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3rd June 2010

OK, back to the A.

The OS front swivel pin replacement went much the same as the NS, with good results as can be seen below. It was much easier as I knew what I was doing this time. Having completed both swivel pins, the front suspension was re-assembled and went together without a hitch. I'll fully tighten all the nuts and bolts once the car is back on the ground and the suspension is loaded.

 

 

Having got the front suspension completed, the next step was to move onto the rear suspension. I checked the condition and heights of the rear springs to find that one was completely siezed and that both were less than the minimum recommended spring height, one by about 1", the other by about 1.5". I investigated having the springs reconditioned as well as the cost of replacements. In comparison with replacements the cost of reconditioning was extortionate. I decided to buy new springs and a rear axle fitting kit with new bushes, silent blocks, U bolts, spring pads - everything needed to fit the axle. This turned out to be only a few pounds dearer than having my springs reconditioned without a fitting kit.

Whilst waiting for the new springs and fitting kit to arrive, I had the tyres taken off of the wheels and had the wheels shot blasted and powder coated to a colour that looks like the original. New tyres were then fitted to the wheels. I must say I'm very pleased with the result.

 

 

Next job was to strip the rear axle, clean it, check it, re-assemble and paint it. Having stripped the axle, all seems to be within spec with no leaks. I reassembled it with new gaskets and then painted it. The only omission was new rear shoes, they're on order now and should be here soon.

The axle and springs were assembled with no difficulties and the rear suspension offered up to the chassis. I was pleased to find that everything lined up perfectly. The front bolts fitted through the chassis and silent blocks with no drama and the rear shackles with new bushes the same. I was then able to fit the newly refurbished wheels and lower the car off of its dolly for the first time in about a year onto its wheels, quite a moment!

 

 

I'm pleased to report that the car sits level. When the car had last been on its wheels, the OS sat about 1.5" lower than the NS. I think that was a function of the uneven original springs. As well as sitting level, the suspension moves nicely which it certainly didn't before.

 

 

On to the brakes. I've replaced all the original copper brake lines and steel fittings with cunifer pipe and brass fittings, following the correct pipe runs. I've also replaced the rubber hoses with braided Goodrich hoses. The only brake line missing at the moment is from the master cylinder to the union on the chassis, I can't do this until the body's back on as the master cylinder sits on the firewall shelf in the engine bay.

 

 

The propshaft was next for investigation. It looked OK but I decided to remove the UJ's for the sake of being thorough. Good job I did as both were badly scored on at least one arm of each joint. Having removed the joints I cleaned the three component parts of the propsahft and found that a small repair was necessary to one of the journals. With the repair carried out all the bits were cleaned again and painted and are now waiting for new joints to be fitted this coming weekend.

In preparation for the prop and gearbox being fitted soon, I cleaned the forward section of the transmission tunnel and have given it two coats of red lead and two coats of chassis black and am very pleased with the result. The only messy part of this job was scraping and cleaning off the original underseal. I also found that a shortened paintbrush was needed to thoroughly paint the inside of the tunnel.

All the gearbox needed was clean outside, a change of oil and a new mounting bush. I had to cut the old one out as it wouldn't budge trying to drift it out. Havng got it out, I cleaned up the hole in the casing and tried to drift the new one in. It seemed very tight so I removed it, cleaned it some more and tried again... and again. Eventually I managed to crack the gearbox housing. BUGGER! I'm going to meet a mate of a mate next week and he's going to TiG the break so I can then fit the gearbox.

Clean Gearbox

 

Greased hole for bush and ............ Crack for welding!

 

I hope to complete the rear section of the tunnel over the next week or so and then move on to fitting the prop, gearbox and both tunnel sections and then moving on to making and fitting the floors. I've downloaded and printed the plans for the floor sections from Barney's website MGAGuru. As the plans are printed full size all I need to do is fix them to the ply and cut around them. I'll let you know how I get on.

 

 

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