Much cleaning

Over the last few weeks, I have been slowly wire-brushing the surface rust off the rear axle ready for paint. A couple of coats of my preferred anti rust paint and it is much prettier now. I have decided that the various nuts will not be painted – merely cleaned up, greased and allowed to age again. However, the castle nuts have new split pins which look a bit glitzy in their zink coating but that wont last long – it never does. Maybe i should look out for brass split pins…

How the mechanics perform wont be known until the car is driven but re-greasing the various components as i work my way through the car is making everything a lot smoother. Its amazing how sticky old grease is. I am really pleased the rear axle jacks work. Not too many cars still have them and if i can find a replacement front one – i will never need to carry a Jack…


I am restoring a few things that i have not mentioned in the blog so far… so as a teaser…

I have decided after meeting with my future coach-builder (memo to self – start saving the pennies) that the radiator is approximately three inches too tall for a sports special. We both agreed that if i leave it how it is the car will stand too tall and thin – and i would hate to spoil the look the car just for the sake of not having wanted to taken the time to remodel the radiator. So I am now looking for a company that will do the work for me. I think I may have found one.

The actual coach-building discussion i will save for another day, suffice to say i liked the follows and their work and the quote  was not as expensive as MrsC and I were expecting. MrsC was her usual supportive self, i am a very lucky man to have her although I suspect a garden re-design might just pop up in conversation. I could never say no to her, she rarely asks for anything for herself but I am pleased she doesn’t collect shoes.

The petrol tank is pretty much fixed or at least good enough for it to be ‘tried’. I have located a petrol gauge sender but i need to drill quite a large hole in the tank to fit it and then modify the fuel gauge to match empty-1/2-full.

I am also playing with a graphics program having looked into restoring instrument gauges

But to finish off – this weekend, i have a thoroughly enjoyable trip out in learned councils MG 18/80. This was my very first ride in a vintage car. I was quite amusing trying to work out where to my right arm because the cockpit is rather cosy and I also had to keep my leg out of the way whenever first gear was selected. But an open top car, square cut non-syncromesh gears whining nicely below the seat and the burble of fairly unrestricted exhaust all went towards the big grin on my face. We never got above 40Mph but it was such fun. If my Falcon sounds anywhere near as nice I will be happy. The biggest surprise was Learned Council rarely bothering to change out of top gear, the car has so much torque that it really isnt too bothered what gear you are in. A modern car would complain about you trying to do 10Mph in top gear…

The battery charge light refused to go out so we didn’t go too far and on our return we noticed that was because the dynamo wasn’t spinning at all (nor was the water pump) both are driven by the same mechanical drive which we noticed had decided to not be connected to the dynamo any more. A grub screw had fallen out and it took us both a bit of searching through old bolts to find one of the right size with the right thread pitch. My years of hoarding old bolts came up trumps though and its now all fixed.

To cap the weekend off – first born was in a school play – Wind in the Willows, she was fabulous and so was toad… poop poop

Learned Councils MG…



Rear Brakes

The rear brakes semi functioned, in that the handbrake when applied didnt do very much at all. pulling the (vertical) lever towards you takes quite a lot of effort but I noticed that you could still turn the rear wheels by hand and one of them was harder to turn than the other. Brakes to me need to be the best they can be. 30’s brakes are notoriously poor but at least i have them on all four wheels unlike some other vintage cars i can mention 🙂

The linkage by the differential was kinda-wobbly, but i know by the design of the front brakes that it shouldn’t wobble like that and yep sure enough the main bolt had worn the bronze bush into an oval shape – luckily I had a spare one. Memo to self, buy some more bronze bushes – i am getting through them at quite a rate. Replacing the bush is simply a case of driving the old one out with a drift and then pressing the new one in. In  my case that equates to hitting it with a hammer. The bush replacement made a big difference in that the linkage no longer wobbles but the brakes still didnt work properly. Below is the ‘restored’ linkages… move along not much to see here


So off comes the rather large and jolly heavy brake drums – sheesh what did they make these things from? Inside I found many years of dust, some seized adjusters and rather rubbery old grease. The brake shoes were covered in thick sticky stuff that i can only assume is old grease and the brake drums that should be clean and shiny were again caked in a thick layer of sticky stuff. The brake pads I also noticed were worn down to the rivets. None of this is conducive to a working brake system.

Getting the grease off was easy using petrol and a brush which left me to work out how to release the seized adjusters and remove the brake pads. The brake pads are of course not available at Halfords, but you can buy replacement friction material – all you need to do is remove the old material by drilling out all the rivets and then re-riveting  on new material by hand. How hard can that be? I will find out soon that’s for sure because i have no choice.

It was pleasing to find that the brake adjusters were not really seized, more gummed up with old grease, once that was cleaned up and the grease replaced with new – they moved nice and easily just like they should do. One side done. The other side was more of the same except that one of the adjusters is broken – granted it still works but the casing is broken which to me means it could fail at any time and i wont take the risk of finding i have no brakes on that wheel. To be fair these brakes are operated by steel rods – there is no hydraulic assistance giving you tons of pressure to apply its pure leg power.

Taking a glance at my leg muscles, i rather suspect the brakes are not going to be very good


A slight change of subject now… the engine oil filter. I thought that whilst i had a pot of contaminated petrol, i might as well clean the oil filter as all that needs is a wash out with petrol regularly. Undoing the canister was fine but inside i found the ‘filter’ had broken and what should have been a wire wound cage was in fact a birds nest… see below. All that wire is supposed to be wound tightly around the cylinder. I rather suspect that it cant be fixed and i have to find a replacement or shock horror replace it with a more modern alternative 😦