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Project Zippy - Mk1 1981 Midas Project.


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#616 MrBounce

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 01:06 PM

Yesterday I figured out that I had no excuse for not drilling the holes for my nice new dials, so I cracked out the measuring stick, a Sharpie and the very last of my masking tape to make sure they were in the right place. I drilled a pilot hole for each of them and got out the holesaws. Typically, I only have a 51mm or 54mm. The dial is 52mm. I used the 51mm holesaw as it much easier to make the hole slightly bigger once cut than the other way round! A small amount of relief work using the sanding drum on the Dremel and both dials fitted in nicely with a tiny amount of drag. Perfect.
 
Once done, I did a whole load of sanding over the dash. I then set about giving the dash its first coat of filler as there were numerous low spots and the occasional hole. This will be dealt with when I get my next load of sandpaper, because I have run out off that too. Joy.
 
Dial positions marked out
 
oNJ275n.jpg
 
And holes cut - they sit nicely.
 
3856vZw.jpg
 
Quite a lot of smoothing needed...
 
6WsqcwC.jpg


#617 KTS

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 02:00 PM

that's coming along nicely.  



#618 MrBounce

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Posted 16 October 2020 - 09:01 PM

One thing I could never have the patience to do is work as a prep man in a bodyshop. The main reason? I can't lie - I hate sanding. I simply don't have the patience for it and when I do it, I often find I am not that good at it. Now granted the dashboard I am working on was in a pretty shocking state when I first got my hands on it, but every time I have a look at it I find something new that's wrong or I make a mistake. Whilst sanding the first run of filler down, I managed to find an air bubble in a modification I'd done some years ago, by sanding through the (thin) top layer of resin. So out came the P40, and I had to fill in the hole. I followed this up with two more loads of Dolphin Glaze, but I was still struggling to get it right. I then figured that because the dash was multiple different shades, it'd be far easier to manage if it was all one colour. So I sprayed it with the last of my primer and have left it to dry.
 
Whilst it was drying I turned my attention to the 52mm rev counter I bought on eBay. I initially thought it was a Tim gauge as I had one very similar many years ago, but I then realised it's very similar but a no-name brand. It wouldn't surprise me if it was made in the same factory. For £8 I am not complaining. There was a minor issue with the surround (a couple of minor dents which I have mostly got out), and the bulb had got close to the plastic body and melted it. I had a feeling that the bulb was not in a proper holder and I was right - just a close fitting rubber grommet. Unfortunately the way it was fitted pointed the bulb up close to the plastic. I took the unit apart and simply put in a piece of of high temperature exhaust tape which should solve the problem of a hot bulb against plastic. 
 
Finally, the rev counter had no retaining bracket. I didn't have a piece of metal long enough to make one. Or so I thought. A rummage through my steel offcuts tin found the remains of the first version of the gear selector and I was able to cut a piece from that. Much Dremel-ing, hammering, use of the drill and the bench grinder saw a half decent bracket. It does need some minor adjustment - the "legs" are about 5mm too long and it needs paint, but they should be easy fixes.
 
The a hole in my dashboard, dear Liza...
 
Bqnm6gD.jpg
 
All sanded, but there's bound to be more imperfections...
 
2QFnlGU.jpg
 
...which a coat of primer has highlighted. More to follow.
 
O5wKeBn.jpg
 
Cheap rev counter - an eBay steal.
 
AE2oQQ5.jpg
 
It wasn't without its problems - close proximity of bulb had melted the plastic body
 
NlzFvKJ.jpg
 
A bit of exhaust tape sorted that
 
OlENAtu.jpg
 
And I fabricated a new bracket from an old bracket. Obviously.
 
sexPklP.jpg

Edited by MrBounce, 16 October 2020 - 09:05 PM.


#619 MrBounce

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Posted 25 October 2020 - 03:48 PM

Welcome to the weekly tale of woe! I figured I would spray the dashboard using the textured paint, so got on with it. I followed the instructions on the can to the letter, but it was incredibly difficult stuff to spray smoothly. I kept getting "bubbling" from the nozzle which threw occasional droplets of paint at the dashboard. There wasn't quite enough to do the whole dashboard anyway but I was glad to see the back of that paint. I have ordered a different brand to see if I have a bit more success. Not impressed.
 
To cheer myself I cut a hole in the dashboard. Why? Because every car needs a starter button. I had one on my red Mini (a "Push Once" button from a bus!), and also a less extravagant one on my Golf GTi  - these were notorious for having ignition barrel issues, so I simply bypassed the issue. Plus I like them. I did consider getting another bus button, given I bought the last one in 1999 for 50p from a breakers yard, but as with most things from the 70s and older, silly tax gets added today. I am not paying £20 plus for one! I grabbed a normal one I had in a parts box and made an appropriate 22mm hole using the cone cutter. It fits beautifully.
 
I then moved on to fitting the 4 main switches I'll be using. These are the standard Mini Lucas switches - all new ones - headlights/sidelights, fog light, brake test switch and of course hazards. Trouble was, getting the holes cut for them posed a problem. I couldn't get the Dremel in and accurately cut the holes for them. Instead, using a Mini switch panel as a template, I drew an outline of where the switches should be then used the drill to make a chain of holes and once I had been able to remove the unwanted piece of dashboard, I tidied the rest up with a file. At least that's what SHOULD have happened. In fact what I did was to rush and not concentrate on what I was doing. i somehow managed to drill the top holes 3mm too high. So out came a piece of tape covered card, and I stuck this to the front of the dash. I then filled in the holes with resin.
 
Having finished swearing, I did some more sanding (my favourite pastime) and set everything up again. This time it went without much of a hitch, and the switches fit really nicely. I have finished it off with some more filler, as of course there were some imperfections I had missed and some problems reared their ugly heads when I had painted the dash - paint droplets I am looking at you!! It will look nicer once the dashboard has been painted. Again. I do so love doing things twice...
 
Painted dash (at least the bits I could reach) looked ok from a distance...
 
NY6i2zp.jpg
 
...but paint issues were all too apparent.
 
OUSzHev.jpg
 
I fitted a starter button.
 
LiN04FW.jpg
 
Then marked out where I wanted the switches to go.
 
rApNqSF.jpg
 
I promptly then cocked it all up and drilled in the wrong place, because I am stupid and rushed it without concentrating. I filled in the holes with resin.
 
9tcETvZ.jpg
 
I don't like chain drilling because it's a bit messy but it tidies up fine (picture taken BEFORE the filing!!)
 
3EnqnAK.jpg
 
Switches fitted. Foglight looks slightly "out" but I can assure you it looks fine head on.
 
bOFmOQG.jpg
 
And a bit more filler to tidy it up. More sanding to follow. Whoop di doo.
 
mcQPbpb.jpg


#620 MrBounce

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Posted 26 October 2020 - 08:26 PM

Quick update - new paint has arrived, so after giving the newly-filled bits a rub-down, I gave it a good wipe down before hanging it up in its corner. The new paint is a revelation by comparison. There appears to be a significantly larger amount of propellant in the can as it sprays beautifully and gave a really nice, even coverage. 
 
However, all is not quite chips and gravy. There's a couple of areas near where I sanded that are slightly raised, so more attention is needed. This is mainly due to "operator error" of the sanding block as I obviously rushed it a bit. I am sure a bit of effort and the next coat will be better.
 
A much nicer job!
 
KyYoyvY.jpg
 
Although there are a couple of very minor bits that need sorting. Should be straightforward...
 
ffmQB2k.jpg

Edited by MrBounce, 26 October 2020 - 08:28 PM.


#621 MrBounce

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 08:17 PM

I don't like teeth. Aside from them being very useful for eating, they are an utter pain if, like me, your parents have given you rubbish dental genes. These past few days I have been suffering as I've had a tooth infection, mainly brought on by the fact I lost a filling and being diabetic, I tend to acquire infections like I do car parts and tools - regularly. I cannot get a dental appointment for nearly 2 weeks, because every time the poor dentist has an appointment, they then have to deep clean everything. I feel for them, but more importantly, I feel for me, because if you've ever had a tooth infection, you'll know why. Nothing touches the pain other than antibiotics - even a local anaesthetic (please don't ask me how I know...). I don't drink either, so I can't exactly sink a bottle of vodka to try and forget about it... Still the antibiotics have kicked in, so I can at least feel relatively normal now.
 
But enough about my poxy teeth. Whilst I have been unable to do much in the garage, I have been able to shop. I kept looking at the D-shaped steering wheel I have currently and was thinking in the style of Catchphrase "it's good, but it's not right". No, what I wanted was an 80s & 90s style Mountney wheel, but I wanted something different to the usual 3-spoke design. I vaguely remembered the days of going to The Mini Shop in Enfield in the 90s and seeing a 4-spoke Mountney. Now if could find one of those... Thing is, although they used to be available, I haven't seen one for ages. I did see one on Faceache Marketplace, but it was a 100 mile round trip, and it also had the inconvenient word "Sold" next to it. So I forgot about buying "as new" and went to eBay looking for something a bit less pristine. After a few days I found one. It was a bit scruffy and scratched on its black spokes, but a bit of leather cleaner and all should be well. I only paid £13 for it so it's worth a punt. I needed a boss too, so grabbed one from Mini Spares.
 
Once I received said wheel, I took a good close look at it. The rim (unsurprisingly) needs a really good deep clean, and the spokes as previously mentioned are rather scratched up. That's not a problem for little old me though. However, the main problem is that on one of the spoked sections close to the rim, the leather had worn through to the metal. This obviously needed fixing - a lot. Still, how difficult could it be? The way these bits are put together is pretty straightforward - a small piece of metal holds the leather in place with a rivet. I drilled out the rivet and removed the bracket, before starting to remove the piece of leather. This is stuck to a small piece of aluminium. Or in this case, barely attached with a powdery substance that used to be glue. I cleaned up the small piece of metal and repainted it, before using the Dremel and getting the remaining glue residue of the aluminium plate. I then grabbed Stuart's old ripped leather coat (I knew it would come in useful sometime!) and used the old piece of leather as a template, before cutting out a piece of collar. Out came the impact adhesive and I glued the new leather to the plate. I shall wait for everything to dry properly before I rivet it all back together. Have to say though, because it looks so good, and the new leather has a different grain, I am tempted to do the other 3 as well. More later.
 
New (old) 4-spoke Mountney needs some TLC...
 
AjO8mWE.jpg
 
...especially here.
 
DYfhhDY.jpg
 
Remove this rivet
 
UVyUX6a.jpg
 
Make a template
 
pPx0R9g.jpg
 
And glue the new one on. Lovely!
 
JuhCm3y.jpg

Edited by MrBounce, 04 November 2020 - 09:11 PM.


#622 KTS

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 09:02 PM

Sorry to hear about your teeth. Maybe you should do what the Victorians did and just rip them all out and get falsies. Nice ivory ones

Steering wheel looks pretty good for the money - I'd recommend saddle soap and plenty of E45 for the rim. If it's not too cracked should come up ok

#623 MrBounce

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Posted 04 November 2020 - 09:16 PM

Sorry to hear about your teeth. Maybe you should do what the Victorians did and just rip them all out and get falsies. Nice ivory ones

Steering wheel looks pretty good for the money - I'd recommend saddle soap and plenty of E45 for the rim. If it's not too cracked should come up ok

Cheers. I thank my parents for many things but their dental genes isn't one of them! 

 

I have some leather cleaner and conditioner already so will give that a go first.  :thumbsup:  



#624 MrBounce

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 07:41 PM

Well it seems that I have done a large amount of work this afternoon and don't have an awful lot to show for it. Never mind- a sprinter won't win a marathon and all that. 
 
First up were the rest of the leather-clad end plates next to the rim. I drilled the rivets out and spent what seemed like an age cleaning up the plates from the back and the aluminium parts the leather glues to. The remains of the rivets took some work to remove from the wheel - some careful use of my mate the Dremel got the excess ground off before using suitable force with a hammer and punch to get out the last of them. I cut some pieces from some more of Stuart's old coat and out came the Evostick Impact Adhesive. Once these were drying, I masked up the steering wheel and got out the angry grinder with the wire wheel attachment. Being careful, I cleaned off all the old paint before giving it a wipe down with thinners. I then primed it ready for a new coat of Satin Black.
 
Old plates off with leather removed
 
gC8Dmcs.jpg
 
New leather ready to be stuck
 
KxZw5VP.jpg
 
Finished (they're not as wallowy as the picture makes you think)
 
r15znOO.jpg
 
Wheel masked up
 
xQLxlEQ.jpg
 
It's not black anymore
 
c3ldUwm.jpg
 
It's not silver now either...
 
vGLprU2.jpg


#625 MrBounce

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 09:02 PM

I haven't been in the garage much over the past few days - I have to admit the place is a tip and also it's cold because my garage gas heater packed up. However, a raid of the savings pot got me a new heater, and my friend gets the old one as he thinks he can fix it. His garage is colder than a polar bear's nose at the best of times so it would probably help him out. Plus I really didn't like the idea of me taking apart something powered by gas, putting it back together and expecting it to work without problems. It's probably straightforward, but I am not going to mess around with dangerous stuff I don't understand. I'd rather leave that to someone who knows what they're doing.
 
This is only a tiny update because I spent some time clearing up the main work bench as it was a complete mess. Whilst I was at it, I put loads of cans of paint back on the shelves. It was whilst doing this I figured that satin black would have been a bit too plain for the steering wheel, so I gave it a coat of the textured paint. MUCH nicer. I have also personalised the centre of the steering wheel boss. As the car is called Project Zippy, what better than a picture of the 70s icon he was named after? I bought a pin badge with Zippy's picture, stripped out the innards and tapped the edge flat. I then glued it on to the centre of the boss. You would never know it was once a pin badge - it fits perfectly.
 
A bit of texture. A big improvement.
 
fKGnpUf.jpg
 
And in the words of Zippy himself, "HELLO EVERYBODY!"
 
0FSe8PK.jpg


#626 MrBounce

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Posted 19 November 2020 - 08:55 PM

Grabbed another hour after work today. I fixed the wheel to the boss and then set about cleaning up the rim. The leather cleaner I had was not very effective, so I thought a bit laterally. Once I had gently scraped off the paint that was on the leather (I think someone must have painted something white near to the wheel at some point), I set about it with something that I knew would work, and was simple, cheap and easy: Boot polish. I gave it a good going over and it's come up beautifully. I still need to feed the leather, but for now I am pretty pleased. I then riveted the end pieces back on and put the centre cap in. It's not perfect - there are a few nicks and scrapes on the rim, but it cost less than a cheap steak dinner at the pub and if I wanted it to look perfect I would have bought a new one.  Another job ticked off.
 
Mid-way through cleaning. Already starting to look good...
 
IkaJcAW.jpg
 
...thanks to good ol' boot polish.
 
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What it looks like now. Lovely.
 
hqkzmYr.jpg


#627 Mini-Mad-Craig

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 11:19 AM

Dashboard is looking great! 



#628 MrBounce

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 05:55 PM

As I was dealing with the dashboard end of the car, I figured that I may as well put the indicator & wiper stalks on, so I got them out of storage. When I sprayed the car I had put everything away in boxes and bags and assumed that everything would be safe. I had obviously missed something though, as the stalks had overspray on them. I needed to spend a while cleaning them up. Nevertheless, as they were mostly new, it was a really easy fit - just line them up with the indentations on the column, slide them into place and do up the screw.
 
I then grabbed the column shrouds which had been in the same box. Yup, you guessed it - lots more orange. A huge amount in fact. I can only guess that the box itself was overpacked which had forced the top to pop open without me knowing. These were treated to a rub down, clean up and a coat of textured paint.
 
Moving on to the dashboard itself, I wanted to get rid of the imperfections I'd identified - this included high and low spots plus the spatter pattern of the poor paint I'd used before. Much sanding occurred (yeehaa...) followed by a little bit off Dolphin Glaze to sort the low spots. Once I'd finished this bit I figured it'd be worthwhile to actually test fit it to see what was what. And guess what? It did not fit. After putting in the dash surround, it turned out there was no clearance at the bottom of the dash rail on the car - the brackets were fouling. 
 
Never mind, have Dremel, will use it. There wasn't much that needed removing - about 1/2" is all. I therefore created a HUGE amount of dust and chopped out the offending section, making sure I used my "Bane" mask so I didn't line my lungs with fibreglass dust. Once done, I checked for a second time. It fitted, but I ran into a second problem, again, clearance related and again of my own doing. The bolts where the heater is attached did not allow any clearance for the switches. I didn't like how they were mounted anyway - a diagonal bolt with angled spacer was far from ideal. I fixed this by removing them one at a time before elongating the holes in the heater bracket. By doing this I was able to bolt them vertically and flipped the bolts - this resulted in a LOT more room. I may revise this arrangement slightly in case I need to remove the heater. I really don't want to have to remove the entire dashboard in order to get a spanner on them. Still, it gives me plenty of ideas to mull over.
 
Stalks on, after a good cleaning session.
 
RCFWZEQ.jpg
 
Column shrouds were far more orange than they should have been...
 
4AnjxZB.jpg 
 
...so they were rubbed down and re-painted in textured paint.
 
3FNE7bZ.jpg
 
Dashboard given a once over, sand and more filler
 
8iWizTE.jpg
 
New instruments wouldn't fit thanks to this little lip
 
M9NBQbw.jpg
 
Choppy choppy
 
NUKWoZP.jpg
 
Then these awful things were in the way...
 
mvFpZgS.jpg
 
...so they were re-angled and all fits nicely again.
 
NjZcJeg.jpg





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