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1958 Austin A55 Cambridge MK1 Restoration
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger-hatchy wrote:
Great job Richard.

One thing, with all the cardboard needed are you putting on weight Laughing Laughing

Are you at the lodge next Thursday ?


Laughing I'm mostly using Coco Pops packets at the moment!

I'll be there Roger, in the A35. I won't be there too long though, due to driving to the club rally in Lichfield the morning after.

Roger-hatchy wrote:
PS

How on earth did you get it home in one piece, not many pot holes near you then.


Luckily it was only in Rochford, any further and it probably would have folded in half Shocked Just goes to show that an MOT is no guarantee of structural condition, the tester isn't allowed to poke too hard and although plates welded over rot will pass a test, it doesn't do much for the car's structure.

I drove it around for a year like that as well Confused
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1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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Farmer John



Joined: 18 Feb 2010
Posts: 161
Location: Manawatu NZ

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 9:59 pm    Post subject: A55 Reply with quote

Hello Richard. That is great work that you are doing.

John
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks John!

So the A55 MK2 sold on Ebay, and the new owner came down on the train and drove it 300 miles back to Stockport! Mad. Anyway that left me with another space and a wad of cash that, although not as big as I might have liked, should come in handy for buying the next batch of repair panels for the MK1. The new owner has already made a start on fixing the problems so it looks like it's gone to the right home.

Since my last update I haven't managed to get as much done as I would have liked on the old cars, but I have done a bit more on the MK1.

I've never been very happy with the rear end of the sill. It didn't fit properly, so I chopped it all out again before seeking advice from a fellow A55 owner. His solution? Narrow the sill step and cut the edge of the sill down where it meets the wheelarch. Well I tried that and after a lot of work I've finally got it fitting much better. I also finished off the wheelarch.



The outer wheelarch shown here, was mostly lead and what wasn't lead was rust! After attempting to weld it up with the molten lead loading dripping off onto me I decided to bite the bullet and fabricate a new one. It wasn't actually too hard to do from 1mm steel and a couple of pairs of big molegrips:





Pretty much everything in primer is new metal.



It's not perfect but it fits a lot better than it did, before the whole sill was sloping down from the B post, now it's level with the front section.

Made a start replacing the rear valance:





I then attacked the rear spring hanger. This was double skinned and the outer skin looked fairly crusty, so I drilled out the spot welds holding it on, and after a massive battle I managed to separate the two pieces.



The underside of the spring hanger had been plated twice before.



New metal welded into both layers, seam sealed and welded properly.



By then I'd had enough of welding, so I stripped all the old underseal out of the wheelarches with a wire brush on the drill, and broke out the 'Rustbuster Epoxy Mastic' paint I bought ages ago.











And that's where I'm up to. Please excuse the state of the garage floor, most of my car needs to be swept up off it!
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1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20494
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile It should last another 50+ years once you're done, at least this way you'll know exactly what you're sat on/in when you get it back on the road.

RJ
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rick, I have no plans to sell this one and I hope it will see me out!
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1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I braved the snow today to go down to the workshop and get a bit more welding done.

I decided to tackle the rear valance next.









A quick run over with the flap wheel:



It was at this point I ran out of welding gas. The right hand side of the valance can't really be tackled until the other rear wing is removed anyway, so it wasn't too much of a problem.

All the welds ground flush.





Another job I did was to drill new mounting holes for the outer wing, as the original holes had all been lost with the rust I cut out. I then offered the wing up loosely to check the fit with the valance and wheelarch:







Not too bad at all.





The actual wing needs surprisingly little work considering they are a notorious rot spot (especially along the top edge) on the best A55's! Both rear wings are secondhand replacements from a Court Grey car, and were a lucky find by the previous owner who fitted them.
_________________
1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I've just got in from another stint on the A55. It's only 6 degrees outside so I'm cold! Never mind.

Having effectively done all I could in the garage I decided to get the engine running so I could move it down to the patio to start work on some of the other bits. Unfortunately it wouldn't start, I reckon a combination of stale petrol and a dodgy HT lead was the cause. I ordered a new set of HT leads but unfortunately I ordered the wrong type, the ones I ordered are the late type for a top entry dizzy cap and mine is the early type side entry. I then gave up and enlisted the help of my dad to push the Austin down to the concrete.

First job was to replace the weird little sill step that is unique to Pre Farinas, as far as I can tell the only purpose it serves is to hold some attractive aluminium trims, which look nice as you get in the door. I made it up, welded it in then after going over the welds with the flap wheel I gave the whole area a coat of Epoxy Mastic:





I also painted the rear floorpan that I repaired ages ago:



I then chopped out the old drivers side floorpan, and associated metalwork. Got through about 5 cutting discs doing this!



Grotty chassis leg. The plan is to sandblast the inside of the chassis leg further back than this to see if it's savable. Hopefully it's just this bit that will need replacing.



Here's the crap that came out.





New floorpan in position.



Started to repair the A post before I ran out of sheet steel Sad



And just some general shots of the car:









The plan is to, very soon, bolt the car onto the rollover jig again and make a start on the sills and chassis legs on this side.


_________________
1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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D4B



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 2075
Location: Hampshire UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have your work cut out there Richard.... might be a good idea to remove those lovely red seats before welding that floor pan in?

Good luck keep at it Cool
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Rick
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20494
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astonishing amount of work - keep it up Smile

RJ
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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Roger-hatchy



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Posts: 2144
Location: Tiptree, Essex

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming along great Richard.

At least the glass will still be original Very Happy

Roger
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger-hatchy wrote:
Coming along great Richard.

At least the glass will still be original Very Happy

Roger


I've got a new windscreen on the way, and a better secondhand set of doors that have windows already in them. The rear screen is the original - unless I can find a better one Laughing
_________________
1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D4B wrote:
You have your work cut out there Richard.... might be a good idea to remove those lovely red seats before welding that floor pan in?

Good luck keep at it Cool


Thanks! It probably would be a good idea, but I'll probably just drape a sheet over them for the actual welding. Not sure if it's visible in the photos, but although the seats are in good condition (retrimmed at great expense in the 1980's after the car was stolen by joyriders who slashed the seats) the colour has faded to orange, so they'll have to be recoloured, possibly with Vinylkote.

Does anyone have any experience of this or similar products, and can they be used on leather seats?
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1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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D4B



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 2075
Location: Hampshire UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Richard,

I don't know if today's Formula 40 Vinylkote is still the same as the stuff I used on my VW camper in the late 1980's, but if it is you will get some great results. I do remember it was referred to back then as Formula 40 but I think it was spelt Vinylcoat.

Cheers
Steve
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colwyn500



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1731
Location: Nairn, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they are leather seats then I think Woolies (Wolstenholmes) still sell a recolouring kit to match the original colour.
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Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions Smile

Another update!

First job after I left off last time was to replace the rusty chassis leg under the floorpan.





Then I got the floorpan welded in:





Back onto the roller!







I can honestly say I've never seen a car that's had as much welding as this one before.



I then got distracted by cutting out some shoddy welding to the rear chassis rail...



Anyway. On with the outriggers!







Weld detail.



Penetration (arf, arf)







I then gave the primered bits a quick coat of paint as they'd started to go rusty in the tiny amount of snow we had down here, despite the cover.




_________________
1935 Standard Twelve
1953 Austin A40 Somerset
1958 Austin A55 Cambridge
1959 Austin A35
1980 Vauxhall Royale 2.8 auto
1987 Austin Maestro 1.3 L
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