January - December 2014
The weeks of late Dec 2013 saw Blue Jess returned from the
welder with a pretty decent set of repairs, as the pictures
show. He chose to re-spray the second-hand front wings which I
had bought rather than use them to repair the originals
Work begins on removing the newly-resprayed front wings to
tinker with the underneath by waxoyling it and generally having
a nose at what's been going on in the weldery.
The wheel-arch repairs seem awesome so no grumbles there and the
holes in the front panel seem to be filled-in, too.
Well, I don't know who's paying for all this but there's more
wheel-arch awesomeness to be found so why not photograph it and
paste it up on here?
So work begins on spraying up the front valance panel, first with
grey-primer and then with a bit of top-coat.
Overall, its beginning to look not too bad and the front wings are
going back on. All we need now is better weather.
Still semi-early Jan 2014 and the front wings have gone back on
and have been tightened-up. The join with the front valance has
been perfected (not) with a self-tapping screw on each side and a
bit of plastic padding in the gap followed by a quick spray over
with the right colour. A few fairly generous doses of waxoyl
around the seams have been applied.
The front bumper has been refitted and the little wipers and hoses
re-connected. Must check they still work! A bit of brush-painting
under the bonnet with very thin paint has covered up the welding
work quite nicely.
Hmmm, the surface of the old bumper looks a bit on the tatty side
compared to all the luvvely blue paint but it should spruce-up OK
with some cosmetics. The plan is to fit cheapie-style universal
mud-flaps and re-fit the under-engine tray which has been waiting
in the wings for a few weeks.
Mid-January 2014 has seen the repaired under-engine trim panel
fitted, along with a bit of waxoyling around the front underside
and wheel-arches. I had omitted to fit a couple of plastic trim
panels beneath the front bumper, so this had to be removed to
allow them to be re-fitted. The number plate has been popped back
into place and a couple of new cheapie-style mudflaps fitted
failry securely. The old ones (shown below) were a bit too far
gone to reuse, although I tried.
The interior trim panels for the passenger side front have been
clicked back into place. Note that the term 'click' refers to the
sound made by panels being expertly fitted together and not that
made by panels being forced together incorrectly by some complete
numpty. If you study the picture on the below right carefully, you
will see a deliberate mistake involving the door-seal that was
introduced purely for educational purposes. Nedless to say,
thankfully, no major visible damage was done, I hope.
So the next weekend should, barring disasters, see the same work
done to the driver's side trim panels and the fuse-box screws
will, hopefully, be re-fitted.
The weekend towards the end of Jan 2014 saw the dreaded process of
refitting the fusebox screws finally completed. Since refitting
the original screws is such a nightmare, what with having to
limber into the driver's footwell and with the screws repeatedly
falling off the screwdriver, I simply decided to ditch
them for some bolts which could be fitted with a socket. However,
bolts of the right length were not available at the local
spares shop but he did have some of the right thread which were
too long so these were simply cut to the right length with a
hacksaw. Finally this allowed the fuse box to be fixed back in
place with a mixture of the old screws and the new bolts.
Following this, the trim items in the driver's footwell were
refitted, with lessons learnt from the other side. Hence,
hopefully my attentions can then drift to the rear end of the car
in the forthcoming weekends.
The rear bumper has been removed again and the valance beneath it
has been resprayed with blue aerosol paint. It was not very
carefully prepared as its below the bumper but its not too bad.
Now in early Feb 2014and so far so good.
Success on these fronts has allowed the great rub-down of the rear
wheel arches with fine emery paper to begin. Where there's a will
there's a way.
As can be seen on the above right, a layer of blue top-coat is
aersolled on but soon the skies open and very quickly turn it into
a base-coat which has to be flatted down the following day. Still
the colour is about right. The next day is a bit drier and the
second coat of blue paint goes on a bit better (see below). Its as
evil as orange-peel.
As its proving to be a much better day all round, I foolishly hope
to do an all-in-one top-coat on the other side but my hopes are
dashed, not by rain but by a new
aersol can that starts
spitting big blobs of paint which run (as I weep) rather than just
spraying a nice thin layer. Bah, humbug, this one will have to be
flatted too, and just as well because its a bit thin at the top,
as can be seen all too clearly!
OK, so the next weekend is spent flatting and respraying these
bits again to cover the odd bits that wore through. Spray, spray,
spray.... with an old table-cloth over the back wheel...
Then we come to some laquering, starting on the nearside where the
laquer goes on relatively smoothly bar a bit of a runny bit at at
the top which you can just see against the reflection of the blue
sky and which will need some attention later on.
And now laquering up the off-side too.
So its laquer, laquer, laquer...
...showing off my laquer, or lack thereof...
So a week later (getting towards the end of Feb 2014) its time to
flat the laquer overspray and give these panels a bit of
colour-cut and a polish.
Its not too bad, not too bad... apart from all the junk piling up
on the back seats.
Time to get the back bumper back on...
... and hey presto...
... so now its time to do something in the mudflap department
which is in progress. The 'Volvo' badges on the front wings have
been glued back on. Much time was spent trying to get my generator
started so that I could grind the rust off the door-bottoms, but
this was a complete flop so it will have to wait another week. A
bit of a mental 'to do' and 'to get' list would include some
standard rear mudflap clips (outer and inner) to replace the
missing originals as well as number plate screws and yellow caps
for the rear reg plate. I find a very old, algae-covered rear
mudflap which I think will just about do to replace the missing
The first weekend in March 2014 has been spent fitting the
mudflaps which clicked into place relatively OK-ly and the
underseal in the immediate vicinity of the fixing screws and
clamps was bolstered up a bit.
The rust on the door-bottoms has finally been given a rub-down by
use of a little rotary wire brush on a drill. As a prerequisite
for this, my generator which leaks petrol copiously had to be got
going which was a job and a half. Unfortunately, towards the end
of the door bottom de-rusting job, the wire brush became entangled
in a piece of cloth and this picked up the mains wire for the
drill which caused it to become twisted around the drill bit and
subsequently damaged - my dodgy old drill does not stop when you
let go of the handle. Nedless to say the drill will have to be
fitted with a new cable (in progress). However, at the time, this
allowed enough of the rust to be removed for a coat of naval jelly
to be applied and left on for a week.
The weekends of early-to-mid March 2014 have seen the rust in the
door-bottoms rubbed off with a gentle rotary wire brush type of
This was followed by a coat of naval jelly which was left for a
week to dissolve away at the rust, followed by another rub-down
and another overnight coating of naval jelly.
Some time was spent sorting out the little generator which had an
'issue' due to a blocked needle valve in the carbie which was
causing it to dribble petrol incessantly. Nedless to say its
sorted OK now which has allowed the final rub-down.
Now to prime it all up with a brushing of zinc undercoat (yes,
brushing is far-easier than spraying and its all low-down stuff so
the coat doesn't have to be abso top-notch awesome). Note that
some of this rubbing-down and priming has gone on under the
door-bottoms, but not too much.
So this leads up to a mid-march weekend 2014 (15-16/3) when the
last of my petrol blue aerosol is used to spray-up the
door-bottoms, without much masking-up to try and smerge in all the
colours as much as possible. An overnight dry and its ready to
lightly flatten and give a layer or two of laquer interspersed
with a bit of patching-up with the paint where necessary. Better
weather gives time to spray and spray and wonder why aeroplanes
disappear from the blue sky.
So far so good and now its time to pop in some new screws for the
rear number plate. However on removing said plate, I find fairly
copious rust around the screw holes which needs a rotary brush-up
and some drilling out of the old screw stubs, too. The plan here
is to coat the de-rusted patches with some Smoothrite and then
bodge the slightly crumbling screw-hole on the left with a
wall-plug device to give a semi-OK type of repair. Not ideal but I
can't face more welding just yet.
We blunder on into late March 2014 and the rear number-plate has
been fitted beautifully in my wholly unbiased opinion and the
battery has been charged and re-fitted. A bit of polish on the
newly painted panels brings them up relatively nicely in the
bitterly cold sunshine!
The engine started OK and all the rubbish has been cleared out of
the car. A bit more touching-up to the paint brings it out
The car is taken for a short run around and a visit to the petrol
station. All seems to be going OK with the general
However, and however, on my return the car will not start due to
the starter motor not turning over. Well, you can hear it trying
to turn over, but it can only manage to do it very slowly and I
remember this has been a problem several times in the past. I am
assuming that it is a poor earth or another connection onto the
starter motor which is causing this but only time will tell.
Meanwhile, the car has to be pushed back into the garage.
As of early April 2014 everything is evil-eyed and awesome (not)
because the above problem has not been solved. I check the
resistances of the wires to the starter when cold and hot and
there is no difference so I foolishly suspect the starter is to
blame and hence find a local spares shop that can do an exchange
unit which is fitted to the car (see old and new below). Although
better, the new one doesn't make a huge difference. Duh, oh well,
the working old one has to go back to the shop as part of the p/x
deal (weep and cry), but I won't think about it, I will just do it
and its now done.
So next plan is to pop some carb cleaner and penetrating oil into
the cylinders and leave it overnight. The next day the cyclinders
are drained with a rubber tube on the end of a syringe and the
plugs refitted. The car is taken for a drive for a few miles until
its really hot and then I find that the problem is still there -
the engine only turns over slowly or not at all when I turn the
ignition key. So out come the plugs for a cooling down session and
maybe more additives!
The excellent advice from the mania site is to turn the engine
cold with a spanner or such-like with the plugs out and then run
it and then remove the plugs and try again with the engine hot. If
it really is sticking pistons, then give it a dose of engine flush
and fresh oil. Now why didn't I think of that?
Well, I do as they say and its hard to tell if the engine is
stiffer or not when its hot, so lets give it a flush out and an
oil change and hope. Job done, sorted and, yes, to my great
relief, by some miracle the car now starts reliably from hot and
cold. Ambient awesomeness abounds, but the cam-belt noise is
worryingly still there and yet more nagging of folks on the mania
site leads to a much-appreciated suggestion that I might have
actually fitted the wrong cam-belt and that the extraordinary
tightness of the belt is also due to it being the wrong one!!!
This is all badness and so the photos are bad, too.
So the correct cambelt (Dayco 94120 i.e. not 94126) is procured
from the internet and I find that it fits just lovely with no
stress to either it or me. Ambient awesomeness abounds everywhere
and all the usual trickery is used to set and check the timing
So everything gets tightened-up and fitted back together again and
the engine is given a quick test and its found to be running fine
without any of the odd cambelt noises that it was making before in
A quick bit of waxoyling in some places that were missed before
such as the driver's side front suspension and one or two extra
bits of attention given to the windscreen wipers, the antifreeze
and polishing the bumpers allows the car to be pressed into
everyday use, as of Easter weekend 2014. A 50 mile run is pretty
uneventful apart from a tiny bit of stalling due to my lack of
experience with the clutch - maybe I'll give the cable a bit of
adjustment in the near future. The suspension is quite smooth and
swimmy which gives me a bit of car-sickness (ahhh) or maybe its
stress, but hopefully I will adapt. Carry on murdering
Its still Easter 2014 and isn't it luvvely? Indeed, the same trip
to the sticks is repeated the following day and all goes well
apart from the last quarter of a mile when the driver's side front
strut collapses. It had to happen. The rest of the journey is done
at walking pace to save the tyre and a couple of days later she's
on the back of a lorry again (boggler, boggler, boggler...) being
trailered back to the pit to be worked on for a few more months,
no doubt. Anyhow, the two days that I have spent driving her about
have given some clues as to things that will need to be sorted
while the struts are being repaired. How's about?
- make the electric mirror motors more reliable,
- adjust the clutch,
- bit of paint on the front valance,
- passenger-side headlight wiper,
- leaky boot seal,
- more to come
At the very end of April 2014 now and the naughty old strut which
collasped has been removed by attaching some coil-spring
compressors and undoing all the relevant nuts, bolts and
ball-joints, etc, and cushioning its fall with a pile rags and
trying to hold it in place with some thinnish wire.
While the car is up on stilts, I have a hammer away at the
unbroken strut and decide its relatively solid so I will leave it
in place. Also, to save trouble I will leave the disk and the
brake calliper mounting all in place. However this raises the
weight of the strut quite a lot and so will need some careful
planning of a courier type of operation to minimise the costs of
sending this to Anglesey for repairs.
Anyhow, when the strut has been undone and the oil emptied for
posting, I will have a bash at wire-brushing and painting-up the
remaining suspension parts on the car which are looking a bit
rusty, but not too bad, really, hopefully.
Early May 2014 and the strut has been dismantled, emptied of oil
and Yodeled up to Anglesey for repairs. I have saved the old oil,
pooled it with the oil from the 360 struts and filtered it all to
re-use - you never know it might be OK? Awesomeness abounds.
Well, the repaired strut comes back from Anglesey a lot fast than
I expected, so still in early May 2014, we need to think about
getting it all back together again. The main thing is that the
welding looks awesome, as only an awesomist can say.
The various bits get a bit of a wire-brushing and a coat of
hammerite, while the already-primed strut itself gets a bit of a
top-coat in matt-black. Gothic stuff man.
Heading towards the end of May 2014 now and everything is going
strutacularly well with the strut being refilled with 320 ml of
some old but filtered strut fluid.
The strut innards were cautiously refitted during the refill and
the strut nut was then replaced loosely by hand, before being
tightened properly while being held in a vice-like grip. To
achieve the right tightness necessitated the use of a specialised
torque wrench device (well, a slightly worse-for-wear walking
stick actually) that perfectly fitted the bells-and-whistles that
hang around the back of the wheel hub.
Anyhow, this process revealed that the repaired strut needs to be
repaired a tiny bit more and therefore it is disassembled, drained
and quietly couriered back to the specialist for a tiny bit of
Meanwhile, the free time that this creates is used productively to
re-paint the bits-and-pieces that the strut will eventually bolt
onto and to tackle some anomalies with one of the headlamp wipers
which does not return to its ground-state properly when
In addition, the clutch has been adjusted and the bonnet and front
valance given a bit of a touch-up and laquer where needed.
Very early June 2014 and much awesomeness abounds as efforts are
made to rectify the dodgy windscreen washer jet on the passenger
side which refuses to jet water in the right direction. Indeed on
closer inspection it is clear that someone in the past has bent
the innards (presumably to try to unblock it) so that the water
will always squirt out sideways and bounce off the plastic vent
panel. Hence, a spare jet was found and popped into place, thus
effecting a perfect cure for this little issue.
Meanwhile, efforts continue to repair the dodgy headlamp wiper
that doesn't work very well. First step - off with the bumper,
again, to allow the little wiper motor to be removed, too.
Then a few spare wiper motors were found in the roof and sorted
into ones for the left and right sides. Then the ones clearly
marked 'L' were connected and tested, one-by-one. However, none of
them seem to work properly, so one of them is partly dismantled,
the innards are fiddled about with, re-greased and generally put
back together in roughly the right place, the backing-plate is
refitted as tightly as possible and then the unit is tested and
found to be working perfectly. Awesome, again.
Finally, putting the repaired motor back in place, as well as
refitting the bumper and the little wipers allows everything to be
tested in situ (with a bit of string tied to the wiper switch and
threaded round the steering wheel so that the wipers can be seen
in action). Thus, it seems the wipers, etc, are working fine too,
so that's another little blessing in disguise for having a broken
Yet more bulletins from the annals of evil-eyed awesomeness. A
retrospective fiddle with the headlight wiper motor which was
behaving badly on the above motor car shows that its problem may
have been an abundance of grease which had accumulated around the
contacts within the the motor. Anyhow, the photos show that, once
the clips on the plastic backing had been very
carefully undone, the inside of the motor was found to look as
though it had only just left the factory. Awesome. I have
degreased the contacts, reassembled it while taking care that the
marker on the brown wheel retains its alignment, and will test it
at the weekend. If its OK, it'll go into storage and if its not
OK, it'll go into storage, too, so its a no lose situation and
what could be better?
It mid-June and time to evil-up this website with some more news
of nothing useful going-on no where. Anyhow, efforts have been
made to make the electric mirrors more reliable and this has been
achieved with great success on the passenger side by cleaning the
contacts within the connector block behind the door panel.
However, efforts on the driver side have gone slightly Pete Tong
due to the fact that one of the motors was sticking and apparently
only working at its extremity. Naive efforts to spray WD40 behind
the glass to lubricate any mechanicals which I then tried to
loosen-up by manually moving the mirror by hand resulted in the
mechanism breaking. Hence it all has to come off and is dismantled
with further unremitting and irremediable numptiness. A number of
similar looking Volvo mirror motors were procured from the
internet and now I have quite a prestigious collection of
mirror-related bits of junk from which I will try to 'pheonix' a
Some Hammerite will have to be brushed onto the rusty metal panel
inside the door mirror and work is in progress to remove the
grotty old glue which will be replaced with new stuff when it
becomes necessary to stick the glass back in place. Working out
how to dismantle the motor units is a bit of a mare but I think I
can fiddle enough of the bits to go together in a relatively OK
sort of way after testing the motors with a 12V power supply but
maybe not. Time will tell.
Firmly in mid-June 2014 and the twice-repaired strut comes back
and is given a bit of a clean and a refill which shows that it has
been expertly welded (if only I could weld like that) but, alas,
it is leaking from two different places now. Hence, a strut insert
for a 340 is purchased from the fleabay and will be used instead
because I can't face delaying too long on this one.
So, efforts are diverted to the driver's electric mirror which has
been cobbled back together with the motor unit from a 440 and a
bit of dismantling and swapping of parts. The metal plate has been
painted with Hammerite and the new hybrid motor unit has been
fitted along with sawn-off 440 screws and the original rubber
seal, too. However the 440 motor is thicker than then 340 one and
so the mirror glass sits slightly proud of the surround and
although fitting it to the car shows that it isn't too bad, the
glass has a habit of falling out, which isn't good for glass, but
it survives, thanks to the wires for the heating panel at the
back. Testing it also showed that it still does not move
downwards, so there must be a problem with the electrical supply,
probably from the switch unit on the transmission tunnel, which is
Swapping the connection block onto the other switch (great idea
from the mania site) shows that it is definitely the switch itself
which is dodgy and so it is removed and eventually popped open for
a clean out to remove old grease and the quite stubborn corrosion
from the contacts. The tiny, weeny bits of metal inside are a
source of some amusement if not worry that one false move will
result in one being lost, permanently.
Anyhow, after a slightly fraught effort to clean and re-grease all
these little microscopic pieces of metal, the switch is put back
together and refitted to the car which shows that, with a bit of
pressure to the button, it is definitely working as it should.
Still in the back of my mind is a worry that the hybrid mirror
unit is a bit dodgy so I am working on a better solution which
will involve taking apart the 340 motor unit more and eventually I
discover that one can do this by popping out the hollow metal pins
which hold it together and then unclipping the clamp which helps
to hold the two motors to the base-plate.
As can be seen, I have issues focussing on the task at hand, but I
am hoping that with a bit of luck I might be able to replace the
little plastic runners which I broke.
Still in mid-June 2014 and more late-night fiddling plus an early
start is making me super-hyper-active and probably in need of
psychiatric help but, more importantly, I can report that I have
indeed managed to use the 12 V power supply to wind some new
plastic runners into the 340 mirror motor unit and have popped the
clamp back in place and re-fitted the hollow metal tubes that
supposedly hold everything together. So things are going in the
Hey man, the upper part of the original motor unit which the
runners pop into with tiny ball-joints is now retrieved from the
hybrid 440 one and slotted successfully back onto the original 340
one shown above. All the ball-joints and bits-and-bobs click back
together awesomely well and the rubber seal is re-fitted.
Fortunately the thread in the holes which the motor unit screws
into in the mirror housing had not been damaged by the wider 440
screws so that with a bit of bodging the original screws all do up
nice and tight. Then we just need to hold the mirror itself in
place with a bit of silicone sealant so that it sticks to the
drive unit relatively tightly. One of the little plastic sliders
which can be seen dangling off the back of the mirror does not
want to stay in its ball joint so I will probably have to do
without it, which might be OK, but then again it might not. Time
The getting-back together of the driver's side electric mirror is
finally achieved with some contact adhesive which is needed to
hold the mirror back-plate firmly onto the motor unit. Refitting
it all back onto the car along with a little overtaking mirror
leads to an unremitting ambience of abounding awesomeness, as
Meanwhile, a quick trial-fit of the new front strut insert shows
that it is looking relatively promising, too, and this matter will
be worked on over the coming weekends.
Indeed, the first weekend in July 2014 saw the strut reassembled
and torqued-up precisely using the walking-stick method amid great
rebuilding works taking place in the back garden.
The following day or maybe a couple of days later the strut is
popped back into place on the car, the calliper refitted and the
various nuts and bolts are torqued-up with reference to the Haynes
Finally, the strut and various other bits and pieces around the
front suspension are given a coat of thick black waxoyl, the car
is lowered back onto the ground and we shall hope that it goes OK
when I test it the following weekend. The new strut feels a bit
tougher to bounce so this will require some careful checking on a
few test drives around bends, on braking heavily and going over
bumps, etc. Time will tell.
My efforts to get the car going again at the following weekend
(early/mid July 14) are slightly thwarted by the fact that the
battery is too flat for it to start. The battery has to be removed
for an overnight trickle-charge which does the business and the
following day the car is taken for a test-run which goes very
Hence, I decide to try and run it as an everyday beastie so all
the junk in the 360 is swapped across to the 340. All goes
relatively well till I find that the electric mirror motor on the
driver's side has stopped working. A quick removal of the door car
reveals that I have foolishly threaded the wires so that the
connection block has been popped-apart by my opening the window!!
Nevertheless, that one is sorted quickly and the beastie makes it
to the sticks and back without an issue. Evil it up!
And evil it down, because after a couple of weeks, one of the rear
brake cylinders starts to leak, so its back in to the garage for a
bash at changing the seals but that all goes Peter Tong so we're
back to getting a new cylinder and removing the old one with much
twisting and breaking of the old brake pipes into the bargain.
Almost in mid-August 2014 and my mind is torn between the
alternatives of removing the whole piece of pipe that goes across
the back axle or just doing a local fix with a connector onto the
old pipe. In the end I decided to do the latter, but that
necessitates getting a brake pipe flaring tool, which is a new
thing to me and time will tell if it works. Anyhow, the new
cylinder can be seen on the right after everthing has been put
back together again with much cursing.
Indeed time did tell and it didn't work because I couldn't get a
decent flare onto the old piece of pipe that goes across the back
axle, despite a number of attempts. I can get a reasonable flare
on new copper pipe from the shop, but the old pipe on the car
seems to be a bit thinner or a bit slipperier and just won't let
the tool do its job properly.
So its time to give up yet again and the old pipe along the back
axle is measured-up with a tape measure and a new
professionally-flared one is ordered. However, yet again I make a
bloomer by not ordering one that is long enough so although the
old pipe is now firmly removed from the car (which is at least one
step in the right direction, as of late Aug 2014) the new one does
not fit, even though it has perfect flares. Bah humbug, so its
back to the shop again with humble pie to ask for another pipe
that is 5 inches longer than the last one they made for me!
Job done, sorted, and fitted back together again, nipple sawn-off
where needed again, new nipple fitted in its place and brakes
bled. A quick adjustment to the handbrake so that its now perfect,
and finally ambient, wheel-less awesomeness abounds everywhere.
Thus, early Sept 14 and the car is back on the road again and off
into the sticks. Works starts again on the 360 to remove the rear
section of the exhaust and with the help of a blow-lamp and a
heavy hammer, the part which bashes on the back axle whenever I go
over a bump is bashed in so that driving on bumpy roads will
hopefully be less annoying in future. Evil-up that September
Now slowly creeping towards the end of Sept 2014 and efforts have
concentrated on the good old 360, where it all started from a
decade ago. The main focal point has been the exhaust pipe, the
rear section of which was removed and hammered in to attempt to
stop its insistent banging on the back axle whenever the car goes
over a bump whilst heavily laden. The pipe showings its
hammered-in section is shown below. Its also clear that there is a
fair amount of rust around!
Hence efforts are made to give it all a coat a waxoyl with a bit
of the thicker black waxoyl underseal mixed in.
Whilst looking at some of these pictures I noticed that the
banging on the back axle seems to have knocked one of the bleed
nipples loose so that it is leaking brake fluid very slightly, as
shown below. Hence the car goes up on stilts all round and is
given a full brake bleed and the offending nipple is tightened
more thoroughly this time so that similar problems are hopefully
averted in future. A final touch has been to re-fix the radio
aerial more firmly to the windscreen pillar so that it hopefully
does not flop about in the wind, leaves and low-flying sticks that
dither about in the rural atmosphere where this car sometimes
The last few visits to the blue beastie have been spent on
re-waxoyling the passenger side front wheel arch, having the
puncture repaired and refitting the long fallen off mudflap.
Efforts to waxoyl the driver's side, front wheel arch in mid-Oct
2014 have been a slightly game-changing exercise as my efforts to
wire-brush off the dried mud revealed at 10-inch long hole which
will need to be welded (see above). So this isn't going to be a
half-hour job after all and will necessitate removal of the front
bumper so that the wing can be removed. Meanwhile, a number of the
dashboard and centre-console light-bulbs which were not working on
the dark blue 1.7 have been replaced with much dismantling and
removal of the radio and surrounds.
The lights and fittings are, very thankfully for this time of
year, now all back in place and working fine.
Its hurtling towards the end of October 2014 and things are
eviling-up with removal of the front bumper and the driver's side
wing over the offendingly rusty wheel arch. Said wing has been
bolted back loosely, ready for the welder and attention will soon
turn to removal of the rear bumper so that the welder will have an
easier life trying to repair the rear wheel-arches too.
Mid-to-late-November 2014 and the welding of new rear wheel-arches
onto this illustrious motor of outstanding awesomeness is complete
as the photos below should show. The welder is unhappy about the
colour-match but I think it is OK, to say the very least!!! Hence
the car can, as of early-Dec 2014, be slowly put back into
driveable form by having its rear bumper bolted into place. Soon
to be done are the front wing and the mudflaps. Then it'll get a
The first weekend of Dec 2014 saw the rear wheel arches refitted
and the front wing removed for an inspection of the welding work
which looks awesome, as far as I can tell anyway.
The waxoyling is given a bit of a patch-up, both to the inner
wheel arch and to the inside of the wing. Trouble is brewing
at'mill with the dark blue 1.7 which is developing trouble with
its rear lights and with the thermal cut-out in the heater
resistor box. The lights are fixed by cleaning the contacts, etc,
and likewise for the bimetallic-strip in the heater cut-out but
the latter very soon becomes unreliable again. Hence pondering
replacing the bimetallic strip part with a new one but have
replaced the whole unit with a working second hand one that seems
OK for now.
The heater cutout device was eventually repaired by soldering in
an ETA-1620-1 switch and this seems to be working fine. In the
run-up to the end of Dec 2014, the front wing has been fitted, as
have the mudflaps and a few bits of re-spraying done here and
there with an aerosol.
The car is given a clean-out and pressed back into everyday
service (with new antifreeze), hopefully, to give the 1.7 a much-needed rest. Jobs to do
on the latter motor car include fixing a dodgy electric mirror on
the passenger side, some bulk-head rubber seals, a dodgy electric
window on the driver's side, the choke warnng light which does not
come on and the thermostat which does not seem to work properly,
or at least the engine does not seem to be reaching the right
temperature in the now very cold weather. In addition, it would also be nice to have the front seat belts re-sprung since although the webbing is in great condition, the belts do not recoil very well. Anyhow, a trial run with
the 360 suggests that its alternator belt needs tightening-up,
too, which should be fixed fairly soon to stop the ignition
warning light from coming on all the time! Mind you, I will
forgive it because it is looking pretty smart. In the longer term
the plan with that one is to try and tighten or replace the detent
spring (if that's the right name for it) on the gearbox selector
plate to try to reduce slack in the gear lever.
We are still in 2014 and trouble brews with the 360. On attempting to retighten the alternator belt, the adjusting bolt snaps in half. A quick bodge is put together using a jubilee clip which seems to do the business and is held on by the nut from the original adjuster. Anyhow, a better solution will be to replace the bolt and this will be done as soon as the shops are open again. Another problem is that this car seems to be overheating, or at least the dials says it is getting very hot! Maybe I have not tightened the alternator/fan belt enough or maybe the thermostat is getting a bit long in the tooth or maybe the amount of K-Seal that has been put in the cooling system is reducing its efficiency too much. Another problem leers its head when I turn on the heater fan to try to cool the engine a bit more - the thermal-cutout in the heater box dies and so this will have to be fixed with another ETA device!
So what's next?