The exhaust mounts have now been straightened and painted, the new rubbers fit OK with a little adjustment and the whole system assembled for a trial fit. The left hand tailpipe lined up correct, but the right was finishing at a very odd angle so needed some bending to get it the same as the other side. I then marked in various places to show position and where the bending was to be made, took an offset measurement and I headed for Woolf Mufflers, who I knew had a bending machine. Tongue in cheek and on the basis of all care no responsibility we made the bends, when home and fitted, it couldn’t have been better. You have to be lucky sometimes.

The block was in place with 2 studs lightly screwed in, the heads on and the exhaust manifolds held on buy a couple of nuts. The whole system was now dismantled and then reassembled, this time all the slip joints were coated with exhaust sealant, all the clamps were in place and tightened, all the mounting bolt and nuts tightened, job well done. I have to say that this was a big enough job refitting an exhaust system from the top with the body off. For the home DIY with the car on axle stands, to fit a new one from under the car with the body in place must be just so much harder.

The rear bolt on splines have now been bolted on, even this caused me some trouble. I am fairly careful where I put things like nuts etc as I’m working with them. In this case I was too careful and couldn’t find the RH ones. I searched off and on for 3 days and was starting to think I had lost my marbles as I knew they had to be close at hand somewhere, in the end I found them. I had put them in the space where the rear shocks go and then bolted the shocks on top of them without noticing them, not losing my mind after all.

The steering system is now in place, the box etc is in only temporary as it has to be removed to get the body on. I intend to borrow another idler to fit in place of the steering box so the car can be moved about while fitting the body. The long bolts used as spring compressors are still in place, this is to try to have the ride height as if loaded so when the chassis is on the ground I hope to adjust the wheel alignment as near as is possible. The bolt on splines are now on and the wheels in place, the only thing now missing off the chassis in the petrol pipe, still have to find out where it starts and finishes.

The day had to come, the chassis was lowered off the carpenter’s stools, quite a task, had to be taken in several bites, but on its wheels at last. First time at least part of the car has moved on its own wheels in over 10 years. It was pushed outside for some photos and to clean up the garage floor. Didn’t realise just how low it is, to work on it on the stools certainly save my back.

A rough check on the wheel alignment and then the front shock will be fitted, that will almost complete the front suspension.

Procedures are now in place to get the body and some bits shipped from the UK, in the meantime lots of work to be done. The difficult one is to straighten and assemble the windscreen frame, for this I have to make a pair of joiners for the bottom, I have worked out how I’m going to tackle this and will describe it next time, if it all works out OK. Another job is to make the wooden frame for the dash. I have 2 both with the RH third missing, quite a complex bit of woodwork but shouldn’t be too much bother.