Contact Rob – firstname.lastname@example.org
|The Journey – " WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS! "|
Why did I want a Bedford ? – I have always loved the look, I bought a white one stock standard around 1996. I loved it, so did the kids, I used it to take the crew surfing up and down the coast. My daughter drove it to school and her friends thought she was cool. I eventually resprayed it, and she shone, I was offered money for it a few times over the years.
Destroyed by fire. Unfortunately it was destroyed on Xmas day 2001 when the south coast was hit with devastating bush fires, the poor girl, it was a sad day. - Since then I have always had the desire to get another.
Why now? - 15 years later.I have turned 60, my days of surfing are behind me, the family has grown and moved off to raise their own families, leaving the missus and I with some time….We just went away on a trip sleeping in the back of the Commodore station wagon for some of it – we loved it - we came home all enthused to get a camper van, I mentioned it to my mates, who are all classic car enthusiasts and have been on my case to get myself a project, I also mentioned I liked Beddy’s and that was it, they got more excited than me, I was a little scared as I’m no mechanic and mechanicals are scary things, but they all assured me they would help and nothing can’t be fixed or modified… the hunt was on and so here we are now.
I eventually found one in Wongawilli, a young bloke had bought it as a project, but other things came up so he decided to shift the old girl on, he had spent many months trying to find one without much rust, which saved me a lot of looking as he managed that just fine. It came from Vico originally and might have been an Australian post van, apparently she was used to carry eggs before she was retired….
|From the front - Cads, Steady and Cusso’s cars.|
What am I going to do to her? well not a lot…I'm to old for tricked out punk vans and complete custom jobs…I have always just loved the way they looked straight off the shelf, I might do a few mods, thing that will improve the running, stopping and comfort, I may do a very subtle graphic. I have done plenty of airbrush work in the past, but generally It will be pretty subtle.
My last airbrush work on the boot of a 65 Ford…
Ultimately she will be used for drifting around the country side on short trips…who knows…time will sort all that out, when you reach this age it’s a day by day proposition.
|Pick up the old girl - 11th July 2015|
Cad’s and Cusso came on the run to pick up the old girl, she was sitting on a property at Wongawilli looking pretty sad, surrounded by long grass and old abandoned houses, the fellas helped load her on the trailer and brought her back to the South Coast at Woollamia.
The first close look revealed she was in pretty good nick, most of the body panels were reasonably straight, the inside paint was brand new, with one fairly major ding in the front drivers guard, The passenger side had been stripped back to bare metal and undercoated…that’s going to need some attention as the weather has gotten to the thinner areas with fine mild surface rust poking through – the drivers side rear quarter had been repaired before and they must have sprayed the undercoat and left it exposed before the top coat was painted as the paint is pealing and cracking - The drivers window was all over the place and didn’t work. There was some rust as expected in the lower panels but nothing showing in crucial spots, Beddy’s are well known for their rust, so who knows what will be found once the work begins..
Next day I was into stripping out the inside seats, old metal cargo barrier, motor cover and old timber floor panel’s their pretty basic in construction, so dismantling is a relatively relaxing job…
|I stripped out the old floor coverings and this revealed some small rust holes, nothing major, and an easy fix – a good wire brush job, some rust converter and she was looking pretty good to start with.|
|The Shed - a home for the old girl.|
Now before I start work on any body work or mechanical, the old girl needs somewhere out of the elements to rest her weary bones, so a new/old shed will have to be built. The Kiwi.
How fortunate, a few days before I’m about to start the shed I receive a call from a young Kiwi mate coming back from Germany looking for somewhere to crash for an unspecified amount of time…he happens to be a carpenter, and his first words are, “"do you have anything you want built while I'm there’'”…”silly question”
|The old shed had been there for 30 years – held up with a few sticks and a prayer, I have used it to do my graphics in…I'm a signwriter and graphic artist. So we slung the new part built out of mostly reclaimed timber and iron that’s been laying about the property for years, to the old part. My mate Stapo “ head of the Woollamia Speedy building company” turned up with a dirty great beam which allowed us to rip out the old back wall opening up the whole are. We had the shed all built and ready for the Beddy in about a week and a half. I threw some old lino and rubber mats on the dirt floor, built some shelves and was given an old steel work bench that fitted perfect, a few tubes of silicone completed the weather sealing - and pushed the Beddy into her new home - we have just been through some major flooding, the worst rain in 30 years and it didn’t leak, - the old girl was looking happier.|
Time to start the journey in earnest, a closer look revealed lots of superficial body damage…, The side opening door was the worst, it’s a common problem with the door being subject to swinging open and slamming against the side mirrors and the so called “bump stop”.
The body work for me is pretty enjoyable, so getting stuck into that was fun. After a few days at it between other commitments it was showing signs of coming together, once you start you just keep finding things,,,small depressions, small dings pushed from the inside…all good though and easy to repair.
I'm not going nuts on her, she won’t be a show car, just enough tho make her tidy.
The lower regions have some rust holes….that’s a bit more of a challenge as i can’t weld for shit, but that’s where mates come in, and i have great crew of mates who are into classic cars and have heaps of experience, and are willing to help…
September - early
The body work is progressing - all the superficial dings are just about squared away, the major dent in the front drivers guard has been pulled out and teased back into place. The front screen is out revealing some surface rust but pretty dam good otherwise. that won’t take much to square away.
I made my own dent puller out of bits hanging about and fashioned some dolly’s out of an old boot-makers anvil. worked a treat….by the time it was done the panel was pretty straight and required a small amount of fill…
Told you a was a shit welder.
Puller made from old plumbing fittings, continuous thread, and a steel screw,
Dolly’s made from an old boot maker anvil were great for the panel beating.
|September – midWork has been progressing between other commitments, my policy of trying to do a least one thing a day where possible is working, my policy of not rushing and giving myself a headache is working, so the journey is still enjoyable.|
I stripped the paint off the join between the roof and the gutter – not one bit of rust, all looked great, that was a huge relief.
September - lateThe one thing I’m defiantly not is mechanical, so this part of the journey is a full learning curve for me starting at the bottom.As advertised the old girl “ Started – Stopped – and Ran” - but that was about all. She ran pretty rough and blew heaps of smoke, suggesting what? like I said I’m a numky when It comes to mechanics – so Cusso came over,,, he’s a bit of a whizz, engineer and all that. First thing lets check the compression – in this part of the journey we found a broken spark plug, stuffed points and the dizzy was pretty much rooted…but some tweaking by Cusso had the old girl purring like a kitten, – well not quite but at least it was idling and responding to some pressure.
The compression was pretty good but down on one cylinder.
My mate Steady turns up as Cusso is about to leave after his good work.
Steady is a whizz mechanic of all things as well as professionally. He and Cusso confer like too old doctors and Cusso leaves. Steady arrives carrying a complete gasket set and decides it’s a great time to pull off the head. – My fears start to rise! - “No worries mate, It will only take 30 minutes” – 50 minutes later covered in crap and the heads off and on the bench….time for another beer!
A quick look and it seems ok – Steady says - “I have the means to pull out the valves and springs etc, lets do that”
OH SHIT OK I GUESS.!
Not good, but not to to bad…one of the valves is buggered and so is the seat…no amount of honing is going to fix that
A new head is required, everything else looks ok, the pistons look good with no movement…
Steady leaves after a few beers and dinner, giving me instructions on how to clean the water from the block, drain the oil and empty the tank.
Cleaning the block etc – what a bloody shit of a job – in this case the old girl has thick oil everywhere, mixed in with red dirt, making an almost cement like glug, suggesting she may have been out west for some time…hence the lack of rust…who knows? - Red back webs full of egg sacks abound.
The water from the block came out like brown lava, spraying me everywhere, a few showers later see’s me looking pretty clean again, other than the fingernails – they look like I have been a mechanic all my life – all good fun.
The heater when turned on made some horrible noises and sounded strained. I pulled it out and it was filled with a rats nest, they had used some stuffing as the nest and packed it in nice and homely, the fan motor looked dodgy and wouldn’t spin freehand, I dismantled that,,,cleaned out the crap, lubed it up and whoo ee!,, she spins like a top
quiet as a mouse with heaps of blow. – but the heater core is totally rooted – rusted and falling apart…
Options have to be considered!
The nightmare window glass realignment puzzle.
Now that was fun – I’m lying, it was painful and frustrating, the glass was out of it’s track and all over the place…I tried to realign it but all attempts failed…take a blood great deep breath – further inspection which I should have done straight away – learning by ones mistakes - revealed the small T Piece neoprene spacers that align the window in the mechanism were shot. I had been trying to do it without removing the whole mechanism – a mistake – I took the whole lot out, an easy job, pulled it apart, an easy job, went and snavelled one of my wife’s neoprene chopping boards and went to work fashioning myself a couple of new T Pieces – must say it worked a treat – put the mechanism in and carefully replaced the window using timber wedges to stop it falling inside the door…replaced the track that someone had unscrewed and let drop to the bottom of the door, which I only realised was there after taking out the mechanism. and “woo bloody hoo” ! the thing works almost as smooth as new…don’t know what the long term outcome of the T Pieces will be but for now at least it’s working fine.
Bucket SeatsEddy (Foreskin) don’t ask!
has given me a couple of decent bucket seats – when he get’s a chance he will come down and fabricate the bases for those and do some welding – another whizz.
Spent the weekend in Sydney helping Foreskin with his project – here are a couple of pics, One of his mates turned up in another FJ, this one had a V6 Commodore engine and other mods.
Working on Foreskin’s car just made me anxious to get back to the old girl…
Sept 29th 015With my policy of trying to do at least one thing every day where possible, today I took the instrument panel out of the van – after taking off the back cowling it revealed a huge wasp nest made out of mud wrapped around the wiring harness some of the wires were corroded and others snapped right off their connections….it was a total mess….
This is just some of the nest – I should have snapped a pic before I demolished it, but I was up to my ears in it by then and keen to finish what Id started.
|My plans for the dash.|
I’m intending to build my own using new instruments and getting the whole lot rewired…Can’t be that hard can it ?
I’m going to make the dash emulate the original but in a 50’s –60’s style. stainless steel, resin, padding and paint.
Looking forward to starting that…something like the concept below – but not these colours ?
|October 11th 2015|
|LET THE SPARKS FLY|
Saturday – Foreskin ( like I said “don’t ask! ) arrives, he finally had a chance to get down the coast to do some welding, Fortunately there isn’t much rust to cut and weld…just a few spots on the usual areas, along the bottom of the side door, back lower corner panels and a couple of spots near the rear of the guards…all small holes and reasonably easy to do..
It still took a few hours with myself following Foreskin around grinding the welds flat, then slightly depressing the wounds in preparation for the fibreglass fill.
We finished off the day with some of the FIFO Gang under the stars, a B.B.Q and of course a few beers to the sounds of Rockabill coming from the Moonshine Room…
Thanks Foreskin for your great work.
The head saga continues.
After finding out one of the valves and seat was shot, I was given another head for free, it proved to be worse than the one I had, then the opportunity for a 161 fully reconditioned for nothing came to me, but I decided not to go this way, as I'm loosing what power I have….then a 202 with electronic ignition became available, it came out of a young blokes Torana - well! - I can only think that it might have had some punishment as I know the blokes he hangs with.
So what now?
For now I have decided to stick with the 173 – get the head reconditioned, or investigate getting a new Yella Terra head, either way it would be done so i can run unleaded petrol, at least I don’t have to pull out the motor.
While I have been waiting on other things to develop, decided to play around and make myself a fibreglass spoiler. whether I use it is still up for discussion and thought,, I had the materials on hand so why the hell not have a play around…
|Early stages – still stuff to add and vents to cut out – I'm not sure if it’s the right thing…time will tell. But it was fun to do…Foam, Ally panel and fibreglass..|
|October 15 - 2015|
Got away from the Beddy and went and visited my mate Cads today - “arrrrrr! - the frustrations”, and I was thinking I had taken on to much, ha..no chance, - Cads has decided to put a bigger engine in his Caddy, this endeavour has led onto all sorts of other resto problems. Cads will have it sorted very soon then it’s off to the engine fitter and on the road again.
|October 19th 2015|
|Not a great deal has been happeningUnfortunately I have been away working in Sydney, thank god I don’t live up there anymore! - anyway!, since Foreskin did his welding magic I have, (when the chance arrives) been squaring away his handy work. Most of the fill is done and sanded and undercoated - I have been covering any exposed metal with primer and am about to attack the windscreen area….but first a trip to the Rock and Roll festival at the Entrance called ChromeFest, lots of classic cars, Rockabilly bands and sights to behold. Probably no Beddy’s though, wish there was, as i haven’t even seen a live one for many years. – funny thing is mates have been seeing a few around the area. just not me. hopefully they know what there looking at.??|
Once that’s over I will get stuck into the screen area.
Here are a few progress shots.
P’S - If there are any Beddy owners travelling down the South Coast near Huskisson, feel free to let me know…Id love a chat. - details below.
The screen needs some attention, but not much.
|October 28th 2015|
|Not one Beddy!.|
Just returned from a rock and roll festival on the Central Coast. Hundreds of Classic cars and hotrods, thousands of hours and dollars involved in the restorations, cars and trucks and bikes of all types, but not one Beddy, I will hopefully address that situ next year., haha! - probably get run out of town!! - hehe..,
Came home all inspired to get stuck in, so today with a couple of hours to spare i ripped off the grille and support bar, going to take them to the local chrome guy tomorrow for a quote…took off the break booster and attachments and rubbed the crappa out of the engine bay = this created heaps of room to work, reckon I could pull the motor out through there without to much trouble – maybe?
Also played around with another simpler spoiler concept…more inclined to go this way if at all….one never stops playing and thinking does one!
The Beddy dilemma, SO MANY OPTIONS!
|Also squared away one of the weld patches. That was the biggest piece of rust in the old girl so not to bad for a 37 year old lady.|
|November 5th – 2015|
Rain Rain go away.
If this rain would bloody stop Id finish spraying the primer…ahhhhhhhhhh!
I have been hunting for info regarding the best and easiest way to do the Diff thing!
the alternatives so far are.
1 - An early Chevy Impala diff. – still trying to find out details, almost impossible to find.
2 - A HQ Holden sedan diff – have to get the rim cut and re-welded inside out to accommodate the extra width, but are left with two different stud patterns leading onto more changes….
That’s what I use to have in the original old girl….it was a pain in the butt having two spare wheels to carry around.
3 - An AU falcon sedan diff – change the short axel to a long axel to get the extra width I need – have to get my head around that one, and are left with the above problem.
4 One of my mates had a HG Holden diff in his – probably the same as a HQ really - So not sure about that alternative – more info needed.
5. get the Beddy diff centre changed via cutting and welding the original axels onto a different highway diff…..sounds expensive…Ill let you know! At least Id end up with the same wheels all round….
Gavin Davies - Rob,You"re looking for info on Diffs - I'm not sure how a 6 would handle it but I have an 8 with a 9"diff with a 2.7:1 ration, purrs along the highway at 1700rpm @100kph a comfortable combination
WheelsGavin Davies - Rob-contact Exclusive tyres they're the American racing wheel agents,they purpose built mine with the specs I needed and did the hole spacing to match, took about 12 weeks from the USA but worth the wait
|4th November 2015.|
The Ignition.Live and learn.
went to move the old girl and the steering lock was stuck on, tried fiddling with the key and this eventually broke.
so my next adventure was to get the ignition mechanism off – simple enough me thinks, except the apparent bolts down the centre have been sheered off…tried to drill them out…broke two drill tips and didn’t make a dent…got onto the BUGA forum and asked for help! Gunning and Marishka both gave me valuable suggestions. trouble was I didn’t quite understand the answers correctly.
|Marishka - |
“Yeah when fitted at factory the screws sheer at the heads when fitted.
I just use a 4 " grinder with a 1mm disk and cut a slot across the screw,
Then use a flat screwdriver to get them off.”
“I recently had to do the same on my Subaru, I had trouble trying to cut slots in the bolts as it was still on the car, I ended up using a punch and hammer to start bolts turning, then could use fingers to turn, I replaced with a standard bolt, make it easier next time”
So I'm still thinking its just the centre bit that has to come out, tried all and sundry and still no luck, so I cut the whole thing off with the grinder, only then on closer inspection i found out the whole shinny part was a bolt and not just the smaller centre bit…so for anyone having a go check out the pics they should explain what I'm trying to say.
New door locks.
My new door locks arrived from England this week – so that will be an interesting little project to tackle as well.
Master Cylinder oil container.
My new / second hand, oil container arrived from the banana state this week as well – their rare as hens teeth and I was lucky enough to find one on fleebay…
I did put a cut in it as suggested, but then tried turning the very small centre bit with a small screw driver instead of a large one that would have turned the whole bloody bolt.
One step forward - one step back.
Well after much procrastination I have finally secured myself a motor, it’s a 202 with electronic ignition already attached, apparently only driven to church on Sunday’s by a old nanna.
Now this means only one thing! - getting the old girls front end in the air – this should be fun! - stay tuned.
Motor arrived – looks decent so far.The usual oil, nothing a clean and some new paint wont fix , took the rocker cover off, looked a lot cleaner than the original 173 – no glug,
Next step to replace the gaskets and get her in the beddy..
Water pump – appears to be brand new.
Even the ignition coil looks in great nick.
|The Motor Yes the motor again – Steddy hit the shed this arvo, I slapped a Fat Yak in his hand and we both got stuck into it.|
We throw it on the engine stand, after the last 173 pull apart and the 179 rusted heap, I wasn’t going to get to excited about this motor.
But..after pulling the valves out and checking the rest visually, it’s looking pretty sweet, no rust, valves all good and ready for a clean, pistons clean as a whistle, chambers free of any corrosion, so fingers crossed this should be the donk for the old girl to get her purrrrrrring again.
Despite being old and decrepit, Steady does a good job, I’m learning heaps Old school rules apply, take 6 valves out and have a beer, take another 6 valves out and have another beer.
The septic Tank.Now after a couple of Fat Yaks Steady needs to get home, Google is waiting.
Me - Steady, when you turn be careful you don’t hit the septic tank it sticks about 6 inches out of the ground.
Steady – Yeah no worries – see you tomorrow - he throws a u-turn in the dark paddock and runs straight over the Septic Tank.
|Polishing the head.|
24th Nov 2015
Steady arrived this arvo armed with a small air driven head polisher and went to it – of course the apprentice “me” didn’t get a go, bloody hog, he’s like a spoilt kid that won’t share his toys!
It came out great and here are some riveting shots showing the frantic action.
|That’s Steady hogging the toys.|
|28th November 2015|
I have lapped all the valves- Steady polished the valves and she is ready to be re assembled and installed.
|30th November 2015|
Getting ready for the motor removal.
I put an extra beam through the shed and an extra brace to accommodate the lifting of the front of the old girl…it should be well and truly enough to carry the weight…I reckon it would have been ok with the one hardwood beam, but the other hardwood beam was donated, so up it went…probably better safe than sorry….
I’m into stripping down all the connecting bolts etc next week…yee ha…can’t wait to get under the old girl…
My poor old offsider “Steady Eddy” has pulled a muscle in his back, so he is laid up at the moment,,,so progress on the motor has stalled….until he’s able to bend again…
Well my initial idea as can be seen above, has gone out the window…tried it. didn’t like it….so now i have done some carving and some aluminium fabrication and totally changed the whole way I was going about it initially…just have to epoxy the high impact styrene with a couple of layers of 6 oz matt and clean it up and give it a spray or even cover it in vinyl…to be determined.
Anyway here are some shots at the almost fabricated epoxy undercoat stage….
colour and finishing to do of course.
|Has a very slight retro feel, and i have always loved ‘curves” and the old girl has curves, so couldn’t help myself…|
|December 5th 2015|
| The Motor.Bugger me, finally had a chance to strip the motor down, I spent considerable time cleaning every part.|
We had to replace a leaking main seal around the crank as the old rope seal was pissing oil – off with the balancer. all went well. almost!
I asked - “Steady give us an action shot!” this is what we get – very riveting!
We took out the crank to replace the old seal and cleaned all the bit’s – learning more.
We flipped her over and started on the head re-assembly
We replaced all the old leaking gaskets with new, we then started to put the head back together, set the torque wrench to the right setting for the head bolts and proceed to break two,,,fortunately there was still some stud showing so that was an easy fix. after closer inspection we could see why, some of the old bolts looked warn and fatigued, we replaced them with the best from the old 173 engine and all torqued up fine. all good until another bolt broke…a closer look showed more wear, but only on the middle ones, “WHY? - Steady - because that’s where their exposed to the water jacket”. OHHHH!! I’m learning!………
So now we just have to do the sump side of things.
Corrosion on bolts from exposure to water. .
Anyway all went well from there, new seals, new gaskets, we cleaned her down, dried her off and proceeded to spray her with the high temp engine paint – “Randy Red”
Header score. 10Dec 2015
Scored myself a set of headers and some exhaust from a rusting wreck not far from our property – the rusting heap has been there for quite some time, so i thought id have a look at what it had to offer…the rest of the ute is totally rooted, but low and behold it had what appeared to be a decent set of headers and exhaust pipe including a muffler.
I bought them home and cleaned them up and there as solid as!….a quick steel brush job. some rust converter and their ready for a coat of stove pipe black…
Motor stage, whatever.
The old girl has been readied for the front end lift, all the connecting things have been disconnected and the bolts loosened…I made a gear box trolley out of some old roller skates I have been hanging onto for years, despite the constant harassment of - ”you know who! - “throw them out ‘'” their rubbish, what will you ever do with those?” – you get the drift hey fellas!….
Steady has been doing up his old Ford and it was time to spray the well in prep for the new motor install- off white was the colour - off yellow was the result - so aftrer a night of restless contemplation he made the decision to go hassle the supplier and get the right paint.
this time he took it back to the original colour white.
Now it's just about ready for the implant.
The old girl gets a face-lift.
This stage I have been looking forward to for some strange reason.
Id spent the previous day taking out all the connecting bolts etc, and since Steady's engine bay was still to raw to put the motor in we all decided why not take a motor out.
I slung the chain block over the reinforced beam and we started to lift, it all went without a hitch. It came out so easily,
Cusso unfortunately missed the action by 5 minutes as he was digging out a banana tree to give to us and was delayed, but he quickly jumped into gear, seems the smell of grease and oil fires them up because soon there were spanners blazing.
Cusso is right in his element mucking about with motors, he worked for years on war ships as a diesel mechanic fixing pistons and stuff as big as the Beddy, so a little red engine was just a cruise. We had the old motor on the ground and stripped a couple of piston bolts out to replace two that for some reason has snapped when we were tightening them up with the torque wrench.
Surgeons - Cusso and Steady solving some issues.
P.S – If anyone has information about which type of highway diff I can put in the old girl Id greatly appreciate the information.
I have looked through the forums pretty well and they have a lot of mixed information. So to get some direct info about what people used would be great - Rob @ email@example.com
I have looked through the forums pretty well and they have a lot of mixed information. So to get some direct info about what people used would be great - Rob @ firstname.lastname@example.org