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Flash's 1965 Ford Thames


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Got the leaf springs in and dropped the van back on its wheels yesterday, so that was good. This morning I gave the Thames a quick bath and pushed it back into the shed to start assembly. Spent a bit of time gathering all of the previously fabricated loose parts which need to be prepped for painting so I'll make a start on that tomorrow.

In the time that was left I carried on doing a bit of work on the rear bumpers. When I bought the van they were sitting in a cardboard box so have never been fitted during my ownership. The outside chrome shows a bit of patina, but might come up with the old "coke and tin foil trick". The insides are a different story with quite a bit of rust build up. So yesterday I turned them over to create little "boats", filled them up with vinegar and left them overnight. Checked progress this morning and the vinegar had turned into a thick black crud. Scraped off the crud, gave them a wash and they are looking a bit better. 

Might just give the insides a bit of a sand and hit them with some silver paint to preserve them.

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While I was on a roll I thought I'd give the front bumper the once over. There is a dent in the lower part which I'll have a go at knocking out. I'll need to be gentle to preserve the chrome. Luckily most of it is hidden by the rego plate, so no major drama if I can't get it straight. Talking about rego plates there are two manky looking brackets that I suspect either used to hold the older style long rego plate or maybe a set of spot lights . Anyway they stand out like balls on a greyhound so a plan was needed. Luckily I had two spare round headed chrome bumper bolts in my stash from when I built the Bedford and on closer inspection they are the right size, so the brackets are now a thing of the past.

The inside of the bumper is quite rusty. Unfortunately the bracket holes and the long sweeping corners prevent me from being able to try the overnight vinegar soak trick, so I might just hit it with a flapper disk and then give it some silver paint.

The outside chrome is in similar condition to the rear bumpers so will need a bit of elbow grease.

Thanks for reading.

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Then tackled one of the rear shock boxes. Looked like grease at first but turned out to be stuck on real good, so I'm thinking maybe road tar. Anyway lots of wire brushing and liberal applications of petrol and I eventually got it clean enough to make out the manufacturer's name in the casting. Made by Armstrong interestingly enough.

One down, one to go.

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Grabbed the tank to give it a final once over before paint. Pulled the sender unit and the gasket is toast so I'll make up a new one before refitting. Tank still looks pretty clean inside, but I could hear something rolling around. Spent a bit of time jiggling the tank back and forth to work the bits through the gaps in the internal baffle plates and eventually managed to retrieve some decent chunks of old solder. All quiet now, so that must be the lot.

I wonder how long those have been in there.

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Talking about fuel tanks, what kind of muppet does a bare metal restoration and leaves the old rubber fuel neck grommet in place ?

Hard to believe It was done by a professional restoration company. If I had been the one who paid for the job I would have been spewing.

I carefully cut around the paint and was able to remove the grommet with no further damage. The grommet is shared with an Anglia 100E saloon and the good news is that reproduction ones are readily available in the UK. Further good news is that they have a larger outer diameter, so with a bit of luck the new one should totally hide the old paint.

Thanks for reading.

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I've been quietly plugging away at a few things over the past week. Managed to paint the first batch of previously fabricated brackets and mounts and grabbed some new fasteners whilst I was in town yesterday, so I can start the re-assembly.

The textured paint that I am using throws some ugly looking shadows, so you'll just have to take my word for it that they look much better in real life.

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Those of you following my progress will recall that a while back I had cut and re-orientated the water neck on the 3Y to suit the Thames radiator and just needed to get it glued together. (pics below as a reminder)

Anyway, a few weeks back I took it along to Brenton as his team does aluminium welding. The original neck was already showing signs of pitting and after a bit of a yarn with Brenton we agreed it would be far better if he carved me a new neck out of aluminium. At the same time I asked him to carve a reducer to connect the different diameter lower hoses together.

Just after smoko today I got the call to say the bits were ready for collection, so I shot through and picked them up. They have come up really mint and the new water neck enables me to use a single 45 mm diameter hose rather than the original two hose setup I mocked up, so much easier on the eye.

Thanks for looking.

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Spent yesterday preparing the second batch of parts for paint. A few needed some welding touch ups whilst others just needed a good de greasing followed by tickle with a flapper disc and a bit of wire wheeling. It's relatively mindless work, but needs to be done. Managed to get a first coat on them this morning.

While they were drying I cut some extra thread into the rear axle U bolts necessitated by the removal of the two lower leaf springs. So that's another small job ticked off the list.

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I'm still donkey deep in cleaning and painting all of the smaller parts before final assembly.

After spending a bit of time sanding down the  backs of the bumpers I declared them as good as I was going to get them. Chucked on a few coats of combination rust converter / primer followed by top coats of galv paint and I'll call them done.

Hopefully that should protect them for a few more years.

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Merry Chrissy All from the team of one at Rough & Ready Restos.

It being a special day I thought I'd treat myself to something other than cleaning crusty old Thames parts.

Figured now would be as good a time as any to work out how I'm going to fabricate the floor plate that surrounds the steering and gear shift columns. My initial thinking is a solid plate with two holes cut out - one for the steering column and one for the gearshift column and then some rubber grommets to give me a weather seal.

Started off with some basic cereal box aided design to get the rough shape of the plate. Next step was to figure out how big a hole I need in the plate to get the steering column foot through so cut a few rough holes in a bit of plywood. The magic number is 70 mm. The gearshift column is easier as it is just a straight rod. There isn't much room between the two columns so the outer grommet diameters will need to accommodate for that.

My local rubber shop is having a Boxing Day sale tomorrow so I'll head along to get some pinch weld for my front doors and hopefully a few rubber grommets at the same time.

Thanks for looking

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I had mixed success at the rubber place in town yesterday. Managed to get a pinch weld style rubber for my front doors so I was chuffed about that. Sadly they didn't have anything near as large as the  70mm rubber grommet that I need for my steering column. Hopped on fleabay when I got home and the only listing I could find for a 70 mm OD grommet was a crowd in China  so I've resorted to ordering a few in. Thanks to Covid estimated delivery date is early March so I'll fabricate the plate in the mean time and will fit the grommet once it arrives.

This morning I thought I'd make a start on the second portion of the steering bracket which is the part that the L300 angled steering box mounts up to. Did a bit of plywood aided design and successfully managed a test fit. With the Thames steering column mounted in its final position the L300 UJ that I had welded onto my Thames steering column runs nice and true.

Tomorrow I'll replicate the plywood mock up in 6 mm steel plate and will then glue it to the existing part.

Thanks for looking.

 

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And that's the bottom portion of the steering bracket carved out of 6 mm plate. It took a few goes before I got the offset perfect. Next step is to glue it to the main bracket and then do a final tidy up of the welds.

 

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Happy New Year !

Thought I'd start 2021 off by test fitting my combined steering bracket, so chucked it on with a few random nuts and bolts. Although the rack isn't connected up yet, the movement of the steering shaft and angle box is nice and smooth. Whilst putting the gearshift pivot arm through its paces I noticed that the shift cable rubs up against the chassis leg at full arc. Not ideal, so I decided to do something about that.

Pulled everything apart again and have now re-positioned the  mounting holes for the arm slightly lower. Meant I needed to elongate the hole in the bracket that the pivot pokes through. The elongated hole doesn't look that pretty, but it does the job.

Fitted everything up again and the cable now has plenty of clearance. The steering bracket with all of its attachments looks like a busy little office, but there is space between the various components so hopefully it will all work out okay.

Thanks for looking.

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