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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: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having finished the inner wing, I made a new strengthening panel and plug-welded it in, using plenty of weld-thru primer and zinc rich primer in the box section. I used an old cardboard box to make the template for this. I replicated one of the holes in this panel as it's needed to tighten up the wiper motor bolts. I'll knock up a panel to cover the hole later on.

The top of the wing wasn't too bad, it needed a couple of small patched and a 12" section of the bonnet surround replacing, which I have started to do:





All primed and sealed, with the little triangular piece welded in too.









And the fuel pump temporarily fitted, so I can move the car in and out of the garage.


_________________
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 Dec 29, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I then moved on to the drivers side wing. This generally wasn't as bad as the passenger side, but for some reason the top was much more rotten. The fibreglass man had been here before as well, plugging holes in the bonnet surround and generally making a mess. He (or she?) had also tacked many plates over the rust from inside the engine bay, covered with fibreglass then undersealed for good measure. They must had run out of braze and welding gas on one plate as it had simply been screwed over the last one with a couple of self-tapping screws!







After cutting out the strengthening panel, I got to work replacing the inner wing to bulkhead section.



And the wing top:







This morning I started at 10am. Needed some suitable card to make repair sections. Aha!





Not a bad fit



Tacked



And seam welded





Out you come



Needed a bigger piece of card for this one, so..





Couple more patches later





Got distracted by another huge wodge of fibreglass, which was bunging up this hole.





Plates



This is how I finished for today:





Oh yes. Remember this?



Well I hacked out the plates and rust, this is what I was left with:





See that crusty 90 degree section in the middle of the hole in the first picture? That's what's left of the inner sill! Everything here is toast.

So I made the first of many panel purchases from Earlpart - new N/S floorpan, and both original spec outriggers for that side.



I also bought a Car roller on Ebay back in November, which will make the underside repairs so much easier. By coincidence, on arriving at the seller's house in Surrey, it turned out he was a fellow Cambridge-Oxford Club member, and he had just finished restoring an A55/A60 1/2 ton van based Suntor caravanette to concours standards. He cut his inner wings from a donor car...

Any comments or advice welcomed Smile
_________________
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: 21478
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent progress Smile it hasn't been that solid for some years has it!

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 May 25, 2012 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Right. I popped the A55 on the car roller and got it on its side.









Got a good look at the plated up chassis legs Sad





Chopped out the floorpan









New floorpan and outriggers in.







Chassis leg cut out and replaced.



A panel replaced.





A post repaired.



Front inner sill welded in.



New floorpan and inner sill.



Rot around the rear floorpan/ seat base.





Under the back seat was rotten.













Floorpan repair section.



Hoping to get the rear half of the inner sill in this week, then I can get the outer in Smile
_________________
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: Fri May 25, 2012 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I replaced this part of the inner wing next, it still needs a couple of small patches making up but I'm happy enough with it.



Inside



I got the rear floorpan repair section welded in next, that all went quite smoothly. I also had to replace a 1" section on the outside edge of this floorpan.



Earlpart wanted nearly 40 for a rear outrigger, so I made my own:



The rear half of the sill was too long, so I cut it to size and got it welded in.







The jacking point had rotted away completely, so I made my own Smile



Front floorpan to inner sill



Chassis leg ground down



View from underneath. Most of the underseal is now chipped off, but I need to get the wire wheel on all this to make a good surface for the chassis paint. I have bought some of this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/330617674466?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649



Which has very good reviews. After all this welding I don't want it rotting away again in a hurry!

The rear arch didn't look too bad at first glance, but closer inspection revealed an awful lot of filler hiding two small holes. I managed to get one of them welded up but it wasn't very easy due to the factory lead loading melting off and dripping all over me!





There was a huge plate fixed in with dribble welding at the back of the sill/inner wing, so I chopped all that out. At this point I decided it was time to remove the rear wing. Luckily it didn't put up too much of a fight (once I had found the bolt lurking behind the headlining).



I could see that both inner wing tops had been repaired in the past so I hoped they could be saved. Alas not:






_________________
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: Fri May 25, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Outer sills were a bit of a problem. Earlpart only sell 1/2 ton van/ Suntor caravanette sills which are half the length of saloon ones. Phoning them to enquire I was told that I'd have to buy a pair of 1/2 ton van sills and join them together for each side. I was a bit dubious but as they're the only ones on the market I bought a couple.

They are genuine BL sills (still with the sticker) so I think they are early 70's ones destined for Suntors. I stripped the paint from both sides using paint stripper and a rotary wire brush in the drill. The main problem with them is there are no holes for the jacking points. So I carefully cut the pressing out of the old sill and stitched it into the new one:





At this stage I gave the back of the outer sill and the inner several coats of weld-thru.









I then started to weld in the outer sill.







I was pleased to find the jacking point lined up perfectly, I was expecting it to be slightly off centre Very Happy



Ground flush.



I plug welded the bottom flange.







And finally started to strip the underside to bare metal in preparation for my new 'Epoxy Mastic' chassis paint.







View inside the sill:


_________________
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: Fri May 25, 2012 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got the rear half of the sill fitted.







Got the welds all primed and sealed underneath.







I then fitted the A post closing panel.







Inside





At this point I decided to remove the car from the car roller and drive it into the garage which I recently cleared out for it to go in for the next month or so (to do the rear inner wing and rear valance). Surprisingly, after putting a battery on the engine started fairly easily, not bad for about 6 months on its side. I had to put some fluid in the clutch cylinder before I could drive it though!










_________________
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: Fri May 25, 2012 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made a start on the rear inner wing next! This is a notorious rust trap on all A55 MK1's, and this one was (unsurprisingly) no exception.









The horizontal bit at the top of the wing (boot surround?) was heavily pitted and very thin, so I had to replace about a 1" strip all the way along.

I decided to purchase a pack of zirconium flap discs for the angle grinder that I've heard good things about. After spending an hour or so going over the lot I was quite pleased with the results, not much filler required here Cool















Rear valance next Smile
_________________
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: Fri May 25, 2012 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night I removed the rear bumper in preperation for attacking the rear valance. The first job was to back it up onto ramps so I could get to the rusty looking bumper bolts. Esier sadi than done, as the car was very difficult to start, then once started was only running on three cylinders and cut out three times in the process of reversing up there. Fiddling with the shockingly poor wiring brought the ignition back to life, and I managed to get up there, only to come crashing down again when I realised there were no brakes (all the brake fluid leaked out while the car was on its side and the handbrake was too weak to hold it).

Eventually we got it up there.



Had to grind a couple of the bumper bolts off, but the bumper itself is in excellent condition.













Hmmm...

The corner of the boot floor needs repairing here, and I decided it will be easier to do once the valance has been replaced.



I took the grinder straight across the old valance. The top bit is alright, so it seemed a shame to cut it all out.



There is this vertical panel that goes behind the valance and forms a kind of box section with a spot-welded flange at the bottom. Of course this is in the direct firing line of mud from the road and never lasts long. Someone in the dim and distant past had stuffed a random old bit of metal (with a small bracket on it) in to try and shore up the valance, which itself was about 25% filler.





All the rubbish cut out.









I started drilling out the spot welds that hold the vertical panel to the boot surround tonight, until the drill bit went blunt. I have to remove the boot striker plate in order to get the panel out. I'll do a bit more Sunday hopefully.









In other news...

My aunt's Morris Minor is here for MOT work at the moment, it needs welding, brakes and steering rack gaitors, then it will be up for sale. With the Cambridge off the car roller it didn't take long for another car to be fitted on!





And an old friend came out to play Very Happy My first car had to be turfed out of its resting place for the last three years to make space for the Cambridge. It's been cannibalised of parts for other A35's since it's been sitting there and I have ordered an SU carb and electric fuel pump on Ebay to get it running again. It needs sills both sides unfortunately, which will probably have to wait until all the welding is finished on the Cambridge.




_________________
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: 21478
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wowzers!! fascinating read, and inspiring too Smile

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



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

top job keep up the good work,if we all keep restoring cars like this, we can get rid of all this modern plastic junk of the roads . Evil or Very Mad Laughing
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buzzy bee



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3397
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job!

There was some serious rot in there eh. Smile

You can do some of my rusty projects when you get bored... Wink

What Mig are you using?
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Roger-hatchy



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

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great job Richard.

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

Are you at the lodge next Thursday ?
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Roger-hatchy



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

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS

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



Joined: 03 Apr 2009
Posts: 2142
Location: Suffolk

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers lads Smile

buzzy bee wrote:
Great job!

There was some serious rot in there eh. Smile

You can do some of my rusty projects when you get bored... Wink

What Mig are you using?


Send the truck down here and I'll see what I can do Wink

The Mig is a very old secondhand SIP 150 Turbo bought from Ebay. I've already had to replace the torch, earth clamp and cable due to being worn out! It runs on standard CO2 from a converted fire extinguisher, and the wire is tightened using a big screw that someone has fitted. The side cover is long gone, and it blows fuses like they're going out of fashion. I have it mounted on an old wooden tea trolley to make it easier to move around. Myself and dad call it the 'resuscitation trolley' Wink
_________________
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


Last edited by Richard H on Sat May 26, 2012 4:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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