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**19/09/21 Olive ** Probably how not to restore a Herald!

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Hoping everyone had a good bank holiday weekend, even in these somewhat bizarre times.

First job for me this week was finishing off the interior light surround that I started last week, giving it a coat of primer and satin black.


And continuing that theme, the dashtop vents and finishers that I cleaned up the other week got the same treatment.



Remember that heater that I removed from the car back in 2016, here it is ready to be packed up and put away for that day that I finally get to reassemble the car.



Still need to address those scratches that I managed to put in that fresh paintwork while reassembling the case, but that can wait.

The main event for this weekend, apart from my continual battle against the brambles in the hedgerow opposite, was starting work on the loom, after my package from Autosparks arrived last week.

The loom has a number of issues, not least that it has a couple of areas where the insulation has chafed off the wiring, like below.


There were a couple like that tucked away within the main run of the loom.

Thankfully the bulk of the loom is pristine once the tired insulation tape is removed.


But back to the dodgy bits, which I started off by cutting out and replacing with new, soldered in, and correctly colour coded sections, which were then covered in heat shrink tubing.



Probably the best thing to do would have been to replace the entire length, but given that the affected sections are all at the base of the bulkhead where they won't be subject to movement, I felt more comfortable taking this approach.

As well as the wires themselves, some of the connectors also need replacement, this is one of the better ones.


And here is one of the new ones, complete with a new plastic cover!


I bought the crimper package from Autosparks as I figured that I would need to replace a number of connectors, and it comes with a selection of connectors and associated plastic covers.


The crimpers are very good quality, and produce an amazingly secure connection between the connector and the cable itself, and are light years away from the horrible cheapy ones that you frequently get.

As well as replacing the damaged wires, and dodgy connectors, I also took the opportunity to tidy up the loom itself, as my car has been converted from dynamo to alternator, and due to the way that the change has been performed, I have been left with a number of wires that are no longer required, such as these two.


Both of these went to the back of the dynamo, but have been replaced in my current set up by two wires going direct from the alternator to the starter solenoid, and therefore were removed from the loom. Similarly the thick brown wire which ran from the control box to the starter solenoid has been removed, leaving me with a loom which only has the wires I need, at least on the engine side of the bulkhead.


This is a section of the loom I re-wrapped, and with heat shrink tubing applied to hold the ends of the tape securely, as like the original Lucas wrapping, the tape is non-adhesive.

The section of loom behind the dash requires a bit more work with some of the connectors missing, or barely hanging in there, but that will have to wait for a couple of evenings this week.


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Not a great deal of progress this week, just a bit more done on the loom and a start made on the steering column itself.

First job was to understand where the various wires needed to be routed, and therefore where I could or could not bind the loom, consequently a bit of trial fitting was on the cards.




It looks a bit of a rat's nest but everything went in as it should and allowed me to ensure that as I bound the loom up, I wasn't binding myself into a corner so to speak.

It also highlighted the fact that I needed a piggy back terminal on the back of the new voltage regulator, which I hadn't appreciated previously.

All of which allowed me to bind up the central section of the loom which runs behind the choke & heater controls, as well as the long skinny run that goes to the wiper motor, and which was looking a little the worse for wear after over 50 years.

At this point I ran out of the non-adhesive binding tape, so another order has been placed with Autosparks for more tape, as we as some new 3/8 female spade connectors and covers, and bulkhead grommets which are easier to fit to the loom at this stage.

With work on the loom temporarily halted, I turned my attention to the steering column, which needs two things:

  1.  a fresh coat of paint, as its currently heavily scratched,
  2.  new steering column bushes, as the column was emitting an ominous rattle.

First job was the bushes, which I know have a reputation for being a pain in the arse to remove, so thinking hat on.

First idea, drill out the rubber bumps which locate the bush in the column housing.

That didn't work.

Thinking cap back on.

Heat! Lots of heat!

Out with the heat gun, and turned up to the maximum setting, which caused the rubber to start bubbling and gently smoking. Definitely a task better tackled away from other humans.

Once I felt the bush was hot enough, I inserted a length of studding with a nut and washers on, hooked the washers behind the bush, and pulled, having first secured the column in the vice. 

Several more applications of heat saw both bushes removed, and interestingly, despite the hot air gun being on max, it didn't affect the paint, so something that you could potentially do with the column shroud in situ should you feel the need.

Source of the rattling revealed.


Two new bushes will be going on order shortly, along with new felts and probably new decals for the indicators and light stalks as mine are scratched and faded.

The column shroud itself just needs a coat of paint.




With a bit of luck next week's long weekend may allow me to get the column and the loom completed.


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  • 1 month later...

While I haven't posted an update in a while, I have still been busy finishing the last few items on the dashboard and loom refurbishment, including the steering column shroud.

The two plastic covers which sit around the indicator and light levers on the column were looking very battered.



No amount of polishing was going to improve those, and the surface of one of the covers was breaking down, therefore there was nothing for it but to break out the filler primer and sandpaper.


This restored the surface finish ahead of a coat of satin black, which then allowed me apply the decals for the lights and indicators.


These are normal water slide decals, like we all grew up with on Airfix kits as kids when we called them 'transfers', but just like those childhood transfers, these need a little help to conform to more complex surfaces. Luckily being a modeller I have setting and softening solutions designed for model decals, for just this purpose.


The decals were allowed to harden off overnight, as the solutions render them very soft until fully dry, and then a coat of clear gloss was applied to protect both the decals and the underlying paint.



Happy with those, they have now been set aside, while I finish off the rest of the column components, including the lower column clamp, which was looking every one of it's 52 years.



Especially the very tattered felt.


Like the column covers these got a thorough clean up, followed by a coat of primer and satin black, along with a new piece of felt for the horizontal portion of the clamp, that in the arched section still being in pristine condition, and set for another 52 years of service.



With the column bushes now in the column shroud, the rest of the column can go back together, but that's a update for another day.


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I had the same issue with my o/d indicator surround but could not get the paint to stick so ended up using Zinser BIN.
What I ended up spending in paint would have bought one of the new ones on Ebay🙁



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Lovely work. Did you buy the felt as a specific piece, or cut it from a larger section? I'm trying to identify a modern equivalent that I can buy in a larger section and cut to shape for various small jobs, plus I'm looking for a modern replacement for the foam in heater boxes - you know the stuff that goes round the matrix?

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23 minutes ago, Colin Lindsay said:


A metre of this stuff may do the trick, although I went right through to checkout before finding that the carriage costs more than the felt. That's becoming a pet hate of mine; I must try to source some locally. 

A case of "Felt" ripped off again?


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Colin, I know the feeling as I had to order two new steering bushes from Paddocks, and again the postage was over 50% of the purchase cost.

Hopefully late this year, or early next the big car shows restart, as Woollies typically have a stand at these.


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1 hour ago, Bordfunker said:

Colin, I know the feeling as I had to order two new steering bushes from Paddocks, and again the postage was over 50% of the purchase cost.

Hopefully late this year, or early next the big car shows restart, as Woollies typically have a stand at these.


I complain regularly on here - makes Doug laugh - but an £8 sheet of felt and £9 postage? Especially when I can buy a 5m x 60cm roll of soundproofing elsewhere and get free postage?

The last one was Newton Commercial where the seat straps were £30 and the carriage was £35... I've just had 25kg of sandblast grit delivered from the UK mainland for £14 carriage, and 25kg would be an enormous quantity of felt. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

After yet another lengthy gap between updates, I'm back with proof that I haven't been completely idle.

Remember last time I was working on the steering column shroud and stalk binnacle? 

Well it's almost finished!


Not the easiest thing to photograph being long and skinny, figured this was the more interesting end! 

The reason I say almost finished, despite also cleaning up the column itself, including giving it a lick of paint, is that some joker has at some point removed the indicator cancelling clip, so another item for the shopping list! So although the column is now installed in the column shroud, it's missing the cancelling clip for now.

With that largely complete, I switched my attention to the steering wheel itself. 

Now I had been anticipating just replacing the wheel with a Mota-Lita item, but decided that even if I did go down that route as anticipated, I still fancied the idea the of trying to restore the original. 

Did I mention that I was a glutton for punishment?

The wheel itself was looking everyone of it's 52 years....



So after watching a number of You Tube 'tutorials' I set to grinding out the areas around the cracks with a dental burr in a Dremel.



Not very pretty, but very necessary.

These were then filled with White Milliput, not once but 5 times!

The first 3 times were as a result of me using an old packet of Milliput which had been sitting in my modelling supplies for at least the last 5 years, and which had gone off and refused to set, not matter how careful I was mixing it.

The 4th time was a fresh pack, but still didn't set fully.

OK, nothing for it but to actually read the instructions.

Apparently you do really need to mix this stuff for at least 7 minutes if you ever want it to set! Who knew?

So 5th time works a charm, and left me with rock hard Milliput, which I could then sand down with wet and dry paper, and copious amounts of water.




Once I was fairly comfortable with the finish, everything got several coats of filler primer, one because it fills any minor imperfections, and two because it leaves you with a unified finish, which makes spotting problems easier.


And there were problems which required rectification, not that I expected anything different.



So this afternoon was spent sanding everything back to a smooth finish ahead of the next round of filler.


I need to go over the little dings with some fine filler, which will then get sanded back, before more filler primer is applied.

I'm not aiming for perfection, just not scruffy.


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  • 1 month later...

As you can probably tell progress has been somewhat patchy of late, focussed on some of the smaller items such as dashboard and wiring loom.

The dashboard and loom are now complete and boxed up and set aside for safekeeping, and work continues on filling and sanding the steering wheel.

However I have been feeling a distinct lack of progress lately, despite all the work done on the dashboard and loom etc., so wanted to tackle something substantive from a restoration perspective.

Consequently I have spent the last couple of weekends focussing on the rear end of the chassis, where some of my original welds needed work, not because they weren't strong enough, but more from an aesthetic view point as they looked a bit rough. 

Not a lot of photos of this as I think we all know what a weld looks like.


This is the rear of the passenger side outrigger and reinforcing gusset.

This was repeated for all of the welds on the rear half of the chassis, and then the cleaned up areas received a coat of weld through zinc primer for protection.

At this point I was planning to paint the chassis in epoxy mastic as a prelude to top coat, but due to the need to store a couple of mattresses which have now become surplus to requirements, and the subsequent loss of garage space, I have had to move the tub outside for the time being, albeit firmly sheeted over, which made me think about completing the clean up of the underside.

Regular readers may remember that some imbecile had, at a date unknown, decided to coat the underside of the car in thick black underseal, cunningly missing all the points that would have most probably received most benefit from underseal!

Cue much scraping with heat gun and assorted scraping implements.


Looking pretty crusty under there!


Some areas had been cleaned previously and then treated with rust stopper.


But these were going to need a return visit with a wire brush and the rust stopper ahead of paint.

There was plenty of crud stuck to the various protrusions on the underside of the tub, which from this shot, appears to have never received a full coat of either primer or topcoat! No wonder these things rusted!



So two days of working with a selection of both rotating and manually propelled wire brushes, left me with this.



And look what I found stuck inside one of the chassis mounts!


Both had to be chiseled off, so firmly were they rusted to the mount.

What I also found were more perforations, in this case on the forward edge of the tub floor where it overlaps the rear end of the front footwell pressing.


No real surprise as the corresponding lip on the bulkhead needs new metal letting in as well.

With as much done as I could face yesterday afternoon I applied a coat of FE-123 to all of the exposed areas.





As you can see from the last pic. I've still got more clean up to do with rags and white spirit to get the last of the underseal off, but I figure another weekend should have the underside of the tub ready for paint, following which it will be time to break out the welder and fix the following:

  1.  Lower rear wing between B pillar and rear arch on the passenger side, I've already got the repair section for this having done the driver's side last year.
  2.  Passenger side rear wheel arch, both the outer lip and inner lip will need repairs, the former with a repair panel, and the latter with sheet steel.
  3.  Front lip of the tub floor where it meets the bulkhead, which should be a simple repair given that it's a flat piece of steel.
  4.  Finally I need to make a decision on whether to replace the tread plates, as it looks like they have rust between them and the floor pressing which needs addressing.

All of which actually feels like tangible progress.


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Following last week's significant progress, this week's was somewhat less impressive, but important all the same as it saw me tackling something that I had been putting off for over a year now; removing the last of the underseal from one of the rear wheel arches.

Now removing underseal from the underside of the tub last week was fairly straightforward with the scrapers that I have to hand, but they are all straight, and are therefore of limited use in the confines of the wheel arches which are anything but.

Being the sad obsessed individual that I am, I was lying awake on Monday night considering this conundrum, and came up with a plan for a more suitably shaped implement with which to remove the aforementioned underseal from the arches.

Half an hour with tin snips, angle grinder and some sheet steel left me with this.


I used a template gauge to get the curvature right, so the blade conforms almost perfectly to the curvature of the wheel arch, and while it might not change the world as some tools have, it's made my life a lot easier this weekend removing the last of the crud.

This is what I started with...



...lots of little bits of underseal stuck in the various folds and ridges of the arch.

Use of the hot air gun and the scraper got me to this.


Which was followed up by vigorous attack with the angle grinder to leave this.


The apparent snails trails are from my latest acquisition, a mini-belt sander, which was great for reaching into all those nooks and crannies the angle grinder can't reach, as well as for some of the more stubborn patches of rust as here.

Overall the bulk of the arch on the passenger side was in good nick, but will need a portion of the return flange rebuilt when I sort out the frilly arch edge.

So like I said, not a great deal done, but a hurdle overcome as the driver's side arch was tackled last year and just needs a going over with the angle grinder, so that is arches de-undersealed!


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Having stripped the last of the underseal off the passenger side rear wheel arch, it's time to address the rusty wheel arch and the lower B-pillar area as these are distinctly rough, completely perforated in a number of areas, and with rust between the panels.


You can see in the photo below where the welded seam has blown due to rust breaking out between the two panels, and which affects the entire join between inner arch and wing.


So this afternoon was spent drilling out the spot welds in the wheel arch lip, guided by a rough sanding which left paint in the dimples left by the spot welds, well that was the idea anyway.



I managed to find most of the spot welds, but a few alluded me and had to be attacked with a wood chisel and lump hammer.


This allowed the two panels to be separated, and the wing lip cut out.


As expected the return lip on the inner arch was a little the worse for wear.




So while I already have the wing arch repair section on order, I am going to need to patch the inner arch first.

And while the angle grinder was out I attacked the base of the B-pillar to rear arch section.


Again, although I already have the repair section for the outer panel, I am going to need to fabricate the vertical closing panel which sits behind the wing, and to which one of the body to chassis mounts is also welded.

I've got a week off this week, and a couple of full days to work on the car agreed with Mrs B, so hoping to make some real progress.


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Pete, Tony, many thanks for the encouragement.

One of the reasons for re-starting work on the chassis and rear tub is a desire for some real progress towards getting behind the wheel again.

I really did enjoy driving the car before I took it off the road, but it always felt fragile, not because of its age, but more probably because of the rot in the chassis and body, as well as the fact that several of the body to chassis mounts were missing!

Therefore I’m really looking forward to driving the Herald when it’s fully sorted.

The arch repair panel turned up today, and tomorrow is a car day, so will make a start on the arch and lower rear wing repairs.



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Dave, not sure I've broken the back of it, as I still have the bulkhead to go, and that's worse than the tub.

However today's efforts have moved things forward, a bit.

In spite of the weather, or maybe because of, I spent most of the day in the garage, starting the repairs on the inner arch lip.

First item on the list was to offer the outer arch repair section up to see how it fits.


Overall pretty good, but it will need trimming and fettling as the curvature in one part of the arch is a little shallow, when compared with the unmolested driver's side.

At this point I broke out the air powered cutter and cut out the rotten sections of the arch lip, of which there appear to be many!


The lip on the remaining middle section in this photo will need replacing, but I'll do the two sections either side first so that I retain sufficient datum points, and keep the rebuilt lip in the right place.


And a big chunk out of the front of the arch.


I managed to get one section welded in after lunch, but it was in all fairness a very straightforward L-section which went in with little trouble, being a simple shape to fabricate, and easily accessible for welding.

The same could not be said of the section at the front of the arch, which required a more complex patch to be made up, utilising various hammers and dollies, before being welded in.


All went well at first with the welder on the same settings as for the previous patch, however instead of producing nice neat welds with plenty of penetration, I just started blowing holes all over the place!

What had looked like sound metal turned out to be rotten, and no manner of playing with welder settings or using a copper block behind the weld to dissipate some of the heat, could stop the metal just evaporating in front of the welding torch, so nothing for it but to cut out a larger section until I reached good metal.



Which in turn meant making up a another repair section. 

Two to be exact, as the first attempt started to split as a result of me overworking the steel, so this is take 2.



Still more work to do before it's ready for welding in, but that is where I left it for today.

So roughly 5 hours of work, 2.5 patches in, and another 3.5 to go before the inner arch lip is fully repaired.

This could take a while.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Mrs B bought me this book for my birthday, I had asked for it to be fair, as I hadn't been entirely happy with my efforts at welding, and thought that this sounded like a good read.


The author restores Jaguar XK120/150s for a living, and the standard of the welding illustrated in the book is truly astounding, which caused me to further question my efforts to date.

Try as I might I have been unable to replicate that text book tack weld, of which the above volume is replete, and which is the fundamental of good welding.

Consequently I spent much of my week off practising my welding and tweaking variables like wire speed, power, gas flow etc..

All to no avail, they all looked like cack, and were far too hit and miss.

Below is a picture of a set of test welds that I performed on a grid divided by the various power settings available on my welder, see the top 3 rows.


All either seem to be porous, or blowing holes in the steel, or both!

Now porosity means a lack of welding gas being applied, but I knew that the gas was working fine, and there was plenty of it, so why the issue?

Cue half an hour experimenting with the welding torch.

Now the way that a welding torch is supposed to work, is that the trigger has 2 positions:

  1.  opens the solenoid which provides the gas,
  2.  starts the motor which feeds the wire, and opens the circuit for the welding arc.

The way mine was operating was the complete opposite, with the gas only starting to flow after the arc had been struck, which meant that rather than the arc being struck in an environment that had been purged of oxygen by the shielding gas, it was being struck in a normal air, hence the porosity and propensity to blow holes in everything.

Stripping the torch down revealed that the contact for the arc had been incorrectly assembled, and was in the wrong position. 

Once reassembled correctly I gave the torch another go.


Immediate improvement, and delivery of a text book tack weld!

Which now raises the question as to whether the torch has ever worked properly, probably not, and therefore I will need to revisit all of the welding that I have done to date.


Still better safe than sorry, and most of it should be just grinding back the original suspect welds, and going again with a known good weld.

All of which meant I didn't get a lot done last week, but I did manage to get a couple of patches in this week.

First was the one at the rear of the arch, which I folded up and shaped, before welding it all together into a single section.


And then cleaned up and ready for fitting.



Before being welded in.

Next up was a smaller less complex section.


This is probably my best welding so far, which isn't saying a lot, but once ground back it actually looked quite presentable, not that any of it will be visible as it will be hidden behind the arch repair section.

So where am I with the arch lip repairs?


The red ringed section was done before I sorted out the welded, and looks like pigeon poo! It will therefore be cut out and replaced as I have blown holes in it.

The yellow ringed sections were done after, but while perfectly serviceable, took far to long for me to achieve a decent result.

The green ringed segment was the last piece that I did, and which I am pleased with, not just because the welds look OK, but because I had the patch made up, welded in, and cleaned up in 30 minutes, which hopefully bodes well for future progress.


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  • Bordfunker changed the title to **06/09/20 Welder Woes! ** Probably how not to restore a Herald!

Karl - Can't believe that you managed to get any welding done at all with a dodgy welding torch. Glad you've sorted it out and hope that you don't have to re-do to much of your work. What brand is it, so we can keep away or at least check the assembly if buying one. Not sure what has happened to your photos. On my tablet, only the URLs are showing, not the pictures. I will check with my PC tomorrow. Keep up the good work, you are doing better than me. Regards BW,

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  • Bordfunker changed the title to **19/09/21 Olive ** Probably how not to restore a Herald!

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