Steve Patenall's - Austin-tatious - The Build Part 8

Well things are really looking good now! In the last few weeks we have got the engine running and actually driven the motor out on to the road to turn it around. My workshop is at the bottom of the garden and a little restricted, being wider at the far end, so as we needed to work on the front end, it had to be turned around.


The latest problem has been the reverse system. Basically it worked, but I didn't take into account the one to one gearing it would run at . This meant that it was very severe to start and consequently it shredded the drive wheel before we had even fully tried it. Back to the drawing board, but as reverse is not a legal requirement and the MOT bloke wasn't bothered as long as we could get it off the rollers, I have removed all trace of the system, a job for next winter! So if you see me at a show struggling to park, I won't be offended if you rush over and give me a push, unless you have dirty hands or touch the front wings, they’re bloody fibreglass so a bit delicate!

The back end is completely finished, the wood has been stained and the capping fitted. Even though the silver I used for the rear running boards and wings was supposed to be the same, there is a difference. Another job for next winter will be to re-spray the silver parts with a spray gun rather than cans.

Another alteration has been the clutch, originally it was a hand clutch fitted to the gear lever. I didn't like the feel of it when driving the car through my garage with only one hand on the steering wheel. Therefore I have made a small clutch pedal and fitted it snugly between the steering column and the brake pedal Last weekend I fitted the doors, front wings and grill panel. I actually bolted it together using the original metal wings to get the grill panel set up, then I removed them one at a time and fitted the rather flexible fibreglass ones. I then fitted the new chrome trims and front indicators.

Although we had the engine running it wasn't revving cleanly and it sounded as if the exhaust was blowing. The blowing was coming from four tubes on the head. A glance at the manual revealed the truth. The tubes were part of an emissions system. Which I hadn't got. I placed my fingers over the tubes and all went quiet. We have made some blanking plates and sod my carbon footprint. It still didn't rev cleanly, we think it’s missing the airbox, I threw it away as it wouldn't fit under the bonnet, perhaps I should find another. Good old eBay to the rescue 10 plus p&p. and it fitted without alteration, the top would look good in orange though. AUSTINTATIOUS now revs and sounds like a bike.

That’s about it up to date. The mot is booked for the 18th April. Between now and then I have got to do the wiring, fit the speedo, do the tracking and camber angles. Oh hell the list is growing again and I've got no tunes yet, must get on. If this is the last build episode what am I going to write about between now and the winter improvements. I could do my life story, but that may be to much for the faint hearted, I know, we could have some fresh article writers, you can use me as a role model if you like, or just do your own thing. Go on have a go, there is always the spellchecker!

Steve Patenall
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