Saving a Series I: Part Seven
It’s the turn of the front chassis for more intricate fabrication as the resto continues
144 It’s time for more intricate fabrication as the front end of the chassis gets some attention
The final work to complete on our chassis is on the remaining, untouched front end. So far, our time has been spent on the rear two-thirds of the car, as that typically is the section that corrodes faster. At the front end of the chassis, exhaust heat, engine oil leaks or residual engine heat after use all mean there’s less opportunity for water to sit around, hastening corrosion. In contrast, the centre and rear parts of a chassis are a little more exposed to the elements.
To work on the front we unbolted the front axle much as we did with the rear, then raised the chassis on heavy-duty axle stands, and set to work. Our hypothesis on the chassis condition proved loosely correct. The front end was in good shape by and large. In fact, the nearside was in such good shape that all it would need was a scrape, rub down and go over with the D/A sander, and it would be ready for paint.
The offside, in contrast, was a little worse. Just a little, mind. The top section was fine, but the area around the bump stop was thin, so was slated for repair. The dumb iron was holed, so that would be replaced. No job is straight forward, of course, and that dumb iron’s spring hanger also has the chassis number on. Replacing the hanger would mean the car loses it’s identifying mark. Thankfully, welding master James Holmes has a solution; he would trim off the original chassis number section, then seamlessly fit that onto the replacement spring hanger. Having seen his abilities so far, I didn’t even question it. By now, I knew it would be just right.
After the relatively fast pace of the last job, wielding spanners on the rear axle, it was a bit of a kick in the teeth to get the grinding kit out again and slow right down, but, needs must. For total chassis access, the bulkhead would have to come off too, which meant also addressing the wiring loom. Having seen the state of much of it, James simply cut through it.
Tools needed – General workshop tools, grinding and sanding equipment, MIG and TIG welder, ball joint separator, paint brushes and rollers