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(the months are 2015/2016)

The French Blatting Company

1949 MG TC

March 2016


I'm so lucky... see if you agree. Had a bit of a lay-in this morning so didn't get to the bodyshop until 0945. I started by checking the ignition timing as I had a suspicion is was 180 degrees out. It was, so out with the distributor, turn shaft and refit. Hold choke open and pull starter motor lever. It fires.... and stops. So do it again. It fires.... and stops. OK, lets try again.....CLUNK. The engine won't turn. It will go backwards but stops with a clunk and then forwards but stops with a clunk. Remember, I'm so lucky.....

Sump off, nothing wrong there. So after lunch engine out as I thought it may be the clutch or flywheel causing the problem. Remember, I'm lucky!

We all look at it when it's on its side on the floor. Joint decision, remove the head. So a table is brought and I have to stand on a block of wood as the head is now so high. Head off. And this is why I'm so lucky. A spring washer is in No. 3 bore on top of the piston. It couldn't have been there when I fired it twice so must have been sucked in on the third attempt and hasn't done any damage. That's why I'm lucky!

I've left it all out, covered up. The engine has always had the carbs blocked with paper so it's a mystery how a washer got sucked in.... unless....NO, that's unthinkable.

As you can imiagine, I wasn't in the mood to take many pictures, but this is what I did take....

Oops, it's missing.

And this is it on the table and covered up.

One spring washer... now where did it come from?


Had my Wednesday physio and back home by 1000. Waited until 1130 when Nadine, the district nurse, arrived to give me an intravenous drip to help my vertebrae heal. At 1210 we left for Geurche De Bretagne and had lunch at the place where the patron cooks the meat on an open fire. Delicious.

Then on the Rennes to pick up Lynne's bracelet. Got home at 1800, spent an hour answering emails and packing the car with the stuff I'll need to get the engine rebuilt and back in.

I know, what a drip!. Nadine was trying to get out of the picture, not fall asleep.

The bracelet......

.... the other side.....

.... and it's square shape. One happy wife.


Started at 0800 and got the sump gasket off on one side which had torn. I had an 1960's Payen sump gasket kit which was in the car when I got it... thanks John. I had to take the crank pully off as the half round cord seal had come out of the timing case. Went back a treat with a bit of black silicone gasket goo on it. I pulled down the head but not fully then dropped the engine on the sump. Dis the sump bolts up but found the left had front bolt that goes into the timing case was stripped. I tapped it out 3/8" BSF and used a 3/8 bolt. All ready to go back in at 1145 so I had lunch and then put it in. The bugger would not go onto the first motion shaft splines. I had the gearbox jacked up and the rear of the engine on a jack and the bell housing and rear plates were in line. Eventually one of the chaps gave me a hand to push and it went in. Spent the next 2 hours doing up the bell housing bolts, refitting the rad and starter etc and filling with anti-freeze. Oh, I also torqued the head down and refitted the rocker shaft. You may remember that I had new rocker posts. Well the two holes are not exactly in line so it's a real problem getting both bolts staretd. I stripped two of the smaller (8mm) bolts. I've asked Roger to send me two. 

At 1600 I was ready to start it. It didn't but sounded like it was firing. at 1655 asked one of the chaps to hold one of the plug leads to the block to see if we had a spark.... no spark. I was far too tired so have left it for tomorrow. I'm at the optician's first thing so expect to be back at the bodyshop by 1100. I'll have a good hunt around for the missing spark.

Not many pictures, you've seen it all before..... so have I !

Sump with new, old gasket on. The other side isn't broken, it's just a bit grazed at the front.

All back in. The yellow box is a battery charger.

...and the other side.


I went for my Friday physio and came home to get changed and go to the bodyshop and look for my sparks. However, I felt a bit rough. My personal nurse took over, said I had a temperature and tucked me up in a blanket on my chair. Slept from 1000 until now, 1420. Sounds like I'll be out of action all weekend. So my friends Alfa Romeo parts will have to wait as will starting the MG.


A bulletin was issued by a spokesman at the gates of Hospital Verona this morning. "The patient had a restful night, but was mumbling something about starting an engine all night. He is resting now having had a hearty breakfast of one Weetabix in hot milk. His temperature is still high and he will rest today"

The patient feels well enough to create links from the Technical index to the engine and gearbox rebuilds. He's also created bookmarks to jump over the rubbish between the days devoted to the engine rebuild. He's now being tucked up in his chair for the rest of the day.

Thank you, nurse.


"The patient had a good night, mumbling about losing his spark. This morning his left eye has swollen and it would appear he has conjunctivitis. No looking for sparks tomorrow, he's off  to the doctor"


"The patinet had a very restless night and went to see a doctor. His nleft eye is the size of a golfball. The doctor has prescribed some pills and eyewash. The patient is booked in to see an opthalmic surgeon this morning. He will have some blood tests this morning. Pictures and results to follow".


 Up at 0700 to go for blood tests and opthalmic man. The eye man says it's the eyelid and not theeye, catry on taking the piulls and put cold compresses on it. I still feel rough, freezing one minute, sweating the next. Here's how I looked on Sunday, yesterday it was twice this size but has gone down now.

Note: Just read the above. I'll leave it as is but it shows I can't see.....

It's OK, you should see the other bloke.


 Lynne drove me to and from my Wednesday session of physio. Spent the rest of the day sat in my chair. Getting bored now. But eye is much better and I've had it open most of the day.


It would appear that the rabbits have left. Lynne "have you done anything to make the rabbits go away", Me "No, i just sent them the rent bill". Lynne "How much"  Me "Twenty bucks".

I asked whet we were having for dinner. The Dunow was really very nice.

OK, feel a bit better and my eye is almost back to normal. However, we now have role reversal, Lynne has a tummy upset so I'm now the nurse and she's the patient.

I reported a problem with the ADSL (Broadband) to France Telecom. It goes up and down like a whores knickers. They said it should be fixed by 1800 tonight.


Went to the doctors and got an appointment for Lynne for this afternoon. Then physio and home by 1000. The internet is still up and down so tried to ring France Telecom. Get a long message about if you speak French don't use the English speaking line, then asked for the options. Pressed 1 for ADSL problems and told "We are very busy at the moment, ring later.. brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" Thanks mate!

The gites are almost full this year, many thanks all you MG nuts. Just for the record, I'm a member of:

MG Car Club

MG Owners Club

MG Octagon Car Club

Midget & Sprite Club

MG Club De France

TABC yahoo group

T Types Org.

Also the Surrey New Mini Forum and Land Rover UK Forums

Someone on the T REgister forum wants to see the lettering on the dash. I've uploaded this full size picture for him.


Yesterday, after updating the blog, I phoned France Telecom. Got through this time and asked what was happening. He went off to find out and came back to say he's chased them up and they should finish today. About an hour later I get a phone call from the engineer to say it's fixed. So far so good...... I hope.

I took Lynne to the doctor last night and he's ordered blood and urine tests. Problem is, the lab in our local town is closed on Saturdays so first thing this morning we went to their HQ at the hospital in Chateaubriant. We then had breakfast in the restaraunt in the super market in Chateaubriant, called into the doctor on the way home and told him the results would be ready on Monday.

I'm watching the football scores come in and my team, Sheffield Wednesday have won. I think the other ersults mean we stay 6th, in the playoff zone, but only just.

Talking to a member of the TABC group about our old house in Low Bradfield, near Sheffield I've found a few pictures. The bar is real and was well used in the 15 years we lived there.

It's all of this, originally 3 cottages. We had two front doors with the third, filled in, just visable at the end.

The downstairs lounge. There was another upstairs which we used as an office when we started the current business.

The view through the windows. There's a cricket pictch outside.

The bar. Yes, that's a stainless exhaust manifold hanging from the ceiling. A mans room.

The bar with working beer pump. The cellar had pipes and a barrel was usually on tap.

The gable end of the house overlooking the cricket ground and the bowling green.

We loved the house but it was a bit big for the two of us when we retired and I wanted warmer weather so we moved to France... and a house about the same size!


We should have gone to first (horse) race meeting at nearby Sennonne. As Lynne's not feeling well we didn't and I'm listening to the radio commentry of Arsenal v Watfor (Watford won) and now West Ham v Man U.


Lynne's not well so I've stayed here today. Back to the doctor in the morning.


We were at the doctors at 0900. He examined her again. The problem is the blood tests show she has an inflamation but not what/where. He's told her to take paracetemol and this afternoon she said she felt better. I'll wait until the morning and, if she's OK, I'll go to the bodyshop and resume work on the TC.


 SHE LIVES. Took a while but got it going in the end. OK, lets start at the begining. Went for my Wednesday physio and got back at 1000. Lynne said she felt better and I should go to work. So, got changed and set off arriving at 1050. First I removed the rocker pedastals and drilled out the small hole by 2 mm oversize. Then refitted it and adjusted the tappets. With the hole slightly larger both bolts went in OK. I turned up the lock tabs and refitted the rocker cover. Lunch. I then wanted to reset the ignition timing so had to take the rocker cover off to ensure it was firing on one. Set the ignition timing and checked the coil tower lead. It was out. I've dropped and lost the small washer that the cable comes through so soldered a small washer to the centre lead. I took the plugs out and turned the engine over to get oil pressure on the gauge. None. But the oil was at the rockers (as seen through the oil filler cap) I found the oil pipe to the gauge loose so put a small rubber ring in and tightened it again. Still loose so just tightened, hoping I didn't strip the thread. Eventually it went tight. I turned it over and, like magic, got 20 psi pressure at the gauge. I then refitted the plugs and put the fuel pipe into the petrol can and tried to start it. It fired and stopped about a dozen times then it ran.... for about 20 seconds. It wouldn't start. Fired and then cut out. I checked everything then put a screwdriver in number one plug lead and watch the spark go the to head. It seemed to be intermittant. I rechecked the coil tower that seemed OK. In the end I took the points out, cleaned the faces and reassembled them (I had done this some time ago). They were fitted correctly with the fibre washers in the right places. OK, try again. After two turns, she fires and runs. I keep it running at about 1500 RPM until it get warm. Then do a rough throttle balance and mixture adjustment. I seem to have the same problem as my friends TC. The jets are going right up and still seems to be running rich. At this point I packed up for the night as I was getting tired and my back was hurting. Tomorrow I'll drop the needles 0.020" and set the carbs up. I'll take my balancer and SU jet spanner to do it properly. I'll also adjust the tappets at 0.012" hot (I've set the 0.014" cold). Then I can put the air cleaners on and the bracket for the choke, starter and fast idle cable. The only problem is the flexible oil pipe for the gauge is leaking. I've ordered one from NTG along with a new coil washer a 3 foot of HT lead so I can make a new coil lead, which is a bit short.

The bad news is the panel man wants me to take the body off so he can fit the front quarter panel between the bonnet shut timber and the main body frame. That will help me as it will be a lot easier to get the Thackery washer on the brake pedal in the right place and fit the new petrol pipe.

I didn't take any pictures but did video the engine running..... Now to see if I can load it. .... hang on, it's coming, some conversion work needed first.

Here it is......

MG TC - It lives from Simon Verona on Vimeo.

48 years after the engine last ran, and 10 months after Norman Verona started the rebuild of a 1949 MG TC, the engine runs!



Had to take Lynne for a blood test at 0730 so got to the bodyshop at 0845. The boss said he wouldn't dock my pay......

I asked the TABC group if anyone had ever had the need to lower the needles in the piston to avoid the jet being wound up to the top to get the mixture correct. I got a lot of answers about the float levels being too high. I have been around SU carbs for 55 years and know the difference between flooding due to float chamber being too high and what I was getting. I took the dashpots off and took a very close look, not easy when your eyesight can't see fine, close up detail. I reset the height of the needles to the bottom of the ali piston instead of the brass insert, about 0.040" lower. Refitted the carbs and started. Much better and got the mixtures correct starting with the 7 flats position (not two and a half turns someone quoted). Got the engine hot so I could check the tappets hot. Tappets were set 0.014" cold and only needed two taking up a gnats cock to make them all 0.012". Refitted the rocker cover and then the air cleaner and fitted the three cables. I've no idea why I did that as.... wait for it.... OK, bet you guessed, I have an oil leak from the rear main. So the engine wil have to come out. I'll wait until the body is finished and do it at my workshop.

After lunch I dropped the car off the axle stands and moved it out the way and had a good sweep up. Then back on stands and fitted the new fuel pipe. Lastly drilled and tapped the left had drag link which doesn't have a grease nipple. It has now.

The bad news today is that it's been confirmed that the body has to moved back so the quarter panels and scuttle can be tacked to the tub before the bonnet shut panel is fitted. To make things worse we've found that Moss sent two left hand front quarter panels in August, but with the correct part numbers on. Carl is sending one from Bradford and I'll send the incorrect one back to London, whence it came. It's Murphy's law that says if it can go wrong it will. Hello Murphy.

I didn't take pictures of the carbs, I've done that. But this is what I did get...

Carbs with air cleaner. Only problem is the breather pipes don't meet. I'll have to make a piece of hose.

The edge of the bonnet shut panel. The flakey stuff is the glue I used to hold the bonnet shut rubber on when aligning the bonnet.

The other side. I'll undo the bulkhead bolts and the six body to chassis bolts tomorrow and see if it will slide back enough to get the screws out without taking the loom out.


Mice and men, plans, me, never work out.  Made a list of jobs to do today and thought I should get it all done by 1700. Then realised that I had physio first thing so wouldn't get to the bodyshop until 1045. So much for plans.

First I removed the battery (well one of the chaps there lifted it as I was struggling) and all 18 bulkhead to tub bolts and the six that hold the tub to the chassis. I asked Jean-Maurice to help me move the tub back and see if it came back enough for him to undo the screws that hold the bonnet shut panel to the tub. He was happy. After lunch I got on with the list and at 1500 was finished other than two items. One is to change the gearbox oil to 140 but as they don't have any I'll have to get some next week. As I was going, Jean-Luc, the boss explains he wants the tub right off so Jean-Maurice can panel it off the car. He suggests we cut the lower part of the centre dash mount out so we can feed the wires and cables through and leave the dash on the car with all the wires and cables connected. I've thought about it and on Monday morning I'm going to take all the wires and cables off. Having spent all this time and effort, let alone money, I don't fancy cuting the tub as a short cut.

Now then, the second job on the list is to remove the pedal shaft so I can move the inner Thackery washer to the correct side of the brake pedal thereby allowing the pedal to sit behind the stop bar. It's very hard to get the split pins out and back in with the exhaust on and the body in the way. But that wasn't the main problem. The main problem was the sun shining through the windows straight into my eyes so I couldn't see anything. Never mind got it done in about an hour. Then cut the screws holding the pipe clips to the chassis and painted the clips and screws. I had a sneaky feeling I'd put the new fuel pipe on the wrong way around but checked the tank and it's ok.


The list with all completed items ticked.

The tub moved back allowing access to the screws that hold the bonnet shut panel to the tub.

From the other side.

A Citroen 2 CV which has been renovated. It was started for the first time this afternoon. It was there when I first took my panels to them in August. Nice job.....

.... and the other side.


I really must start my friends Alfa Romeo parts which need sand blasting and painting. But not today. We went shopping (Lynne not yet fully recovered to go alone) and had to spend a fortune as she didn't go shopping last week. I got some sticky labels and have labelled the connectors and made labels for the wires ready to cut my loom and fit the connectors so it will easy (easier) to remove the dassh.

It's now 1215 and we'll have lunch at 1300. Then I'll watch the football scores as they come in (BBC Final Score) from 1530. Start on the Alfa parts tomorrow. Monday morning I'm going to the bodyshop to label the wires, cut them, solder the connectors and fit the multi plugs. However I have to leave no later than 1030, so only have two and a half hours. I have to call into the Notaire on the way to lunch at Chateaubrinat and opthalmic appointment for 1400. I also need to get 4 litres of 140 gear oil.

Multi plug connectors with the male and female spade connectors that fit inside the plastic halves. I solder the connectors to the wires.

The labels for the wires. I have made up two sets. The black and red letters are for the two centre connections which can't be marked. However, I've coloured both side red and black.


The blocks are labeled A-L and M-X. I do this as my orientation is non-existant and I'll put the wires in from different ends if they're not marked like this.


Up early and in the workshop for 0800. I spent 20 minutes putting tools away, but there's more at the bodyshop than here! Now I know this is supposed to be about a TC but you'll forgive me if we side step to an Alfa Romeo. I volunteered to clean and paint the running gear of my friend Guila which is undergoing a full renovation. So here's how I got on today. Plan is.... I know you like my plans, they never work out.... tomorrow morning at the bodyshop and cut the loom and and get the dash out. I'll do as much as I can but must leave at 1030. Tuesday finish plugs on loom and then, after body is off, reconnnect the dash. Fit the new flexi oil pipe and a longer HT lead then start up and detirnine where the oil leak is coming from. I also want to do a final adjustment of the carbs now that the air filter is on. I'll pull the head down again as well.

The diff after 20 minutes work. It's dried in oil and grease and some if it was so thick I waqs cutting it off.

The finished article. That's what I like about Italien engineering, the stuff looks so nice.

See what I mean.

Even scraped the backplates.

The other side of the coin..... No it's an axle.... the other side of the axle, then.

This is as far as I got today, packed up at 1700......

,.... plus this lot.



Get to the bodyshop at 0800. Label and cut the wires from loom to dash. Solder the terminals to the loom end and push terminals into plastic block. Left at 1000 to go home and leave for the opthalmic surgeon. Lots of tests and tried to read the letters but failed. So, I've had three sets of injections in the eyes, to me a real torture, and I'm no better. He's booked me into a hospital in Nantes for another test. Next Tuesday, so not long to wait.

Loom having been cut is having the terminals soldered on.

The terminal blocks with the terminals installed. There are 25 wires in the loom in total. I also cut two from dash to dash which I will refit with bullet connectors.

The wires on the dssh. First job in the morning.


 Stupid, pillock, plonker, can't tell left from right.

All of the above. I labelled up the first mutil plug A-L correctly. The other one I labelled one side left to right and the other right to left. The clue was no ignition and the panel lights comeing on without the lights on. Took about 10 minutes to pull them all out and refit them correctly.

I fitted the new flexible oil pipe and a longer HT lead from distributor to coil I then made some straps to go around the battery (from rope) so as to make it easier to lift it in and out. Took a while to work out how the fast idle return spring went but got it firred after some head scratching. I then connected the can of petrol to the petrol tank pipe at the rear and the battery via jump leads. Full choke and it started on the button. I got it warm and started adjusting the carbs. Problem. The rear carb jet wouldn;t return home. Turned out to be the connecting rod between the two choke levers was too long. So adjusted and carried on. The carbs are as good as I'm going to get them until the engine's run in.

There was a slight leak from the oil filter but tighteneng the bowl a tad stopped that. This is a modified filter with a paper cartridge.

Ok, bad news and good news. The major leak is not from the rear main but the front of the gearbox. I'll take the bos out next week as I've grass to cut and the Alfa Romeo parts to clean.

I finished the day by polishing the bulk head, air filter and radiator. All nice and shiny.

Now that's an oil leak. It's emptied the gear box and has only been ticking over for a coupe of hours. The box is all but empty.

From the other side. Do you like the battery straps?

Shiny bulkhead and nice, clean engine.... with no oil leaks!

So good I had to take two pictures.

Shiny radiator.


When you get older, or, like me OLD you start using lists more and more. This is todays list:

0830: put tractor battery on charge

0845: pick up Lynne's blood test results from lab

0900: post letter with cheque for Lynne's hospital visit

0905: Physio

1000: Notaite to sign that my passport and utility bill are mine (required by a UK pre-paid company credit card company... Why!)

1020: take correct qurater panel to bodyshop

1020: return polish to Jean-Maurice

1020: put lid on petrol can.

1020: measure size of hose from rocker cover to air cleaner. (forgot!!!!)

1100: call in to Julian for him to translate epoxy paint instructions

1115: pop into super market for bottles of water

1200: Atoll for a chinese lunch

1330: Get hose for air cleaner to rocker cover. (didn't bother, I'll probably find some in my workshop)

Lynne went shopping in C & A after lunch, I fell asleep in the car.

1500: collect gearbox oil (140) from Chateaubriant.


All done except measuring the hose. 1/2" will be about right. We got home and I fell asleep until 1800.

In case you're wondering who Julian is, he''s the chap who owns the company that sells all the stuff for renovating old cars and bikes. He was born in France but taken to the USA when he was three. He's come back as he didn't like Washington DC and is, of course bi-lingual. Although the people at the bodyshop think he's American because he speaks French with an American accent.


I've put the battery on the tractor back on charge. I turned it off overnight. If I can get the tractor started I'll cut grass all day.

I forget to mention the other day when doing the dash wiring, that I had to turn the tacho bezel round 1/3rd as the slots for the lighting was in the wrong place. I also tried to fit the ignition lamp bulb in but the bulb holder was so brittle that it just crumbled to pieces. New ignition lamp on its way.

I got the tractor started at 1000. Did a bit but the damaged cab was making me feel ill, it was swaying around so much. So......

A tractor with a damaged cab....

... and a lunatic with an angle grinder....

.... doing hot stuff with sparks flying.....

.... and the final cut, wth a hacksaw......

.... removing the cut section....

... and off. If If I fit an aeroscreen do you think it'll go faster.

The problem now is that the springy branches spring back, right in my face.

I finished cutting the broken cab and Lynne called me. Apparantly, whilst I was cutting the cab off the post girl had been and delivered the ignition warning lamp bulb. How's that, sent by NTG on Tuesday at 1500 and delivered to me in France at 1145  today. Thern UPS came to collect the panel to be returned to Moss.

I did two cuts on the grass in front of the gites but the blades were clogging up with damp grass. I started to do a second cut on the large field but, after the first circuit the blades were clogging with great big clumps of damp grass. I left it. It will cut much easier when it's had some warm sun on it for a few days. Hopefully next month.

I've got the ride on mower in the air to see if I can fix it. It needs a drive belt of the right size. The gearlinkage mechanism is jammed, probably rusty and the cutting lever cable seems to be broken or come off at one end. I'm at the physio in the morning then must pop into the bodyshop to ask Jean-Maurice to paint the inside of the panels with POR15. Then back to work on the Alfa Romeo parts and see if I can sort out the ride-on.


I was thinking, a very dangerous occupation for me.  When I left the bodyshop on Thursday night the tub was on the floor. I had asked the boss to get the car finished in 4 weeks, (giving me time to finish the interior by 28th April, one year after starting). I want to paint the inside of all the "skins" with POR15 so as to prevent rust forming. This is where the thinking comes in. I'm not due back to the bodyshop until Wedfnesday morning. What if he finishes the skinning in the meantime and the inside of the panels are not treated with POR15.

So, after physio I drive to the bodyshop.... and just as well. The near side is nearly fully skinned, He will then take all the panels off, paint them and fit permanantly. I have asked him to paint with the POR15 and given him a tin. Good thinking, Batman.

I've spent the rest of the day cleaning Alfa Romeo parts. It's gone well but I'm knackered, so have stopped at 1700. I should finish cleaning tomorrow and paint on Sunday and Monday.

Skins. All cut to perfect shape.


And from the rear. He's even got the inner wheel arch in. Tunnels and light....

Cut grass. When it dries out I'll go over it again. The wooden box isn't a khazi, it's the telescope. Ther object on the left is a BBQ.

This big clump of grass was caught up in one of the mower blades, hence I couldn't get a second cut of the big field (in front of the gites)

The following are the Alfa parts being cleaned.

Lots of bits.


The ride-on up in the air for repair. Needs a new belt because the new one I bought last year is too long, the cable that operates the mower drive has come off and the gears are siezed. Simple. Oh, and it will need a new battery as this one won't take a charge.


As Jean-Luc, the boss, had asked me to clear up my work area at the bodyshop I got there at 0800, dropped the car onto four wheels and pushed it out of the way. I then put sawdust down on the oil spills and swept like a loonie to soak up the heavy gear oil. then commandeered another bench and put all the parts and books on the new bench and laid the tools out on the big bench. Pushed the car back, jacked it up and back on axle stands. Was awarded three stars. Got back at 1000 and started painting Alfa-Romeo parts. It's 1700 now and I'm pooped so I'll finish tomorrow. I didn't take pictures of the clean worksbench, I'll do them on Wednesday morning, but here are some painted parts.

Rear axle.

Some suspension and steering parts,

One spring, prop-shaft and the steering box.

Steering column, front cross member and a prop-shaft.

Anti-roll bar and the other part of the cross member.

Front suspension.

Spring is in the air.....

To top off a good day I come in with black paint all over my hands. I've tried thinners to clean it off but have run out. White spirit's not working so I came in and try the surgical alcohol. I undo the bottle, pour a little on a cloth and put the bottle down. Only problem is my fingers stick to the bottle and it spills. I grab it and stand it up..... oops, it's upside down and we now have alcohol all over the table.


All finished, except the air cleaner and the heater box. They need spraying. I've left it drying. Using an epoxy paint may be good for the chassis parts but how do you get it off your hands?

The rest of the parts. I've also touched up bit's I missed on the axle and other parts.

Any idea how to get it off? I'll try petrol, about the strongest stuff I have. I've run out of thinners and the surgical alcohol... well that's a different story.


A day off. did nothing at all. Nice rest.


Went with Lynne to the doctor at 0945. Called in at 1045, systems normal. Left about 15 minutes later than expected to make our way to Nantes. Found the eye clinic then a nice restaraunt around the corner. After lunch checked in and had some drops in the eyes whist at the admin. Directed from floor 2 to -1 and sat there for an hour and a half, Eeventually get called in and the doctor looks into my eyes through a machine that has a very brigh pulsing light. She then injects a red dye into my arm and looks again. The conversation goes as follows.

Doctor: "OK, you have distorted lens from diabetes. Some years ago there was no treatment for this, then we used laser surgery but now we have injections"

Me " OK. I've had thre injections but it hasn't got better"

Doctor "You'll need more injections, it will work"

Me " What another three"

Doctor " No, 40 or 50"

I feel ill just thinking about it. However, she also said that if I had sleep apnia it could be the cause. I told her I was booked in for the night of 9th May for sleep observation and she said we should wait for the results of that.

I've no idea if this is typed OK, as I can't see it. I'm watching the football and it's not too bad as the TV is not that near.



 Oh dear England. You plonkers.

I've got a wet bum. Just moved the tractor forward and the cushion on the seat is soaking wet. I did turn the cushion over but it was just as wet on thge underside.

Had a good day. Got to the bodyshop for 0800 and got the gearbox out. Took the bell housing off and removed the seal from the bell housing. It was loose on the shaft so I prised the leather open and then boiled it a cup of water in te micro wave. It was now a tight fit on the shaft so I put it all back and retitted the box.

I also fitted the new ignition warning light, what a job, took two of us, one to hold the cup and spring down the other to put the clip in.

Refitted the dash and started the engine. It ran for half hour and not a drip from the gearbox. But the filter is still leaking so I tightened it a bit more. I tghink I'll have to remove the cap and see why. I suspect the O ring isn't seated properly.

Now for the bad news. The little red light come on .... but doesn't go out. It's not charging. Job for tomorrow.

To get the box out I removed the upright from the chassis on one side and the bulkhead from the upright on the other. The choke, throttle and starter cables were already. I pulled the multiplugs apart and took the clip holding the loom to the bulkhead off. Removed the fule pipe from the carb and undone the throttle cable. I removed the two wires to the brake switch and lifted the whole bulkhead with the toe board still attached. I got it high enough to get the box out. I drained what oil was left in the box and refilled with 140 before refitted. It took about half pint to get it to the mark when it was back in.

Gearbox out and tilted forward while I had lunch. It didn't leak so it went back in after lunch. By the way, I only have three quarters of an hour, not the full hour and a half the others have.

The inside of the bell housing. I've wiped the excess oil off.


The bulkhead held up by the crane.

Oops, something missing.

You can see the bulkhead being held up in this picture. I've had to lighten the pictures in photoshop as they were too dark to see anything.


A pictiure of the bell housing/gearbox casing joint. No leaks.

A fuzzy picture of the desk, all ship shape and Bristol fashion,


So, I got to the bodyshop for 0750, before the boss! He turned up at 0800 ansd opened up and let me into the workshop. I tool the cover off the dynamo wiring and looked. The wires haev different size tags which go on different size posts so that must be correct. Best way to find out is start the engine and see which has 12v. Problem, the battery is too low to start the engine so I reconnect the charger. I then fit the radiator stays to the bulkhead then take some vinyl tiles, th 12" rule, a Stanley knife, the drill and drill bit to the machine shop to make new packing pieces. It was about 1c and my poor little fingers were frozen. I made sure my fingers weren't sticking out when I drew the knife along the tile usung the rule as a straight edge. Never mind, the knife slipped off the edge of the rul and went straight across two fingers. OUCH! Actually I didn't feel anything as my fingers were frozen. But it bled, and bled and bled...OK it was bleeding. I put two plasters on but it was still dripping blood. I took some white paper roll and wrapped nthe fingers in it. It still bled.I finished the packing pieces and, eventually decided ir wasn't going to stop so I left to go to the hospital in Segre. They don't have an "urgence" department and suggested I go to Chateau Gontier. I decided to go to Chateaubriant but on the way thought I'd call in to my doctor. He saw me with about a 10 minute wait (whilst he finished with the patient he had in the surgery). He dressed both fingers putting those little strips over the sliced off tip of the index finger.

After this I went home. We then went shopping at Super U in Segre and had lunch in their cafe. After which we went back to the bodyshop to turn everything off, put the cap back on the petrol can and collect the bag of sandwiches. Only problem was I forgot to put the cap on the patrol can. We got back about 1600 and I just fell asleep, mentally and physicly exhausted. So, no work until next week. I think the list is down to sorting out the non-charge after which I will wait until the body is back on, with new, blood stained packing pieces. Refit the steering box and then the floor and interior. I doubt it will be finished by the end of April, so will probably run obver a year in the making.

Oh, by the way, the battery charger isn't working. I'm typing this at 1030 on 1st April but it's not an April fool joke.


Bloody fingers. The tape is to keep the "sticky" bandage on as it kept falling off


You can move on to April now.... It's below V



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