Steve Patenall's - Austin-tatious - The Build Part 4

The Build Continued

As previously reported I was having problems with paint. Even when we changed the heating source, compressor and workshop the bubbles kept appearing. We took a couple of panels to a spray shop for advice. The guys there blamed water , which was what I had suspected all along, even though I had water traps in the line. They advised I re-primed with a hi-build primer as that would cover the imperfections left by the water. It would be easier than sanding. After further discussions I decided to change paint suppliers and order it from the place that supplied the paint we used to spray my mates Vintage lorry cab, without any problems. I re-flatted the wings and front panel and primed them, at last no bubbles! But, after leaving them over the weekend one wing developed cracks all over as if the primer had shrunk.

At this point I was sick of the ****** thing and ready to throw in the towel, I was spent out and could not afford to pay anybody to do the painting. A little maths showed with all the new parts, engine and Chassis etc I was in for about 2750. I thought about just locking the workshop and walking away and taking up rambling. At this point the wife put her foot down, saying she hadn’t sat alone all those evenings for nothing,and beside that I would only moan about the state of the footpaths!

We removed the body from the workshop so we had more room to work on the chassis. We decided to get the rolling chassis finished ready to accept the body when I had painted it in the summer. We finished the pickup bed frame and added the brackets for the reverse motor. Our reverse system is to comprise of car starter motor fitted with a 5” diameter wheel running on a spacer fitted between the propshaft and the diff flange. It may be a bit severe, only time will tell.

I removed the rear axle and stripped off the drum brakes, I then painted the axle and powder coated the suspension parts, with the DIY kit I bought at Donnington last year, results are pleasing if messy while coating. As waste not want not is a favourite saying of mine, the chassis is painted orange to use up what I had left from the first batch of paint. You’ll have to be lying on the floor to see most of it so I didn’t think It would matter. My mate has now started to do the woodwork for the pickup bed while I am working on the front of the chassis.

Prior to refitting the rear axle I carried out the conversion to disc brakes. The kit came with all the necessary bolts so it wasn’t to hard even if the instructions were a bit useless.

Progress has definitely been slower than I would have liked but when you have a family you have to be fair. I have just given my car to number 2 Son for his 21 st birthday and we have brought an old campervan to give it a try. The first time out was at Easter and it seemed OK , but not as warm as the caravan. So no more tents for me at the shows!

(FOR SALE 2 BEDROOM TENT ONLY USED TWICE 35 spatenall@aol.com)

Between now and Stoneleigh I hope to make some progress but I am being dragged off to Tenerife for a week during April. We’ will look forward to seeing you all at the shows and don’t be shy, give us a knock, the kettle can always be on in Steve's Passion Express. I wish we had named her Mable because she’s old and slow. (my apologies to any Mables out there in Locust land).


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