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The Start

 

March 13

I went to the fabric store to find some fabric for the headliner.  I rejected a fuzzy pink fabric with ducks on it in favor of a nice beige wool cloth. With the cloth in hand I spread out my old headliner to measure it for a pattern.  The mice had done their work and eaten a large section.  They did leave just enough for me to measure. I found great instructions for the headlining in the  RMemoranda cd and printed them out.  Before the headliner I had to install the furflex around the door openings and down the door pillar. On the door pillar the furflex is nailed to a wooden strip that is attached to the pillar with a keyhole arrangement.  The bottom keyhole plates on my trim pieces were rusted away so I made new ones from stainless.

March 14

Today I spent some time making and installing a thin plywood part that goes under the rear window.  This part was totally gone when I got the Riley so it took some research to understand how it all fit together. The headliner bows were rather rusty so I sanded and painted them.  I marked the bows to keep their order but they seem identical to me.

 

March 15

Sewed the pockets in the headliner material and then started on the rear section tacking it in place.

 

 

March 16

Tried to install the boot lid weather-strip I bought from Woolies and ran into an interference problem.  A fancy way of saying it didn't fit.  I will have to rethink the weather-strip situation.

 

March 17

Finished tacking the rear section and started working on the main overhead section.  The bow pockets are in the correct place and everything seemed to line up correctly.  Following the directions from the magazine I glued the headliner by the sun visors and used small tacks to hold the cloth in place until the glue dried.

 

 

March 18

Sewed the side panels for the headliner with piping.  I had a problem with the material puckering so I had to stretch it out as I tacked it to the wood.  Instead of cardboard I used thin fiberglass strips to get a nice straight edge on the piping.  The whole thing would have come out better if I had made my own piping from thin non-stretch vinyl instead of purchasing ready made piping. After a struggle I got everything tacked into place and looking good.

 

 

 

March 19

The sun visors are made from aluminum. The aluminum sheet is bent over a music wire shaft that stiffens the visor and acts as  hinge pin. Each of my visors had one pin sheared off and a screw jammed in its place. I was able to remove the old rusted music wire and replace it with a new part. The other part of the sun visor hinge is chrome plated strap bent into a loop and screwed to the roof.  Mine were too rusted to use.  Rather than pay a ton to have then re-chromed I made them from stainless steel.  They look good and won't rust.

March 20

I finished the headliner by installing the stretcher panel over the rear window and the two cover pieces for the trafficators.  Well, well you say the RMF never had these parts and used a different method to access the trafficators and your right. I decided this way was easier. I covered the aluminum trim that goes over the windshield with headlining material and fastened it with screws. The aluminum trim that covers the windshield post was covered in red vinyl and installed. And removed adjusted and installed.  And removed to fill the over large screw holes with epoxy and installed.  And removed to see where the holes were located for the bonnet release bracket, and installed. And removed so the piping that goes between the dashboard and the windshield could be tacked in place and reinstalled. What fun.  At the end of the day I installed the hidem banding that conceals the headlining tacks.

March 21

I glued vinyl to the bulkhead in the parcel shelf area and black felt on the underside of the shelf.  The bonnet release knobs with their brackets were installed next.

 

March 22

The rubber seal was fitted to the rear window and trial fit to the window opening.  The rubber lip on the new seal is wider than the old one, as a result the seal puckers where it goes around the corners.  I installed the window and seal with polyurethane sealant and used tape to hold the seal flat until the polyurethane hardened. I installed the newly made ash retainer ring and the rear window instillation was complete.

 

March 24

The door lower flap seals were not to my liking so I replaced them with 2 inch by 1/8 rubber sheet. They fit much better than the foam rubber seals I previously used.  Installed the hand brake and cable.

April 4

I stopped procrastinating and got out the front wings wet sanded and polished them.  They came out great.  The left wing that had a lot of orange peal I sanded with 1500 grit then 2000 and polished.  The headlight nacelles, other running board and the front plate valance were sanded polished.  You may remember I sanded and polished the other running board some time ago.  I buffed the paint too much and the primer is showing through, I am going to mount it on the car for now and repaint it later.  The trusty old zinc plating tank was fired up and I plated the headlight retaining rings.

 

April 6-9

I installed the running boards front wings (fenders) and number plate valance with the correct size piping.  It took several days to get everything installed and lined up.  I used double sided tape to hold the piping in place while screwing and bolting everything together.  Some keen readers might be saying to themselves all tape is double sided and indeed this is so.

 

 

April 10

The headlight nacelles with their piping were installed with the help of my son, who it must be said helps often and accepts ice cream as payment.  If only I could get the same terms from the chrome plating shop. The chrome plate shop will not get the grill anytime soon.  I polished it with the same buffing compound used on the paint and it is stunning.

 

April 13-14

I spent two days lining up the grill and bonnet center support and the bonnet halves.  The hinges were bent and tested and re-bent many times.  When I was satisfied with the fit I powder coated the hinges. The bonnet release brackets rods and assorted parts were installed and adjusted.

 

April 16

You can buy new mounting studs for the chrome running board and bonnet trim.  They are reasonably priced and of good quality, so of course I made my own.  I used brass screws and strips to form the numerous studs required. I polished the chrome and bolted it in place it not flawless but looks good none the less. Just for fun I test fit the dashboard.

 

 

Well it been a very tedious several weeks of work to get the Riley bolted back together and I am no where near done. When you assemble things you know this is it, your not going back to make it look better later.  The Riley is nowhere close to perfect.  The panels line up as well as my multiple attempts can make them.  The paint, the best I have ever done, is just good. The chrome will be a mix of old and new.  I am however, satisfied and pleased and anxious to get the darned thing on the road. Lots more to go but a milestone has been reached.