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(the months are 2015/2016)

The French Blatting Company

1949 MG TC

August 2015




1st August 2015

Put all the stuff away from last night and then updated the blog. Then started cleaning the patio. Scrubbed away with a stiff broom then that light I have on top of my head came on. Got the jet wash and used that. Cleaned in an hour. Perfect. Had lunch then started cleaning on of the seat cushions. Applied the scuff master red colour wash and it's come out quite well. Will need more coats but looks like it's going to look good.

Mike phoned from Manchester to say his plane was delayed so we didn't leave for Rennes airport until 1530. Got there about 15 minutes before he landed so went to the cafe and got some drinks, a bag of crisps and a sticky bun thingie for Lynne. Mike appeared and we finished our drinks and walked to the car park. We showed him where his car was and we got in our and left. We went to Castarama to get some chrome effect paint for Camilles wheels. Whilst looking for the paint my phone rings. It's Mike, he can't find the car park ticket. Of course he can't, I have it in my pocket. Get the paint, return to the airport and hand over the ticket and leave for home. Take a nice slow drive to Chateaubriant and have dinner in Buffalo Grille. get home at 2130. Fall asleep for the rest of the evening.

The ducks on the new paddling pool. Lynne had to put a plank on it so they could walk up and jump in.

The patio after a good jet wash. Sorry, no picture before so the after will have to do.

2nd August 2015

Get up at 0700 and have breakfast then outside to paint the Porsche wheels with the chrome effect paint. One coat on and waiting for it to dry so I can put another coat on. It's not very shiny, another tin I have is really chrome and shine. I'll try and find it and see how that works. Now given the wheels about 5 coats and they look OK.

OK, you guess which is the cushion I've done. Now to start on the second one.

3rd August 2015

I'm having a week off whilst our daughter and her partner are here. I refitted the wheels to the Porsche today, took it to the car wash and have put it away. Rest of the day we just sat around talking.

4th August 2015

We all went to Attol, the retail park near Angers and had a really nice Chinese lunch at the buffet place. Then they walked around all the shops while I slept in a deckchair on a bit of sand. Very nice.

My mate Paul with his Floozie (aka "bit-of-stuff") Tanya.

5th August 2015

Today we went to Rennes and parked in the partk-and-ride and got the driverless train to St Anne, where the market is and walked around. The market was closed as it only opens on a Saturday. They parked me on a bench and went off exploring. They found the church (or cathedral) and Lynne thought it was magnificent.

6th August 2015

Today I have a doctors appointment at 0900 as he has a letter from the professor at the hospital. Apparantly they want to start a whole new batch of tests. We're not going out today but are at the "Sparkling Water" show tonight. We're planning on taking a picnic and some booze and getting there early so we can sit at the front. Report back tomorrow (posted at 0752 on 6/8).

We did get there early enough to get seats at the front and I took nearly 200 pictures. The good ones are HERE

7th August 2015

 Went to a Troglodyte Village between Angers and Samaur. I slept in the car whilst they went around the caves, They tell me it was good.

8th August 2015

 Paul and Tanya left about 1100. I went with them to the petrol station as I needed to get some stuff at the supermarket. I spent the afternoon dozing in the armchair.

9th August 2015

 When we got up this morning we had no water pressure. Checked everything but nothing appeared wrong. It got better by midday. I'm now finishing off the seats. I've given the cushions another coat of the colour wash (ScuffMaster) and have cleaned the backrest and am applying colour wash. Pictures soon (1603 9/8)

After several applications of the colour wash they look like this.


Before and after. It gets better the more coats you apply.

Close up. I like that it shows the creases, looks exactly what it is, 66 year old seats.

Now for the second half.

Both sides treated, but still more to apply.

Nearly there. When this dries I'll turn the seat over and do the sides and back. Then I'll apply the conditioner.

10th August 2015

Spent the morning rubbing down the bonnet. I've now removed the piano hinge pins so I have 4 panels. I had to stop at 1215 as it was so hot. My brain was boiling. Just shows what happens when you have water on the brain!. I had lunch, fell asleep and woke at 1700. Decided to carry on working until 2000. Went outside, want to speak to our guests and stayed there talking until 1800. Came in had dinner, fell asleep, woke to watch University Challenge and Only Connect then recorded Kevin, had a shower and watch Kevin tell us all about a huge house built by an actor and his wife who fell out with the architect.

Four bonnet panels.

11th August 2015

Started at 0830 and finished the bonnet. Then started on the rear wings. The paint came off easily. I rubbed one down with the orbital sander and the other with a coarse flapper wheel in the angle grinder. The angle grinder made a better job of it. I've left both soaked in phosphates to kill the rust on the inside.

Two wings. You can tell which was done with the angle grinder.

Still a bit of work to do, but getting there. I'll finish these in the morning then start on the bulkhead.

12th August 2015

We were supposed to have thunderstorms but it was hot and very humid. I had treated the inner rear wings with Phosphate last night so I scraped the inner rear wings as best I could. I then got the bulkhead out and the rear panel (just in front of diff) and coated both with phosphate. I had to take a couple of hours out to arrange for the trip to collect the tub. My son-in-law and daughter are picking it up from Lancashire (north of Lancaster) on Monday 31st August and taking it to Ports mouth. We're going over to collect it. So, I had to arrange a van for them, a van for us, a ferry booking and two hotel rooms for the night. Ended up having to hire the vans from the Saturdays and we're having to go to Ouistraham on Sunday, stay overnight and get the 0815 boat Monday morning. Anyway, all booked and ready to go.

I then finished of scraping and had lunch. After lunch my darling wife gave me a hand by holding the wings while I scurfed away with the flapper wheel in the angle grinder.

The bulkhead, cleaned and treated with phosphate.

Rear panel.

The inner rear wing before scraping...

...and again...

... and yet another view of the rusty inner rear wing. Difficult to tell if there is any paint on it or just deeply embedded rust.

After cleaning with a 80 grade flapper wheel in the angle grinder. Note the hole from rust, the body shop will fit a section of panel; in there.

The other end, not so good. It will need more scurfing.

My little helper who did a great job holding the wing with hot sparks and a stream of rust dust going into her face. Thank you darling, I could not have done it on my own.

And little me, covered in black dust. Reminds me of chimney sweeps when I was a lad.

13th August 2015

We spent the day at Jean-Marie and Nathalie's place in Thesee, 60 kms past Tours. Celeste, their 8 year old was, as usual, brilliant. After one of Nathalie's great lunches we went to a Musee d'Camion. They had 17 lorries of different types, countries and weights. We watched a video of Jean-Marie having a test drive of a Ferrari. Left at 1800 and Lynne drove us home at breakneck speed in 2 hours. including a stop for fuel.

14th August 2015

Hospital this morning and an hour in the MRI scanner. Have another appointment next Wednesday for a bone marrow biopsy and more blood tests. I really hope this will be the last tests and we can start on a cure.

15th August 2015

A friend of mine in Malta (virtual, we've never met) asked me about the stuff I used for the seats. He was confused as to what to get from Gliptone. My response is below.

I'm not sure I can help as I was as confused as you seem to be. I think they have different names for the same product. In the end I rang them and asked for a kit to renovate and re colour the seats. I sent them a colour swatch to match. But even then I still had a job getting what I wanted as they kept asking me the question I was asking them.

In the end they sent me:

250 ml liquid leather conditioner

250 ml liquid leather gentle cleaner

a bottle of scuff master which says 65ml but is probably 500 ml

a small bottle of gloss enhancer to make the colour shine more

a small bottle of stain remover.. 

I haven't used the gloss enhancer. I did use the stain remover but I don't think I needed it as the colour "scuff master" would have covered any stains. The cleaner seems to be good. I applied it as directed then washed it off with a wet cloth. After a few wipes (I did small areas at a time) I rinsed the cloth and was amazed at how much dirt came out. After that I rinsed after every area and the black dirt just poured out. 

I will start applying the conditioner in a day or so..

However before I got the kit I applied a lot of saddle soap, which is used on horse saddles. It returns dry leather, which mine was, to being more supple. I needed to wash it off and maybe the stain remover helped with that. Remember that my seats were in a lock up garage for 48 years so had dried out to the point of cracking.

So this is what they look like now:


Spent the day with the scouring discs in the angle grinder and finished the two rear wings, the footboard and the outside of the bulkhead.

The outside of the bulkhead down to bare metal.

Looks good from all angles.

The Land Rover has become a depository for finished panels.

I'm now going to have a shower, nurse my burnt finger and bum and my cut hands.

16th August 2015

Our friends Lisa and Phil came over. Phil bought a plaster whisk which had fallen apart and mig welded two parts then the wire jammed in the feed tube so I brazed the rest with the oxy-acetyline plant. I mentioned that I'd had the bottles 10 years and they were still good. But I did notice, well Phil noticed, that the pipes were perished and I needed to replace a few jets so I looked on Machine mart site in the evening and decided to get a kit with new pipes, gauges, jets and a regulator. £303 but better to be safe than blow yourself up.

17th August 2015

I worked hard all day and achieved nothing, or so it seemed. I had run out of paint stripper (or bum burner as we call it). So decided to sandblast the petrol tank and a few other bits which, I thought, had no paint on them. Wrong, they all had paint. But I did find a rust hole at the bottom of the side of the tank. I cleaned the surrounding metal with a flapper wheel and made a metal plate to weld over the hole. Took the tank into the workshop (after filling it with water and draining) and went to light the oxy-acetyline torch. It wouldn't  - it had run out of acetylene

I decided to get a new French oxy-acetyline plant and not bother with the Machine mart kit. The price for the French mini plant is £353 so only £50 more than I was going to spend and I can get new bottles whenever I want. Made arrangement to collect 4 new tins of paint remover after I'd been to Casterama which open at 0800. Should be back for 1030.

I started the interior treatment of the tank by mixing a 1 litre bottle of degreasant with 10 litres of hot water. I then turned the tank over, on each of its 4 corners, every hour until 2130.

18th August 2015

Got to Casterama at 0800, got a trolley and walked in. At the second door a young girl in a security uniform approaches me and demands that I wait outside. So I go back out but stand next to the doors so they are open. After a minute or so one of the shop staff walks out and asks why I'm waiting. I explain and he says to come in and not to take any notice of the silly bitch (or words to that effect). I get the welding plant, 6 more scouring discs, two pair of gloves, 3 new scrapers and some batteries for Lynne’s mouse (another story, remind me and I'll tell you).

I pay and pack it all in the car and drive to Jeremy's place to pick up the paint remover. I get there at 0850 but he's not due in until 0930. I have the latest Classic and Sports Car magazine and read a really good article about Bentley Old Number 3, the 6 litre Le Mans car. At 0945 he's still not there so I ring him, he's at the bank and the meeting is taking longer than he thought he'll be here in 25 minutes. So I get a coffee and when I return he's there. Get the 4 tins of paint remover and 3 scouring brushes for a drill. I also get an arbour. 

Get back at 1130. Build the oxy-acetyline plant, drain the petrol tank of the degreaser and set the hose running to flush it. Then get all the panels to be done out along with all the tools and the discs and brushes. Paint the two doors with paint remover and break for lunch. After lunch scrape and scour the doors to the metal, treat the tank to stage 2, which is a litre of phosphate and 1 litre of water, then carry on with the front apron. I am turning the tank every 15 minutes and after 2 hours I drain and flush the tank. I then remove the feed pipe and the drain plug along with the fuel tank unit

Under this piece of plastic if the hole in the tank. I forgot to take a picture and then forgot again before I bonded the repair patch to the tank. The plastic is glued on with Super Glue so the tank will hold water. It didn't it came off!

Panels waiting to be scurf fed to bare metal. That's not holes in the scuttle (although there are some where the screen stantion goes) but liquid on the panel.

The transmission tunnel. It needs de-rusting and scurfing to bare metal.

The running boards.

The inside of one of the doors after the outside has been done.

The tunnel, running boards, front apron, scuttle and spare wheel carrier awaiting their turn.

From the back to the front: two doors, scuttle and apron, all done. Then the running boards, the tunnel on the right and the bulkhead on the left (the inside needs doing). In the plastic tray of Phosphate is the spare wheel carrier (far right).

The petrol tank with the tank unit removed. I thought all the paint was off as I'd painted it with phosphate and the whole tank was white. But when I cleaned it there was black paint underneath.

One of the rear quarter panels which I tried to get off the old tub yesterday. I've ordered new ones.

Part of the other one....

.... and the rest of it, what's left of it.

No work on it tomorrow, I'm off to the hospital for more tests.


Oops, nearly forgot (no "nearly", I did). This is the welding plant.

19th August 2015

Not sure this has anything to do with the car but you may as well know what happened at my hospital visit today.

Got there at 0830, 12 more blood tests and then at 0945, a scan (not MRI) with an injection. I mustn't take any Metformin (for diabetes) until I have a liver function blood test on Friday. Then we had to sit around until 1400 for a lung function test. But in the meantime the intern came in, pulled up a chair, and explained where they were going and gave me another examination. I thought there was a piece of high comedy in the middle of this and she understood enough to laugh. One of the symptoms of the high level of the hormone is that men grow breasts. She wanted to look at mine and asked if she could feel them. At this a just exploded with laughter and explained to her that is was normal for the man to fondle the women's breast. Anyway, a couple of years ago they noticed I had enlarged nodules at the top and bottom of my lungs. I was whipped into the cancer clinic for a biopsy where the chief surgeon cut my throat about 4 inches across. They declared there was nothing wrong. They think these enlarged nodules are the cause of the increase of the hormone. They are doing another set of tests to completely eliminate any other cause as this is very rare, but known. Typical me, get a very rare condition. The intern is fighting our corner and has pushed her boss into dealing with me as an urgent case. We will see him on 4th September and he will, by then have all the results from all the tests and scans and will decide what course of treatment I will undergo. At 1330 an ambulance driver arrives with a wheel chair which I must get into. She wheels me out to an ambulance and drives me the 500 meters to the Larry building where the pneumology department is. We know this very well as Lynne sees the head of department there every 6 months for her asthma. I had a complete set of function test and they exhausted me. We left the hospital at 1600 and went into the cafeteria as Lynne hadn't had any lunch. Got home at 1800 and I had a list of jobs to do but they were based on getting home after lunch. Did one, cleaned the coffee machine, had dinner and came in the office to type this up. 

Between here and Angers is a section of road which hasn't yet been upgraded to the new dual carriageway between Rennes and Angers (they've been building it, bit by bit, for 12 years). They are just building a part (maybe all) of the missing section. The site manager must have a very tidy mind and a sense of humour as this is how he has the earth movers parked up every night.

20th August 2015

Started fairly early at 0830. Carried on with the front apron and spent about an hour and a half scraping away in all the corners and Louvre's to get the paint offThen ground off the rivets holding the rubber strips to the running boards and got the paint off them. One is badly rusted at the front edge as is the other one, bit not so bad. Next came the inside of the bulkhead. Then lunch. After lunch I did the spare wheel carrier. This will need a bit more attention, probably have to rub it down with emery cloth by hand. I have tried sandblasting it but the specs of paint will not come of with the sandblaster. I also sand blasted the two straps and then gave them a good coat of paint stripper, scraped them again then gave them several coats of phosphate. Whilst I was waiting for the paint stripper to eat into the paint I scraped the rust and grease off the transmission tunnel. I will get this de-rusted and clean as best I can and paint with POR-15 as it's not visible with the carpet over it. Last job was the petrol tank. It's 99% done but I've run out of scouring pads for the angle grinder, that's 6 used in two days! So, sort of finished the paint removal. I'll get more scouring discs and clean the phosphate off the panels I've done this week as well as finish the petrol tank. Then weld the plate on the tank and then I can get the brakes and hubs on the chassis. I reckoned on a week or two to strip the panels, it's taken..... 7 weeks (since 7th July). I've had a few odd days off and a week off when Tanya and Paul were here but it's taken a lot longer than I planned.

The manufacturers label on the petrol tank. A bygone age.

The inside of the bulkhead. It needs cleaning (phosphate) but as it's not visible it doesn't have to be perfect.

Spare wheel carrier, I'll spend an hour rubbing it down by hand, next week.

The tunnel. The rust is quite deep but I'll kill it with phosphate then paint it with POR-15.

Running boards, you can see the rusty areas at the wide ends.

Tank, I'll take another picture when it's outside next week. It looks better than this.

The welding plant. Mine, the one on yesterday's entry is from the web site.

Simon (son), Kerry (daughter in law), Leanne (step-grandaughter) and Malakai (grandson) will be here about 0100 tonight and will leave next Tuesday morning, so no work until then. I'll write up what we did just to keep everyone amused (you are amused, aren't you?)

21st August 2015

Simon and the tribe were supposed to be on the 2325 train through the tunnel but got an earlier train. Phone to tell us and I reckoned they'd arrive at about 0130. Then phoned to say the train had broken down, they'd been taken off and were getting the next one. So, arrival now about 0200. I thought I may as well stay up. So waited up watching TV and then Facebook said they were at the services at Caen and it was now 0130. That's about 3 hours from here. I went to bed. Lynne got up at some time and was up when they arrived at 0430. I slept through it all.

We just sat around doing not very much all day.I went into town in the morning and bought a new garden table thingie for, what I think, is a good price and Simon and I assembled it in the afternoon. In the evening we went to Claude and Joel (Crevech D'or) in Pouance for dinner and all had a good time. Then came home and tried to use the telescope. Failed. I'm going to have to sort this out. The finder scope will not align correctly and I need a lot more practice getting the telescope to focus. Spent an hour trying to see something by which time everyone wanted to go to bed.

Tomorrow we're going to the zoo.

Malakai, playing minecraft on his tablet.

Kerry, contemplating. I think she's contemplating whether to kill me or not.

Leanne and Lynne

Lynne and Malakai. Great picture, going to be my new screen pic.

The new table. Last week when Lisa and Phil were here I found a wasps nest in the fold of the rolled up umberalla. This week they were back but hadn't built the nest yet. So I sprayed them, about 20 of the little buggers and have now left the umberalla up so they don't come back

22nd August 2015

We were supposed to go to the zoo but decided not too as it would be too hot to walk around. My car said it was 31c in the afternoon so probably 40c in the sun. But it was humid, which it normally isn't. Went to Attol (the shopping centre, It's the most weird thing, it is circular, the shops are on the outer ring facing inwards, there are about a dozen restaurants in the centre and the space between is car parking plus a 100 spaces underground. But the whole complex is clad in a white metal mesh HERE)

I bought yet more scouring pads for the angle grinder, I have a half hour on the petrol tank then final clean to get the phosphates off and then a good wash and dry to make sure all the chemicals are off. I'll be finished by Tuesday night (Simon et all leave Tuesday AM).

In the evening we all went to Buffalo Grille which was good. Then we had a spectacular storm, with lightening making it look like daylight. It rained hard all evening and most of the night. It's still raining now (0730) but we'll go to the zoo as it's supposed to turn into "few showers" and the zoo is about 60 miles West so maybe OK there.

23rd August 2015

We went to the zoo at Le Fleche. In the evening we had a BBQ which turned into farce as the charcoal wouldn't burn (damp and too large!). Ended up OK.


Some sort of monkey.




And the other animals, the one's that came with us.....

Simon and Leanne




Simon doing his Wallace and Grommet impression......

.... and now looking good, well better.

24th August 2015

Simon, Malakai and I went to Loheac museum. Malakai really loved it and didn't get bored as they said he would. Went out to Buffalo grille for an evening meal. They are leaving at 0700 in the morning. It's been a great 4 days and we've loved having them here. Now, back to the car.

25th August 2015

The kids left at 0700 and I started work at 0730. To refresh your memory, I had got everything down to bare metal (with exception of tank sides) and applied phosphate to everything. So I started to scurf the panels again to remove the phosphate. I also washed them in hot soapy water to kill any residual chemicals. So, the doors, running boards, scuttle, bulkhead, petrol tank and spare wheel carrier were given the treatment. Finished about 1700 and then painted the tunnel and lower hand brake mechanism.

One of the doors before cleaning.

And one after cleaning. Note the rust holes bottom right. I've left the skins on the ash frames, the body shop will be better at getting them off than I will.

Scuttle. This is rusty where the windscreen frame stanchions bolt to the scuttle.

Running boards. Note the rust at the wide ends.

Petrol tank.

Inside the tunnel after painting...

... and the outside.

The hand brake after painting the bit that goes under the floor.


26th August 2015

Aghhhhhhhh, one of those days! Early start and cleaned up the garage. Started rebuilding the near side rear brake and hub at 0930. It's been 4 months since I took it apart and 50 years since I last put shoes on a T Type so I had several goes before getting it right. I had a problem with the routing of the hand brake cable and have put the grease trunnion on the wrong side of the rear spring front hanger bracket. Maybe this is why I can't get the shoes to close up and get the drum on. So, at 1700 tonight I end up where I was at about 1000 this morning other than I have the hub and half shaft on. Tomorrow I'll take the shoes off again, remove the cable and route it correctly then refit the shoes and see if they close up to get the drum on.

This is where I start at about 0930.

All the bits laid out nicely.

And this was about 1500. I got the hub and half shaft on but the drum wouldn't go on. Looking at this picture it may well be the hand brake cable, being routed incorrectly, is pulling the expander open. You can see the cable at the bottom and I think the end should be more to the right.

27th August 2015

Started at 0900. Took the shoes off again, must be 8th time, and rerouted the cable so it is now correct. Refitted the shoes hoping the drum would now go on. No chance. Instead of spending more time on it, I cleaned up the other cable, routed it and fitted the O/S/R shoes. Same problem. The shoes are not closed (see pictures below). I left them and thought I'd ask the group (TABC group)again. So started running the new brake pipes. When I got to fitting the master cylinder it wouldn't go into the oblong hole. I looked for the original as I was pretty sure the cylinder should have flat sides. It was 1300 so I had lunch and then phoned Brown & Gammons, who had supplied the brake parts. I was right the master cylinder should have flats on the thread. Whilst I was talking to Mick, a mechanic at B&G I mentioned the rear brake problem. He immediately said the problem would be the expander arm that goes on the cable should be behind the shoe and he thought it wouldn't be. He's right but it won't move behind the shoe. I'm going to sleep on it. It may be that the shoe with the expander arm should be on top on the bottom fulcrum pin, leaving room for the cable to retract.

I spent the afternoon running the pipes and clipping them to the chassis. I'm concerned about the routing of two of them. The one that goes from the three way on the near side front, across the chassis, under the gearbox to the master cylinder and the route I've put the pipe from the master cylinder to the O/S/F. Time to ask the font of all knowledge, the TABC group.

The hand brake cable incorrectly routed.

The gap between the edge of the shoe and the slave cylinder piston. When it's like this the other side is touching the piston. It slides easily across and then.....

.... the other side has the gap.

The whole assembly, you can see the gap on the right hand shoe.

The nearside shoes with the hub. The handbrake cable and expander arm it's attached to should be behind the shoe according to Brown & Gammons. I'll try swopping the shoes over on the bottom fulcrum to see if that allows the arm to move behind the shoe.

Pipes across the rear axle. Note the correct fitting of the handbrake cable.

The pipe from the three way to the master cylinder. I'm not happy about this pipe as it's not clipped anywhere.

And from the other side.

The pipe from the three way to the N/S/F

The pipe from the master cylinder to the O/S/F. I'm not sure the route is correct.

Our friends Jean-Marie and Nathalie with thier lad, Celeste had a holiday in Italy. They went to the Alfa Romea, Ferrari and Masarati museums, The picures he took are here:

Alfa Romeo



28th August 2015

Strtred by getting the brake pipes, which were routed incorrectly, routed in the correct route. Then put the front backplate, shoes and hubs on. Only problem was that 3 months ago when I put the new bearings in I got them the wrong way round. My only excuse is that with my health issues I get very tired quickly and I had 5 fractured vertebrae at the time. Anyway apart from puting the front brake drum retaining nuts on the fronts are finished.

I then looked at the rears again and found, wait for it, are you ready..... the cables were siezed. I'M STUPID I've found the problem thinks I. So cables off and soak them in plus gas and get them freed off by 1500. Used a bit of heat on one. One is OK but the other, whilst free, has frayed inner cable. I've ordered a new one so I won't get the brakes finished this weekend. Having freed them off I then refittind the near side rear and the probelm is stilll there. So maybe I'm not so stupid. I spoke to Ron Gammons and we decided I'd take the cable off and see if that allowed the expander to close and if not look at the expander to see what's wrong. But that's for tomorrow.

The war zone after fitting the right hand frong backplate, shoes and hub.

And the left hand before the drum went on.

Sorry, but I wasn't in the mood to take more pictures.

29th August 2015

Good day. I did a few bits to the brake lines to get them correct. Then I stripped the brakes off the left hand rear. I had a good look at the expander and immediately saw the problem. The 1/4 Whitworth setscrew that hold the clip for the expander to the shoe was in upside down. The end of the screw was stopping the expander returning home. Turned the screw round, refitted the shoes and the drum just fell on. Had lunch and phoned the garage who are painting the body. Yesterday I had a long conversation with Ron Gammon and he said to fit all the panels to the new tub and they will need "adjustment to fit properly. I'm not good at bodywork and, with my medical condition; I'll struggle to do this myself. So, I went to the bodyshop and spoke to the father (the son, whom I'm dealing with is on holiday) and he's agreed to do the fitting for me. So I'll take the panels and tub there on our return from Portsmouth on Tuesday then collect their low loader on Wednesday and take the chassis back.

When I got back I finished off and got the wheels on and the chassis on the ground. I now have a rolling chassis with 3 brakes as I'm waiting for new handbrake cable which will probably be here on Thursday. Anyway, while they get on with the body I can do the engine and gearbox.

This is the expander arm and you can see the serscrew with the screw head on this side allowing the arm to open fully


This is the other side of the setscrew. When this is the other way round, the end of the setscrew stops the arm from fully opening

A rolling chassis. Getting there.

30th August 2015

 I took these pictures last night as I waited for it to cool down from the raging 30c we had during the day. I got all the panels out to put in the van we're going to Portsmouth in to meet my daughter and son-in-law who will be collecting it from Lancashre on Monday. You may be wondering why I'm taking the panels in the van. Reason is that we return at 1500 on Tuesday and I want to get the tub and panels to the bodyshop that night. It's 3 hours from Ouistrham to the bodyshop so I'll take them with which will save time on the return. I can drive straight there. They close at 1900 so I should catch them. It will save a days van hire. The front wings are already at the bodyshop and I saw a chap working on them yesterday. He had made up new flitch plates for the leading inner edge of the wing tip and had soldered the holes where the wing mirrors where. He's also panel beaten the few dings and dents in the wings. Looked good.

I got two emails from TABC group members. Dirk pointed out that I had the rear brake pipe going across the axle through the rebound hoops. I had meant to route these correctly three times but everytime something else was more important. It's done now. The second was from Duncan who had noticed my temporary plastic core plug with a spike on it on the left hand rear shock absorber. I explaned that due to my medical condition I get very tired and when I'm tired my eyesight gets extremely poor. I had miss hit the core plug when fitting the new one and had now got some more from Roger (Furneaux) and will replace the plastic plug before the body goes on. I was going to refit the right hand rear brake shoes and then take them off to fit the new handbrake cable when it arrives. However I resisted and the parts are safely in a box to be fitted with the new cable.

This morning I'm going to seal the petrol tank, pour the resin mix in and "roll" the tank around, end over end to spread the resin inside the tank. Probably not worth taking pictures of.

We are going to Ouistrham this afternoon so we can get the 0815 ferry tomorrow morning so no more work on the car until we return. I'll write up our adventures when we get back.

All the panels laid out. The front wings are at the bodyshop already. Note the large van I've hired. I wanted a "normal" Transit sized van but they don't have one at our local Super U supermarket. I could have got one in the next town (Chateaubriant) but couldn't be bothered with the extra trip back and forward. Turned out OK as I now have more than enough room for tha panels and the tub. The two large rolls of bubble wrap, by the side of the Land Rover, will be used (this morning) to wrap all the panels in. Don't want any more damage! The tape on the raer wings marks the damage/rust that will need repairing.

The offending brake pipe now correctly routed. I've got to weld the fractured left hand tab to the axle and clip the pipe to the two tabs. I'll get a better fit around the diff when I do this.

It's now Sunday morning at 1100. I started at 0800 by mixing the resin for the tank, pouring it in and then "rolling" the tank around the field for the next hour to spread the resin all over the inside. Then at 0900 I took all the panels out of the van, wrapped them in bubble wrap and repacked them tieing them down with bungees. When that was finished I loaded the van with books, nuts and bolts for the body, the new rubber strips for the body and the chromed windscreen frame. I hope they have enough to do the job as I don't want to be spending time going back with litle bits they may need. Remember they will not have seen BSF threads before.

Now for a shower, lunch and set off.

Van loaded. (from the rear door and the side door) I must measure the gap between the wheel arches to see if the tub will fit between. If not the two planks will be used to make a "bridge" for it to sit on, on top of the wheel arches. The dimensions of the tub are L: 182, W: 127, H: 81.

31st August 2015 to 1st September 2015

We left here at 1400 and drove to Ouistrham. Got there about 1700 and had a nice cool beer sitting out in the sunshine. Checked into the hotel and came down to dinner at 2000. huîtres suivie de homard, fantastic. I do love my seafood. Lynne had something (I can't remember what) followed by Dover Sole. We went to bed early, about 2230 which meant I was awake at 0400 and couldn't go back to sleep.

We went up the road to the port. At the check in kiosk the girl informs me there's something wrong with my booking, I've only selected 1 person travelling instead of two. "Go over to lane 4 (there isn't a 1, 2 or 3) and my colleague will come over. The port was a madhouse, more on this later. After half hour and no one sorting it out I asked a Brittany Ferries chap who was walking past. He said to go into the terminal and ask at the desk. I did and £30 lighter got my boarding pass in a few minutes. The car decks were full from front to back and we were at the back. We got upstairs and went to get breakfast. The queue was not only out the self service area but right out the lounge. We went to the restaurant for breakfast. We were talking to one of the crew and she said they had never been this full, ever. There were over 1500 passengers on the ferry. Reason?  The holidaymakers with kids were going back home as school starts tomorrow. Most of these kids were out of control, running, shouting and screaming. We watched as a lot of the parents gave them more coke and crisps making them even more hyper. What is wrong with our kids, they don't seem to get any discipline and are allowed to run riot.

The boat docked at 1315 and we couldn't wait to get off and become sane again. Arrangement was that I would drop Lynne off at Gunwharf Quay’s shopping centre whilst I went to Machine mart for some tools. The journey from the port to the Harbour Station normally takes 10 minutes, it took an hour. All the signs were telling us the shopping centre car park was full and to use the city centre car parks. I dropped her off and she had a real nightmare. She couldn't even get into some of the shops there were so many people in them. She had a minor panic attack and a very nice shop assistant helped calm her down. She went for a coffee, having not got anything she wanted and waited for me to pick her up.

We went to the hotel and met Tanya and Paul and even though they were here at the beginning of the month it was great to see them again. We transferrd tha ash frame from one van to the other and all the other stuff that had been sent to Tanya over the past few months (saved on carriage charges). We then had a pint and Paul and I left mother and daughter chatting away. Paul had a shower and read his book, I fell asleep.

When we had checked in the girl on reception asked if we wanted to reserve a table for 4 in the restaurant. We did and watched her do it. When we got to the restaurant at the allotted time we were told there was no reservation and there was a 2 hour wait. Well after the day I'd had I exploded and demanded the table we had reserved. The girl was almost in tears and I felt sorry for her but she went away and came back to inform us she had found a table. I'll leave you to judge if we would have got the table had I not said something. I apologised to the girl and she blamed the receptionist for not doing it. We all chimed in together that we had seen her do it. Later we found out that the girl in the restaurant had gone to the hotel and tried to have a go at her. She told us that she told her in no uncertain terms that she had made the booking and on the right day and it wasn't the first time the system had lost it.

We all went to bed at about 2300 and we said our goodbyes. I set the alarm for 0600 so we could get to the port in plenty of time. Only problem was that my phone was on French time so we got up at 0500! She may forgive me by Christmas. The return journey was much calmer on a near empty boat but it docked half hour late due to another boat blocking the harbour.

I drove the van like I'd stolen it at 140 kph all the way. We had to get to the bodyshop by 1900 or pay another day's van hire. We then found the main road was closed and we had to take a diversion. We got to the bodyshop at 1845, unloaded and went home, then to Joel’s for a Pizza and then back home where I answered the weekend emails. I had answered them on my phone on the boat but then noticed they were all stuck in the outbox. They all went overnight so everyone got two responses from me.

 You can now turn to September.......



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