Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Vulcan's Forge...

After much consultation it became clear the only way to rectify the idiot decision that Pete Ritchie had made when he cut off the front sections of chassis was to weld a half-chassis underneath the original
 So it was off to Vulcan's Forge (well, George's actually) for some of this...
this, (you gotta love big tools & it sort of beats a junior hacksaw !)
and this.
 we had these and a couple of cross-members too
I'd already exposed the original chassis, so after a good clean-up
 It was up to George and his MIG welder
 and some primeval alchemy
 Not great for my unprotected eyes but fine for the camera

 Starting to look the part again 

 A little more cleaning-up

 and then the steel plate (zinc-coated to stop any reaction with the aluminium) to secure the front of the body-shell is welded in place

Lovely job George.

The new chassis beams sit under and are welded to the original ones
but extend right out to meet the central beam - back to the flexible triangulation of the original. It has added to the weight a little but as much of the steel is back towards the axle, not a great deal.
 Solid & ready to buck to the front panel
 Meanwhile back at the ranch, I'd been prepping the new bumper
She came without one & much as I'd love a genuine Airstream one, they're rather prohibitive on a shipping costs 
So this is a VW Camper Van bumper cut in half with a flat C section welded in the middle (for the UK license plate  

and once she's painted up 
 I think it looks pretty original
While we're waiting for the new springs 
 time to buck in those two lines of rivets to hold the front of the body firmly to the chassis
 and time for my son, Sandy, to be on the business end of the rivets
and a fine job he did too... 
...not a smiley face amongst them !
That should hold firm over the bumps and potholes of the Devon & Cornish lanes
 Rivet Central
and a great eBay bargain - a 2yr old, 50ltr compressor
Now to prime, paint 
and refit the insulation & bellywrap
...lots to do but at least things are progressing.

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