1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

All Princess models specific items.
Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:00 pm

Maybe 'dogging things up' is a regional expression. Didn't really think anything of it until you pointed it out. I liked the purple bits when the car was purple, it made sense, now it doesn't since the car is red instead and the copper looks quite nice now I've got the masking tape off the starter motor. Shall be getting those bits installed tomorrow, I hope, when the parts might also be here.

I made a mistake with the temperature sender and managed to order two for a 2200, so if anyone fancies those they're free to a good home. No point me tryign to send them back because on re-checking the listing it's me that made the mistake, not the vendor. The 2200 sender looks just like the 1700 one, except much larger. I've ordered the correct 1700 one so I just have to wait for that to arrive now.

beiderbecke
Posts: 690
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:35 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by beiderbecke » Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:01 pm

Hullo,

I'd be much obliged to receive one, please.

Thanks,

Beiderbecke

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:36 pm

Pm sent, Mr Beiderbecke.

Things have been progressing, though it feels very much like two steps forward and one back. For some reason I don't understand, the number plate system used by parts suppliers is bringing this car up as a 2.2, which it isn't, so trying to find the relevant part and part number is proving difficult. The supplier that did have one told me it was broken and could they have my reg to try and find an alternative stock. This was fine until my details didn't match up with their details and then they wanted a list of details as long as my arm, including things like which are the driven wheels and what the VIN number is. I've done this dance before. Basically they don't have the part and they'll take loads of details to in the end tell me they can't get it. The reason for ordering another sender was my own stupidity when I managed to order a pair of 2.2 senders that look the same as the 1.7/2.0 sender, but are much larger. But seriously, try putting GBT563W into a parts site and you'll see it comes up with the 2.2 engine, which mine has never been, it comes up as a hatchback instead of a saloon a lot too, and I've had that result in a supplier refusing to supply a part.
Image

Fun times. Anyway, the one thing that was correct that did arrive was the new Beru spark plugs. I spent a bit more, I didn't really need to, I just wanted to go with something that should be that little bit nicer than the usual NGK stuff I put in (which is perfectly fine too) to try and iron out any running niggles I might have. I'm not sure they'll make any difference at all in reality and I've kept the old NGKs I took out because there's nothing inherently wrong with them and it's good to have emergency spares just in case.
Image

I then reinstalled the starter motor, it's bracket, and the oil fill tube. I think they look much nicer now they're painted to match everything else.
Image


Image

Now I just have to wait on the hoses arriving to finish that, a new sump plug washer since it turns out I don't have one the correct size in stock, and a new temperature sender that's actually correct. It's all a bit frustrating at the moment.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:22 pm

The part number for the temperature sender on the O series is GTR128. Here's one a found on Flea Bay:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/Unipart-GTR128/2126050624
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:05 pm

Just had that confirmed on another thread too. Turns out, the top hat/mushroom fitting on those isn't as confusing as I thought, I was sure I needed the space connector version which is much harder to get. Ordered what I hope is the correct one now, which should be arriving soon. Thank you for the number, that's useful for future reference.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:40 pm

Parts delivery! We're getting the windows done today so I was glad of the pipes arriving so I had something to do. Stealing a bit of time while workmen are on lunch, then I have to turn the computer off because noise, mess, etc. in the same room as the computer. I digress. With all the lovely new pipes I could set to installing. For the thermostat, I'm sticking it as close to the head as I can, temperature pick up in pretty much the same place as it was on the original waxstat.
Image

Soak the end of the hose in a bit of hot water in a mug so it goes over that rolled edge of the thermostat and then push it into place by pushing down against that custom pipe that was installed in place of the old waxstat housing.
Image

Then remove it and trim the elbow down shorter because it was too tall. You also have to put the jubilee in before the hose because there isn't enough clearance to thread the clamp on after the hose because of the casing around one of the cambox bolts. It is a very tight fit.
Image



Report post

Posted 7 minutes ago

Parts delivery! We're getting the windows done today so I was glad of the pipes arriving so I had something to do. Stealing a bit of time while workmen are on lunch, then I have to turn the computer off because noise, mess, etc. in the same room as the computer. I digress. With all the lovely new pipes I could set to installing. For the thermostat, I'm sticking it as close to the head as I can, temperature pick up in pretty much the same place as it was on the original waxstat.

201911-28.thumb.jpg.cbc387d3920fe8176650290b820912e6.jpg

Soak the end of the hose in a bit of hot water in a mug so it goes over that rolled edge of the thermostat and then push it into place by pushing down against that custom pipe that was installed in place of the old waxstat housing.

201911-29.thumb.jpg.9f4d95b0d8707cb84899ec009fefdc38.jpg

Then remove it and trim the elbow down shorter because it was too tall. You also have to put the jubilee in before the hose because there isn't enough clearance to thread the clamp on after the hose because of the casing around one of the cambox bolts. It is a very tight fit.

201911-32.thumb.jpg.e206d1c1d31aaed7333e31b1bd4bf918.jpg

After that, go through and install the various bits of pipe and clamps in the relevant places and you're looking somewhat close to sorted. The filler cap *just* clears the bonnet, and on the first fit I had a kink in the long straight I didn't like.
Image

Moving the metal elbow out a bit solved that.
Image

It's not quite as elegant as I'd hope for a solution. It should work satisfactorily and doesn't look really any worse than the factory arrangement. Now I'm just waiting on the sump plug washers and another temperature sender to arrive so I can get fluids in and try and start the car.
Image

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:36 pm

We are slowly winning, today the new sump plug washers arrived. I've used copper compression washers since that's what was on the sump plug and while these are marginally larger, I've not had any oil fall out yet. The new washer is a slightly larger inner diameter than the sump plug thread, and a slightly smaller outer diameter than the sump plug flange, so I expect that will be adequate. Certainly since dumping the relevant quantity of oil into the car, none of it has fallen out, so we should be good.
Image

Another item reinstalled was the overflow bottle, with thanks to Mike for getting a bottle brush in there and cleaning the last of the really old dirt that was in it. The bottle now looks as close to new as it's ever likely to and it will allow me to see if any unwanted stuff appears in the coolant much easier. For the filler cap overflow on the new hose, I chopped off the excess of the overflow pipe on the old overflow bottle and transferred it over. This way, should there be any need for the overflow at the filler neck it's not going to run straight down onto the alternator. Free fix and matching hoses a nice added bonus. Battery and earth clamp reinstalled too, battery not yet connected for obvious reasons.
Image

The last thing I wanted to show that wasn't as clear in the other pictures is just how far down the radiator drops from the head and highlight another reason for the new hose taking the route it does.
Image

I'm just waiting on the new temperature sender to arrive so that I can get coolant in, or rather plain water and Forté biodegreaser, and then coolant after that and any contaminants are flushed out. So very nearly ready to fire it up again now.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:00 pm

Image
The temperature sender arrived and fits! I had to snip a slot into the plastic cover on the spade connector so it could slide onto the weird top-hat fitting on the sender, it's otherwise no bother and now I can fit either type of sender should I need to in the future.
Image

Then I put a whole load of water in it, waited for the air to get out and put more water in it, reconnected the spark plugs, checked all my earth points etc, and fired it up. Then found that the camshaft end seal had come unseated and was weeping a little oil so turned it off, loosened the cambox cover bolts and end plate bolt so I could relocate the camshaft seal properly, tightened everything down and tried again. Timing was really off, and it turned out it was that I'd not quite got the distributor in at the right point, so fixed that and now the timing is pretty close to how it should be, just needs a timing light and a bit of run time to warm things up and get it set. Then I noticed a single oil leak at the top of the cambox end plate, which was a bit strange. Tentatively tightened the bolt on that corner and it suddenly stopped offering any resistance at all.
Image
Image

Helicoil kit ordered since I haven't got one, and Mike has one but doesn't have an insert this size. At least access to put the insert in is really good and it should be straightforward. So close!

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:16 pm

Oh bugger is all I can think to say...

I've never helicoiled anything. Some photos of what you do would be very interesting to me albeit I'm very sorry it's necessary!
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:29 pm

I'll do my best, it's not the easiest process to photograph since everything happens in the hole and it's a fairly quick process usually. Like with most things, it's the preparation that's key to getting it right and if you take your time there's not really a lot that can go wrong.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:33 pm

Let us start with the good news, then I shall get on to the not so good news. As requested by Gasman, here follows instructions on how to helicoil or thread repair a stripped thread. First, you need to find out what thread type you need to put back in, you can get little thread measuring comb things for this. Once you know the thread type, you can order the relevant kit, I got mine online because real world shops don't stock anything any more, and I went for Silverline from a reputable seller (if their eBay feedback is anything to go by), it arrived promptly.
Image

There are instructions included, and very clear they are too. Included in the kit is a drill bit to clear out the old thread from the hole, a tap to make the new thread for the helicoils to bite into, and a couple of tools, one of which is for inserting the helicoil. Carefully drill out the hole first, a variable speed drill is good for this as you want to go steady, especially on soft material like aluminium.
Image

The kit doesn't include a holder for the tap, I found a 6mm hex socket worked quite well. Use a little oil as well so that the tool doesn't bind. When you make the new thread, take your time. It will cut really quite quickly in aluminium and it's best to make a few turns until it starts to offer resistance and then back the tool out a bit to get the swarf out. Be sure to check the depth you're going to on a blind hole, straight through holes aren't an issue in this regard.
Image

Image

Image

With the hole tapped with the new thread, flush it out with something like WD40 and clear as much swarf away as you can. Then insert the new helicoil with the tool provided. Find the first one doesn't want to go in, the second one pings off never to be seen again, and the third is the charm going in with no bother. You should be able to wind it all the way in, I couldn't, for some reason this third helicoil decided it didn't want to go all the way in and needed the end trimming off. Before redrilling the hole, tested it with a bolt and it was fine and does the job so it'll do.
Image

Image

Easy peasy, really. The paper gasket had got a split in it from where the oil had pushed out so I reinstalled the plate without it, choosing to use sealant instead. This was a mistake.

What I didn't know is that the paper gasket at that goes between the head and the end plate actually serves not only to stop the oil escaping but also to space it out a tiny bit from the end of the camshaft. So when I tried to start the car to leak test and do all the other good stuff, it wouldn't. The starter was making a very peculiar noise and while the engine was turning and not making any unusual noises, something was amiss. Then I made it worse. Checked that fuel and spark was being delivered, which it was in good quantity, checked that the timing was where it should be and that was when I noticed the static timing was ninety degrees out.

That got me worried. So I tried to turn the crankshaft in the usual way with a socket on it and it would not budge. This was confusing because clearly the starter motor could do it without getting hot. Off with the timing belt - no point trying to set it to top dead centre, since that couldn't be done - the distributor and then the top of the cam box. My initial thought was something had got jammed on the cam somehow, I just couldn't figure out how. With the top of the cam box off I could see the camshaft hadn't budged at all, normally it would begin to lift as the valve springs underneath push everything about. Nothing was obviously jamming the camshaft so I tried to lift it out from the sprocket end and then discovered it was stuck against the inside of the end plate. Fully unbolted the end plate (you only need to remove the top two bolts to get the top of the cam box off) and the two pieces parted company.

I gave everything as much of an inspection as I could and there were no signs of anything being damaged, at least to the naked eye. That's when I decided to put the paper gasket back in and bolt it all together to see if that really was the cause. Sure enough, with the paper gasket back between head and end plate, the camshaft could rotate freely. At this point I still hadn't figured out it might be something more serious so went to the trouble of resetting the timing and putting everything back in. I tested it by hand and everything turned freely, a little too freely in fact, but I wasn't sure why that would be as I'd not encountered this issue before.

A crank of the key and now the starter motor sounded normal - probably because it wasn't having to try anywhere near as hard - but no joy. Still plentiful spark and fuel and that's when it dawned on me that I had no compression. Like, no compression AT ALL. Where you'd expect resistance on the compression stroke there isn't anything and, turning the engine slowly by hand there's the twang of a spring and you can feel something clicking through the ratchet so something important in the head has broken.

If I'm really lucky, I've snapped some springs and nothing more. If not, I could have bent valves and all sorts. The only way I'll find out is by pulling the head off and that's not happening today. I will do it but this was such a kick in the motivation that I don't know when I'll come back to this. I'm too close to potentially moving house to be pulling the engine apart for a rebuilt and - providing the house move doesn't go wrong yet again - my plan is to pull off the head to inspect it, then put it all back together to keep the parts in one place and just transport the car to the new house. I'm not fixing it this year. I'm not spending any more money, or time, or effort, on this car this year. I will sort this when I'm in a better place to sort it, financially, mentally, and physically.

Obviously, I'm pretty narked about the whole thing and feel monumentally daft for not knowing that a paper gasket had to be a paper gasket for engineering purposes.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sat Nov 30, 2019 3:44 pm

The results are in. I've had the head off and already reassembled everything loosely so I don't lose any parts.

Image

Image

Image

Image

That looks to me like eight bent valves. There's only one mark per valve location on the piston crowns so it looks like the one smacked into the other and the valves got bent out of the way. Usefully that's prevented further damage and hopefully the parts in my other head will sort this head out. Not this year though. Princess is now on SORN and will remain so probably for a few months until I'm in a better position to sort this. We've overcome bigger obstacles than this, so it'll get sorted. When I'm in the new house, I'll take this apart more fully to figure out what's needed exactly.

To add to the irritation, two of the new hose clamps I fitted fell apart and had already gone rusty, and the replacement cold air duct hose I ordered was the wrong size, as in I ordered a hose that was specifically listed as 60mm inner diameter, which is what I need, and it's actually 55mm, so doesn't fit, even the external diameter isn't 60mm, being 63mm. You can't stretch the hose because it's a metal spiralised cardboard thing, so the only way to get it to fit was slot one end and put it inside the air box connection. It also doesn't clamp properly in the inner wing clamp that stops it flopping around, so that's another waste of money on an item I couldn't find in a shop and had to order online.

This whole saga started with replacing one heater hose that had an age related pinhole in it, after which the head gasket blew, I then got messed around with a custom part for 2 months that, when made, was wrong, and have had a string of incorrect parts and faff because I've had to order stuff online and hope what I'm getting is what's actually being sold. There have been times I've been so frustrated I want to give up and this last mistake hasn't helped with that. At this point the only reason I'm persisting is, I think, stubborness. I'm certainly not doing any of this for the joy of old car ownership, right now there is no joy.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:11 pm

Oh dearie dearie me. Firstly, thank you for the helicoil tutorial. The thread you make for the coil insert, is that a standard clockwise thread or an anti-clockwise one? Whatever, seems straightforward enough. Buggered threads I've had have all been drilled out, re-threaded and a bigger bolt put in!

Secondly and more importantly moving on to your valve disaster, it's important to find out what went wrong so it doesn't happen a second time.

Your quote:
Off with the timing belt - no point trying to set it to top dead centre, since that couldn't be done


makes me wonder, when you valve-timed the camshaft when the head went back on, what position was the crankshaft in? It sounds to me as though it may have been No1 cylinder TDC when it should be 90 degrees BTDC so all the pistons are midway up/down so can't damage the valves whilst you align the cam markers.

Events like these really destroy motivation and I can fully empathise with your cheesed off feelings but obstinancy not to let the bugger beat you is a good emotion to have. It has served me well.

Keep your pecker up (but no more dogging your bolts, please).
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:43 am

Helicoil is standard clockwise, no weird anti-clockwise nonsense there.

As for what caused this, I know exactly what caused it and it's almost unbelievable. If you omit the paper gasket from the end plate on the head, the camshaft binds in the plate. That, in turn, causes the cambelt to jump teeth, throwing the timing off, and smashes valves into pistons.

It sounds daft. To prove the theory, I refitted the paper gasket (not expecting it to seal, since it was split, this was just to test the theory) and the camshaft turns freely. Remove the gasket, and it's impossible to turn the camshaft without considerable force, more than I could apply with a ratchet. What tripped me up was that I didn't expect the miniscule shim the gasket provides to be so critical, opting to use sealant instead of paper, and then didn't try and hand turn the engine because there was no reason to believe I had to do so.

It's a fairly brutal mistake to make, and one I shan't be repeating. Fortunately, O series parts aren't spectacularly rare since it was used in so many vehicles, and I already have a good selection of spare bits. Worst case I'll need to replace things in the bottom end if anything is bent in there, I didn't investigate that because I simply haven't the time to be pulling the engine apart.

If I need to do a full engine rebuild, so be it. Not ideal, but then I'd know the engine is in excellent health. Absolutely have to look for the silver linings here.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:47 am

I should add as well, before I removed the end plate I had the car running and didn't touch the timing, because I didn't need to. All I was doing was helicoiling a bolt hole so literally the only thing I did after the car last ran was remove the plate, redo the thread, and replace the plate without the gasket. The moment I turned the key after that I was doomed. So I've not only proven it with an experiment after the fact, I can pinpoint the moment that the car went from running, to not running, and why. Which is unusual, in my experience :lol:

bigd
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:25 am

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by bigd » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:35 am

WALLY

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:21 am

You're a hard man, Derek. There but for the grace of God and all that!

Angyl, at least you know what caused it. I hadn't picked up you'd already had the engine running.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Dec 01, 2019 11:34 pm

Does anyone reading here know what I should pay for a practically new engine? I've been given some info but it's price on asking, and I've no idea what a new O series should set me back.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:28 am

Impossible question! Depends on the dynamic between how much you want it and how keen he is to get rid of it. Nearly new ones are, of course, rare but equally it'll be 35+ years old and its condition will depend on how it's been stored etc. etc.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:39 pm

I have done the last jobs I can on the Princess before the move now. We actually have the keys and everything for the new house so that's all sorted, moving date is this Saturday, and absolutely everything is in hand (so I've probably forgotten something important). I've put it back on the old wheels and tyres to save my new ones getting damaged from the car being sat around doing nothing for a while, this will allow the car to be rolled about until I can redo the engine. In addition, the rotten orange door has been removed and the hastily resprayed and reassembled original door that I'd repaired has been fitted. The fit on this door is actually pretty good and the repair really just needs the bottom edge dressing a little more to sharpen up the fold before filler and proper paint goes on, so I'm moderately happy with that. The window winder mechanism is stiff, I'm not sure if it's the mechanism itself or if something is misaligned, but since the intention was just to get as many parts back on the car so they didn't go missing, and to get the car weather tight, it's not a problem for now. Happily, what it does mean is I don't have to take a rotten door to the new house with me so it's one less big item to find a home for.

Image

Image

Unfortunately it has rather highlighted the shortcomings in the driver's door repair which doesn't align on the trailing corner at all well. Never mind, that was the first door I ever repaired and now that it's not full of rot it will be easy to correct once I'm set up in the new place. It'll be a little while before the Princess is worked on again, Mike's going to look after her for a bit while I sort things out at the other end so I can afford transportation and organise the new garage so there's somewhere dry and secure to put the car.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:57 pm

Where are you moving to or is this the long-awaited move to Kent?
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:04 pm

It's the long awaited move to Kent, a process which has been far from smooth! Picking up the van tomorrow and then it's a 300 mile trek on Saturday. Really hoping the weather isn't too terrible to us, and the traffic likewise, especially with there being a yellow rain warning and it being so close to Christmas.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:21 pm

I hope it all goes well for you
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:11 pm

We're in the new house, hoorah! Of all the house moves I've done over the years, this one went the smoothest and that's even including the hire van picking up a puncture a few miles from home. Princess is still at the old place being looked after by my housemate and I'm almost ready to move it down to the new house, we just have to pull out a little bit of hedge to get access to the bit of drive she'll be living on short term.

Once the usual house move stuff is out of the way and we're a bit more settled, I can look at sorting out that head and getting the Princess back in use again... again. It shouldn't be too arduous a task to get everything done, just a matter of having enough time to get through everything. At least in theory once the valves are replaced, lapped, and re-shimmed it should be a simple matter of bolting everything together and off we trundle.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:46 pm

Image

Image

Early afternoon today the Princess was collected from my old house where my friend had been kind enough to store it in their garage until I was sorted enough at the new house to get it moved. This was a massive boon since it allowed time for the house to be cleaned up, stuff to be organised, and of course the driveway to be made a little more usable.

As usual, the Princess got the attention of other folks and a couple of images were passed on to me of the car on its journey south. Yes, the flatbed had a light out, just a running light, we did a lights check when he got here and everything else was working fine.
Image

Image

The chap who delivered the car was just superb, and I was happy to pay the asking price for the service received. Traffic and weather were kind to him so he had a relatively easy run. Loading was apparently a bit annoying as the rear brakes had stuck on a bit, but unloading wasn't and the car rolled off into its new spot quite happily. There was even still a bit of power left in the battery and as far as I can tell, nothing had come adrift on the journey.
Image

The BX slots in front of the Princess very neatly. I'm looking forward to daylight tomorrow so I can have a proper look around the car and clear out the stuff I was storing in it that wouldn't fit in the removal van. Then as soon as I've got my valve spring compressor tool dug out (or bought a replacement if I can't find it), I can crack on with stripping down the head and trying again. Hopefully this time I won't mess things up!

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:11 pm

Today I got the Princess emptied out of the spares that were in it and found my valve spring compressor in a garage box. I've a suspicion I've the wrong head type on the compressor for the Princess head though, I'll find out when I have time to try it out. The Princess does look to be slightly shorter than the BX so it will fit in the garage a bit easier that way, unfortunately it's also a bit wider and that means I'd really struggle to get in and out of the car once it was in the garage. Car port building it is then.

Image

Image

After a good inspection of the things I put back together loosely I can confirm that nothing appears to be missing under the bonnet and it shouldn't be too much work to get everything apart that I need to when I get into it.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:53 pm

A tiny micro update today.
Image

Image

The trim rings I had fitted previously were okay but, being chrome plated steel, well past their first flush of youth. I've also no idea what the trim rings I had fitted were off, certainly not a Princess originally. These are from a Volvo 240 and appear to be stainless steel, the chunky square shoulder suits much better than the rounder shouldered trims I previously had fitted and is closer to the original Princess option. I gave up looking for proper Princess beauty rings some time ago, they're quite a rare item.

A couple of dry days when I've got time spare to be in the garage and I can get the head ready for the valve swap and then try and align schedules to get over to Lincolnshire for the valve re-shim job. Admittedly, I could get the valves shimmed locally most likely, I could probably even do it myself, but it's nice to have an excuse to visit friends and it's not like I'm having to rely on the Princess as my only car. I think when the nicer weather arrives, I'll be able to go places and get back to enjoying just going for a drive again.

User avatar
Tony c
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:33 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Tony c » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:58 am

I think the rings you have on look like the ford ones, but if they fit and are round that’s what counts!, I’ve had abs plastic ones from eBay which are similar profile to yours but then I found a guy selling stainless one which shine better and last longer.
Tony

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:07 pm

The ones in the photo are Volvo 240. The ones they replace are the ones I'm not sure the origin of, they look a bit like the curved profile ones I've seen on some other Princesses, just not quite the same, look like they'd be more at home on something 1960s Rootes Group. I haven't got a photo of them easily to hand, though there's sure to be one if you wade back through the thread a few years.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Apr 12, 2020 6:59 pm

Princess update time, it's been a while. Weather is scorchio and while I can't go out and get supplies, I do have some in for doing a bit of prettying up on the Princess. Also, even though all the parts aren't yet here to do the head, they are on the way so I decided to remove that too. Head out first I think. This was very easy because I'd only loosely bolted things together. Old rubber floor mat from the BX was ideal for plonking over everything to keep it all nice and clean.
Image

Popped the head in the boot and then had a check to make sure nothing else needed removing or moving and spotted a big crack on what I assume is the original bit of vacuum hose that goes between brake master cylinder and exhaust manifold. the pipe was so knackered it shattered on removal. I do have some hose in stock now, annoyingly none of it is this size.
Image

Image

Also annoyingly is the failed clamps on the new coolant hose install. I didn't buy the clamps from the same supplier as the hose, I think I raided what Mike had in his massive hose clamp pile. Suffice to say I'll be replacing all of these with decent quality clamps since I don't want any of these to let go. I don't even know where the worm drive screw has gone, it's just not there any more.
Image

That's as far as I could get mechanically today. I'll order up the extra bits I now know I need so they'll be ready to install when the bits that are in transit get here and I've done the other jobs. That meant I could move on to some cosmetic work, namely the front of the car that's been bugging me for a while because it looked incredibly scruffy. This is just a splash-and-dash rather than a super perfect paint job, both to tidy things up and to try out the new colour split for the front end to see if I liked it. Here we go. Outer headlights removed to make it easier to get tools in to undo the nuts holding the sidelight-indicator housings in place, plastic trims off to get access to the bits that need painting, then a quick and dirty sand all over with 400 grit.
Image

Printer paper masking employed since that's all I've got in and nowhere is open to get paper from today, does the trick. Squirt of red on the sanded bits without worrying about masking off the beige bits.
Image

Paint left to harden enough that masking tape won't damage it and then remasked before the beige is splodged on. I could have just run the split line across so the bottom of the headlight surround was red, I just didn't think this would work as well as bothering to mask the surround of the headlight and grille area.
Image

Image

Yep, I'm happy with how that looks. Obviously needs filler and fettling to make it look right, for now it looks tidy and tidy is good enough. I do really like the colour split much better this way. Next was to slap all the plastic trims and lights back on, et voila! That looks heaps better.
Image
Last job was the other half helping to unbolt the bonnet so that tomorrow, if the weather is nice, it'll also get a splash-and-dash of beige all over since I'm finally at the point where I feel comfortable making that big panel shiny. Doing this has given me a massive mojo boost with the car and reminded me of just how attached I really am to it. It's a bit scruffy here and there and that's okay, I can keep it smart with Rustoleum and soapy water pretty much indefinitely and just enjoy it for what it is.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Mon Apr 13, 2020 3:39 pm

First job today is to immediately make the car look much worse by pulling the bonnet off.
Image

I had almost two cans of beige paint left which I knew would be enough to get a mostly uniform finish on the bonnet but perhaps not a final finish since it is a very large panel. In a perfect lesson on exactly how not to spray paint something, my set up involved a windy garden and panel stands made from balanced bits of broken old furniture. I had not entirely thought this job through.
Image

I needed the bonnet at an angle so I stood a chance of being able to spray the whole thing without hitting it while trying, something I couldn't do if the bonnet was laid flat. As with the front panel, this really is just a case of a quick tart up rather than a proper job, just to keep rust etc. at bay. I knew full well I'd be going back and redoing this when I had more paint to use. Not quite enough paint in those two cans so while the finish is moderately uniform, it's also still quite stripey. I'll order some more paint and do the nicer coats in the garage where it's more sheltered and when I have the space to empty the garage out. As you can tell from the garden, our outside space is in flux while we try and process several years of overgrown garden and general rubble, so it's not exactly an ideal time to be doing this.
Image

While that was drying and getting grit and bugs blown all over it, I returned to my work bench to deal with the next job of the day.
Image

Not exactly the kindest on my back but at the moment, it's the most sensible option I have. I still don't have a proper workbench and it causes friction if I bring not-cleaned engine bits into the house to work on so this is my current solution. Cosy. I unbolted the cambox and removed the buckets and shims, being sure to number the buckets as they were put in the box. I did see some little bits of rubber on the buckets as I removed them so I wasn't sure what I was going to find when I got the valves out.

Happily, no broken springs, collets, or washers, and no signs of cracks or other damage to the valve guides. Camshaft and bearing surfaces all look okay too so it was looking moderately good so far.
Image

With all that out I could see where the little bits of rubber were coming from; the valve stem seals (only four on this engine) had been destroyed when the valves were bent. I dug around and retreived all of th bits I could, in particular the metal parts of the stem seals.
Image

Then I could pack everything away in the boot to keep it all safe until the rebuilding parts arrived. Bolts back in holes, etc to keep everything together. I left the oil on the surfaces to serve as protection on the steel components rather than cleaning everything at this point.
Image

The valves are all bent, to varying degrees. I haven't dismantled any of the block because I know the engine turns freely and there's no worrying signs on the bores or any sort of slap in the pistons or anything like that. I'm pretty sure the valves basically served as sacrificial components and while it's annoying that this happened at all, at least I did manage to find a full set of brand new valves to go in and put everything right again.
Image

By the time I'd done all that it was lunchtime, so I had a break to give the paint on the bonnet chance to cure and then after a while the other half helped me refit it. Unfortunately, one of my bonnet rams is now leaking so I'll need to replace that, it had been making a groaning noise for a while so I knew it wasn't in the best health. The rams do the job they need to do for now, it's just something to add to the list.
Image

Refitting the bonnet was quite easy with two of us and even lined up fairly well, requiring the most minimal of adjustments to get it fitting properly. The paint is a bit stripey because I didn't have quite enough paint to put as thick a coat on as I would have liked. It's still quite an improvement and when I have more supplies I'll do a better job of this and paint the inside of the bonnet too. I also need to replace the bonnet insulation panel because that's started to disintegrate now.
Image

I think that overall, these past two days have seen quite an improvement in the Princess' appearance. I've also ordered a new length of plastic chrome insert for the windscreen seal because I've decided I'm not fighting with the stainless trims. I'll also be fitting the new windscreen seal I got through the club a while ago since the seal on the car has now started to break up and the original chrome insert is brown and starting to pull out of the corners because it's shrunk so much.
Image

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:00 pm

Another frippery arrived in the post for a job I've been meaning to do since I got the car. I was very fortunate a few years ago to get some series 1 stainless steel windscreen (front and rear) trim inserts, I'd installed the full set on the rear window and it looked pretty good. Bit of a faff to fit since there isn't (to my knowledge) a standard tool you can use like you can the thinner seal beading/insert stuff so you have to finegle everything together with a screwdriver or similar. I was happy with this and all set to put the front one on once I had all the other bits and bobs I needed, like a new windscreen seal and all that. Then I found I was stripping chrome off the car, keeping it limited to certain areas, and that series 1 stainless trim started to look a bit too heavy and out of place. I decided it had to go and I'd return to the original spec plasti-chrome inserts, which I got from Woolies. The Princess takes the 11mm flat-backed insert rather than the pointed back sort.

The rear was fairly easy to do and I'd had the foresight to save the original corner trims when I removed the old trim, these corner trims are I'm told unavailable and they're quite fragile so reinstalling them was a little nerve wracking. Looks smart though.
Image

Image

Image

The rear seal isn't perfect, much like everything else. It is good enough and does what it needs to do so I won't be replacing it any time soon. With that done it was time to move onto the front which was much worse in every regard. Now, I do have a new rubber seal to go in and I could have waited until I was ready to fit that before doing the new insert, and perhaps I should have. Thing is, I want to fit a new windscreen with my new windscreen seal, and I want to sort out the paint on the windscreen surround and A pillars before I fit those, and I don't have all the items to do that yet. Instead, I just wanted to replace the really bad old insert bead and get some more practice in on fitting the stuff, as well as cosmetically improving the car a little bit while I have some free time to spend. The old insert had shrunk really quite badly and was deformed on the lower corners where the old windscreen seal was breaking up.

You can see the bad paint I want to sort out here too, that's from that historic respray the car had in the 90s before I got it and is probably the last bit of that to deal with now since I've basically stripped everything else back, in some places to bare metal, to undo previous issues. It's quite remarkable how large the gap is at the bottom of the screen insert, this isn't missing beading, that's how much its shrunk.
Image

Image

Removing the old beading was very easy, simply lift one end and peel it out of the seal. Obviously this old insert is no good to tell me how much new insert I need so I just did the same as the rear screen and rand the new insert beading off the roll I'd bought until I had enough installed. There's a stark difference between the condition of new and old. The old insert jumped out as being completely knackered, while the new you don't even notice, which is exactly what you want with this sort of job.
Image

Image

Image

As with the rear screen, on the front I used an old toothbrush to clean out any dirt and debris that was in the channel so I knew everything would sit in smartly. The bottom corners were difficult because the seal is disintegrating, so extra care was required there.
Image

Image

A marked improvement on fit at any rate. I was really happy with the join on the insert too, that trimmed pretty much perfectly. The car didn't have a joiner piece here when I got it, I imagine there should be one to cover the seam, I'm yet to find one that's the right type for this kind of insert. The top corners went much easier, the seal is okay there, though you can see where its starting to break up and go spongey.
Image

Image

With that done I remembered I had found my box of O rings on a recent garage sort and that I needed one in one of the high level indicators. Found what I thought was the right size, fitted it between lens and bezel and went to fit it on the car. Then found it was far too thick to allow the locking tabs to sit in the bezel so had to dig out a much smaller thinner one than I thought would be suitable. Fits perfectly now, and that should stop water getting in there. I do need to redo the orange on this lens, because of the missing seal the paint I used has shrunk and cracked so it's not as orange as the other side which hasn't done this.
Image

Image

I have more things arriving in the post that I'm looking forward to fitting, namely some new carpetting, some vinyl dye, and some new door mirrors (can never have too many door mirrors!) which will see some improvements to the cohesion of the car's colour scheme inside and the brightwork on the outside. I've also got changes afoot for the front end of the car, the MG B indicator-sidelight units are making way for hidden sidelights in the headlight bowls (found the holders for that on the same recent garage sort), and some more subtle indicators at the front which I'll decided upon when I dig out the indicators I know I have in a box somewhere to see if they're suitable. The engine rebuild is still scheduled to be done too, we just have to wait for the world to return to normal first. The thing that's really been helping out is the other half really wanting to see the car look its best, to the point they were asking about when I was fitting the Lotus alloys and what did they need to be sorted, etc. It's really nice to have that sort of motivation from someone that's just as enthused to see this car done as I am.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:43 pm

Some frivolities have been arriving for the Princess and I had some pre-work free time today and glorious weather, so smooshed the lot together for this update. First job was to trim the heel mat for the new carpet so it was actually square and then round the corners off nicely. I'm planning to sew this in place with a double line of stitching around the edge, it and the carpet are towards the upper end of what my sewing machine can handle so hopefully it will go smoothly.
Image

Then I got the dye out that came from https://www.vinyldye.co.uk/ They get a recommendation for speedy service and loads of information to make sure I stand the best chance of a great result. They seem like a company that actually cares about customer service, so that's reassuring, especially since I'll be ordering from them again very soon. I'm using the TRG range of dye for today's job. The cans are quite small, they contain enough to do one of the Princess' front door cards which is in line with their guide for coverage. Coverage is actually really good too, I was going from a mid-beige (similar to the carpet in the first picture of this update) to this maroon which is the sort of colour change that's likely to leave things blotchy.
Image

I had a full set of interior vinyl from another Princess in the mink colour and it was in comparable condition to the black vinyl currently fitted. Rather than redye the good black set, I decided it best to redye the slightly sunfaded mink set and make use of some spares. This also meant that if I didn't like the new colour I hadn't spoiled the black interior that I tolerate and wouldn't have to go and buy more dye to undo what I'd done. As it happens, I actually really like the new colour, it's as close to what I wanted as I could have got with an off the shelf option. The finish is also very similar to the original vinyl finish which is also very satisfying since it looks the right age to be in the car.
Image

2 cans did these handles, the kick panels in the front, the B pillar trims, and the small bit of vinyl that goes on the inner seal next to the rear seat that's only seen when you sit in the rear seat. I chose this maroon rather than a bright red in part mainly because it picks up on the maroon on the outside of the car. I also thought a scarlet would be too intense for this particular car and look out of keeping with the rest. The finish is very shiny looking while its wet, and mellows out nicely over the course of an hour or so, once dry it's a good factory looking satin finish. Made use of some stacking crates and the glorious weather today to do the spraying outdoors, a good idea since it's fairly strong smelling stuff when you're spraying so I'd recommend avoiding doing it indoors. Once dry, there isn't much of any smell at all. I removed the finisher for the lock pin and masked off the weather stripping, those will be staying black, as will the speaker grille and the surround for the door release handle, this will make sense later.
Image

Image

Offered the new floor mat and one of the dyed pieces of vinyl to the new carpet to see how well it all matched and I'm pleased that the shades are just a tiny bit off from each other which is precisely what I was looking for. I didn't want the carpet and the vinyls to be exactly the same colour, I wanted the interior to look more like a rare option than something someone had dyed at home.
Image

Next up was the carpet. I'd already measured and done a mock-up of the pattern piece layout before placing my order to minimise wastage. All those years laying out patterns for clothing really helped with this. I only had one inner sill carpet to work from, the other had long since disintegrated, but since they're a mirrored piece that's not a problem. I'm using a tufted rubber backed carpet that's very similar to what is currently in the car, this carpet is closer to the carpet used on the inner sill pieces, original Princess floor carpet has a thicker rubber backing, and earlier cars had a different carpet pile to later cars... along with other changes. Anyway, suffice to say I picked the one that was the best compromise of appearance and construction, I didn't go for the super cheap modern type or the expensive wool blend Proper Classic type, I went in the middle, just like BL did. The new carpet is wide enough to lay the front and rear floor sections out across the width, instead I turned them ninety degrees so I could run the sill carpet pieces down the side. This meant there would be really minimal wastage and no room for error. The original Princess carpet has a slight shape to it over the central tunnel (not a transmission tunnel since nothing transmissiony goes down it) but not enough that it could really be considered moulded. Flat carpet will deform enough to do this in too big almost-squares. No binding is required either, there was never any from the factory, the floor pieces overlap the sill pieces and then vinyl and door rubbers cover the raw edges where needed.
Image

With the pieces layed out, I carefully flattened and traced with a white tailor's chalk. I considered using a marker pen at first until realising if I made a mistake I wouldn't so easily be able to remove it, which is exactly what did happen but since I'd used a tailor's chalk it was easy to rub it out with my hand and redraw the line.
Image

I made the front carpet a little wider than the outline because that gives me a little more room to adjust it if I need to, it has to bend a lot more than the rear carpet and I'd like some wiggle room with getting a good fit. With all the pieces cut out, vacuumed, and set aside to be fitted I really didn't have a lot left over. These pieces might come in useful somewhere so I've not binned them just yet.
Image

I can't fit the carpet until I've got the seats out and I don't want to take the seats out until I've finished dying the vinyl, and since I didn't order enough tins of dye to do all the vinyl I'll place another order so the job can be completed. Carpet came from https://www.woolies-trim.co.uk/ who have been recommended variously and I'm happy to put my recommendation on their products too, I've had excellent service from them thus far and the products are always well described. The other items of note are the new door mirrors, which are the style I had been trying to find with a large mirror head rather than the smaller original types as seen on French cars and Rovers of the 70s. They're not the highest quality, but they'll do, and are fully adjustable. They look nicer than the Honda Acty ones currently fitted while having a very similar sized mirror head so they make me happy.
Image

The last item for today is the new indicators. I went for a more expensive option than I could have both because they looked of better quality (and they feel it in person) and because they take an incandescent bulb rather than LED. These are usually for larger motorbikes so they'll be fine for my purposes and the bulb size is nice and big. Ordered black because I will be fitting them behind the front grille so they're hidden until turned on. The sidelights will be moving into the outer headlights since I found the original sidelight holders for those and then, when my welder is up and running, the cross bar under the headlights and grille will get smoothed out so the front end will look very clean while still being functional.
Image

Image

Right then, off to order more stuff so I can finish this interior job I guess.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Fri Apr 24, 2020 2:37 pm

It's another lovely sunny day here, perfect for fighting interiors... no, no it's not. It's horrible for fighting with interiors, the car is like a greenhouse. OH WELL. First item to install was the inner sill carpet, which is held in place with some trims that screw on over the door seal. Then it was the B pillar trim, front kick panel, and small triangle of trim next to the rear seat. That all went quite smoothly really. Moved on to the door cards and furnishings and I'm incredibly happy with how it all turned out. It looks right. I'm in two minds at the moment about keeping the pretty much brand new plain black door seals, or saving up for the expensive flocked red door seals, either works fine really and keeping the current ones does save me a fair chunk of cash.
Image

Next was the carpets. Rear carpet was very easy to install, as it always is, the only fly in the ointment there was it's a tiny bit narrower than I would have liked, so it doesn't butt right up to the inner sill. The problem area is hidden by the rear seat and there isn't exposed flooring so it's not a problem being me being picky. The front carpet was a little more troublesome, adding the extra width to my template was very sensible since that meant the carpet actually ended up fitting perfectly instead of being too narrow. It needs a little extra trimming around the front wheel arches where three planes converge, but otherwise went in perfectly fine. It's a lot easier to find the holes for the screws and bolts that go into the floor with this carpetting than it was with the original, so that's a nice bonus.
Image

Image

I will be leaving the dashboard, steering wheel, and centre console, black. Doing these in red would be too much red. The felt inserts on the parcel tray I'm going to redo in the remnants of new red carpet if I've got enough. I really like how the red goes against the reveneered dashboard, much more so than the black.
Image

Then I was out of time for the day. Tomorrow I have to remove the front carpet at least to get the new heel mat sewn in. Plonked the seats in the car to keep them safe and to see if they work in original plain black. They don't. I'll be dying the vinyl on the seats to match the door cards but leaving the velour black, I'll also probably leave the head restraints black. I've also not got the speaker grilles fitted here, they're normally rivetted on and these are the door cards I pilfered the speaker grilles and speakers from to go in the parcel shelf. I'll probably fit new speakers to the doors rather than the door cards, and rivet the speaker grilles back onto the door cards to finish this area off properly.
Image

Image

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sat Apr 25, 2020 3:35 pm

Today's task is to finish fitting the carpet, the new dye order hasn't arrived yet, and is unlikely to until next week anyway, so I couldn't get any further with that side of things. First thing I did was mark out any extra carpet I needed to trim off with the tailor's chalk and then trimmed it, I only needed to remove a little bit where the inner sill meets the inner arch at the front. Then it was on to the annoying task of poking holes for things that screw into the floor, namely the seats which can be a bit of a nuisance to fit. I took BL's lead here and cut out fairly large holes so the spacers were more likely to sit against the floor than the carpet. A skinny cross head screwdriver is best for this since you can use it to feel for the hole before punching through the carpet.
Image

Image

With the hole thus punched, there's usually a little tuft of carpet on the back to show where to put the spacer as a template to cut out the bigger hole. Tailor's chalk employed once again because it's just so versatile for this.
Image

Image

Do that eight times and you have all the seat bolt holes done. Repeat for the centre console another four times, but without the cutting a larger hole stage, and that allows you to fight that into place. Before fitting the centre console, however, I needed to fit that heel mat. I encountered a problem I had hoped I wouldn't which was that while my machine was perfectly capable of going through carpet and mat, the carpet itself was too bulky to feed through the machine as I was sewing, rendering the job impossible. Because the heel mat is a vinyl of some sort, once you've punch holes in it sewing that's it, you can't do it again. I opted to remove the heel mat and rely on the floor mats I always have in my cars instead. The solution would have been a machine with a longer arm or reach so I could have bunched up the excess carpet and sewn it in. Never mind, it won't matter in the grand scheme of things.
Image

I could then get almost everything back in the car. I even had enough offcuts left over to redo the carpet in the parcel shelf up front, this was simply cut to size and put in there, no need for glue.
Image

Image

Image

So far, so good.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sat May 02, 2020 7:01 pm

Weather cleared up today, wind was mostly not there, and I had my latest dye order so it was time to get on with this job before work. I'm doing quite a big colour change with this so I'm using a bit more dye than you might normally just to get a uniform finish. The passenger side door cards (from 1978 going by the date stamp on the back) are more sun faded on the top than the driver's side ones were, even though it's not as evident in pictures as in person. I bought some of the cleaner that vinyldye sell since I'd run out of the generic cleaner I'd been using and I have to say, I wish I'd used theirs from the start because it's very good. As per their recommendations I scuffed all surfaces with a green scourer before cleaning too and that helps provide a decent surface. Masked off the weather stripping and popped out the lock pin escutcheons and then hung the door cards on the stacking crates ready for dye.
Image

Image

The instructions call to use thin layers, with about 10 minutes between coats. The first door cards I did I think I put the dye on a little bit too heavy because this time around I used lighter coats and it went much better. It was also a bit cooler today so that might have helped.
Image

The dye looks terrible for several coats and then all at once it doesn't and you're suddenly left with new looking door cards. It took just under two of the tins I'd ordered to do these door cards, which is about what I expected. Also took about 4-5 coats for a uniform finish, again as expected.
Image

One thing I had learned is that you need to use up a partial can, if you don't then when you go to use what's left it comes out splotchy and messy and just doesn't spray right. That meant doing some more spraying so I hauled the driver's seat out of the car and set to with the masking tape. This was pretty awkward to do and finding a way around for the seat to go so that I stood any chance of a uniform finish took some thinking too. I was hopeful one can would be enough for the seat and fully expecting to need the two and a bit I had left since I was trying to cover black. First coat the dye was barely visible.
Image

Six coats later, seven in a couple of stubborn spots, and I finally had a fairly uniform finish. I would have liked to do one more coat but I ran out of dye. That means I need at least two more cans of dye to do the other front seat. Still, for about £25 of materials it's a pretty impressive job and far easier than retrimming the whole seat.
Image

Image

I'm really happy with that result. To be on the safe side I'm not reinstalling any of this until they've had 24 hours to cure. There's a few spots on the black piping on the velour side that hasn't quite dyed as uniformly as I'd like, but that also isn't noticeable since it blends with the black seat facings. When I get the new dye I know I can go over the piping with a paintbrush and carefully touch in the dye where it's required. I probably won't since it's not really necessary, I'm doing a colour change not a show car.

So far it's taken 8 cans of dye to do all the door cards, one seat, and all the smaller bits of interior vinyl. I reckon another 4-6 cans of dye will do the rest of the seats. That combined with the carpets will bring the interior redo out at around £300ish which really isn't bad at all and hasn't involved any of the faff of unpicking and resewing seats. If nothing else, it's a good trial run to check I want this colour scheme without committing to the cost and time involved for a professional retrim.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Sat May 02, 2020 8:22 pm

You've done a great job on the door cards. Even though it's not really my colour they look very smart and match the carpet wonderfully. I presume it's a trick of the light that the seat looks a much milkier colour.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

User avatar
Finchyman
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:15 am

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Finchyman » Sat May 02, 2020 9:18 pm

I think that looks brilliant.
Ian

Princess 2.2 HLS. 'Hector'
Jaguar XJS - C. 'Roger'
Jaguar XJ Portfolio. 'Mallory'

Daily driver - The train

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Sun May 03, 2020 1:27 am

Yep, trick of the light. My poor old phone camera is on its last legs and is really struggling with light balance these days. When I get the seat in the car hopefully it will deal with the light a bit better and you'll see it matches quite well. Feels nice to be making the interior uniform and, of course, I now have an orange carpet going spare if anyone is in need of one. I've also got a black carpet going spare, though it only has one inner sill trim and isn't perfect, but would certainly do fine if your existing carpet is trashed or if you needed to take a pattern to make a new one.

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Tue May 12, 2020 6:39 pm

Had some time and perfect weather to do more dye work. Thought I needed four cans, ended up needing five and a half, so I was right to order six. Top tip: However much dye you think you need, it's more than that. I'm seriously impressed at how well this dye has gone over black, even if it did take up to seven coats in places. First thing I sorted out were the front seats, topping up the dye on the driver's seat and doing the passenger one from scratch. Also made use of @MorrisItalSLX's suggestion of doing the sides of the head restraints in marooon and it really has tied the seats together nicely and made them look more finished than they did. Excuse all the crap in the background, we're still doing decorating and DIY on this house so keep having to shift stuff into the wrong rooms.
Image

Image

The rear seat got the same vinyl-not-velour dye treatment, even the upright part of the back seat which you barely see. I wasn't entirely sure if I had enough dye for that bit so I saved it until last.
Image

Image

I am delighted at how well that seat looks with the sole exception of the mounting bracket which I think I'm going to repaint using the maroon on the outside of the car, just because it jumps out so much now. The last little detail is one I've wanted to do for ages which is the recess in the top of the lock buttons. Normally, the lock buttons are plain black, I've add just a bit of chrome into the recess in the top of them, it's a subtle little detail that ties them in nicely to the other door furniture.
Image

I haven't installed the front seats yet as they need handling a lot more than the rear seat to get them in place and I'd rather give the dye a few more hours to cure before I risk handling them. The only problem so far is that the rear driver's side door card, one of the first items I dyed, feels a bit tacky in places. The dye isn't lifting or transferring and doesn't seem to want to scrape off so I'm just leaving it alone. I suspect because it was one of the first panels I did on a hot day I may have been too heavy with the dye and it may have been too hot a day to do it and it's just taking a bit longer to cure, especially since the other items I did on the same day don't have this issue. The newer parts don't have this issue at all and I used incredibly light coats on much cooler days for those. I also used the vinyldye cleaner on the other panels and a generic one on the rear card that's giving problems so that's worth considering too.

All in all, I'm very happy with how this is looking.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Tue May 12, 2020 9:44 pm

I agree the seats look much more complete with the sides of the headrests maroon.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed May 13, 2020 1:57 pm

The interior is now done*.

The front seats went in really easily which was very unusual, normally at least one bolt refuses to line up. I'm very pleased with the end result. Worth noting, I did actually do the piping on the seats where it wasn't dyed as well as I'd've liked by simply standing the seat up and spraying from the top with the fabric masked, which gave a really crisp finish. If you get your face right up to it you can see its been dyed in places, if you know what to look for. Overall, the casual observer won't notice and indeed there's nothing that bothers me about the interior redo. I'm so much happier with it now than any other interior colour this car has had. I'm seriously considering using this dye (in white) to cover up the glue staining on the headlining too, a common Princess problem, something about the glue means it stains the vinyl this horrible yellowy colour and you can't clean it off. That's something for another day. For now, enjoy the maroon-and-black, Captain Picard's uniform, interior splendour.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Oh wait, one last thing...

Image

Perfect.


*we'll pretend I've painted the rear seat bracket and front speakers for the purposes of this post.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed May 13, 2020 2:35 pm

That looks really smart (except for the passenger head rest!). Well done.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed May 13, 2020 3:21 pm

What's wrong with the passenger head rest?

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed May 13, 2020 4:11 pm

It's not been marooned.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed May 13, 2020 4:19 pm

It has, my camera just isn't picking it up.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed May 13, 2020 5:08 pm

Lol. If you say so.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

Vulgalour
Posts: 1783
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Vulgalour » Wed May 13, 2020 5:38 pm

No really it has, if you go up a couple of posts you can see it sat in the living room clearly dyed, I think that's the same photo that makes the side of the seat look milky :lol:

My camera is so worn out. Poor thing. It's had a hard life.

User avatar
Gasman
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:37 pm
Location: Shawford, Winchester, UK
Contact:

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by Gasman » Wed May 13, 2020 6:06 pm

Whatever, let's pass on your wonky camera, it's really smart.
Martin
Club Treasurer


Owner of:
Oldest known surviving wedge, hand-built 15th Pre-Production Wolseley in June 1974
Last Ambassador down the line in November 1983, Austin Ambassador VDP

100 Club
Posts: 404
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:51 pm
Location: The National Forest

Re: 1980 Princess 2 1.7 HL

Post by 100 Club » Wed May 13, 2020 11:15 pm

Well, that is more or less the negative or reverse of the 100 Club interior! It features Spanish Rose velour seat facings and carpets, with all of the vinyl done in black.

The colour you have used (notwithstanding wonky phone camera) is very close to Spanish Rose, which was a staple of Mini, Maxi, Allegro and Marina interiors in the mid 1970s, revived for the Princess 100 Club in 1980 and then revived once more in the 1990s for some special Rover 200 and 800 interiors.
Princess 2 2000HL, Reynard metallic
Princess 100 Club Special

Daily drive: MG ZR Trophy 115 TD

Weekend rave: Honda Civic Type R GT

Post Reply