Painting the Titanic

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That’s how I felt yesterday as I popped rust-killer on to the various bits of rust I thought were worthy of the effort. Or which might not get fixed ‘properly’. Or which are a bit more than surface but less than through-and-through so might (or in some cases, do) need filler.

Distressingly, it turned out that the filler fairy’d already popped around, leaving an unfortunate gift:

Rear window corner

I’m told that, ironically, rear and front windscreen pillars are no-longer failable points on the MOT due to a ‘failure to include it as a failable point in the MOT Computerisation Software’. Which means that technically we could apply filler to it. It’s not very widespread so I may consider that option, but I’ll talk to the welder first. I’d much prefer to have that corner welded up properly.
At any rate, I plodded through various jobs – I worked out why the poor benighted thing couldn’t get up on the ramps from a stand still – the back brakes are completely siezed on. Unfortunately, on the DAF they’re splined on to the drive-shaft (see, my problem is I compare everything to the Minor, and were an automatic / variomatic minor available, I’d so love Kathryn to have that, because the Minor is simply a delight to work on. And I’d not realised how much of a delight until I worked on other cars) unlike on the minor. This means that to extract them requires a hub-puller. I don’t have one of them.

I did, however, attempt the fairly traditional ‘beat the crap out of them with a rubber mallet’ – which achieved almost as little as you might expect it to achieve when they’re that siezed. I played with the adjusters, and attempted (unsuccessfully) to rotate the wheels. Eventually I gave this up as a bad job, but it’s lucky that I looked, because lurking underneath Jejy I found more MOT chalk. Not a lot more, but a bit that’s close to a suspension mount (I don’t think it actually does anything terribly exciting structurally, which is frustrating). It’s also close to the petrol tank and so is a bit of a pig, because it means that I’ll be asking the welder to do some more bits which I wasn’t intending to ask for.

A hole

It’s about a 2″x2″ square of metal which has rusted away – probably due to the hideous rear window leaks.

The rest of the car though (and I maintain this) seems surprisingly sound.

Unfortunately, post my fiddling I found that the hazard lights, which I’d worked so long to fix, only worked briefly because the entire electrical system then died. After a great deal of effort and an award winning battle to the death with this screw

A knackered screw

I managed to remove the regulator and complete my clean of all the open connectors on the vehicle. That leaves only the ones which are in the dash or contained within a plastic connector of some sort. I was incredibly good, even removing each and every wire from the fusebox, cleaning the connector and putting it back together.

This obviously didn’t actually fix the problem – oh no – the problem turned out to be that the +ve lead wasn’t connecting (somehow) – or more accurately, it was connecting well enough to give readings of 12V until the thing was loaded – then the resistance obviously broke down the votlage enough that it all just didn’t work.

It does now though, and the hazards work, and the hazard light tell-tale works, and the horn… the car started and ran, the sills are in and ready to be welded on when the old ones are cut off and I’m just waiting for ‘er to be collected.

Waiting is a struggle though, ‘cos I woke up at 420 am due to hayfever and haven’t slept since.


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at