We employ two full time historic vehicle technicians here at the Museum, who in conjunction with our Curator of Vehicles are tasked with the mammoth job of maintaining the hundreds of vehicles in the collection. As part of this work, from time to time certain vehicles are taken into the Museum's workshop to be paid some special attention - one such vehicle is our 1934 Hillman Minx, which, although it was running, recently needed a thorough 'going over' to get it ready for its MOT.
Technician Chris Strawbridge was given the job - and here's what he did:
The entire cooling system was cleaned out and the hoses replaced. All other engine fluids have been replaced. A new battery was installed and all four tyres have been replaced. All moving parts were cleaned and lubricated with copper-grease, reassembled and adjusted. All the brakes were inspected and adjusted where needed. The centre cross-member was removed from the chassis because it had serious corrosion damage. A decision was made to fabricate a new item from scratch, starting with a channel section folded to the correct dimensions using the correct thickness of steel sheet. An exact copy was then produced by accurately cutting and welding using the old one as a pattern. Stabilising of the chassis and running boards was also carried out at the same time to treat areas of surface corrosion.
The exhaust was repaired by replacing part of rear section (welded in) and silencer was altered and moved to give better chassis clearance. The wiring harness was falling to pieces, and after careful examination it was confirmed that replacement of the entire wiring harness was the only possible solution. After many enquiries the decision was made to entrust the work of remanufacturing a replacement harness to Autosparks (Notts). The harness was removed and sent as a pattern and for electrical analysis. The harness was installed throughout to the original method using 'p' clips and using protective covers where it passes through holes in the chassis.
We are now waiting for a few axle straps before the car can be tested for MOT.