Al and Marsha's Journal
 

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August 9, 2008

Between the last pictures and today progress has been slowed due
to the fact that I have been travelling on business quite a bit, however
much has been accomplished. Much of what has been done recently
is not readily apparent and therefore not photographable. An example
of this is the installation of a complete new wiring harness and testing
all of the circuits.

I have also spent considerable time refinishing all of the bakelite window
frames and the dashboard.

However the Annabelle is starting to look like a car again as I am
always adding bits and pieces as we go along.

As the original kick panels forward of both front doors were deteriorated
beyond repair I had to fabricate brand new ones. This was one of the most
difficult and time consuming individual tasks in the whole project. I found the
material almost exactly the same as the original (which was paper) at an art
store.

  

We ran into a huge problem when installing the new headliner which I had purchased from the supplier
in England. After getting it partially installed we discovered that it differed significantly from the original
as the seams pre-sewn into it were in entirely different places. This didn't really show up until we
started finishing the sides. This picture shows the difference in one corner. After several emails back and
forth to England they agreed to send me enough of the material to have an upholsterer make it from scratch
 to fit.

Later I saw, at a car show, a 1950 Prefect which had been restored some years ago and it had the kit
headliner in it. It looked as bad as I thought it would and I was glad that I didn't just "make it work".
I decided to do absolutely everything else on the car and then have the headliner installed last.

I have begun the task of reinstalling the upholstery

The engine compartment is now virtually complete, although I have yet to test
the cooling system for leaks.

More bits and pieces

All of the door hardware, windows and panels are back in place, plus the rear seat (still needs cleaning),
and the furflex draught seal around the doors

The engine compartment is fully wired - we have restarted the engine, but have not tuned it yet...

December, 2008

Since the pictures above all of the work being done on Annabelle has not changed how she looks, so no
new pictures.

The biggest time consuming task has been the difficulty in getting Annabelle's engine starting and running
reliably. It starts, sputters, stops, runs perfectly then starts acting up all over again. We have replaced the
carb, and fuel pump, checked for spark, new sparkplugs... etc, etc, etc all with no improvement.

I finally gave in and had her taken to my British car mechanical shop. Their computerized equipment pretty
quickly identified the problem as the coil.  We thought the spark we tested for showed that the coil was ok,
but it wasn't. It was arcing inside and the output voltage was sporadically too low. A simple change to a new
coil did the trick.

After getting another couple of minor matters taken care of, the car passed our BC emission test with flying
colours.

I drove Annabelle to a custom upholstery shop with a very good reputation to have the headliner installed
which is where she is now. I hope to get some pictures of the process and I will post them here as I get
them. I will probably not get the car back until after the new year.

There is not much left to do to complete the restoration: Install some interior trim pieces, install the rear side
window and the rear window, install the sill plates and running boards and the bumpers and finally the new
carpet set that I got from the UK. That's about it.

It has been 30 months so far since I started this restoration and I hope to have it totally completed by the
end of February ready for the 2009 car show season.

More to come......

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