There are a few things that have to be done before the body can be permanently bolted to the chassis, firstly the hinges cleaned, a surprise here as they have steel pins, not brass as you would expect on a Daimler. The area where the front of the body is bolted to the chassis has been rebuilt as parts of it have been torn away, plus a couple of small glass repairs in the engine bay. The body has been tipped on its side and the whole underside, has been cleaned and except where I know panels to be replaced, has been painted with underseal, the new parts will be done after repairs are completed.
The doors have been remounted and aligned, had quite a struggle with one hinge, couldn’t get it to move out far enough out so the door was flush with the body. Found out the floating nut plate was being stopped by its clip, solution hacksaw about 2mm off that side. Still not enough, then remembered that one of the hinges had a packing piece between it and the door, since lost, so made and fitted a metal piece, perfect.
18th March – another red-letter day, the body lowered onto the chassis. Now the tedious work starts. First up was to pack the side rails, these were part of the B spec conversion and were just blanks. Sorting the packing was quite a task, the fact this is not the original body on the chassis made this a big job. In the end I actually had to have three goes until I was satisfied that all was aligned as good as was possible. Particular attention was paid to the position of the B posts. Now the 4 holes for the hold-down bolts that go through the side rails could be marked, then off come the rails again. Pieces of 16g galvanised iron, cut a neat fit to go inside the rails were wedged inside and the holes drilled through. The inserts were removed and 3/8 NF nuts were brazed to the under side. The inserts were then put back inside the rails and temporary bolted in places so it could be pop-riveted, this is all that is necessary to hold them in place. The B posts were loosely bolted in place, then back onto the chassis again, everything tightened up and checked
Next the sorting out of the packing between the chassis and the body, after a bit of thought I decided to cut some wooden wedges and lever up the body as required and put the wedges in place until the doors etc all fitted OK. I then levered the body up a bit more so the packing could be slipped into place. As my packing was in several pieces and as each position needed a different combination I used the hot glue gun to tack them in a pile before pushing them into place. This made it much easier to align the packing to the bolt-holes. Knocked out the wedges out and then bolted down starting at the A-posts, had to adjust a couple of packing, but this method seems to have worked out OK. With my wonky knees and my difficulty in getting up and down off the floor this fitting the body to chassis was a hard job even spread over several days.
Fitting the locks was the next job. First up what to do about all the remains of the screws that were holding the anti-rattle fittings in both the doors and the body, these had either been broken off or the heads roughly drill off. These screws are 2 BA, and as these seem very hard to get I decided to go up to ¼” UNF knowing I would have to deepen the countersink on the fittings, so for a start drilled and tapped the ones on the doors. I went out and purchased the 16 ¼” UNF countersink socket head screws, I decided stainless ones would be better, not cheap but will save having to get the heads chromed.
One of these fastenings have to float for adjustment but I have no idea which one, door or body, so right or wrong the door one are fixed on this car. The body ones were a nut plate glassed over, these had to be removed so with great difficulty the glass was cut away to get the plates out. It was now that I could see why the screws couldn’t be removed, they were a mass of rust. The nut-plates for the striker- plates were completely missing so I decided to make up a plate long enough to attach the floating nut-plates for both fittings (using the same principle as the hinge ones on the A-posts) and fasten it inside the body cavity.
With great difficulty the area inside the body was cleaned of excess glass to make it as flat as possible, a piece of heave gauge galvanised was shaped to be a good fit with a return to enable the completed fitting to be attached where it wouldn’t show. Nuts were brazed on and a trial fit was made to mark as near as possible where the striker plate and the anti-rattle fittings should go. New nut-plates were cut, drilled and tapped and the sheet metal pieces to hold then folded and brazed in place then large holes for the screws were drill through, this to allow for adjustment. The completed plates were then fastened in place and a start was made with a trial fit of all the locks.
It was now I discover that there is a huge difference between the left and right side on this body. The gap between the door and the body is at least 5mm wider on the left door then the right that was so small the standard anti-rattle could not be fitted in, so I had to set to and make up a special pin part that is 2mm offset. That was only the start but 2 days later after much putting and taking of small packings to be sure that the new fitting was hard against the inside of the body and there would be no deflection when things are tightened up all was set in place and tightened.
I am now satisfied that after a bit of glass repairs and the paint job done the lock fittings should go on without any trouble, we hope.
Well doesn’t time fly when you are having fun, it is now over 10 months since starting this project, I must admit there are time I wonder why I even started but can now see the light at the end of the tunnel.