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5 Feb 2012 - Engine out

Well yesterday turned out to be really cold, but we never got and any snow, which was lucky as a lot of the country got more than their fair share! I was supposed to drive to Chippenham today to pick up a set of 15" wire wheels I won on Ebay, but the guy called me at 8am and said not to bother as it was snowed in! Poole got away with no snow whatsoever!

It was a lot warmer today and actually a really nice day, so I set myself the task of getting out the engine and stripping down the front suspension bits so I could maybe clean them up during the week if time permits. Much like the back end, I just started taking off bits and peices to free up space around the engine and again every bolt came out okay and I cracked on rather well. In fact too well, because I decided to have a couple hours off in the afternoon to go to the pub! Now that is what Sundays are for!

I must say that the Vitesse has some really nice original features that I am going to keep, like a brass drain cock for the radiator and a brass header tank. These will get cleaned up and put back so hopefully retain some of it's heritage.

With all the major bits out of the way, I loosened the bolts around the gearbox bellhousing and lifted out the engine on my Ebay bargain engine hoist (won for £78 - I figured I could always sell it again after I have finished!). It all came out extremely easily and this freed up the space to strip down the front suspension and get the thing back to the bare chassis so I can clean up and paint it.

When I had finished, I lifted the chassis up onto some saw-horses so it was raised up and easier to get to to clean and weld. I say weld, because some previous repairs are a little poor so I will re-weld them and tidy them up before I paint the whole thing. I am still toying with the idea of getting it shot-blasted, so I might give the company a call tomorrow and see how much it is.

With all the messy work done and the pub visit over, I put the heater on in the garage and set about taking all the callipers, wheel hubs and suspension units apart. The callipers were pretty grotty inside, and although the car does still have a valid MOT and passed the brake test, I am still stripping them down and claeing them up as it is a lot easier while the car it like this than crawling around one weekend trying to get it through an MOT!

As I got on well with everything I decided to cut 75mm off the front springs. This is the recommended hieght from other Sammio owners, so I thought I would have a go at that - I can always cut more off later or even buy new springs!

Lastly today, I started to strip the varnish off my wooden steering wheel. The wheel is a bit manky and the varnish is flaking off so a complete renovation is planned. Took me ages with Nitromors and a blade to get all the old varnish off and then a made a small repair to a notch and started ot sand it down. I will continue sanding this week to get it ready for re-varnishing next weeked - or I may give it to my faterh-in-law who is a whizz wiht things like that - he made my Burr walnut dash panel for my last Herald, which turned out bloody lovely!

Oh yes, while I was down the pub, I got a call from Gary (Sammio cars) and he asked if I wanted my kit delivered early - this week! He is getting a backlog and wanted to shift mine out, so I have made room on the driveway and will be like an expectant father all week now!