The Great Project

- Week ?+1 -


Week ?+1: Not much....

Not much happened last weekend - it was one of those times when nothing really goes according to plan and you end up with a few half done jobs and not a great deal to show...(so no photos this week!)

Saturday morning I went to buy some steel pipe and paint. This was where the first hitch occured. Two years ago I had gone to a paint suppliers near Cambridge for some etch primer. I decided to go back to them for some top coat paint, as I was pleased with the etch primer. I couldn't remember the name of the company, but I was sure I could find it again... After 20 minutes driving around the village of Burwell, I decided that maybe it was Fordham, the next village, where I should be looking. I drove to Fordham, looked around there, found nothing, decided that I was sure it was Burwell, so I drove back to Burwell and searched some more. Then I thought maybe it was Soham, the village beyond Fordham. So I drove back to Fordham and on to Soham, where I did eventually find Witham Oils & Paints. I got 5L of "International Red" synthetic enamel. I had planned on Masai Red, but that wasn't a standard colour, but this looks pretty close. Although, as I haven't got aroudn to using it yet (read on...), I might take it back and get them to order in Masai Red. All this driving around took the best part of Saturday morning.

The afternoon was spent replacing the temporary exhaust system. I got some nice shiny lengths of 1.5" and 2" bore mild steel pipe from Mackays metal warehouse in Cambridge. I'ld planned to make new sections to run from each manifold to a T-piece which would fit alongside the gearbox and then join into my existing silencer.

The first hitch came trying to bend 1.5" steel pipe. I had hoped that using liberal amounts of heat from a big propane torch would allow me to bend the pipe without creasing it too much. Although I had the pipe red hot, it was still creasing and looking in danger of splitting. I decided instead to chop and weld the pipe into shape. This has worked (although I'm not too sure about right angle bends in exhaust systems), but I'm not really happy with the result. I notice that HSS Hire do a hydraulic pipe bender that will work on 2" steel pipe - this looks like the solution, but it's over 50 a weekend to hire - ouch!

So, for Sunday I decided on a change of tack. I was going to strip and paint the bonnet. Well, after 2 litres of Nitromors (paint stripper), and all afternoon, the bonnet is about half-stripped! Obviously this isn't going to be a viable option for the whole vehicle. There are about 5 different layers of paint, the first being the original enamel, the rest being brushed on military paint. I've tried heat, but that doesn't do much to military paint apart from making nasty smells and the aluminium buckle. I've tried wire brushing, but military paint seems impervious to a even a cup brush in a 4.5" grinder. Nitromors does shift it, but slowly and at some expense. Maybe sponge or grit blasting is called for, I'll need to see if I can hire a blaster. Needless to say, I am no where near being ready to apply paint.

One good thing I did get done whilst waiting for the paint stripper was to machine some aluminium stand-offs for the electric cooling fan. The fan now sits against the radiator instead of about 1.5" in front of it, which should help the cooling a bit!

OK - that's all for this week.