By Mike Peake.
So, my boot lid is looking pretty good in primer and I’m waiting for my colouring aerosols to arrive as well as the next set of instructions from my patient patron of paint, Tosh Brooks. However my new dynamo brushes had arrived at the princely cost of £2.50 so I decided to crack on with this. I cleared an area in the utility room and put down some cardboard to protect the worktop. This was remarkably far thinking for me but proved effective when I was inevitably busted by Mrs FB. I actually got away with just a mildly suspicious “Hmmmmmmm”.
A certain Simon Yeardon of the group, flush with his success of actually being helpful in supplying the dynamo diagnostic booklet, was now filling me with fear on how difficult it would be to get the brush assembly back on whilst holding the brushes back. So it was with trepidation that I began.
I found my really big screw driver and applied lots of force to the stubborn retaining bolts. I got the lid off and had the old brushes removed in very short order. My diagnosis of worn out brushes proved correct.
I quickly fitted the new ones. However, instead of correctly positioning the end of clock type spring on top of the brush, I put it on the side, (Yes. On purpose too) effectively retaining the brush in the fully withdrawn position, allowing easy refitting of the top assembly to the body of the dynamo.
Once all fully fitted and tightened, it was simply a matter using a small screw driver to tease the springs back into position at the top of the brushes and job done in less than five minutes from getting my really big screwdriver out. Ha! Who’s the bumbling incompetent fool now Simon? Eh? Eh?
Feeling smug about my dynamo success and armed with Tosh Brooks latest missive of his step-by-step guide to the Dark Arts, I sat in front of my boot lid with a bucket of water and a cunningly folded sheet of 1500 wet and dry. My gods - is that dull work! After what seemed like days of work later, I was quite pleased with the result and had only gone through the primer in one place on the shaped back bottom edge. So, I dried it all off and applied a couple of coats of primer on the bare bit, gave it the requisite hour that it said on the can and tried to flat that bit back.
The can is a filthy liar! Primer is not ready to sand after an hour and I had a bit of a gloopy mess on my hands… and on the boot lid. Was I downhearted? Of course I was. Bottom lip a-trembling, I gave up and went in doors to have a merlot and pour my heart out to Tosh. Tosh’s advice and the Merlot soon had my upper lip suitably stiffened, and 48 hours later had me sanding that bit back to bare metal and reapplying fresh primer, leaving it 24 hours to dry properly this time, before flatting back again.
A thorough clean with panel wipes and a final wipe over with a tack cloth and I was standing there vigorously rattling my rattle cans. It was Friday afternoon after work and I only had the May Day bank holiday weekend to finish up and get everything back on the car before the Peaks Tour. So, carefully following Tosh’s instructions, I applied the 1st light coat and waited for 15 minutes to see if there were any adverse reactions. There wasn’t. It was looking good. So after another tack cloth wipe over I started adding coats of colour in earnest. Starting at the back bottom edge and working my way the top front edge and starting again at the back. I applied the best part of one and a half 400ml aerosols of colour and then stood admiring my handiwork for half an hour.
It started to rain, so I went to slide my work bench further into what remained of my garage. The boot lid slipped and was heading for the concrete floor but I caught it just in time to avoid complete disaster. However, there was now a thumb print on one edge so I shut everything away.
A further messenger heart to heart with Tosh and I was sure it would come out when I flatted back. On the whole though, the boot looked really good. So good in fact that when I posted the results in the group, Paul Sweeney and Brian Allison were driven to say that I was in danger of losing my reputation for being an incompetent bumbling fool. Even Lord John Simpson of Boston was impressed enough to offer his congratulations and suggest that I crack open the Merlot to celebrate. High praise indeed and who am I to ignore the instructions of such a giant in our field.
It wasn’t all good news though, Mrs FB came home and pointed out that the drive was now red with overspray and the house stank of paint. With hindsight, It may not have been such a good idea to say that it was a red brick drive so no one else will notice. Anyway, it was lovely to catch up with all the gossip and life events of the nurses at A&E who were, as always, very nice
Saturday was a write off when it came to working on Poppy as my daughter took delivery of her 2013 Mini One convertible. We had to drive all over Wiltshire in the glorious sun with the roof down for the whole day. We still haven’t been able to get the grin off her face. This put me in mind of the time we bought Mrs FB’s 1st blue Mini back in the mid 80’s… but that is a story for another blog..
Bright and early Sunday morning and I was back with my bucket of water and cunningly folded 1500 wet and dry. The thumbprint was now almost invisible and I proceeded with my trusty machine polisher, and cutting compound followed by a softer pad and polish followed by a generous application of incredibly expensive wax that promised advanced protection against UV.
I stood back to admire my work and , WOW! Even if I do say so myself, WOW!
It was gleaming, It was stunning, I WAS A GOD!
Considering that a month ago, I hadn’t even heard of most of the terms I’ve used above, I have never attempted anything like this before and I was having a go without any of the recommended expensive equipment, yes, I have to say, I was quite pleased with myself.
I was so pleased with the finish that I went immediately to the lock up to refit the dynamo to Poppy and slowly drive her home from the lock up so nothing would fall out of the boot that was without its lid.
There were a couple of occasions when the bumbling fool put in an appearance though. After fitting the dynamo I realised that it might work better if I actually connected those two wires and being ever so thankful that all the nuts, washers and spacers required to refit the boot lid to the car, were still in the boot gutter where I’d left them before my careful drive home from the lock up.
Poppy’s top deck was treated to a machine polish and lavished with a generous application of the same, incredibly expensive anti UV wax that I’d used on the boot in the hope that she would stay red slightly longer than a week this time.
Just the furniture to fit to the boot lid and the boot lid to the car and I would be ready for the groups Peaks Tour. I would be able to bask in the glory of my mastery of the dark art of body work thanks to Tosh’s patience and his excellent correspondence course. Along with the trouble-free dynamo repair, maybe I would finally cast aside the mantle of bumbling incompetent fool for ever!
To this end, I turned the boot lid over so I could fit the number plate light and cover ensuring that it would remain scratch free by carefully placing a dust sheet underneath it.
It was when I went to turn the lid back over again that disaster struck and my world crashed around me. You see, the dust cover had stuck to the surface and either left an imprint in the paint, left bits of the cover embedded in the paint or pulled bits of paint off exposing the primer. The whole thing was ruined.
I have to say that the air turned a virulent shade of electric blue with all the bad words shouted at full volume. I was devastated. I was heartbroken and after all the hours I had put in, and the finish I’d achieved, I am not ashamed to admit, I blubbed like a baby.
I don’t have enough time or enough paint to repair the damage before the tour, so instead of basking in my comrades admiration for a job well done, I have to put the lid back on the car and suffer the shame and humiliation of having the evidence of my bumbling incompetence glaring for everyone to see.
So, There are some new rules for those of you posting in the group or attending this weekend’s tour and they are as follows:-
To be continued if I regain the will to live.... PS anyone want to buy a Herald with Dodgy paintwork?
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