Sunday, 23 August 2009

DHC report nr. 41; Chosen Color

This one doesn’t need much explanation. Managed to get a fairly decent shot of the colour sample I received from Dutch paint manufacturer Sikkens last week;

According to them this should be 1979/1980 Leyland Triton Green (HAG). Don’t know if it is the correct shade of green but I like it, very green indeed! Contrasts nicely with the black trim and blue piping of the interior.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

DHC report nr. 40; Heater ready at last

I have been rather reluctant to finish the heater, but today I mustered all the courage I could find and started on the heaters’ controls. First thing to do was clean all the linkages, which went rather well. So well I even had time left to cycle over to the shed were the parts are stored before lunch. This was to take some extra pictures of the controls of the other A/C heater unit I have. Just to make sure everything went back as it should. After lunch I started in earnest and as I had expected it took me almost half of the afternoon to get them all properly back in place.

After that I wanted to call it a day, but decided against it. I thought it a good idea to finish the heater completely, so I busied myself with making new seals to fit between the heater and various part of the cars bodywork. For these I used a special rubber foam (with a closed cell structure). Good thing with this rubber is that you can glue various pieces together using ordinary bicycle tire-repair-glue. Which of course is standard equipment in every Dutch household!

Last thing to do was give the heaters wiring loom a good clean and put it back in place. Only the little print-board containing the resistance wires for the ventilator motor needed a bit of persuasion to remain in place while the kit, used to mount and seal it, settled. Luckily the little box in which I collected all pop-rivet-ends used on the heater (103 in total !!!) was a perfect fit.

With the heater sorted I will probably start with assembling the front suspension.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

DHC report nr. 39; Color choice

To start with the preparation of the body for painting will take a few weeks longer. This is caused mainly by quite a few very shallow, and thus almost invisible, dents at different places all over the car. Luckily these show up pretty well when black contrast powder is used;

But it needs time to get them smooth. As I won’t have her finished before the end of this summer I can’t be bothered that much. The painter has promised me that it will be ready before his holiday in mid September, that will do for me for the moment. But I went over to him last Saturday to have a look at the progress so far. Left hand side is completely smooth now (although not quite clear in this picture);

The same can be said about the front, all the “loose” parts, the underside  and the interior;

But for me more import was that I checked the colour sample he received from their paint supplier Sikkens. First impression in the bright sunshine was that the colour was way to light. But the more I look at it the more I am convinced it just could be the correct shade. This was more or less confirmed by a visit to an ex-Leyland garage in the area.
Will see tomorrow as I will get a sample book from the paint shop, so we can compare the various shades of the chosen colour. And it’s a pretty difficult colour to get correct in a picture, especially a sample not bigger than an A6 sheet. So you’ll have to wait a bit to find out what I have chosen!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

DHC report nr. 38; Recovering the bumpers

Been a while since my last update on the DHC but there still is progress, though not as much as I hoped for. But today I finished the bumpers at last. Been working on them over the past few months. First thing was to dismantle them in preparation for shot blasting and coating.

With everything removed, it was clear why one side of the bumper was hanging down a bit. As you can see the bumper mount on the right is seriously distorted.

Probably caused by one of the many accidents this car seems to have had in its earlier life.
As with a lot of other parts the bumpers, including the two fairly heavy balance weights got the powder coat treatment.

With the bumper bars sorted I switched my attention to the clamping plates that are used to mount the US style bumper covers. Sorted out the best ones available from my spare parts stock.

These were done by “hand” with a drill mounted wire brush, degreaser and black spray paint. They are not in sight but I just hate parts on a car that are rusty. And with new nuts and rings it makes assembling so much nicer.

Last and most difficult part of the bumper preparation was cleaning the covers themselves. The usual trick with a special cleaner didn’t work here. Over the years so much filth had been accumulated under several coats of cleaning products, that I needed sanding paper to get rid of it.

With the covers cleaned and coated it was time for the finishing touch for the front cover, mounting one of the newly acquired license plates. Should have been rather straightforward with the cover “of”. If I hadn’t drilled one of the mounting holes right in the heart of one of the stiffening ribs. Cost me well over half an hour to get sorted properly, which is without repositioning the plate or drilling extra visible holes. But that got sorted in the end.

Today it was time to fit the covers to the bumper bars, which went smoothly! Only thing that went “wrong” was that I had used washers that were too large on the clamping plates. Luckily I got my boxes with assorted nuts and washers at hand.

Also cleaned and coated a few of the cars plastic trim pieces, like sill kick plates, front “grill”, side blanking plates etc.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Historic GP at the “Misty Hell”

Last weekend was the, by now traditional, weekend for the historic races at the Nürburgring. Last year I found out that Health & Safety had done a good job in fencing of the Nordschleife, as a result of which taking decent pictures without the fence getting in the way is rather tricky.

Luckily they made a few gaps in the fence through which to point a camera. Combined with the lovely weather this made for a nice afternoon at the races;

After which it was time for the all important BBQ with a few beers. And next morning dawned in true Eiffel style, damp and rather foggy;

As a result of which all racing was postponed for the time being. As there was no guaranty that there would be any races that day, and being rather thrifty Dutchies, we didn’t want to spent € 38,- for looking at an empty track. So we headed off to the parking areas surrounding the track in search of interesting cars, which we did find, a nice old and rather original looking Tatra;

A ferocious dog guarding a by now rather rare Peugeot 204 Coupe;

Best Peugeot ever ?

And a very nice Dolly Roadster;

And to remind us that the Germans are celebrating that, this year, 20 years ago The Wall came down. Clearly some of the “Ossies” found some employment in the Eiffel;

And when we nearly had given up hope, there really were a few races to be watched. Luckily the ticket boxes were closed by now so we could enter the stands without paying;

But all to soon it became rather dark;

So we headed back to the campsite to finish of a rather misty day. There were more people who were thinking along the same line, like this German camping alongside us with all his friends!

And to cheer ourselves up a bit we built a little bonfire;

Saturday, 1 August 2009

DHC report nr. 37; Paint preparations

After I finished the rear lights I went over to have a look at the progress on the bodies paint preparation this afternoon. Some pictures of the progress so far.

As it stands now it should be ready by the end of this month. There is a tiny problem though, the color I choose for the car is not in the computer of the paint shops mixing machine. But that is being sorted by the paint factory at the moment.

DHC report nr. 36; Rear lights

Haven’t had much time to spent on the DHC’s restoration in the past few weeks. As a result progress is rather limited. Today I spent some time on the rear light units.

After cleaning the reflector;

As you can see not very reflective. So I got myself some “chrome” spray paint.

Looks much brighter now. Although (due to the deep and sharp edges) the paints application isn’t what I’d call perfect. Luckily this will be hidden by the lenses. After that I gave the rear lenses a proper wash. With some new gaskets the rear light clusters are ready for installation.

Not yet sure what I will do with the orange inserts for the flasher lights. Am thinking of leaving them out and use orange bulbs instead. Will see what looks best once the car’s painted.