Monday, September 28, 2009

I've now made a start on welding the outer sill and already it is looking better than it has done for a few years. Once that is finished then I'm over the worst. There's just the rear floorpan to strengthen and then I can move on to the nearside. Last Wednesday I got something in my left eye and ended up going to the local A&E the day after. I've now made a full recovery but I have hardly done any spannering since.

Blue wasn't warming up properly so I suspected the thermostat. I bough one from Champion costing me just short of a fiver and I fitted it tonight. There was a sealing ring in the head gasket set I'd bought so I was able to use that and on reassembly I copper greased the bolts and torqued them up as per the specs in the factory workshop manual as the thermostat housing can be broken too easily by overtightening. (been there before and got the t-shirt!) I took Blue for some roadtesting and the temperature was reading where it should be so I'm confident I've solved it.

I mentioned that I'll be getting another Acclaim. I paid a visit to Barry the Acclaim guru and took some photos of Margaret (or Maggie as I call her. She was registered just before the Falklands War so I think of a certain Prime Minister!) and she is quite solid in the usual Acclaim rot spots apart from a small hole in the OS outer sill which is an easy enough repair even with my welding abilities!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Latest progress

I got Brown's lower wishbone bushe fitted when I went to Brian's. With his vice we got the job done in 5 minutes. The upper wishbone bushes came in the post so I was able to rebuild the front suspension and it has has transformed the front end. New pads & shoe have been fitted and the handbrake has been adjusted. There is some improvement but I'm still not happy with it. I'll try again once the shoes have bedded in.

Becky's rear arch repairs have been completed and undersealed. A couple of plates have been welded on the rear floorpan. The remains of the offside outer sill have been cut off and repairs to the inner sill have been done. I can now complete the repairs to the rear floorpan now I've got something to weld to and once I've trimned a bit more off the old outer sill I can fit the replacement outer sill which I got from the Acclaim guru for only £20. Once that is all complete I can turn my attention to the nearside which is nowhere near as bad.

There's going to be a new arrival. I've been offered an early beige Acclaim HL which is in better condition then Becky. At £50 it is well worth a punt. There's a couple of places that need welding, the wipers need attention and the driver's door mirror is missing. This shouldn't take much to get through the MoT. I won't be getting it until my next pay day and this car has sidetracked me from getting Brown back on the road. As a cheap and easy project it was too good to miss and it is one of the oldest surviving Acclaims.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The weldathon continues...

The offside inner rear arch welding is nearly complete. There's just a small patch to do. A simple enough patch but in an awkward place. I can hardly get the grinder in to clean up the area. I could do with a Dremmel. The alternative would be to drop the rear suspension which I'm a bit loath to do. The other biggies are the offside outer sill and the rear offside floorpan which split when I jacked the car up by the jacking point. I've put some weld on it but I'll weld a patch to give it enough strength. I got an estimate for having the outer sill fitted which was about £60-70 so I'll have a go at it myself. My welding skills are slowly improving so I'm confident that I can fit it when I get round to doing it.

The lower wishbone bushes for Brown arrived but my vice isn't up to the job so I'll get Brian to do it as he's got a bigger vice than me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bushes ordered

It is payday today so I'm spending my allocated budget on the parts I'd planned to buy for this month. Superflex lower wishbone bushes have been ordered from Chris Witor and I've ordered brand new rubber uppers from ANG Triumph. The reason I ordered the upper wishbone bushes in rubber was because my payday was a bit short due to having a day off sick which has put a small dent in my budget. For the same reason I'll be skipping the front wheel bearings as I'm sure I can make up a decent set front the two I have, clean them up and regrease. New pads & shoes will be ordered but I might try the discs from the spare Sprint suspension. (one of them is already on Brown) Once I've got all the bits I can then crack on with fitting them on the car.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The welding begins

I had to buy some protective equipment from a local welding supplies shop before I could begin welding. When I was ready I used my angle grinder to clean up the area. There was too much to do in one go so I decided to plate it with several plates.
This is the first plate and the card template I made as a guide.

First plate welded on.

Second plate welded on.

Third & fourth plates welded on.

Fifth and final plate welded on.
My welds aren't the prettiest but I'm sure they'll be passable and I'll get better as time goes by. I wouldn't like to think how much a garage would charge for that little lot. I've run out of CO2 so I'll get some more on Friday when I get paid. I've got an entire OS sill to replace so I might get a price to have it done unless I feel confident enough in my own skills.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Work on Becky begins

The first thing I did was to sort out the blowing exhaust. It turned out that the manifold joint isn't blowing. The downpipe is starting to split. I've put some exhaust putty on for now but the only cure is to weld it. Becky needs the later type exhaust (like Blue) where there is a degree of movement which avoids the downpipe splitting. The exhaust clamp is now fitted so that might help as well. Next was to adjust the brake shoes. While the rear wheels were off I had a poke around the arches and I found a lot of filler in the offside arch. I've wirebrushed it and painted the remaining metal with the rust killing primer. Quite a bit of fresh metal will need to be welded. I'm really gonna have to learn how to weld. If I could get hold of some sheet steel then I could have a go. Getting back to the brakes, I adjusted the shoes but the handbrake still isn't holding. I'll need to adjust the handbrake but I didn't think of that until after I'd locked up the garage. While I had the primer out I did other areas of the car where there was rust. I'm hoping I've stoppped Becky getting any worse and once new metal replaces rust I can think about putting her through the MoT.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

SHE LIVES!!!!!!!!!!

Becky is back in the land of the living. I fitted the charged battery, the fuel pump, the carbs, put in £5 worth of petrol, squirted some Easystart into the carb intakes and Becky started up without any problems. She was ticking over at about 2000 rpm but other than that she was running fine. I drove her round the block and all was well. The brakes still work (the fluid will need changing) but the handbrake was as bad as ever. I think the battery is past it's best (it was on the car when I bought her 4 years ago) but once started I'll be able to drive her across to my garage where I can work on getting her ready for the MoT. The biggest hurdle will be getting the welding done. The offside outer sill needs replacing but the Guru has some sills so I'll need to get one from him. The other jobs I can see that need doing are to adjust the brake shoes, change the engine oil, change the oil filter, change the air filter, sort out the blowing exhaust manifold/downpipe joint and to fit the exhaust brakcet to prevent this reocurring. The rust I'd ground off a few months ago has started to come back but I can deal with that easily enough.

Blue has had an oil and filter change. I had a couple of oil filters in stock so that saved me a few quid. The cheap oil I'd put in when I did the head gasket had only done less than 1000 miles but it looked like it had done 6000 so it has done the job of flushing out the engine as I'd intended. I'm now back on decent oil. Instead of Duckhams I used Miller's 15W/40 from Champion. (paid for by the refund on the head gasket set) It is the right oil for the Acclaim and at just shy of £12 I know it is decent quailty. I've also ordered an air filter. The old one doesn't look too bad so I'll put it on Becky now she's running again.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The revival of Becky.

I'll be trying to get Becky running in the morning. The battery is fully charged and I've got a fuel pump and the carbs ready to fit so I'll be going over to my parents' house to fit the bits and once I've put some petrol in I can see if the car will run. I can get a refund on that head gasket set I got from Champion which will give me some much needed cash.

Tonight I was messing around in the garage with the spare front hub assembly which was a dry run for replacing Brown's front wheel bearings. When I fit the new bearings it'll be a strightforward job as I can avoid the pitfalls I've discovered. I'm also toying with the idea of using new rubber bushes on the upper wishbones which will save me a few quid (£1.50 from ANG Triumph against £7.47 for the Superflex ones is quite tempting...) but this month's planned expenditure will be just over £150 with Superflex front bushes factored in so I might not bother with rubber bushes and I'm not sure a mix of new rubber and Superflex is ideal as I've already started going down the Superflex path with the tie bar bushes...

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Acclaim bits

I was given some Acclaim parts by somebody local I knew who had an Acclaim. (he sold it to the Guru) He came across them when he was packing up for a house move. The parts were a complete cylinder head, two oil filters (handy for the next service), a brand new coil and a pair of carburettors. This has prompted me to start reviving Becky. I've got a replacement fuel pump from the Guru after I'd liberated Becky's for Blue when Blue's fuel pump died on me. The battery has been liberated and is on charge. Once I've fitted all the bits and got some petrol in Becky should be ready to fire up and all being well should move under her own power. The brakes will need overhauling (like I did with Blue) and once the welding is done she should be somewhere near fit to put through an MoT. The carbs had been separated but it was a simple enough to put them back together and they're now ready to go back on.