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mtbtimr & Sammy1222's Austin 1300 1972

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Bit of background first i guess is the place to start...


Me (mtbtimr) and my mate (Sammy1222) (both 20 and relatively inexperienced mechanical engineering students) recently bought a 1972 Austin 1300 in bold but original magenta. 


The aim is to restore this little beauty to its former glory (classic), and learn some about cars etc along the way. 


Since this is a first for both of us we chose to start with something which was already drivable (WOF and reg). 


So here she is! Her name is Maggie.




Couldn't resist taking it to uni day 2





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So Maggie kept over heating and spraying coolant out of her radiator (from underneath the cap), even after just a small drive. 



We eventually discovered that the expansion tank was full of gunk. The 'straw' was completely blocked and had snapped off so no coolant was getting in or out. 
We cleaned the reservoir and fashioned a new straw out of brass pipe we bought at the model shop.

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The carpets were rotten and gross, so we ripped them out (possibly a bit too enthusiastically)


Underneath was pretty nice except for a bit of rust in the driver and passenger footwells - plan to wire brush, jenolite and possibly cutout a bit of this, but overall not too bad rust-wise. No signs of structural rust anywhere, and some minor rust patches on the body, but for a car of this age its doing great to keep it out.




For the mean time, we cut up some old house carpet and threw that in - nothing permanent but it doesn't look half bad




Next plan is to try and suss the radiator, which is still leaking out the cap, (which looks like a new cap). Hopefully a better fitting cap will fix that and a few other issues it's giving us - may need some advice about this one. Radiator looks in good knick and has been flushed in the last year, but Maggie's running pretty much dead on high. Will have a look at the thermostat too.


Lots to do.


Discuss: //oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/44978-mtbtimr-sammy1222s-1972-austin-1300-discussion/

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  • 2 weeks later...

We bought this old tachometer off Trademe for $5! Looks pretty sick and had no issues hooking it up.








Also found a bit of fluid dripping down the brake pedal. The pedal feel is fine, and the master cylinder has enough brake fluid but we are going to get some new seals for the master cylinder because it really isn't a good look. 




Also took her for a cruise the other day to stretch her legs. She overheated all the way and we had to pull over every 10 mins to let her cool off just to get her home . We took out the thermostat and haven't have any problems since so that's another new part we need to get. 



Discuss here

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  • 2 months later...

Been a bit busy recently with end of uni and new jobs, but finally have some time to get stuck in. Took her for a wof as expired a few weeks back, weren't too optimistic.. sure enough needs a new set of back tyres, new wheel bearing and has slight leak at left CV boot. 


Tyres werent a surprise as had slight cracked tread, so went hunting for a new set.. quite pricey. Don't really want to invest now as still undecided on the current rims. CV boot should be an easy fix as will wheel bearing - hopefully. Brake pads will need replacing soon too.


Had a crack at the interior rust. Wire brushed, jenolited and primed.




Overheating seems to have settled itself a bit with the new thermostat, but we are still keen to get a new radiator cap as it occasionally leaks. May also look at flushing out the radiator and block. 


Will definitely look to increase the posts as we start getting our hands dirty over the summer




Discuss here

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We flushed the cooling system as yoeddynz suggested and it did seem to get rid of a fair amount of gunk - primarily from the heater though...








We removed the thermostat and were greeted by this... 







We are starting to suspect a blown head gasket more and more, and just need to get our hands on a compression tester to confirm. 


When we got Maggie, she had her fly-wheel ventilation connected to the front of the air filter with a garden hose and the rocker cover ventilation was just blocked off. We have ascertained that the rocker cover ventilation should connect into the air filter instead, but can't figure out where the fly-wheel ventilation should run...







So if anyone could shed any light on what should be done with the garden hose situation, or whether that amount of rust inside the head is normal or not, that would be much appreciated. 


Discuss here

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  • 3 weeks later...

After a bit of advice we have attempted to fix the few minors for the warrant, but never as easy as it sounds (well for us beginners anyway). First of all trying to get to the front right wheel bearing - the castellated axle nut isn't budging at all. Have attempted to take it off using a big crescent but the wheel nuts are getting in the way when we try to crack it. Pretty clear we need a big socket (1 and 5/16 inch) but just interested if anyone else had this same issue with it seizing a bit? Have asked all around work and no one has a socket bigger than 32mm or 1 1/4 inch, and repco/supercheap dont stock sockets in that size..




The other issue at the warrant was a grease leak from the front left CV boot. The 'clamps' being used at the moment are zip ties, and we were advised to just get hose clamps. However once we went to put them on we discovered that the locking part of the hose clamp would hit the support arm when the boot spins (i.e. there is a small clearance between the larger diameter end of the CV boot and the support arm that allows for a zip tie to clear when it spins with the boot but not a hose clamp). What is the stock clamp like for these cars? or what do people have as clamps for their cv boots?


In other news, we acquired an ancient arc welder so have been practicing with that. Not exactly confident enough to take to the car with it yet though. 




Help us out!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We finally got the axle nut off! We managed to track down a socket that fitted and had to use the large pole you see to crack it (aren't they meant to be reasonably loose?). 


Now we can get at the bearing and get her one step closer to a WoF.




In other news, with christmas, Maggie got spoilt with presents and the to do list is slowly piling up... 

Picked up a head deck/speakers combo for $100, a set of gaskets, a nice toolbox and socket set, and an angle grinder that we accidentally bought from Bunnings when we went for something completely different (oops). 






Looking to put the speakers under the seats like we have seen most people do... They're a tad blingy to have sitting in the window. 


We used our newly acquired toy to cut the bumper bolts out and fitted the new shiny one.


She's actually starting to look reasonably tidy.


Does anyone know if it is easy to get small dings out of chrome? 







Last little job we've done is to take the radiator out, we are gonna take it to get a new cap fitted. The radiator itself seems pretty clear so we are slowly crossing off potential reasons for overheating.








The shelf that goes under the dash is falling apart so we are going to use it as a template to make a new one. Just need to decide whether we go with what the original one is made out of (glorified cardboard) or if we should make one up out of sheet metal with a bit of carpet and a lick of paint...





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  • 2 weeks later...

Look what turned up in the post today! 




Watanabe 14x6 +12p 


We are going to strip them down and repaint them. 

Probably go with a 165 | 60 | R14 just to keep the outer diameter the same as the old rims - these little cars have surprisingly little inner clearance especially at the back. 


And yea... might need to do some massaging of the fenders... 




Fixed the crack in the window washer tank  :wink:







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  • 3 weeks later...

A fair amount to update, and we're on the verge of getting her roadworthy... 


Compression tested the cylinders and they all look fine so that means no blown head gasket - next thing on the list is the water pump, radiator seems to be flowing ok but will take it in to get it double checked when we get a new cap. 




Broke apart the FR hub and got the bearings out (anyone know if we can just pick these up with seals from somewhere local? Otherwise there are some solid looking kits on eBay for $50ish).




Rims are looking good, sandblasted them at work and painted them a nice, fresh silver. As we mentioned before though, they are going to take a bit of wrestling to fit - 6.5in is damn wide for a little car like this. Rubber is on the way, hopefully have them all wrapped up by the end of next week. 




Picked up 4 (escort?) flares for 20d on trademe to solve the mexi-poke look, and they look just about perfect. Probably will have to wait until we get the whole car done to have them painted, so might look a bit scrappy for a while.




More updates soon, discuss here


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  • 3 weeks later...

She's road worthy! theoretically hopefully


Finally, after much frustration and fiddling, we got a brand spanking new wheel bearing in. 






Which meant that she could be on all 4 wheels for the first time in ages. 




Sammy1222 has been away for a week so haven't had the chance to take her out, but hopefully will trip over to the tyre place either this weekend or next. 


In the mean time, if anyone is in need of a weird (and cheap) tool, I highly recommend having a look at the Sunday Avondale market at the racecourse, there are several guys there who just have piles and piles of old tools. 




I made up a replacement shelf to replace the crappy cardboard one we pulled out a while ago. Looks great out of the car, but squeezing it in is proving to be a bit of a huffing-puffing-swearing affair. Doesn't help that the steel sheet we picked up for free is damn hard to cut - we are blasting through cutting discs like crazy. 




Might end up just buying some aluminium offcuts from trademe and redoing the whole thing. 


Have also had a crack at the sound system and carpet, but that's a story for next time. 


Discuss here yo. 





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Bought 2m of carpet from the warehouse for $50. Not sure how durable it will be but it was super easy to cut and shaped to the car pretty well. 





Pretty stoked with the way it came out, took us a good couple of evenings to get it all chopped up right and it's by no means a concourse job but that isn't really Maggie's vibe anyway. 




Little teaser of the new wheels, more coming about them in the next few days.




Do they look WoFable to anyone??? 


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Wheels are on and looking awesome!


Had to pick up some new wheel nuts because the old ones didn't have the same taper as the rim. 

165 60 R14s ended up looking exactly like we wanted them to - a teeny tiny bit of stretch and a reasonably meaty profile. 


The back end could do with a bit more low, and we could just let a bit of hydro fluid out but i think that would end up slamming the front. 

Is there a way to do them separately? 




When we put the front wheels on we realised that one of them poked about a 10mm more than the other... We started measuring control arms and tie rods and even considered that the whole subframe might be off...


...But luckily for us it looks like its just the fender. Will have to pull it out a bit anyway because otherwise the flare doesn't quite contain the tire.  

It seems like we are sooooo close to a WoF but keep doing the old 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Suuurely this weekend. 



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So went to drive out of my awkward (steep+tight corner) garage entrance on the way to the panel beaters to get the right front guard pulled out and the bloody slope did half the job for us!




A fair bit of burnt rubber later, and she was off to the panel beaters..




Pulled it out 15-20mm or so, which would be enough to get the tyre snug under the flares (which went on a treat).






A bit of a mission getting the car out of the garage again (front flare is a bit too low causing some rubbing only when turning sharp up a hill haha), but no problems on the road as yet. Think we will look into pumping up suspension a bit as the front now looks a little too low. Otherwise we were thinking of sanding a bit off the bottom of the flare? not too sure yet. By no means perfect but a nice temp, woffable (hopefully) look at the moment.






Next job, wof. 



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Wah wah, we hadn't even finished filling in the wof form and Maggie had already failed.  


Apparently the tread has to be completely under the bodywork, making our flares completely redundant. 

If she'd come with bolt on flares from the factory they would have passed no worries, even if we'd swapped them to aftermarket ones ourselves - seems a bit backwards to me.


Our options at this point are...


- Cross our fingers and take her somewhere else.

- Pump the suspension up so much that you can hardly see the poke and take her somewhere else. 

- Get some fresh tires for the old steelies and put those on every time we go for a wof. $$

- Get the new wheels/flares certed. $$$


Does anyone have any experience with bolt on flares? Lots of minis seem to have them? 


In other news, GuyWithAviators kindly helped us pump up the left side suspension with his nifty pump so we now can get in and out of the garage! Cheers Andrew.




We drove it home like this - at least Sammy1222 had a floaty ride. 




Temp sat at the high end of normal all the way (as usual).

We evened up the suspension when we got her home, sitting perfectly now. 

So yea next step is to sort this wof situation out, then swap out the clutch and beach hop here we come.  :doubt:





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Tried for a Wof for the third time this afternoon and came soooooooo close to getting it. 


Everything we were worried about - the rims/flares, the bearing, cv boots - passed with flying colours. 


They pulled us up because one of the rear right door hinges has detached from the door, it cracked next to the weld and is floating. 


We hardly use the back doors so were pretty surprised. 


Should be a quick trip to the panel beaters. 


LEFT photo is what it should look like, RIGHT photo is what it does look like. 



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You may remember we were having issues with brake fluid leaking down the brake pedal and this recently got a ton worse.. resulting in damp carpet and a lot of worrying.


We quickly got a new brake cylinder from the guys at Minibitz and swapped that in (a very satisfying little job).








Luckily when we pulled up the carpet, the underlay had taken all of the brunt so the floorpan was completely fine. The carpet might still have a bit in it but should it be ok to let it dry and leave it (we've heard mixed things about whether brake fluid attacks metal or not)?



We dropped the door off at the panel beater to get welded up so will pick that up tomorrow and visit our good friends at the wof shop for our monthly meet up. 


Had some fun driving from mine to Sammy1222's with no door - pretty breezy inside. 





Looking good for beach hop this weekend, planning on taking the Waihi road from Auckland to avoid the big hills - what's the traffic normally like that way?

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