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(the months are 2015/2016)

The French Blatting Company

1949 MG TC

November 2015


 0900 start, I couldn't remember tightening the front plate bolt behind the camshaft timing wheel. So, I took the front cover off, undid the camshaft bolt holding the wheel to the cam and levered it forward enough to get a spanner behind. It was tight! Then I looked with the torch and saw I had my spanner on the camshaft holding plate bolt, so tried the front plate bolt, which was, indeed, loose. Duly tightened and feeling very smug I refiited the cam timing wheel and the front plate and carried on. I fitted the pick up to the sump then started on the valve gear. I built the rockers on the new shaft and then fitted the head. Pulled the head down and fitted the rocker shaft.Side cover on and then the sump.After refitting the oil pump which also entailed removing the rusty ball and spring and fitting new ones, I took the engine off the bench. The water pump and thermostat housing next. Then I dropped one of the small cheese headed screws that hold the water elbow to the thermo housing. I spent 5 minutes looking for it then tried "sweeping" the floor with a magnet. OK, I know when to give up so I called Lynne to find it. As I was showing her the other screw, she was stooping to pick up the "lost" one.

So, tonight the engine is almost complete and painted. I'll touch it up tomorrow, painting the bits I missed and then clean the overpainting off the bits that shouldn't have paint (rocker cover and brass unions). I have to clean the oil pipe union bolts then fit all the oil pipes. Then I'll fit the manifolds, carbs, starter and dynamo.

I bought myself a present, two key fobs with the correct colour badges. The other fob is from the MG club de France. Nice isn't it?

Head studs in waiting to be put on the floor to refit the head at a sensible height.

The larger picture..

On the floor, from the front....


... rear...

... top....

Head and rocker gear on.

Close up.

Getting there.

The old and new pressure relief valve springs and a rusty ball.

The plug side painted....

..... front. This looks much redder than it is due to the flash. It's a dark maroon.

Manifold side. This is more like the real colour.

Close up. No idea why, but I took the picture so you'll have to suffer it.

The Moss rear main seal.


 Went out and did a bit of shopping first thing (if 1000 is first thing). got back and changed and started work at 1200. Gave the engine a second coat and left it under 2000 watts of floodlights to dry. After lunch removed the water jacket core plugs to clear/drill out the bypass holes. I couldn't find the one in the rear but when I put a 3mm drill in it went straight into the soft silt blocking the hole. However the front one didn't have a hole so I drilled one. After refitting new core plugs it was the manifolds next. I wanted to straighten one of the new studs in the downpipe so I heated it to bend straight. It was only a small fire. I had a little tray of thinners on the bench to clean the paint brushes and it caught fire. It was fine until I tried to put it out by smothering it with some cloths but they caught alight. I pushed the whole lot onto the floor and threw a towel over it, which put it out. Went back to the bolt and straightened it. I found the manifold retaining brackets and nuts and fitted the manifolds. Then I had to make two studs and longer bolts for the carbs to inlet manifold because I've fitted heat shield blocks. Took a while to get it right, then all the oil pipes and filter went back on and lastly the dynamo is on, but not tight. I won't fit the air cleaner because I will have to take it off to set the carbs. I can't fit the starter until I've got the flywheel in. I will have to cut and drill the broken fan blade screws from the fan pulley then the pulley can go on, fan belt and dynamo can be tightened.

Core plug out, water jacket cleaned and drilled.

Manifolds and carbs on.

Spark plug side with all the oil pipes, filter, distributor and dynamo on. But no fan pulley - yet.

Looking good.



 Ir's our wedding anniversary so we have planned a good day out. First visit Ikea in Nantes to get a copy of the 2011 invoice for the kitchen so we can get the fridge and coffee machine repaired/renewed. Then the afternoon at the art gallery and an evening meal at a town half way home. Sound good? Well it didn't work out that way. Ikea was good. Then we had lunch in the cafe there after which we wended our way to the art gallery. Now the problems start. It's closed for a 2 year restoration (the building, not the paintings). So we walk over to the cathedral and spend half hour inside. Come out and it's raining. Make our way back to the car and I decide we'll go to the town with the restaurant and look around the shops and the marina for a few hours. We get there and it's still raining. But it soon eases up so we get a coffee and walk around the shops. A short road full of shops.... 3 hairdressers 5 estate agents and a few clothes shops. So we go to the restaurant. Lynne suggests we go home and go out in the evening to a local restaurant. I would rather eat here. So we sit in the car listening to Joni for two and a half hours! Restaurant opens and we go in. Really good meal and a very nice bottle of wine make up for the disastrous day. We leave at 2200, get back to the car and..... the battery is flat. Call the breakdown service and the chap turns up in 15 minutes, we jump start the car and get home abou 2300.



Some pictures of Nantes cathedral. I always find it amazing looking at the stone work of medievil buildings, all done by hand with no machinary at all.


 Go to the physio and then on to collect the flywheel, which has had 0.060" skimmed off the inner flange. Get back and I'm now updating this. I've almost decided not to fit a new ring gear, just file the ragged edges and refit it. I'll have lunch first then start work. Started at 1430. Drilled out the broken screws from the fan pulley and retapped them. Then fitted the pulley and fan blades which allowed me to fit the fan belt and tighten the dynamo. Then dropped the rear of the sump to get the flywheel in. Turned down the 4 bolts so they don't touch the new seal carrier. Fitted the flywheel, refitted the sump then filled the oil filter with oil and tried filling the pump. That'll have to wait untill I get a new copper washer for the top pipe. Lastly, fitted the starter motor with the spring brackerts in the correct positions. There is a cable clamp to be fitted to the centre bolt but I think it's at the bodyshop.


Dynamo on and, now tight,

Fan pulley and blades on.

Flywheel and starter on.

A better picture of the fan pulley.

And finally, John, the original owner, wanted to see tha name on the speedo.

So, wire the four flywheel bolts, fit the clutch, touch up some paint and put the engine out of the way until the copper washer for the top filter pipe arrives next week. I should have the gearbox stripped by lunch........


 Late start because I stayed in bed. Any problems with that you can send me a postcard! Wired the flywheel bolts and fitted the clutch as well as the new 1st motion shaft bearing. Then got the engine out of the way and started cleaning the gearbox. Took ages! I then started to dismantle the box but stopped at 1830 as I was getting tired.

The clutch duly fitted.



The gearbox, duly dirty.

The gearbox being duly dismantled.

I'll duly clean the tools and put them away in the morning.

All I need to know is what should be painted.


I am an idiot, a 100% idiot, a diamond amongst idiots, a pure bred idiot. What am I? An idiot. When I refitted the rocker shaft I pulled down the 8 bolts and got the feeling that the two outer large bolts had stripped. I didn't take it all off as I didn't want to spoil my day. Now, then, what am I? An idiot, you got it in one. I took them off this morning hoping to find the bolt threads had stripped. Instead i find this idiot has put the distance pieces under the bolt head instead of in the gap on the pedestals. What am I? I know, an idiot. I now have perfectly intact threads but four broken pedestals.

I sorted out replacements and then carried on stripping the gearbox. The 3rd/4th hub slid too far forward and all the balls and springs shot into the box, onto the bench and on the floor. I recovered all but one ball.

Tonight the gears and hubs are all cleaned as is the bell housing and the casing. The first motion shaft bearing is on after a nightmare struggle to get the C nut off. Yes, I know it's a left hand but it was very tight for its first 3/4 of a turn, and then just spun off.

Roger is sending me the four rocker shaft posts, the bell housing seal and something else.... which I've forgotten. Linda at NTG is sending me the relief valve assembly for the oil pump, which is missing on mine (this is the filter relief not the pressure relief), two thumb nuts for the rocker cover, a set of balls for the gearbox hub and the correct carb float valve screw and copper overflow pipe, also missing on mine.

I can now have a few days off whilst waiting for the parts. I may get some lessons to improve my idiocy.

The work of an idiot.

Further evidence, M'Lord, of an idiots work.

The gearbox selectors, only so I know how they go back.

The rest of the internals. Anyone know how this lot goes back together?

I very oily and dirty internal case.

Rollers, balls and springs. Oh, and selector shaft lock screws. There are 43 rollers, if you don't believe me, count them. There are 6 springs but only five balls. I have a ball missing.....

The mainshaft

The lay gear.

A shiny bellhousing.

And a clean internal case.

I'll find something to get on with whilst waiting for parts.


 Not much I could do today so I moved all the gearbox parts to the floor. I asked Lynne to give me a hand to put the circlip over the gear lever spring housing. It's a bit difficult but with a pair of long nose pliers should be a quick job. After 10 minutes of the clip flying all over the place, Lynne comes up with the idea of wiring the clip closed with locking wire. It did work so I have to say "thank you" to my little helper.  I then  started on the horn and wiper motor. Took the wiper motor apart, cleaned the old paint off and put the two parts under 4 x 500 watt halogen light tubes. I also use a hair dryer to heat the parts and the tin of paint. Then sprayed it and kept the heat on. It was drying smooth when it should be crinkling. So, I turned the lights and hair dryer off and it went all crinkly. Success at last.

A gearbox, laid out on the floor.


The wiper motor, all crinkly, like chips.

I'll take a picture of the horn tomorrow, if I go to the workshop...


 No work today, a nice day off. However I did bring the wiper motor and horn into the house. The wiper motor will need stripping a painting again but the horn is just about acceptable. Although I'm not sure the centre nut should be crackle black.

What do you think?


 Started at 0930 and took it easy as I couldn't do much without the parts I was waiting for. So looked at the 3rd/4th speed hub to see which way round it went. The document I'd read said the flat side went to the rear. However both sides are the same. Eventually, looking at the document (for a YA) I realised that the hubs for the Y and T are different and the T box the hub is the same both ways round. Then stripped the paint off the box part of the wiper motor, heated it and sprayed it with crinkle paint again. This time I held the tin much further away that the 6" to 8" it says on the tin. When it dried it wasn't too bad so refitted the chrome handle, titted the cover to the body and put it away. Then opened the steering box and gave it a good wash out with petrol. Got all the paint off the column and removed the felt from the top coloumn. Painted the column and box and left it drying whilst I had lunch, After lumch I made a gasket for the top plate and filled the box with EP140 then fitted the top felt. What a job! Took about an hour of really hard work to get the felt down the column. Just as I finished the postman came and brought me the gearbox bits. Went off to Chateaubriant to get some heavy grease to hold the needle rollers in place. Got back and packed the rollers into the layshaft, then into the mainshaft. Packed up at 1730 because I was tired. The mainshfat is in and the forks and selector rails are next. That'll have to wait for Wednesday now as we're out tomorrow.


 We're going out today, instead of the usual Wednesday, as tomoroow is a public holiday in France (armistice day). So, to keep everyone amused here ar some pictures of yesterdays work.

A cleaned and painted steering box. Looks like it may need another coat!

The top of the column, resting on the old oxy-acetylene cylinders. The other end is on the vice.

Gearbox with mainshaft installed. The strings are just like a Tampax.  No there not, they're around the layshaft and help in lifting it into place. Must remember to soak it in oil.

Best picture I could get of the wiper motor. Looks crackly.

The bits left to fit into the gearbox. Do you think if I throw them all in, fit the top and ends and shake vigorously they'll know where to go? No, oh well I'll have to ask the group more questions.


We went out yesterday because today is a public holiday in France (Remembrance day). Only problem was I didn't feel well, ached all over. So after lunch Lynne went shopping for a new wet jacket and I fell asleep in the car. She didn't find one so we came home and I fell asleep for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Took a paracetamol before going to bed and slept most of the night. Felt better this morning.

Started where I'd left off on Monday by refitting the lay gear. Well trying to refit the lay gear. It would not lift into place. Ended up taking the main shaft out again and repositioning the lay gear, refitting the main shaft and then, with Lynne holding the casing, I got the shaft into the lay gear. Now to refit the selector rails. Sorted out which was which and pushed the first one in. It was very tight going through the 3rd/4th selector fork so I tapped the end of the shaft. At this point the hub slid too far and the balls and springs made their escape. I just turned all the lights and radio off and came in. Well, I mean, enough is enough!


It's now 0600 in the morning; I've caught up with yesterday events and will have some breakfast and start work on the gearbox.

Started at 0800 and took the lay shaft and main shaft out. Refitted the balls and springs to the hub. Wish it was as easy to do as to say. But I got it at the 6th attempt and 2 lost balls. Luckily I'd ordered 6 new ones so had a few spare, there being only one of the original six missing. Then refitted main and lay shafts. Sorted out the selector rails and just skimmed the first/second rail on the grindstone as it wouldn't push through the fork. I refitted the end cover and the final drive flange. Then took it all off again to fit the two balls that do not have springs. I looked up several documents to establish where they went as "I saw not wereth they falleth from". Even though I'd previously looked at the holes in the casing, when I looked again with a bright torch I saw they went between the rails in sideways holes where the balls with springs go in the vertical plane. So, off with the end plate, fiddle the two balls in, refit the rails and refit the end plate. Then wire up the locking pins and speedo drive screws and fit the top cover. I've painted the bell housing, iron casing and end plate the maroon colour, leaving the gear lever extension unpainted. I cannot fit the bell housing until the correct oil seal arrives from Roger F. As I'm not working tomorrow (we have friends coming over) I'm hoping the bell housing seal, along with the rocker pillars arrive tomorrow. Then I can finish the engine and gearbox and put the two together.

The gearbox held in the vice by the drain plug. Which reminds me to remind myself to remember to tighten it.

Using the locking wire pliers to wire up the selector shaft locking pins.

That's a better picture, not easy trying to operate the pliers and take the picture.

A painted lady.

Didn't intend to paint the brass speedo drive.

Unpainted top cover complete with dip stick. By the way, it selects all the gears. Bit tight but it needs some oil.



A nice day off after a blood test, posting a letter, physio for an hour, paying the house tax, getting milk and ice cream and, deep breath, home. Our friends came and we went to Segre for lunch. Came home and Lisa and I demolished another bottle of red. The parts arrived so I can now finish the engine and gearbox. BUT.... Lisa and Phil have talked Lynne into buying a Karcher window cleaner so we're off to Angers in the morning to get one. I may get back early afternoon and finish the engine and gearbox but if not then Sunday will see me beavering away.


Off we went to Atoll, the new shoping centre near Angers. Mission, to buy a Karcher window cleaner thingie. We went all over the store looking for them and eventually asked. They were at the end of an isle which we had been down but missed them. There was one for 49.99€ and another for 89.99€. Difference? the expensive one had a wider blade thing. OK, says I we'll get the wide one...... She wasn't listening. She had spied a robot window cleaner. So, just as I thought my wallet could rest easy the 89.99€ jumped to 399.99€ Oh dear, better keep it under lock and key from now on. It was 1145 so I said lets look around a bit more then the Chinese will open at 1200. Why do I always create my own problems. She then sees a massage seat thing that you fit to a chair. Try it was the invite. So I did. It was brutal but my back felt relaxed. I looked at the two on show and decided, if I was going to buy one, it would be the expensive one of the two. But not today dear, eh? We paid for the stuff we had (included a hand held steam cleaner as well). She then stops in the middle of the path outside the shop and declares we'll get the massage thing today, I need it for my back. I come up with a great idea. Why not have lunch and, if my back still feels good, we'll go back and get it. We had lunch.... and went back and spent another 395€

Got home and I had to put the window cleaner on charge. I then got changed and went into the garage. First to fit the bell housing to the gearbox. No problem. Next to fit the four new pillars to the valve rocker shaft. No problem, until I went to fit them to the head. I could get one of the two bolts (per pillar) in but not both. I tried and tried and tried and couldn't blow this bloody house down, or get both bolts in! Carful feeling with a long thin screwdriver showed that the holes were 1/16" out of line. So, off with the gear and I ran a drill through the smaller hole, refitted the assembly and just got all eight started and torqued up. Now only the gearbox to fit to the engine, that'll wait until tomorrow, I need to hold the box on the crane and push hard. Bit like having a baby I suppose. Pictures tomorrow. 


 Found a small chain and got the gearbox in the air. Then pushed it in and, after a struggle, it went in nearly all the way. Then I spent about an hour searching for the bell housing bolts. I found 7 (there are 10) so put a couple in and started to pull the box onto the engine. But then I couldn't get some of the other top bolts started so I removed those that had and pulled the box out. I then cleaned the threads and started all the bolts. Pushed the box back on and got 2 bolts (at opposite sides) on and pulled the box onto the engine. Then fitted the rest of the top bolts and a few of the bottom ones. The rest can wait as I suspect the other three bolts are at the bodyshop.

I then pulled the engine and gearbox out of the work area to a place opposite the garage door. I removed the chain from the rocker cover studs and refitted the cover. Next I removed the oil pump to fit a new spring and ball for the oil filter by-pass valve. It would appear that the filter by-pass valve is on the driven shaft so I left it and rebuilt the pump. I then pumped oil, from an oil can, into the pump and, when full, turned the engine over until oil came out of the top of the pump. I then refitted the pipe to the top of the pump but left the union on the top of the filter loose. The battery was connected to the starter and the engine turned over. Oil came out of the top of the filter so I then tightened the union. I then loosened the union on the feed pipe to the head. More cranking on the starter had oil coming from the union (and the oil feed to the gauge). I blocked off the feed to the gauge and tightened the union on the head. I now cranked more and looked inside the oil filler cap to see the oil sqirting from the tappets. Only it wasn't.  I took the rocker cover off and it still wasn't spraying out the rockers. I then noticed the pool of oil under the filter was getting bigger and then saw the top union to the head had broken. OK, I'll have to order a new one. Next was to fit the new contacts into the starter motor switch. No real problems and refiited the lead with its new rubber cover.

It was now time to overhaul the petrol pump. Got it all stripped, some of the screws were very tight and needed a tap to free them off. I cleaned all the flanges and the silt that was on the inside. At this point I tapped the body on the anvil end of the vice to get the gummed up silt out of the main body.....and the flange broke off. I suspect it cracked when I tapped the siezed screws.

So, I had a smashing time, one step forward and two back.


Scary, the new massager

What's with the led lights. When your sitting in it you can't see tham!

Shiny engine, with it's new rocker cover nuts all gleaming.

Ready for mating. Sorry the picture's out of focus, blame the cameraman.

All together and in the air with a scary mosnster shadow.

A quick walk round, in the brilliant sunshine.

The broken oil pipe union. Best picture this crap photographer could get. The broken bit is still in the hole and the pipe can be seen to the right of it.

Starter switch back together with it's new rubber boot.

Petrol pump having a very tight screw taken out. I've had tight screws before but we won't discuss that here.

The silt in the bottom of the pump chamber.

A better picture of the silt. I just want you to undersatnd how bad it was, before I broke it.

A broken pump. I only tapped it on the vice to shake out the dirt.

There you go, you can all laugh at me now. I am, so you may as well join in.

Tomorrow I'll pop over to the bodyshop and bring the radiator back. 


 Left at 1000 for the bodyshop and collected the radiator and some bolts and a couple of wiring clips. Got back and Lynne was playing with her new toy so I took some photos. Then carried the radiator from the boot of the car to the garage, my it is heavy. Took the shell off the radiator then stripped the grille off the shell. Laid the grill out on the floor on a sheet of foam paper stuff. Started spraying. Then filled the radiator up until the water leaks appeared. Looking at the three holes I did wonder why three tubes had holes in them in a straight line across. Never mind, I got some wet and dry and using a folded edge cleaned the holes. When I looked with the torch I found the holes had cut through and I now had three splits rather than holes. Applying plenty of flux I then heated the tubes and ran some solder. In the meantime I was spraying the grille every half hour. I had lunch and then refilled the radiator and watched as the water gushed from the three splits. OK, no further with that, I'll find and old man who can repair it. So, next I fitted the cable clip to the starter wire. Then fitted the missing washer to the end of the rocker shaft (it flew across the workshop yesterday when I was distracted by a mad women blowing her horn because she wanted a hand with the shopping) In fact it hadn't flown across the shop but was trapped somewhere in the fan belt as it fell out when I was turning the engine with the starter motor. I fitted three more bell housing bolts but still have three missing. Oh, and I removed the broken piece of banjo bolt from the head. It was easy, just jammed a scredriver into it and it unscrewed. A few more coats of paint and I was finished for the day.

The new wondow cleaner. up it goes.....

....and up....

.....right to the top. Do you know, I remember when window cleaners rode bikes with the bucket on the handlebars.

The broken screw off the banjo union.

And, finally, the red grille,


 Left just after 0800 to go to Angers with the radiator. Turned round and came back when less than a mile away as I'd forgotten my bag with phone, money and cards. Got to the radiator place at 0915 and left the radiator. Then went to the bodyshop and picked up the hood and sidescreens. Got back and went to sleep until 1300! I then took a bucket of hot soapy water to the workshop and gave the hood and sidescreens a good washdown. I've left them drying. I put some locking wire on a few screws in the block, touched up some paint and started to set the ignition timing. I've left the pinch bolt out as I wanted to make sure it is the right one. It appears to be so I'll put it back on Thursday and set the timing to 0 TDC.I think I may go back to sleep now......

Just as I was finishing the days entry the phone rang. The radiator place. They can't repair the tubes, they have all gone soft so they will make a new core. Only 290€ which isn't bad as that's only £202 at todays rate. ONLY!!!!!!


Ok, I know, you want pictures. Here they are. The material is surprisingly good but the hood needs a new window. The rear sidescreens are pink in colour but the fronts are still clear. I will get them all changed as even though the side are good, they are very brittle. I also refitted the grille to the shell. Looks Ok from a distance but not good close up.

You can see the difference in the colours of the windows. The side screens (rear) are pink, not yellow. The rear window is yellow and cracked.

The material looks good now it's been cleaned.

The front side screens are good, the windows are clear, but very brittle.

The rear sidescreens windows are pink not yellow as in this picture.

The rear window. It seems to have had a demister panel stuck to it. Remember them?

Another of the rear window, Is this where Hitchcock got the idea for the name of a film?

The newly painted grille refitted to the shell.

We're off out today so nothing more, see you tomorrow.


 OK, it's now tomorrow. I have an optician's appointment at 0830. This is not where you buy glasses but have a full eye examination and come away with a prescription if you need new glasses. So I have all the usual examinations with chin on a rest and instuctions to "look at the cross" or "Regardez le croix". I'm then shown into the optician's room and we start by looking at letters in a miiror. I fail. Then he looks at my eyes thtough that brightly lit magnifying glass. After which he puts some drops in my eyes amd I have to wait 15 minutes and have the back of my eyes photographed again. Back into the surgery where he looks again. Then tells me the problem is my eyes have swollen areas from diabetes and the cure is to have a sequence of injections into the eyes. I have to have 3 starting next thursday and then in January and again in February. He also tells me that I shouldn't drive.

So, why have I been working flat out for 6 months rebuilding a car only to be told I shouldn't drive?

Anyway. never mind, I've been driving for the past 4 months and have got used to the poor vision so I'll continue. "Shouldn't" does not mean "mustn't".

When we got back at 1030 I went to sleep until 1300, had lunch, looked around facebook, did 15 minutes on the back massage then went and fitted the new banjo bolt which had arrived yesterday.

A fuzzy picture of a banjo bolt all done up with copper washers. The fuzziness must be down to my eyesight.

The interior of the hood, needs a good clean, but how?

A better picture of the stains.


 Late start, 1000, and removed the plugs and set the ignition timing to 0 TDC using an Ohmmeter. Then connected the battery and turned it over on the starter. I have oil coming up to the head but nothing coming out the rocker squirt holes. I've asked the supplier of the new pillars if they all have an oil feed or only one. If only one (or he's not sure) I'll take the rockers off and look. Then turned my attention to the hood and sidescreens. First job is to clean both inside and out of the hood. My darling wife makes me a mix of Vanish and I carry the bowl into the workshop. Within a few wipes the water is black but the interior of the hood is getting cleaner. I give it all a thorough brushing with a stiff nail brush and then do the outside. I then leave it for 15 minutes as directed by her who knows, and then hose it down. Lunch and then I top up the engine oil as I've had a delivery of the engine oil I ordered some weeks ago. I now have 4 x 1 litre cans of gear oil, a gallon of running in engine oil and a can of hood frame paint. Then it's the side screen's turn for a wash. I think the rear screens had been in the stowage compartment getting covered in grease and oil as they threw out a lot of black oily stuff. I hosed them down and now the lot is hanging and leaning upright to dry.


Is that better? I think so. I will go over it again when it's dry.

It has been cleaned, just needs the frame de-rusting and painting.

The fabric looks clean but, again, the frame needs attention.

Same situation.

The other rear screen. The perspex has now gone yellow, it was pink.

A better picture of the inside of the hood.

You can just see the slight stains left. Another clean when it's all dry and I've painted the frame.

This is a picture of the workshop as I left. It's in darkness and this is the result of using the tiny, tiny, ickle flash on the camera.

I may give the hood and side screen frames another (in the case of the side screens it will the first) coat of rust remover in the morning but that'll be all.

 ADDED LATER: One good thing is that I'm not using Swarfega type hand cleaner. I just wash my hands with hand soap. They'll be soft as a baby's bum soon.


 Had a look at the hood and sidescreens, got dragged out shopping and then, after lunch, watch Final Score as the footbal scores come in. The hood is looking really good. Another wash with Vanish will see it as good as it gets. Ther rear sidescreens are rotten so I may get the boat builder to make new ones.


 Was going to have a whole day off. However, by 1000 I was bored so brought the sidescreens and some tools into the house and started to remove the frames. Got most of the nuts off but a few were turning in the studs which are captive in the outside chrome strips. Got my Dremel but I've run out of cutting discs so that was as far as I could go. I got an email from John, the previous owner informing me that he had put a new hood and front sidescreens on during the 1960s. This explains why they are in vinyl and the rear side screens are original canvas. The rear are beyond repair, so I'll ask the chap puting the new windows in to make new, vinyl ones.


First thing off to Brico for new Dremel cuting discs. Also bought some small rivets for the rear sidescreens, however, I think they may be too small. I also bought a strip of 300mm by 2mm metal to make a new end on one of the front side screen brackets which has broken at the end. Then I thought it would be a good idea to get a tin of rust killing greay metal primer. As I didn't have a trolley I stuck the tin of paint under my arm. Queued at the checkout and when my turn came I put the discs, rivets, metal strip and 3 ali cases on offer for 23€ on the checkout counter. The girl, who I know, pointed at me and said something I didn't understand. I thought she was pointing behind me so turned round to look ar what it may be. She started laughing and lifted her arm. At this point I realised that the tin of paint was stilll under my arm. Oh, well getting senile!

I got back and set to work cutting off the last frame nuts. Drilled out the 12 rivets on the rear sidescreens and got told off because I hadn't changed into working clothes. I then took everything back to the workshop and cleaned the rust of the frames on the wire wheel. Then coated the frames in paint remover and left them to stew. Lunch, after which I set up the jet wash and, having scraped the old paint off the frames I jet washed them. I then got a new mix of Vanish and soaked the hood again. At this point I went in for a coffee. The email from Roger arrived in reply to mine about not getting oil to the the valve gear. He explained the rocker shaft could only go in one way. Trust me, two choices and I pick the wrong one. So, whilst the hood was festering I whipped the rocker shaft off, turn it round and refited it. Two bolts were really hard to get in (the remade piilars have the holes drilled slightly offset) but I eventually got them all started. I then hung the hood outside and jet washed it to get the Vanish off. Pulled the rocker pillars down to the torque setting I found on the TABC site, which are different to the one printed in another document I have but can't find. Anyway, torqued down and tappets set I turn the engine over on the starter. Still no oil. Then I notice the oil is running out of the two ends of the new shaft. Rummage around for the old shaft, remove the end blanking screws and fit them to the new shaft. This time I get oil to the tops of the rockers. Now, as I type this up I realise I forgot to turn the lock tabs over, so I'll do that first thing in the morning.

Bring the hood in, turn the water off, bring the jet wash in, turn the lights out and come in and type this up. I'm a happy chappie.

Me, cutting the nuts off the frame screws. Please note the new very short haircut, I've not gone bald, only been shorn.

The frames, de-rusted, de-painted and jet washed.

The hood, hanging around drying.


The blanking screw(s) in the old rocker shaft.

SUCCESS The oil coming out the rockers.

It's so good I just had to take another picture.

And another. It's oil, it's beautiful, it's wonderful, it's marvelous, I'm begining to break into song.

Nearly finished.

I'm hoping the radiator will be ready tomorrow. I'll collect it from Angers and, in the afternoon, paint the frames. Then Wednesday off to St Bruiec with the hood.

As I proof read this through, I remember where the document I've been using which has different torque settings for the rocker hft pillar is. It's on the scanner as I scanned in the list of spark plugs heat ranges for the TABC group. This document says they are 29 aqnd 43 and the other says 16 and 33. Oh well, they're tight and when I've turned the lock tabs up it'll be OK.

Thought I'd just mention how I primed the pump. I assembled the pump and filter and pipes all dry. I then removed the pipe from the top of the pump to the filter and, using an old fashioned oil can pumped the pump full of oil. I then, using a small funnel (thanks Lynne, you didn't need it) filled the oil filter. I then refitted the pipe but the the unon on top of the filter loose. I turned the engine over on the starter until oil came from this union. Tightened the union and slackened off the union on the bottom of the pipe to the head. I had to blank off the oil gauge pipe then turned it over on the starter again until I got oil from this union. Tighten this one and slackened the top one, same procedure and get oil at the head., Had I assmebled rocker shaft the correct way around and fitted the shaft blanking screws, I would have had oil pressure to the rockers straight away. So pump primed and pressure to the highest point in about an hour.


 Started at 0900 by coating the side screen frames with rust remover. Whilst it was drying I removed the rocker cover and turned up the lock tabs on the rocker gear bolts and refitted the cover. I then fixed my new screwdriver set, which is in a case, to the side of the toolbox. Yesterday I put all my meters in the large new ali case, all the circlip pliers and their bits along with the lock wire pliers in the small case. I put all the very large spanners (up to 1" and 32 mm) in the middle sized case but this morning decided to put the spanners in the draw with the Whitworth spanners and sockets and put all the brushes, headlamps (for my head, not the car's) and carb balancers etc into the middles sized case. The top boxes of the three tool boxes are now a bit clearer.

I then rubbed down the frames and welded the one that had fracured and then made a piece for the broken bracket and welded that on. Having done that I then pianted all four frames with rust killing primer (the one that I keep under my arm!). Lunch. I'm not sure why I'm spending so much time on the hood and sidescreens, they'll probably never get used. But, having taken all the time and trouble I've taken so far, may as well do the whole job. Which reminds me, I wonder how much labour I've spent so far. Hang on and I'll do some working out.............

Hang on, calculator is buzzing.......

Nearly there.

OK, I reckon I've worked on the car for 121 days. I've not counted the time the family were here or the ten days I had off. So, assume I averaged an 8 hour day that gives us 968 hours. OK, so below is the cost at different rates.

968 at £25 ph = £24,200

968 at £35 ph = £33880

968 at £50 ph = £48,400

I won't go on, it's a lot of money even at £25 per hour. Add to this about £35,000 on parts, consumables and tools and the real cost of renovation would be £57,200 so far. Probably another £6000 to add when the bodywork is finished.

If anyone wants to make me an offer of £65,000 I may consider it..... what no offers, oh well I'll just keep it then.

After lunch I showered and changed and set off for Angers to collect the radiator. Only got "lost" twice. Problem is I can't read the direction signs and thought I'd taken the wrong turning. I hadn't but had to go over the river to turn round and go the way I wanted to. Then as I went towards the place with the rad there is a "Y" fork and I couldn't remember which fork to take. I decided it was the right so took the left on the basis I was probably wrong ((you work it out, I gave up years ago). I was right in the first place so had to turn round and come back to take the right leg at the "Y". Got the place, the girl knew who I was, I paid, she gave me a large cardboard wall calendar and my rad which I put in the car and came home. On the way home I went to the pharmacy to collect the two injections for my eyes. Now I have fairly small eyes. These boxes are HUGE. Anyway, they're in our fridge for now.

I've put the sidescreens in the boot (taken the rad out) and will put the hood in later (it's drying out in the porch in front of the paraffin heater), The frames are still wet so I've put the arc lights on them to dry them. I'll put them inb the car later.

The broken frame, about to be welded and have the missing piece put back.

Frames, just hanging around, drying out.

The radiator. You can lay down to look at it but it's still a rad.

Looks good from any angle.

Could be modern sculpture.

We're off to St Bruiac tomorrow to take the hood and sidescreens to the boatyard place. Then to a nice restaurant for lunch.


 After the physio session we set off for St Brieuc and the upholsterers. Took a bit longer to get there so we went into St Brieuc and found the restaurant, and Asian place called Zen (well what else). Had a good meal and then set the satnav for the upholsterers. Got there to find the son was out, the Mother didn't know I was coming and confusion reigned. I managed to explain to the two young girls working there what I wanted, left the stuff and we came home.

I have a picture of me box spanners which arived yesterday. I'll publish it on Friday.


 It's 0700 in the morning and I'm going to have needles stuck in my eyes. I'm really looking forward to this (why is my nose getting longer). I'll report back later. One thing is that my darling wife has banned me from the garage until at least Monday in case I get an infection in my eyes. So, I'll be laying the new tiles in the bathroom, something I was supposed to do last year!

Whilst I'm waiting for my darling wife to get dressed I'll publish the picture of my box spanners. Don't get too excited, I know it's very sexy, but keep control.


Box spanners. They fit the starter motor bolts just lovely.


The nurse put loads of anaesthetic drops into my eyes as well as an anti-septic. Then the doctor (or whatever he's called) tells me to look down and puts the needle in the right eye. I thought this is OK, I can't feel anything...... then he injects and it's painful. He then does the other eye. I didn't feel too good after this trauma. We go home, Lynne driving and I sit down, put the radio on and close my eyes which feel very sore. It's now 1700 and the soreness has worn off and, apart from a big black blob floating around my right eye, I feel OK.

The big problem is they have said I shouldn't do anything which could get something in my eye as infection is the main risk. And this doing nothing is for the next 15 days! No work on the car or laying tiles then. I'm going to the doctor on Monday (for a prescription, no repeats here, you must be examined every 3 months) and will ask him.


 I thought I'd have a very boring day, being banned from the workshop and from doing any of the jobs around the house. But, no, it turned out all right. I came down at 0700 spent an hour dealing with emails and looking at FN. Then had breakfast and brought the old Ikea fridge from the old house into the porch. The engineer was due betwen 1100 and 1400. He has to fix the coffee machine and the fridge. I then put out a request on the TABC group for an original toolkit. I thought I'd treat the car to one as it's the car birtday on 12th December and mine on the 20th. Emails came pouring in with suggestions but all US (and one Aussi) based dealers. I emailed a UK dealer who specialises on pre war cars but claimed to have a stock of original tools. He came back with a price which, with carriage, would be getting close to a £1000. Then, a member who lives in France replied that he could make up a set from all the bits he had. A few emails later and I bought a complete kit apart from the wander light. I'm getting that from Barry Walker. The engineer turned up at 1420 and fixed the coffee machin by fitting a new pump. Then he looked at the fridge and decided to return to the depot for recharging. I've now realised that we made a bit of a boo boo. When it stopped working we bought another fridge as we hadn't realised that Ikea stuff has a 5 year warranty. It's only 4 years old. But we used all the plastic draws and shelves in the workshop for cleaning parts. I've asked the engineer to supply new ones. They will sennd me a quote for approval.

We then set off for Brico Marche to get a new paraffin heater for the porch (which was built after I put the heating in). When we got there they had a special offer of a Butane heater which was cheaper than the cheapest paraffin heater. So we bought one and then went to the petrol station for a bottle of Butane gas. This will be great if the gas lasts at least a month. The paraffin heater uses a 20 litre bottle of paraffin a week at nearly 30€ a bottle. The gas was 18.95€ (plus a Euro deposit for the bottle). Got it back, connected the bottle, fitted the wheels and tried to light it. The pilot light came on but it didn't light. Read the manual which says I may have to try several times the first time it's lit as there will be air in the system. Problem is that the safety device cut in and now the start buttone won't depress. Never mind, I'll try again tomorrow. The last thing we got a call from the local furniture store that  my new armchair will be delivered next Wednesday and could I come in and pay the balance.

So, all in all, a good day.

Tools, wonderful tools.


 I had a problem with the new heater last night. It wouldn't start. On the first attempt the start button went down a fair way, but after it hardly pushed down at all. I assumed it was a safety cut out device so left it to breath a bit. However the button still didn't push down. This morning I tried again and it was the same. Then, after removing and refitting some pipes decided I'd have to take it back. I tied one more time, the start button still only pressing in 1/2" and.... it fired. Great, as I didn't have the time to take it back. I then realised that the day teh Le Mans tickets go on sale I'm at hospital. Just out of interest I looked at the site and the buggers have put them on sales early. All the seasts above the pits are sold. Nearly all the seats in the stands opposit the pits are fully sold but found four in a row in the last stand before the Dunlop Bridge. Booked and paid for them and a car park space. I'm not sure if the seat tickets allow you entrance into the track so will have to phone on Monday. I think the entrance tickets are seperate.

I then went out to pay the balance of my new armchair which is being delivered Wednesday. I also got a bread from the supermarket. I also bougt a new Stanley knife and some blades. I have noticed that the Alette horn is wrong. The centre nut is black and should be chrome. So I'm going to mask it up and paint the centre nut with chrome affect paint.

Got back, had lunch and then counted how many vinyl tiles we have. About 220 and, if my maths are correct, at 30cm x 30 cm that makes just under 20 sq meters. More than enough for the workshop to create an area to place the car on. I then moved the furniture around so the delivery men can take the old stuff away. All the car interior and seats are laid out on one of the couches so I tidied that lot up at the same time.

At this point I decided I needed a new tool kit for the TC. I searched around but no one has done a repro kit. There are some that say they have good originals but you have to check stock. So, I emailed Doug at FTFU and Barry Walket in the UK. I then sent an email round to the TABC group asking if anyone knew where I could get the full kit. Got a few answers pointing me to the US and Oz. Then I get an email from a member who lives here, in France, who has a full set minus a jack and inspection lamp. I've agreed to buy it. I've got an inspection lamp coming from Barry Walker so now all I need is a jack. This is a birthday present to the car and me as our birthdays are but 8 days apart in December.

It was now 1530 here and Final Score was on the BBC red button. So I settled down to watch the scores come in. When the games were finished I checked my emails and looked on FB...... my son had pm'd me with a photograph of the missing headlamps. My daughter had, by mistake, left them in the office when she brought the tub and all the other stuff I'd had sent to the office over the previous few months. When we had the vans back-to-back in the hotel car park in Portsmouth (1st August) I was about to open a package which I assumed was the new headlights. They all shouted at me to leave it for now as they wanted to go in to the bar. I therefore assumed the heaadlights were in the van but couldn't find them when we got back. I'd dropped the tub and body panels at the bodyshop on the way home so spent ages searching the workshop, the house and the bodyshop for them. They were in the office all the time and my son found them as he's moving offices over the weekend.

What a result, a mystery solved, I hate mysteries, and I now have a pair of new unused headlamps for sale. So I send an email round to the TABC group offering them at, about £150 less than retail. Within 10 minutes they're sold. I am having a good day.

The horn with chrome affect paint on the centre nut.

The headlights. These are the replacements but will be the same as those now found which are in Sheffield. Sounds like Tolkein, "the light that was lost and now found"


 Spent all morning on the computer, selling the headlights and looking for a jack and handle for the TC. After lunch I took the shower down and tried to solder the joints that were leaking. We have a standard shower pipe thingie but as the shower is so big I cut the pipe and put an extension pipe in so as to get the head in the centre. I cut slots and used hose clamps to hold the pipes together but they have been leaking. Only a drip-drip type of leak but it was annoying me. Problem was I couldn't solder the steel pipe very well (the extension is copper). I refitted it and it was pouring out. So I took it apart again and tried to braze it. Problem I'm having is I can't see the detail very well and I'm frightned of burning a hole in the copper pipe. Refitted it and put it all back and, guess what, it still leaked. Tomorow for the next part of this saga.


 Went to the doctor for new prescriptions. Appointment was for 1030 and we got in at 1115, not bad for Camille. I think they allow 30 minutes per patient but Camille takes 3/4 hour so runs later and later as the day goes on. After the doctor I got my prescription at the pharmacy and then Lynne went shopping. Got back at 1330, had lunch and started on the shower pipe again. This time I did it, burnt a hole in the copper pipe. I went off to get a new 22mm pipe but they never had any. So I went to another place and got 4 x 22 mm joints with soldered end and gland nut at the other end and two lengths of threaded pipe. Cut the old joints off and soldered the joints on. Then screwed it together. One end seemed OK but I had doubts about the other end. I was right, refitted it and one end is leaking, the other seems OK. By this time it was 2030 and Only Connect was about to start so I've left it until the morning. So much for 14 days off, I haven't stopped.


OK, you can move along to December now. Thank you.................


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