AUGUST 17, 2009:

Today about noon I pronounced the Shop ready for it's first customer!  TC-1576!!!

Before I could get the car in downstairs however, I had to replace the spindles and enlist the assistance of my wife. It is down hill from the garage on the main level of our house to the lower level (walk out), thus propulsion was not an issue. On the other hand STOPPING WAS! It was for this purpose that I enlisted my wife. The car has brakes at this point, but no steering. Steering was my job. Well, anyway it was exciting! At long last TC-1576 is in her new shop. Tomorrow the first order of business is STEERING!

The pictures below are an album. Click on the first picture for more information:

AUGUST 18 - 23, 2009:

First, I removed the body and fender brackets and started work on the VW steering by reversing the steering box. SEE THE SECOND PICTURE IN THE GALLERY BELOW!

I then spent a couple of days moving most of the parts from the airport to my shop. I didn't want to be running back and forth every day to get something.

Next, I took most of a day to get the engine stand modified to accept the XPAG engine.

Then, I mocked up the stock steering to determine where the end of the steering column and the end of the steering shaft should be. The VW steering box does not mount in exactly the same spot as the stock  BC box. Therefore the column and shaft are a slightly different length. I marked the point on the frame  directly below the end of each. When I get to the column and shaft for the VW conversion I will use these marks to make the end of the new parts in the same position as the original ones.

Next, I spent the day today fabricating parts for the VW steering. I mocked it up to see if it looked like it will work. I am thinking that I need to get the engine and transmission in next. I may then have to remake the steering bracket. Only time will tell for sure.

NOTE/UPDATE: The steering box bracket used in these pictures did not work. There will be more information on this later.

Click on the gallery below for pictures and more information:

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August 24th - 27, 2009

Well, I took time out to build an overhead hoist. Actually took three full days to figure it out, build it, raise it up, and get it working.

Here are some pictures:

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August 28 - 31, 2009

I decided to do a temporary install of the engine. That way I could finalize the VW steering project. I have spent the last few days assembling the mock up. I mounted the VW steering box as far forward as I could and still have adequate clearance for the box and Pittman Arm. One thing that I am doing different from others is that I am using the holes from the two rivets which hold the brake bracket onto the frame to help hold the bracket for the VW steering. I believe this makes the plate unnecessary.

NOTE/UPDATE: I wound up not using the plate at all. In the end I decided that the mount could be bolted directly to the frame using the original rivet holes which secure that brake line bracket to the frame. The two rivets were removed and the back side of the bracket was drilled and tapped. By bolting the bracket directly to the frame it becomes very solid, and very strong.

Click on the gallery below for pictures and more information:

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SEPTEMBER 1, 2009

Here is my question. On the side of the transmission there is an arm which is attached to a shaft which is what disengages the clutch. I just finished putting a new clutch and pressure plate on the flywheel. I then stabbed the transmission and bolted it into place. The picture below was taken with no pressure on the clutch, but the throw out bearing is touching the appropriate point on the pressure plate. Something looks to me like it is not right here. The stop on the arm is less than 1/4 inch from the bolt head. This simply does not look to me like there is enough travel. I don't believe there is anything wrong inside the bell housing so I am wondering about the stop. More clearance could be achieved by putting the jam nut on the back side of the stop. More clearance could also be achieved by omitting the lock washer under the transmission to block bolt. I could also find a bolt with a thinner head. Somebody help me out here!

ANSWER FROM Bob Grunau! There are actually 3 different throw out bearings!

A picture tells the story. Click on the Gallery below for more information:

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SEPTEMBER 1, 2009 continued:

OK, the engine and transmission are bolted into the frame!

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Here is what I still need to do to make the car move under it’s own power:

  1. Fill engine and transmission with oil.
  2. Install the top of the transmission.
  3. Install the starter.
  4. Install the battery.
  5. Install battery cables.
  6. Install the distributor.
  7. Install the plugs and plug wires.
  8. Install the water pump.
  9. Install the generator.
  10. Install the fan belt.
  11. Install the radiator.
  12. Install the radiator hoses.
  13. Fill the radiator and engine with water/antifreeze.
  14. Install the drive shaft.
  15. Hook up the clutch linkage.
  16. Install the VW steering Box
  17. Finish the Shaft and Column on the VW steering.
  18. Build and install a drag link.
  19. Set the valves.
  20. Set the timing.
  21. Install the carburetors.
  22. Install the carburetor linkage.
  23. Adjust the carburetors. 
  24. Install the oil lines.
  25. Create and install a temporary fuel tank.
  26. Install a temporary oil pressure gauge.
  27. Install the valve cover and tappet cover.
  28. Build and install temporary seats and floor boards.
  29. Install the exhaust down pipe.
  30. Create and install temporary wiring and an ignition switch.
  31. SAY A PRAYER!
  32. CLEAR THE ROAD AHEAD AND ROLL!

I'm tired! Have probably forgotten things on this list, but will add them as I figure them out. Future updates I will update the list by adding things forgotten and deleting things done.

I am hoping to make her run next week. Time will tell....

For those of you who don't already know. There is a British Motoring Conclave in Denver on September 20th. The goal is to trailer her to the Conclave, back off the trailer and drive her in! With no body, of course! We stripped her down for the "hill climb" don't cha know!

SEPTEMBER 2 - 6, 2009

Done since last post:

  1. Installed the starter.
  2. Installed the water pump.
  3. Hooked up the clutch linkage.
  4. Installed the VW steering Box
  5. Finished the Shaft and Column on the VW steering.
  6. Made a temporary drag link.
  7. Installed the carburetors.
  8. Installed the carburetor linkage.

What is left to make the chassis move under it's own power?

  1. Fill engine and transmission with oil.
  2. Install the top of the transmission.
  3. Install the battery.
  4. Install battery cables.
  5. Install the distributor.
  6. Install the plugs and plug wires.
  7. Install the generator.
  8. Install the fan belt.
  9. Install the radiator.
  10. Install the radiator hoses.
  11. Fill the radiator and engine with water/antifreeze.
  12. Install the drive shaft.
  13. Set the valves.
  14. Set the timing.
  15. Adjust the carburetors. 
  16. Install the oil lines.
  17. Create and install a temporary fuel tank.
  18. Install a temporary oil pressure gauge.
  19. Install the valve cover and tappet cover.
  20. Build and install temporary seats and floor boards.
  21. Install the exhaust down pipe.
  22. Create and install temporary wiring and an ignition switch.
  23. SAY A PRAYER!
  24. CLEAR THE ROAD AHEAD AND ROLL!

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SEPTEMBER 7 - 10, 2009

Done since last post:

  1. Filled engine and transmission with oil.
  2. Installed the top of the transmission.
  3. Installed the generator.
  4. Installed the fan belt.
  5. Installed the radiator.
  6. Installed the radiator hoses.
  7. Installed the drive shaft.
  8. Set the valves.
  9. Installed a temporary oil pressure gauge.
  10. Installed the valve cover and tappet cover.
  11. Installed the exhaust down pipe.
  12. Installed the distributor.
  13. Installed the oil lines.

What is left to make the chassis move under it's own power?

  1. Install the battery.
  2. Install battery cables.
  3. Install the plugs and plug wires.
  4. Fill the radiator and engine with water/antifreeze.
  5. Create and install a temporary fuel tank.
  6. Create and install temporary wiring and an ignition switch.
  7. Set the timing.
  8. Adjust the carburetors. 
  9. Build and install temporary seats and floor boards.
  10. SAY A PRAYER!
  11. CLEAR THE ROAD AHEAD AND ROLL!

As you can tell by the list of things left Numbers 1 to 6 are what I need to do to make it run! Tomorrow I will go and buy a battery and cables. I primed the engine with oil this evening by cranking it by hand. First I primed the oil pump and filled the oil filter. It took quite a few turns, but doing it in this manner is better for the bearings. I never did get any oil pressure, but I did get oil coming out of the oil holes in the rockers, so something is happening. Tomorrow after I get the battery I will crank the engine with the starter for a bit until I get oil pressure. I will do this without the spark plugs in to reduce load on the bearings.

Here are a couple of pictures:

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SEPTEMBER 11 - 12, 2009

Done since last post:

  1. Installed the battery.
  2. Installed battery cables.
  3. Installed the plugs and plug wires.
  4. Filled the radiator and engine with water/antifreeze.
  5. Created and installed a temporary fuel tank.
  6. Created and installed temporary wiring and an ignition switch.

The first problem was a water lead from a soft plug. It was the large one right behind the exhaust manifold. So in addition to the above I got a soft plug/freeze plug/core plug (call it what you wish) and installed it last night. Today I was ready to try to start it and had major carburetor leaks! First leaking at the fuel inputs. Tightened them, then leaked around the jets. Got some new gaskets and redid them. Finally at 8:45 PM I pulled the makeshift starter lever. She started on the third try and then just happily purred along. Heck I didn't even have to adjust the timing. When I stab a distributor I adjust the points, then with the engine on TDC I move the distributor till the point just begin to open, then advance just a few degrees. I must have been pretty close, cause she started and ran just fine. I will of course reset the valves next time she is hot and will set the timing next time I run her. I will also adjust the carburetors soon.

Part of what makes this so exciting is that the engine was overhauled back in the 1970's. Since that time it has not run. It has not even had oil in her. It has just quietly sat on various engine stands, in various garages, waiting for me to come along. If engines can feel I am sure it is happy tonight.

The British Car Conclave is in Denver next Sunday. I am planning to trailer her to the Conclave then drive her from the trailer into the park. Normally there are over 600 British cars on hand. Weather permitting it should be a nice show.

To get her ready to drive I still have to do the following:

  1. Set the timing.
  2. Adjust the carburetors. 
  3. Build and install temporary seats and floor boards.
  4. SAY A PRAYER!
  5. CLEAR THE ROAD AHEAD AND ROLL!

Here are a few pictures:

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SEPTEMBER 13 - 14, 2009

Done since last post:

  1. Built and installed temporary seats and floor boards.

I did not work Sunday. We went to Denver to visit a friend. This morning I went to the airport and got the floorboards and a set of lovely old seats that I had. When I got home I set to installing the floor and seats. OK, the seats go with the steering wheel. Once everything was such that I could drive her, I DID! I cruised up the hill behind our house and waved at my wife through the window. For some reason she started laughing. Being a good sport however she came out and got in. Crazy woman! We then proceeded to buzz the neighborhood. You would not be surprised that we got a lot of strange looks, but it was fun, driving a TC again. Still much to do to her, but she moved under her own power again after more than 30 years!

Here are today's pictures:

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January 20, 2010

Well, friends, it has been awhile since I have been able to work on TC-1576, and I am afraid that the work that has been done has not been progress. There are times in life and in the restoration of a car when it becomes apparent that you must go back, sometimes way back to the beginning, to do it right. This has been one of those times. I have gone back to the beginning!

Back in September I had the car running and was able to drive it, but there was a serious problem with the chassis. An earlier owner had used a gray filling primer on the frame to make it smoother. The problem is that a very hard brittle paint was used over the gray filling primer which was very thick in some places. Every place where the frame was bumped with a wrench the paint popped off and left a gray mark. I finally decided that this was unacceptable. The only way to fix it is to remove all the paint on the frame. I began taking the car apart back in December and today have finally finished it. In the interim I have built almost 30 VW steering kits for other people. This project provided much needed funds to complete TC-1576 to a very nice standard.

Here is a picture of the frame as it sits today:

THE RESTORATION OF TC-1576

PAGE 1  -  “THE CHASSIS”

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