I bought this car 4 years ago and have been doing bits and pieces on it while also building another car. Well the other car is well on the way, in fact its on the road, so now putting in a few more hours on the stock Prefect.
First thing I did was remove the badges as it had a good set and these included the very rare '10' bonnet side badges. These were reverently stored and later repaired by soldering on new brass studs. (technical tip - the badge backplates are stainless steel so use phosphoric acid aka jenolite as a flux in a well ventilated area. Use solid solder not resin-cored). I then carefully stripped the car down and found where the metal had corroded away. Worst parts were the offside A and C posts where they should have connected to the chassis. Strangely, the nearside posts were not as bad although the C post is shot. I have already done the offside repairs but will post more info and pictures on these repairs later when I turn the car to do the nearside. The usual failure points, the wing arch flanges, were badly rusted and I repaired these in conjunction with the other car, also a Prefect. I had to patch in a few areas at the bottom of the wings but overall not too bad. While doing the repairs I started removing a few dints, one big one can be seen on the front wing.
The running boards were pretty badly rusted but perhaps repairable except I found a man who makes them as well as sills and other body panels so I bought 4 off him - 2 for each car. They take a little fettling to get them to fit close to the chassis over the rivets and B post bracket but they look good when done.
Luckily, things like the headlamps were in good condition so I prep'd and sprayed them some while back - yes you guessed it, while doing the lamps for the other car.
There was a niggly bit of corrosion around the point where these cars had the battery earth strap bolted to the firewall so this was cut out and patched in complete with a hank bush although I wont be bolting the earth strap there in future.
You can see the finished firewall area now its sprayed. I also had to lift part of the upstand that rises in front of the battery and while working on that area I decided to remove it as its a pain having to lift the battery over it. Another departure from stock.
I always take the earth direct to the starter motor attachment bolt then from there to the chassis. This car will be stock so the 6 volt electrics are staying therefore I will need to make sure the electrics are the best I can do. Only departure from stock here will be flashing bulbs in the semaphores and also flashing lamps in the stop lamps and headlamps (an extra bulb inserted in the reflectors). I managed to buy some original new old stock chrome Ford headlamp rims that were made to convert the old separate reflector/lens units to British Pre-Focus. I bought a pair of repro lamp units and have now punched an extra hole in each reflector and inserted another bulb holder for the indicators.
The plywood floorboards were worm-holed so a new pair were made from 18mm exterior ply, given a coat of preservative insect killing fluid and then a few coats of matt black. This model had a jack that was supposed to be placed under the bumper iron and I think this was usually kept clipped on the fire wall behind the battery as there were some mystery clips there besides the usual starting handle. Anyway, there was no jack with the car and I think that system would be a strain on this motors old chassis so I bought a small screw jack and will use that under the axle to lift the car. I also had to make a new under-bonnet toolbox lid as this had also succumbed to the worm.
Another good thing about this car was that the original number plates came with it. From these I managed to retrieve the registration and in due course I received a nice new V5C from Swansea. The plates were quite heavy steel backs with aluminium numerals that were in turn coated with plastic. The plastic had started to flake so I decided to scrape the remainder off and after a while with much elbow grease they came up good. Picture shows the change prior to painting. I masked the numerals and gave the plates a few coats of satin black. Its satisfying to recover original parts even if the 'look' is not quite original. I never liked that white plastic look anyway.
You will notice the gearbox is back but this is not the one that came with the car which has a lump broken out of the bell housing over the starter bendix arch. I overhauled a spare box as the bronze bearing in the middle of the drive train is usually worn but the original box will get rebuilt one day and I will make a goodenough repair to that missing piece to keep the bulk of the dirt out.
Currently, I have painted the chassis underneath including the propshaft tunnel and the rear floor. The rusty metal was scraped, wire brushed, treated with rust converter, primed, then 2 coats of matt black before a few coats of satin chassis black (sprayed). The reason for doing the chassis at this time was because I had stripped and overhauled the rear axle and torque tube and these were in my way. Only solution was to refit them and before so doing I had to paint the chassis. Then I had to fit the gearbox to keep the torque tube in position. I had previously done the similar job on the front axle so the front end of the chassis has been done too. Another thing about the rear axle - these cars run the rear hub bearings on the cast iron ends of the axle and they wear on the underside even if greased regularly. The answer is a repair kit that replaces the old bearing with a new needle roller set with hardened sleeves that are Loctited onto the worn ends of the axle. The back spring was not as rust free as the front but good enough with a light coat of grease. I will get round to finishing it later in the build. I might just use rust converter as this comes up a nice dark metallic colour.
The wheel rims were not too rusty so I popped the tyres off the beads, rubbed them down, treated the rust in a few places, made some cardboard masking pieces to slip behind the rim and then sprayed them with some wheel silver bought from ebay. Advantage of this was that the tyres kept the rim up off the deck when laid across two pieces of wood so I could do front and back at one shot. Not brilliant finish but will do for now. The tyres may just get me out for a few test rides but I reckon they must be 30 or 40 years old. Pity is 2 of them must have done zero miles as the moulding flashing is still there down the middle.
The tyres have done about 5 miles as I had to transfer it to my sons garage before doing the welding. I have a tow bar so made a flat steel 'eye' to bolt on the chassis. All seemed straightforward and I coaxed my wife into being my accomplice. I attached the tow board to the back of the car and hitched to my van. I asked my wife if she wanted to drive the van or the car, being a gentleman I gave her the choice. She opted for the car. Picture this dusty car with open roof, debatable brakes and unknown steering. I salute her courage. Anyway we set off hoping the constabulary were all at breakfast mid-morning. Most memorable things were seeing people's expressions as they overtook or stood at the kerbside - blank disbelief, and also every time I braked the old girl (the car) lurched to the right as the towing eye was not central. When we got to my son's she said "never again". Perhaps if there is another call of duty she might accept the van instead.