Lotus is now pretty much all back together just the radiator grille to fit, even followed the weight reduction mantra and removed the orange lenses(with steel inserts) from the side lights replacing them with orange bulbs.
picture of the TR with the re-painted wheels.
Spent the rest of the evening making a heated and thermostatically controlled propogator for my wife.
Some progress, appart from the badges the lotus is all back together, the window frame repairs on the range rover are completed and its fitted to car along with the new door, the over centre spring for the latch was broken so I fitted a new one which involved drilling out a rivet and welding it back on so that works properly as well now.
This is what I spent most of time doing though making new cupboards for the utility room, the 4 post ramp makes a great workbench.
this weekend will mainly be on the utility room but I hope to get a little car work done, soak the inside of the Range rover rear doors with waxoyl / oil mix so i cna fit the trims and proof the canvas hood on the Lotus as it leaks.
Also has anyone experience of using wrap material?
The windscreen on the Lotus is bonded in with what is supposed to be chrome plastic trim around the edge, it is clear plastic with a alloy foil inside, but in time the plastic goes yellow. taking the worst case scenario replacing the screen and getting a new trim (not easily available no) is going to cost £500. So I have had the idea of covering it in some of the chrome material they use to wrap cars, half a metre is only a tenner so I figured there is not much to lose, just need to work out how to do it now.
House is taking most of the time but the range rover rear doors are all finished and everything is working, used the lotus for the first time this year, lots of coughing and spluttering at first but seems fine now after a good run, also the TR passed it's mot today with no issues so no work to do there.
In between the woodwork I plan to start prepping and painting the range rover front doors and wings over the next couple of weeks, drivers side first.
Got some car time over the last few days, mosty spent on the range rover though I have spent a few lunch hours replacing stitching on the TR hood, the thread seems to be rotting.
On the RR I have now painted all 4 doors and the passenger side wing, I am pretty pleased with the results, its far from perfect but still looks pretty tidy.
I then started on the last area of the inner structure which needs repairing, the rh front inner wing, I ran out of time to do this when I did the rest last year so I sealed up the gaps with no nails which seemed to have worked remarkably well. I started at the rear, I had already made the kick panel large enough to go well beyond the rust so it was just a matter of cutting all rust out then welding the top of the kick panel in,then moving forward to the inner wing, to make it easy a prevoius repairer had held the wing mounting top hat in with pop rivets and bolts so a few seconds with the angle grinder saw to that, at the end of the afternoon I had this, plan is to weld this up then move forward. The top rail has been very solidly repaired but unfortunately the repairer has welded the inner face over the original which has now rusted out so it will all have to come off, then the base of the headlamp area also needs replacing.
An hour or so yesterday, So some welding on the rr, kick panel is fully welded in and first part of inner wing replaced, all the repairs are seam welded in, protected the wiring and trim inside with a sheet of copper and a wet flannel, even so the felt started to smoulder but squeazing it between the wet flannel put it out.
After this I folded up the new top hat section, once this is done it will be onto the front end, the top hat part needs replacing as well as the area under the headlamp.
More rust repairs, cut out most of it which meant pretty much the entire bottom 4 inches under the headlamp and the top edge of the inner wing (this was mostly to remove previous bodged repairs).
Inner wing cut out, back end finished with new top rail and centre section in, just the front and top rail to finish here.
The front all cut out and a start made on the body mounting base:
The body mounting finished (will clean it up a bit better when all the welding is done).
The horizontal section of inner wing behind the headlamp in the pictures is not holed but pretty thin in places so I will cut that out as well and fold it up to also form the back of the headlamp box eliminating the original rust prone 3 layer seam, then just a matter of king up a new base and lower part of the lamp mounting panel and it's all done.
Other news, the MX5 picked up puncture in one of the brand new tyres (nail hole), tyre place say it could be repaired but it is a but scuffed inside so I have opted for a new tyre at £55, hopefully this one will last more than 500 miles!
The TR has stopped leaking engine oil since I cleaned out the breathers but is leaking gearbox oil out of the selector shaft again (known LT77 issue) I have changed these o rings with the box in the car before which means removing the trans rear housing and takes a couple of hours but they always seem to leak again soon after, thinking about machining the case to take a lip seal instead of the O ring this time.
Welding on the left hand inner wing is finished, ended up replacing the top hat section which forms the wing mounting rail, the inner wing behind it and the entire bottom 2 inches of all the metalwork under and behind the headlamp.
Unfortunately the front body mount on the other side looks a bit crusty as well, so while it is a appart this will be next for attention.
Also while levering the body around the bumper seems to have dropped on the lh side, the mounting bracket on the bumper seems to have crumbled away, so the bumper now needs to come off as well, while it is off I will pull ahead my plan to modify it to the style of the early silver ones so weld up the headlamp washer holes, weld flat angled end caps on, fix the rust and paint it all silver.
Before that though I will paint all the inner wing with epoxy, seal it with pu then topcoat satin black so the battery can go back in and it is mobile again.
A bit of a milestone, all the rust I can find on the body tub has now been cut out and new metal welded in, Still have the bonnet and bumpers to do though.
I also had to cut the bottom out of the body mount on the LH side, access was a pig and I ended up cutting one side out with my die grinder and a carbide tip which took ages but worked well enough, new metal was then welded in, the welds tidied up, everything cleaned up and a coat of rust converter applied, this was followed by a couple of coats of epoxy primer. Next up is seam sealer then some black stone chip and most of it can go back together and I can move it outside to pull the bonnet and scuttle off for paint.
Not as much progress as I would have liked this week but still made some, the weather has meant spraying is out and other things have slowed me down, I have put all I can back together which means wiring, battery,sidelights coolant reservoir, a new bonnet release cable and the body mounts. Unfortunately the square plastic push nuts the headlamps screw into turned out to be broken so I have had to wait for some new ones and the body mount bolts I had were too long so need replacing with shorter ones.
these are the major parts cut out and replaced, there was quite a bit more but that had to be swept up!
This is the wing flange, the alloy has corroded through in the very corner where it was touching the welds on previous repairs, I am not sure how to repair it, welding will be very difficult as it is thin and has a fair bit of surface corrosion, so I am thinking of PU sealer, bonding a piece of alloy on behind with epoxy or even fiberglass.
A bad day today, driving the Lotus home at a steady 40mph and all of a sudden there is a couple of thumps and a bang from underneath the rear, and it is now making some horrible noises from the diff area, neverless it got me home driving very gently,. Jacking it up by one wheel at the rear the rear wheel turns 2 revolutions before locking when turned by hand, the engine torque is enough to overcome this. My thinking is something is locking the crown wheel, from my anglia days I remember the crown wheel bolts used to come undone on these Ford english diffs, anyone else experience of this?
Whatever it's got to come out which is not too bad a job, but first I have to finish all the woodwork for the kitchen spread all over the workshop so it looks like it will be next week at the earliest.
Been focusing on the house for the last week or so, woodwork now finished(still have painting and tiling)so the workshop is now free to start on the lotus, It's up on the 4 poster and there is nothing obvious from outside, a bit of a weep from the pinion seal and from on top of the diff but nothing new, Most of the bolts look in good condition and the couple I have tried undid fine, hope to get the diff out tomorrow.
In the meantime I have been making slow progress on the Range Rover
I have replaced the mounting flange completely (using apiece of metal cut from my old Landrover when the bulkhead was removed!), it's riveted and bonded in place then the joint sealed with PU sealer.
I have also glued pieces over the holes for the bumper and marker lights I no longer need using epoxy, plan is then to fill over the outside with alloy based filler.
I have also been repairing the inner door pull, the complete corner was missing so i rebuilt it with grey PU sealer the painted the whole thing with some 25 year old vinylcote I had left over for some work I did on a mk2 fiesta when it was 4 years old! It's not perfect but the repair is on the bottom and it is a lot better than it was.
spent the evening on the elan, hose clamps on the donuts undo a few bolts and diff came out pretty easily in an hour or so. Diff mounts and all the bolts were in good condition so no extra tasks here.
stub shafts came out easily enough and look in good condition with nice straight splines.
Then the diff was drained which yielded some dirty oil but no obvious chunks of metal.
then the diff was removed and the cause of the problem became obvious.
The diff pin has come out and taken chunks out of the pinion which in turn has damaged the crownwheel, I wont be repairing this easily !.
Fortunately I have kept this in the attic for the last 20 odd years.
Its seems to have kept well and is still nice and clean (was wrapped in a poly bag), the outside is painted in what looks like the paint used for yellow road lining but it virtually all flaked off, pinion seal was past it so I removed that (needed to swap flanges anyway). I will have to torque it by feel which has always worked in the past, so plan is to pop to Burton Power tomorrow lunchtime and then put it back together over the weekend.
Does seem strange how I managed to destroy the Ford diff but not the widely known weakness of the Lotus stub shafts!
When I bought it all the pundits said don't worry about the Ford parts it's the lotus parts which will go wrong, in 22 years the engine has had no more than regular servicing but it has needed a new gearbox, and now a diff.
Looking at the photos with some colleagues today we did notice one thing, the damage to the pinion is on the part of the gear which does not mesh with the crown wheel so I guess at a push It could be used again once the diff is repaired, given the prices secondhand Ford parts now seem to attract(over £200, I used to pay a tenner for a diff!) it's worth keeping a spare.