A Special Builder's Notes


The Special Builder's Breakfast Club

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03 March 2014

Did You Know.....

...that if you turn the 'P' upside down and rearrange the other letters, your Fiat Punto becomes a Fiat donut.

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The Company hack is having a bit of a touch-up here and there and I was fiddling about with the letters whilst waiting for the Company kettle to boil; it kept us amused for most of the day up in Norfolk.

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I was pleased to receive my new and clever fuse box. I had some repairs to do to one of the seat backs and while I was waiting for some paint to dry, I fitted the box under the dash. I'm delighted with it and don't mind a bit the modern blade type fuses - they may not look right but they're out of sight to the casual observer and I'm more likely to find a replacement blade fuse than a ceramic fuse in the middle of nowhere.

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After a couple of days and 10 miles of wire - the colours and gauges are not significant; it's just what I happened to have left over from the Austin - I'd completed everything but the lighting circuit.

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And it looks a bit like this. I have to say that I struggled on one or two if the items. The problems I had were largely to do with my comprehensive lack of understanding of electricity. The information was available on the internet but most of it assumed a basic knowledge. For instance, wiring up the rev counter (from a Rover P5) was not easy because there were several instruments available at the time, each differing in some tiny but significant way. The voltmeter (what could be simpler?) presented me with a host of unknowns and, as I was hooking it up to the alternator, several people had what I imagined were differing views but which in reality were the same. When someone who knows all about something describes it to you, they often miss out the basic stuff on the assumption that you can't be that stupid. Well, guess what.

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Anyway, the fuses are in the post (I've ordered them on-line as I was horrified by the prices in my local motor spares shop) and Learned Counsel tells me that I must hook the battery up and put each fuse in separately, wait a while to see if there's any smoke or flames and then proceed to the next one (provided there's no smoke or flames). If not quite a vote of confidence it seems a sensible way to proceed.

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I've stripped out the back of the Hillman and have applied bituminous paint to all the wood that is likely to be exposed to the weather or is never to be seen again once the panelling is on. The underside of all the floorboards have also had a coat. So all I've got to do now is put it all back together again, hook up the battery and we have a driveable car. The seats I've decided to have covered professionally (gulp) because, having looked at a rather nice Bentley with similar seats, if they were to be a bit wrong, they'd be very wrong and would spoil the ship - although for slightly more than a ha'porth of tar, don'cha know.

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