Austin A35 2 door

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gazza82
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

Costafortune wrote:Thinking back, the A30/35 was never a really rot prone car was it? They became tatty but not falling to bits like most other cars of that era.
They have their rust traps ... but there are still plenty that have never been welded and still on the road with mots. Guess a lot depends when it is used and where and how stored but then that does for plenty of 50s/60s cars. Our forum has a few basket cases ;-)
The forerunner of the Mini .. the A35 .. lots of similarities except rear wheel drive. Mine contains a lot of Mini parts now!
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gazza82
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

Been a while since I posted an update.

The bodyshell is now stripped of doors, boot, glass and all the mechanical bits apart from the rear shocks. They are behind held in place by the rear anti-roll bar which is connected by two small u-bolts I am reluctant to cut .. and the nuts are proving stubborn. I'm hoping that once it's on the roll-over jig I can work them out of their resting places.

Inside the panels are coated in a bitumen-like substance that was used to sound-deaden the panels .. a lot has simply flaked off being >60 years old, gone rock hard and some of it sitting on flaky rust especially the floor pans. That has exposed a couple of holes in the front floor pans where the factory assembly-jig boxes used to reside but the majority is still good steel underneath. I've also scraped off the same under the rear seat and again solid metal! Result! There are four splits in the rear floor where the tiltable seats have been allowed to drop heavily so will get welded up and re-inforced with extra plates. I just need to get some more of the deadening off the gearbox and prop tunnel and then coat the lot in Hydrate-80.

Wings came off with a struggle. Most of the original fittings are large self-tapping type screws into clips along the edge of the bonnet surround but some had been replaced with plain nuts and bolts and these were not playing ball. A couple snapped off when I purposely over-tightened them but 3 or 4 needed persuasion from the angle grinder. There was rust were I expected in the front sections but also just above one door hinge on the a-panel. Which explains the droopy n/s door. But the shell is pretty solid. Most of the rust is external panels and what would be described as "frilly" edges.

All the old wiring is out apart from a section running along the o/s edge of the roof. I will pull that out when I've attached some cord to the end to pull through so if I need to I can use that to pull any new wiring back through again. I plan to run the majority of new loom along the n/s though as that is closer to the new fuse box, etc.

The shell has now been fitted with the tubing for the roll-over jig I've been lent and the next step will be to empty the car of all the parts and tools lying around inside (and on the roof!) and lift it onto the jig stands. That will happen when I can get back into the car port as we have some building work going on and they have stored most their gear in front of the car to keep it dry!
The forerunner of the Mini .. the A35 .. lots of similarities except rear wheel drive. Mine contains a lot of Mini parts now!
AndyPen
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by AndyPen »

Will be following this with interest as I too learner to drive in an A35 I bought when I was 16 and ran it on the farm. I attest to the fact that the sills had plenty of filler and the door cones were reversed to make the doors sit better. A great little car and easy to learn mechanics on - much of which helped once we started on the family mini collections!!
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mk1
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by mk1 »

Good to have had an update. I look forward to the next.
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gazza82
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

Been a while since I provided an update but to be honest it isn't a lot more than I had posted before. Mainly due to a coupld of largish garden-related projects and the fact my car port is the temperature of surface of the sun in recent weeks!

The interior is now stripped on sound deadening and I've etch-primers the floor pans after a wild time with some wire cup brushes on a couple of angle grinders. I have also bought the repair panels to patch up the two front outer corners of the floor where there used to be a box section used to transport the body around the factory ... and which fill up with muck and provide a perfect place to rust ....

I've also been hand stripping the underseal from the front wheel arches/wings ... a scraper to get the top surface off and white-spirit takes the remainder off. The heat and a 150w lamp helps by softening the sealant! Also been removing a lot of grease/underseal/dirt mixture that in places was over an inch thick on the bodyshell either side of where the gearbox mounts .. a perfect area to collect this over the years.

Still haven't quite mastered the mig welding but this was hampered by my gas cylinder falling over .. I'd taken the bike lock off that held it to the bodyshell and literally walked 10 feet to put lock and key somewhere safe and there was a thud .. and the pressure gauge of the regulator took the brunt .. so had to buy another one.

I have managed to weld a 3mm plate onto what was the battery tray which will be used to mount the Metro pedals, servo and master cylinders .. still have to convert the clutch pedal from cable to hydraulic operation but will do that when it is all in place and properly lined up.

Wiring loom is now pretty much complete apart from some of the water-proof connectors for joining to lamp units, etc. Although I did make a couple of last minute changes and may need one or two more as I think of yet more to wire up and improve over Austin's 1959 basic setup .. one 50 amp and one 35 amp fuse to protect the lot! The last item is a low brake fluid warning light as the Metro cylinder cap has this incorporated.

Just arrived: the two-speed wiper motor and mounting brackets .. later round-body type fitted to Minis and Land Rovers! ;) "Bitza" is an interesting mix .. I've also got my eyes on some MX5 seats :roll:
The forerunner of the Mini .. the A35 .. lots of similarities except rear wheel drive. Mine contains a lot of Mini parts now!
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mk1
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by mk1 »

Glad to hear that you are making some progress gazza :)
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gazza82
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

Some progress. Actually quite a lot ...

Most of the summer was spent removing the old underseal ... those high temperatures were good for something as it softened it up although being covered up in overalls, gloves and goggles to keep ME clean was not pleasant! A lot of scraping (and I mean a lot!), occasional use of a heat-gun (yeah that helped me stay cool - NOT!) and a couple of large bottles of white-spirit and lots of rags has got it all off. The areas of surface rust were wire-brushed back and treated with Hydrate-80. Any bare metal has had a thin coating of etch primer.

Which means that the main welding can now start. I've started with a few small areas such as a patch in the nearside door A-post .. just above the top hinge. When I really looked at this it wasn't worth removing the entire post panel, which would have been a mission to replace, so I patched it and added a plate behind to give it a bit of support as well as deflect any future rain water away from the back of the A-post. Also been welding up several holes .. mostly drilled to hold relays, etc. They won't be needed in the engine bay .. relays are all going to be behind the dash.
20221017_171623_copy_1161x2064.jpg
Removing the underseal showed up a small area of rust in one inner sill near to the handbrake mount* but this wasn't major, so that has also been patched and I overlapped the edges (joggled!) for a bit of extra strength (as well as learning how to joggle!). That's been stitch welded and plug welded along the joggled edges.

A lot of cleaning up of those dirt traps in the engine bay and removal of yet more sound-deadening from boot floor (which showed up a couple more rust holes!).

So I think I know where all the patches are now needed ... that's probably most of the first half of 2023 allocated. By the summer of next year I should have a solid shell, which should be just right to get it all primered in the warm.

* For those of you who aren't familiar with the A35, the handbrake is on the driver's right between the seat and door! Makes hillstarts fun! That will NOT be going back in the same place.
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The forerunner of the Mini .. the A35 .. lots of similarities except rear wheel drive. Mine contains a lot of Mini parts now!
AndyPen
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Location: South Wales

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by AndyPen »

I'd forgotten the handbrake was there - all Aston Martin like eh?

Good to see some progress ;-)
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gazza82
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Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by gazza82 »

AndyPen wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 7:17 pm I'd forgotten the handbrake was there - all Aston Martin like eh?

Good to see some progress ;-)
I'd like some AM power! Although I did see under the hood of a newer Aston a few months back and the engine was HUGE! A lot of it hidden as it was so far back in the engine bay and under the scuttle.

I'm OK changing the plugs on my A-series! Not quite as easy as a Mini though :lol:
The forerunner of the Mini .. the A35 .. lots of similarities except rear wheel drive. Mine contains a lot of Mini parts now!
AndyPen
Posts: 3212
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:55 pm
Location: South Wales

Re: Austin A35 2 door

Post by AndyPen »

I am struggling to remember what engine we ended up with, I think it was a Midget 1275. Handling kits were listed back then - so that was plenty ;-) I know we changed the box and clutch too.
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