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Old Jan 13 2019, 07:32 PM   #4744
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Zelandeth's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Milton Keynes
Gender: M
Fan of: Dragonsdawn
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Default Re: What is happening

Have a couple of updates from during the recent database error downtime... I've made a couple of pretty huge steps forward with Project Invacar.

Wednesday 9th January.

So we've made a start on the bodywork.

I've not done any real work with fibreglass like this before so it's an exercise in experimentation. Main target at this stage is "presentable at twenty paces and acceptable at the MOT.". I'm under no illusions that I won't wind up reworking this at some point in the future. Someone is currently looking at the possibility of making some moulds as well so it's entirely possible that repair sections may become available a year or two down the line too.

We started with this.

Which when I left the garage this evening looked like this.

Still scruffy by any standards, but scruffy is preferable to missing, so feels like progress.

Definitely reverting to the application method I've seen a friend using though (wetting the mat in a tray then applying that to the bodywork rather than holding the mat in place and "painting" over it) as doing it the way illustrated on the tin was a gigantic pain in the tail as the mat even when properly wetted through was far more interested in sticking to the brush than the bodywork.

Also highlighted how well insulated from the house our garage isn't. The whole house now stinks to high heaven of resin.


Saturday 12th January.

Was expecting a couple of parts for the Invacar in the post yesterday. Still waiting for them...however something far more exciting turned up instead.

They were all scrapped in 2003, and we all know once that happens the car is doomed, right?

Had expected this to require far more arguing with the DVLA, however all that wound up being required was a V62, a cheque for £25, a covering letter and a bundle of photos showing the car as a whole and the chassis, body and engine numbers.

Suffice to say, having the V5C turn up is a massive step forward. It however can't just be taxed like need to do this first...

[] Fill in section 7 on the V5.
- Wheel plan/body type, change from "invalid vehicle/not recorded" to "3-wheel/tricycle."
- Engine size, 493cc. They all show 9999cc as that seems to be the default value the system put in when the records were digitised if the field was blank.
- Engine number, self explanatory.
- Number of seats, 1.
- Tax class, change "disabled" to "historic."

[] Go to Post Office. Have them change the tax class there (no MOT needed, V112 exemption certificate is sufficient). They retained the V5C for onward transmission directly to the DVLA.

So for the first time since at least 2001, she is taxed.

Then rang up my insurer (Hagerty) to get it on cover (all of £50 a year), as I wanted to take the van off cover as it's laid up for winter wound up getting a nice little refund.

So now the only thing between it and the road is my own to do list...suffice to say this should make for a good incentive to get my tail in gear and finish it.

Lack of requiring an MOT is a bonus (it will still get one) as it will mean the first testing can be gently trundling around our neighborhood rather than a mad dash all the way across town to the MOT centre.

The evening task was to reattach the nearside gutter...job done.

The self tapping screws are temporary, nuts and bolts will be used - I discovered after applying the sealant that I couldn't fit the rivet gun in, so needed to find a way to hold the gutter on while the sealant set.


Saturday 12th Jan Evening Additional report.

Turns out my determination to get the trim panel above the windscreen off was well founded given this is what greeted me when I finally drilled out the seized screw and got it off.

Thankfully the occupants were no longer present and as I've seen no other evidence of them I'm happy to believe that they're gone.

Annoyingly I'll need to pick up a second 1/8" Whitworth spanner to get the heater control box (for painting) and the windscreen demister assembly (to ensure it's free of rodent nests and to improve the degree to which it's sealed as a heap of air currently exits in unhelpful directions). So that's a job for the future.

This is what the trim panel looked like with the rotten cloth and foam removed.

Once I've managed to remove the adhesive (and the remaining sun visor hinge) it will be given a coat of hammered finish black paint. I reckon that will look as though it was as intended by the factory. The original cloth actually looks oddly out of place I think.

The bolts I'd planned to use on the roof gutters unfortunately have heads too big to fit in the channel. I'll try to find something more appropriate tomorrow. That's not a massively high priority.

Nice little package of stuff arrived this morning.

That's a fuel gauge sender, new air filter (finally!) and one of the later Curtis/Veglia fuel gauges. So irrespective of which type of sender is in the box I should be able to make that work. Also means I can now take measurements of the sender unit and send those to the gent who is making the fuel tank for me.

Probably get tyres ordered this week...the first test run (even though it will just be a third of a mile loop round our neighborhood) is getting tantalisingly close now...


Sunday 13th January.

I think it's fair to say that the old air filter was "due for replacement" on this occasion...

Much better.

The rest of the day's tasks came under the heading of "unexciting but important" given the steadily approaching point at which I'll want to venture beyond the end of the driveway.

The driver's seat still had the seat belt buckle and pretensioner assembly from its previous life in a Xantia attached. This was annoying in that I repeatedly sat on it when climbing aboard and that it got in the way of the seat belt. So that got removed (anyone need a spare for an S2 Xantia?). This meant that it was time to remove the original mangled seat belt buckle though - which I was staggered to find actually unbolted without too much protest.

Obviously that was destined only for the bin!

Nice new old stock eye bolt was installed...

Which finally meant I could clip the seatbelt into place correctly.

The seatbelt now in a functional state I figured it made sense to sort the seat itself next. The main issue I had was that it wobbled because the clamps I'd used to secure the seat to the original framework were slightly too big - so I ran out of thread on the bolts before everything was properly secured. It couldn't actually *go* anywhere, just wobbled by a couple of millimetres.

I suddenly had the brainwave telling me that I didn't actually need to replace the clamps, instead just stick a few washers under the securing nuts to act as spacers, giving me the extra 1.8" or so of thread I needed. Worked perfectly, and the seat is now more securely fastened in place than the original was I reckon.

Knowing I was done with messing for that for now I drilled a couple of holes in and reattached the trim that used to be on the side of it, hiding the somewhat ugly mounting hardware from the nearside.

Having a seat that doesn't go "clonk" alarmingly every time you sit down and having a working seatbelt definitely seem things it was worth ticking off the to do list.

The eagle eyed among you might have spotted in the above photo that the offside interior door release has also been refitted.

Nothing I've thrown at it so far has any impact on the glue from the sun visor trim panel, so looks like that will need to be removed by brute force and an andle grinder.

The absolutely disgusting sun visor (I'm not kidding, it was gross)...

Cleaned up quite nicely overnight with a trip through my "parts washer" so is now ready to be refitted once the panel it attaches to is ready.

I didn't want to tackle the brake pipes while the car is in the garage as having access to all sides of the car will make that a fair bit easier, so might try to pull it out the garage and do that tomorrow if the weather co-operates.

I've been struggling a bit psychologically this last few weeks so have generally been trying to keep myself busy.

Nearly forgot! The Sinclair C5 has had the first trip out of the year now.

Much to the confusion of everyone we met as always.

What I had totally forgotten until a friend mentioned it in a response to a photo I posted on Twitter was that the tenth of January (day this was taken) was the 34th anniversary of the launch of the C5. As always, find myself wondering if I'll ever cross paths with another one out there one day.

Last edited by Zelandeth; Jan 13 2019 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Added additional content
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