We have lift off!

This weekend has turned out to be both productive and historic.

On yesterday’s post I detailed how I had gone through the last few things needed to enable the body to be lifted off the chassis.  After a text conversation with one of the sages of Splitterz Cambridge, Sunday afternoon was going to be the “lets check over everything to make sure nothing will catch you out” session.

So, when Fran (the sage) arrived, I was expecting a cursory walk around the car to say “this needs doing” and I was going to write a list.

As it turned out, I had done everything I could.  All that the final furlong boiled down to was a couple of tough bolts that needed persuading and then the body would lift off…..

….After grinding and bashing our way through several areas of weld that had permanently joined body to chassis.  Now I can’t complain, as over the 20 years that I have had the car, and before, work has been done to get the car through an MOT, not to make it look pretty.  Every weld served a purpose but for this restoration, they had to be cut through.  Lets just hope that nothing serious lurks beneath!

I would never have noticed most of these joints had Fran not showed me where they were and why they were problematic, so I am extremely grateful to him for his help – and his angle grinder, long bits of wood and perseverance!!

As you can see from the photos, a good couple of hours hard graft meant the body could be lifted for the first time in 42 years.  That in itself is an historic moment and I am pleased that I was able to see it and help to do it!

Now all I need is four strong friends to help me lift the body and store it, so I can crack on with stripping the chassis and cleaning it ready for any remedial work before new floor pans and powder coating!

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Tidying up loose ends

Today was a morning of dealing with the little things that remained in the way of separating body from chassis.

Pesky things like brake reservoir, hoses and lines, reversing light cabling, steering column and body to chassis bolts were all dealt with successfully.  The positive cabling to the starter motor was also removed.

Only the two bolts to the rear chassis mounts refused to move, so hopefully some penetrating fluid or heat will do the trick closer to removal day.

I decided that brute force was the order of the day for the brake lines, cutting though them as the nuts were seized solid.  As I will be replacing all brake lines and the master cylinder, this isn’t a problem.

The only real issue that remains is some previous welding has been done to the body meaning it is attached to the napoleons hat, meaning it needs cutting out to remove the body!

All I need now is a day when enough friends can head over to help cut the body, loosen the two bolts, weld in some door braces and remove the doors before we lift the body off the car for what is possibly the first time in Ruy’s 42 years.

Almost there!

So after a winter hiatus (mainly due to the weather and the need to build a shelter to store car parts in….!), I spent some long overdue time with Ruy today, in preparation for removing the body.

As you can see from the pictures, today was about removing the steering column in order to get rid of one of the final obstacles to removing the body from the chassis.  Unfortunately, the wind was too strong for me to remove the steering column from under the bonnet, so that will wait for another day, however I have removed the steering wheel, indicator and wiper stalks and ignition barrel and steering column outer shroud.

I also started loosening some of the chassis bolts inside the car – just to see!