1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

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Vulgalour
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1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:00 pm

There was a work log on the old forum, and my post about having a crash became a work log, but for the sake of tidiness I'm going to continue the story over here.

So, other details on here are here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=48 and the story from the beginning can be found on another forum, over here: http://retrorides.proboards.com/index.c ... ead=123005

Last year, I had the misfortune to run into a van which was my own stupid fault at the time. I put my hands up to it, but accidents do happen. I wasn't about to give up on the old girl and while I've not been blessed financially (especially in 2012) I determined to keep her no matter what and make things right again.
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Thankfully, you don't need a lot of money to get a car back on the road after a bump like this. What you need is a £450 Maestro and a ratchet strap your Dad got for free from a fellow lorry driver back in the day, a bit of skill and finally a hammer. You'd be amazed what you can achieve.
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I've almost got the car back to MoT standard now. It's not pretty, but it will have to do until better weather comes along and I've saved up enough for all the front sheet metal I want - valance, slam panel, front wing, possibly bonnet too - so I can get someone with proper skills to put it all together for me.


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Then the snow came and put a stop to things for me. I can't very well pull dents and apply paint when it's below freezing, at least not without any hope of reasonable success.
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The other one wanting money off me for cosmetic tinkering is the Maestro, but all in good time.
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All being well, next weekend or thereabouts I'm off to collect a set of Lotus alloys which, if my research is correct, drop straight on and stick out a bit more than the original steels. Should end up looking pretty good.
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Thanks to rovamota I have the penultimate piece for the front end following the crash which is the driver's side indicator/sidelight unit which leaves me only needing to purchase a number plate. The front bumper will go on if I can straighten it, but it's not vital for the MoT. All the plastics were chanced upon on eBay, which was fortunate, with the old ones up for replacement at some point anyway due to the condition of the overpainted headlight trims.

As soon as the weather improves I'll get the paint sorted on the front, screw the nose back together, resolve the minor oil leak and get the suspension pumped up as it's dropped considerably while she's been off the road. I'm aiming to have her MoT'd and taxed in time for the Brooklands Austin Morris day and while she might not be pretty I see no harm in turning up looking like a refugee from a 1990s Council estate ;)

Eventual plans remain a change of colour to Aconite purple with a Champagne Beige roof and possibly a retrim in ivory/cream velour on the seat facings with matching carpets while keeping the brown vinyl elements intact. Whitewalls may also happen. She'll end up looking a little bit Americanised and will certainly be one of a kind but fundamentally I will be more concerned with keeping her on the road where she can be seen and used and keeping her in good, reliable order as much as possible. I love driving this car and I seriously miss being out there in the wild with her.

So, I'm done repeating myself, normal service will resume from here on.
Last edited by Vulgalour on Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:40 pm, edited 273 times in total.

budgie
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 19/01 Up to Speed

Post by budgie » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:57 pm

love reading all what you done and looking at the photos, you have done so well. i take my hat off to you. :)

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 19/01 Up to Speed

Post by Vulgalour » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:18 pm

Cheers, Budgie :D

We got more snow. This gave me more work (I REALLY miss my garage) because I don't like several inches of snow sitting on top of the Princess. It's not massively evident in the following pictures, but when the snow was removed you could watch the Princess slowly lift herself up another inch or so, was quite a peculiar thing to see.

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There was no point even trying to get the Princess to move from where she is, drive is too steep and there's far more snow than I can be arsed to move on the floor.

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rovamota
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 21/01 - More Snow

Post by rovamota » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:27 pm

Well I posted your light unit today, so it should be with you in the next couple of days or so.

Kev.
Kev Davis.
Club President.
Founder of www.leylandprincess.co.uk.
Owner of unique Princess 2000ST 'Special Tuning'.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 21/01 - More Snow

Post by Vulgalour » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:42 pm

I look forward to it! I'm picking up the new wheels this weekend. Everything is falling neatly into place, I feel. The snow is supposed to stop on Wednesday so hopefully later this week I can get a break in the weather good enough to get the work on the nose finished off.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 21/01 - More Snow

Post by Vulgalour » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:27 pm

Today, the ephemera I bought from eBay arrived. The paperwork is for a 1981 2.0 HL (Gone is NKY348X, 1981-1992) but there's some bits that are of use to me, like the instructions for the radio (I should now be able to re-pre-set the radio stations!) and some bits that are of interest to me, like the Leycare stuff.

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Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 24/01 - Ephemera

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Jan 27, 2013 6:05 pm

First of all, big fat thanks go to Mike D (over on Retro Rides) for being the enabler to this update for it is he that provided, for a reasonable quantity of currency, the content of this particular update.

Early in the build I wanted something different for the wheels, as much as I adore the original steels with trims, because I knew there was something I could do on this front that would really suit the car and bring it closer to the concepts. That something was Lotus Turbine alloys and I've been hunting for a good set that was available while I had money in my pocket unsuccessfully for a while now until Mike D offered his set at precisely the right moment.

One trip out to Lincoln in the Maestro to collect them on Saturday followed by visiting a good mechanic friend so he could mock my choice of vehicles (surprisingly, he was magnanimous about the Maestro) made for a pretty good weekend. Better yet, I got back before the sun had set so pictures could happen.

Boot jam-packed full of win. One of the rear door handles on the Maestro snapped on Saturday and that, in my mind, seals the fate of the car becoming a car-van now. Logic, I has it.
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I knew the PCD was the same, but I suspected that was the only thing that would be correct between the Princess and the Lotus. I'd made use of www.willtheyfit.com to find out what the likely dimensions would be and all seemed to be good. So, off with the old.
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On with the new... ah.
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As you can see, the holes line up with the bolts nicely, but it is not a snug fit. I'm guessing I need a combination of all, or some of the following to make it correct: spigot rings, sleeve nuts, longer bolts.

However, for the purposes of photographs it would have been rude not to mock up one side and check fit and clearances.

DISCLAIMER: I will not be running the car even one inch with the wheels fitted in this way, I suggest you don't either.

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Delighted doesn't even come close to telling you how I feel about the way these look. Arch mods are not needed, perhaps a little bit more sidewall would be marginally better as the 205/60 Dunlops that are on (I've got to properly check these, they're borderline usable) are not my first choice of size.

But I mean really. It doesn't get much better than this for me.

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New on the right, old on the left.
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Yes, that'll do I think. Just got to refurb them with a bit of elbow grease and satin paint, obtain the relevant fitting parts and we're good to go.

budgie
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 27/01 Lotus Alloys

Post by budgie » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:28 pm

i was very unsure at first but those wheels look bloody fab, a one off princess to turn heads. :)

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 27/01 Lotus Alloys

Post by Vulgalour » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:49 pm

Better (in my opinion) than Ambassador alloys. Research has revealed that a set of sleeve nuts will locate the Lotus alloys perfectly safely, but that spigot rings make for an easier refit of the wheel and an added level of security, though are not vital in this instance.

Any further mods I do are performed with the phrase "What would Harris Mann do?" in mind

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 27/01 Lotus Alloys

Post by Vulgalour » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:22 pm

There was a break in the weather after I took the Princess out (on a private road) so I could get a feel of how she's driving post Maestro straightening. It might've only been a short run, and my driver's seat (replacement sourced) might be knackered but it reminded me just how much more civilised a place it is than the Maestro. With this in mind, I'm giving the Maestro a break while I put my time and money into the Princess.

Out with some useful tools, including a slide hammer (the thing with the red handle) which is on loan from the neighbour. I've never used one of these before, but I did find they're both useful, and hard work.

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I'm used to using a drift and dolly - improvised, whatever's to hand really - so pulling out dents rather than bashing them out is slightly different. I used the same approach, estimating the deepest point of the dent so that I could, in theory, pull it out evenly.

First of all, a pilot hole is drilled into which a screw is screwed. I found the screw I started with in the pictures had too small a head and I had to change this for a larger headed screw to prevent the slide hammer jumping off. To operate, you hook the tines of the slide hammer under the head of the screw and pull on the red sliding handle which hits a nut at the end of it's run, thus giving a similar action to a hammer hitting the panel from underneath.
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It's a fairly crude tool, really, but it's not bad at lessening the appearance of the sharper dents and will mean that less filler is required. Certainly, a bodyshop could do better. I found that because of how flexible the bonnet is I had to sit on it while using the slide hammer for the best result. Thankfully, there's not much to me so I didn't put more dents in the bonnet.
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Once I'd gone as far as I could, I set to with the flapwheel to remove the loose paint and surface rust.
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Then slap some primer on before the heavens opened once more and I can see it's better, if not perfect. Once I have more beige paint I'll blend this in pre-MoT just to keep things tidy, but I'll likely need to replace this bonnet if it cannot be repaired. I'd rather repair it as it's a very good bonnet bar the obvious dents.
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I didn't expect the wing dents to pull out as well as the bonnet because of the strengthening crease there. But I'm planning to buy a new wing anyway for when I book the car into a bodyshop to get this repaired properly.
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Bolted the trim and lights back on and made a start doing pre-MoT checks but the weather was really against me.
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So far, I've discovered the following to address:
> Drivers side sidelight not working
> Passenger side wing repeater not working
> Number plate light not working
> Headlights require proper alignment
> Small oil leak (have materials to resolve, I think)
> Running a bit rich, visible emissions at start up

Other MoT items I know are needed:
> front number plate missing
> Bottom of drivers side wing insecure (rotted out)
> Rust in bulkhead/inner wing both sides. Caused by arch liners, funnily enough

Other, non-MoT items I know are needed:
> Tracking
> Lotus wheel balancing
> Jolly good clean

Now, if we can just have some nice weather I'll be happy.

budgie
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 31/01 - Pre-MoT Work

Post by budgie » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:48 pm

this is better than reading a best sellar.cant wait for the next chapter, and it comes with pictures :)

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 31/01 - Pre-MoT Work

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:19 pm

haha, cheers Budgie :D

Decided that given the relative clemency of the weather today - ie: it's not raining sideways - I'd get myself some beige paint for the Princess to tart her up a bit. One trek over to my local Halfords to find they no longer stock Champagne Beige but have the similar Sandlewood Beige in and I'm all set to get on with it. I did mean to pick up a couple of bulbs and a numberplate, but I forgot the former, and didn't have ID to obtain the latter because I was over-excited about paint.

I'm not doing a super-special paint job here, just a quick rattlecan tidy up. Still, it's worth wrapping various bits of trim with newspaper to save work later on.
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New rattle can paint is rubbish and I really don't rate it. Far too easy to end up with runs everywhere and it's quite expensive to get a decent depth of paint, much more so than it used to be. This will all be coming off at a later date anyway, so as long as it was waterproof and tidy that's all I was fussed about. Paper off, some trim refixed and she's looking remarkably good all things considered.
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Even that crumpled wing looks okay. There's no filler in any of this either, it's all bare bones stuff with paint stuck on top so I'm impressed at how well it turned out considering that.
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The front end is still a bit bent. The bottom corner of the valance is squished back a bit and the wing rail is, I think, ever so slightly pulled down. By the looks of things, the bonnet isn't exactly straight anymore either, but it all looks tweakable by a pro, it's beyond the tools I have available now.
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So I'm switching back to using the Princess as a daily once I've got a happy little MoT certificate. I'm hoping to book her in somewhere in a couple of weeks, I'd do it sooner but I need the road tax money before I can book her in anywhere.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 01/02 - Beige On

Post by Vulgalour » Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:14 pm

More MoT stuff. I've had a look underneath and I can't find anything that needs addressing (there might be something I can't see, obviously) bar the front wing that needs a little bit of remedial fibreglassing or gaffer tape or similar MoT bodge for the very short term. Gave both sills a good thump down their entire length, particularly where crusty, and they're perfectly fine and sound. Checked the inner arch rust too and that looks superficial enough not to be a concern, I'll probably just clean up any flakes and give it a quick tidy to get me on my way.

Wheel bearings - no horrible noises or play.
Brakes - clean, plenty of life, good and sharp. Handbrake is also much better than when I got the car.
Tyres - MoT worthy if I don't get the Lotus ones on before booking her in.

That done, I needed to check my lights. Everything but the passenger side repeater and driver's sidelight are working as they ought. So we pulled the side repeaters and the passenger side emptied a bunch of water out of the plastic shroud that's supposed to keep water out.
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Dried things out, ran a few checks and found that the bullet connectors under the bonnet needed a jiggle to get the earth connected again.
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After checking the brakes and whatnot, the wheels went back on with their trims to make things look more presentable and to prevent me accidentally damaging the trims while I'm sorting out storage for excess car things all over the house. This is actually much the stance I'd like for the Princess, only slightly lower. It's a great shape for a bit of rake.
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After much multi-metering and fiddling I found that the sidelight bulb I replaced wasn't working because there's another temperamental earth connection on the replacement unit. After a while everything lined up, just a case of jiggling things about until whatever is slightly amiss connects. I think the earth is a bit dodgy in the replacement unit as that seems to be the root of the problem here, but it's cured with a quick jiggle.
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I also bought a new number plate and one of those magnetic tax disc holders I'm fond of because of how tidy they look. I'll fit those tomorrow if this weather holds for me.

Checklist is now:
> Resolve oil leak - would've done this today, but there wasn't enough light to work by
> Align headlights - Quick job, just needs to be dark. Cba to do it right now, it can wait.
> Bodge rust hole and split seam on front wing for the MoT, probably with fibreglass. It's coming off anyway so it'll be a very short term measure just for the MoT.
> Check running. There's a bit of condensation coming out of the exhaust rather than any real emissions, probably from the car being stood for a while. Regular running of the engine seems to be resolving this.

Nearly there, then.

budgie
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 02/02 - More MoT Prep

Post by budgie » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:40 pm

for those of us that love these cars but got no idea how they work and im one of those people, ive learnt a lot just by reading all what you are doing and looking at the pics.if ever you come to gt yarmouth for a holiday pop in for a cuppa.you are doing a great job.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 02/02 - More MoT Prep

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:02 pm

Tea in Great Yarmouth with a Princess enthusiast, with my reputation? ;)

Today, I've got all bar two of my pre-MoT jobs done. The first of those jobs is waiting for darkness to fall because it's headlight alignment. The second is waiting for it not to be so dark, because that's a good clean of the car so she doesn't look like a complete shed when I take her for the MoT.

Here's what I got up to. First job was getting the mechanical fuel pump off to resolve the oil leak. While this is a really good upgrade over the electric pump that was fitted when I got the car, I've had trouble getting one spot on the spacer gasket to seal properly. I think I've cracked it today, but I'll only find out after a few miles. Had to disconnect and remove the pump, clean off the rocker cover face and the spacer face so there wasn't any of the old sealant on there and then apply the new, higher quality and far more expensive, sealant. Hopefully this will work better. The other side of the spacer seals perfectly to the pump with no leak issues whatsoever.
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After a while of running the car at idle not even a smidge of fresh oil leak was visible and there's no smell of burning oil either from any residuals so I think we've got it. I hope so, because otherwise I'm going to have to look into yet another solution to this.
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Then it was time to make sure that the wing was secured to the car. It doesn't flap around, but because the seam between the wing and valance had burst, I was concerned it might be seen as being insecure. I drilled some holes and found a little bit of drilled aluminium in the bits box along with some suitable screws. It's not pretty and it is a bodge but it is only for the MoT and not long term.
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Also put some gaffer tape over it, just to prevent there being any sharp edges and to tidy it up a bit.
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I then went around the car putting little pieces of gaffer tape over bumper holes and the trim fixings on the damaged wing that I can't figure out how to remove so there were no sharp edges or places for exhaust gasses to get into the car. I had to do the same thing with the Polo when it had extraneous holes and it got through the MoT no bother.
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Next we wired in the new (rubbish) LED number plate lights. I put them through the original number plate wiring holes and found we then had to relocate the number plate to the factory location rather than where a previous owner had moved it as it wasn't being illuminated properly. There were no fitting instructions on these LED lights but I guess they're supposed to replace the number plate bolts/screws rather than the way I've fitted them.
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Eyeballing or measuring resulted in a wonky number plate because it is a rubbish number plate. We fitted it as best we could and as near to centre as it would look. It is now illuminated enough to be legal and that's all I can ask. Because of the hassle of getting the rear bumper on and off, I've kept it off for now. The car looks odd, but it doesn't look terrible. I'll be refitting them once I've got a better number plate light.
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Finally, after much deliberation, I fitted the new front number plate. There's not really a great deal of choice for location so I just put it where it is, that being the most vertical location on the front of the car. When the front bumper goes back on I'll relocate it in a better place but as with the rear, it'll do for now.
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If I can, I'll get her booked in for an MoT this coming week. I don't have the tax money saved up yet, but I realised that if she fails it's best to do so early so I can fix stuff than closer to my deadline when I can't. I'll just have to sit on my hands if she passes.

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Robatron86
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/02 - Update

Post by Robatron86 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:38 pm

I did exactly the same thing on my marina when some berk ran into my front end whilst I was stationary. Only car we had to do it with was a 1.3 Mini Scamp! Surprising what brute force and ingnorance can achieve. Anyway, keep up the good work, it is looking better with each update.

Rob

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/02 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:50 am

Can't remember ever seeing a Mini Scamp outside of photographs, they always looked like a lot of fun in a beach buggy sort of a way.

I'm frustratingly stuck at the moment. Princess is all ready for her MoT but work has dried up so I've got no spare cash to get her road legal. I hate February, it's always a tight month.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/02 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:33 pm

Not a fantastic update this one, but an update nonetheless. Went out to the move the car to use her once again as a bit of a storage mule, Mum wants her kitchen back and since she's providing me with a roof over my head who am I to argue? So that meant pulling the car up the drive to make things easier at which point I found out that the handbrake is working, but not superbly (which I sort of expected, the car hasn't been moved for a month) and that it feels very much like the thrust bearing which has been grumbling has finally let go, though the clutch seems good still. I want to do an oil change anyway, so it's not the end of the world.

In happier news, just like always she started first attempt and indeed first turn of the key. I miss driving this car a lot but I've got to focus my efforts on the BX so it stands the best chance of passing the MoT later this year which is eating all my spare funds.

budgie
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/02 - Update

Post by budgie » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:44 am

good luck with the mot im sure everything will be just fine as you have done a good job. i shall miss the updates when its all done. :)

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/02 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Mon Mar 11, 2013 8:41 pm

After meeting some of you chaps at Brooklands yesterday, I recall a request for the full thread being brought back up again. Let me help, here are some links.

Autoshite - bastion of all things unloved, superb place: http://autoshite.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13257
Retro Rides - bastion of all things modified, also a superb place: http://retrorides.proboards.com/index.c ... 005&page=1

It's a bit of a long read so be sure to pour yourself a large beverage of choice and stock up on biscuits and/or assorted nibbles.

Dave
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/02 - Update

Post by Dave » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:42 am

More of a regret that such a saga had been lost rather than anything but to know it's still there is good :lol:
You probably don't realise it but your pics and stories are inspirational, particularly to people trying to restore and run a classic on low budgets - that's most of us now days come to think of it :roll:
Great to meet you on Sunday by the way - Derek and I will defo be at Longbridge so there's a challenge for you, get her on the road for that :!:

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/02 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:03 pm

Boring miniature update here. Since Brooklands, I've been starting the Princess up and running her up and down the drive. At first I thought the thrust bearing had gone in the clutch as it wouldn't engage/disengage properly which made hillstarts rather tricky. I also thought the handbrake was wrong. Today, the trundle must have done some good because now the clutch is behaving almost as it did when the car came off the road though it does still need attention just as it has for the past year or so. The handbrake only comes up 3 notches, but it does hold the car and that's not necessarily a bad thing, I think the reason I thought this was a problem is because the 2 Maestros and the BX I've used since the crash all have a lot more travel in the handbrake so I'm not used to such a tight lever.

I think I've resolved the fuel pump gasket leak now and the car is as ready as she was before for the MoT. I'm going to remove/blank the outer headlights for the MoT so they can't be tested if I can't get an adjuster sourced and I'm hoping to get a welder bought in the very near future so I can get some of the more visible areas sorted to prevent them being an MoT issue. I'm quietly confident about getting a pass with advisories or at the worst a very short fail sheet because for all she looks a bit dog eared, this Princess is actually a pretty solid car.

Tell you what though, having a car you adore sat purring on the drive - because the engine does sound an awful lot better since all the work I did last year to rectify problems at purchase - and being unable to take it out on the open road has to be one of the most frustrating experiences. There's just something about this car that's so right, the BX comes close, but it doesn't have whatever it is the Princess has.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/02 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:42 pm

Crumbs, it's been a while since I updated here. Nothing doing with the old girl, sadly, since everything went to crap lately. HOWEVER, there's always little things that happen to move a project along, even if it's not by my own doing. Since the vandalism last year when my original aerial got snapped I've been after a replacement and while the comedy flower was okay, that too finally fell apart leaving me without an aerial. That meant I was after either an electric aerial which is faff to fit but would be cool, or something a little more period. You know how I like tasteless period accessories, so what better day to fit one than the first of April?

Courtesy of one of my Mum's friends, she found this now rare item in her wardrobe
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I then modified it in the time honoured fashion, I think I'm going to be going the tried and tested 90s Council Estate look before we get to the coolness of all purple paint, lotus alloys and shag pile & ivory velour interiors.
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Council Estate chic, innit.

Vulgalour
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 01/04 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:43 pm

With the angry yellow face in a pale blue thing I'm told is the sky, I decided to get out and do something on the Princess in readiness for getting her back on the road next month. First job was a wash which see needed badly, then to try and figure out just why she wasn't happy going up the drive. I put down the reluctance to being low on fuel as a jerry can of fresh petrol saw her perk up no end and run quietly and smoothly.

Brakes feel scarily inadequate after driving the BX for so long and the accelerator pedal feels scarily sensitive for much the same reason, but she still feels as good as she did when laid up. Brakes can't be too bad as I managed to lock them up on the driveway just to check I could and some rolling back and forth and applying of the brakes seems to have tightened things up.

Frustratingly, the wind that kept scything through the drive and whistling around the house meant that I couldn't get anything done with the seats so I've not been able to get the better items I collected from Boycie fitted. Additionally, the mechanical fuel pump that had sealed is now weeping oil from the same joint yet again, so I'm on the hunt for some cork gasket, I'm not prepared to give up on this one yet because the mechanical pump is a much better bit of kit than the electrical and the issue I'm having is likely related to the mating surfaces of the block and the pump.

For the MoT I have the following I know I need to resolve:
> 2 tyres - one needs resealing to the rim again, the other has a perished sidewall
> Outer driver's side headlight alignment - broken adjuster, should be straightforward to fix.

...and that's it. I can't check brake efficiency/balance or emissions beyond using one and smelling the other, I know the car runs quite lean from the fuel consumption side of things and the smell out the back. There's no rust that I can see that looks like it'll fail and all the things that should work, currently do. Once my replacement bonnet arrives I'll get that fitted before going to the MoT station as it'll just make things that bit more presentable and we'll have to suck it and see. As before, there's still a very good chance I'll pass but an equally good chance that something will come up that I cannot find at home. If I do fail I expect it to be on headlight alignment, emissions and brake efficiency with an outside chance of rust I haven't found.

Oh, and the only other thing I'm aware needs doing is the tracking because this wasn't done after the new TREs were fitted just before the last MoT attempt and I didn't have opportunity to do it afterwards.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 03/04 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:42 pm

I'm going to get them out of the shed for a better check, but if the tyres on the Lotus alloys are actually better than what's fitted currently to my steels, I'm going to pay for sleeve bolts to fit those rather than a part worn tyre and fitting on the wheels that need it as it's much the same price. It would also see me with a better make of tyre with substantially more tread which has got to help in the handling and stopping stakes and let's face it, the Princess needs all the help she can get on that score.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 05/04 - Bonnet - Thanks, Rovamo

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:46 pm

My replacement bonnet arrived for the Princess today. I'd got it into my head that it was white, but upon unwrapping the parcel I discovered it's actually more likely Oyster Metallic and it's from a late Princess due to the lack of bonnet badge. I'll salvage the badge off my old bonnet because it's one of the little details I like on the Princess. Now, I'm full of some sort of sinus infection man flu thing that's been doing the rounds, so really I should've left this job for another day, but instead I roped in a helper to be a second pair of hands so I can hoik the old bonnet off and fit the new one which is nice and straight, if a little scruffy.

On the initial trial fit, I didn't bolt anything together. I wanted to see just how straight the hole for the bonnet was before I committed to bolting things on and, happily, I found that it's very close to how it was when I bought the car. Confident about that element, I got bolting things up, namely the four bolts holding the bonnet to the hinges and the two screws that hold the knackered bonnet rams on. A little bit of tweaking with bolt locations and bump stops saw the new bonnet sitting as well as could be expected for a non-crash damaged Princess, so to get it this good given the crude nature of my repairs was something of a pleasant surprise.
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Of course, it didn't go entirely smoothly. The new bonnet highlighted what I already suspected from the slight cant of the radiator and the fact that the grille area isn't perfectly aligned which is that the slam panel is still about an eighth to a quarter of an inch too far back still. I don't particularly want to try and pull this forward any more, I got it about as far as it wanted to go with the Maestro and my plan was always to book in at a body shop to get the nose properly repaired when I have all the panel work. Instead, I removed the striker plates off both bonnets so I had use of the best one (which was from the new bonnet) and will slot the bolt holes so that I can adjust this accordingly. The release lever still catches and releases the bonnet without problem, but I don't think I could safely drive it like this. A job for another day in the near future, need a clearer head to make a good job of it.
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So, without the striker unit holding the bonnet up I could make some fine adjustments to the panel alignment. Best thing about the colour of the replacement bonnet is that it just looks mucky, rather than a mismatched panel... I mean, it is mucky, obviously, but it's a less glaring replacement than, say, a white bonnet would be.
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Wing gaps are about the same as they were when new, and they're fairly even side to side, which I'm happy about. The crashed side does need more adjustment as the wing is still slightly down at the nose and pushed out a little, but at a quick glance you'd only notice the bashed wing and forgive it that. Not perfect, but certainly a vast improvement on where we were with it.
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Now that my bonnet doesn't have a V in the front of it, you can see how close to being right that wing profile is. I could probably correct this further with fine tuning of the bump stops and hinge bolts, but I'm delighted that it's turned out as well as this. I certainly feel a lot more confident about the way it will be received at the MoT garage than with the old bonnet.
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Another step in the right direction at least, and my thanks go to Rovamota from the Princess forum for supplying the bonnet. Left to do are the new front seats to fit that bolt thread for the fuel pump and the Lotus alloys... which I've just remembered I didn't measure. I'll measure the bolt holes tomorrow, I cannot be doing with rummaging through the stores at the moment, I'd rather just sit here and enjoy my cup of tea.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 05/04 - Bonnet - Thanks, Rovamo

Post by rovamota » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:45 pm

Great stuff! I'm glad that bonnet has gone to a good home; it was only sat in my garden with its future looking grim as they are large and awkward to store. Looks better on a car!

Kev.
Kev Davis.
Club President.
Founder of www.leylandprincess.co.uk.
Owner of unique Princess 2000ST 'Special Tuning'.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 05/04 - Bonnet - Thanks, Rovamo

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:47 pm

I'll be using my old bonnet for any welding the Princess needs as it's got good solid metal and acres of it but right now, that's doing a great impression of a lawn ornament.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 05/04 - Bonnet - Thanks, Rovamo

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:53 am

Today, Sam paid me a surprise visit which was very welcome indeed. If there's one thing that can help a project along - apart from parts and funds, of course - it's the support of likeminded people and Sam is definitely that. His Montego is not only stunning, but a big motivation for me to get the Princess back into shape and a half day spent in Sam's company is enough to get me really enthused about moving things along properly. It's also a great opportunity to get more pictures of our old Austins together.

It was getting on a bit so there wasn't a lot I could get up to, but after going for a spin in Sam's Montego it did encourage me to at least have a go at tackling the bonnet with my favourite cleaning product and a Scotchbrite/green scouring pad to see just how close to the beige it would go. I think the lacquer is probably shot on this bonnet and the paint is very thin in places, but that's no big deal since I'll be repainting it anyway. For now, I just wanted it to look tidier, which it does. I'll get the clay bar and other cleaning products on it now the bulk of the dirt has been removed and give it a protective coat of wax and/or polish just to seal it against the elements until I get the fresh paint applied.
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I was surprised with this shot. Before, Dad's car was in the way but since he was out I could get a shot of the front properly and it actually looks really very straight. Tweaks are needed here and there, but overall I think this is pretty good.
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I might have another go at pulling that slam panel forwards before adjusting the striker plate, I'd be happier if it were just a bit further forwards, it doesn't need much to correct it fully. Really though, you'd be hard pressed to see what has shifted with the new bonnet in place. Makes me feel very positive about the car's future.
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Sam's Montego has had some work on the same corner as the Princess, though more involved, but clearly there must be something about these cars for us to spend so much attention on them. Either that or we're both completely mad.
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I'm always surprised when I realise there's only about 7 years separating these two cars.
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While Sam and I were shooting the breeze about all things car, a proper plan formulated for the Princess' eventual direction. I want it to be much more ostentatiously 70s, after all Sam keeps referring to me as Jason King when I'm behind the wheel, so an ivory interior and purple exterior with those Lotus alloys are the firmly set initial plan. Then ideas wandered off into other mods and eventually I'd like to put a FWD Lotus engine in this car and turn it into a 70s Lotus Princess (a thing that never was) and rebadge accordingly. It will push the car firmly into toy territory and it's a target that I'm aiming to achieve years down the line, but it'll be something with a good turn of speed, improved brakes and super plush interior that nobody will be able to miss. It will be the most ridiculous Princess ever conceived.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 07/04 - Monty Visits

Post by budgie » Sun Apr 07, 2013 6:20 pm

i enjoy reading your updates and one thing you mentioned about the tracking caught my eye, i think i need to get mine done is it a big job, if i let go of steering wheel the car will drift to the left. thanks. good luck with mot. :)

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 07/04 - Monty Visits

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:37 pm

Book it in with a garage, it's usually about £15 or so to get it done. Tracking makes a fair bit of difference to handling, fuel economy and tyre wear so it's sensible to get it checked at least once a year. I know mine is probably close to being right, but I didn't get it checked after fitting the new track rod ends so I've only guessed at the setting based on where the old ones sat.

At the moment, I'm toying around with old bits of trim that were broken in the crash to see if I can make some period looking headlight louvres for next to nothing.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 07/04 - Monty Visits

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:36 pm

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Making some headlight louvres out of the damaged grille and headlight surrounds I kept hold of 'just in case', I both get rid of some rubbish and do something interesting with the front of the Princess. Should cost nothing to make since I've got files and sandpaper and knifes and glue and loads of time. It'll also be a fun little project.

Rather than going for a plain straight across flat grille, I'll make use of the step built in to the grille and extent the steppiness into the louvres.

They'll probably only be show/daytime use, I'm not sure how much they'd restrict light output, but since it's only a case of undoing four screws to swap out the louvres for the regular trims I see no reason why I shouldn't give it a whirl.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 07/04 - Monty Visits

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:42 pm

Yesterday, my brother sprang an MoT on me and gave me five minutes to prepare. I had only managed to stop the oil leak on the fuel pump, fit the new driver's seat and start on the vacuuming of the interior. A quick slice of temporary insurance and off we went for a very impromptu test. I wasn't surprised that I failed, but I was surprised that I only failed on a single tyre (the emissions were corrected during the test) and got an advisory on weak rear brakes, though they did pass the required test.

Today, I got a new tyre fitted and balanced, got my tracking sorted and tootled off to get a nice fresh clean sheet. The advisory also disappeared, but since I'll be fitting rear brake shoes in the very near future, that's okay. Not bad, I think, all things considered.

I was hoping to go to Pride of Longbridge tomorrow with the Princess, but I haven't the time and funds to get insurance and tax sorted out to be legal for that so we'll save it for another year (again). In the meantime, the Princess will get some cosmetic attention as it seems that's all she needs and next month will be pressed back into service as my daily and, when the BX sells, my only car.

I really couldn't have hoped for a better result, I'm thoroughly impressed with the old girl as were the MoT testers and even the paintshop chap passed a favourable comment, surprising considering how much like Elmer the Elephant the car looks at the moment.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 12/04 - MoT result

Post by Boycie » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:53 pm

Great news!

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 12/04 - MoT result

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:52 pm

The driver's seat you supplied, Boycie, is bloody lovely! I didn't realise just how knackered my old one was until I sat in the new one. Got enough material from the two sets of seats to make a few sun-fade covers and convert the passenger seat to have base adjustment like the drivers seat.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 12/04 - MoT result

Post by Vulgalour » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:30 pm

I got underway with a period accessory today. Eventually, I want to fit a rear window louvre as well, but it's a case of finding one that'll fit or modifying something to work... I'm in no rush really, something will come up in the future.

I had a spare broken set of headlight trims and a broken grille. None of it was really good enough to repair and keep as stock spares which is why I wanted to try out an idea I've had for the front end for a while. I knew this job was going to be a lot like a giant Airfix or similar kit, so I already had the relevant skills to give it a go.

First job was to cut the old broken grille in half, handily there's a mould line dead centre on the back of the grille I could use as a guide. Then any protruberances on the back of the grille were removed to make it as flat as possible and I was ready to do the next bit. Marking out I usually do with a pen, but I didn't have a suitable colour to show up on black plastic - with hindsight, I should've used some masking tape and a biro, colour doesn't matter then - so I used chalk instead, marking the headlight trim to line up with the grille with everything fixed to the car.
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I already had a rough idea of how this was going to look from a Photoshop I'd done earlier, but this is putting that into practice. The next thing to do was first dry fit.
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This allowed me to see what changes were needed, and what shape to cut the outer edge as I couldn't commit to this until I'd got everything lined up on the car. Normally, I'd tack things together with superglue since it can easily be broken apart afterwards if you use a small enough quantity, but a lack of said glue to hand and the shapes involved meant I used masking tape instead.
Last edited by Vulgalour on Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 12/04 - MoT result

Post by Vulgalour » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:31 pm

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I was happy enough with that for a trial fit. From the front it looks much as I anticipated, but there's a few bits I need to tweak to make it fit exactly how I want it to.
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To improve the fit I need to take a lot of material out of the depth of the grille to push it back more snugly against the bodywork, something that will take a while to achieve. Power tools and plastic generally don't mix so well as the temperature tends to melt the plastic, so it'll be a fair amount of hand sanding to get the profile I want. I think it will be worth it in the end.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 12/04 - MoT result

Post by Vulgalour » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:34 pm

Weirdly, if I submit more than 3 images per post it gives me a 403 and 404 message instead of making the post and tells me I'm not allowed to post, but not the reason why. Has a pictures-per-post limit been imposed?

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 13/04 - Louvres

Post by Vulgalour » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:13 pm

Here we go, more Photochoppery. This is about as close as I can get to what I see in my head as the end result. This is what I'm working towards. I'm not so great at getting the colours perfect so there is some discrepancy between these on that front, but you get the idea.

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So there you have it. Aconite purple for the bodywork with all the chrome intact. Champagne Beige for the roof and C pillars. Bumpers probably removed, but I like the Princess with them as well. At the back we'll have a louvre over the rear screen and Lotus-esque letters on the back panel with a BL badge hiding the original lock location as I'd like a remote opening boot (cable release, probably). Up front will be the headlight louvres to tidy it up and the Princess crown (not shown) will likely get reinstated on the bonnet or possibly fitted centrally on the grille.

Much further down the line I'd like to fit a FWD Lotus engine and would then rebadge subtly with a couple of yellow Lotus badges, possibly on the C pillars. It will be quite unlike any other Princess out there.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 15/04 - The Plan

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:06 pm

Today, my recently acquired mirrors turned up for the Princess a good week ahead of when I expected them to. My theory was with them being such a bargain, if they turned out to be good I'd fund them by selling the long necked chrome jobbies I was going to fit instead. Originally I wanted to mount them on the door, but I just couldn't see anything so on the wings they went. I prefer wing mirrors anyway. First job was to find out where the mirrors sat on the car so I could see them, this meant dismantling them a bit and then taping them to the bodywork. Using a bit of gaffer rolled up on itself seats the mirror onto the bodywork and a bit of tape holds them in the desired location. Bonnet clearance was tight on the trial fit, but I could open and close it without bumping anything, I wanted things to fit quite snug.
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This allowed me to mark one mirror location, then measure the other wing so they both sit in the same place and drill the holes. Unfortunately, I had to enlarge the windscreen side holes a little on both sides because they fouled the bonnet by about a millimetre. The holes were giving a good coat of rust preventative to tide me over until I repaint/replace/repair the wings.
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 15/04 - The Plan

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:06 pm

Dad popped out to see what I was up to, which was really useful for getting the mirrors bolted in place properly and checking clearances as I could do the heavy work and dad could do the light work of holding the mirrors in place. I think they really suit the car.
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 15/04 - The Plan

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:06 pm

Visibility is even better than the original Tex door mirrors and once I move the passenger wiper properly I'll have full visibility out of the mirror on that side. The mirrors are both tinted, the driver's side more so than the passenger which will come in handy on motorways at night, and they have convex glass which gives me an excellent field of vision. My only problem is that whenever I get behind the wheel I get these little markers appear above pedestrians.
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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 15/04 - The Plan

Post by Vulgalour » Sun May 05, 2013 8:45 pm

Been trying polishing again. With no drill I'm having to work by hand but because the Lotus alloys were polished from new it's not as hard going as it might be. They look okay as they are, with the exception of needing the black paint redoing obviously.
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I couldn't really see or feel the imperfections that were keeping me from a mirror finish so I made use of the super-macro setting on the camera to see what needed doing.

You can make out on the central 'cup' where there's some surface scratches, some of which are deeper than the 400 grit I started with could make. Some might be from the original casting and machining, I'm not sure.
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Super macro mode highlights the imperfections in the surface quite well. All these little pits and scratches are what's preventing me from getting a really crisp mirror polish.
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You can see some of the imperfections a little easier on the rim, especially on the inner edge where there's still casting lines visible.
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However, you can see that for much of the outer rim the finish is very close, I probably just need to work on it a bit more than I have to get it to really shine properly.
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I think I probably just need to spend a bit more time going over the wheel a tiny spot at a time until it's properly perfectly smooth and make more use of the super-macro setting so I can see when the rim is actually as smooth as I need it for polishing. It's much easier to polish paint, and much more satisfying while you're doing it too.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 05/05 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Tue May 07, 2013 10:36 pm

Few things to report now. I've ordered the replacement part for the carb that will hopefully resolve my over-fuelling issue and at £6.50 it seemed rude not to. I also contacted Adrian Flux to chase up my quote with them as nobody else could come close; instead of £1000 to insure the BX, they quoted £730 for the BX and the Princess with the bonus of unlimited mileage and commuting and 60 day European travel cover. Obviously, I'm going for that as it's super cheap and a decent policy.

Buoyed up by some good news for once I decided it was high time the Princess got some attention, she's been very patient with me. The main job on my mind was to reconnect the bottom vents on the dash and relocate the wire that gets in the way of the blower speed slider. That didn't happen because I was SHAMED into cleaning the Princess who was looking decidedly down at heel.

Oh, and I put my nodding tiger back in, this time with some blu-tak under his paws to keep him from scooting around. If nothing else, he's creepy enough to stop people tailgating me.
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Today I outdid myself on the cleaning and got the vacuum cleaner into the engine bay to suck out some detritus that was difficult to pick out. I have never done this before, it must have looked very strange to anyone watching. But she scrubbed up well and while the bonnet drank about a quart of polish it does at least look that bit tidier and feel that bit smoother every time I do clean it. I love this car, but not in a wanting-to-marry-it kind of way, I'm not that weird.
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Problems next, obviously. Paint lift is happening all over the shop, it's worse on the bits of the car that are handled regularly, like the driver's door handle.
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It's popping up in other places too, like the rear door handle on the same side.
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Looks like someone has opened a door into me at some point too, I'm not sure when that would be, but the paint is lifting in a big sheet here and I'm loathe to prod at it. It's not so evident in the photograph, but water can get under the paint and that's only going to help it lift more. Disappointing.
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I still haven't dealt with this door. I will, when I've got a working drill again and can clean it up properly. There's quite a lot of filler here, I'm not sure how much door corner is actually left.
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More paint lift, this time at the bottom of the passenger A pillar. It's lifting all along the edge of the windscreen rubber which is itself disintegrating steadily.
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Clearly, I didn't do a good enough rust-removal job on this pillar. I'll go back over it again, but this was the worst visible bit of rust on the car when I bought it and is much better than it might have been had I left the vinyl on.
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That rear screen really is going to have to come out and I'm dreading it. Rear screens and rubbers aren't exactly commonplace, but more rust bubbles are appearing along this edge and I know it'll need doing sooner rather than later.
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Finally, my dashboard let me know that while most of the telltales had responded well to my fix last year, the sidelight telltale decided it didn't like being all nice and has come unglued. I'll just redo this and put it back in the dash, quick and easy job.
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In other, happier news, I've determined that I'm going to get some Mumford style murals applied to the flanks and dashboard insert eventually, I've got some ideas but until they're more concrete that's all I'm saying on the subject.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 07/05 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Wed May 08, 2013 8:15 pm

So far so good on the fix-one-thing-a-day plan. My new float needle arrived which I was hoping would help with the leaky carb and less than perfect running. I knew it was needed, but didn't realise just how much until I saw a new needle (right) next to the old (left). I had to change this without taking the carb off the car as I don't have a replacement throttle and clutch cable and the ones fitted have frayed on the ends so won't be able to be rethreaded if removed. Quite annoying, really. The carb is still sweating fuel on the side it was leaking, but it's only a dampness. There are no gaskets in this carb and haven't been since before I got the car, only a rubber O ring that seals the base plate. I'm wondering if a set of paper gaskets and a new O ring will resolve the issue fully.
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The new float needle has reduced the leaking issue massively and the engine runs a fair bit smoother, though I suspect the idle might be a bit on the high side now, something to fiddle with later.

The other job I tackled was the airbox. Like much of the repainted bits of the car, the airbox was given a liberal coating of black gloss before I bought the car, complete with runs, sags and dust contamination. The plastic elbow was covered in poor black paint and silver overspray, most of which came off just by running it under the tap and the stubborn bits were removed with the aid of my thumbnail.

Stripped the airbox into its component parts and found that the tinging noise I'd been getting is the flap that's part of the hot/cold air feed, I'm guessing it should have a bit of rubber or cork to prevent the metal making a noise which has long since fallen off. I didn't have any paint stripper so I couldn't clean up the jubilee type clips but I will at a later date so they don't let the side down.

Didn't take too long to blitz the surface of the components with some 120 grit, prime with some grey and top coat with some satin black. The whole thing looks far smarter now than it did, I'm happy with that job.

Before (March 2012)
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After - I've noticed that I've put the hot/cold bit on differently to how it was, I hope that won't cause any problems, I can't see how it would.
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I'll go back at a later date and do a proper job, I'd like to strip the parts back to bare metal so they can be rust treated properly and some of the imperfections removed. They might be repainted a different colour too, but for now I'm very pleased with them.

Once I know I've got what I need to seal it all up properly, I'll remove the rocker cover and get the bad silver paint removed from it. I'll have to disturb the fuel pump and the distributor to do that, annoyingly, but it should make a big difference to the cosmetics under the bonnet and I'll be able to resolve the minor oil leaks at the same time.

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Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 08/05 - Update

Post by Vulgalour » Thu May 09, 2013 9:11 pm

Today's job was the dashboard. For at least as long as I've owned it there have been what I thought were wires fouling the 3 speed on the blower selector. I determined to resolve this, especially since I remember the car getting quite stifling last summer with the blowers not quite being strong enough.

You know how sometimes you decide to do a job with the attitude of "it'll just be a quick tweak" and it ends up taking you HOURS? Yeah, that happened.

First up was the chore of disconnecting things so that I could dismantle the fascia. I was hoping to just lift out the wooden insert, but that's not how the dashboard comes apart. To get to the bit I needed I'd removed the glovebox (which it turns out I didn't have to do), the top dash vent trims and all of the fascia. I also had to disconnect and remove the radio and dismantle the steering column shroud as well as removing the lower half of the dashboard to resolve another issue I needed to sort out.

I annoyed myself by managing to poke the battery telltale and push the filter off the surround so that's another one to fix.
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My main goal was those pesky wires, I couldn't figure out what they were for at first and I started by removing the heater control panel. It's actually fairly tidy behind the dash, especially considering what a mess is on show on the driver's side.
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Someone had been in here before me. A number of the screws were not original and there were clear signs of tampering. I'm not sure what the previous fettler was after, but whatever they'd done they'd disconnected the wires from the heater display and reconnected them by running them through the selector for reasons that entirely escape me. All that's happened as a result is that the wires have been crimped a bit as a result. I realigned it all and connected it up and still couldn't figure out what they were for, they didn't seem to do anything.

Chasing the wires did make it clear, eventually. The same strange wires were used on the switch bank and I hadn't twigged at the time that what I was actually looking at was single density fibre optics.
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Can't say I ever expected to find fibre optics in a car, I can't decide if it's an impressive space solution, or a gimmick, but I don't recall it being mentioned by fellow Princess owners or in literature so maybe it was considered far more ordinary a thing than I'm giving it credit.


The other job was to reconnect the centre ventilation flap for the blowers. When I'd been in at the dash before (I forget what for now) the rod had come adrift. Easy enough to refit and works properly now. The fibre optics were tidied away and now for the first time I can select 3 on the blowers, which is a bit fierce and totally welcome for the warmer weather!
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I did annoy myself when I'd put the dash back together though. The binnacle has three plastic trims for the dials which are held into the wood by metal spring clips. You can only seat the trims into these clips with the fascia off and I didn't think to sort them out while everything was in bits. Ah well, another job for another day, they've not been seated properly since I got the car so it won't hurt to for them to be loose a while longer I suppose. I also forgot to put the bulb back in for the clock, but I need to remove that to repaint the hands at some point anyway and that's an involved job that can definitely wait a bit longer.

Tomorrow... well, maybe we'll get a bumper fitted.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1748
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 09/05 - Fibre Optics

Post by Vulgalour » Thu May 09, 2013 10:28 pm

Since it's dark, I got a couple of shots of the dash that the fibre optics illuminate. The cigar lighter has a dedicated bulb as far as I can tell. Looks like my radio doesn't illuminate but I can't remember if that's always been the case, or if it's just started doing it. This is the dash with the interior light on, just so I could see what I was photographing.
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And without. It's a bit crap really, always has been.
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Vulgalour
Posts: 1748
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 09/05 - Fibre Optics

Post by Vulgalour » Fri May 10, 2013 5:41 pm

I seem to be doing more than one job a day, this can only be a good thing, except for the fact that I'm running out of jobs to do!

Today, I decided I wanted to at least get the back bumper on since it's a straight forward bolt on job, made easier when you've got a second pair of hands. Rather than sort the rear out first, my brother and I twisted and hammered and otherwise straightened the front bumper as much as possible to get it refitted to the car. It's not perfect, but that's okay. The important thing is how much better the front end now looks. The only issue was that the two wing bolts have gone missing so I'll need to have a rummage for something suitable to replace those with. The valance is still squished back a bit too, but that's also useful because it means I didn't have to move the number plate. Just as well since I still don't have a working drill or any sticky pads to hand.
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By comparison, the rear bumper was a breeze, just fiddly getting it all to line up.
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The telltales I broke are currently sat on my desk setting so I can reinstate them which is another job done and I found a sticker that I'd convinced myself I'd put on the boot of the Polo. Had the perfect spot for it on the Princess, I hope Mr May would approve.
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Tomorrow should be a challenge because I'm pretty much out of jobs to do now that don't involve spending chunks of money for things like fresh oil and DOT4. I might have a go at deep cleaning the engine bay to really get things tip top under the bonnet, but other than that I'm struggling to think of anything that wants for attention.

budgie
Posts: 72
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:01 am

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 10/05 - Bumpers

Post by budgie » Fri May 10, 2013 8:44 pm

i got same radio in my ambassador and it dont light up either.love reading all what your doing. :)

Vulgalour
Posts: 1748
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL - 10/05 - Bumpers

Post by Vulgalour » Sat May 11, 2013 8:50 pm

Cheers Budgie :D I thought the Ambassador got a Phillips or something in black like a regular car, I'm surprised they were still putting the Princess unit in them.
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Today on Fix the Princess - BBC Four's only successful motor car programme and not to be confused with BBC Three's programme of the same name - we are going to show you just how to go about bleeding a brake system that probably hasn't been touched for 20 years... is what I would have said except that we were sensible and decided to soak the bleed nipples overnight in penetrating oil to further prevent the chance of snapping them off when we attempt to bleed the system. For such an integral part of the brake maintenance system, bleed nipples are as we all know notoriously fragile.

Instead, I went looking for jobs. Purchased 2ltrs of DOT4 - I might be bleeding the Clutch hydraulics too, and the brake system needs a proper flush, better to have more than not enough - a bleed hose, some nuts and washers and priced up the oil change and clutch kit. Couldn't get a price on a clutch kit in store as it's another special order item so they'll call me back Monday afternoon with a price if they have any in stock. The back up plan for the clutch kit is to go online and spend about £40 on the relevant three part kit. So, brakes tomorrow.

Today it was a case of having a poke around the car to find something to do that didn't involve dismantling bits of engine. I'd just about run out of ideas when I noticed the interior light didn't work with the driver's door, I had got so used to this I'd forgotten about it. Hoorah, a chance to meddle! Switch out to investigate, turns out the driver's side one wasn't even screwed in just sort of wedged into the door seal. Passenger side was attached properly. Nice and easy to remove and disconnect.
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That restorer has been in here too, look at the state of this. One screw was all that needed to be undone and they wouldn't have got brush paint beige all over the trim and seal. This sort of thing makes me grumpy, it is a bad bodge.
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Checked both switches and found that they were both all black on the connecting faces. The passenger door switch would work intermittently and was less heavily corroded.
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Quick clean up with some wet and dry on both surfaces and it was ready to reinstall. Also gave the switch trims a clean to get rid of overpaint and the like.
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Back in the doors and the switches work as if they were brand new. I'm very pleased with this, probably more than I ought to be. It's the little things.
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Last thing to do was make use of three washers, a bolt and a nut in each wing to stop the front bumper jiggling. Fiddly, but straightforward and while it's only a tweak to the front end it does pull the edges of the bumper in a bit neater and stops it looking a bit droopy at the sides. Unfortunately, the duct tape appears to have bonded with the paint so wouldn't peel off properly. Fortunately you can't see it so it doesn't matter.
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Brakes tomorrow then. 7 days until insurance, 10 days until road tax. I am literally counting the days until I get back behind the wheel, having this car off the road for 6 months is far, far too long.

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