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FatHarris - tales of a motoring moron ***Retest results 24/5***


fatharris

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Quiet evening today, I laid down a coat of red primer to all worked-on areas.

Finally had a chance to use the IR heater! Helped dry the primer super quick.

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Added a layer of Puraflex on the seams and joins of wherever I was working, and left it to dry overnight.

Working a small job on the sofa tonight - the VIN plate is pretty pitted and grotty, so a bit of time with a spare electric toothbrush and some metal polish might yield some results.

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It's not the fastest process, but there is a slight improvement. I'll keep working on it when I'm not in the garage. Still waiting on loads of bits to arrive in the post.

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Early start before work this morning, as I popped into the garage before I set off and laid a coat of primer onto the Puraflex layer - think this was a contributory issue with the Schultz and lanoguard not properly setting last time.

Drove to work with a wonderful sunrise backdrop:

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Yes, I still need to wash it, but it has been an absolutely fantastic car over the winter.

When I finished from work, I felt rough as arseholes, so I only popped into the garage to lay down some protective finishes in the OSF arch, courtesy of these two products:

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Fertan as a brand is highly rated as a rust converter so I'm hoping the stone chip follows in the same vein.

Masked the important bits:

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And cracked on -Fertan on the underside, paint on the inner wing and the arch.

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Ended up doing two coats of each. Popped the IR light on to help speed up the curing time between coats, but it'll dry naturally now till tomorrow.

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It's been a very quiet week this week - turns out I have tonsillitis, so I'm trying to take it easy whilst the antibiotics do their thing.

I came home from work to find a big ol' box of bits:

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I'll open it up and divulge the contents later.

As I'm meant to be taking it easy, I decided to start prepping for my next big job, the NSF arch area. First up, give the wheel arch a scrub up to make sure we can see what's happening under there.

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With that done, it was time to focus my attention on this - this patch had been hurriedly applied the last time the car failed the MOT back in 2020.

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Halfway through and it was putting up a fight!

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Eventually though, I removed the patch to expose the horrific situation underneath, which also highlighted the lack of paint to the other side of the repair patch.

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The screen wash bottle was removed to look at the both sides of the repair, which surprisingly didn't look any better from that angle either.

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Clearly though, some more room was required to work in the area. The resting wiper position was marked on the screen:

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And the scuttle, wiper arm, heater blower motor and bonnet were removed to aid access.

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Final job for the night was removing all traces of the previous patch attempt.

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With that all done, I knocked it on the head as I'm still exhausted and ill (god knows how many times I've re-written this due to tiredness causing bad spelling)

 

 

 

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Not many photos today, because a) I only got a few hours in the garage today, and b) I was both in a hurry and in a bad mood, so I just cracked on.

Chopped the rest of the grot out, what remains is crusty but saveable. When taking the remains of the initial rusty bit out, it was evident that the vertical inner wing skin that it welds onto was heavily deteriorated under the seam sealer. Seeing as there was another adjacent grotty bit within that section, I drilled out a few spot welds and removed it as one large section.

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This left me with three sections removed in total, although a fourth one will have to be made to cover the original hole - there was simply nothing left to make a template with. Three of them will be made with 1mm steel, the remaining one is part of the suspension turret plate and will be made in 1.8mm steel. The removed section (the bit at the top of the photo) is only a mounting surface for the 1mm bridging plate on the arch and has no structural implications at this point.

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Metalwork cleaned up for welding. The patch near the suspension turret cleaned up with a light sanding and proved to be solid, thankfully. It'll be given a further wirebrushing, before Kurust and primer.

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First panel knocked up. Still needs a little bit of a fettle to make it perfect, but it's a start.

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Called it a night after that. The next two patches to make are simple strips, the final one can't be measured/cut out until the others are welded in.

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  • fatharris changed the title to FatHarris - tales of a motoring moron

Ah, another day, another set of jobs that have nothing to do with the Citroen.

It started off well, with me finding more holes that need attention:

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They're added to the list - joys!

To take my mind off it, I popped down to my local hardware store and bought some fire rope to replace on the woodburner doors. They had compressed horribly over the past year, and rendered the door catch useless. This meant it was burning through the wood even quicker than usual.

This was quite a filthy job in the end, as the original rope was held in place with fire cement, which had to be wirebrushed out using the drill brass brush.  This kicked the dust absolutely everywhere in seconds.

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To make matters worse, 2 out of the 8 window retaining fasteners had seized in place, shearing as soon as I applied any torque. This was remedied by drilling out the remaining stub, and welding a new bolt into the door, which worked a treat.

Sadly, the glass has been showing signs of degradation for the past year or so, with plenty of crazing evident, and I must have tightened the lock nut a bit too tight...

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Bollocks! MrsH has got the measurements and she'll pop to one of the local woodburner suppliers this week to get a new pane.

Fitting the new rope was easy - it just lay in the groove for the window one, and I laid a bead of fireproof silicone in the groove of the door to help hold it in place - the ends of the rope were also coated in the silicone, to prevent it from fraying further. A little sliver of fireproof silicone was applied to the window crack, not with the intent to use it, but just to keep the kids' prying fingers from picking up a nasty cut whilst a replacement is sourced.

Either way, the hinge pins got a little dab of copper grease and the doors were rehung on the burner - finally, the door catch works properly again! The window rope cost 99p/mtr, the door rope cost £1.40/mtr, much cheaper than online and highlights the merits of the local traders once again.

Anyway, after I butchered that job, it was onto the next one. Daughter's electric trike wasn't charging.

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This had a replacement battery last week so we knew that was grand. Eventually tracked the fault to be with the charger itself. Would show 6v output on the multimeter for a few seconds, then would start dwindling down slowly. 

Not fancying buying another charger, I started looking for alternative power sources in the garage. Tried my first stupid idea:

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Which reminded me why the battery was removed from the MX5 in the first place - it was almost unable to turn the tiny motor. The 18V Ryobi knockoff was hung in place and immediately discounted as it would be much too quick for my little one without setting up a potentiometer.

Ah well, back to the drawing board with that one.

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Important things first, the glass was replaced.

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Then I spent the night at work on duty.

MrsH messaged me in the morning about the Laguna:

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...aaaaand not ninety minutes later, I get a phonecall from MrsH. She's in her work car park, and the Laguna has suddenly transformed into a rally car.

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I popped over to swap it for the Rover and took the LOUDEST, most careful 12 mile drive home, getting it straight on the ramps when I got back, and let everything cool down.

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A closer look at the cause.

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Unfortunately, I didn't get many photos of this, as I was in a hurry to get this done - the Laguna was needed to do the school run in a couple of hours.

Luckily, I already had the replacement pipe in the garage, I just never found the time to replace it as I was focused on the BX. As the Citroen was in the garage on stands, it meant I had to work on the Laguna outside in the pissing rain.

After much swearing and skinned knuckles, the old pipe was out and I could see the cause of the failure was not the item snapping due to corrosion, but the flange welds cracking and eventually failing, allowing the downpipe to slide out of its own flange (oo-er).

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As I was in a massive rush, I didn't change the studs over on the exhaust manifold, just wire brushed the threads and copper greased it. The new pipe had been a pain to source but was reasonably priced, although the fitting kit was extra, and also a waste of bloody time.

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With more haste than before, I got the new pipe bolted in, the car came off the ramps and I made it just in time for the school run.

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I'm going to have to re-visit this one at some point, the manifold to downpipe joint isn't 100% gastight, and the crushable wire style gasket isn't sitting flush. That being said, it's a lot better than it was, and it highlighted issues with the exhaust system closer to the tail pipe.

On the way home, I noticed that the heater temperature control knob wasn't free to rotate like usual, it was sticking in and sprinting back to one position.

Good job I know how to gain access.

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Eventually, we found an issue with the heater control cable itself - for some reason, it had developed a kink and was jamming inside the run. Annoyingly I've been unable to resolve this, at this time, so I've disconnected the cable, and left the heater flap in the fully hot position.

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Trying to source a new set of heater control cables was a nightmare in itself, but I managed to find a NOS set of cables for a RHD Behr-equipped car in Holland, of all places. Luckily, my brother lives in Holland too, so it's getting delivered to his house for when we get there at the end of the month.

Cheers.

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FUCK ME.

Barely any photos today, but the first day in nearly a week that I've had a chance to work the BX. 

I made the last of the repair sections for this first stage, and coated them with zinc primer.

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Gave the other side a coat too (excuse potato camera)

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Then I thought I'd do the small, three holed panel first. This was an absolute pain to do, first the leading edge kept blowing holes in it, then when it came to do the plug welds on the holes, the metal melted through and caused a small fire to the soundproofing behind the dashboard!

Naturally, I panicked and grabbed whatever was closest to me and squeezed hard, 'aiming' it towards the hole with a flame in it.

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Which thankfully extinguished the fire. I've pulled out the carpet and had a look as far as I can, and I think I've gotten away with it. 

Made a right mess though.

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After that, I decided I was done with the welder for the day so I ground down the welds on that panel and called it a night. Now in bed, googling CO2 extinguishers.

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2 minutes ago, fatharris said:

Wish I'd remembered to do something similar before I took the steering wheel off 😅

Funny you should say that. I removed and refitted one today and added a mark to centre it. Unfortunately I overlooked the fact i'd parked with the wheels far from straight 🤦‍♂️ 

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Fuck it, can't sit around waiting for it to be done.

Welded in another portion of the arch repair.

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Ground the welds and applied weld through primer.

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Went inside for a bit to celebrate the dog's birthday for a bit - 9 years old today, and still mad as a pair of bollocks.

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He enjoyed a large dried sausage and some new toys.

Then went back in the garage to weld another repair panel in:

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This was ground back and a coat of zinc primer applied.

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And made another panel to be welded in tomorrow at some point, gave it a coat of weld through primer and called it a night.

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Productive few hours in the garage today, although pictures are sporadic.

Prepped the panel for welding in:

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Squeeeeeze the pigeon real hard, and eventually stopped blowing holes in the metal.

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And ground down.

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This has now been primed and Puraflex has been added to the seams.

Decided to puty hand in the way of the hammer, because I'm an idiot.

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Whilst this was ongoing, I decided to try and resolve the burning oil issue with some snake oil.

The car had been running fine when in use, but started blowing blue smoke when accelerating the engine. I'm rolling a lot of dice on gummed up piston rings.

Luckily, the internet has given a pretty glowing recommendation to this product:

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I spent a few hours searching around the internet, and it seems to be good for solving oil consumption issues. Decided to try a piston soak, using the procedure recommended by Berryman.

Used two bottles, poured them into each spark plug hole, put the plugs back in hand tight and agitated the engine by rotating the crankshaft pulley back and forth every half an hour. Every hour, I took the plugs out and checked the fluid by sucking some out with a syringe.

The fluid was clear when poured in.

This was the best one a couple of hours in - you can see the carbon deposits in the bottom of the syringe.

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This was one of the worst ones:

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Pure black in there, there was another cylinder like this too.

I used two bottles in total (it eventually drains into the crankcase) and five hours later, all bar one of the piston crowns was dry - a quick blast of compressed air into the spark plug hole freed it up.

The remaining cylinder fluid was pulled out via the syringe, and fired into an old rag, to see how many deposits were in it. This was a 10ml sample.

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Whilst this was going on, I moved onto reattaching the VIN plate. Using the original remaining drill hole for one side, I drilled out the other hole and applied zinc primer to the exposed metal.

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Once dried, I applied Puraflex to the hole, as well as the rivet itself, and got that properly attached.

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With that done, I started looking at the LHM system, which was still untested because of this doozy:

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Luckily, these are really simple to change, just prize the clip off, and pop the pipes off.

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The pipeline's were heavily perished and cracked everywhere, so this was definitely worth changing.

Onwards then, to the next part - building up the LHM tank. First off, I needed to take the filters out and give them a good clean.

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Here's where I made major fuck up of the day.

Notice how similar these two cans are?

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...yeah. It took me a couple of seconds to realise the cleaner wasn't just clearing loads of sludge out. Thankfully, using the right can cleaned all the traces of primer out!

The other filter was also removed:

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And cleaned.

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The tank is now fitted in place but I forgot to get a photo.

Tomorrow, I'll be running the engine for about 15 minutes on idle to cycle the Berryman fluid through the system before carrying out an oil change - hopefully this will be enough to stop the smokescreens when I accelerate.

I'll also look to apply primer to the Puraflex and possibly a coat of paint in the evening, then I'll look to move onto the final section requiring rust repairs.

Cheers!

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Another productive few hours.

Ran the BX for 15 minutes to get the oil/Berryman mix up to temperature before draining. The exhaust fumes fill the garage quite quickly, so I tried helping it along with the spare Laguna pipe 😅

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(It did not help.)

After fifteen minutes of idling, I cracked open the drain plug and noticed just how thin the oil coming out was. I know I'd added about 800ml of Berryman, but even with that factored in, it was too thin.

I slapped another coat of primer onto the areas I'd applied Puraflex to.

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And left the oil to drain as much as possible.

Had another check of the LHM system and started preparing it for a first run. Pleased with how the repairs look now everything is back in place. OSF sphere screwed back on and looking fine!

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Once the oil fully drained, the sump plug was refitted, a new oil filter attached (old one was stamped 2016, which would tally up with the lack of use it has had since then) 

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And the oil topped up to roughly the correct level. The car wasn't level so I didn't want to overfill it.

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Next job was to reattach the front wheels, I also slid a set of ramps underneath the wheels to give a bit of clearance.

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As I was planning on priming the LHM system, I needed the cooling system to work, so I ended up changing the thermostat. Was going to do it at the same time as the timing belt, but there you go.

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The LHM belt was reattached to the pulleys and the HP pump supply line was disconnected and primed.

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MrsH was roped in at this point to start the engine whilst I connected the supply line. For some reason, the LHM pump belt lost its tension so this was resecured.

And after a few minutes, success! The car was suspended on LHM for the first time in nearly a year.

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Early indications are promising for the engine smoke too, there seemed to be a lot less clouds on acceleration. Once the engine got warm and the levels were re-established, I started exercising the suspension by alternating between max and minimum extension. The struts are a little bit sticky and creaky but nothing too unexpected for a car that's been sat a while.

I bled the cooling system of all air and was dismayed to notice the temperature gauge still wasn't giving a reading, despite the new thermostat proving serviceable and the top hose getting hot. I shut the engine down and suddenly:

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Ah, everything IS working fine, it's just me being the idiot. I've had a prod with the multimeter and found the 'earth' terminal I was connecting to is a perfect earth in Key position 1, but 12v comes through when set to ignition.

Luckily, I added plenty of spare wire to the earth wire so I can simply connect it to a proper earth point instead of being lazy.

Anyway, seeing as it's mother's day, I'm knocking it on the head tonight to enjoy some time with MrsH. I'll pop in tonight to put a final coat of paint on the welding repairs before moving onto the next section.

Last thing I did was place four clean rags at each corner to check for static LHM leaks. Hopefully they'll still be clean tomorrow!

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I'm currently debating whether it is even worth doing the head gasket any more. Any advice? 

Cheers.

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Huh.

Commute to work this morning in the Rover, sat queuing at a roundabout.

Suddenly, enormously loud explosion heard - thought it was a gunshot.

Suddenly, Rover has plenty of power and it is running lovely - I'd been suspecting a boost leak somewhere for a while.

Guessing the exhaust had a restriction somewhere, but I've not seen anything come out the tailpipe.

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A man in a van dropped this off today - I already feel safer 🤣

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Checked the white rags for leaks - none present, and the car stayed at max height for nearly 24 hours, so I'd call that a result.

I've also moved the temperature gauge earth return to a proper earth point and ran the engine up to temperature - this time the gauge worked, so that job can be ticked off.

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Christ, yesterday was a bit of a ballache.

Started off innocently enough, removing the seam sealer from the next area requiring repairs.

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Whilst in the area, I noticed the horn was there and realised I hadn't tested it in years.

Popped the battery back on, pressed the button...

And nothing. Balls.

First things first, check for voltage at the connector using a test lamp - no lighty no likey.

Next job was to check the horn switch as they're prone to failing. This was working as advertised, but it was only showing 5V at the connector.

The heated rear screen operates on that circuit as well - and wasn't lighting up. 

Oh boy, here we go...

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With the fuse out and the multimeter inserted into the 'hot' side, it still wasn't looking promising.

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The battery voltage was checked and found to be fine. This is a permanent live circuit and the power feed goes from battery -> fusebox -> fuse, so I figured it was worth checking from the battery onwards.

Found this manky mess hiding under the plastic covers, just after the battery positive terminal:

IMG_20240311_215627.thumb.jpg.d6eae6580349ffee95634fb1cf81a4b5.jpg

And hidden amongst the grim was this little fella:

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Luckily, Citroen have a dual redundancy here - the twin-spade connector has two positions that it can connect to on the block, as all the other positions are unused. Because that feed wire was corroded, I could simply use the other side which was in much better condition.

IMG_20240311_220157.thumb.jpg.3032311ba7951f177ac94abb24cb7702.jpg

You know.... underneath all that gunk and dirt. I'm guessing the connector was slathered in something in an attempt to protect it.

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These all cleaned up all right though.

The other side of the connector had mild verdigris and cleaned up okay as well.

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And the connector re-assembled, and connected in the new, non-chafed position.

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I tested the voltage at the terminals at the back of the battery end of this loom (which I think is the main feed  loom for the fusebox) and found battery voltage.

The other end?

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5V once again. Resistance checks were carried out end-to-end and found to be 0.1ohms, so that's fine. The wiring diagrams are pretty unhelpful in the Haynes manual but I think there's a fly lead attached to this loom somewhere that may be causing issues.

Has anyone else had something like this? I've currently got loads of electrical components disconnected on the car, so I may just reattach everything too and try again. I only had a couple of hours to look into it last night.

Cheers

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Posted (edited)

Minimal photos today, because I was incredibly pissed off with the entire day.

Firstly though, some good news arrived today:

IMG_20240312_170007_edit_151928043089317.thumb.jpg.4e88c52819bce475c8efad73ccf6f049.jpg

A good used catalytic converter for the Beat - this may still need to go to the exhaust place for a replacement flanges to match the stainless link pipe.

So, on with the fault diagnosis. Reinstalled the cabin fan and headlights to aid the digging. Decided the fuse box needed to come out for a clean up, so all the connectors were marked up and disconnected

IMG_20240312_173702.thumb.jpg.241513df16c69983b6cea43fade55bc2.jpg

And eventually the fuse box was on the bench, given a stiff bristle brush and some contact cleaner before being blow-dried from the compressor and left on the dehumidifier to dry fully.

IMG_20240312_173658.thumb.jpg.759cfcd2156244037ecd3aeb8165ea84.jpg

Yesterday, I came to the conclusion that the fuse feed box and battery positive lead were in need of changing, so more faffing occured and eventually the leads were on the floor.

IMG_20240312_183906.thumb.jpg.72002d217b54f7f3efddc28b5267df21.jpg

Annoyingly, I had a niggly little voice in the back of my head to check this lead further, as it dawned on me that I hadn't fully tested it in isolation as the alternator and starter had still been connected to the supply. Figured it would be best due diligence to check It with all items out of the circuit, 

Connected it to the battery, and in all the imaginable combinations of test, they all came back with battery voltage, inexplicably.

This meant that everything had to get refitted, which I did not enjoy. The highlight was getting the cables back through the grommet into the cabin, made easier with a bit of steel wire and some tape;

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Eventually it was all rebullt and the test carried out again...

5V.

I had a bit of a tantrum about this, but eventually found out the entire thing was my fault, mainly because I had gone for the 'Use a clean shiny big patch of metal as an earth' and it turned out to be pretty crap as an earth - testing the circuit and using a proper earthing point made all the difference and proves that we were getting battery voltage, but using the crap earth, we were getting just 5v which was a lie.

Next fuck up wasn't really my fault - the heated rear window WAS working the entire time - it transpired that a bulb had blown in the switch so I was never going to tell if it was on (EDIT: this turned out to be bollocks, see my next post). Seeing that the horn was still working, I rigged it to the battery which worked.

Checked the stalk connector again for power and it was negligible, so it's getting closer. I've now got a BX factory electrical manual and read up on the fuse box, which I reckon is the culprit (again,)

Sorry if the spelling is terrible, I'm absolutely exhausted and been doing the ol' nodding dog here which isn't helping so I'm off to bed.

Cheers

Edited by fatharris
Because I was talking bollocks
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Well bugger me sideways, I've only gone and done it.

It's remarkable just how easy it is when you have the correct information to hand - this came in the form of OEM wiring diagrams for the fuse board itself.

IMG_20240313_131715.thumb.jpg.9be7f924d2279fd02085f5fd90f14fa9.jpg

With that, I tracked the lines and worked out which continuity checks needed doing. Was surprised to note that the fuse board connectors went in reverse order (6,5,4,3,2,1) as you view it.

It became evident that the very first continuity check was open circuit which was promising.

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This meant it had to come out (again) 

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With the board on the bench, it was a lot easier to repeat all the required continuity checks, and we finally had the fault pinpointed.

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There was an open circuit from the 'cold' side of the fuse socket, to the first junction of the horn/heated screen circuit, namely the high power input for the heated screen relay (this then carries on to the horn side of the circuit)

Unfortunately, it's a double-layered board and I was unable to access the actual board. Luckily, I had a surplus piggyback fuse with a flylead, so I elected to add a flylead to the relay terminal. Ended up using solid core wire on the board half as it's quite a high amperage circuit.

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With that all assembled, the board was re-tested and continuity was restored. The board was reconnected to the car and the horn now works!

Also, billy bonus, the HRW works and the switch illuminates, so I must have been talking bollocks about it working beforehand.

IMG_20240313_155924.thumb.jpg.9a6e6e72a5297eaf72cadd336bbe90c3.jpg

With that all confirmed to work, the interior was rebuilt (glovebox light fixed)

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As an aside, I noticed the oil level gauge wasn't working any more - this was traced to the sensor plug coming off for some reason so that's an easy win.

So, I'm back to bodywork repairs for the rest of the week, hopefully without any more nasty surprises!

Cheers.

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Not much of an update today, it's the slow, boring bits at the moment.

Chopping out the afflicted metal is a dull task, with spot welds everywhere that needs drilling out.

This bracket was covering some weak metal directly above it.

IMG_20240313_212916.thumb.jpg.9a0810ed66b0ad1568cc5892fbaa5641.jpg

So it was removed. The uppermost mating face is heavily corroded in places too, so that'll need changing.

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This was hiding behind an equally grotty panel, however it is substantial enough and has survived a wire bush so it'll get cleaned up further.

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Eventually, I had what I was hoping to be the last grotty bits chopped out of the car.

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This had left quite a complex hole behind.

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And I had to be extra careful as I was at the end of this sheet of steel - I bought this back in 2015 to restore the Mini, but that never ended up happening!

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I got two panels roughly bent into shape before I decided to call it a night - they were the trickiest two to do so I just wanted them to be out of the way.

Tomorrow, I'll prep the surfaces for welding and make the last of the repair patches, with ambitions to weld a couple in on Saturday evening.

Cheers!

IMG_20240314_220434.jpg

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So, onto today's activities then.

First off, I lopped off the rotten upper section of the reinforcing bracket between the inner wing and chassis leg. New on was measured up and filed down a bit to make it match.

IMG_20240315_140515.thumb.jpg.a3faff75331645bded549beb2f5de0e9.jpg

Got the welder set up and cracked on -

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Ground the welds back and it looked pretty okay after that.

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With that done, the repair sections were given a coating of weld through primer:

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And the first panel clamped in place.

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This one turned out to be a bit of a faff as there were loads of curves that I wasn't immediately aware of, but the hammer got everything in the right place for the welding to happen. Ground down, it even looked all right.

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With that done, it was onto the next section.

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Unfortunately, this turned out to be a proper pain in the arse as my CO2 bottle ran out at 9pm. Not a problem as I had an Argon/CO2 bottle that I used for a couple of minutes in the cupboard.

What an arseache that ended up being. Not sure if it was the gas making a difference, but the welds weren't going down right and I was blowing holes every other time.

IMG_20240315_213158.thumb.jpg.675920d019025e4900a6028d0656e570.jpg

Aaaaand annoyingly, the replacement bottle ran out, less than five minutes into the job so I called it a night after grinding down what I could. Looking forward to moving on from the welding!

Cheers.

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Not gonna lie, I was up early this morning (for a Saturday) to get some welding gas. Halfords turned out to be the cheapest for CO2 at under £14.

Got this panel in nice and quick:

IMG_20240316_092119.thumb.jpg.a7a5f99a09ff41486539634abf096bf4.jpg

As I wanted to get onto the remaining complicated panel.

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This is the last of the wheel arch repair sections, so it needed to follow the curvature of the  arch itself. Typically, this requires a stretcher tool if you need a 90 degree lip, but I didn't have a stretcher tool, I had an angle grinder.

IMG_20240316_105731.thumb.jpg.e49a8a0c0e56e5cae291cf6ec57d1005.jpg

This kept going back and forth in place to get the curvature right - the more lines chopped into the lip, the finer tweaks you can make to the bends.

Eventually, I got it following the existing curve pretty nicely.

IMG_20240316_111607.thumb.jpg.355cd59c7e5af12814aa43fae612d1b3.jpg

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So it was a case of firing up the welder:

IMG_20240316_112737.thumb.jpg.bf77123d4afaca1cbcd39a5293b25199.jpg

And very carefully welding them up - this requires a lot of time to cool in between welding the lines, as rushing it could distortion the gaps and give a different curve to the panel.

This bit isn't pretty, because it's welding to fill the gaps of already thin metal, so naturally it blows holes every five seconds.

IMG_20240316_114546.thumb.jpg.6492d4496d5c7e616282df8d85d553c2.jpg

It does grind down pretty nicely to make a solid panel.

Next was popping the spot weld holes in the lip, which was not helped by the tool jamming with the panel stuck in it.

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I then expanded the holes with a drill bit and caught myself getting lazy - the finger of the glove got caught in the drill bit, but I escaped any injury myself, which was a nice wake up call! 🤦‍♂️

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Whilst working this panel, it made sense to prepare the last panel needed for the arch, so I got that sorted too. Doesn't need to be pretty because it's out of sight.

IMG_20240316_123732.thumb.jpg.6dffc88d42df1c9163053c8401e78968.jpg

Both items got a coat of zinc primer and a blast by the IR heater - this dropped the drying time considerably, and justified the purchase price 😅

IMG_20240316_124551.thumb.jpg.1bafe4956e8ce82668ef0e9553dc2fa2.jpg

Once dry (and cooled down!), it was magnetted into position:

IMG_20240316_130407.thumb.jpg.e5e06168e4a1d7dcb95300be35080c91.jpg

And tacked into place. This took a while to get perfect, so the tacks kept getting cut off to make it a flusher fit.

IMG_20240316_131325.thumb.jpg.5b10b401bb9a0162971a707279ec190d.jpg

Took my time with it and got decent penetration with the welds

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Didn't picture it, but the lower panel had another go around with the welder as I wasn't content with the penetration when it was on the Argon mix.

The repair stiffener bracket was also welded back in place, as was the little bracket that goes on the lip of the inner wing:

IMG_20240316_152140.thumb.jpg.d0118701442966a95010c9816423572f.jpg

A coat of zinc primer applied - dry in less than an hour thanks to the IR heater:

IMG_20240316_163708.thumb.jpg.f797da23b0c05777af76c96be4deab9f.jpg

And Puraflex added to all the joins.

IMG_20240316_174156.thumb.jpg.b66a237f410484864add6d2a06ab95a4.jpg

Hopefully, this will be dry by the time the kids go to bed, so I'll pop back in, add another coat of primer, stick the IR heater on and put a coat of paint on before bed.

Tomorrow will be a good day to apply the stone chip paint and bring a close to all the welding/bodywork jobs!

Cheers.

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Nice, steady day today.

The sealant dried sufficiently last night for me to throw another coat of primer and a coat of paint on last night. The primer got a blast from the IR heater, and the paint was left to dry naturally overnight.

Had a lovely lie-in today, and eventually got up and threw another coat of paint on, with the IR heater left on during breakfast.

IMG_20240317_102359.jpg.45901357d10c7fd7c2018a4cfb9381ca.jpg

IMG_20240317_102414.jpg.50375761c2a031e93ea00076dda3bb9d.jpg

Went with Matt black for the underside areas, not that it'll matter as it'll be stone chipped at some point.

Either way, that wasn't today's job. Today was the start of the head gasket change, and I was taking my time with it.

First things first, the timing belt has to come off.

IMG_20240317_131020.jpg.635643ed72bd7e12b816bc0a765f426c.jpg

Some of the covers that came out had different sized nuts etc - I just used a paint pen to identify which nut goes into which hole with a series of dots.

IMG_20240317_131026.jpg.dec980d29db9b875afdae8afa608e160.jpg

I didn't take many photos today because I was focused, but after a bit of trial and error, the timing belt was in my hands.

IMG_20240317_142420.jpg.04e0dd8e8168e8b1c60d8f6f47be9995.jpg

And I was immediately pissed off because I was holding a 113-tooth timing belt, and in my pile of parts, I had a 114-tooth timing belt kit. ARSES.

This was because the BX was on a changeover year for timing belts and tensioners - the general rule of thumb was plastic timing belt top covers have 114, metal covers have 113.

Naturally, this meant my BX was pre-mod for the timing belt, but with a post-mod timing belt cover. This has pushed me back a bit as I now need to order a new kit. 

Ah well, I cracked on anyway, removing various bits and pieces in order to get access to the head.

IMG_20240317_151003.jpg.ec898aff2594e386bdeddca58f5f8f58.jpg

As I was popping hoses off, it was a reminder that hoses are lifetime components, and sometimes the damage can be hidden.

IMG_20240317_152253.jpg.1a1df7a49468141077c0188fb6ed26d5.jpg

Fuel hose from pump to filter. This looked fine from the outside.

IMG_20240317_155755.jpg.e2169213ffeda52babb58435667f9560.jpg

IMG_20240317_155935.jpg.ff9251f7c20b36aa7fedce8bcccc9d20.jpg

Coolant hoses to and from the carburettor - the split occured during removal, but the cracking rubber has been on my radar whilst I've been working on it.

Eventually, I called it a day. Bit miffed at the Haynes manual, it makes no mention of removing the exhaust manifold or inlet, or any of the components attached to them, but most of this is rocket science.

IMG_20240317_180532.jpg.e52f4072fb3c8c24d10ff316aa966374.jpg

I've got the in-laws coming down tomorrow for a few weeks, so I'm going to be in the garage even more 😅

Cheers!

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Who's fucked it?

This guy's fucked it.

Started off strong, with whipping off the inlet manifold and exhaust manifold after a bit of twatting with mallets.

IMG_20240318_164438.jpg.792866f353839312b915991a7eeb0d5e.jpg

After that, I took the OS engine mount off, to get access to the two bolts that screw directly into the head. I refitted the mount after that so I could remove the jack from underneath.

Finally, the big moment came to undo the head bolts. Was feeling pretty damn good at the halfway point, until bolt number 6.

IMG_20240318_180908.jpg.02eada96a5aaebd64b307cd38f348960.jpg

IMG_20240318_181354.jpg.dd81d8c928eaccee7f7a6431d58c5a95.jpg

BOLLOCKS.

I cracked on anyway and mercifully the rest of the bolts came out without incident.

IMG_20240318_192100_edit_3098011709943.jpg.28af5d75dd71f893f5ea488f243d05fe.jpg

The head definitely needed to come off based on the state of that gasket, it crumbled away into nothing!

IMG_20240318_193525.jpg.221c8bf1e4edc129c4402b711e426022.jpg

Gave me a chance to further survey the issue at hand.

IMG_20240318_200054.jpg.d2cfd0c9286e4ab30a70ec1413d2f41f.jpg

IMG_20240318_200121.jpg.33068f49ced2f020fd11ae590cfaa51e.jpg

The 2" of bolt thread and shank is stuck somewhere in that shitshow - it's very evident that someone has been running this cooling system on just water. I've just left it drowning in GT85 for now.

Either way, I've made enquiries with a local fella recommended by Phill, who can deal with issues like this.

I have called it a night early, tomorrow I'll look to strip the head and get it ready to be cleaned.

An annoying day, but it needed doing.

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Very few pictures today.

I sent the bolt removal fella the photos he requested of the offending item, and he said that the block will have to come to him for removal. This was a heavy gutpunch to hear, as this was a shitload of work I was ill-equipped and ill-motivated for.

First things first though, I bought some penny washers and raided my spare sockets box to make 'packers' to allow me to clamp the wet liners in place with the original head bolts.

IMG_20240319_172942.jpg.593574d25f94eba8a4172fb4e1ab9f7f.jpg

Speaking to a few people and sorting a lend of an engine crane, I elected to crack on and start getting the engine and gearbox ready for removal. Luckily, my mate Dan (former half-owner of the BX) came over, rolled his sleeves up and mucked in with this task.

IMG_20240319_204707.jpg.b703b72e60dcae4d1b4519824e2bb836.jpg

With Dan gone home, I got the NS driveshaft out, the OSF one is very stuck in position - suspect the bearing has corroded into it's holder.

IMG_20240319_212809.jpg.a1a03b74039c3b4f5acfcacfee9d62f5.jpg

The Haynes manual suggested a 24mm wooden dowel be inserted into the NS driveshaft hole on the gearbox to retain the differential gears, and where was I gonna find something like that?

IMG_20240319_212859.jpg.a38aaa1882e09bf1a141a836b1430fb9.jpg

Oh, that'll do nicely. We'll ignore the fact that Haynes doesn't mention that it's no required in anything but the earliest gearboxes.

Oh well. Tomorrow the engine crane arrives to get everything

IMG_20240319_212809.jpg

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Half-day update.

A mate dropped off an engine crane whilst I was at work.

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With the warnings fully read and digested*:

IMG_20240320_141709.jpg.37cd34c6896b958686f7edc2f879c927.jpg

I gave the seized driveshaft bearing a dousing in oil this morning before work - a sharp twatting with a hammer and chisel freed it up.

I removed the radiator to remove the risk of damaging it in the ensuing mayhem:

IMG_20240320_162159.jpg.160e2cd82f1a0d6045025b4c8d348296.jpg

And started loosening bolts for the bellhousing, bonus was freeing up a pair of wires that had been trapped in the join of the bellhousing and block since I bought the car! These will get a solder sleeves repair in due course.

IMG_20240320_164848.jpg.8a78de37ba70091722252e3bb99d3309.jpg

I roped the father in law to act as safety rating and operate the crane whilst I jiggled the 'box free, and eventually we got our first reward:

IMG_20240320_172505.jpg.a886edb00fa382a334436643dbd060b9.jpg

It's actually light enough to lift myself using the strop so that'll be my method when it comes to lifting it in.

Anyway, onto the main event. There was a bit of a faff to get the car to a lower position on the axle stands, exacerbated by the need to support the engine at the same time. There was a bit of an issue with access at times but otherwise it was okay.

IMG_20240320_174303.jpg.b9fed0355fbb4fb3ad065964305d5a9d.jpg

Both remaining mounts were unbolted and the engine was free to be lifted.

IMG_20240320_180735.jpg.fd66e1cffffc541b6e2b8ad2ccd1c314.jpg

And now resting on the deck. 

IMG_20240320_181053.jpg.532f8b2cdf02391d1ff83fab271157cc.jpg

IMG_20240320_181558.jpg.575d6cd767192c1ebf0d3ea4d5dc12e8.jpg

Now the awkward jobs begin - stripping the block is going to be a bit of a pain without an engine stand, but hopefully do-able.

Going to try and get out for a couple of hours tonight but we'll see.

Cheers

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