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Everything posted by hursst

  1. It's getting harder and harder to find any time to work on the MGA, but I found some time today. Having tons of long-term issues with my other cars, like a power steering system in my old Camaro that can never be repaired no matter how much effort, money, time I throw at it over a 6-year period. People not knowing the correct bearing to use in my Plymouth water pump (has been rebuilt 4 times, yes, 4 times). People "correcting" old parts without asking me (converting an adjustable generator to non-adjustable, which, of course, needs an adjustment), a parasitic drain on the battery of another car that no one can find through 3 shops and 5 years of effort. I could have retired years ago if I never got involved with cars. Ok, for the MGA, I continued on the rockers. I went to Moss Motors and got repro inner rockers and vertical rocker supports. Here's the whole panel mocked up (Photo 1), but I found the top of the original panel to be okay, plus if I removed this panel, there'd be nothing between the front and back of the body and I don't want to have to get involved with jigs and flexed bodies, if I can help it. I spent half the day cutting out the rest of the bad metal around the door pillars, which was incredibly difficult do to without destroying everything I did some minor damage, but I should be able to make it look fairly nice and no one will see it anyway. As long as it's structurally sound. Here's the cut-out piece sized in (Photo 2). Here it is about half-way welded in. My welding is still not very good, plus it's tough to weld onto the formerly rusty and probably thinner original panels. Lots of burn-through and some warping, but I think I got it on there fairly nicely in the end (Photo 4). It will need a LOT of grinding, probably some pin-hole touch-ups and more grinding on the other side. Then, some hammer and dolly work to get the warping straightened up. The next job will be the front section (these panels are composed of three separate panels that overlap). The front part is more solid, so I will only have to cut out maybe the bottom 1 1/2" to get to good metal. Once that's done, I can weld in the boxed inner rocker panel as one unit. That can be all spot welded. I have a friend who has a home-spot welder, but I think it takes a special voltage or plug, which I may not have. Plus, for most of the panel, you can't get behind. Eastwood makes a spotweld adapter for my welder. You have to drill a hole in the first panel, then you can make the connection with the welder adapter that should be somewhat clean, so I will probably buy that for the main rocker and the outer rocker. Once I get the passenger side done, I'll move on the the driver's side, which I can use now as a reference. In the meantime, I just hit over 6 months of my engine being out at the machine shop. I check in every two months and it's always "it's at the machine shop, they just finished this and just did that, should be ready soon. I think 6 months is too long. They originally said it would be ready around Feb 1st, when I first dropped it off. Time for another visit, but this time, we're going to have to establish some deadlines, I'm getting a little fed up. Also, I've had a better heater ID tag at the engraver and it's been there for about 3 weeks now. How this takes more than about 3 days is beyond me. I never get any updates from any of these shops, the burden always falls on me to call them, they rarely or never call me. Hmmm, really frustrating last few months with car repairs and repairing.
  2. You are a true craftsman. Great work, enjoy seeing all the attention to detail and the great progress you and others are making on their cars.
  3. I have a Camaro that started like that. I think you have a really great Nova there!
  4. I agree, Roger. My experience has been the same, and I'm American. I think the problem is a lack of character and integrity, a little greed, general lack of caring, a little lack of knowledge, a reluctance to learn from one's mistakes, a lack of pride, lack of shame, loss of craftsmanship, lack of consequences for poor performance, and some general laziness. That being said, there ARE great shops out there in the USA, it's just that only about 15% of the shops are great. I found a great chrome shop, but not before I found a really really bad one. I found two good mechanics, but after 4 bad ones. I found a good water pump rebuilder, but after a bad one. You get the idea. I think the best way to handle this in the future is to always ask around your car friends and club members, and the cream of the crop will always come up in conversation. Just because they advertise in Hemmings doesn't mean they are any good. Really enjoy the postings, even with the insults (all true!) of your American experience. Let's hope we are entering a new era of American craftsmanship, like we used to have.
  5. Jeff, I've forgotten, but what "colour" are you going with? This car is going to be amazing when completed.
  6. In what region are you? There's a junkyard in north central Virginia that probably has many of these.
  7. Got a lot completed this weekend. Finally finished the heater (still missing one ID tag on top, though) (Photo 1). Turned out well. Compare to the "before" photo on my Feb 3rd post. Ok, I have most of the small stuff I was working on completed, so now focusing only on the body, now that the warm weather it just about here. I re-assessed my inner rocker panels again. I think the large panel that is left is called a "castle panel" or something, but it's the only thing left preventing the car from being cut in half. It looks like the upper 3/4 of the panel is in good shape, just has a lot of surface rust, but the lower 1/4 on both sides is a disaster. So, I decided to save the top part, but cut off the bottom 1/4 of the entire panel (Photo 2). I still have a section of the inner rocker I need to move at front, but I was able to work on the back part for now. I first cut out the rear panel (there are actually 3 panels lapped and spot-welder together) and replaced it with fresh metal (Photo 3). The section where the line is at right is actually depressed by about a 1/16" so that the main panel can go over top of it. Turned out okay, but I'll have to be very careful about lining up the holes at the bottom for the long trim piece that goes along the bottom to cover up all the spot welds. I next cut out the same portion for the the entire middle piece, which goes up to the front door pillar. This piece is also lapped and spot welded with the front piece. So far so good. I'm going to hit Moss Motors in about 2 weeks to buy repro inner rockers to complete the repair. Going to do one side at a time, so I can keep the other side intact for reference.
  8. Not sure if you're trying to go back to factory stock, but you're obviously missing about half of your A/C components and your smog equipment.
  9. Very productive weekend; hard to find nowadays. I finished painting the rest of the heater parts (Photo 1). Will assemble the heater, minus the blower motor as soon as I get the "Smiths" ID tag back from the engraver. I also completed the front bumper brackets. I'll put them on the car as a good storage location for now. Big milestone today, was able to remove about 65% of the passenger side inner rocker panel. The Eastwood spot weld remover works very well, I'd highly recommend it. Once you get the hang of it and set the depth of how deep you want to drill, it's a piece of cake. This has already paid for itself. That being said, it's of minimal use in tight corners. Here's what it did for the top portion (Photo 2). And here's where I am currently (Photo 3). There are still pieces attached under the door pillar that will require some more work, as I want to save the door pillar, as it's solid. I will probably do some damage I don't want to do, but there isn't an easy way to get some of the flaps from the door pillars to the inner rocker easily. I was also not able to do the section at the front door pillar and in front of it, as the car is supported up in the air under that section, so I'll have to make some adjustments so I can reach it when I get back to the job. I now need to buy some new inner rockers from Moss to see how everything lines up. The inner support panel is rough, but it looks salvageable. I'll have to weld in a few patch panels at the bottom to make it look nice and have solid metal to spot weld on the rockers and attack the trim piece after the car is painted. I will probably wait until I get the repro panels so I can compare what I currently have to the new rockers while the driver's side original rocker is still installed and take some measurements, then I'll probably wait to get the whole body blasted to get rid of the surface rust before I install the inner rockers. I think once I get the body blasted, I'll officially be on the downhill portion of the restoration. I'll be 3 years in in May. A guy in my local MG club called me "anal retentive" as I am taking so long to do this resto and I'm a stickler for originality or at least accuracy. Most of the club owners drivers, not show cars, which is great, as these cars should be driven. This just motivates me more, as I'm going to shoot for the best MGA out there and hopefully win some AACA awards with it. Don't worry, I'll be driving it, too, it won't be a trailer queen. If it doesn't win anything, I don't care either, I'll still have a great MGA to enjoy that I built with sweat equity. Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!
  10. Back from some travels and a lot of work hours locally. Was finally able to finish the rear numbers plate assembly. Turned out well overall. Still some minor pitting, but you can't see it when it's on the car, so good enough (Photo 1). I have the chrome frame for the light headed to the chromer. Re-wired the light as the old wires were disintegrated. Otherwise, I'm finishing up on the heater box. Taking a long time, as I still have the blower motor out at a shop, which seems to have been closed for quite a few days now, so not sure what's going on there. Not out of business, just closed up. I'll have to investigate further. I got a repro "Smiths" ID plate, but it's pretty crappy. I was not pleased with it. I found a company in the UK that makes repros that are very close, so I ordered one of those and it's at an engraver now to get the numbers on it. The rest of the parts are in primer and will be painted tomorrow. Should have the whole thing done in a week or so, minus the missing blower motor. Tomorrow, I'm going to continue trying to remove spotwelds from the inner rocker. Just bought a spot weld remover gun/drill from Eastwood, so we'll see how it works. Won't help on the thin tabs that come down from the door pillars and the attachments at front and rear of the rocker, but it should make short work of the upper and lower portions, where you can get the C-clamp portion of the drill assembly around the pinched areas.
  11. Hello, for which specific model do you need? Hard to tell from your photo and I'm not a Buick expert. I may be able to find a set for you today. Please elaborate.
  12. I appreciate the note, but I'm giving up and starting over. Even if I can get the pump working, at this point, I'm pretty sure that the steering box must have something to do with it. The odds of me burning out a freshly rebuilt pump 3 times because of a bad pump are almost zero. Burning out for a 4th time is not worth it. I'd rather pay big bucks to have the whole thing examined at this point. When you're this frustrated, I don't even care about the expense anymore, I just need it fixed. The hoses have different sized connectors, so there is no chance of reversing the hoses.
  13. I have done that. No fluid flows when cranking the engine with the ignition disabled.
  14. Thanks again for the thoughts. Hoses are different sizes, so hoses are not the issue. I've taken all the thoughts here and tried to do some research. The only logical conclusion I can make is that something is wrong with the steering gear box. It's possible my pump has an issue as well, but being that I've been through 3 rebuilds with the same negative result, I'll going to pull the box, pump, and hose and send them off. I'll get the box rebuilt, which must be the problem, then have the other stuff retested to makes sure. Thanks to all for replying, that was very helpful towards making a decision that the steering box should be checked.
  15. Phil, I don't remember, but it is very similar to the thin part of a baseball glove in the palm area. I can try to look into it further when I get some time away from work. I should have the receipt somewhere.
  16. I had the same issue with my 1930 Plymouth. Take the old seals off, measure the thickness of the leather and the size, use the original one as a template for shape. Go to Tandy Leather online and order some leather that matches your size (you'll have to cut the right shape from the leather). Mine was sewn, I think at the top and bottom to make a seam for strength, so I just copied the original exactly. You'll need some heavy-duty thread, a heavy-duty needle to get thru the leather, and a heavy duty thimble or glove or something or you'll tear your fingers up. Sew it exactly like the original. Or, take it to a pro to have them sew it. Mine was held on with a baling wire type material, then twist-tied on either end to keep it in place. Fairly easy job, but any sewing needed make take a while as it's tough getting thru the leather in a quick manner.
  17. Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have a 1 in a million problem. No one can solve it thru multiple rebuilds and two pumps. Seems impossible, but it's a 5 year problem. It does come with the flow control valve. I unscrewed the high pressure fitting to make sure this wasn't stuck, and it was not stuck. Don't know about the ball seat screw. Lares is the company I'm dealing with. They've been great with warranties at least. To the experts, what would help me the most at this point is a yes or no answer to the below question. An answer to this question will allow me to understand how it should work and how to hold a discussion with Lares and help determine if I need to send my pump back for a 4th time. -When the pump is on the car and everything is hooked up, with the exception of the low pressure return line (and plugging the low pressure return port), should fluid be coming out of the low pressure return hose when the engine is cranked for about 10 seconds (without starting the car)? Yes or no? Thanks.
  18. Hello, I have a 1974 Camaro that I restored about 9 years ago. I didn't do much to the system when I restored it except flush it. It worked after the resto, but it never worked very well, it would stop working after a few miles, only noticeable when pulling into my garage when I was barely moving. Eventually, it stopped working all together. I sent the pump out for a rebuild, got it back, followed the bleeding procedure in the shop manual, and it did pretty much the same thing. Sent it in under warranty after a while, then same thing again. This has been going on for over 5 years now. Yes, 5 years. I sent the pump back for a third rebuild and asked them what was wrong with my pump and they said it is overheating and frying the insides. When I got it back again, I hooked it up and it worked great for about 40 miles, then stopped working again. This time, I asked for a different rebuild pump altogether, thinking there must be something wrong with my original. I got the "new" pump back 2 week ago, hooked it up, started the flushing procedure, and absolutely zero fluid is being pumped out of the pump when the low pressure return line is plugged and the high pressure line is disconnected from the unit entirely. This is after disabling the ignition and cranking it for about 10 seconds. I would think that it should be pumping out some fluid if the engine is being cranked (but not started). The specific instructions provided by the rebuilder say to bleed the system by cranking the disabled ignition while disconnecting the pump return line from the back. No fluid came out when doing this. We kept disconnecting hoses to see if there was a clog, yet no fluid came out even with no hoses on the pump at all. I understand the concept of power steering, but I have no idea how the pump works. As you could imagine, after 5+ years of never getting a power steering pump to work after 3 rebuilds and a whole new pump altogether, I'm so frustrated I'm about to lose my mind. Not to mention the shipping costs back and forth and the hours and hours of wasted time. If anyone can help, here are my questions for the experts: 1) When the pump is on the car and everything is hooked up, with the exception of the low pressure return line (and plugging the low pressure return port), should fluid be coming out of the low pressure return hose when the engine is cranked for about 10 seconds (without starting the car)? I called the rebuilder today and explained that I get no fluid coming out under pressure if I hand-crank the pulley when the pump is out of the car or if I manipulate the pump by cranking the ignition while it's actually on the car. The shop "expert" said that I have to turn the steering wheel slowly from lock to lock to and I should have pressure. This makes no sense to me, as turning he wheel should have no effect on getting the pump to start pumping, if, in fact, there is no pressure to begin with. 2) What are some ideas on why this pump isn't working? How can I test it without damaging it to see if it will work? 3) When the pump was working, what could cause it to burn up in only 40 miles? Could it just be an air bubble in the system? Could there be a clog in the steering box? If the could be a clog, wouldn't it fail immediately, not after 40 miles? I'm completely flabbergasted and in a state of disbelief over this nonsense. Any expert help is greatly appreciated. Chris
  19. Never been busier in my life. Too many projects, not enough time! I've been trying to wrap up a lot of small projects on the car while I wait to get more into the body repairs. I refinished the steering column (Photo 1) with new felt bushings and new telescoping upper shaft to replace the one that someone pretzeled. Was not able to complete the rest of the upper telescoping pieces as they need to be re-chromed, so that will be about 2-3 more months. Also working on the rear license plate bracket assembly. Heavy pitting has held me back, as I thought I could fill the pits in with sand-able primer, but the pits were too deep, so I had to use some body filler (which I should have done to begin with, lesson learned), then had to do some wet sanding at the end. I ended up switching paints and the original gloss black I used was too fine, revealing every detail. I got some better paint that did a much better job of hiding fine scratches. After redoing everything about 3 times, I'm just about there. The rear license plate lamp assembly cover will have to be re-plated, so that will be a while until it's finished as well. I took the base and rewired it (Photo 2), so now I can rebuild the whole assembly, minus the glass and cover. Still working on the heater, but waiting on an ID plate engraver and the blower motor tester. Have a few smalls left to redo, but it should be complete in about 3-4 weeks. I'm also working on the rear bumper bracketry at the same time, pretty much finished with that, now starting the front. Fairly easy stuff. I really need to get to a good stopping point, as I'm ready to detach the inner rockers. I tried an air chisel to try to break the spot welds, but that didn't work as the chisel point is too thick and just warps the metal. Of course the air chisel itself failed after only 10 minutes of use (yes, I oiled it beforehand). It will be going back for a refund tomorrow. I then purchased an Eastwood spotweld cutter air gun, which should get the top and bottom spot welds easily. It's in the mail now. I think I will have to manually drill out every spot weld that holds the inner rocker panel to the door pillars and other places on the top sides, as I see no other way to do it without doing some heavy damage. My door pillars are somehow solid, so I need to save those and the flanges that come off of them at the bottom. This will be the hardest part of the car, but ready to get it done before the good weather starts and I get the rest of the body sandblasted and in primer to seal it before I start the real body work.
  20. Got about 3" of snow today, which in Northern Virginia is a national emergency. Most cowardly, untrained drivers in the world, so the gov't made me stay home today. The good news was, I headed out to the garage. The heater work is on hold while I wait for parts, so today, I jumped into the rest of the steering column (Photo 1). Steering column assembly is a mess. The shaft itself is excellent, but the steering wheel is completely destroyed (I already bought a new one), and the optional adjustable steering column is corroded. I was able to take the whole thing apart, eventually, but the separate adjustable shaft would not come out. It looked warped or bent. I ended up applying a lot of heat and some tactful hammer blows, and eventually it came out. I soon discovered the issue. Some cretin previous owner decided to try to take this thing apart, but they must have been severely mentally challenged, as they decided to try to unscrew the shaft, which 1) has spline in it and 2) has a metal key in it, to keep it from being pulled completely out. So, they tried unscrewing it and somehow bent the whole thing (Photo 2). Note that the keyway is bent to the left. Idiots. So, I have to buy a whole new shaft, which is $164 + tax from Moss. Inside the shaft was a vintage Beech Nut gum wrapper from the 1960's (Photo 3). Evidently this simpleton could not remove the adjustable steering shaft and chew gum at the same time. Moss will be pleased with my next parts order. My bank account will not be.
  21. Good for you for saving such a great car that would be beyond restoration for many folks. I don't think any car is beyond restoration if you have the skills, time, and funding to do it. You are a true multiple scales. I wonder, if in 300 years or so, will someone restore your Mark II model?
  22. More great progress, despite all the things life throws at you.
  23. Been a couple weeks, but made some time this weekend. I got back more parts from the chrome plater, so I was able to finish my parking brake assembly (Photo 1) and get it installed on the trans tunnel. MUCH easier when the tunnel is not installed. Also still working on the heater (Photo 2). Had the heater core tested and it's perfect, for some reason, so had it thoroughly cleaned and back in it goes. Took the blower motor to a electric shop to get tested and maybe rebuilt. Took my repro ID tag to an engraver shop to see if they can repro the original stamping. I'm going to reuse the original CAUTION tag, even though it's a little ratty. The repro one I bought is wrong in so many ways and the CAUTION lettering is in red instead of the proper black. It takes just as much effort to do these tags right that it does to screw them up, yet they screw them up every time. Got the heater box painted, but may still do a little touch up. The lacquer spray paint I used shows even fine sanding lines, so may need some redoing. I had to strip off much of he primer and apply body filler earlier in the job, as my first attempt ended up with too much pitting. I'm waiting on some additional grommets before I can put the whole thing back together. Still slowly working on the bumper and numbers plate assemblies, but these pieces are all rusted and damaged, so having to supplement a lot of it with new parts.
  24. Nice weather today, so thought I'd attack my heater box, as I thought it would be easy. I was right, it's a very easy heater. Here it is before I started (Photo 1). Came apart very easily. I blew it up and started blasting the larger parts (Photo 2). Minor rust throughout, but nothing the clogmaster 2000 couldn't take care of. I completed blasting the major parts and got a coat of primer on them (Photo 3). Most of the hardware needs cleaned up and zinc plated. I'll need some rubber bushings, new "Smiths" tags (the old ones are corroded and probably not nice enough to reuse), and I'll need to get the heater core and blower motor tested. The heater core looks to be in excellent condition, surprisingly. The motor looks very good, too, just needs some cosmetic cleanup. I'm going to have to re-blast my rear number plate brackets, as the pitting is too deep for just high-build primer. Will have to use some body filler. No huge deal. Now that the body and body panels are on hold until consistent nice weather, I can continue to work on ancillary pieces in the meantime. I may go for the steering column next.
  25. Thanks Jeff, it is getting done, a little at a time. There are some rust holes on both sides at the back of the trunk sides. There is also a lot of damage at the very upper trunk where it meets the bulkhead. Battery acid/gas got to it. I should be able to patch these areas up okay without having to do major surgery. All 4 fenders will need some patch panels at the lowers, but that should be it. No major structural rust anywhere, but quite a few minor rust outs that need attention. It will be a busy summer welding and priming.