The Countryman restoration

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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby AustinofEngland » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:12 pm

Great stuff here! :bow:
Preparing metalwork ready for welding I can just about cope with but welding I'm hopeless, I end up grinding off far more than actually welding!
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby beko » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:17 pm

I can same the same about your own project - great work that probably is taking A35 restoration to a new level!
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Postby Neil Evans » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:51 am

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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby beko » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:51 pm

I've not had much time this weekend, but have more or less sorted the front panel.

The donor car had a bit of a bump in the lower part of the OSF, but once the lead was melted out it has straightened out much better. It didn't have much rot at all in this side, but did need a new edge for the joint with the wing.

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So that is both sides done now.

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Trial fit is pretty good, but it will need lots of fixings to hold in place while welding back in. I think nuts and bolts are the answer along the back and wing edges.

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I need to resist the temptation to stick it all back together straight away - the engine bay has had a badly applied heavy coat of what looks primer filler, so i need to see if it can be sanded or removed now, as it's easier to get at the inner wings and bulkhead before the bonnet surround goes on. If i have it sandblasted it probably does not matter - that may be the only option if this won't shift!

I think it would also be best to repair the front wings too, but i may have to use some better saloon ones to check the alignment first as i don't want to find i have fixed the front panel in the wrong place and have accidentally repaired the wings to fit something that was out of alignment.

The reinforcement rings around the headlamp mountings want replacing too, but i think those are best left until the front panel is in place
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby A40FARINAGURU » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:01 pm

keep up the good work David :thumbs:
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby beko » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:23 pm

A bit of a quiet weekend on the Countryman, but some progress.

I wanted to check the fit of the front wings on both sides before even thinking about welding the bonnet surround in. I've been quietly squirreling away front wings over the last 18 months and now have quite a collection of van and saloon wings in various states. I'll fix the spares when I have a few spare hours :whistle:

The nearside front wing that came with the Countryman isn't a bad one - it needs a proper repair to the front, but fits pretty well - little final fettling will sort that. It does need a new lower rear corner, but won't fit that until the front panel is in and I can properly fit the wing first.

The offside is a bit more of a challenge as the offside wings I have all need some work. The one originally off the Countryman isn't the original - it has been replaced at some stage in its life and it's been a typical low-grade bodyshop repair job - fitted then painted. This means all the flanges are rotten as there's never been any paint on them. :roll:

I had picked up another offside van wing which didn't look pretty, but i thought would be easier to repair. Oddly the flange by the door had gone (makes me wonder if it is another one fitted first then painted) but the front end was sound apart from having a bit of a bash around the headlight.

I thought i could get away with straightening the front and welding up the thin bits but after spending a few minutes chasing my tail, i reckoned it was best to cut it out.

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I kept the old bonnet surround parts thinking these may come in useful for a small headlamp repair section.

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The top and bottom were a pretty good fit, but the mid section need a bit of work with the shrinker to pull it in a bit. I replaced the rotten bit of the headlight reinforcement ring too. All welded up, and the fit doesn't look too bad. The edges of both panels could do with sharpening up a bit, but it will all fit.

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I've still a bit to do to the back. I've replaced about 20 cm of the rear flange, and will finish that off once I'm ready to fit the wing and repair the lower corner. I'll have it blasted once repaired just to make sure there are no other bits I've missed.
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby A40FARINAGURU » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:25 pm

keep it up :thumbs:
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby beko » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:23 pm

I've had a weekend off - instead I've been spending money on a new daily driver and a 1275 gearbox for the Countryman, luckily both in the same neck of the woods so able to combine trips
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby Cyril » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:21 am

looking great! It will be a beauty when it's done. So glad you got this one.
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby beko » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:34 pm

Thanks - still plenty to do, but now back from my travels!

Been catching up with paperwork and house and garden stuff, but i did have a look at the driver's side door. I need to get this fitting properly, but to do that this one also needs the bottom hinge repairing to fix fatigue cracks and a previous bodge.

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Now sorted and ready to fit.

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Trial fit isn't bad, the top hinge needs a little adjustment, but that can wait until i'm ready to start the sill and floor repairs on this side.
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby beko » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:33 pm

Managed a few more hours over the weekend.

First job was the miserable job of sanding down the paint/primer filler that had been blown round the engine bay. As the bonnet surround was off, it made sense to do this while it was much more accessible. It'll need a bit more primer but at least it's smoothed off now.

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I did find a body number. The Fisher & Ludlow plate has been taken off but I'm sure I've seen it with some bits somewhere.

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At last the bonnet surround could go on. This is the kind of welding i like!

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Back edge pulled up OK with a few nuts and bolts.

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This bit will be awkward! I'll need a few nuts and bolts to make sure it's all pulled really tight before welding.

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Pulling the front tight to the valance was a bit tricky, and not easy to weld together. I realised that on the last one, i tipped the car on its side and welded from underneath to get better access. I made a cardboard template to check that the shape was the same each side (or close enough so you won't notice any difference ..)

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With the bonnet surround tacked on most of the way round, it's looking healthier again. Wings fit OK, but I will improve the fit - nearside one still needs repairing properly at the front.

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I've a new headlamp reinforcement ring to fit on this side.

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I'll be trying to finish off the bonnet surround next weekend, so then i can properly fit the wings. I might do the lower bottom corner of the nearside one to finish that corner, but the offside one will have to wait until the floor and sill are done - that's the next major job - probably.
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby A40FARINAGURU » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:47 pm

beko wrote:I did find a body number. The Fisher & Ludlow plate has been taken off but I'm sure I've seen it with some bits somewhere.

SDC12093.JPG

these stamping's are a mystery, dad has one stamped on the underside of the offside chassis leg right at the front on 'UOM', i've known others crop up in this role too, they appear not to match the Fisholow body number.... :study:
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby Neil Evans » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:06 am

A40FARINAGURU wrote:These stamping's are a mystery...


I strongly suspect that those on the bulkhead are the actual sequential body number and that the numbered Fisher & Ludlow plates were applied randomly to the completed shells, after painting... :thumbs:
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby Duncan » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:54 am

Looking great! one question about the bonnet surround panel, were these originally welded in - or are they just bolted on with the wings?
reason I ask is that I have a NOS one in the shed ready to clean up & fit to my A30 someday...
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Re: The Countryman restoration

Postby Neil Evans » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:16 am

They are spot welded in place. When I replace them I bolt the back seam together, having applied panel adhesive to the joint first... :thumbs:
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