About Me

New Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Name: Todd Russo Location: New Hartford, CT, USA

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hello! Remember me?

The reason there have been no posts for two months is because winter hit us really hard and really fast this year. Snowstorm after snowstorm made it impossible to get to the shed to get to Old Biddy. Not to mention the six weeks of relentless bitter cold…

But the other day it finally went above freezing. I dug a path in the four foot snow bank and a strip by the door.

The door was frozen shut so I had to wait a day for melting. I opened it up and greeted Old Biddy for the first time in nearly seven weeks!!

In the last two months, I have been working on getting those final bits and pieces that I mentioned in the last post. Aaron from Oregon, a member of one of the 1100 forum/clubs, heeded my plea for correct grille bolts. He had some and will be sending them to me soon.

He also informed me that the sun visors (which I cleaned up and repaired) are incorrect. He will be sending me a proper set.

For the longest time, I have wanted to rebuild a set of SU carburetors. John had a couple of spare sets hanging around and he gave them to me to have a go at it. After I am done, I will give them back to him to sell. Yeah, I know this has nothing to do with Old Biddy but…

If the snow ever melts, Old Biddy’s doors will get aligned and the correct latches will be installed. Then…her maiden voyage!!!

Thanks for visiting.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Hibernation situation.

Winter’s grip is tight this year so not much is getting done on the car. I decided to relegate myself to doing a final parts check list and doing a few little tasks to button the car up so parts do not jiggle off as I take her for her first ride.

Such as, I need the top fasteners for the front grille. They look like little lag bolts without the point and they are only ¾” long. I checked my parts books and they are neither pictured nor listed, so there is no part number that I could find.

They fit here. The bottom three grille fasteners are easy to find.

I also need the screws that hold the dashboard top panel pad sides in place. I think they are part number RTL 812…the picture in the parts book was not exact. When I disassembled the parts car, these fasteners were rusted in place and they sadly had to be cut and therefore destroyed.

In the back recesses of my cellar, I found the wheels that I want to get powder coated (black) and fitted with new tires. The radial three tires on the rims now are an Avon, a Dunlop SP4, and a King GT…quite a mismatched lot! I am taking suggestions as to what tires I should purchase.

On our next snow day off of school, I am finally going to clean the sun visors. They are quite grungy. I have to see if these MG 1100 visors will even fit on to the Austin America body or if some finagling is needed.

If anyone has this hardware, please let me know. I will check around and keep everyone updated. And so…the hunt continues. This winter I will be re-sorting all the 1100 parts in my cellar now that the car is near completion. Cannot wait to see if any treasures pop up!

Thanks for visiting.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Old Biddy’s seasonal slumber.

We had only one good day in the last two and a half weeks when the weather was worthy enough to do any work on the car. Needless to say that winter looks like it is coming early this year. Therefore, the decision was made to put the car to bed.

After cleaning up our yard for hopefully the last time today, I pushed Old Biddy out into the driveway to give her a quick rinse off and thorough rub down.

When done, I started her up and drove her back in to cover her up for the season. I always put sheets or old bedspreads underneath the outer cover for extra protection. Her battery cables were then disconnected and I said “Night night.” to her.

This does not mean I will stop working on the car for the winter. Oh no! There are still many things that need to be attended to such as finding seatbelts, and cleaning up the sun visors, and the never ending quest to find six of those lag bolt looking things that attach the front grille on. I would love to hear from readers on advice to find these parts. Stay tuned.

Thanks for visiting.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Two metal plates that made me smile.

After jumping through, over, and around hurdles the past three weeks, I was finally able to get back to the local high school shop to fabricate the blanking panels. These little parts have been holding up progress!

I made two 4 ¾” x 2 ¾” pieces of 18 gauge sheet metal which will become the bases for the 1100 strikers. I used the Austin America striker. as a pattern for the holes.

I brought them home and screwed three ¼” x 28 screws into the sliding bar nuts (located inside the pillars) to hold them in place. The passenger side lined up beautifully!

And the driver side took a little bit more patience to attach, but it fits nice now! Once everything is measured and mocked up on both sheet metal pieces, the holes will be countersunk so that the screws will tighten up flush to them.

The next step will be to locate the position of the actual MG 1100 strikers and drill  holes into the sliding bar nuts to accept the screws. If the bar nut is not behind a new screw hole, nuts will be welded in place (onto the new sheet metal bases) to accept the screws of the striker.

But first, although the doors are already on the car, they still have to be aligned correctly and set up. Thus the reason for the blue tape, to protect the paint. Hopefully that operation will get done within the next two weeks. It is already getting cold outside!!

Thanks for visiting.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

The great door latch dilemma.

The last thing to do before we take our maiden voyage in Old Biddy is to come up with a plan to switch out the door latches.

The hole pattern is for the Austin America door of which the body was originally.

The door mechanism that is on this door is different from Austin America door. I still have the original Austin America doors, so why not just put the Austin America doors back on? Because the car is now an MG 1100 so I have MG 1100 doors.

The hole pattern matches later style BMC latches but will not accept the MG 1100 door mechanism.

I have the original MG 1100 latches but the hole pattern does not match the Austin America pattern.

I am waiting for my 4 ¾” x 2 ¾” 16 gauge sheet metal pieces. Once I have those, I can show the plan to rectify the situation. I apologize for the blurry pictures. I think my camera needs to be recharged or it is finally wearing out since it does not hold a charge for very long any more.

Thanks for visiting.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Another quick forty five minutes.

It has been crazy busy around here this past month. One Sunday afternoon (two weeks ago) my wife and I managed to poke and prod at the rear windshield rubber gasket corners until they finally seated in place. And, I did a couple other little things here and there that were uninteresting and “unbloggable”. But finally, after trying to connect with him for a few weeks, Chris came to pay a quick visit. In a flurry of activity, we got a ton done!

But first, by request from a blog reader, I promised to post a picture of Chris's homemade filet tool. This instrument installed both of the locking strips into the front and rear windshield rubber gaskets.

When he was done using it today, the rear windshield looked like this.

Both of us agreed that the quality of both the rubber and the mold for the rear gasket were nowhere near as nice as the front windshield. And it shows by the gaps in this corner.

Chris also managed to find that there was a short in the steering wheel ground that prevented the horns from working via the horn push. He just had to scrape a little corrosion off of the steering wheel hub. The horn system works beautifully now!

And finally, he adjusted the new choke cable so that it works smoothly from full open to full close. The old one was just plain worn out.

The dashboard knob on the new one has the fan picture on it. Somehow I have to get the original “C” back on there. I will figure it out this winter.

Next I will concentrate on getting the doors working properly. There is a lot to explain. That project will start next week. Then, I can take her for her maiden voyage!!!

Thanks for visiting.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The rear windshield saga continued…

It is nice to know how many people actually read this blog on occasion! I only have one follower but receive many messages, some of encouragement and some with advice. This week will be about a tip I received from a fellow ADO16 owner. He suggested trying the age old “string method” to install the rear windshield. I watched the “My Classic Car” YouTube video where two fellows install the rear window of an old pickup truck. It looked easy enough! OK, I thought I would give it a try!

First step, install the rubber seal onto the rear window. Check.

Next step, put a string down in the groove of the rubber that will wrap around the car metal, lubricate it with dish soap, tape the string in place to keep it from falling out. Check.

Next step, get my wife to help and convince her to get in the car to pull the strings while I stand outside the car pushing on the rear window. Check. My wife did not want her picture taken so we will skip to the next step.

Next step, cuss and curse because the corners would not seat properly. Check.

The cord started to dig into the rubber corner miters so we had to stop. We at least got the top part installed so the window will not fall out.

This 90 degree corner requires another method besides the string method. Since the window is not seated properly, the locking strips cannot be installed. I need help on this one…and not just my wife.

I did manage to find a Wingard rear view mirror in my MG Midget parts stock pile. I had to paint the rod black since the mirror plastic was black.

But it turned out fine even though it is not the original gray color.
To at least feel good about something this week, I installed the rear view mirror. Shhh, please do not tell any concours judges or the "correct police" about the color. Maybe they will not notice.

I will have to do some research and give a few phone calls for the rear windshield dilemma. School is back in session so my time will be limited, yet, progressive.

Thanks for visiting.