Rear Uprights completed

Well, after quite a few months, I finaly got the rear uprights back complete with new pivot rods and the lower wishbone assembled. The new pivot pins were eventually made from EN16 steel bar turned to 13mm diameter and threaded to 1/2″ UNF. The 13mm was needed to match the holes in the uprights which had to be reamed to 13mm to clean up the corrosion left after drilling out the old pivot pins. With oversize pivot pins, the inner tubes of the polybushes needed to be replaced with 13mm ID tube which we sourced in Stainless 316 grade.

The pins in this picture still need to be shortened for cosmetic effect but the hard part has been done and the rear suspension can now be reassembled so that a rolling chassis is not too far away. The uprights themselves have been bead-blasted but there is still some pitting and marking on them so I’m considering giving them a coat of paint (grey or white) to smarten them up.
Whilst waiting for the uprights to get finished, I cleaned and painted the drive shafts and replaced the UJ’s. I found a good source of GKN manufactured items advertised for the Landrover Defender but with exactly the right dimensions of 27mm OD for the bearing cup and 70mm cross dimension.

I also managed to source new gaiters and dust covers from Triumph Stag suppliers but will fit these to the drive shafts during assembly to the vehicle.
The hood frame parts also came back from the powder coaters this month but whilst they took every effort to mask off the holes for the bushes and the screws it looks like I may have some rework here to get the clearances right before reassembly.

Whilst at the Castle Combe Classic and Sports Car Action Day at the end of June I noticed that the Jensen Healey had almost identical hood frame parts. In particular, the hinge plate is identical so I will check the owner’s club to see whether these parts are still available. Interestingly, the hinge plate is not removeable on the Jensen so they don’t have the mounting socket for the hinge plate. However, these have come up well with the powder coating so I’m not looking to replace those.

The door hinges came back from Adrian Venn looking good as he did his usual excellent job of re-pinning them. These won’t be going on for a long while yet but at least it’s another job out of the way and one less thing to worry about.

The bad news that I read in the June issue of Sprint was that Steve Heath Engineering Ltd has ceased trading. This was so that Steve could proceed with his PhD at the University of Bedfordshire. This left me a bit in the lurch since he still had the ARB drop links to modify for me. I finally managed to get in touch with him though and he has confirmed that he now has all the parts to complete the rework and that he will honour his committment on this – phew!

There were a few other jobs being progressed whilst waiting for the rear uprights and this included analysing the wiring loom so that I can get the bits on order to make up a new loom. Again, this isn’t needed for a long time but I had started to strip the instruments from the dash board and got interested in the dash wiring loom and one thing led to another….
Whilst removing the instruments from the dashboard (so that I could store them safely to avoid damage), I managed to drop the Rev Counter onto the concrete garage floor which dented the bezel and broke the glass – great! I was wanting to replace the bezels anyway since they were a bit corroded and after a bit of internet searching I managed to find original spec mat black bezels (most on offer are chrome) and eventually also found a supplier for the glass. Replacing the glass and bezels was pretty straightforward but I had noticed when taking the old ones off that there was some sort of sealant behind the bezel. Talking to the glass supplier (who also rebuilds instruments) he said that this was a special material and process that Smiths had developed and is difficult to replicate and so recommended reassembly without a seal – hope he’s right!

I had also been searching for a long while for new warning lamp holders since the originals have corroded chrome surrounds. The search had thrown up quite a few suppliers offering lamp holders using a lens with concentric rings but the originals had a hexagon pattern which I think looks better so was hoping to find a source. I did find that Holdens stocked them in green since this was used on BSA motorbikes but they didn’t stock the other colours. Whilst stripping the dash, I noticed that the rectangular brake warning lampholder was also looking a bit sad and so did a bit more internet searching for a replacement. This turned up a small moulding company making mainly replacement Morgan parts and to my delight found that they also do the “jewel” warning lamp holders in all the colours! Another (small) problem solved.
But back to the wiring – being electronically inclined, I decided to redraw the wiring diagram in the 1976 3000M owners manual. As well as correcting some mistakes ( e.g. the brake warning light is connected to earth on both sides so would never work!) and omitting bits not fitted to a 3000S (like the heated rear screen wiring) I decided to draw this up more like a loom drawing than a logical schematic. In other words, I tried to include all the actual physical connection points so that I could understand how the loom would need to be reconstructed. This turned out to be a fair bit of work and would have been a better job for the dark winter evenings but will be very helpful once complete. I’m almost there so will post again once complete with some examples.

Finally, a bit more bling this month when I came across some original Wolfrace wheel centres. My orignals are dented and corroded and although they might be retrievable with a bit of panel beating and polishing I took the chance to buy some new ones. They are not identical to the originals but with a TVR sticker in the middle they should be the proverbial dog’s doodah’s once I’ve got the wheels cleaned and polished!

Next month, rolling chassis pictures – promise!


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