About Me

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

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New brake switch

Back in November, I found out that my original brake switch was bad. For Christmas, I got a new Ron Francis SW-32 low pressure switch in my stocking. Time to install it!!

After reading many ways to install the switch, I decided to use the "short connector wire" method. I just cut, stripped, and put terminals on two three inch wires. I connected those wires to the terminal connector that came with the switch. It took maybe five minutes to do.

Before I installed the new switch, I made sure to prime (fill) it with brake fluid. Once the stubborn old switch was removed, the brake line connector dripped out some brake fluid as expected. So the new switch (which  was “primed” to compensate for any fluid loss) was immediately swapped with the old one and screwed in. The connector wires were then snapped together to the wires on the wire harness. I really did not want to hack away at the new harness when connecting this switch…and this method worked great.

I do not know if it works yet. The brake system needs a little fiddling this weekend so we will find out then.

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Starting on the punch list

With a deadline looming over me, I had to get organized quickly. No time for wasting right now!

First thing I did was to make a punch list and hang it on the wall. If anybody asks me what they can do to help, I can now just point and say, "Pick one of those things to do."

Next I had to survey the inside of the car by cleaning it to see what tools and such I had left in it since November.

Then, I made the mistake of opening the trunk. I totally forgot how filthy it was! I should have kept it closed because it gave me just one more thing to do!

After it was cleaned, I reinstalled the floor and put the rubber trunk seal strip in it so I do not misplace it. I will probably get to it sometime this week.

I decided to start installing the rear window seals now because it seemed like a pretty easy thing to do.

This one window took about a half hour. I had to stop at one time to take a break because I ran out of patience. I still have to tuck in some vinyl to tighten it up. It sure dresses the interior up though!

I need to call Chris over to finish the brake system and help me with a couple of the mechanical things that take two people to do. Meanwhile I will keep plugging away at the punch list.

Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Door panel installation Part 2

With temperatures finally forecast to be above 50'F for the foreseeable future, it looks like spring has officially arrived! Now I can get back to work on the car. I have set a goal to finish the restoration by June 2nd, which is our Connecticut MG Club Gathering. (That means to have it showable in a short two months!) It will have to be trailered down, but at least I have plans to get it there! I am still concentrating on getting the door panels installed then I can move on to other things.

The door pull handle was attached on the passenger (right) side. After the screws were unscrewed, they screwed right back in. Easy peasy! That surprised me because I usually struggle with little things like that.

Then I moved on to installing the door pocket, which was a bit more difficult. The screws had to be jostled around a bit to get them lined up. It took about a half hour…but Bob’s your uncle.

After the window crank and door opener were installed, I stepped back to admire my work. It looks good! I like how the camera does weird, psychedelic things to the striping.

Now I get to repeat the whole process on the driver’s (left) side, then onto the new brake switch, and the rest of the punch list, etc… At least now that the weather is cooperating, I can probably get one thing done each night after work.

Thanks for visiting.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Door panel installation Part 1

We finally had a day that got above 50’F…for a couple hours anyway. I tried to make the best of it by starting to install the passenger (right) side door panel.

I knew this project was going to take a little time and patience. The original door panels rotted from the bottom so I restored them with new Masonite three years ago (see post 5/17/11) and reused the original material. The reason why they rotted was because moisture seeped down through the window glazings (both rubber (on the outside) and fuzzy (on the inside) and splashed through the door holes onto the panel.

To prevent this from happening again, I took a thick plastic bag and cut out the shapes to cover the holes. Then, I used good old duct tape to stick them on. The original hole covering was a masking tape-like stuff which deteriorated away.

Next, since the door panel Masonite was new, I had to mark where the holes had to be drilled for the door handle and door pocket screws. The screws were screwed into place in the door. I put black gasket sealer on the screw heads so they would mark the back of the panel where I would have to drill.

I clipped the panel in place and pushed hard so that the screws marked the panel. While doing this I looked at it to make sure the new panel fit well. I can proudly say it does!

Only the door handle screws and larger top of the pocket screws were secured. I still have to get the bottom three small screws installed but could not complete it yesterday. The screws I bought were ¼” too short!! And, a cold front passed though dropping temperatures quickly and making it very windy, which ended my work session.

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Fuzzy strips and rubber window glazing

After three times trying to order and receiving the wrong parts, I finally received the correct fuzzy window brush glazing strips! They were from Moss Motors part numbers 680-360 and 680-350 and were from the Triumph TR6 catalogue all along!

I did not realize how bad the original ones were until I compared them with the new ones.

But instead of assembling the fuzzy strips this week, I opted for putting the rubber glazing strips onto the exterior window strips. This way, at least I could attach them to the car now and not have to wait (as it is not time to install the fuzzy strips until the interior door panels are installed). I am glad I saved the original clips. New ones (that are correct) are nearly impossible to find.

The rubber was carefully clipped in place on the metal strips. The last thing I wanted to do was break a clip or tear the rubber.


The excess was then trimmed off.

I have been itching to do some work on the car itself. So I went out to the shed (in 15'F weather) and installed the newly refurbished door window sealing strips.

Next week I will try to work on assembling the fuzzy strips. This has sure been a long, cold winter. I heard that the cold will break in another week or two. But then again, they have been saying that since January.

Thanks for visiting.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Parts searching continues

Since the last post, winter has plodded on. We only had one day above freezing and we have had three big snowstorms.

Inside this non-descript “shed” lives Old Biddy. After two weeks, I thought would finally go out to visit her. But getting to her was a challenge.

I dug a path through the snow bank and raised open the door. Her coverings were rolled back and this picture was snapped. She was happy to see me! But now everyone can understand why I have not been working on her much.

Although I am not working “on” her, I am working “off” her. I finally received the NOS Lucas No. 41A mirrors. They took a couple days longer to receive due to the snowstorms but I knew that when I bought them, so it was not a worry. Instead, it was worth the wait! They look awesome!!

Next, my attention focuses on getting a pair of new inner door fuzzy felt weatherstrips. The original strips are 26 inches long. I cannot find where to get these…anywhere!!

They are the exact same strips that are on “Joe”, my Midget, except the ones I need are 4 inches longer. Moss Motors and Victoria British do not carry any long enough (or longer, so I can trim them to size). So for now, I will scratch my head and ponder this dilemma.

Only four more weeks until spring arrives! Until then, I will keep searching for the fuzzy strips and a rear view mirror. If anyone knows where I can get the fuzzy strips, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. There are only a few bits and pieces left to get on the “parts needed” list. It has mainly dwindled down to just fasteners and hardware…and that is a good feeling!

Thanks for visiting.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Reflecting upon mirrors

While cleaning my cellar workshop this week, I found a box of old original parts that I tucked away behind another box and (after seven years) forgot where they were. I remember setting these aside for the later stage of the restoration so I can match them with replacements or restore them. I mentioned a couple of them in the last post.

The Wingard rear view mirror is in terrible and unusable condition. The metal holder rod is good. It just needs to be repainted.

These were once very common as they were also used on many other cars such as Morris Minor, and Mini, etc… But try to find one now and they go for ridiculous amounts of money. I saw one at the auction site sell for over $100 dollars!! That is just stupid and in my opinion, uncalled for!!!

I found the original driver’s (left) side Lucas No. 41A fender (wing) mirror. The original one for the right fender was just a chunk of rust with no mirror, so it was scrapped. And, this one is also not restorable and cannot be used again. I am glad I saved it, though.

Since these mirrors will be looked at as an accent piece, I did not want to get the “Lucas style” reproductions. I found and bought a NOS pair at a reasonable price. I hope I am happy with them when they arrive.

I also found the original sun visors and clips! They seem to be in good shape and only need a good cleaning and reconditioning.


On Sunday, the temperature went up to a whopping 45’F, so I reinstalled the horns. I did not hook them up to test them but, it sure felt good to turn wrenches on Old Biddy again. Lots of snow coming this week so we will wait and see what gets accomplished.

Thanks for visiting.