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5. Bits and bobs

Not a very productive week or so – too many other things going on.

I have now removed all of the (visible) bolts securing the body shell to the chassis. Some came out easily, others only responded to shouting and an angle grinder!  Some small concern over the amount of sparks generated, but nothing gone up in flames yet. I do confess to sneaking back to the garage to check again that there was no ongoing smouldering!   I think the manuals all lie and there are some more bolts to undo from the rear underside as the body is still sticking to the chassis!

I have also dismantled everything around the engine and have one further recalcitrant bolt to the engine mount.  Flame thrower now purchased so will apply some heat treatment to experiment with differential expansions….  Hoist acquired ready to lift the engine out and onto the engine support ready to start some proper dismantling and engine fettling.  Always two steps forward and one back… will the roof truss support the weight and, bugger, I need some new shackles to secure the top block.

Still more friends being made from passers-by.  Normally starts with a furtive look from them, moving onto more obvious interest, and then a conversation.  I didn’t realise so many people in Horsley built and rebuilt cars!   Sam in the cafe is also under pressure to know what is going on in the garage, so I now have a picture of a Burton ready to show what it will look like.

More trips away for me, mean no work for a week or so, but maybe the penetrating oil will have finally had some effect.

4. Still more hard work and slow progress

Good thing I am retired!  I am able to go down to the garage most days for at least a few hours.  My program, normally worked out at 3:00 am, while I am wide awake, has been to get the body off as soon as possible in order to make space to run the old chassis side by side with the new chassis and allow me to remove, clean and install each element.  Nice and orderly.

In reality, each removal is difficult.  For a car that has been left outside in a field for 20 years, I suppose I should not be very surprised.  But each bolt is seized, each nut difficult to get to.  Amazon account has been hit again for nut splitters, Plus Gas (recommended) and a propane torch.

I have alternated between getting the engine and gearbox ready to lift out, and removing all bolts tying the body to the chassis ready to lift the body off.  When I hit a problem with one I move over to the other.  This means that photos are useless as there is very little to see!

The last problem was the steering column. The Dyane has a steering lock which is not identified in Haynes, nor anywhere else on the web. The instructions were so wrong that I have had to work it out myself.  The steering lock is irrelevant to lifting out the steering column; when the steering column comes part of the way out of the rack, loosening the bracket at the bottom of the shaft is not enough, it has to come off; the conical bolts (who knew?) are designed not to come out – but don’t need to, and my hacksawing, angle grinding, hammer hitting, and swearing were not necessary. If you do it right it just comes out easy.

I have undone the drive shafts from the engine ready to lift out; then read the manual that suggests that in order to be able to undo the axles it helps to be able to hold the wheels from turning by putting it in gear – can’t do that now, so I anticipate a problem removing all the hubs.  More 3:00 am problem solving to be done I fear.

I am finally left with one mounting bolt too seized for my weakling body, hence the nut splitters and the propane gun.  I shall heat up the nut and expect the bolt to miraculously undo.  We will see.

Off for a Thai meal with Jane, to explain why I havent done many chores around the house, and why I still need to go to the garage tomorrow…..