January - December 2018
2018 begins with efforts to remove the rear bumper and
sidelights so that rubbing down and painting can begin. I have
included the sidelight photos for reference during reassembly
A bit of rubbing-down gets the undercoat reasonably smooth after
the application of white spirit to remove the overspray of waxoyl
(not a friend of paint).
The paint turns out to be very runny, which will not matter too
much since most of the runs will be hidden by the bumper. Still,
with a couple of very thin coats added to the one shown below, it
does not look too bad from a distance ;-0
It'll serve as a warning that I need to extra careful spraying the
more exposed panels later on.
I forgot to mention that the underside corners of the rear hatch
have been sprayed-up, too, where there had to be some welding done
to repair rust holes.
Some effort has been put into rubbing-down the undercoat on the
rear wing in readiness for a light undercoat of red.
The paint is applied very thinly and seems to go on reasonably
well with some holes at the top. I went back to the shop to get
some more and explained about the slightly runny state of the
things and the man said 'This time we'll use ICI paint'! Hopefully
it will be better for the top coats but it would have been better
if they had used the real thing in the first place.
After several layers of paint things are starting to look a bit
better at end Jan 2018.
Into Feb 2018 and bits of painting have been done to the doors.
The under-bonnet welding is starting to look a bit better too,
around mid-Feb 2018.
Now into mid-March 2018 and the rear sidelights (plus bulbs) and
number-plate have been refitted and some fiddling about to replace
the most awkward-to-fit front wing bolts has been done, as well as
replacing one of the under-bonnet wing bolts which required
drilling a new hole into the repaired panel, shown above.
There's been a bit of snow in mid-March 2018 which has coated
Deep Blue with a light white covering.
Things are getting a bit further back together with the red 3-door
as the photo's hopefully show.
The few months prior to Jul 2018 have seen some general
servicing work done to Deep Blue (e.g. new dizzy cap) who has
been pressed back into daily action, largely because the 360
(Blue Bess) developed a nasty wobble at certain speeds and when
pointing in certain directions, which convinced me that I was
about to hit the bank or central reservation whenever the
problem arose. This was found to be due to a broken drop link
bar ball-joint on the driver's side.
The offending item was eventually removed and replaced anew in
Meanwhile, Red Ness has been loaded back onto a truck for a trip
to the countryside where the welder resprayed her driver's side
rear wing, re-directed the petrol sender wires which previously
were in the wrong place, tidied-up some over-spray at the back and
firmly fixed the front valance vent covers in place. Note, these
had to be glued in because the metal where one side of each
bracket bolts onto the body of the car had sadly rusted away too
Upon receiving the car back, the paintwork was found to be
excellent so efforts were directed towards getting the front of
the car ready again. This included sorting out all the little
hoses (which were largely blocked with gunk), valves, wipers and
connectors of the headlamp washer system - eventually all back in
place and working properly. The front bumper has been refitted
after some waxoyling, which was done while the car was at the
The final touch to completion of the front end is the attachment
of the under-engine panel which I had repaired by riveting on old
bits of aluminium reflectors.
Then two front mudflaps were fitted to reasonable effect although
they had to be trimmed later to cure a rub on full lock.
Now at the end of July 2018 and work begins on the tyres which
requires many trips to the fitter over a fortnight or so to swap
the tyres onto different wheels and correct seemingly incurable
air leaks. Eventually the car has a consistent set of wheel-styles
and the tyres are in reasonable condition.
Attention now turns to the back of the car with the refitting of
the rear bumper, some waxoyling under the rear valance and then a
mega-clean-up of the interior of the boot which now has a
colour-coordinated toolbox to go with it.
Then the headlining is given a clean as are the seat covers and
other trim items.
Now in mid-late August 2018 and the plan was to switch from
running Deep Blue to using Blue Bess instead but on using the
latter car I am driven insane by the inability of the fuel and
temperature gauges to work all the time. Their ability to function
is becoming more and more intermittent and thus more and more
infuriating. Some searching of the loft for a spare binnacle and
some hunting of the internet and Haynes manual suggests that the
voltage stabiliser (an ITT TCA 700Y saying France on the right of
the photograph) at the back of the binnacle (a deliberately easy
to replace item) might be at fault. This will be investigated as
soon as possible, as will the cause of the speedometer doing its
old trick of reading twice the correct speed which has cropped-up
again in the hot weather. Just as I get keen on fixing the fuel
and temp gauge problem, they both start working reliably, albeit
not for very long.
Upon removing the offending instrument binnacle, I was able to
clean some oil out from between the rotating wheels of the
speedometer and found that two of the wires to the voltage
stabiliser were broken. A quick bit of soldering and a refit to
the car suggests all will be better from now on.
Indeed, it proved to be better all round from now on so efforts
in mid-Sept 2018 were directed to replacing the worn-out dizzy
cap and cleaning the plugs on Red Ness ready for the MOT and
hopefully her first show.
She passes the MOT with only some fiddling to the rear brakes
and the emissions required to get her through so, with only days
to go she is taxed and ready for the occasion.
Here she is at the Kempton Steam classic car show on a rainy 23rd
Sept 2018. The paintwork polished-up well and the black trim looks
good after a dose of dash-shine.
Work has since begun to fix a few of the dashboard lights which do
not work - their lack of functionality became apparent with the
night-drives I took her on to get the MOT. These include the
heater lights and the little bulb for the light switch.