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1980 Austin Princess - 15/10 Contentment

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#3421 ONLINE   MorrisItalSLX

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 01:38 AM

Fantastic work as always Vulg!

I think you should just cut the tip of the exhaust off short, paint it black and forget it was ever there. It just spoils the new rear end.
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#3422 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 04:19 PM

The exhaust tip has already had a good 6" or so lopped off from standard and I'm concerned if I go much shorter it'll try and pull the fumes into the car somehow.  I'm considering a pair of simple chrome down-pointed exhaust tips, one each side, as the best compromise at the moment.

 

----

 

Small update.  It was pretty cold here, we had a frost last night, so any sort of painting wasn't really an option because of drying times, if nothing else.  First job was splosh some rust potion about, especially in the now dry tool compartment which has been letting water in for years even before I got the car.
44247170305_980fe6f672_b.jpg20181007-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
 
I knew that wasn't going to dry quick enough for me to do any of the seam sealing (which I want to do all in one go, rather than in two stages), or any of the paint that would be needed afterwards.  Instead I had a look at the wiring and found all the new rear lights have bullet connectors so it should be a simple matter of snipping those and the spade connectors off the car's wiring loom and replacing them with relevant matched connectors.  Even to my eye it looks a fairly straightforward operation.  The high level indicators will require more effort since they need completely new wiring installing.  I took my time laying the parts out and trimming off the excess material on the rear light reflectors.  I had thought these were just polished aluminium but I found when cutting them that they're plated with something, possibly nickel since it doesn't seem as bright as chrome normally is, but then it also doesn't have that slightly yellowy look nickel usually does, so I really don't know.
45158514331_d361cb27be_b.jpg20181007-03 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
 
The other thing I noticed was a slight hiccup in the plan for fitting the light units.  Up until now the reflector was going to go behind the flange because the reflector has captive nuts, while the lens would go in front of the flange and the whole lot would screw together, sandwiching the flange between them.  If I do that the flange gets partially in the way of the main reflector bowl and there's no shiny silver surface behind the reflector rings, so I'll have to mount them as Ford did.  This isn't really a problem, it pushes the lights out by about 0.5mm and the new fixing bolts I got are long enough that I can use the same nuts on the back of the flanges that I was using during mock up.  It also means the light units are a bit more secure since you won't be able to unscrew the light lens without going in the boot to hold the nut on the back.
43344739700_466ff73e9d_b.jpg20181007-02 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr
 
Tomorrow I'll do seam sealing and hopefully wiring and if that all goes smoothly enough, I'll get some fresh paint in the boot too so the job looks that little bit more finished.  We shall see what the weather and associated temperature has to say.

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#3423 ONLINE   PhilA

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 08:36 PM

Those are aluminum vapor plated.


Take care as it's incredibly thin; if it's shiny then that'll have to be good enough. They look fine.

Phil
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#3424 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 09:13 PM

That's confusing.  The bodies are definitely aluminium, you can tell with the way they cut and the fact magnets don't stick.  Why would you then plate it with aluminium?



#3425 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 06:37 PM

Another little update, sadly no wiring today so if you were here to see things lit up, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.  Instead I was focusing on the last of the paint needed after seam sealing and some other small jobs to get them off the list.  First up is that I finally remembered to take a photograph as best I could of the windscreen seal profile where the trim inserts, and the back of the trim itself, to hopefully work out the best way of getting the two to talk to one another.  I know how the trim is supposed to fit in the seal, I'm just not sure on the best approach to do it since you can't use the regular skinny plastic-chrome tool because the stainless trim covers the seal almost completely once fitted.

43370501560_0d45bb8d7b_b.jpg2018108-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

43370500430_5af8217939_b.jpg2018108-02 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

I changed my mind back on the high level indicators and decided to paint the inside of the glass lenses rather than the bulbs.  If it doesn't work I can dunk the lenses in thinners.  That said, even after just one coat of paint they look really good and show fairly orange with daylight through them, hopefully they won't need multiple coats to be orange enough because I really like the concentric circles look they have now.

44273649825_a13973cfe0_b.jpg2018108-03 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

44273649435_731fb838e0_b.jpg2018108-04 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

After seam sealing all the hidden side of the welding I sploshed some paint around to spruce up the boot.  Beige on most of the floor, back panel, and inner wings, and black in the tool tray.  I stripped out the unneeded bit of the fog light wiring too.

30245964687_6537f30132_b.jpg2018108-05 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

44462380014_8553c15099_b.jpg2018108-06 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

Now I just have to wait for Mike to be free when I have my next bit of free time so we can crack on with the wiring and reassembly.  The only other job I can think needs doing is regluing the headlining back to the rear window surround.  Nearly sorted now.


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#3426 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 05:14 PM

My headlights have always had particularly bad adjustment.  Last MoT I got through the test just and when Dollywobbler got a stint behind the wheel in the dark, it became very clear that I really ought to do something about them.  The problem is the plastic plugs that the metal adjuster screws go into had just all failed.  You could grab the headlights and move them about wherever you wanted, but they'd never stay put in anything other than the very lowest zone of the legally allowed area of alignment.  The next problem was finding suitable fixings, it's another of those items that seems unique to Princess and is no longer made.

44294873015_c9646d278b_b.jpg20181009-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

45206043131_9c88e3b631_b.jpg20181009-02 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

44294872905_c7c172a22f_b.jpg20181009-03 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

Those clips above push into square holes in the headlight brackets, the bevelled piece to the front of the car.  Over time they've gone hard and brittle and whatever thread was cut into them by the adjuster screws is now long gone.  After removing all 8 original plugs I was left with a pile of useless broken bits of plastic.  Well, useless bar having a reference for measurements.

45206042961_18755495e3_b.jpg20181009-04 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

That's when it got surprisingly awkward to obtain replacement fixings.  You'd think finding what they were called would be easy, not so, they seem to have many different names. The most common is 'plastic expanding nut', but putting that in to any sort of search engine brings back a plethora of things that are not these.  Trim clips, likewise, you'll get a lot of choice but nothing that fits.  Added to that was the frustration of knowing the hole the new clips had to go in was 10mm square and when ordering clips that claimed to fit this size hole, finding out most were actually for 7mm by 5mm because people can't measure things.  After a lot of searching, my mate Adam found the clips through one of the suppliers his employer uses, for not very much, and in a better quality than the wrong ones I'd been sent by other companies.

 

They're ostensibly a push-fit item.  Unlike the original clips these just have one split and a hole through the middle, the sides shaped so they spread out to lock in place when you screw something into them.  The only thing I need to do to fit them was file the holes a little because of corrosion distorting the size of the hole a little.  A quick tap with a small hammer was all that was need to get them seated.  I then had to drill the centre hole out slightly larger to accomodate the adjuster screws since they're a lot fatter than most of the fixings that would normally go into this plastic clips.  Another thing that wasn't helping headlight alignment is three of the screws holding the bottom of the brackets to the car had disappeared, so I reinstated those as well.

44294872885_f2a4ab2683_b.jpg20181009-05 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

45156044752_c2c14c39c1_b.jpg20181009-06 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

With that done it was difficult to get the adjusters to bite and tap a thread.  Some of them were a little rusty so I cleaned them in the desk wirewheel which in turn warmed them up just enough to soften the plastic and make tapping the thread loads easier.  On reassembling everything I found the adjusters are now very tight and if you try and wiggle the headlights you end up wiggling the car.  Good.  I stand a chance of getting properly aligned headlights now.

 

Other things I did today was sorting out the covering on the parcel shelf.  The soundproofing stuff that was fitted had shrunk by about 2" each side which had in turn dragged the leather out of place.  I disassembled and reglued it all before refitting it to the car.  There's a thin strip of vinyl that glues to the inside edge near the window  which isn't covered by the C pillar trim, as far as I can work out this is the vent solution rather than having more obviously visible vents and while it's a cheap solution, it's also quite effective.  I reglued the headlining too, which I helped along with a waft of the heat gun to make the vinyl just a bit more pliable, it's old enough vinyl that I don't want it to crack and tear.  Fortunately that all seemed to go very smoothly.

31331800388_3286337e05_b.jpg20181009-07 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

45156044652_1c830d5548_b.jpg20181009-08 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

Loosely fitted the high level indicators in readiness for wiring and to make sure that reglueing the headlining wasn't going to get in the way of them (it's not).  They look better with the orange lenses than they did with clear, which I wasn't expecting.

45156044472_9632f89247_b.jpg20181009-09 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

I also snapped the waist trim back into place and swept things down.  When I stepped back to check I hadn't missed any other quick jobs, suddenly the car looked better than it had in years.  I wish I had the words to express how this part of the build makes me feel, it's almost bittersweet knowing how much I've done and how little there is to do, no longer having that battle with Stuff and just being able to enjoy the car.  I wonder if this is why people sell a project when they've finished it?  It's a strange feeling.

31331800168_a71faf294a_b.jpg20181009-10 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

Since Hubnut deserves all the support it can get, and Dollywobbler is a thoroughly decent sort, there's one of these in the window.  Visit the address to get yours and find out more!

31331799788_af9d316838_b.jpgDSCF7367 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr


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#3427 OFFLINE   somewhatfoolish

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:21 PM

Are the headlight adjusters a machine thread or some kind of self tapping effort? If the former then running the plastic widgets through with an appropriate tap will leave a stiff fit for a screw as plastic tends to cut undersize.
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#3428 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:28 PM

I don't know.  I know you can adjust the headlights now and the adjusters stay put when you've adjusted them so that's good enough, I hope?



#3429 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 02:29 PM

Lights update!  Yesterday I spent some time fettling with the trims on the front of the car, with the headlights now actually attached more securely to the car, things lined up much better.  I've still got a bit more fettling to do on the front, the bar that holds the indicators needs a bit of a tweak and the bottom of the headlight surrounds need a small modification to replace the locating pegs that have snapped off the bottom of them so they don't rattle (they all do that, poor design choice there).  There's also the paint that needs freshening up from unfinished work just to make it look that little bit nicer.  I might even paint the bonnet eventually.

45196787982_ae796df5ce_b.jpg20181011-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

Mike and I spent a bit of time yesterday fettling with fittings and alignment of the lights as well as running various wires into the appropriate places.  One brake/running light holder didn't want to cooperate with the new bulb I'd bought so I stuck the old one in that it came with, which works perfectly fine.  Looks like the nubbins on the bottom of the new bulb are just slightly too long to seat in the holder properly.  The high level indicators got grommets fitted to the holes too so I shouldn't be getting water ingress issues there, they also serve to damp any vibration that might occur.

44524202244_0c766d5342_b.jpg20181011-02 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

Then we ran out of time.  So today while I've been at my desk doing admin (urgh), Mike has been busy with the wiring.  Only 2 bulbs are playing silly buggers, one being the reverse light (could be the switch again, could be an earth problem) and one high level indicator, which is definitely an earth problem.  Both should be easy to fix.

45196787812_1183976f54_b.jpg20181011-03 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

I am delighted with how the high level indicators have turned out.  The colour is just right and because they're painted on the inside it makes it look like they're made from really nice orange glass and there's no risk of accidentally cleaning off the paint.

44524202084_ee69dcd7c9_b.jpg20181011-04 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

 

20181011-05.gif

 

 


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#3430 OFFLINE   richardthestag

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:06 PM

shame I can only like ^ once.

 

glad the project is gathering pace.

 

The momentum will carry it forwards victoriously 


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#3431 OFFLINE   Asimo

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 06:12 PM

What is the orange indicator paint please?

#3432 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:05 PM

Orange paint is Tamiya Clear Orange acrylic paint, available in places like Boyes and Hobbycraft and probably online too.  Comes in a little glass pot with a colour plastic lid.



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#3433 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 04:31 PM

Today, Mike finished off the wiring needed and got that recalcitrant high level indicator working.  The reverse light checks out at the bulb, holder, and associated wiring so we're pretty sure that's a switch problem now.  Since we also know the fuel guage plug at the tank needs fettling, both these issues can hopefully be resolved together when we get the car up on the lift.  They're not vital for the time being.  The other item of note was that the hazards stopped working, then started working, and after some investigation it turns out the telltale bulb seems to be the culprit since it likes to not quite sit in the holder properly, a little bit of aluminium tape on the bottom of the bulb should fix it since this is a problem I've had with other bulbs in the dash, at least it's an easy one to get to.  There was a minor mishap when Mike had one of the high level indicator lenses break, in his words, "in my hand".  He bought some glass glue so it could be stuck back together and now I'm shopping for a Lucas 513 glass lens to replace it, have a few complete units on my eBay watch list and hoping for something that's not going to cost me £15 just for a lens since that seems excessive.  The reglued lens shows orange perfectly fine, it'll do for now.

44549502754_f8ff18e4b6_b.jpg20181012-01 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

With the wiring now done, we could faff about fitting the light units to the car.  This was a little awkward, some minor alignment issues that needed a bit of hand filing here and there to get a good snug fit.  I might revisit this in the future and fettle further to get a really nice fit.  Changing bulbs is now quite difficult too.

43457313800_b73d87fffb_b.jpg20181012-02 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

The new wiring looks very nice and tidy.  Happily we didn't need to undo what was already there, it was a case of rerouting a few wires, removing some extraneous bits, and fitting new connectors.  It still has the original plugs on the original loom so if I really had to go back to factory for some reason, I still can.

43457313840_08548f6d3b_b.jpg20181012-03 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

My favourite boot addition is the new boot lights, which just makes use of the running lights shining into the boot space.  This is actually more effective than the factory offering!  It's incredibly tempting to make some flying plughole stencils for the lights that shine on the inner wings.

44549502414_b3f2032eb8_b.jpg20181012-04 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

Finally we're at a point where I could put the tool tray lid, floor mat, fuel filler neck cover, and spare wheel back in the boot.  Once I get the new boot trim boards made this will look really smart.

43457313640_28bd83769d_b.jpg20181012-05 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

I'm amazed at how well the back end looks.  I had this vision in my head that I didn't think I'd ever realise.  I'm actually proud of myself for plugging away at this and getting it done, despite my own doubts and the doubts of others at times. Of course there's further minor tweaks to be done, the boot lid lock and badges really need smoothing off eventually, and I do have a remote boot and fuel door release mechanism salvaged from a Rover 200 which I may use since I trust mechanical systems more than I do electronic ones.

44549502284_4890be9df1_b.jpg20181012-06 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

Also remembered I should probably get the number plate back on the car.  Not enough time to refit the rear window today, that's really the last thing to sort before the car can be driven home, hopefully have that sorted over the weekend.

44549501964_cc817df701_b.jpg20181012-07 by Angyl Roper, on Flickr

 

I also took a really poor quality video, much worse than usual, so you can see the lights in action.  Potatocam ACTIVATE.


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#3434 OFFLINE   colc

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 04:40 PM

extraordinarily groovy.................


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#3435 OFFLINE   Joloke

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:06 PM

Look Amazebobs!

Cant help but think though theres two things this wonderful creation needs.....................

Metalflake Paint and more contemporary Badging?

I keep envisaging a  60,s "Princess" Script  central below the boot and a BL Marina style steering wheel roundall frenched into a hole near the bootlock ;-)


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Just remember I told you so! ;-)


#3436 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:08 PM

I do have a 60s Princess script badge from an ADO16 and was considering putting it where you suggest.  I'd love metalflake paint, but the nearest to that I can afford is throwing glitter at wet paint.


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#3437 OFFLINE   Joloke

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:15 PM

I do have a 60s Princess script badge from an ADO16 and was considering putting it where you suggest.  I'd love metalflake paint, but the nearest to that I can afford is throwing glitter at wet paint.

Its Rustoleum isnt it? Could you use this? Says interior use but I guess you could overcoat it with exterior clear?

https://www.wilko.co...wE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Either way though the car looks amazing! It reminds me of the off the wall creation in the 70's that appeared in Hot Car and Custom Car when Customizers put two fingers up to what society thought a car should look like :mrgreen:


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Just remember I told you so! ;-)


#3438 OFFLINE   mat_the_cat

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 08:06 PM

That's confusing.  The bodies are definitely aluminium, you can tell with the way they cut and the fact magnets don't stick.  Why would you then plate it with aluminium?

 

I don't know why, but I work in a company making optics, and we vapour deposit aluminium (amongst other layers) onto polished aluminium mirrors. So there must be some logic to it!



#3439 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 08:08 PM

I wonder if it just makes the surface reflect/refract better than just polished?  Perhaps it smooths out any imperfections and scratches from the polishing.



#3440 OFFLINE   colc

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 08:14 PM

Its Rustoleum isnt it? Could you use this? Says interior use but I guess you could overcoat it with exterior clear?

https://www.wilko.co...wE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Either way though the car looks amazing! It reminds me of the off the wall creation in the 70's that appeared in Hot Car and Custom Car when Customizers put two fingers up to what society thought a car should look like :mrgreen:

 

This does work.....needs a lot of lacquer though..........this was done with it......IMG_0094.JPG


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#3441 OFFLINE   Asimo

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 08:32 PM

Re the reflectors.

Practical aluminium things are made of aluminium alloys because alloys can be designed to suit whatever widget is being made.
Pure aluminium is just about the best reflector for visible light that we have so pure aluminium is deposited on glass, plastic (including CDs) and even aluminium parts for maximum reflectivity. It is a cheap and quick process too, which is why it is so widely used.
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#3442 OFFLINE   Timewaster

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 09:05 AM

I have followed this thread from the start.
Some of the ideas I genuinely thought WTF?...

I quite liked the Lotus wheels. And the moon discs..

But those tail lights look great.
Brilliant job!

I'm not keen on the high level indicators but it's not my car.

Now it is just the front number plate location that makes me twitch a bit.
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#3443 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 12:17 PM

You're not alone!  Some of the things I've tried haven't worked, that's the nature of the beast.

 

Lotus wheels need refurbishing and some nice tyres, since that's expensive they keep being bumped down the list and now the roads are being salted I'm leaving them until next year and we'll stick with steels and moons.

 

Front number plate is a personal bugbear, there's just nowhere for it to go.  I'd love to ditch the front plate completely but there's some sort of legal thing which means I'm not allowed, so it's best compromise there.  Moving the plate further up the front of the car, or using a stick-on one, just looks uglier.  There's no way I'm putting an offset square one on either.

 

High level indicators are, oddly enough, a safety thing.  It's the same reason we fitted the high level brake light.  Modern drivers only look straight ahead and don't see the Princess lights in the stock location and no matter how large they are, they just don't look for them, so the tiny little high level brake and those high level indicator dots are just more visible.  Which is daft.



#3444 ONLINE   MorrisItalSLX

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 12:28 PM

Princess.jpg

 

Just a thought.

 

Also, MS Paint is the extent of my skills.


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#3445 OFFLINE   mat_the_cat

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 01:57 PM

Re the reflectors.

Practical aluminium things are made of aluminium alloys because alloys can be designed to suit whatever widget is being made.

 

That makes a lot of sense - in our case choose the right alloy for machinability and polishability, and then coat with pure aluminium (or silver in some cases) for reflection.



#3446 OFFLINE   vulgalour

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 05:07 PM

That's almost the factory location for the plate, originally it looks like this.

20123031-27.jpg

 

Trouble is, without the bumper it looks a bit daft when it sits above the bottom line of the car.  Here it is affixed to the centre bar.

DSCF8758.JPG

 

The issue mainly isn't that it looks particularly bad mounted above the bottom line of the car when you look at it face on, at headlight level, it's that it looks bad from every other angle.  The 'chin' on the car is very Jimmy Hill so if you stick the number plate on it rather than under it the plate ends up sticking out like an underbite.  Tilt it back to meet the centre bar and it looks really odd, turn it into a stick-on vinyl plate and it looks dreadful.  In meatspace, sticking the plate underneath where I've got it now actually works best because most of the time it's not even that obvious it's there while also being fully visible and legal for things like speed cameras and whatever.

 

Here's a side view of that massive chin to demonstrate how far it sticks out and and well it hides the front plate from certain more normal viewing angles.

20180108-02.jpg

 

If I was allowed to, I'd ditch the front plate altogether, like many cars it looks hugely better without a front plate at all.  I'm not keen on relocating the front plate at all at this point, I've spent a long time finding the best compromise for it and feel I've got that now.  I would like to mount it further back underneath the car but that gets a bit sketchy because it starts to be obscured by bodywork which may get me the sort of attention I don't particularly want.

 

 



#3447 OFFLINE   Tadhg Tiogar

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:08 PM

....If I was allowed to, I'd ditch the front plate altogether, like many cars it looks hugely better without a front plate at all.  I'm not keen on relocating the front plate at all at this point, I've spent a long time finding the best compromise for it and feel I've got that now.  I would like to mount it further back underneath the car but that gets a bit sketchy because it starts to be obscured by bodywork which may get me the sort of attention I don't particularly want.


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#3448 ONLINE   PhilA

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:42 PM

I'm still trying to figure why you need a pair anyway. One's enough, works just fine here.

Most designers, if you look at the sketches, avoid a plate on the front if they can anyway. Defeats the purpose when it's a domestic design that legally needs one, and a large one at that.

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#3449 OFFLINE   SiC

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:49 PM

This
post-5335-0-15733500-1539450047.jpg

Reminds me of
Daggett.png
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#3450 OFFLINE   Timewaster

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:52 PM

These are by no means recommendations but I assume you have considered a square plate or offset mounting ala 156?
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