The French Blatting Company


March 2018



 Still no electricain and the hot water from the tank has now run out. No showers.. so I smell a bit :)


Electrician arrives at 0830. They get to work and wire up the controls. All done by 1200. we now have hot water from the tank. Problem is Lynne's shower is not pumping water. I put the hose to the floor and turn it on. There's a lot of air coming out then it's working properly. Howver my shower is only luke warm when on it's maximum heat setting. I suspect there's an air lock on the hot feed but as it doesn't have a flexible pipe to lower to the floor, it's a fixed head I've called the plumbers. I suspect Chris will pop over in the morning to fix it.


I've had a posting on my web site guest book from Rob Adams in the USA enquiring about a car owned by one of the chaps I worked with whilst at UM in the 60's. I thought I couldn't help him much because the owner Vic Drew was the tightest man I've ever met and used a motor bike to get to work. I never saw the car but was told about it. He was friends with John Cooper who built the car on, what I thought, was a TC chassis. By the look of the wheels it may be a TD. Rob has bought the car and restored it. I did help him as he believed Vic had built the car and now knows it was a MG-Cooper. it's being shown at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance next Sunday. Here's some pictures. 


I recieved an email from the trimmer who will be titting my new seat covers. I've asked him to fit the rear wheel arch covers and he's asked for a photograph. This is them. (I must clean my shoes)



I had a call from the doctors a week or so ago. I need a blood test so I'm booked in for this morning. I go along and Zoe, the practice nurse, calls me into her office. I'm made ready and she then asks me what the blood test is for. I respond that I don't know, just got called in for a blood test. She searches the computer and can't find anything, she rings the doctor and he looks and doesn't know. So she took some blood to do a blood/sugar level test. I go home smiling. From the doctor's I go to Halfords and buy a new battery for the Elise. The one on it will not hold a charge for more than a day or two.


There's a debate going on on the TABC Yahoo group about Whiworth and BSF spanner sizes. I thought I'd confuse things with pictures of this spanner.

Fitted the new battery to the Elise - completely flat, it's on charge. It's now 1410 and we're going out at 1700 for something to eat and then on to football.



I Continue fitting the rear sidescreens to the frames. 

You may remember I used pop rivets a month or so ago even though I was stepping over the chrome strips that are used, with special BA screws and nuts. I realised I'd done another plonkerism and looked for the screws I know I have but, along with lots of other things, they have fallen into that worm hole that follows me around. I got a new set of screws yesterday and started drilling out the rivets and fitting the screens to the frames properly.

Drilling out rivets - easy.

Drilling the paint from the holes in the frame and enlarging the holes in the screens - easy.

Mitring the chrome strips - total nightmare!

I have a part of my brain missing (I know some would say it's more than one part... but we'll ignore them and move on). I cannot get the orientation for a mitred joint correct. Two are right angles, so not so bad, but the other two are not. I mess up one of the strips by cutting along the wrong line and it's now too short. The rest is sort of OK but wouldn't win a prize. The second screen I cut one mitred end but leave the rest as butt joints. It only looks crap if you look at it. The other problem is, I suspect, the new screens are a bit thicker that the originals. I had them made, by a trimmer in France. The screws are just not long enough and it's a struggle to get them loosened of enough whilst keeping the nut on whilst the strip is slid along them. Lynne helped, bless her, she hit the ends of the strips whilst I guided the strip onto the screws which are shaped to slide in and become captive. She hit her finger, the desk, dropped the hammer on her foot and on occossions the strip. I do love her.

Drilling out rivets - easy.

Cutting the strips. The cutting is easy, getting the correct line isn't.

The second, with butt joints, it's OK if you look quickly.

The first, with mitred joints and a short strip. This one looks crap no matter how quickly you look.


 I bring the hood indoors and, with paint sprayed into the lid I brush paint the frame. Results are good.


 I went shopping at B&Q for 2 square section steel bars at 1.5 metres long, a flat iron bar and a wide aluminium strip. The square sections are for the string to setup the tracking, the flat bar is to make the brackets to hold the handbrake callipers on the Caterham and the aluminium strip is to make packing for the pads. The calliper is designed for vented discs but mine are not vented so the pads will need packing to close them up.

When I got back I got changed and the drag link end arrived from NTG just in time. I fitted it and let the car down. Then refitted the hood and fitted the front sidescreens. I also fitted the rears but haven't screwed the sidescreen holding plate on as the side trims have to come off so the trimmer can fit the wheel arch covers under them.

Sidescreens fitted. I've yet to fit the studs that the straps clips to.


We went to football. Sheffield Wednesday were winning 1-0 against Bolton the let a goal in in the 94th minute, almost the last kick. So frustrating to support. After we went to meadowhall and Lynne did some shopping and then had dinner in an Italian Restaraunt.


Spent the morning setting the track. Hard work getting up and down and trying to read a rule. I finished at 1300 and it only needs a double check in the morning. We then went to Tanya and Pauls for the afternoon followed by an Indian at Simons and Kerry's.

OK, it's sideways. This is the "box" made of the steel bars laid on axle stands, front and rear and string between. You can then measure the difference between the front of the wheel to the string and the rear to the string to set the track.

See what I mean.


Spent my day making phone calls and packing tools to take to John who lives near Hull tomorrow to get his broken exhaust manifold stud out.


Set off at 0800 for John's place in a small village between Hull and the coast. Didn't take too long to get there. Greeted with a cup of tea and really wonderful smile from Christine, John's lovely wife. They are a really lovely couple. We started on the car, drilled a small hole in the broken stud but it would not come out with an eazi-out. So kept stepping up the size of the drill and finally ran a 5/16" UNF tap into the hole. Luckily John had a squared off tap because all mine had points and weren't cutting the thread at the blind end. Finished about 1400, Chris made some lovely bacon sarnies and we sat for an hour or so chatting. Packed the tools back into the car and left. Got home at 1830.The pictures are taken by John.

Broken stud, flush with cylinder head. It's an MGB.

New stud.


We left, in the Mini, at 0930 for the Ladybower Inn on the A57, Snake Inn Pass. Lynne took over the driving and we did the Drive-it-Day route planned for the South Yorkshire MG Owners Club. I knew the route as I used to drive it once, sometimes, twice a week. It's over the Snake, left at Glossop to Chapel-en-le-Frith then the A6 to Buxton, over the Cat & Fiddle, left at Macclesfield to Leek and back along Axe Edge then across the Peak District to Ladybower.We needed to find the Tegg's Nose Cafe just off the Cat & Fiddle road so I set my sat-nav to find it. It took us on a nice detour but not to the cafe. The mileage points are now all wrong so we'll have to do it again. We stopped at Leek to meet a couple from the MGOC forum. We had a really good lunch with a lovely couple and have agreed we should meet up in the future. Got back to Ladybower and met the landlord of the pub and arrnged the lunch for the day.


I collected our medication from the chemist and made a couple of phone calls then set off for my physiotherapy. Got back at 1330 and waited for Lynne to return from the hairdressers. We then set off, in the Elise, for Scarborough. I wanted to meet the manager and the chef to plan the dinner booked for the 18h August at the end of the Coast-to-Coast run. Got held up and then got lost in Scarborough due to a road closure and no diversion signs. Got to the hotel at 1730 to find Claragh had to leave.So, that's three times I've been there and missed her, I think she's avoiding me (well, if I was her, I would avoid me). Met the chef and the owner and her son and had a pleasant hour or so. On the way back we stopped for dinner at a pub and got home about 2130. Oh, the menu looks great. My only problem is.... Some will be at the "banquet" at the Midland in MOrecambe on the Friday night, then breakfast, a stop for morning tea (and cake) followed by a carvery for lunch then afternoon tea.... not sure we'll be able to eat much more!


Went to the chemist to get the pills they left off my last prescription. When I got back I spent best part of two hours trying to get through to the Sheffield Wednesday in order to give them £720 for next years season tickets.


Messed about in the morning, watched final score in the afternoon and then set off, in heavy snow, to Chesterfield to meet friends for a meal. Really good evening with very nice people we've known for about twenty years. We left the restaurant at 2300 and the snow was like a blizzard. Still drove steady and got home in an hour.


Another day of boredom, too cold to work on the car. Watched the two FA Cup games.


Went to the hospital for another eye examination. Big chief reckons I may not need another injection and will do another assesment next month. Wish I had his confidence. From there we went shopping and had lunch at Morrisons. I wonder if there's a shortage of grapefruits... they haven't got any grapefruit juice for my breakfast.


Mark, the trimmer collected the seats and new covers for the MG. He looked at the rear wheel arch covers and will fit them when he brings the seats back. In the afterrnoon I got Lynne's car washed and checked the oil & water and filled the washer bottles.


We left at 1000 for the Ladybower Inn on the Snake Pass. Lynne then drove the Drive-it-Day route and I got the mileage points. I also took some pictures... some, well 66! Here are 5 of the best. The one with the sign in is going on the event plaque.


It's  a bit warmer today so I venture into the garage and put the tools away. These are the tools I took to Hull over a week ago. I then took the O/S headlamp glass off the MG and tested which of the circuits wasn't working. It was the blue and red wire. OK, now for the bit I was dreading. I have to get under the dash and make the blue/red wire connection good. I can't lay on my back and my eyesight where small details are concerned is very poor. (This will be OK when my left eye is cured of it's age related macular disease and I can get new lenses in my glasses). I kneel down by the side of the car, can see the multi plug with the offending wire and pull it apart. The spade side has pulled out of the connector, I pull it through and put the multi connector back... headlight works. Simple. I then start work on transferring the fittings from the old under dash cover to the new. Now I'm not sure I've got them on the correct side. I'll need Lynne to help me hold it in place to see, that will be tomorrow then. I've taken a bucket of sand out of the sand balsting cabinet so, hopefully, that will work and I can clean the plugs.  WRONG. It didn't work, one puff of air then nothing. I checked the tap on the water trap - OK. I checked both end were connected - OK, still nothing but a puff. I then changed the connector at the cabinet end of the air line (I knew the other end was OK as I could hear the air flowing when I connected it to the compressor.) Success! I cleaned the plugs, gapped them and refitted them.

I've printed off twelve event plaques for the Drive-it-Day run with the South Yorkshire MG Owners Club. They are cut into rally shape and laminatied.

The under dash tray, only problem is I think I've put the fittings on the wrong side.

Four sooty plugs......

..... and four clean plugs.

Wiring under the dash. I fitted the multi plugs with extended wiring so the dash can be removed without having to undo all the grub screws that hold the wires to the switches and bulbs.

Well, I'm ready.


Did a bit more work on the car, mainly sorting out bits and tidying up the workshop.


Set off at 0900 for the first breakfast meeting of the Traditional Car Club of Doncaster, It was at an army museum. I got there and parked up and went into the mess (canteen to you and I). The full breakfast looked tempting but I'd already had two eggs for breakfast..... Oh well, the small full breakfast was a good compromise. Space was at a premium but I found a seat with a couple with a 10 year old grandson. They finished shortly after I sat down and the lad wanted to see all the tanks so they left. A chap came and sat down opposite me. He had an MG jacket on so I asked him if he was the other member with a TC. He said he was and he'd phoned me. I was about to say I didn't remember when the chap sat to my right chips in with "Wasn't him, it was me you phoned" How about that, the three members with TC's who do not know each other all sit down next to each other. Scary! When we finished breakfast we went outside to look at the bright yellow TC. It was very nice, he's bought it from the states and was fretting about the paintwork. I told him it was just fine as it was, it looked really nice. Got back in time for a late lunch the afternoon keeping myself amused on the computer.


 Tanya and Paul came round and Paul and I had a really good chat about the state of the world.


 Last week I went to the opthalmic department at Barnsley Hospital for an assessment. The big chief was pleased and thought I didn't need anymore injections. I told him I was booked in for one today. He and his staff ran around and assured me I wasn't. However, I got an SMS reminder of the appointment yesterday so we went along in the morning expected to have another injection. The injection clinic was closed so we went to the opthalmic department. I showed them the sms and the receptionist went to find out what it was all about. Came back in few minutes with apologies but the apoointment had been made in error. No problem, I just smiled and told them not to worry. We then went off to Morrisons in Wakefield and met a friend for lunch. He's come down from Newcastle to collect a new car and went back after lunch.


Left home at 0640 for physio. Got there at 0730 and Matt was there. He spent a few minutes doing some admin and we started. He spent the hour on my arms.... OUCH, he is a bit brutal but it's worth it. It'll need a few more goes and then I may be able to tuck the back of my shirt in.

Got changed when I got back and did more work on the MG.


Picked up Malakai at 0930 and brought him back to us. He is helping me fit the vinyl cover to the dash undertray. We finished about lunchtime and he wanted to go to Frankie & Benny's for lunch. I tried to talk him into going to the local pub but he insisted so off to Wakefield for Frankie & Benny's. We get there and he orders dough balls to start and a pizza. He eats the doughballs OK but when the pizza arrives he looks at it and says to me "you know what, Frankie & Benny's has gone right down, this is rubbish". He's 11. From there I take him home and get back about 1600. My distributor has arrived back. I have a good look at it but don't attempt to fit it tonight. At 1830  we go to the MG Car Club meeting in the evening. Lynne's getting to know people now and feels better about it. I get


Get the distributor in and the engine starts straight away. I get the engine warm and check the dynamic timing at 10 degree BTDC at 600 RPM. Spot on. I then move the underdash cigar lighter and fit the left hand side of the under dash cover. The cigar lighter is then fixed to the cover. I wire up a lead from the low fuel light and an earth lead. I've ordered a warning buzzer which will be fitted to these wires in order to get an audible warning as well as a visual one when the fuel gets low. I vaccum the interior for the 6th time.I clean it then drill a hole for some screws so have to vacuum it again. I remove the air cleaner, wash the carbs in petrol and check the slow running and mixtures before refitting the air cleaner. Wash down that side of the engine as well.  In the afternoon I take Lynne's Mini O/S/R wheel to KwikFit to get a puncture repaired. There's a slight mark on the inside from it being run not fully inflated. They try and sell me a new tyre but give up when I say I've seen the damage it's very slight and not dangerous. I get the car (Elise) washed on the way back. No time to get the wheel off the Caterham, which goes flat every three days to be fixed. In the evening Paul and Tanya come round and we all go to the pub for the quiz. Kerry and Simon meet us there. So six of us but we only get 4 more than Lynne and I got on our own the week before.

The distributor refitted.

The longer view.

The underdash cover in place but not screwed in yet.

The toolbox lined with white felt. I've lined the side screen box with black felt.


Take the Caterham wheel to a tyre place, not KwikFit this time. He puts it in a bath and shows me where it's leaking around the rim. Tyre is removed, rim is cleaned and a sealer applied. Tyre refitted and retested, all OK. I take it back home just in time for an early lunch. We then leave for Football. Wednesday are playing Preston. We're 17th in the league and they're 8th so I don't expect a win. Just shows you how wrong I can be. Some of our injured players are back and some are in the reserves being brought on during the second half. We win 4-1. It was so good to leave Hillsborough with everyone smiling. I think that's the first home win this year.


 I fitted the sound buzzer to the low fuel warning light. Then refitted the right hand side of the under dash cover. I wash the N/S of the engine. Vacuum the carpets again and tighten the door striker plates. All done now other than the seat, rear wheel arch covers and side trims and refit the hood and the rear side screen brackets.

The underdash tray is now fitted and the cigar ligher is in place.

I've mounted the satnav here. With the seats in it will hardly be noticed.

This and the other side wheel arch covers need fitting. I'll leave it to the trimmer so we get a good job.

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