Flaming Nice Surprise(s)

In the UK we moan about bad weather then we moan about hot weather. Me I love the hot weather and it makes a change to have a few days of nice weather. The only bit I’m not to keen on is when the multitude of bugs decide that my flesh is A la Carte on the menu, prime nose bag material. Everything that can bite has tried to take lumps out of me all weekend. Still at least it’s warm and not chucking it down with rain. Friday I had my bags packed and ready for the start to Mustang Maniac. Earlier in the week I had a cryptic message sent to me by Adam to say they had a surprise for me. Saturday and I was out the door in record time and everything was goin’ great guns until I was about six miles from Mustang Maniac. A country lane had a tree that had come down from the storm early in the mornings and partially blocked the road, note the word partially. The point is I pulled up to get by and the police car that was there had parked across the road so nobody could get past. Now, anybody with a little sense would have moved some of the branches out the way with a borrowed saw from one of the houses opposite, cut a few away, then traffic moves again, nope, not this clown. He just stood at the back of his car swirling his finger in the air like he was stirring a cup upside down with his finger. I think this was his Neanderthal attempt to signal me to turn around, I wouldn’t want him to walk or verbally communicate or anything. I sat there for a while and so this lunatic just stood there, the neighbours were now out in force and all looking at said tree and fine figure of authority who had all the gear, but no idea! When I say tree, I have seen bigger indoor Christmas trees if you get me? The plus point is was sitting comfortably in my airconditioned car and this herbert was standing in the heat with his hat on and high vis jacket. So, it was inevitable that I had to do a seventeen point turn in the road which included collecting some hedgerow in the rear bumper while I was at it. I had to go all the way back where I had just come from and go the long way round, it took me what seemed like an age to get to my final destination. I parked up at Mustang Maniac and was greeted by Adam who took me straight to my car, the surprise was obviously to do with my car. Adam showed me the work Al or Yogi as he is known, had done to my car. A lot of the holes had been welded up, the old rotten floor support brackets were taken off and the new ones put back on. The rear chassis leg was repaired and the hand brake bracket put back in place and the holes around it repaired. Yogi had done some brilliant spot welds that I liked so much I left them on there as a feature to be seen. The attention to detail is amazing, as I knew it would be. Yogi had taken some pics for me so thanks to him and Mustang Maniac for letting me use them.

The bodywork on the inside of the supports was in good condition and needed no additional work. The area was carefully marked up and a single support was changed at a time. The guys were happy nothing moved and continued to fix the supports in place. Check out Yogi’s spot welds that were just to good to grind down or cover up, they were different and I wanted them to stay.

With the parts welded in place Yogi gave the floor and welds a generous helping of filler. which was soon to be rubbed down by me.

By the time the filler had been rubbed down I looked a little white should we say. The Dewalt sander had gone through my supply of 80grit discs and made light work of getting it down to almost smooth. I didn’t worry about the very fine grade as the slightly roughed up surface gave the red oxide a good key point. I used my angle grinder to then go over the pans one last time to remove any hint of surface rust. Here was where my second surprise got me, after about ten minutes the angle grinder suddenly got warm, ground to a halt and flames were licking out he front of it like a dragon with a bad cough. I was wearing welding gloves and goggles so I put it on the floor rather quickly and unplugged it, it was left to fizzle, crackle and smoke having its own little melt down, literally. What do you expect from a cheap angle grinder? I am surprised it lasted this long. Adam did say to me it wouldn’t last long, he was right.

With everything wiped down, dusted and cleaned up with thinners I then started work with the red oxide to the point where I had got to with the angle grinder. I think you will agree it has made a huge difference. Once it has come back from paint the underside will be coated with some stone chip in black to protect it even more.

After the angle grinder had cooled down I tried to move it, all moving parts had welded themselves together by the feel of it. Guess what is going in Adams scrap pile?

Sunday was a day I usually do a bit in the man cave. Today I was asked to hang a garden gate, fix a fence panel and couple of other little jobs. So I didn’t manage to get stuff done that I wanted. The only thing I managed to do was clean up my sander and put it away. Oh, I did order a new angle grinder so hopefully it will be here by the time I go back next weekend.

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6 thoughts on “Flaming Nice Surprise(s)

  1. Fantastic progress, the underside looks like new. I rather like it when parts are painted in red oxide, it makes them look so crisp. Shame it has to be covered up really!

    Shame about the angle grinder but I’ve suffered the same with many new cheap tools. In the past however the cheap stuff was better made. I bought a relatively cheap Bosch grinder about 20 years ago now and I’ve used that to wire brush all the heavy metal parts such as axle cases etc on every Land Rover refurbishment I’ve done in that time. It has only recently worn out. I bought a new cheap replacement but it is just not the same quality and already has problems at just a year old so it looks like I’ll have to fork out for an industrial spec one which will be alot of £ 🙁

    I have also suffered with the police closing roads when some common sense could have been applied. On numerous occasions I’ve come across fallen trees blocking roads and whenever I’ve had a tow rope with me I’ve used the truck to pull the tree out of the way which takes a just a minute and then the road is clear. Part of the problem is the Police cutting back on spending, years ago they were equipped with big cars or 4×4’s and were packed with recovery equipment and tools and the Police were trained on how to use it all. These days our local police drive around in tiny hatchbacks with no equipment so are useless in an emergency.

    Another sore point of mine is snow, we have a short hill near us which is on the shortest route from my house to the motorway which I use on my commute to work. It is 16 miles shorter than the alternative route. Sadly if we get so much as an inch of snow the police come along and stick road closed signs across it forcing traffic to go the long way around. Now bare in mind I’m driving a 4×4, fitted with winter tyres, equipped with recovery equipment and have 30 years experience of driving these trucks in bad conditions. I find it highly frustrating to get back from a 120 mile commute and get to within a few miles of my house and find I have to detour because they’ve closed the road simply because some motorists are numpties who can’t drive in poor conditions. I’ve driven that hill in far worse conditions without so much as a bit of wheelspin, in 2WD, in a rear wheel drive unladen pickup truck which goes to show how over the top the nanny state has become. I sign stating ‘Not Suitable for Numpties’ would have been more appropriate 🙂

    1. Thanks for the reply, it was almost a post on it’s own. I have learned a valuable lesson when it comes to tools, you get what you pay for and they will last. I have had spanners that have bent and opened up on tight nuts slipped and mashed my hand up. I said at the time I will buy proper tools. I now save up and buy Snap On tools where I can and the quality is something else with a lifetime warranty and it makes the job easier. The angle grinder I have had for years so I wasn’t bothered really, just caught me unaware. It was cheap then, but now I will buy a proper one and it should last. There shouldn’t be to much more full on rubbing down or grindimg, just the smaller parts with any luck.
      It’s ridiculous you can’t drive your ultimate off road vehicles, let’s face it they were designed for off road and not a Chelsea Tractor that can’t drive over a pile of leaves. This world is Health and Safety obsessed. Common sense should be back in vogue and the jobsworths of this world should wind their necks in. I think your sign idea just could take off. Lol.

      1. Oops sorry for that long comment. I have only just noticed how long it was when scrolling down the page to read your response, gulp.

        On the subject of tools I have bought quite a few Halfords pro range, from spanners to torque wrenches and they do seem to be very well made and reasonably priced. My main socket set is Kamasa bought for me as an 18th birthday present and still as good as new almost 30 years later despite being used almost daily on the Land Rovers.

        1. Honestly don’t worry about the comment, I enjoyed the read. I have some Halford Pro that are mainly metric, my Mustang is imperial so I needed some tools. This is what it’s all about, sharing the knowledge. Good tools last a life time like you say. It’s a false economy to keep buying rubbish, I will keep an eye out for your Kamasa. I must admit I enjoy listening to the Mac vs the Snap On boys in garages. 🙂

          1. Thanks.

            Yes my Halfords pro range are metric but I have been replacing many imperial sizes with metric where possible (almost every through bolt/nut) for example the truck cab roof is held on with about twenty 1/4 UNF nuts and bolts. I swapped these for M6 bolts and nylocs as metric stuff is cheap and easy to get hold of even in high quality 8.8 or 10.9 grade. My local industrial suppliers has tons of BZP metric in stock whereas they don’t stock BZP UNF at all. To get a decent grade S UNF bolt often means ordering them in specially at great cost and inconvenience. I even have some BSF bolts on the axles which are so rare I could only find a few suppliers in the UK stocking them in a quality grade (critical item) and was tempted to drill out the axle flanges and re-tap them in metric as it would have saved me a fortuine.

            1. I think ibam lucky, as virtually everything is available for the early Mustangs. The guys havr a ready supply of nuts & bolts of all sizes if I need them. Like you say it could be worth while re – tapping the threads and saving youeself grief and cash.

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