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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: Mon May 06, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Roger. I had work today, otherwise I would have been there. I won't be at Battlesbridge next weekend either now, one of my friends is holding his stag do in Bournemouth the day before and I doubt I'll be in a fit state to drive in the morning Laughing
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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: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some pictures of today's progress:





All gone!







While I had the crane I decided to give the engine and 'box a good gunking. I was pleasantly surprised at the condition of the green paint underneath, but it'll be repainted anyway.





I then cleared the workbench off and hoisted the engine up there. This will be its home for the forseeable future. I've got a new clutch on order, and will set the tappets and possibly replace the core plugs while the engine is out. I know the engine and gearbox are both good, so I'm leaving them well alone.



The main reason for lifting the engine out is to strip the engine bay back to bare metal, tidy up/finish off the welds and paint it. Once it's all painted then the new wiring loom can be installed.

I'm hoping painting the engine will be quite therapeutic after all the welding Very Happy

Oh and before I forget, I need a gearbox rear oil seal if anyone happens to have one knocking around for a column change A50/55?
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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
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Richard, have you any experience of the repro repair panels that are out there for the pre-Farina cars? Just curious

thanks, 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: Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Rick,

Are you thinking about saving a rusty one then?

Earlpart is your best bet for panels, there's not much available, but what is is top notch. Outer sills are a pain because full saloon sills aren't available. I've had front floors, outriggers and inner sills which all fit well. I believe there are now inner wing strengthening panels on the market as well which look very good quality, although I haven't tried them.

Rich.
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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
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard H wrote:
Hi Rick,

Are you thinking about saving a rusty one then?

Earlpart is your best bet for panels, there's not much available, but what is is top notch. Outer sills are a pain because full saloon sills aren't available. I've had front floors, outriggers and inner sills which all fit well. I believe there are now inner wing strengthening panels on the market as well which look very good quality, although I haven't tried them.

Rich.


I was looking at a very ropey pickup the other day. I noticed that Earlpart do the bits, but this particular example would need probably every repair panel ever produced for the model Confused

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: Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you do have to be pretty dedicated to tackle a rotten Pre Farina, these cars really know how to rust! My advice would be to carefully check the chassis legs and front inner wings for rot (open the bonnet and have a good prod), if they are really bad I would definitely think twice before taking that particular car on. If the chassis has gone in the middle the rest of the car will be very ropey. Mine had gone there, but mine was the exception to the norm - being a saloon most people would have broken and scrapped it. It is doable, but it's a heck of a lot of work.

Having said that, the commercial ones are a better prospect from a financial point of view, and some pretty terminal ones have been brought back from the brink.

Decent front wings are hard to find as well, so that's something else to check carefully. They go around the headlights and down the trailing edge where it's double skinned.

If there's anything else I can help with then fire away Smile

Rich.
_________________
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
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The inner wings were mainly constructed from fresh air, same for the floorpans. Not just rusty, but "missing altogether" levels of rust - rust would be an improvement. The roof has a nasty kink in it, oh and the gutters are shot too Smile In its favour the rear sides aren't all bashed about and the loadbay has only "gone" in the corners. The front wings are repairable, doors are ok. Tailgate knocked about. Do the commercials have a separate chassis? Hard to tell on this one as so much underneath the back end has disintegrated Sad Shame really as it's a one-owner truck with old MOTs etc, but in a very borderline state indeed.

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: Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rick wrote:
Do the commercials have a separate chassis?


Yes, the van and pickup had a proper separate chassis. The saloon had effectively a complete chassis welded on underneath, technically chassisless but not really.
_________________
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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View user's profile Send private message
Richard H



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I separated the engine and gearbox to have a look at the clutch, which has been earmarked for replacement for a while now. When I first got the car, the clutch was slipping badly. Although it soon stopped slipping with a bit of use, I'd decided I was going to change the clutch anyway.

Only four bellhousing bolts were holding the gearbox on, two were completely loose and the rest were missing altogether!



I was expecting the clutch to be down to the rivets so I was very surprised at the condition of everything.







Flywheel looks good.



Even the ring gear looks serviceable.



I then cleaned up the welds on the inner wing, the first bit of welding I did on the car 18 months ago:



And continued stripping old paint from the car. There is some light pitting to the centre of the roof but I'm hoping I'll be able to fill it with a stopper. The sunroof needs a bit more work but I reckon it's savable. The rest of the metalwork isn't too bad, apart from this bit which is the shelf under the back window. The rear screen surround has also suffered in a couple of places but it's nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. The front screen surround is like new.















It actually seems a shame to change the clutch as it's in such good condition, but it seemed like the logical thing to do while the engine was out. Also the car came with very little history, so I had no idea when it was last changed.

While I was taking photos today I decided to make a short video of the A55, hope it's ok! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5lKeWVVVHI&feature=youtu.be
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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
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20180
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look forward to episode two of the vid Smile

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



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 445
Location: Dreamland Margate

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking very good Richard, I always enjoy seeing the updates.
Good video too Smile
Keep up the good work,
All the best,
Greg
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D4B



Joined: 28 Dec 2010
Posts: 2068
Location: Hampshire UK

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Richard,

It's been a while, keen to know more Cool

Just thought I'd bump it up again,

Steve
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