Sunday, 14 December 2014

Rebuilding - Underway

Now most of me has been painted, in what I understand is Chevy Yellow, the rebuilding has started and bits are staring to be put onto my lovely new shell.

The wood, an integral part of the structure, has been put on to allow it to be fitted as it seems while the wood maybe perfect I apparently am not and so things like rear wings need to be 'encouraged' to fit

 Wood is covered with masking tape to protect it while being initially fitted. What a difference this makes I'm now beginning to look like a car again!.
 Once the wood's been fitted the rear wings were put on and it seems took a lot of encouragement by Martin to be made to fit.  But after some persuasion, judicious knocking around and then a bit of filler and sanding I have rear wings that are ready to paint..

 The long range tank has now been delivered!! Yay!! It looks absolutely brill.  It fits (now that 20mm was shaved off the width) and looks just like the drawing.

 The tank has been filled with safety foam which is designed to prevent vapour build up.  It has been positioned so that the weight is where it would be when people would be in the back seat of the car.  Also it makes good use of the space wasted through folding down the rear seat. 

 As well as making final preparation on the body, work has started on putting 'stuff' on.  The loom is now in place (sort of) and front suspension and brakes are also going on hopefully things are will start really escalate once Rod has completed the engine and the rear springs have been received.  Anyway I'm really pleased with the way this is all working out.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Painting - Sorted

At last, I'm yellow again!!  You have to agree I look luverly! After lots of hard work by Martin on the body work I am finally painted yellow and reconstruction now begins.

Yellow again!

From this..

To this - Fantastic

Now the shell is painted the panels just need to be finished and I can start being put back together.  Woodwork has arrived and will hopefully go on now so things should progress nicely.  Engine is being sorted at the moment and so should be ready to install in a few weeks (would be a nice Xmas present!).

Friday, 31 October 2014

Bodywork - Sorted

When I was first stripped naked and taken back to 'basics' it looked like there wasn't too much to do as to be honest I think I looked pretty good.  Shot blasting revealed some more parts (or lack of) that needed some addressing so not was all as first seemed.

After getting to grips with things the shell work progressed reasonably well but as anyone who has been in hospital knows not fast enough as all you want is to get out of there.  Anyway Martin, Jonathan's body man, got down to it and has now pretty much completed all the body work with the panels all done and being etched ready for painting.  In fact I now have wheels on although they'll need to come off while I'm being beautified.  Hopefully next set of pictures will be me in all my glory.


Long range tank - Sorted

As anyone following Matt's blog will know our route takes us across some rough terrain in some pretty remote areas so we decided I needed a long range tank.  I suppose we could have simply left the old tank (or maybe a slightly larger one) in place and used Jerry cans but there were a couple of issues with that.  The first and most obvious is that the Jerry cans will take up storage space and without having details of where we could fill up I'd probably need two or three to be safe and storage space may well be a premium, I'm not really that big after all.

The second issue was that the petrol tank is mounted through a hole positioned at the rear of my body shell.  The issue here is that the tank would need some form of protection to make sure that rocks and rough roads can't damage it or worse still put a hole in it.

The solution to this is actually quite easy and you will see from the design posting we plan to place this where the rear seats would have been folded into.

With a little help from Jonathan the design we came up with was a 160 litre alloy tank which is filled with safety foam to make it safe and prevent the build up of fumes. 
The actual drawing for fabricators
Jonathan's contribution

The internal pipes (shown in green) will allow the petrol pump to suck up petrol from either side of the tank straddling the prop shaft tunnel.  This tank when full should hopefully give me a range of  around 1,000 miles at 30 mpg.  I'm estimating a low mpg as when the tank is full it'll be the same weight as two people in the back seat and I don't suppose I'd get much more than that.  If I do it'll be a bonus.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

design decisions - sorted

Whilst lying here in bits waiting for Jonathan to do his magic and put me back together and make me as good (no better) than new, I've been thinking about some of the changes needed to make sure I am in a fit state for this insane adventure I seem to have been conscripted into.

Some of the challenges we (I) need to address is the range on a tank of petrol.  My standard tank is 6.5 gallons and if I get the best mpg possible I may just about squeeze 280 miles out of a tank but that assumes good roads and not that much weight for me to carry.  If any of you reading this know Matt then you know I'm on a hiding to nothing there trying to reduce weight then. 

Anyway even if I could get the most out of a tank and install a 9.5 gallon tank which is the biggest standard tank we can get I don't think we would have enough range for some of the countries where petrol stations are few and far between, so additional capacity is required.  What's the problem, take jerry cans I hear you say, but have you any idea how awkward these things are?  So, what's the solution you ask.  A bloody great big tank I say.  Where the hell are you going to put that you say.  Ah ha! I say using a cunning plan I have worked out how to install a tank that will give me a range of around 1,100 miles at 30mpg.  Bloody hell I hear you say how have you done that?

Well, given that there's only going to be Matt and Sarah the plan was always going to be to fold away the back seat and use my full capacity for carrying 'stuff'.  And there is the solution.  Put a tank where the back seat is and use that space for a sodding great big tank!

So, in order to install a large, very large, capacity tank whilst also having loads of storage for everything we (well Matt and Sarah) are going to need to take I (yes, I) have come up with this cunning design and so the Overland Traveller is born.

Albert's overland interior
 The petrol tank sits underneath a raised floor which creates an additional storage area for a second spare wheel.  A standard petrol tank base will replace the old petrol tank creating a storage area for tools.  One spare wheel, the jack and some spares will be stored in the original void below the floor.  A second floor going the length of the car creates a base for the main storage area.  A bulkhead separates the storage from the 'cab' and is used to create a storage area that can have shelves for smaller items such as food, cooking utensils etc.  The larger storage area at the rear will be used for large items.

Petrol tank mock up fitted and size verified as OK
Paul and Matt visited recently and mocked up the petrol tank to make sure it goes in and to check the measurements Matt took using Carl's traveller.  It seems he didn't screw it up all together and the idea works OK although it does look like it takes up loads of room you will be surprised that once I get put back together you won't even notice the space it takes up.

 Paul's going to make the tank for me and Carl says he's happy to do the interior woodwork so once Mark has finished knocking me about and I can get painted, Jonathan can put me back together again. 

I hope everyone has received an invite to our first fundraising event in January and that I'll see you all there.  So put the 24th in you diaries now and be at the Coach House, Potton at 12 o'clock when all the fun starts.  See you then

Friday, 1 August 2014

the transformation begins

As you may be aware Matt decided to leave me at JLH Morris Minor for Jonathan to start working on my suspension and some other mechanical work but I've had time to talk Jonathan round to ignoring what Matt wants and to go with my idea which is a total transformation rather than doing bits and pieces.  Fortunately Jonathan after looking around my bottom parts agreed that it would not be sensible to do only the mechanicals and suspension as doing the suspension would actually compromise my already fragile wooden bits and as a result if I hit a big bump I'd probably fall apart.

In fact I did start falling to apart when Jonathan started playing around with my suspension and some of my wooden bits dropped off.  He also discovered that the front cross member was welded, rather than bolted, on and so there was some unexpected additional work to be done to make the suspension good to go.

Front suspension removed
It soon became obvious that simply taking everything off and starting the full transformation now would actually be cheaper in the long run than doing my body work at a later date, assuming I survived the journey to Mongolia and back in one piece.  As Matt was away I made the decision for him and as it's not my money it was a reasonably easy decision to make.

So, decision made Jonathan's boys took me apart and have started to make good my main body shell.  This work has involved doing some patching, sand blasting and doing some etching ready for an initial paint job once the little bits and pieces that came to light are sorted.

The next stage will be to get my bodywork completely sorted and painted and then add back the important bits like the engine, gearbox, suspension and everything needed to make me a whole car once again.

Jonathan estimates I'm going to be indisposed for some months now but that'll give Matt time to work out what he wants doing to make sure we can complete our challenge successfully.

It's going to be really great watching Matt's face when he finds out what's been going on while he has been away. Will keep everyone up to date with my transformation over the coming months.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

I come out of retirement

As you probably know Matt Givertz has decided that he wants to drive from the UK to Mongolia and back to raise money for charity.  Chances are you are following his blog about this and while his desire to do a challenge to raise money for charity is a very worthwhile undertaking I felt it was only right and proper that, since I wasn't consulted but simply dragged into the venture, you also got my view on this.  As a consequence I have sought out my mate Stephen who has supplied me with the technology to be able to put my thoughts down on paper so to speak so here it is, the alternative blog to MattGivertzDoes60.

So, there I was enjoying retirement in Cinderford in the Forest of Dean with my previous keeper, Peter Morgan, when one day along comes this chap and his mate to uproot me from my life of comfort and effectively turn my world upside down.  I found out that the one with the weird taste in coats was Matt and that he was to be my new keeper.  I've got to say I find it hard to believe that anyone with such apparent shocking taste would appreciate a car of my dashing appearance but there y'go nought so strange as folk.

Matt's the weirdo in the coat.  I'm the car
Anyway, Matt and his mate, who I now know is Paul Pibworth, spent a while chatting with Peter and his dad before I guess money changed hands and Peter handed over the keys.

As I wasn't too happy about not being consulted in this change to my life style I decided to make it difficult for Matt and for a while  refused to start and then almost rear-ended Paul's car on the way out of town.  In the end I decided what the hell and let Matt drive me back to wherever it is he lives which was a couple of hours away from Cinderford.  The journey passed off relatively uneventfully with Matt muttering a lot and it wasn't until we got back that I found out he hadn't driven for around 17 years!

What had I got myself into?


our first days together

My first days after leaving Cinderford were a bit of a blur if I'm honest.  Since Matt lives in this house where there is no where to park a car he has found me lodgings in what is could be described as a big green box.  I don't mind that too much as at least I don't have to put up with him driving me to the shop, the station and simply here and there just because he can.

I tend to be left alone with my thoughts for most of the week with Matt turning up on a Saturday to take me out.  The first thing he did, which I do appreciate, was to get me new tyres and brakes which to a car is like having a new pair of shoes.  He also got my floppy bits sorted which I can tell you was a blessing as they itched like only a person with piles can appreciate.  It's even worse when you are a car as you can't scratch and believe me it does drive you to distraction.

<< Floppy bits before

                           Floppy bits after >>

My stay with Trevor, Damon and Bruv was really nice and I met a couple of nice cars who were having some body work done (you won't catch me having cosmetic surgery).  Anyway after my time away I was seeing things in a new light.  I'm currently staying with a very nice chap called Jonathan from JLH Morris Minors who is going to sort out my suspension which given my bottom's been sagging for some time I'm quite looking forward to.

Matt and his mate young Ron also took me to a couple of classic car shows where I got to meet some really nice cars who told me not to worry my keeper was a nutter and I should just humour him as he probably won't go through with his mad venture but I have a horrible feeling he is going to go all the way and I'm going to have to go with him.