Wheels are a-turnin’

There is a guy round the corner doing up a Mini. He’s been at it for a while now, I’ve seen glimpses of it under the tarpaulin as I’ve passed by. It used to be a Mini 25, but he’s stripped it back to the shell, taken all the rust out and put a bodykit on it. It still looks a bit of a mess at the moment, because it’s unpainted, but it’s looking more structurally sound now.

I was passing by this morning and thought I’d say hello, as I hadn’t yet spoken to the guy about it. So we started chatting about what he was doing to the car, his plans for it, and I happened to mention that I needed to get my wheel arches sorted at some point. And then he offered to trim them back for me. Before I knew it I’d taken him up on the offer, and this afternoon I went round with Neddy and he and his Dad set about fixing my wheels-too-big-for-the-body problem. The plastic wheel arch trims were removed, and after some thinking and drawing on the car, John’s Dad set about my car with an angle grinder. That was a scary moment, as I stood there holding the protective cloth in place while looking away, but feeling every vibration as the grinder tore a strip out of the bodywork. I was so tense! When it was finished it did look good though, and after a little hammerite (he only had bright red, but actually it goes rather well) painted onto the bare metal we put the arch trims back on. These had to be flexed slightly so that they came forward further, but they work a treat. The arches are only held on with self-tapping screws for now, until I can get the hammerite covered with paint, at which point we’ll get some pop rivets in there. John also sold me a bumper he no longer needed, since mine was rather bent and the bolts had sheared off while we were taking it off, so I’ve now got a nice stainless bumper on the front too.

So now I can turn my wheels at long last. I took Neddy for a quick spin round the block, just to check there was no rubbing, and thankfully there were no nasty scrubbing noises. For the first time in a long time I can actually turn full lock, it’s amazing! This means I won’t have to change the wheels to get the car through the MOT, which Neddy will be booked in for as soon as the new air filter arrives. So a pretty productive afternoon, by all accounts, although I have to admit I did the standing-around-watching part of the work, rather than the actually-doing-something part…

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