The final part of my restoration seemed to take forever, with plenty of time wasting frustrations and few things going to plan.
That aside, it is also fantastic when jobs are done and the shiny bits are added and the final look of the finished product gets that bit closer.
There are so many jobs that need doing at this stage that it’s easy to wander around feeling overwhelmed, like a headless chicken. This is exacerbated, by not being able to find those last parts, some bought years ago and far too many last minute orders to Moss for small bits, bumping up the cost with their high postage charges.
Here is my list:
- Fitting out the engine bay area – master cylinder/pipework – windscreen wiper motor/mechanism – fuse box – flasher relay – control box – washer bottle/pipework/jets – heater box – chassis plates – air pipes.
- Wiring loom – connecting up from side loom to engine bay bulkhead/cockpit/dash loom – front loom to frontlights/horn – connecting rear loom for rear lights/number plate light.
- Fitting headlamps/sidelights/rear lights.
- Fitting rear bumper/numberplate backing plate/number plate/numberplate light
- Building up dashboard with instruments, cables, switches, knobs.
- Wiring dash loom to instuments, switches, warning lamps etc
- Fitting/wiring completed dash into the cockpit – fitting dash stays/radio speaker/radio stays in place.
- Connecting heater demister pipes/heater controls etc.
- Final fitting of body panels – wings, doors, front valence, bootlid & bonnet
- Fitting door catches, catch plates, rubber buffers, furflex door seals
- Achieving acceptable panel gaps
- Fitting wing gasket piping
- Upholstering seats/trimming front & rear crash rolls, door cappings and quarter trims and fitting.
- Fitting new rubber gaskets to front and rear splash plates
- Fitting front & rear splash plates (6)
- Overhauling and fitting windscreen frame/windscreen
- Fitting overhauled hood frame
- Fitting new hood/tonneau cover
- Fitting luggage rack
- Assembling and fitting door pockets and panels/kick panels and other trim
- Assembling and fitting front bumber/number palte brackets/backing plate/number plate.
- Fit front grille.
- (photos to follow)
New rubber gaskets fitted with split rivets. There are proper tools for peening over the rivets, but I found an effective way using a centre punch and light hammer.
Fitting the two front and four rear panels is straight forward, although the forward rear plates hed to be individually drilled and bolted, as the new inner wing replacement panels didn’t match up.
The sill finishing strips make a big difference to the look of the finished car, as they cover up the outer door sill welds and also the lower wing securing bolts.
The new versions are alloy, but should be painted body colour as original. The fixers that come in the kit are fine, but if they have spring clips, they probably won’t fit into the grooves in the back of the strips. I just snipped them off and they then fitted fine.
The correct wing piping is a silver colour and should not be painted body colour.
Fitting is straightforward, but very fiddly and three hands are useful. Before fitting, make sure everything else is fitted, such as splash plates, front valance etc and also that the lower wing edge is secured.
The piping needs to be notched where it mates with a wing bolt and care needs to be taken here to start at the first bolt and size up, cutting the notches as you go.
Warning here – when you come to finally tighten the wing bolts, make sure that the large oval washers stay in the horizontal plane, as if they turn virtically they will damage the wing surface – take it from a fool who knows!
Fitting the rear bumper is straightforward, once the over riders are fitted and the sprung inner bars fitted. It helps to have a parts drawing at hand, just to make sure where each of the washers and rubber grommets are located.
The front bumper on the other hand is possibly one of the most difficults and frustrating jobs in the entire restoration. I walked away from the task on several occasions, drank beer and cursed. The problem is with the lack of space between the lower bumper edge and the valance, making it virtually impossible to tighten the large nuts that secure it to the chassis horns.
To stand a chance, all the chrome bolts that tie the three chrome bumper sections must be loose and you need thin but strong fingers. I’ve no idea how they did it in the factory, but there must be a technique. Persistance prevailed and I did the job in the end, but even so, the gaps between the lower wing edges and top of the vertical bumper surfaces are far from perfect, even after subtle pursuasion from my trolley jack!
The new vinyl roof and tonneau cover were supplied by Don Hoods of Birmingham England, using their ‘superior’ grade vinyl. The quality is excellent and the price competetive. The roof includes a zip out rear window.
I fitted mine on my own, but I would recommend getting assistance as it is a tricky job at times and I might have achieved a tauter finish with a second pair of hands.
Firstly the frame was the car’s original, which was in a poor condition, but after sand blasting and a bit of graft it came up ok. The beige colour is not quite correct, but near enough for me.
Below is the new Moss Europe wooden header rail, which was an excellent fit, but I made one error which was to attach it with the copper sockets in place behind the rail, when they should be located after the rail is fitted to the hood frame. The secondary job of these sockets is to tidy and finish the vinyl where it surrounds the hole that locates the rail to the top windscreen posts, so I’m now lacking this feature!
I used a heated drying rack to warm up the vinyl before fitting to make it a bit easier and kept the workshop warm.
My car didn’t have a hood centre latch fitted and always suffered from lifting at speed, so I fitted one. Careful drilling of the screen surround is needed and the holes need to be bevelled so that the fixing screws are not raised.
I won’t go into describing the roof fitting procedure in detail, as there are plenty info on this available, but the following shots give an idea.