A lot of the welding work was problematic because there is limited access to the areas of rot. It was tricky enough trying to cut the bad metal out let alone weld new metal in. It is, however, all done now I just need to buy a long reach die grinder to take back the weld on top of the wheel arch.
After we’d fitted the rebuild kit to the AC Delco fuel pump all was fine for a while. Then after refitting the fuel line one day it started pissing out with fuel when the engine was running. The original fuel line is copper and it looked pretty rough so I ordered a new nut and olive and decided to remake the line. While the pump was off I noticed it looked as though it had been cross threaded. I took it to a friend of mine to helicoil but he returned the same afternoon saying that it was fine and probably came out the factory looking like that. The parts arrived in the mean time but I had been sent the incorrect size olive. I refitted it anyway and sure enough it leaked again so I decided to replace the pump instead.
These pumps are not unique to the Bedford range so I found one on eBay listed as for a MG or Humber, the advert couldn’t be sure. The mounting flange was different but I was hoping I could splice the two together. When it arrived we checked it over and the top half of the new pump fitted the bottom half of our old pump perfectly.
I stopped into the Landrover garage again so see if he had the correct olive and he produced a length of hose the same diameter and the ID of the nut and the corresponding olive. I think he said it was from a series Landrover. Anyway, it meant that we could do away with the copper line and run a flexible plastic one much more suited to absorbing the vibrations of an old vehicle like ours. Success.
The different flanges. The new upper has been fitted to our old pump lower (left)
Having a fibreglass body is a great thing as there should be very little rust on the vehicle. Later, however, we found out why it is not quite so maintenance free as we had first thought. But, until then, we looked into how to tackle the rust issues we had. There was a small hole in the chassis by the battery carrier and that was patched up easily. Then we had the supposedly mammoth task of recreating some of the bulkhead below the windscreen. We'd already been quoted £800 for and the chap wanted to removed the entire screen cutaway the section of body directly below it. After a bit of a head scratch we decided against all of that and removed only a slip of fibreglass to gain access to the damaged area.
It didn't look to be as bad as we had first thought.
I'd been tipped off by a friend of mine that there was a company who produced racking in town and they left all their off-cuts in an open skip outside over night. He was right and came back that evening with plenty of steel sheet and angle perfect for the job. The next day it was repaired and the fibreglass section ready to be reinstalled. Next job is a new bonnet hanger, the dash board and that dreaded wheel arch but for now I'm out of gas so it's on to different jobs.
A wet sheet over the engine to stop it catching on fire. The sheet dried out and caught on fire anyway.
Panel on the underside of the dash cut and ready to be welded into place.
A woeful wheel arch.
Rust damage on the dashboard. Could be a bit tricky.
We also removed the panels from within the engine bay including heater fan and rad and the horn. We tested them and found the horn to be faulty but the heater fan still works although neither work on the switch.
After such a fateful few months, and feeling slighty guilty for doing so little work over the winter months, I decided Molly (and I) needed a little morale boost. We had been saving the big clean for the MOT day, but as the sun warmed up and the dream of holding a green MOT form feels increasingly formidable, we decided the day had come to scrape the mould from her fibreglass and reveal Molly's majestic beauty to the world.
So we called some folks to come celebrate Imbolc; the spring time awakening of earth and of Molly.
Unfortuneately on the chosen day we all arrived either too hungover or too drunk to be of much use, so I set about mixing the bloody mary's whilst others napped in the sunshine and the wonderful Rosie put in most of the elbow grease...thanks Rosie (she can be seen displaying her talents on the roof of the van below).
When the cleaning was completed, Molly transformed, spring had sprung... we all piled into the back of the campervan the first of many high tea's. Complete with my Molly shaped birthday cake!
At forty five years of age, after a decade of neglect wherein the most damage she endured was some wood rot and mice moving in, apparently we upset the natural course of things in uprooting the old girl...
...as I jubilantly skipped down the garden back in October, after handing over a wad of cash and becoming the proud owner of this resplendent vehicle, I pulled back the driver side door to leap inside, only for the hinges to give up the ghost and I landed in the nettles door atop of me. Olly wedged it back in and declared it a job for 'later'. We have since watched the passenger door become increasingly wobbly and weak; we await the imminent detatchment.
...next came the column shift debacle - an infuriating event I am not allowed to write about, for my fury is less controlled than Olly's.
...and just a few days later the mid winter winds picked up, Molly sat a sorry night alone in the Somerset garden savaged by the weather. A phone call from Olly's Brother Zachary informed us she had lost a skylight window and got a little damp inside. Said window was found strewn in four parts across the south west.