RUSTY HEAPS

A Mostly British Obsession

Page 2 of 46

State of Ms. Fairchild, Braking News

The checklist for seeing if “she” starts is getting shorter: Get the scuttle on, with dash in-place, wired and plumbed; secure steering column and cross-scuttle support once the dash position is known; route choke cable; do a static coolant leak test (ie, put coolant in the system); add a fuel filter (I bought one for an MGB and forgot the MG uses a larger diameter fuel line); find and fix prodigious leak on diff; re-hang the exhaust…and once the dash is in place, turn the engine around to pump some fuel and see where that system leaks. And leak it will.

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Tank Boy

The fuel tank, which has at times felt like a project on par with the entire car, is installed, finally. And I fixed the sending unit for the gauge, if you want to call my repair “fixing” rather than “bodging”.

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Solution to a Baffling Problem

OK, the problem above wasn’t so baffling; it just shows the JB Weld applied to the tank pickup, which was loose. Once in place on the car the pickup is held in place by the line leading to it, so the JB Weld is mainly providing a seal rather than structural strength. That said, I admire JB as a statement of hope; it’s often deployed as a last-ditch effort to fix something; fingers get crossed, everyone relaxes, congratulates each other and thinks “thank goodness”.

And then it fails. In my experience. Let’s hope this is different!

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Toot

I bought a pair of reproduction Lucas Windtone horns off eBay–though I think the Morgan probably only was delivered with one rather than a pair–and installing them proved to be a fairly satisfying evening, a rare thing on this machine, which has a habit of taking “two hour jobs” and turning them into ten day nightmares!

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Fuel, Carbs & Dash

The carbs are mostly done, though I need to paint a few more bits black…nearly everything on this car seems to have been painted black if it wasn’t body color or “natural” metal, which suits me, as I hate having stuff plated and black is easy to touch in. I need to run the choke cable, still.

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Oops, Part 867: Dash Support

I spent a lot of time trying to get the scuttle to fit before it dawned on me that the issue was that the dash support was too narrow. The original which was on the car was in poor shape and the homemade dash had been done because of the way they “fixed” the car. I needed the dash hoop to be 3/8″ wider than it was. Not the most opportune time to discover this…

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Steal anything which isn’t bolted down…

I see this a fair amount in cars: Anything which came with the car but isn’t actually bolted to it is kept by one of the owners. On this car, the owner’s manual is missing, the rear parcel shelf is AWOL (?) and the “emergency tire inflation kit” is gone. Though on the latter, it could be I don’t recognize it, maybe you can check out what was where the kit should be and tell me if it’s factory or not.

I did wash the car, despite the fact my driveway, nominally gravel, is now mostly mud and nothing will stay clean for long on it. Sigh.

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Paceman

Because I am incorrigible, I flew down to Los Angeles on Tuesday morning and drove back in the latest addition to the heap, a 2013 MINI Paceman “John Cooper Works” All4. It has 22,820 24,060 miles on it, and is in pretty nice condition, with a few telltales it’s not a new car. The main one being Mini has dropped the Paceman from their model line! Above is the car just outside Coalinga, California, about 200 miles into the 1,200-mile trip back, all shiny and glowing nicely in the California sun.

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End of January 2017

I’d like to get the car running. For this to happen, the following need doing.

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January Catch Up: Tool Tray

Note: I’ve been really ill for almost three weeks…and that, combined with the holidays and ongoing “life events” has meant not having had a lot of time to devote to the Morgan or just about anything else.

Talk about maddening. The new tool tray, which I’ve been waiting months for, is the wrong one. So I decided to just make new side panels for the original, to match the new firewall. Took only a weekend, the first real work after three weeks lying in bed coughing my larynx out.

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