Maintenance is of course ongoing all the time, particularly the routine maintenance that goes with owning any vehicle; especially a large commercial type vehicle. Winter is also the time for things like bodywork and painting (even though I did start on 302's body during the actual rally season!).
It is 302's turn for some attention; you'll note from my blog post in August that I'd started the bodywork on the offside, and that the condition of the framework was far worse than anticipated.....
Well having done small bits of work here and there as time permitted, I was finally ready to start the repaneling today. Having invested in some air tools and a compressor, I was actually able to complete the work in one day - somewhat different to the nearside which took a week and nearly crippled my hands as I'd done every rivet by hand (all panels are riveted on at six inch intervals on all sides).
Here is the first panel being offered up, with the use of clamps to hold it in place:
Each panel has polystyrene insulation between the inner and outer panels - I'm recycling the old stuff which although rust stained, is actually ok to re-use. I also run a bead of sealant around the edges before attaching the new outer panels:
Second panel going on; at this point I'm using a couple of special gadgets that hold the panel in place by using the same holes that the rivets use:
Offering up the third panel, again with the use clamps to hold it in position - this is the final check that all the cuts are correct prior to permanent riveting:
The big pain at this time of year is the shorter days (daylight) - by the time I had the last panel on and was ready to go home it was dark. Whilst we do have some lighting at Yeldham, its not good enough to use when working on vehicles.......so I ended up working under my spotlight: