Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas wishes

To all who are restoring J-vans, to those who would like to restore a J-van, and to those who have absolutely no intention of ever restoring a J-van, a very Merry Christmas to you all! May the jolly ol' fat fella be kind to you all, and stick something under the tree that you really really wished for! And may 2011 be kinder to you than 2010 ever was!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The new door shut sections

The "door shut" sections lie across the back of the front wing, and extend from the front of the door opening to the bottom of the step. The outer face extends the swage-line along the side over the wings, so is visible to the outside. The section that the door slides into is also visible when the door is open.

The first photo (although an upside-down shot) shows the part that will form the swage-line, and is the finished face it the new panel.


The next photo is a view of the top of the door shut section that will be visible once the door is opened.


And the final photo shows that the individual sections were not clamped tightly together before welding. This will allow the ingress of dust, dirt and moisture into the intenal box-section part of the structure, promoting early rusting and deterioration. Installation of this item will require the welds to be ground off, the pieces clamped up tight, and then rewelded.


All in all, these parts were poorly manufactured by Fairmile Restorations. Unlike Charlie's "Victoria" J-van however, at least I can use the new items. Was it worth waiting 23 months for what ended up as second-rate items? I think not, and in fairness to other J- or JB van restorers I could not recommend Fairmile Restorations for the supply of panels.

The new rear wings

My earlier post said that I was disappointed in the finish in the manufacture of the new wings. Here are some photos taken of one of the wings, which shows the finish. In the grinding of the welds, Iain was rather heavy-handed, leaving severe grinding marks in the panel surface. I consider that the wings are really only about 80% complete, as each wing now requires substantial additional work to fill all of the welds and grinding marks. The wings were made in five sections, each having two outer facing pieces, one curved top section, and two end pieces to extend the top section.

Firstly the outside view ...


... and the inside view ...


... and the weld to the two outer facing pieces ...


... and the two pieces to extend the top section:


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The rear wings have arrived!

I have finally received the rear wings and door shut sections for Bugly. Iain McKenzie of Fairmile Restorations finally despatched them on 30 November, and six days later they were delivered to Humpty Doo in rural Darwin, Australia. FedEx, I'm impressed! But I DID have to wait 23 months from my first enquiry.

I was also a bit disappointed in the finished product. I thought that the finish would have been a lot better, but perhaps I'm a bit naive ... I probably expected them to have been like off-the-shelf parts with at least an undercoat to protect the steel. Never mind, I will finish off the welding after fitting them to Bugly.

But at least I have them now.