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Discussion Starter #141 (Edited)
So here we are, all painted and new bushes fitted. Primed with Bondaprimer, then a coat of Rustins matt black as an undercoat as I find it helps the top coat stick better. Lastly 3 or 4 light coats of sprayed satin black chassis paint. I decided on the 3-coat system as the axles get a peppering from road chips and stones even though the chassis paint is advertised as self priming.





I have driven the car in the meantime with the standard solid beam axle and to be honest it wasn't too bad to drive on. The car rode the ripples and bumps quite well so I suppose it might be a while before the Ballamy suspension goes back.
 

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Discussion Starter #142
Latest thing is Ive changed the front tyres to 135/80 15. Unfortunately they are low profile but early indications are that this change will make the steering lighter. Maybe I wont need to change the steering box after all. One inch lower at the front should be good. Cant wait to try it when the roads are dry as still plenty salt out there. I will start off with the 25psi I found good with the 165 tyres and work from there.
 

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80 profile is standard, ie the same as 135 x 15. only some have the 80 moulded on, most don't.
 

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Discussion Starter #144
80 profile is standard, ie the same as 135 x 15. only some have the 80 moulded on, most don't.
I am sure you are theoretically right Neil but the tape measure doesnt lie in this case. Maybe my 165 were higher profile than standard.
 

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Discussion Starter #145
Oops! Just doing the tyre pressures and looked properly at the tyre markings. 135 x 70 My mistake calling them 80s so you were right on Neil. Anyway, more importantly, what a difference to steering weight. I had a short spin round the block and it felt better than the original upright so looks like the Suzuki box might go back on eBay eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #146
Got out for a decent 50 mile run on Sunday and steering was very good and stable, much better than with the wider tyres up front. Slow speed manoeuvring was also much lighter, even more than with the original skinny wheels fitted to the uprights. It all makes sense now as I have ridden motorbikes for years and always have a narrower tyre on the front. I am running 25psi on all four corners which seems about right. Will get the infra red pyrometer out next time for a scientific session.
 

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Discussion Starter #147
At long last I have got the headlining under way. I have had the material and my own sketches with dimensions for a couple of years so nows the time. I have an old industrial sewing machine, a Singer 95K but having had a practise it jammed up as the thread I was using was too heavy. result - I broke one of the hook parts trying to unjam it so resorted to the Singer 201 I found in a house clearance. Local Singer agent gave me some advice and suitable thread purchased. I found the 201 much easier to use so all is well on that front. I now have the lining cut into panels and sewn into a complete head lining. I had to iron it as having it folded so long some creases were well set but looks ok now. Currently I have it looped onto the three rear stainless steel wires/hoops whatever they are called and held temporarily with drawing pins on the first wooden rib/stave/beam whatever. Aim is to tack the lining to the beam, when the tacks arrive as I had not thought about getting the short 6mm long type needed. With that tacked I can work back to the rear window and get it tucked in and glued as required. When I am happy with that it will be full steam tacking the panels to the ribs and round the sides. It looks better when given some tension. More pictures as we go.


 

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Discussion Starter #148 (Edited)
Managed to more or less finish the head lining. The more is its good enough for now and the less is the various wrinkles and tucks yet to be improved. have a look. I did read or hear about using steam to shrink the wrinkles but yet to have this confirmed by someone who knows.








I have another exact same job to do on the other car and have learnt a lot from this one so hopefully it will be a lot smoother.
 

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Discussion Starter #150 (Edited)
Always good to see how others have done same job. I spent a while getting into the American terminology, eg Windlace is the US version of Draft Excluder such as Furflex. Another point, I pinned my panels together with the bias binding (or US version - listings) before stitching and used a hem guide, a side stop or guide to keep the stitch line parallel with the edge of the hem. I found stitching rewarding, perhaps because I had spent a heck of a long time getting to that point and at last something was getting finished. Unfortunately, I didn't have a pattern to copy as neither of the cars I am doing, upright Ford Prefects, came with a headliner. One mistake was not making my own patterns for the back section and just guessing the shape needed as the back curved down and in. The second one has paper patterns to follow and this will be getting started soon.
Another lesson I learned along the way was to fit all the Furflex first. This is tacked with either 6mm or 12mm tin tacks and must be installed taught or else there will be small carbunkles as you go. Alternatively just put a temporery tack here and there to keep the Windlace out of the way as it can get under your feet before its finally fitted. If you have to lift the Furflex to re-tension, the tacks will come out with careful use of a 6" rule or one of those forked little crow bar tools. Use only enough tacks to keep it in place, more round curves but about every 150mm on the vertical straights, and use tacks no longer than necessary. For the kickboards I removed the self tappers one at a time and tucked the Furflex fixing tape behind the board and then replaced the screws, making sure the tape is well tucked in and taught. The original Ford installation had the tape sewn to the board before the board was fitted. Next, out with the steamer to try getting a few wrinkles out.
 

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Discussion Starter #151 (Edited)
I have tried steaming the wrinkles and result is mostly disappointing but with some minor improvements. I'm thinking I might have to take come areas down and try again but other parts I will have to live with. People who have seen it think its pretty good but I think its the wallpaper syndrome - the hanger sees every blemish but the visitors never notice any of them just seeing the overall effect. I wish I could do that as the problem is compounded every time I try to take a picture it seems worse with the flash highlighting the slightest wrinkle. This is a good bit......

........and this too.........


Now this I thought was good till I took the picture. This is the area where I should have made paper patterns of the Sydney Opera House/orange peel shape. I get another go on the second car soon............


But I am happy enough with this....

Next, I need to work out the best way to renovate the sun visors or perhaps they could be colour stained or resprayed. There must be a tutorial somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #152 (Edited)
Finally got the back seat over to Chris at Custom Coach Trimming in Evesham (Hot Rod Trimmer on here) and I am well pleased with the result. Although the old seat was good enough it didn't match the lovely job Chris did on the front bench seat so the budget had to stretch again. Vinyl is Jaguar Cinnamon.





Now just the armrests and door cards to do. Might just try cleaning the armrests first to see how they come up but if not satisfied it could mean another job for Chris after we have relocated to Wales.
 

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Discussion Starter #154
Those armrests must be a swine to replicate. If you need some detail pictures I should be able to help. I might even have a roughish set to copy. Yes a big move but we love Wales, especially the coastal areas, and a bungalow with 2 double garages was also a pull. We havent sold our own home yet so it will mean commuting with van and box trailer for a few months, van with car and workshop stuff and trailer with furniture. Luckily we have loan of big twin axle trailer from a friend in next village to where we are going. I will need a car trailer for a week to do 4 vehicles unless I can sell the black Prefect in the meantime. Arranging care for 104 year old mum is also on the to do list but have 2 brothers so more or less covered. Keep the reports coming, you seem to be on a roll at the moment.
 

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Hi how’s the car doing? Back in photo 49 you’ve got new running boards , do you remember where you got them from, and a price, I’ve been looking at making my own and also looked at beetle ones as they look a similar shape and long enough to cut down to length, cheers in a£Vance ,Keith.
 

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Discussion Starter #156
Just seen your message. The running boards came from a man who lives on the A1 at Wyboston called Jim Calver. Phone number 07985 551086.
Price was £45 each collected from memory.

Just started looking at the car again and remembering the things I didn't like about it. Rear suspension needs improving in the ladder bar area and also rear handbrake could be better. I currently have it over the pit and one by one releasing the shackle bolts to see where the tight spots are.
 

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Discussion Starter #158 (Edited)
At last had a go at the handbrake. Having twin cables didn't work with the original umbrella handle lever. I needed to increase the ratio to make the pull longer so changed to single cable and the original Ford pull rod across the axle. It must be better as I can't push the car on level floor. Havent tried it in our drive yet but the slope will be good enough test as with the old system it would not hold and had to use the front hydraulic brake to hold it.
Also had a look at the ladder bars and all I could find was some binding in the ladder bar pivots because it all moved better when I took one out. I have modified the pivots to spherical bearings which is much better. Next thing to try is new ladder bars in box section to avoid the rear floor on full bump and fit adjusters that are parallel. I have 3/4" rose joints for the pivots. Just my own ideas to see if I can improve the feel of the handling. I have all the materials and just need a free weekend to do it.
Another thing I need to do is raise the back end a tad. Its possible the spring has sagged a bit so will try another one when I get the time.
 
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