Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:45 pm

Welcome to the weekly tale of woe! I figured I would spray the dashboard using the textured paint, so got on with it. I followed the instructions on the can to the letter, but it was incredibly difficult stuff to spray smoothly. I kept getting "bubbling" from the nozzle which threw occasional droplets of paint at the dashboard. There wasn't quite enough to do the whole dashboard anyway but I was glad to see the back of that paint. I have ordered a different brand to see if I have a bit more success. Not impressed.

To cheer myself I cut a hole in the dashboard. Why? Because every car needs a starter button. I had one on my red Mini (a "Push Once" button from a bus!), and also a less extravagant one on my Golf GTi - these were notorious for having ignition barrel issues, so I simply bypassed the issue. Plus I like them. I did consider getting another bus button, given I bought the last one in 1999 for 50p from a breakers yard, but as with most things from the 70s and older, silly tax gets added today. I am not paying £20 plus for one! I grabbed a normal one I had in a parts box and made an appropriate 22mm hole using the cone cutter. It fits beautifully.

I then moved on to fitting the 4 main switches I'll be using. These are the standard Mini Lucas switches - all new ones - headlights/sidelights, fog light, brake test switch and of course hazards. Trouble was, getting the holes cut for them posed a problem. I couldn't get the Dremel in and accurately cut the holes for them. Instead, using a Mini switch panel as a template, I drew an outline of where the switches should be then used the drill to make a chain of holes and once I had been able to remove the unwanted piece of dashboard, I tidied the rest up with a file. At least that's what SHOULD have happened. In fact what I did was to rush and not concentrate on what I was doing. i somehow managed to drill the top holes 3mm too high. So out came a piece of tape covered card, and I stuck this to the front of the dash. I then filled in the holes with resin.

Having finished swearing, I did some more sanding (my favourite pastime) and set everything up again. This time it went without much of a hitch, and the switches fit really nicely. I have finished it off with some more filler, as of course there were some imperfections I had missed and some problems reared their ugly heads when I had painted the dash - paint droplets I am looking at you!! It will look nicer once the dashboard has been painted. Again. I do so love doing things twice...

Painted dash (at least the bits I could reach) looked ok from a distance...

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...but paint issues were all too apparent.

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I fitted a starter button.

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Then marked out where I wanted the switches to go.

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I promptly then cocked it all up and drilled in the wrong place, because I am stupid and rushed it without concentrating. I filled in the holes with resin.

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I don't like chain drilling because it's a bit messy but it tidies up fine (picture taken BEFORE the filing!!)

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Switches fitted. Foglight looks slightly "out" but I can assure you it looks fine head on.

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And a bit more filler to tidy it up. More sanding to follow. Whoop di doo.

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MrBounce
 
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:24 pm

Quick update - new paint has arrived, so after giving the newly-filled bits a rub-down, I gave it a good wipe down before hanging it up in its corner. The new paint is a revelation by comparison. There appears to be a significantly larger amount of propellant in the can as it sprays beautifully and gave a really nice, even coverage.

However, all is not quite chips and gravy. There's a couple of areas near where I sanded that are slightly raised, so more attention is needed. This is mainly due to "operator error" of the sanding block as I obviously rushed it a bit. I am sure a bit of effort and the next coat will be better.

A much nicer job!

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Although there are a couple of very minor bits that need sorting. Should be straightforward...

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MrBounce
 
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. New (Old) Wheel

Postby MrBounce » Wed Nov 04, 2020 9:15 pm

I don't like teeth. Aside from them being very useful for eating, they are an utter pain if, like me, your parents have given you rubbish dental genes. These past few days I have been suffering as I've had a tooth infection, mainly brought on by the fact I lost a filling and being diabetic, I tend to acquire infections like I do car parts and tools - regularly. I cannot get a dental appointment for nearly 2 weeks, because every time the poor dentist has an appointment, they then have to deep clean everything. I feel for them, but more importantly, I feel for me, because if you've ever had a tooth infection, you'll know why. Nothing touches the pain other than antibiotics - even a local anaesthetic (please don't ask me how I know...). I don't drink either, so I can't exactly sink a bottle of vodka to try and forget about it... Still the antibiotics have kicked in, so I can at least feel relatively normal now.

But enough about my poxy teeth. Whilst I have been unable to do much in the garage, I have been able to shop. I kept looking at the D-shaped steering wheel I have currently and was thinking in the style of Catchphrase "it's good, but it's not right". No, what I wanted was an 80s & 90s style Mountney wheel, but I wanted something different to the usual 3-spoke design. I vaguely remembered the days of going to The Mini Shop in Enfield in the 90s and seeing a 4-spoke Mountney. Now if could find one of those... Thing is, although they used to be available, I haven't seen one for ages. I did see one on Faceache Marketplace, but it was a 100 mile round trip, and it also had the inconvenient word "Sold" next to it. So I forgot about buying "as new" and went to eBay looking for something a bit less pristine. After a few days I found one. It was a bit scruffy and scratched on its black spokes, but a bit of leather cleaner and all should be well. I only paid £13 for it so it's worth a punt. I needed a boss too, so grabbed one from Mini Spares.

Once I received said wheel, I took a good close look at it. The rim (unsurprisingly) needs a really good deep clean, and the spokes as previously mentioned are rather scratched up. That's not a problem for little old me though. However, the main problem is that on one of the spoked sections close to the rim, the leather had worn through to the metal. This obviously needed fixing - a lot. Still, how difficult could it be? The way these bits are put together is pretty straightforward - a small piece of metal holds the leather in place with a rivet. I drilled out the rivet and removed the bracket, before starting to remove the piece of leather. This is stuck to a small piece of aluminium. Or in this case, barely attached with a powdery substance that used to be glue. I cleaned up the small piece of metal and repainted it, before using the Dremel and getting the remaining glue residue of the aluminium plate. I then grabbed Stuart's old ripped leather coat (I knew it would come in useful sometime!) and used the old piece of leather as a template, before cutting out a piece of collar. Out came the impact adhesive and I glued the new leather to the plate. I shall wait for everything to dry properly before I rivet it all back together. Have to say though, because it looks so good, and the new leather has a different grain, I am tempted to do the other 3 as well. More later.

New (old) 4-spoke Mountney needs some TLC...

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...especially here.

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Remove this rivet

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Make a template

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And glue the new one on. Lovely!

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MrBounce
 
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby dusz » Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:28 am

Had one of those which I transferred from my Avenger to a Talbot Sunbeam and then to my first Midas. When I came to sell it I went to refit the original steering wheel that was on it but for some reason it would not work the indicators correctly so it went with the car.
I fitted a polished 3-spoke Mountney steering wheel to my second Midas. This I found a little too far forward so I used some cylindrical brass spacers (approx. 25 mm long) and longer hex-head bolts which improved matters considerably.
One day I will recommission mine,, it's only been off the road for 20 years.
dusz
 
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sat Nov 07, 2020 8:39 pm

Well it seems that I have done a large amount of work this afternoon and don't have an awful lot to show for it. Never mind- a sprinter won't win a marathon and all that.

First up were the rest of the leather-clad end plates next to the rim. I drilled the rivets out and spent what seemed like an age cleaning up the plates from the back and the aluminium parts the leather glues to. The remains of the rivets took some work to remove from the wheel - some careful use of my mate the Dremel got the excess ground off before using suitable force with a hammer and punch to get out the last of them. I cut some pieces from some more of Stuart's old coat and out came the Evostick Impact Adhesive. Once these were drying, I masked up the steering wheel and got out the angry grinder with the wire wheel attachment. Being careful, I cleaned off all the old paint before giving it a wipe down with thinners. I then primed it ready for a new coat of Satin Black.

Old plates off with leather removed

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New leather ready to be stuck

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Finished (they're not as wallowy as the picture makes you think)

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Wheel masked up

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It's not black anymore

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It's not silver now either...

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MrBounce
 
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Location: Suffolk

Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:59 pm

I haven't been in the garage much over the past few days - I have to admit the place is a tip and also it's cold because my garage gas heater packed up. However, a raid of the savings pot got me a new heater, and my friend gets the old one as he thinks he can fix it. His garage is colder than a polar bear's nose at the best of times so it would probably help him out. Plus I really didn't like the idea of me taking apart something powered by gas, putting it back together and expecting it to work without problems. It's probably straightforward, but I am not going to mess around with dangerous stuff I don't understand. I'd rather leave that to someone who knows what they're doing.

This is only a tiny update because I spent some time clearing up the main work bench as it was a complete mess. Whilst I was at it, I put loads of cans of paint back on the shelves. It was whilst doing this I figured that satin black would have been a bit too plain for the steering wheel, so I gave it a coat of the textured paint. MUCH nicer. I have also personalised the centre of the steering wheel boss. As the car is called Project Zippy, what better than a picture of the 70s icon he was named after? I bought a pin badge with Zippy's picture, stripped out the innards and tapped the edge flat. I then glued it on to the centre of the boss. You would never know it was once a pin badge - it fits perfectly.

A bit of texture. A big improvement.

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And in the words of Zippy himself, "HELLO EVERYBODY!"

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MrBounce
 
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:52 pm

Grabbed another hour after work today. I fixed the wheel to the boss and then set about cleaning up the rim. The leather cleaner I had was not very effective, so I thought a bit laterally. Once I had gently scraped off the paint that was on the leather (I think someone must have painted something white near to the wheel at some point), I set about it with something that I knew would work, and was simple, cheap and easy: Boot polish. I gave it a good going over and it's come up beautifully. I still need to feed the leather, but for now I am pretty pleased. I then riveted the end pieces back on and put the centre cap in. It's not perfect - there are a few nicks and scrapes on the rim, but it cost less than a cheap steak dinner at the pub and if I wanted it to look perfect I would have bought a new one. Another job ticked off.

Mid-way through cleaning. Already starting to look good...

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...thanks to good ol' boot polish.

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What it looks like now. Lovely.

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MrBounce
 
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby dusz » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:18 pm

Looking good, so much better than when you got it.

Do you have a hole on the rear of the boss towards the outer circumference?
Do you know what it is for?

Just in case you do not know the hole is there to insert a roll-pin, try DJ Evans down Farthing Road or Suffolk Fasteners on Boss Hall Ind. Estate. If long enough this then engages with the collar on the steering column to cancel the indicators when you return the steering wheel to the straight ahead position. You may find that you have to reposition the steering wheel on the boss in order to get the pin in the correct position. Just be careful that you do not damage the finish on the wheel or the fixing set screws.
dusz
 
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Fri Nov 20, 2020 12:46 am

New boss - it came with the roll pins ready to install 8-)

I do think it quite amusing that the boss cost more than the wheel... Also, no need to take the wheel off to rotate - just undo the 4 bolts, take the back of the boss off instead and rotate 90 degrees :)
MrBounce
 
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Location: Suffolk

Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy. Looking Like a Car.

Postby MrBounce » Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:52 pm

As I was dealing with the dashboard end of the car, I figured that I may as well put the indicator & wiper stalks on, so I got them out of storage. When I sprayed the car I had put everything away in boxes and bags and assumed that everything would be safe. I had obviously missed something though, as the stalks had overspray on them. I needed to spend a while cleaning them up. Nevertheless, as they were mostly new, it was a really easy fit - just line them up with the indentations on the column, slide them into place and do up the screw.

I then grabbed the column shrouds which had been in the same box. Yup, you guessed it - lots more orange. A huge amount in fact. I can only guess that the box itself was overpacked which had forced the top to pop open without me knowing. These were treated to a rub down, clean up and a coat of textured paint.

Moving on to the dashboard itself, I wanted to get rid of the imperfections I'd identified - this included high and low spots plus the spatter pattern of the poor paint I'd used before. Much sanding occurred (yeehaa...) followed by a little bit off Dolphin Glaze to sort the low spots. Once I'd finished this bit I figured it'd be worthwhile to actually test fit it to see what was what. And guess what? It did not fit. After putting in the dash surround, it turned out there was no clearance at the bottom of the dash rail on the car - the brackets were fouling.

Never mind, have Dremel, will use it. There wasn't much that needed removing - about 1/2" is all. I therefore created a HUGE amount of dust and chopped out the offending section, making sure I used my "Bane" mask so I didn't line my lungs with fibreglass dust. Once done, I checked for a second time. It fitted, but I ran into a second problem, again, clearance related and again of my own doing. The bolts where the heater is attached did not allow any clearance for the switches. I didn't like how they were mounted anyway - a diagonal bolt with angled spacer was far from ideal. I fixed this by removing them one at a time before elongating the holes in the heater bracket. By doing this I was able to bolt them vertically and flipped the bolts - this resulted in a LOT more room. I may revise this arrangement slightly in case I need to remove the heater. I really don't want to have to remove the entire dashboard in order to get a spanner on them. Still, it gives me plenty of ideas to mull over.

Stalks on, after a good cleaning session.

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Column shrouds were far more orange than they should have been...

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...so they were rubbed down and re-painted in textured paint.

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Dashboard given a once over, sand and more filler

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New instruments wouldn't fit thanks to this little lip

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Choppy choppy

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Then these awful things were in the way...

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...so they were re-angled and all fits nicely again.

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MrBounce
 
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