Monday the 26th January 1998 Found a local sheet metal shop to make the sills and the fellow is also game enough to make me the sections for fixing the doors. He does do quite a bit of body work for a local VW restoration shop. The cost of the sills, two full side sills 1·8M long and one top sill 1·2M long was A$100.
Over the next few weeks I worked away slowly on the front floors and built new ones out of 1·6 mm Zinc coated sheet steel. The ends of the side sills had some bad fixes so I removed them and re-made these areas. I then fixed the right hand door pillar and lower hinge area and welded in the top piece of the re-made right side outer sill. I also strengthened the left hand door pillar similar to what I had done on the other side.
I drilled quite a few 25mm drain holes in the sills and various other box sections and chassis members, these will help when I wash out the sills before I fill them with rust proofing material. The air hose in most of these holes helped me collect about a bucket of sand blasting sand in total.
About this time I decided I had better get on with the doors because these would be needed before I finally weld the lower sills in place. I will need the doors to check the alignment of the sills. I have given up on this area and started to look at the rear of the car. Made a start on repairing the holes in the rear quarters and had a look at the spare wheel well.
Sunday the 22nd February 1998 Work on the project slowed to a crawl. Too busy at work and doing Alfa Club business. I stopped work on the body and started to investigate two alternative actions. Get another body and make one out of the two, or take up an offer from a retired coach builder of help with the project.
By the end of February 1998 I had cleaned the engine and taken it apart. The bores and pistons look good, valves look fine, and crank perfect. The only problem I found was a damaged valve follower, one of the valves must have been stuck when we first turned the motor over. The shims on top of the vales may be a problem. Getting original ones is not easy, but I have been told it is easier to get the top of the valve stems reduced to use Alfa 105 shims instead.
A bonus I discovered on the way was a new clutch plate and pressure plate, still with paper stickers on them, have not done many miles at all. A quick hone of the bores, new main and big-end bearings and the motor can go back together.
Sunday the 22nd February 1998 looks like being a very important day in the story of this project. At Breakfast after the Annual Dawn Busters Run, I asked around the people present looking for a suitable Panel Worker. Scott Woodsmith, a former Club member who does not miss the event, told me of a young fellow he uses who works in your workshop, charges by the day and works as you have the money to pay him. As "Steve" was trained in the best Restoration Shop in Adelaide I thought he was worth getting in touch with.
Saturday the 28th February 1998 I cleaned 30 years of grime off the Gearbox and dismantled it. Looked good inside, does not even need new synchros.
My 2600 is in Bill's workshop with his 1959 Mk2 Jaguar and both cars need similar panel repairs, possibly not beyond the two of us given time, but not worth the effort if we can find the right fellow to help out. Bill contacted Steve mentioned above and Sunday the 21st March he arrived at the Shed to see what we had for him to do. The bad condition of my 2600 Sprint doors did not seem to bother him, he was confident they could be fixed and suggested I get them paint stripped and rust treated.
I was busy during February and early March with the organisation of Alfas in Clover but I did found a bit of time to put into the Project. I phoned all over Australia looking for parts and making contacts. I joined the International 2000/2600 Register and got my first copies of their Alfa Plus magazine.
As part of the phoning around process I came across several more Alfa 2600 Sprints in need of new homes. Two in particular interested me. One was badly damaged and only good for parts, but the other would be an easy restoration. They are not worth much in the condition they are, about A$1500 complete, a lot less if vital parts are missing.
Wednesday the 8th April 1998The day before I headed for Alfesta 98 in Brisbane, I took the two 2600 doors (or what is left of them) to Minus Paint to have the paint, rust and tar taken off them so I we can see what I have.
Photos: Saturday the 2nd May 1998 I picked up the doors and was not too surprised at what I got back. Steve was working on Bill's car the next day so I took showed him and he was still confident he can fix them.
|The 2600 Project index||First bits go back on||Clean doors at last||Chapter three, the reinCARnation|
Written by and Copyright ©, Phil. Storr, last updated 4th January 2005