4. Still more hard work and slow progress

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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…..

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