Post by King Fisher on Dec 20, 2012 10:45:14 GMT 10
My New (Old) drop axle turned up yesterday arvo after some time in the Engineering shop. I can hear the purists shouting already "MODIFIED!!! NOOOOO!!!". I imagine that the usual comment would be to "keep the axles and brakes as original as possible" and to not change them. Well there was originally no brakes so we needed to fit some anyway for safety reasoning, and we couldn't get one of the bearings as it was such an odd size and no longer available anywhere. So we took the axle and got some new modern stumps professionally welded on with super strong welds, and the brake hardware mounted. For interest sake the original axle was constructed the same way with stumps welded on the end of the bent pieces. These new stumps take standard sized bearings so no worries for many years to come. Originally I was planing to use hydraulic disk brakes however after a bit of research I felt that the cable option was more reliable and more maintenance free. Also I have a preference to disk brakes as they are far easier to change the pads than drums and provide far more breaking power should it ever be needed. Always been a fan of disk brakes ;D. Sorry to the purists.
Post by King Fisher on Dec 30, 2012 8:56:21 GMT 10
Been a busy time over Christmas. The windows have been finished and have just been fitted yesterday..
The original hinges have been refitted to the windows with new J channel gutters above the windows, with Bl....y! straight screws for visual appeal (Sorry but I love the philips screws).
I had to replace the broken piece of glass in the front window. I'm kind of suspecting that this may be a regular event... Given the size of the front window.
Once again my lovely wiffie hammered on the beading around the glass as I really don't have the patience to do it.
In between the fitting of the windows we also finished off the fly wire screens and assembled them all ready to fit back again.
Smoko for some
Finally all the windows and screens are done... Woo Hoo!
Fitted pull handles and slide bolts to each of the windows so that they can be securely and firmly closed for traveling.
The paint was cleaned off the glass
Refitted the old filler point, after painting it green. (I know the side strips still need a final coat to finish them off properly)
Sadly I haven't got around to her knee reconstruction yet as she's still a bit leg less. However I have nearly finished painting the axle and all the bits needed to put her legs back together. Also all the wood under the van has now been painted and only the metal needs painting now.
Post by King Fisher on Jan 7, 2013 16:55:01 GMT 10
Well we're not finished yet, however the light in the tunnel is getting a bit brighter now. Soon I will put the fly wire screens on the windows. Should then start to look a bit more finished.
Over the holiday beak I started pulling the door apart. Firstly removing the hardware.
Unfortunately the top of the door has suffered a tiny bit of water damage and the outer ply had begun to de-laminate. I was hoping to get away with simply removing and replacing the outer ply while keeping the inner frame intact.
One of the interesting features of this door is the inner door which hinges down, not sideways like most inner doors.
So I started to carefully remove the outer ply off the frame
Then suddenly the whole thing basically exploded apart. All the nails had rusted away and only the glue on the outer ply was keeping the frame together.
Looks like no shortcuts, so I will now have to make a door... Reassembled all the pieces and took some measurements before heading out the back to the green shed for some new wood.
The only part salvageable was the inner door which I will use in the new door, in exactly the same fashion. Wiffie cleaned off the old paint and sanded it back for me.
Thanks again wiffie.
Also over the break my lovely mother has started the sewing of the seat covers for the foam cushions inside the van.
This colour was chosen as it was very similar to the original cushions and the pattern was close to the original style although a little different.
Post by jenniewren on Jan 20, 2013 11:26:07 GMT 10
Amazing transformation.....well done guys....so impressed with your workmanship & dedication. Very satisfying isn't it? Love the colours you have chosen...very "fresh" looking....can't wait to see the finished product...J
Post by King Fisher on Jan 21, 2013 10:35:17 GMT 10
Thanks. It's getting there slowly, more like a pause at the moment though... I must agree seeing things come together and the hard work starting to pay off is extremely satisfying. I have to agree these are fresh colors, and they make the van feel very homely, and comfortable. The bluey green was picked as a fairly retro color with a slight modern tint to take away the bawk factor of some of the old colors ;D ;D. I love the bluey green color. Can't wait to take her camping.
Post by King Fisher on Mar 19, 2013 13:16:10 GMT 10
After a bit of a break for Christmas and a trip to Vietnam I'm finally getting stuck back into Bessie. Last weekend I was scrounging through dad's collection of vintage car parts when I found an old Amp meter out of a 1954 'Ford 10'. Which dad had wrecked years ago in his early 20s. I also found some parts to reco a red indicator light. It took a great part of the weekend to pull apart and clean the old Amp meter, returning it to it's former glory. Traditionally the brass mounting plate was hidden behind the dash panel but I cleaned it up as it would also be visible. I carefully cut out a new gasket for the bezel, and reassembled the meter. I was intending to put it on the already crowded fuse/switch board so you can see the charging/discharging of the battery. The red indicator I have another use for it.
The indicator light had a melted red lens so I scrounged some more and found a red plastic thing and cut the end off to make a new lens.
After a bit of thinking I thought it was too nice to hide away in the cupboard so I decided to mount the meter and indicator light near the door. Just above the existing switch for the side lights, and in an easy to get to spot for the wiring behind. It may be a little low bit it keeps it nicely out of the way. The indicator light will be connected to a hidden circuit which will light the light when the battery level is getting low.
Because of these changes I am now rewiring the 12v fuse board and the battery compartment
Post by King Fisher on Mar 20, 2013 11:11:31 GMT 10
Yes the straight slots have to align horizontally, where I have used them, otherwise it drives me crazy. However I am by no means a purist when it comes to screws as I have used the good ones in some places. Slot screws and I are not friends...
Post by King Fisher on Mar 23, 2013 20:20:45 GMT 10
Installed the LED light inside the Red Indicator and hooked it up to the circuit which monitors the battery level and adjusted the threshold for the red light to illuminate. The indicator light gives a dim orange glow when the battery level is ok and glows more brightly red when the battery is low.
Pulled apart my pump so that I could make a gasket to seal the two halves as they have a slight leak. Looks like originally it just relied on the two machined surfaces to make the seal between the top and bottom pieces.
Marked out the gasket paper and cut out the new gasket
Applied some form-a-gasket gunk and reassembled the pump
Re-installed the pump body into it's hole and plumbed it up. I also installed a one way valve in the inlet line to keep the prime in the pump as the valves are a bit tired and slowly leak
Put the front cover on and temporarily used p-screws till I can find some new slot ones to hold the body to the wall
Tried the pump out. A bit squeaky (maybe very squeaky) but worked ok.
I decided to try filling a 2 litre container with water to see how practical the hand pump was. Well after what seemed like forever pumping the water it eventually filled, then I felt like collapsing in exhaustion. Seriously thinking about an electric pump with a switch.
Post by King Fisher on Mar 24, 2013 7:17:41 GMT 10
I get the hint... ;D. I will stay with the hand pump . But it is a bit of a workout to operate. Even if I was to put an electric pump in the hand pump will also stay and the switch would be very discrete. Was just thinking about ease of use for later when we are using the van all the time.
Good on ya mate...... I hoped a subtle hint would do the trick and encourage you to reconsider . We technical types should exercise restraint when restoring vintage stuff.............................................................. I think
Got stuck back into Bessie over the Easter break. Did a lot of little jobs and installed the axle and breaks. We also got nearly all the fly wire screens back on.
Painting the strips for the outside of the van. I have decided to re use the original strips even though they have some character marks.
The big job over the few days was to reinstall the leaf springs and the axle. We reused the original leaf springs as they were still in good condition and installed the new axle with disk brakes.
Packed the bearings and installed the hubs
Squeezed some grease into the grease nipples and greased it all up.
I ruffly sat one of the new wheels in place to see how it looks with the smaller rims. I think I will have to make some spats soon...
A few shots showing the disk brakes
Sadly my hard working wiffie is away at the moment. She has had to fly home to Vietnam to take care of her sick mother for a while. So we have a surrogate wiffie who is standing in for her while she is away.
Surrogate wiffie sitting inside the van supervising the work outside.
My friend came around and was having a great time chatting with wiffie
The fly wire screens were put back on all except the front window.
Placed some roller catches on one half of the hatch screens. Originally when you opened up the hatch screen both halves would drop down at the same time. So I put some old style roller catches onto one half of the screen so that the second half doesn't drop till you pull it down. Makes it a lot easier to use the hatch screens.
The finished roof screens
All in all it's starting to look more finished now that the screens are on
Post by King Fisher on Apr 30, 2013 16:21:00 GMT 10
Over the last couple of weekends I have been working on the front window and front of Bessie. It is now coming down to a final few big jobs and many little fiddly jobs. The window and screen don't fit particularly evenly compared to the side of the van.
So the first job was to fill the angled gap between the screen and the wall with an angled piece of wood. After much work getting the wood to shape and size it fitted in the gap perfectly.
Just like on the other side windows I added a bead of wood on the inside of the window ledge to stop the draft and weather getting in. Much the same as the wooden windows in a house are done.
Put some panel pieces at the side of the front window to finish off
Put the old (painted up) side trims back on the front half of the van and the new gutter above the window.
Painted in the new wood and just needs one more final coat
Dad popped in to have a look at the adaptor plate for the new tow hitch and to have a look at what we can do about a gas bottle mount. The draw bar is too small to fit a standard BBQ bottle in the middle and the over run hitch. We think we will use two bottles which is not only overkill as I'm only running a stove off them but it will allow a space in the middle for the hitch to operate without hitting the bottle.
And he took away the old jockey wheel. The plan is to use the old body and fit a new wheel. Keeping with the character of the the old, but I am thinking we will fit a rubber wheel though.
This last weekend I finally got motivated to look at getting the door made. I borrowed dad's thicknesser and planed the wood to suit the correct sizes. Originally the vertical pieces were made up of two pieces of wood joined together to crate the width required. My replacement is done with a wider single piece sized up to the old width. The horizontal pieces came off the nature strip up the road when one of the houses replaced their roof and the roof batons, after hail damage, a few years ago.
Checking the size, perfect...
Finished the assembly of the frame
The purists out there may have noticed that I have not done it the old way... sorry... Before the door was assembled with squiggly 1 inch long nail strips. So far I have not had any luck with using these squiggly joining strips , so I have instead joined the wood with liquid nails and staples , employing a more modern approach. So far it appears to be strong enough.