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Introduction        February 2007      March 2007     April 2007    May 2007  


Wednesday 7th February. The French assessor turns up at 4pm. Inspects the vehicle and low and behold agrees with my findings. Repair chassis and replace all damaged bits. By the time he leaves (he's left me a list of parts, the same list I have compiled and priced and wants me to price it in Euros - on your bike, Mr. Frog!)

Thursday 8th February. 8:30 am and I'm in the workshop ready to start dismantling. First thing off is the radiator. Then remove the damaged o/s/f suspension.

  Oops, I scratched the paint! I only had to undo 1 bolt and remove the brake pipe to get the whole front suspension off.

This shows how bent the chassis is. The steering rack panel should be level

This picture demonstrates how far over the o/s chassis leg has moved. This is the steering column going into the lower U/J. The column is usually 2" from the dry sump pipe which it is now touching.

The lower wishbone. The shock absorber top broke off in the impact. The front mounting bolt which is still through the front bush was ripped out of the chassis.

From the other angle


The top wishbone. The rest of this is still attached to the chassis.

The engineer, and I, had a new rack on the list. However on removal and removing this bent o/s steering rod I decided all that was needed was a new rod and inner ball joint.  In case you're not aware the ball fits on the end of the rack, under the gaiter and the track rod end goes in the other end. This rod should be completely straight!

One very expensive, 280 ali wheel. Fit for the scrap heap. I thought the tyre would be OK until I looked at the inside. The wing stay had been crushed tight against the tyre and had damaged the side wall.

The damaged inner tyre wall.

The engineer sanctioned a new radiator but it's only the mounting plate that's bent and I can straighten that and TIG weld the split. The core is not damaged and there are no signs of a weep let alone a leak.

OK, so far so good. The next job was to inspect the rear shock absorber and get the rear wheel off to get the tyre off and inspect the inside. The shock absorber looked wrong. It was not where it should be but I couldn't see any damage or why it looked wrong. The spring was uncompressed which was also odd. So I got the wheel off and removed the shocker.

OK, spot the problem.

No prizes! It has been snapped in two but held in place by the top and bottom mounting

An engine on the crane, resting on the floor.

I will be doing a lot of cleaning and polishing. I'm also going to overhaul the carbs and bead blast them in my new shot blast cabinet bought for me by my kids for my 60th Birthday. I'll probably do same to cam cover.

Now, they say more haste less speed. The gearbox was next out. I undid the mounting bolts (which are tack welded so only take 30 seconds to remove). I do not have a Speedo cable (digi SPA unit). Undo the co-axial clutch pipe and pull the gearbox forward ready to fit the plastic plug into the tailshaft when to prop comes out to keep the oil in.

Have you noticed the deliberate mistake. I hadn't removed the gear lever! The box was stuck half in-half out. Oil pouring out the tailshaft because it wasn't far enough forward to get the plug in.

I had to call Lynne to give me a hand. The angel climbed into the chassis space and lifted the front while I pulled the box back from the inside enough to get the three gear lever setscrews out. With the lever out Lynne then lifted the box over the cross brace and it was out. What a treasure.

One Type 9 ali cased and bell housed gearbox with gear lever refitted.

Having done the heavy work I spent the rest of the day removing all the stuff that is fitted to a chassis starting at the front and working backwards. Head lights, wiring, brake pipes, brake and clutch master cylinders, ignition coil and pack etc. I have my carbon dash held in place with velcro tabs. Everyone takes the piss out of me for that. However, with the multi plugs in the loom I can remove the dash with all instruments and wiring in less than an hour.

I finished at 18:45 with the next bits to come out being the Tillet seats, the the rear brake pipes and wiring, rear brakes and suspension, de dion tube and diff and the n/s/r carbon wing. Should be stripped bare by tomorrow night.

The final result at close of play Thursday night.

Friday 9th February: So bright and early on Friday morning (well 10:00 am and half asleep) I start taking the seats out. It's a bit difficult as I can only lay on one side (Ribs not fully healed yet) and it takes me a long time to get up and down.

The drivers seat takes about an hour to get out due to rusted bolts. The passenger seat is even worse! I end up cutting off two bolts with the angle grinder. So 3 hours to do what should be a 20 minute job. No bonus for me this week.

Next job is to get the seat belts out and then the rear panel  and boot panels. No real problems. Then the tank. Find the filler neck has been bent but it'll straighten out without too much hassle.

Start getting the rear calipers off, the de dion fixings and the half shafts. apart from some very tight nuts (always wanted tight nuts but it's probably me being weak) no real problems. Until we get to the front "A" bracket bolts. The nuts come off without too much trouble but the bolts are siezed solid. I'm lifting the frame off the floor when trying to turn them.

OK, soak them in Plus Gas and get the De Dion tube & Diff out.

Back to seized bolts. No chance these things feel like they're welded in! So angle grinder and cut between "A" bracket and chassis on the off side (best side for me to lay on). Having cut through the off side bolt, the near side "A" bracket knocks off the seized bolt which is still in the chassis..

Last thing is to get the radius arms off the front mounting to the chassis. I get both off by splitting the perished rubber bush. I have new ones in stock so no real problem.

Birds eye view of an, almost, bare chassis.

  I hope someone knows where this lot goes. Oh, it's me that's got to know.

First thing in the morning I've got to drill out the rest of the rivets holding the 3 remaining interior carbon panels and then I'm calling the camel to help lift the chassis onto two trestles and drill out the rivets holding the carbon panel floors.

Then start the big de-rust and clean up. Oh happy days.

Saturday 10th February: Start work at 8:30. First job is to sweep up. It's so warm here (this was the weekend major parts of the UK were under a foot of snow and freezing) that I had to replace the fleece with a "T" shirt. Sweeping up can be very hot work! Then I and the camel (Lynne in case you're wondering) lift the chassis on to the trestles.

Drilling out the 3 remaining interior side panels takes about an hour. The rivets at the back end had already been drilled out in order to get the rear interior panel out (it fits in behind the side panels). The thing that takes time is stopping every 2 or 3 rivet heads to remove the rivet heads from the drill bit where they jam at the tip. When all the interior panels are out the chassis is turned upside down (camel power to assist) and I start drilling out the thousands of rivets hold the carbon floors in.  An hour later all the floors are out and I stop for lunch. After lunch we carry the chassis outside


A fully stripped chassis

Snakes in the workshop! It's the four headed one that's dangerous

Whilst doing this I discover a broken distributor cap. This must have been broken by the steering column moving over in the impact! 5pm and my back is killing me so I've packed up for the night. Now for a hot shower and check if Wednesday have lost again.

Sunday 11th February: Started by laying all the parts out on the workshop floor. Then started cleaning a few bits but soon got bored with that. I stripped the steering rack, cleaned the innards and rebuilt it adjusting the the rack correctly. The adjustment had been a bit tight. I then filled it with EP80 and found the n/s gaiter has been cut by the body panel when the rack lifted in the accident. When I had cleaned all the oil up I started on the ignition pack. One of the two lucar connectors was very corroded so a complete strip and clean was in order. (this may have contributed to the difficult starting I've been experiencing for the past few months.

Next job, re-pipe the dry sump pipe so I don't have to undo the 4 pipes to get the engine out.

  These 4 pipes had to be removed when the engine is taken out.

BY mounting the oil filter on the block and putting a straight connector on the long pick up pipe as well as repositioning the oil thermostat so the return pipe can be undone at the thermo end all I have to do now is undo the thermo pipe and a jubilee clip.

However can you spot the deliberate mistake. The short black pipe to the filter is stopping the engine mounting. Oh well. I'll fit a right angle pipe to the pump and a longer hose shaped in a half circle. But first.......

Nick Lowing has been here and dropped of my Bulk Buy tool box, spanners and impact wrench so some time to play with tools first.

Monday 12th February. Spent the morning building my new tool cabinet and rearranging the tools from the existing overstuffed cabinet.

In the afternoon I reworked the oil filter pipe and then removed the distributor and cleaned it as well as cleaned the aperture so It's turns easier. I also fitted a long screw to the body so I can turn it easier when adjust the timing at 5000 rpm. (a jolt from that at 5k isn't nice). Pictures in the morning.

Tuesday 13th February: Clean the distributor and fit a long screw to enable the fine adjustment of the ignition timing (done at 5000 rpm). Then sort the gearbox.



The re-positioned oil pipe and the distributor with new adjusting handle. You can also see the oil filter mounted to the mechanical fuel pump mounts.


The next job was to strip the gearbox to refit the reverse gear idler. The gearbox is an ultra close & low ratio BGH box in a quaife casing. It is about 18 months old and the problem is the Quaife case relies on an interference fit for the shaft but the shaft moves back and comes out the forward hole. BGH suggest stripping the box, heating the case, freezing the shaft to get it to hold in place. Problem is the shaft freely moves in and out the case. So, what to do? I drilled a hole in the sandwich and tapped with a 5mm tap and was going to fit a long screw across the end of the shaft to stop it moving back. One advantage of this is that I don't have to fully strip the box. Removing the tailshaft is sufficient.

The gearbox with tailshaft removed. The gears are the 5th speed cluster and the hole with the shaft in it just above the inner gear is the reverse gear idler.

Drill through without problems. Grease on drill bit to collect swarf. Then start taping. Fine, gently does it. 1/4 turn forward, 1/8 back. remove and clean every turn. Getting very close to the bottom when it tightens. Back of and..... snap. Tap broken in the hole. BUGGER!!!! OK, there's about 4 threads still showing. Now I'm getting called to go to the doctor to get the metal chip I have in my right eye (never use an angle grinder without safety goggles - no matter how quick you're going to be). So a break and time to think. Back from the docs and have decided to drill another hole and turn a tapered pin and drive it in and to use a screw to plug the hole with a tap in it.


The 2 holes. The left hand hole with the blue cement around it is the one thats going to get the tapered pin. The right hand hole is the one with the tap.

The left screw head is the tapered pin. the long screw is the "plug". I will cut the majority of the screw off before the box goes back in.

In the meantime I have to remove the temporary single plate competition clutch unit and refit the twin plate unit. This also entails shortening the distance pieces on the co-axial slave cylinder. It's a very long story... so I won't bore you other than to say that no one knows why the twin plate unit has stripped the centres out of the centre plates 4 times. AP have made me some centre plates with extra hardened centres. If these strip then I'll have to go back to the single plate unit for good. Problem with it is that it slips at 8000+ rpm changes.

The single plate competition clutch unit. Note the easy way a bent engine valve will lock the flywheel.

It's now 7pm and I'm struggling to get the clutch cover bolts out as the loctite is doing too good a job. Soak the threads in plus gas and retire for the night.

Wednesday 14th February: Another soak of the clutch cover screws. The clutch cover comes off without too much hassle. Clean the flywheel, get the loctite off the screws and fit twin plate unit.


An AP twin plate clutch unit installed on a lightweight flywheel. The flywheel is really no more than a plate to bolt the clutch to and to hold the ring gear.

The twin plate unit (with 1st motion shaft through plates and, in front, the single plate unit. Sorry about picture quality, but I'm not taking it off to take a better picture!

As you can see the depth of the twin plate unit is greater than the single. Therefore I have to adjust the depth of the co-axial slave cylinder by way of spacers. Remove, strip and clean the cylinder at the same time fit a new set of seals. (it's bound to leak now!)

Co-axial slave cylinder. The thin spacer replaces the thick one. The two pipes are for pressure in and the other is the pipe that has the bleed nipple on the end. The nipple is, of course, outside the bell housing. 

The next job is to refit the slave cylinder and mate the gearbox to the engine to check the clearance between the clutch release bearing and the pressure plate. Ever tried to get a gearbox onto an engine which is hanging on a crane. No? Well don't, it's impossible! Call for the camel. "Lynne dearest can you come over to the workshop to hold an engine, dearest sweetheart"

Even with help it was an extremely difficult job but we got it on eventually and the clearance was just right. Remove box, it comes off a damn sight easier than it went on.

Ever tried to get the two nuts of the Ford Type 9 gearbox mount in a 7 type chassis? Almost impossible to get a spanner on the bolt head. Hows this for a solution.....



... weld a piece of rod to the two bolt heads.

Ok, now getting on for 6pm, and time to pack up and get scrubbed to take the camel out for St Valentines night. But, just 5 minutes to be a bit silly with the paint brush.

Gold wheels. Looks a bit like a Scooby!

Thursday 15th February: Started by getting engine, gearbox and diff to the drive in to the workshop and washing all three in a strong detergent mix. Then left them to soak whilst I went round to a friend to fix the kids computer which crashed when they played a new game. Failed to sort it as the machine had an under spec'd video card.

Get back and jet wash the three units. Have lunch and get changed into dry clothes. Spend the afternoon cleaning parts on the grinders wire brush and painting. Touched up engine block (black), de-rusted and painted steering column (silver) de-rusted and touched up engine mounting brackets (black), cleaned 2 rear and 1 front brake caliper (haven't yet dismantled the n/s hub assembly)


3 units, drying on the washing line, in the sun.

Friday 16th February: First thing is to strip the oil tank and see if it can be repaired.

The damaged oil tank. 

The impact has slammed the tank against the top chassis rail and, as well as the "dent" it has ripped the joint (under the union). I doubt if this can be straightened and it's important for it to be correct in order to get the swirl effect of oil against the inner wall of the tank for de-aeration.

Rest of the day spent de-rusting nuts and bolts and a trip to the Logie Marche for some silver-grey paint.

Then start on the drive shafts.

The shaft at the top has been split apart, de-rusted and treated with Kurust, The shaft at the bottom hasn't!

Saturday 17th February: A bit disrupted today as a) Lynne's cousin stayed the night and we had to chat until they left to get to Calias by 7pm, and b) at 11am a friend bought one of her friends round to look at the car (well the bits of the car). So didn't really get started until 2pm.

First job early morning (before anyone was awake-we went to bed at 3am this morning) was to apply red primer to the drive shafts and rear hubs/discs. So at 2pm they were ready for top coat. I've got some dark grey metallic paint designed for iron railings and it looks OK. The rest of the day was spent washing all the carbon panels, de-rusting brackets, bolts, screws, nuts, brake pipes (well cleaning the brake pipes) etc.

Standing over the floor mounted grinder using the wire wheel is really back breaking work! My backs killing me. Then, about an hour after I came in, I get an email from Paul Formston telling me he's been working on his car and he has backache! Welcome to the old gits world, Paul.



Clean carbon panels. An application of "back to black" will bring a smile to my face and a polish to the surface.

Cleaned and painted parts laid out awaiting refitting

Painted drive shafts. What do you think of the colour?

These are in gods waiting room waiting for a quick blast to heaven, courtesy of the sand blaster.

Sunday 18th February: First thing is to paint the bits I cleaned and Kurusted last night. Then my feminine side came to the fore.........

... and hung the washing on the line. Please note the giant loo roll. I have to use about half of this jumbo paper roll before it will fit in my dispenser.


Whilst that lot dried I carried on and cleaned the seats (having had to cut more rusted bolts off the seat brackets).

At this point a mini disaster strikes. Whilst refitting the two oil pressure sender units and oil pipe to the metal block (which I had dismantled to clean and paint, I broke the union for the pipe.


I drilled out the broken piece without too much hassle. Pillar drills come in handy sometimes. I've emails Tony at Caterham and hopefully he will supply a new one with the rest of bits. 


Then clean the silencer and soak the air filters. After lunch de-rust loads of nust and bolt and then dismantle the near side front suspension. Have got it to bits I set about derusting on the grindstone wire wheel and painted the last drain of Kurust then set out on the bench ready for painting in the morning.

The front suspension, wing stay and, on the right, 2 headlamps waiting for a touch up in the morning.

Monday 19th February: More painting! First thing was to paint the bits that were left on the bench last night. Then a bit more time on the wire wheel filling in time until is was 9am in the UK (10am here).

Back into my office and a list of calls to make. First, ring K9 and see if they're back in production so I can get my wings and nose (sound like an angel with a cold). catch Peter as he walks into his office. "Never mind I'll ring back in 1/2 hour". Then ring Roger King at Pace and order the new oil tank.  Back to Peter. Catch him as he's going out for 1/2 hour. No problem I'll ring back. Then ring the insurance company claim manager as the engineer still hasn't been in touch. He can't transfer me but says he will get him to ring. Ring Bruce at Arch to see if a part I sent him has arrived. It hasn't (so much for France Poste priority parcel service, it'll probably arrive a week after the chassis is repaired!).

Then the phone rings. It's Bob, the engineer from the insurance company. We went through all the parts needed and his only concern was that I didn't skimp on anything (I've repaired the rad, steering rack, fuel tank, knocked off the suspension upright, and several other savings amounting to over a 1000.) He's a very nice chap (he'll be reading this but, having spent 25 years dealing with insurance accessors when I was in the dealership business take it from me he's a STAR). Having agreed everything I ring Peter back and he confirms he's back in production and will get 2 o/s wings and a nose cone to Arch in the next two weeks. That's saved another bundle as, if Peter couldn't supply, I would have to get a complete set of wings and nose cone from Caterham. That would have finished off the savings made so far and some!

The phone rings again. "Hello, it's Bob here again. We didn't talk about how much you want for labour".  Now then, think about this. My insurance company want to pay me for rebuilding my own car!. This is the best labour of love I'll ever have. Actually I was planning to do a complete rebuild anyway in order to "refresh" the chassis and fit Richard-in-France's carbon body. (for which the insurance company have contributed about 40% of the cost). I have to decline the offer, it was never my intention to get paid for rebuilding my own car, which I was going to do anyway. (quick story - make a change for me! We had a empty dealership burn down many years ago. BP, the landlords, were going to demolish it anyway but claimed on their insurance. They said they paid the premium they would have the value - even though it was zero to them). I then get an email from Bigfoot fasteners with the price for 8 wing fasteners for the front wings. I'd emailed them over the weekend as I thought they now had a minimum order, but they don't. So on the phone and get them in the post.

Right, all the stuff ordered and claim agreed. Now back to work. paint is now dry so rebuild the n/s/f suspension assembly. Then glue the carpet backing back on the Tillet seat. Use clamps to hold it together. It looks very weird.

Lunch and then it's sand blasting time. Lynne and I get the blaster and sand out of the barn and over to the compressor which is outside the workshop.

Spend the rest of the afternoon getting the compressor going and then, having got the compressor running, unblocking the sand delivery pipe. After 2 hours I get the blaster working and blast one side of a radius arm. It takes all of 10 seconds before the pipe blocks again.

I give up and open a bottle of wine. Guess what I'll be doing in the morning.


Weird seat with clamps holding the newly glued carpet.

The near side front suspension assembly. newly painted black and silver.

The sand blasting compressor.

The sand blaster with it's hat on.

The nozzle in a wheel barrow (to catch the sand).

 The radius arm at the top has had a 10 second blast and is down to bare metal. The one on the bottom is yet to be done.

Tuesday 20th February: Start the day by dragging the sand blaster into the tin barn out of the rain. I've got to open the tank, remove the sand I put in yesterday and clean the inside of the tank and pipes. It'll have to wait until it's dry and warmish. Tomorrow according to Meteo France.

So, not much left to do now. Drill out the rivets holding the vertical carbon panel to the scuttle. Remove the oil catch tank and horn from the panel and clean it with bumper cleaner. Clean the catch tank and refit to the panel. Then wash the cooling expansion tank. This turns out to be harder than it seems. There's a sludge from the OAT anti-freeze in the tank. Get a small brush to clean it and drop the brush into the tank. 20 minutes later the brush is out and so is my patience!

After lunch drive to Segre for a trip round Brico Marche. get a flapper wheel, some Dremel cutting discs and other bits and pieces. Get back and make the two covers for the bell housing out of the broken carbon fibre wing. Previous covers were made from aluminum.


Carbon fibre covers for the bell housing. Bling Bling

Then spend an hour with the drill and flapper cleaning the brake discs.

4pm and at a loose end. I know! Do some weight saving..... sad or what. I'll do the other one tomorrow.


Wednesday 21st February: Late start as I've got a Doctors appointment. Nice drive into Pouance, sunny and mist hanging over the fields. Er, appointment is for tomorrow. I say nothing as I also (as well as Lynne) thought it was for today. Nice drive back.

Change into work clothes and finish the pedal drilling. This entails stripping the milling machine as the shaft has seized. An hour later and the largest hole is done.

Painted, holy pedals hung out to dry.


Next thing - Here starteth the first lesson - DON'T WASH NYLON MIRRORWS IN PETROL! In my defence, I didn't know it was nylon


That's better, well sort of. Amazing what gloss paint does.

After lunch Lynne and I set to work on getting the sand blaster working. 4pm we give up, Lynne leaves the battle area, I slink back into the workshop.

Whilst we were messing with the blaster the Burtons delivery arrived. So now to fit new spark plugs. Then get engine on it's side and get the sump off. Clean the inside of the sump, not an easy job as there are two baffles covering the sump oil gallery. Fit new gaskets and seals and refit sump.



Steel crank, rods and Cossie race pistons.


I rush to get the sump back on because I want to go to the bar for a drink. Get out the workshop at ten to seven to be told that dinner will be on the table in 5 minutes. Oh well tomorrow night then.

Thursday 22nd February: Visit the doctor again. Wonderful he's there today (well he would be seeing as the appointment was for today!) Then get dragged to the supermarket on the basis that it's not worth driving back home just to come all the way back. Sounds OK to me, can't see what's wrong with taking me home first, but I'm only a mere male.

Get in to the workshop about 11:30 and start de-rusting the sump with a wire wheel in a drill. Having done that I give it a coat of primer.

A primered sump. Note the dents from speed humps. Luckily the dry sump has a "girder" for a pick up channel.

Having primered the sump I decide to fit the new fuel hoses I've got from Burtons. Bugger, I've ordered the wrong size. Need 5/16" and got 1/4". Spend an hour cleaning the Holly fuel pump.

Now what? I know, start cleaning the stainless exhaust pipes. If they're stainless why do they go black? Spend ages with a flapper in the drill getting the crud of the shortest pipe. I then take it to the polishing mop to polish but give up as my back is aching from stooping  over the pipe.


Scurfed, but not polished pipe next to a "cruddy" one.

4pm and thinking about packing up because I want to go the the bar (to see who's got a sand blaster I can use). But 2 last jobs. First is to remove the master cylinder fluid tank, clean and paint the brake master cylinder. It's already painted gold, so a coat of my gold paint brings it up as new.

Isn't that pretty.


And, finally, give the new seat brackets a coat of paint. I can't shape these yet as the chassis and new carbon floor may dictate a different method of mounting the seats. But a coat of paint never went amiss.

4 painted metal strips. How do you paint this type of thing whilst holding it. Answer - you get paint on your fingertips.

Now to go off topic. As most who read this may know I organise an annual bulk buy of tools and garage equipment from a Chinese manufacturer. The 2006 goods have just been distributed. A member of the Lotus 7 Club, John Howe, organised, unbeknown to me, a collection to show everyone appreciation.

So, mid afternoon and I pop in for a cuppa. I have an email from John announcing they have had a quick whip round and bought me more carbon for my car. For the first time in my 60 years I'm totally and absolutely speechless. I ask Lynne to read it because I think I haven't read it properly. She is now speechless - and that's also a first!

I don't know what to do. I'm trying to think what to do but can't. I decide to go back into the workshop to calm down. I'm in there for an hour or so when a van drives into the yard. A huge, massive, enormous and absolutely stunning plant arrangement arrives for Lynne.

It's been several hours now and I still don't know what to say other then


Even our cat  thinks this magnificent plant arrangement is stunning.

Those who frequent Blat Chat will understand the title.

Friday 23rd February: Up bright and early and into the workshop to paint the sump silver grey.


Nice! But I suppose I'd have to run you over for you to see it when it's in the car.


Right, now off to the place I've been told will sand blast my bits. So come indoors have a look on the Boardroom (Westfield forum), have a cup of tea, get my bits and pieces together .....

Stop off at the bank to get some money and off down the road to the Sableage (that's French for sand blasting). Get there and find it's a steel fabrication factory. Walk into one of the large open factory gates and explain to a chap who is working a large grindstone that I want "Huit pieces sable explosion" (I didn't know the French for sand blasting then). He gives me a funny look. "Are you English" he says in a "plummy" accent. OK, I've struck gold. He goes off to find the Sableage man. Man comes out and explains that they pack up at lunch time in Friday's. He's just emptied the sand from the blaster and put it into a moisture proof cabinet. In case you think I understood all that, Mr. Plum translated. We have a short discussion which ends with me coming back at 8:00 o'clock on Monday morning.

If only I hadn't had that cup of tea.

Get back and have another cup of tea. Then get the engine upright and on the floor. Clear up all the tools, air lines and paper on the floor and have a good sweep up and clean the bench down. Lunch time.

After lunch decide to polish all the brass and metal screws on the carbs. Also file the "pip" off the throttle balance bar and make up 2 plates to blank off both ends of the carbs ready for the blasting with glass bead in my new blast cabinet when it arrives.



Nice shiny screws on the carbs, grotty bodies until glass beads and blast cabinet arrive.


5pm so pack up and come in and order the correct size (5/16" instead of 1/4") fuel pipes. Also get new ones for the filter to carbs. The other 3 are from tank to pump, which is affixed behind passenger seat next to diff, and the two that connect the long plastic pipe which runs down the tunnel.

Saturday 24th February:  Start around 10:30. You can tell when I've nothing to do, I spend 2 hours polishing the diff.


Dirty diff.

Clean Diff. 

If I was REALLY sad I could have had it shiny like chrome.

Next job? I know why not make the Mk 66.1 version of a throttle pedal that can be adjusted for perfect heel and toe.

Mk. 66.1 throttle pedal. It will adjust (nearly) every which way. But it's a bit of a guess without a chassis to bolt it to! (I will paint the top bit next time the paint is out)

I'm now getting desperate for something meaningful to do. I'm not sure about you but in these situations I do some silly things.......

.... a skeleton! Those plug leads look a bit of a mess.

Ah, that's better.


Pack up at 4pm today. We've got a village do to go to. Madeline and Gilbert who have run the shop and bar have sold up after 30 years. We've only known them a little over a year but they've been very good to us with their friendliness and patience. Must raise a glass or 3 to their happiness in retirement.

Sunday 25th February: A late rise, watch some football as I'd planned a day off. By 11am I'm bored doing nothing so get changed and wander into the workshop.


Can you believe I did this.....

Well, I had to do something with my spare time

Next job was to apply liberal amounts of black bumper polish to the interior, boot and one undamaged wing.

Ooh, shiny carbon.

Then clean up the nuts. Not sure how you clean your nuts but I use a wire wheel on a grinder!

The clean ones are on the left. We should all have clean nuts.


Modified the Mk 66.1 throttle pedal. So if you're wondering why it's version 66.1 you now know. Modified after one day and not even used yet! I've fitted a horizontal adjustable bar so the pedal can be adjusted right and left. So it's now the Mk. 66.2. Then decided to remove the inlet manifolds so I can glass bead them. Finish the day off by cleaning the ignition pack. Even undid the Lucar spades on the coil tower and wire brushed them. Left the coil bracket drying after a coat of Silver Grey. Early start in the morning, due at the sand blaster at 8am.

Monday 26th February: Up at 7 am to get to the steel fabrication factory to get my bits sand blasted. Arrive at 7:50 and wait. At dead on 8am the factory gates start opening. My sandy-man appears and shakes hands, come to that everyone is shaking hands. At 8:10 he has my 8 bits (de-dion tube, "A" frame, 2 radius arms and 4 manifold pipes) in a shopping trolley and in his sandy area. The huge sliding doors are pulled shut. The noise from this blaster is very, very loud! The other guys are driving a huge fork lift truck (it has a ladder to climb up into the driving seat) and I can still hear the blaster over the noise of the fork lift as it moves huge pallets of steel frames outside.

10 minutes and the doors are opened. My bits are back in the shopping trolley and are now a dull grey colour. I slip the chap a tenner (euros) and his face lights up. We get the stuff into the back of the Pug and I'm shown to the office. The invoice takes longer to produce than the work took. How much is this going to cost? 14.35, yes, you got it, 14.35 about 9.50.

Pay the lady the money and I'm back home at 8:45. Now I've had the heating in the car on full blast to keep the interior warm and dry so the stuff doesn't get damp before I prime it. Open the tailgate, "A" frame under arm, radius arms in left hand & de-dion in right. Two steps and the de-dion slips from my fingers - right into a puddle. I cannot repeat the language, you can imagine it.

Get the space heater on and dry the tube. Then spend till 12:00 priming the 4 parts and changing the bushes in the radius arms.

Close up of the finish of the sand blasted radius arm. I'm not sure what grade grit he used but it must have been very sharp!

The whole radius arm.


After lunch clean the cylinder head around the exhaust manifold studs and fit the gaskets, which is like a chinese puzzle, as the studs are not evenly spaced. 3 gaskets go on facing inwards and the 4th will only fit facing out! Then fit the pipes and get all 16 nuts and washers on. This is, of course much easier with the engine hanging on a crane than sitting in the chassis. Another good reason for the exhaust coming through the bonnet.

Dull grey instead of shiny stainless. Maybe it'll start a fashion.

I'm packing up early today so I can phone round and get everything organised for the return of my chassis. So, before I leave the workshop I hang the 4 primed bits on the crane to dry overnight

Rear suspension in limbo.


Get showered and changed and get on the phone. Everyone I ring is either in a meeting or on the phone. Eventually get most calls done. Arch will have the chassis repaired by the weekend. So I'm now chasing all the other bits which should have been sent to Arch to get them there by the weekend.

Now find that grandson Kris can't get the stuff here until the 16th March so I'll just have to be patient. How will I stop myself from painting more stuff in weird colours!

Tuesday 27th February: Start the morning by painting the 4 rear suspension bits in silver grey.

Danglies, they're all dangling on the engine crane drying.

I'm now pottering around looking for things to do. So give the prop shaft another coat of black paint, then remove the fuel sender unit and wash out the petrol tank. The tank now sits on the oil rad in the downstairs loo. It looks nice.

Fuel tank in the loo. Please note the seat belt protectors drying on the clothes horse

I am going mad, you know, I clean the inside of the bell housing with a nylon de-rust brush in the electric drill.

The steering rack could do with another coat. As I paint it black I decide that tomorrow I'll pick out the letters C A T E R H A M in gold.

That's it, pack up at 5pm and get this updated before the net becomes like treacle at 5pm in the UK.

Just gone midnight and I'm in bed with my favourites...



Me? obsessed? now where the wife sleeping tonight.

Wednesday 28th February: Start by taking the rubbish to the communial bin and then the two undamaged wheels to the village garage for the tyres to be taken off the rims. Then split the rims. 24 bolts in each wheel so the BB Impact Wrench comes in handy. Then the next 2 hours cleaning the rear wheel.


This is the inside of the front wheel. The rear was much worse.

This is the rear wheel after 2 hours of cleaning. Acid (wheel cleaner) nylon flapper, emery paper flapper, wire wheel - all were used. Tomorrow I will get some metal polish and get the shine back

During the cleaning of wheels I took a break and picked out the letters on the steering rack in gold. Nice.


Back to wheels after lunch then Lynne comes over and hands me the phone. It's Nick from Think Automotive. You may remember that, on 18th February, I broke the union for the remote oil pressure switch housing. I'd sent the broken bits to Think for a new one as I didn't have a tap for the thread on the pipe union. Well, think hadn't either. It was some very weird 24 tps thread. So we agreed that as long as they supplied a new nipple and pipe union they could make the female end whatever they liked.



This is the weird thread. A new one should be in the post in the morning.

Finished at 5pm so we could eat early and go to the bar for Gilbert & Madeline's last night before they hand over to the new owner and retire. So if there any spilling mistooks in today's update it's because I've had a few (phew!) drinks

Phew, end of February already!


Continued on the "March 2007" page