by Mike Peake
The re-commissioning has now taken me into the early spring of 2014 and I’m ordering the brake components after my incompetence in the last chapter.
The Chap at Canley very wisely suggested that I be careful when removing the old brake pipe so I could use it as a pattern for bending the new pipe the correct way. I fully intended to follow this advice right up to the moment I realised the old pipe ran behind the heater matrix which I would have to remove. I consulted Haynes on the removal of the heater matrix and discovered that it would involve being upside down under the dash with my legs waving in the air. As I'm far too old (ok...fat) for those sort of antics and the fire service is far too busy to come out to put me the right way up again, I decided to consult the forum again as to whether there was any technical reason why I couldn’t re-run the pipe by a different route. There wasn’t, so I resorted to my usual technique of butchery and brute force to remove the old pipe.
Whilst butchering the old pipe, I realised that I would have to remove the nearside engine valance to get at the 4 way splitter that the other end of the new brake pipe needed to connect to. To remove the valance I would have to remove the radiator…again! I was getting quite good at draining and removing the radiator by now so it was soon all done. With easy access now achieved, the new MC was fitted along with the brake pipe re-routed in front of the heater matrix. The nearside engine valance and radiator were successfully refitted and topped up with the correct water anti-freeze mix…again.
Poppy now had her front wheels back on the ground for the 1st time in several weeks and she was very carefully turned around under her own steam to allow the back to be put up on stands so I could replace the wheel cylinders, brake hoses, springs etc. which all went surprisingly well and with the help of my patient pedal pusher (Mrs FB this time) the braking system was soon full of Dot 4 instead of air.
Mrs FB retired to order the Chinese take away that was the price of her assistance and I was happily driving up and down the driveway in front of the row of lockups enjoying the fact that Poppy not only goes but now stops.
“So, Just got to patch the steering gaiter and she would be ready for the man from the ministry”.
It was this thought that reminded me that I hadn’t checked the simple stuff like lights, wipers etc so I proceeded to do so. The good news was that all the lights were present and working correctly, as were the wipers. The bad news was that the washer pump had packed up yet again and whilst cleaning the steering gaiter ready for the patch it developed a couple of severe splits between the “bellows”!
I should be used to these emotional highs and lows by now but I wasn’t. The Prom was only 2 weeks away and I was starting to panic! So I collected the takeaway on my way home and consulted another bottle of Merlot.
to be continued
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