About Me

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

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.


Friday, August 29, 2014

Tackling two more punch list items

The rear windshield has been a pain of a project to say the least! I had to take it out because the rubber seal gasket I used was too short and incorrect. I purchased a new rubber seal and wanted to get it installed before I go back to work at school.

My wife and I tried and could only get so far. The top of the rubber gasket was not cooperating. It kept falling off of the car body and would not go back in place.

I called John over but after fifteen minutes of trying, we also failed. The window was then taken out and set safely in the rear seat.

So I decided to not let that hinder me on checking stuff off the punch list. I had only two electrical issues left to finish on the car, the interior light and the horns. I attacked the interior light issue first. I needed to screw in the door push switches and then make sure all the purple (power) and purple with white stripe (switch grounding) wires were hooked up correctly. They were all good.

Even after screwing the switches in to ground them, when I opened the door the light was still not going on.

I had a brilliant idea (or you can say the light bulb went off over my head) to check the obvious. And, sure enough, both the fuse and the lamp (bulb) were blown. So I swapped them out. Only the horn and interior light hook up to this fuse (which has power from the battery (purple wire) all the time and does not need the ignition switch). Therefore, this also cures one of the reasons why the horn circuit was not working.

And, viola!

The horns were another issue. I just had them rebuilt this past winter so I knew the horn units themselves were working. I figured it had to be a wiring issue (since the fuse was just changed). Here is what I started with.

Since the workshop manual had no information on how to correctly connect the purple (power) and purple with black stripe (horn switch grounding) wires, I did some internet research and found out the right way to do it. So I swapped the wires to look like this.

I then went into the car and hooked a jumper wire to the purple with black stripe horn wire and connected it to ground. The horns worked!! But after I put the horn button in the steering wheel and pushed it, nothing happened. I figure that something is amiss with the rotor (#16).

I put another call into Chris to see if he will come to help me with the rear windshield this week. I will have him check out the horn issue, too.

Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A quick forty five minutes.

Chris had a chance to come up and help me with a couple tasks yesterday. There were two things to do on the agenda: to install the filler strip into the rubber front windshield gasket, and to hook up the tachometer wires.

He brought his homemade filet tool and started putting the strip in before I could even get the camera. But I did manage to get a picture of him finishing up the last three inches.

With the proper tool, it only took him about seven minutes to install the insert! This picture was taken after he left. Notice that I also installed the windshield wipers. Just putting the windshield in takes Old Biddy from being just a project, to being an actual car!!!

When I was installing the connecting wires for the tachometer, I read the instructions about ten times and still could not understand them! John even read them a few times before he became frustrated, too. Since Chris has done many of these, it took him just moments. I had one wire hooked up correctly (the one that hooked up to the coil), the other wire was obviously wrong. To make it right, he stripped the male connector off the “wrong” wire and put on a female connector in its place, then properly hooked it up to the fuse box (instead of where I thought it was supposed to hook up via the directions).

And, there you go! Old Biddy has a working tachometer!

Chris will be coming back next week to install the filler insert to the rear windshield gasket. I have to swap the gasket that is on now. Find out that story in the next post.

Besides installing the filler strip, he will also help to adjust the handbrake cables so they operate evenly, adjust the choke cable, and maybe even help with the wiring to get the horns working. A quick forty five minute visit takes this restoration a HUGE step forward!!

Thanks for visiting.