Steve Patenall's - Austin-tatious - The Build Part 7

The saga continues like you wouldn't believe!

Lets start with some positive points, the rear mudguards have been made, painted and fitted, I have also given the pickup sides a couple of coats of Sadolin.

The reverse motor had to be repositioned, because of a slight design error, so I have had to manufacture new mounting brackets and operating mechanism. These have all been powder coated and fitted. I just have to make my mind up on the operating lever for the cab and we will then be able to try reverse, at last!

I have changed my mind on the box I made to house the electrics, as it was getting in the way while trying to connect the wiring. What I have now done is remove the electrics from the box, and mounted them on the bulkhead. The plan is to remove the bottom and back of the box and fit what is left, including the lid over the wiring fitted to the bulkhead so it will all be hidden.

I have also chosen to fit the Digi Dash underneath the dashboard on the right hand side of the steering wheel. With it in this position, and the standard speedometer in place the dashboard doesn't look cluttered or modified. The original speedometer has been retained firstly to fill the hole and secondly so I can use the idiot lights and hopefully the fuel gauge.

Under the bonnet progress is slow, I have mounted the oil cooler, but cannot connect it until the exhaust is fitted so I’ve made sure the pipes are routed safely. The exhaust can't be fitted as I am still waiting for the special collets I need to replace the rotten originals.

Now for the bugbear of my life, at least for the past 12 months! Back in Easter '08 I finally gave in and found someone to paint the car for me. The deal was I would prepare and prime the main tub and they would apply the topcoat. So the finish quality was mainly down to me, any final buffing was also down to me. Having had so much trouble it was agreed they would supply the paint so I chose Reinorange RAL no.2004.

The day before I was due to fly off to the sun we delivered the main cab for spraying. Later that day I was informed it was painted. Straight after work over I went over to the paint shop to have a look. It looked great, a couple of blemishes but the guy said he would show me how best to deal with them.

After my holiday I prepared the rest of the panels and delivered them for spraying. At this point I made a major mistake by saying, "I was in no great hurry for the panels". At least while they had them I wasn't climbing over them all the time. November came and I had heard nothing, a quick trip over to their premises was called for. I popped my head round the door, "still got my panels", "yes mate been very busy”, "can I have them for the end of November", "no probs I'll get on to it", "cheers see ya".

The end of November arrived so over I went. "Come for your panels", "yes are they done", "of course I said they would be!", "lets have a look then". They looked good a bit of polishing to do but nothing much. So I coughed up and took the panels home. I took the panels into my workshop, b******ks the f******g colours wrong, it didn't match the cab. As it was a Saturday and they had packed up I took some pictures and emailed them to the painters. On Monday morning I called them and spoke to the boss, he was very apologetic and told me to get them back and he would take care of it. I told him I had time off over Christmas

so needed the panels back by then. We confirmed the colour and I left it to them to sort it all out.

Christmas eve arrives and my son collects the panels, he phoned me at work to tell me they were the same colour again. I got on the phone to my wife to confirm what he had told me, yes they were still wrong. I called the boss on his mobile and calmly said "they are still the f*****g same”. He agreed to meet me that afternoon in my workshop.

As soon as he walked in he agreed the colour was not the same. We checked it with his colour chips and the panels were the colour I had originally chosen, so what colour is the cab then? Especially as this was the colour I was now used to. Also, as the first time the panels were painted they were supposedly painted with the same batch of paint, where in the hell did the mix up happen? As there was nothing he could take off the cab to take to his paint suppliers we are now waiting for them to visit my workshop with more colour chips to try and identify the colour. I will have the car at Stoneleigh running but whether it will be painted remains to be seen!

The paint suppliers will now not visit my workshop to match the colour on the cab. So I now have two options, firstly take the car to them so they can match the colour electronically or, take it to the sprayers and have the cab sprayed the colour I originally chose so it will match the panels. I have chosen to do the later so the paint will have a definite RAL number. This does mean a certain amount of stripping and it will not be done until the end of January. More delays. Let's hope this will put an end to my problems.

Steve Patenall
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