A Californian drying out in South Africa

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African Imp
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A Californian drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:04 pm

An update:

A year later and I have just fitted a Bosch 35 amp alternator! :D

September 24th 2017, so Heritage Day in South Africa :D

I am now well past the three years mark with this so called 'restoration' , in truth the car could well be called complete but I keep either adding or changing things.

Right now I have an issue with the new shocks at the front, the rubber mounts are not firm enough and they are touching the stub axle bolt hex head.

It may be the car will never be finished, I hope not! :D


July 10th 2017:

I note that The Imp Clubs Chairman reports in the July 2017 issue of Impressions that there are just 69 Imp Californian Imp recorded by the DVLA.
That number does not include my own car, nor does it include cars that are hidden away someplace :)

July 5th 2017:

The car has now been back in my ownership three years today :D

Friday 9th June, pages have passed 160 now, with more than 120,000 views.
I would have thought the subject topic would have dried up by now but many new items come to mind, so the thread continues/
There is also an ARCC certificate on the car now, it is in the post, will it arrive?
The Imp Club Chairman has also supplied me with valuation on the car for my local classic car insurance company. :D :D :D Imp027



Monday 27th February 2017, there are now some 76,000 views and 150 pages posted!

Friday 3rd of February 2017 and the car turns fifty years old, how remarkable !

Sunday 15th January and this thread has now seen over 70,000 views, what a pleasure :D

Sunday January 1st 2017, the car moves into a third year back in my care :D

Happy New year to everyone!

We have passed into February, in fact there is just one week left of it.

Views of this thread have reached 60,000, we are also onto page 137 as well :D

Its now October 1st, the year has flown it seems?

Since my last update I have fitted a near new set of Monte Carlo road springs but added shims to raise the car about a half inch and reduce the negative camber some.

Today its Saturday and I have just tightened the 7/16" nut on the lower steering rod to the rack, I was getting movement at the steering wheel, that's up and down, ok now.

I have also taken the rear brake drums off to inspect and clean them, one side, the drivers side has been binding some, over adjusted by me of course.

September 9th 2016.

I have now upgraded the car with some of Colin Valentines front disc brakes, I had them from the 1967 Singer Chamois, which when it was sold last year I removed the disc brakes.

I have also fitted Ford Fiesta track rod ends to both sides of the car, the steering was then computer set, this was today.

There are also some LED lights to the rear of the car, even the indicators, I was told that you could not get the flashers to work with an LED bulb, that seems not to be the case?

I notice the pages of this thread are now at 125 and an astonishing 50,000 plus views have happened. :D

August 28th 2016 and I see the views have now passed the 50,000 marks, Wow!

August 23rd 2016, I have now published some 6000 posts, Gosh! :D

August 15th 2016, we are now into year two and I notice that today we have reached 49,000 views :D Imp027

July 25th 2016, we have just passed the remarkable views total of 47,000, we are also onto page number 119, with more to come I hope ? :D

July 5th 2016, the car has now been back with me exactly two years, I was never sure how long it would take or how much the rebuild would cost, I do now :D Imp027

June 5th 2016:

I have now re owned my car for some 23 months :D

May 5th 2016:

The car has been at the motor trimmers some two weeks now but public holidays has robbed them of a few days working time.

I will visit the car tomorrow and see if they have the new headliner in?

April 20th 2016:

I am now waiting for the special trailer which we will load the car onto, then its off to the other side of Cape Town and the motor trimmers for the head liner and carpets to be fitted :)

April 04 2016, we now have some 37,000 views and I have somehow posted to 100 pages, many with pictures which I feel tell the story at least as well if not better than words.

The car is going really well, as fast as I can remember, just a pesky crank scroll leak to sort out, if its a partial blockage it may sort itself out?

March 23 2016, progress has slowed as I drive the car more than work on it now, that is the idea I guess?

This forum thread has grown some, its now reached page 96 and with thirty six thousand plus views, sort of an amazing event.
My thanks to the forum moderators for allowing me the space to expand the thread as I have progressed.
I see I have made over 5000 posts too :D

The new head liner and carpets are next, only then can the window glass go back in and the stainless trims fitted on the car window rubbers :D

It is now January 16th 2016, so we are into a new year and the car is still progressing towards completion.

I am finding myself down to smaller items, recently it was to make the cars glove box door close properly, yes, a Californian was not supplied with a glove box, mine came from a Singer Chamois or similar?

I have also re sprayed the offside rear wing, then compound polished most of the car, its giving good results too.

Some other smaller items have been to fit a better brake pedal rubber, I will get new ones next week, also I now find that the drivers vent light window will open.

That was fitted last year and really did not want to work properly, yesterday while cleaning the two vent light rubbers with Fluid Film (lanolin) I found I was then able to open the drivers side one, progress indeed.

I have also spent time spray injecting anti rust fluids into as many spaces I can find.

The car has been booked in for a new head liner and the much needed carpets, that work may be done in February?

All in all it can be said that the car is well on its way to being as near finished as I would want it?



Wedensday July 8th 2015, that is an entire year passed since I got the car back home :)

The restoration is now on hold pending some other Important works that need to be completed on something else, I will get back to the 1967 Hillman Imp Californian soon enough and with luck when our winter has passed and things get warmer, mind you its been tee shirt weather many days recently :D

Imp027 Back home an entire year and I think looking much better for it.

Sunday, June 7th 2015, the rear and front windows went back in, marking some eleven (11) months since the car came back into my ownership and I started the rebuild :D Imp027 now with windows.

May 7th 2015, nine months now, the car can be driven and is most days, some works on the house mean that the workshops saw bench needs access, this means the Californian has to be moved away from the bench.

Work should start on painting the wheel arches in the morning ( 14/05/15) and then its onto the next task on the list ( there is none)

Friday, May Day 1st 2015.

Another month has passed, there has been progress an many fronts :D

The new upholstery is fitted on a trial basis, it will all be removed in the morning and re wrapped in the plastic bagging that the upholsterers supplied their works in, then they are packed away pending my finishing of the paint works.

March 31st 2015.

Its now around eight months since the car was back home with me again, most of the work done on the car has been recorded in the forum pages that follow, now 34 of them and I am far from finished.

The car is now a driver and all systems work, only the cars glazing and windscreen wipers remain to be fitted before its a closed car again, that will be done after the re trim and new interior is fitted :D Imp027

We took delivery of the 1967 Imp Californian just a week back, since which time we have had lots of rain as its still winter over here.

Both the front and rear screens leak some, the back one being bad enough to leave a pool of water on the rear parcel shelf.

Today the sun is out and with the car parked on the back lawn and all doors open, the car dried out plenty fast.

I went and bought some Den Braven clear silicone, the type thats ok to use on damp surfaces, so if any moisture still existed the silicone would
still bond well. It has a 15 year life expectancy and is named All Round Sealant, made in Holland?
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:49 pm

African Imp wrote:and is named All Round Sealant, made in Holland?
Reminds me of an advert I read a few years ago for a Bubble Car for sale, it said that was good "all round" condition.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:36 pm

The Nun, will my repairs work?

Seems will will know around thursday as the weather report says lots of rain on that day, summer is not quite here it seems :(
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:04 pm

The car is of course now nice and dry, I removed all the carpets and most of the floor coverings, seat backs and what was over the rear parcel shelf, looks
a mess but its sound :)
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A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:07 pm

Looking for what was a really much nicer shade of red I was pleased to find a spare set of door pockets that came off the car prior to it being resprayed last time.

The new paint was never quite right, the paint inside the passenger door pocket is! Imp027
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:12 pm

The discovery that my 1967 Hillman Californian was for sale comes down to an Imp Club member seeing the car posted on Gumtree Cape Town.

I would never have known and the car may have gone elsewhere :(

Rob contacted me and the rest is now happy history :) he saw the car in the real today for the first time whenhe called on me to discuss the rebuild of his own 1971 Hillman Imp Deluxe I am working on Imp003

The last two pictures were the ones posted on Gumtree some weeks back.

The others are with Rob and the car today.

My thanks to Rob for telling me that the car was available, not so simple to buy it for a number of reasons but the car is now back in my own name and licenced to June 2015 :D
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by The Nun » Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:12 pm

You have to be careful with Gumtree, several people I know have come unstuck using it, somethings are not what they seem from the ad, it appears.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:56 am

The Nun wrote:You have to be careful with Gumtree, several people I know have come unstuck using it, somethings are not what they seem from the ad, it appears.
The Nun,

How right you are!

Mind you I have made some good sales and purchases via Gumtree, this includes the sale of the Imp Californian and as the seller was the same person offering the car for sale, matching email and phone numbers etc, I was fine with this deal, I went to view it first of course.

Then again we need to be wide awake, just a few days back I posted a Canon G1 X camera on Gumtree, check the results, still unsold by the way.

I had posted the nine month old camera at R3750, that's about half price of the new one?

This is the advert http://www.gumtree.co.za/a-digital-came ... 0173622909

This was one reply.

Okay,thank,am going to buy it for my friend in africa and it is going to be birthday gift and I will be paying you R3740 and R1000 for the shipment.

This was a second.

Alright I hope its in good condition and you still have the box,but
I'm out of the state now and I'm interested in buying the item for
my friend as gift and I will be offering you additional $200 for the
postage,so can you ship?


Both on Gmail accounts but very possibly from the same source, one chaser to the other etc, I demanded cash and in Rands, our local currency, that brought silence.

A friend commented that this was common and mainly ex the USA, you take the order in good faith, post the goods off and the so called 'Buyer' does a reverse on the payment :( :x Imp027 this is still my car!

And from Justin who is a car fan:

This is happening all the time – radio swop-shops full of it. Golden rule is foreign offers almost always scams, and one must never let the item go until the cash is in your account by EFT or hard cash received. And when I say in your account it must be cleared funds, not deposits pending clearance like cheques, as these get reversed. What a world we live in now……
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A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:39 pm

Yes, again and here in Cape Town, we had rains which were biblical this last week or so and yet Rob up in Swellendam saw not a drop and the farmers need some for the sweetcorn that they have half grown.

The 1967 Californian needs new front a rear glass rubbers, some duct tape on the rear window stopped most leaks but the car just became damp inside and all the windows misted up, so a few days in the sun and we will be dry again :D Imp027 soon to replace Robs 1971 Imp deluxe and when I can get the balance of his job list finished.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:44 pm

Progress was made on a full front suspension rebuild, plus the gear shift control and hand brake assembly.

The car is now in the garage and I can work in a dry and wind free enviroment :)

It may not look like it but progress is being made.

Most work was under the bonnet, what a, mess all cleaned and I applied the second coating of liquid epoxy in the rust areas around the lower front edge of the panel with the headlights.

The one door is stripped, the vent light fell apart on removal, glass fell out also but is ok.

The various fillers you can see is a two part epoxy filler, once sanded down the fine filling becomes normal auto fillers.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:47 pm

Today was painting day,I needed to get the petrol tank area twin pack primed, then sprayed with the new shade of red in DK top coats, gloss off the gun!
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:53 pm

Red with a tinge of orange followed the grey primer, both being twin pack paints the the red top coat gives me gloss off the gun, one coat I may add and as its in the petrol tank area I will probably not waste paint on a second coat.

Modern coatings are amazing!
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by long_gone_John » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:35 pm

:lol: ...... yes M8

What you need to consider (UK salty winters, etc.) is that most in uk who had a minty orig shell would just spray it up, lovelly glossy TuPak, & just hang it from the living room ceiling.....

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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:49 pm

I have posted this topic before, some months back and not to do with the Californian in that case, its a rusted metal repair using epoxies and before any polyester fillers are applied.

Using the 1967 Imp Californian as my demo model, I can show that the holes in the lower edge of the cars front panel were quite easy to repair, this includes flooding the thin liquid epoxy under the air box in the front of the car, once the epoxy has arrived the rot should stop.

The metal can be rusty but IT MUST BE DRY!

The actual holes are closed off from the inside using biaxial glass woven cloth and epoxy, this takes some days but the repair is permanent, this is not a fast fix but its the best even over a welded in section I am sure.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them, note the epoxy at the bottom of the front panel.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Mon Sep 08, 2014 3:56 pm

The same process with this thin saturating epoxy was applied to the front and rear edges of the cars front bonnet and its corners.
On the same topic, the hammered out damage to the front wing was first filled with epoxy fairing paste, only when that had cured and post shaped did I move to
final fairing and using a fine polyester filler paste, which is so much nicer to sand! Imp027 looking better every day?

Roy the panel beater?

Comment from Rob who I am also rebuilding his 1971 Imp Deluxe for,my own comments follow Robs.

Roy,

You’re making really good progress. It’s pleasing to note how little filler was eventually necessary in the damaged area around the left headlight – you seem to have made a thorough job of pressing out the distorted steel.

(If you owned a panel shop as the Bo-Kaap owner did, wouldn’t you have attempted to smarten up the car somewhat before offering it for sale? It’s good though that he didn’t; at least most / all the imperfections were clearly apparent for you to see and no “shine over shit” was applied to con the buyer……)


Rob,

My thoughts when they collected the car was exactly as your saying now, I was sure that with their skills and contacts they would have restored the car inside and out.

What really happened was as folows:

Within two weeks the back window was smashed and the special side stainless trim and sealing rubber was also damaged.

Both gutter stainless trims have been bashed with a hard object and I will revert to paint for now.

The rear bumper was bashed and the hole at the starter handle is split.

The front of the car was bashed on the nearside.

One of the Strombergs was damaged so badly they resorted to welding of the fuel bowl, I had to fit a second set of carbs.

The lower crank pully is bent, the timing chain cover was removed, you can see the silicone sealant.

All seats are wrecked ue to the UV and open parking.

Other than this lot the cars fine!

Roy

Imp027 And the car is looking better daily!
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:38 am

The car has now been inside the garage for ten days, with the warmer weather before this period we can say the car has now dried out?

I need the same space the car takes next week to prepare nine Mirror Dinghy kit boat orders, so the Californian must go back outside, I need the cars clutch so I have prepared the area around the brake fluid tank for now, at least the car can then be driven.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:41 am

Front bonnet in grey twin pack primer.

This bonnet was in a bit of a mess, loose paints and some rust, bubbles under the paints etc, I worked at it a week and applied two coats of primer yesterday.
Looks better than I had hoped for?
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by Grahame59 » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:09 am

The Nun wrote:You have to be careful with Gumtree, several people I know have come unstuck using it…
Seems unlikely surely?
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:11 pm

Grahame59 wrote:
The Nun wrote:You have to be careful with Gumtree, several people I know have come unstuck using it…
Seems unlikely surely?
Screen shot 2014-09-09 at 12.08.33.png
In some ways there was a catch, an expensive but quite legal one.

The buyer of the car in his four and a half years of ownership had never finished the transfer documentation and while I had, so was clear of the licence department, he was then in licence arrears for over four years!

Sale Pending was the ruling I was given by the licence folk, this in effect was saying that as the sale never went through, I was still the legal owner?

So it was, I needed a sworn statement from the prospective buyer saying why he had not done the transfer (lack of funds) and a sworn statement from myself saying why I still owned the car.

Lots of swearing and it was the Police that signed off the sworn statements.

The end result and after three trips to the licence office, a payment of four years none payment fine, plus the years licence fee until June 2015 and I was given the cars papers back and in my name, licence disc and all, this meant I had to have no roadworthy (MOT) which we have only on transfer of the car, so the car was still mine all along :D

R2650 later and I walked away smiling, thats about GBP150 or so?
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:09 pm

Progress report time:

Two weeks in the warmth and windless garage allowed me to gut the petrol tank bay and do what ever repairs were required, this included the sorting out of the cars front bonnet.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by ImpManiac » Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:54 pm

More pictures needed, Roy. What repairs inside the front compartment? :?: And how did you execute said repairs?

Pretty please! :)

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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:24 am

ImpManiac wrote:More pictures needed, Roy. What repairs inside the front compartment? :?: And how did you execute said repairs?

Pretty please! :)

IM 8)
Lots of pictures and some of my alternative metal repairs used, pictures will follow! Imp027 :D
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:31 am

The so called drying out process was an Important part of the method I was to use doing repairs to any rust areas I found on the cars body or panels.
I have brazing gear but find it to do a lot of damage heat wise and the brazing can fail anyway, its also expensive and there is a risk of fire of course.

In the picture the car is safe in my workshop, I have opened up all the damaged parts with a mini grinder and filled the holes with epoxy filler paste, note I said epoxy, there is no polyester body fillers used at this stage, that can come later when the epoxy has cured and bonded to the steel, rust is then encapsulated and will never bother the paint surface again.

More to follow soon on this topic!
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:30 am

These pictures are from the last few days, I need to find the earlier pictures to show what the car was like and give an idea of the epoxy fix process.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:31 am

These pictures are from the last few days, I need to find the earlier pictures to show what the car was like and give an idea of the epoxy fix process.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:33 am

The paints are quite expensive and based on the 2K system, two coats cover grey primer with some ease, then its hand sanding with 400 grit water paper before spraying again.
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African Imp
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:36 am

The car was once white and an export car, it was red when I first bought it twenty years back, so its staying that colour now.
I was fortunate to have an original door pocket and inside was the new red as it was when painted some years back, we used that to mix the new red to :D
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African Imp
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:53 pm

This car really never did get restored by myself, it had been re trimmed to a not very high standard and someone had sprayed it red from white, I later re painted it and fitted the original engine block and a 180 series Sport cylinder head and manifolds.

Now with the advent of Rob Youngs 1971 Hillman Deluxe restoration in progress, the level of work had to rise to meet that on his car, I suppose its how we learn and how we progress?
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:57 pm

Robs Mk3 as I call it was surely the last Imp I would ever restore, excepting my own 1967 Singer Chamois, last done twenty years and a bit back, time to re do it
maybe, then Rob emails with the fact an Imp Californian was to be found on Gumtree.

I had to buy it back of course and after a little bargaining and I did pay more for it than I sold it for, the car was mine once more.
The car had been left out in the street for over four years, various dings and dents were to be seen, check the nearside front wing to see one such dent.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:01 pm

The paint had faded terribly, really shocking but then the UV in Cape Town, South Africa is known to be very strong.

A paint mix on a 1 ltr trial pack was made for me in 2K red, would it be correct was the question, I saw right away we had it right and the paints look perfect out in the sunlight, also in the rain today :D

The picture shows the car about ten years ago, things will move along and I will get there again, the 5.5: J rims have been blasted and re sprayed ready to refit when they are required. The number plate was changed and to the 1975 V6 Reliant Scimitar CA 211156 number and now is mounted on the correct bracket below the air grill.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:09 pm

Before I started on the bodywork I dropped the entire front suspension and rebuilt that, new brakes and cylinders and fluid hoses included.
The work required a blasting cabinet session on all the metal parts, weeks of work before the body could be worked on.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:14 pm

The blasting cabinet is possibly one of the best machines I own when restoring cars is concerned?
That is the cabinet in blue at the back of the picture.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:16 pm

Welding was required on the rear pivot point plate, I had Charlie and expert gas weld the repair for me.
Bead blasted after welding removed the bluing and cleaned the metal up quite well.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:19 pm

Painting was with a low pressure and high volume spray gun, I used locally manufactured DTM gloss black paint, no undercoats!

DTM means direct to metal but is ok on plastics also I have discovered.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:20 pm

The amount of work that this standard of finish takes is just huge,best to just switch off and carry on working :D

I was asked for more pictures and there are many more if there is any interest?
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by Lars Hagermark » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:27 pm

African Imp wrote:I was asked for more pictures and there are many more if there is any interest?
You bet. Lots of. :)
Overseas contact, Sweden. -69 Cali (998), 2 -64 Imps in need of "some" work.
Life is full of solutions waiting to be found.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:59 pm

I have not had the time to turn the car body over with the special turning rig, so the suspension was refitted to keep the car as a driver until I do have the time.
Removal is quite easy now as all parts like nuts, bolts and washers have been bright electro :) galvanised as well, nice
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:01 pm

Front suspensions exposed, ready to fit and a nice way to check things fit?
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:03 pm

New front brakes were all in stock and right off the parts shelf.
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Re: A Californinan drying out in South Africa

Post by African Imp » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:09 pm

Terence Tracey and Geoff Beirman dropped in to have a look also, those of you following the JoLon Imp thread I have run will know who they are.
The other guy is fellow Imp Club member and owner of a really nice Imp Mk2 Eric Wells and his grand daughter Maxine.
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Last edited by African Imp on Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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