the paint should be rock hard. All in all - I felt quite satisfied with my first efforts - I tried not to think of how many pieces I had left to do!

Friday, 24 November 2006

The end of Dismantling?

It has been a while but that’s it – everything dismantled – all the bits for Wards boxed up and waiting for the courier. Finished my big list of required parts. There are a lot of parts here - however I see no point in saving a few bob by re-using bearings or other parts with an unknown history. It's gonna be a little frustrating if a few miles down the road it all has to come apart again becasue I re-used a dodgy old part! The ilst was sent off to Wards for them to send back with re-conditioned callipers, rear hubs and diff.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006


Got my order from Frosts today - that was the easy bit - now time for some mess!

Friday, 17 November 2006

Time to Clean.

Sent off an order to Frosts today for all the stuff I'm going to need to clean, prep and paint all the components that I am refurbishing myself. The planned process is:

1) Clean / degrease

2) Strip all old paint / rust (stripping discs - wire brushes in grinder / drill)

3) Clean / degrease

4) Prepare by acid etching (convert any remaining rust / etch surface ready for painting)

5) Two Coats of POR15 rust preventative paint

6) One Coat of POR15 Chassis Black

The POR15 paint system appears to be a moisture cured urethane and if it performs only half as good as the manufacturers claim then it should be excellent.

Now some people would advocate grit / bead blasting followed by plating / powder coating. This would still require some prep - a lot of masking off and paying someone else! However, this was going to be one of the key stages and I really felt it was something I wanted to do myself - I had the bizarre notion that I would find it satisfying and therapeutic? - I also hadn't got as far as committing myself to ordering a chassis yet. If I could get through all this and end up with a fully refurbished set of suspension and drive-train components then my thinking is that the rest of the build shouldn't be too daunting.