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First Time Out

Well after almost a year of work my Dads LE left the garage (briefly) under it's own power for the first time. This car's last tax disc expired in March 1995 so it's been almost 15 years to the month since it last ran. The idea was to turn it around (under it's own power) so I can replace the off side sills.
It's been frustratingly close to reaching this point for several months but little niggles have been preventing success (the radiator exploding, an unsuspected leak in the fuel tank, a faulty fuel pump, dirt in the carbs etc).
Even this short run of about 5 yards has highlighted that the brakes need bleeding again (has anybody else found that with Dot5 Silicone Fluid one bleed just will not do?), the electric fan is bust and I'm not at all sure about the integrity of the water pump.
So with rain threatening and with a new list of "to do's" she was driven back in for further renovation. Still, I'm pretty tickled I've even got to this point!

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Wow!!! You must be chuffed. Lots of new stuff to se there inc tyres i think.

Does the other side need the same amount of work?

One question though, the ride height looks quite high, is that down to new springs,bushes etc that need settling down?

Please keep us posted on progress/any chance of teaching me how to weld as I'd love to be able to?

If it ain't broken don't try to fix it as if you do it will definitely break

Yes I noticed that - the ride height is high and the suspension stiff. Has new front springs, reconditioned front dampers, new front wishbones and spring pans, new leaf springs, original rear dampers, polybushes throughout, original anti-rollbars. I'm not entirely sure what if anything is wrong - I just assumed it needed to settle but it's back axle has been in for several months and the axle stands have been under the axle rather than supporting the body with the axle hanging. It has definitely settled a bit. The only worry for me is that you can jump up and down in the boot and the only movement is in the side walls of the tyres! What could I have done wrong? Is it possible to overtighten the nuts and bolts that the rear spring pivots on, for example?
The drivers side needs more work if anything. The rot just seems a little more extensive for some reason. That said it's just the sill, the rear of the front wheelarch and the front of the rear wheelarch if you see what I mean. Underneath everything is sorted from passenger side to about half way across the drivers floor. The drivers side front wing is just rusty scrap and as yet I'm not sure what lurks under it but I have a second hand one from eBay ready to fit.
My welding is improving - slowly starting to get some idea of what is involved. The join between the repair panel and the wing behind the drivers door is terrible and there is distortion from too much heat. The join in the wing behind the rear passenger wheel is not to bad and the corresponding one on the drivers side is really good. I had to have a second go at repairing the rear valance because I made such a cock up of it first time around!
The fact that nothing fitted together very well when they were first made is both a blessing and a curse when making repairs. The guys at Abingdon seem to have been masters when it came to generous applications of seam sealant 🙂

I think it will settle after a few miles of heavy braking and sharp cornering-the silicone bushes probably don't help things either as they don't tend to give very much-If not look at it this way you won't have to warry about sleeping policemen ripping your exhaust off:D

If it ain't broken don't try to fix it as if you do it will definitely break

I think allans right it looks about the same clearance as my car at the front when I first took the front bumper off, and I havn't done anything with the suspension. Reserve judgement until the bumpers are on. 🙂

Yes - it's settling a bit now - partly helped by my occasional trampoline impressions in the boot. Only thing is the passenger side sits about an inch higher than the drivers side. I agree that the bumpers will probably make all the difference - certainly at the front.