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1951 LD10 KKV 222

Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

Today has been a pleasant day of sorting through cosmetic items on the car with the other half. The final coat of black paint was put on the water pump and that was assembled to keep all the parts together. Thermostat housing is not bolted down properly yet, waiting on the new thermostat and gasket arriving.
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The through bolts for the water pump will be painted black before the unit is installed. I was going to paint the fan bolts after they were installed until I realised it would actually be easier to do it before by sticking them in a piece of cardboard to spray paint them. I'l be very careful when these are tightened up, it will be very easy to damage the paint. This was also an opportunity to use the spanners we bought recently.
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The bigger job of the day was the leather and rexene refurbishment. Other half decided this was his job which is good, because I find applying the conditioner on the tedious side and he's not a fan of doing the repair work. The leather on the seats isn't terrible, but it is a little harder and drier than it should be as you might expect for leather that's nearing 70 years old and hasn't had any care for almost the last forty years. With some of the leather and rexene you could hear it crackling as you pressed on it, the door pockets in particular were quite bad for this. The leather was also very flat and not really conforming to the shape of the padding inside because it wasn't that flexible.
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Over the course of the day, several applications of conditioner were applied and it's been quite the transformation. The rexene responded very favourably too, we weren't sure if it would since it's effectively vinyl, but a lot of the minor crazing and almost all of the crackling noise has been eliminated. Here's a before of the front seats when we first got the car.
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And today, after a thorough clean and condition.
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The same story in the back, before..
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..and after. The leather is much more supple and springy, it creaks now in that way old leather does, rather than crackling, and the transformation in person is so much more dramatic than in photographs that you'd think we'd had the interior retrimmed.
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We're going to keep applying the conditioner and generally pampering the leather to get it as soft and supple as possible. For the cost the transformation is astonishing, the biggest expenditure really is time, and now we have beautiful original seats without the expense of a retrim. While this was being done, I was tackling the steering wheel which had started to shed the brush painted black enamel messily. I knew the wheel was most likely bakelite, like the rest of the fixtures, and hoped it would be a nice colour underneath the black paint. I wasn't expecting miracles, often bakelite is repainted because it's ugly, or its damaged, and quite often it's been treated harshly, ruining the original finish, so I was fully prepared to have to repaint the wheel. The initial test area revealed just how weak the bond was with the black paint and that there was a pleasant (if plain) bakelite waiting underneath.
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In fact, the bakelite of the rim initially almost looked like wood. The other area that needed attention was the bakelite trim to the hub which had overpaint on where someone had touched in the original factory finish of the steering wheel boss. This came off very easily, in some places with little more effort than a firm rub of a thumb, and the bakelite underneath was in very good condition. I did prise out the horn push so we could clean up the contacts and the chrome bezel, but on trying to remove the wheel itself, one of the screws that holds the horn contact in that hides the fixings for the wheel was starting to break off even with a well-fitted screwdriver. I felt I was tempting fate quite enough as it was, so left this alone once I retightened the screws. I'd have to remove the paint on the wheel with it attached to the car instead.
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I'd done my research and found that bakelite is tolerant of solvent based strippers, but not of alkaline based ones. Fortunately I had some solvent based stripper that was slow acting so I could control its effects. As the paint started to come off it became evident someone had keyed the surface of the wheel before painting it, losing much of that original sheen bakelite has which is pretty much impossible to permanently restore.
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I persevered, carefully, and eventually had all the paint stripped, revealing a very smart old wheel that looked much better for being in bakelite than the black. Another nice side effect was that the wheel didn't feel sticky when warm now. There are no cracks or splits anywhere on the wheel rim so I wonder if the reason for it being painted was simply that the wheel had gone dull from use, or an unsuitable cleaner. The steering wheel hub turned out to be aluminium under the black enamel and while initially I was going to repaint it black it actually looked really nice in bare metal, especially with the newly revealed wheel rim, so we've opted to leave that as it is. The gear selector was cleaned up, also found to be in very good shape, and given a single fresh coat of black paint on the bracket, with the selector letters picked out so they're more legible. I used a very small brush and some thinners to clean off the surface of the letters and the surround to give a really sharp finish to everything and make the best of the chrome against the black enamel.
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The reconditioned leather of the seats has made the seats look and feel much more plump and springy, while the refurbished steering wheel is now something you want to touch and just run your hand around. To bring back some of the sheen on the bakelite I used some Turtle Wax paste, not enough to make the wheel slippery, just enough to soak in to the bakelite and return some of the colour. Tomorrow I'm hoping to make a start on the door cards now I understand better what the damage is and how they're constructed, the varnish on the wood cappings flakes off very easily so they shouldn't take very long at all to prepare and revarnish. Another rewarding day of putting effort in and seeing positive returns.

Here's how the steering wheel used to look.
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Here's how it looks now.
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Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

We didn't know how to remove the wooden door cappings, they looked to be attached to the door cards themselves and since we want to remove those for repair too it made sense to remove all of them. It should be a quick job since these door cards are going to be considerably less complicated than a modern moulded type. Best thing to do when you don't know how something comes apart is to start with what looks easiest, in this case that was the two screws holding the pull handle on to the door, flat headed on most of the doors, later cross-headed ones on the front passenger door for some reason.
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With that removed and the door open, you can lift the door cappings straight off, which was unexpected. If we were just doing wood renovation, this would have been a much shorter job.
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Instead, we wanted to remove the door cards to inspect the backing boards and see how they were put together so that meant getting to the bottom of how all the door furniture went together. The front driver's door window winder is missing the escutcheon and instead has a length of wire threaded through and twisted to hold it in place. We weren't sure why this would be until after we'd removed a door card.
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The door handles aren't too bad to remove, you can push the escutcheon sprung section back to get to the pin that locks everything together fairly easily. The window winders are a different matter. Even though the window winder fixing is the same, actually pushing the sprung section in far enough to knock the locking pin out required the simultaneous use of three (four in the case of the winder with a slightly bent locking pin) screwdrivers and a hammer, definitely not a single person job. The pin you're looking for hides behind the stepped section of the escutcheon, you need to use a screwdriver to pry it down against the spring, and another screwdriver (or punch) to knock the pin out, and sometimes another screwdriver to hold the other side of the escutcheon down out of the way of the exiting pin. Reassembly is likely much easier.
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With those off, it was then a case of finding the screws that held the door card on. On our doors it's clear that all but the rear passenger door have been fiddled with over the years, so the fixings varied. The common places for the screws were two hiding under the wooden trim at each end of the door, two on the bottom corners of the door card through the carpetted section, and two on the B pillar side of the door frame that go into little L brackets. The latter screws are the one that's just a screw hole in the first picture, and the rustier one in the second picture.
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Then you lift the door card up to remove it from the screws in the frame that serve as pins. Unless there's some additional hidden screws or tacks that the car may have gained over the years. On the back of the door card are these slotted metal brackets, they're about halfway up the door card.
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That free we got our first look inside the doors and there's nothing of note to report. Being aluminium, there's no rot, and the wooden elements are all sound. The factory chalk and pencil markings are still present on the door and the door cards and while it's probably not the first time these have been off, it seems likely these are original to the car.
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We already knew the driver's front door card was water damaged, it was quite obviously warped when fitted. The plywood has delaminated and deformed quite a lot. Thankfully, because it's a flat board and the holes cut into it are simple, we can and will reproduce the backing board. We'll then repair the original cover and reinstall that on a new board. All the hardware on the back of the door card is held on with short tacks so those two can be transferred across to a new board fairly easily. We have been keeping things original where possible, you just sometimes have to recognise when there's no benefit to originality and these door cards are a good example of that.
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The rear door cards fared much better, the one side that appeared to have never been off is the best of all of them, the other rear card has signs of having had woodworm in the past, though there's no sign of activity now in the car. The woodworm damage is restricted to the back of this one door card and hasn't gone into the door capping or the door frame.
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All the door cards have the marking "568 Brown" which we assume is the colour and code for the interior. It will be a shame to be losing this detail but then again, nobody will ever see it apart from us and you reading this, so it doesn't matter really. Also of note is that the door pockets are done simply with a length of elastic rope through a piping channel which is fed through two holes in the door card and then given a knot at each end to keep it in place. The elastic is still in really good shape so providing we can undo the knots, we'll just reuse that when we remake the door cards. If any of it breaks, we can always buy new since it is still available.
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Until we get the new plywood, there's not a great deal can be done with the door cards so for now we'll set those aside. Instead, let's take a look at these wooden items.
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The varnish is yellowed and blackened but the wood underneath looks to be in reasonable shape. We're not sure exactly what wood this is, other than it being some sort of hardwood, the grain suggests it might be teak, some sections have a shimmering striation across the grain and the reverse of the pieces where the sun and water haven't got to them has that slightly reddish hue that my other mid-century teak furniture has. As with the door cards, the original chalk markings are still present. The weather stripping is in reasonable shape, it's a little loose where some of the tacks have fallen out and the glue has failed and the fabric has shrunk a little. The weather stripping is essentially a strip of steel with thick velvet covering it so it will be very easy to rejuvenate or remake entirely before refitting to the car.
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Here's a little video to demonstrate how easy these were to bring back to life.


The first task was to strip all of the old finish off. This was incredibly easy with a sharp bladed scraper as the old finish was very brittle and not bonded to the wood particularly well. A lot of the apparent colour of the wood was in the old varnish, once removed the wood underneath had a much more prominent grain and a less yellow look. You can start to see some of the red hue of the wood showing through on the stripped piece in these images.
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A closer look before, to show an area of the old finish that was the most stable and how much it's discoloured the wood underneath.
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Here's a section afterwards, highlighting the grain and the very smooth finish of the wood under the varnish. There was no special preparation or sanding, no chemical strippers, this was simply a scraper followed by some very fine wire wool and then a soft cloth to dust off.
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It was then wiped over with Danish Oil, I got the closest to a neutral stain that they had in stock, aiming for something a little closer to the colour of the seats. The majority of the colour change isn't the stain, it's the natural colour of the wood shining through.
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Another two coats will be required to get the full depth of the finish and then it will be treated to a coat of beeswax. It took barely any time at all to get all four trims cleaned up and the refinishing started. It's an even more astonishing transformation than the leather of the seats.
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This colour makes a lot more sense against the rexine and leather too, the colour much more closely matches them. It also explains why the scumbling on the instrument binnacle is so much darker and browner than the surrounding varnished wood, this finish is closer to the scumbling too so we imagine the dashboard also will come up in this lovely rich dark wood when we get to that point.
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It's six hours between coats for the Danish Oil so we'll get another coat on later tonight and a final coat tomorrow. It's lovely stuff to work with and, providing you're not after a super high gloss finish (and we're not) it's so much more pleasant to work with than brush on varnishes. Very low odour too, and isn't sticky or tacky as it dries. We thought a high gloss finish on surfaces at eye level would not be that pleasant while driving, so this more muted sheen (it's somewhere between satin and gloss) is much better. The next task is to sort out the door furniture fixings. The escutcheons look like generic items and are all the same so we only need to replace one of those, all of the door handles and winders are in perfectly reasonable condition, and while some of the screws are good to go again, ideally these all want replacing with new in coherent sizes rather than this motley assortment.
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NickDeAth
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Location: South Essex

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by NickDeAth »

Well done for all your work so far. What conditioner did you use on the seats? They look a treat.

Regards Nick
"Nick - do you think you will ever put that old car back together again?"

Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

It's this product: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Leather-Cond ... 2337386788

We got the 500ml bottle and we've used about 3/4 of it so far to do all the seats and the door cards about 3-4 times. There's more improvement to be had so we'll be getting another bottle or two and going over everything once a month at least from here on to get the leather and the rexine back as close to healthy as possible. It does work on the rexine too, this is probably due to the cellulose content, and probably also why vinyl specific conditioners don't seem to be as effective. As far as we know, rexine is no longer something you can buy new, probably due to fire safety issues, again thanks to the cellulose content.

NickDeAth
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Posts: 385
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Location: South Essex

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by NickDeAth »

Thanks for the information. I have been using a Gliptone product with a similar price. I'm getting the same sort of results as you and like you I think better results are to be had with more applications of conditioner.

My seats were in the same condition as yours owing to bad storage for about 40 years.

Regards Nick
"Nick - do you think you will ever put that old car back together again?"

qantasqf1
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:13 pm

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by qantasqf1 »

Horns: you really don’t need multimeters or anything to set these up. Assuming the coil is OK and you haven’t messed around with the armature locknut securing it to the diaphragm (set by the manufacturer and shouldn’t be interfered with) then the problem almost certainty lies with the contact points. These are closed at rest but they must open and close rapidly when the horn is operated. Setting the contact gap is simple: make sure the pushrod is fitted (a blob of grease at each end is a good idea) then slacken the locknut securing the lower contact slightly. Adjust the contact to obtain a 0.002” gap, then screw the contact counter clockwise exactly 2 flats (= one third of a turn). Tighten the locknut. Done.
Trafficator/horn switch: you can’t remove the horn contact assembly in situ - you have to remove the switch from the steering wheel to access 2 brass nuts that secure the contact assembly.

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Brian-H
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:04 pm
Location: Loughborough

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Brian-H »

qantasqf1 wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:34 am Horns: you really don’t need multimeters or anything to set these up. Assuming the coil is OK and you haven’t messed around with the armature locknut securing it to the diaphragm (set by the manufacturer and shouldn’t be interfered with) then the problem almost certainty lies with the contact points. These are closed at rest but they must open and close rapidly when the horn is operated. Setting the contact gap is simple: make sure the pushrod is fitted (a blob of grease at each end is a good idea) then slacken the locknut securing the lower contact slightly. Adjust the contact to obtain a 0.002” gap, then screw the contact counter clockwise exactly 2 flats (= one third of a turn). Tighten the locknut. Done.
If you look at the pictures and read the description (e.g. "sparks flying") it's been well beggered about by a previous fettler.
e.g. this worrying pic shows the contacts are open
h_electromagnet_pin1.jpg
Also, the armature locknut is relevant to the WT614/616/618, but the horn on the car appears to be a WT28/29 which is very different, because the gap is set by adjusting a screw from underneath the assembled horn.

Vulgalour has a PDF on the Lucas Windtone Workshop Instructions (provided by a reader on a different forum) but from what I read in that PDF it's mostly relevant to the WT614/616/618 , and anyway, from the pics on page 5, it's difficult to see why the contacts are open and why there are "sparks flying" in that situation. I've no doubt it would be simple to fix by anyone confident in such items, I for one wouldn't use the PDF, if it were me I would start with a multimeter to check the continuity and resistance before connecting to a car battery (the PDF suggests bypassing the contacts then connecting to a car battery to adjust the gap - yikes)

Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

The horns have been shelved for the time being. We're keeping an eye out for an affordable working example to serve as an in-hand reference point. Our suspicion is that these horns are broken somehow, possibly bad coils, and that's possibly from whatever was done to them before us. It should be a simple matter of setting the points gap, they shouldn't be more complex than that, but as we've found that's not been the case.

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The new thermostat arrived, it's a generic one and the measurements matched the one I'd got, at least in the listing. I actually needed to file a smidge off one side because the stamping had left a flange that made the thermostat oversized by a fraction of a millimetre. Easy enough to trim down and once done it fits nicely. The gasket mating faces were also given a more thorough clean than shown here.
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The gasket provided didn't fit either, which was to be expected since it wasn't specifically for this application. It did give me a good template for the hole in the middle of the new gasket and I used the thermostat housing top half to provide a template for the outline of the gasket. I opted to do this out of cork rather than gasket paper since that's what was here when we took the water pump apart, it's also nice to use and just looks right.
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With that done, the housing was bolted into place and then all the bare bolt heads and nuts were touched in with black enamel to finish the water pump off completely. This is now ready to go back on the car once we've sorted out that front engine mount.
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The other item that we've been plodding away on is the glovebox lid. As with the door cappings, the varnish on the outside is yellowed and brittle. The lock is held on with just three screws and easy to remove, we don't have a key for this so it was fortunate that it was left unlocked, it has the same stamping as the boot lock which we also don't have a key for. There is a plan, we know one of our other keys fits in the lock so we took a gamble by using the prefix code on that combined with the number stamped on the boot and glovebox lid locks and bought an old key that matches that code. We'll see if that's a gamble that pays off when it arrives, if it does it will have certainly been cheaper than getting new locks installed or even keys cut to fit the existing locks.
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Report post

Posted just now

We shall find out when I've time to get the car out of the garage, which might not be until Saturday. In the meantime, here's a little update.

The new thermostat arrived, it's a generic one and the measurements matched the one I'd got, at least in the listing. I actually needed to file a smidge off one side because the stamping had left a flange that made the thermostat oversized by a fraction of a millimetre. Easy enough to trim down and once done it fits nicely. The gasket mating faces were also given a more thorough clean than shown here.

202009-137.thumb.jpg.103db92be7c3f91968738aa669dd4135.jpg

The gasket provided didn't fit either, which was to be expected since it wasn't specifically for this application. It did give me a good template for the hole in the middle of the new gasket and I used the thermostat housing top half to provide a template for the outline of the gasket. I opted to do this out of cork rather than gasket paper since that's what was here when we took the water pump apart, it's also nice to use and just looks right.

202009-138.thumb.jpg.2cae4d3758752a0bb48abc1ea7ffd3cc.jpg

With that done, the housing was bolted into place and then all the bare bolt heads and nuts were touched in with black enamel to finish the water pump off completely. This is now ready to go back on the car once we've sorted out that front engine mount.

202009-139.thumb.jpg.83130a3f32fd57290f053ab5bba53d21.jpg

The other item that we've been plodding away on is the glovebox lid. As with the door cappings, the varnish on the outside is yellowed and brittle. The lock is held on with just three screws and easy to remove, we don't have a key for this so it was fortunate that it was left unlocked, it has the same stamping as the boot lock which we also don't have a key for. There is a plan, we know one of our other keys fits in the lock so we took a gamble by using the prefix code on that combined with the number stamped on the boot and glovebox lid locks and bought an old key that matches that code. We'll see if that's a gamble that pays off when it arrives, if it does it will have certainly been cheaper than getting new locks installed or even keys cut to fit the existing locks.

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The finish on the reverse of the glovebox lid is in much better condition because its spent most of its life hidden from the elements. I did have to take some chemical stripper to this because the finish was actually pretty stubborn, just unfortunate that it wasn't in good enough shape to be left alone. It did hint at what sort of colour to expect the wood to be afterwards. The little cardboard (or similar) square didn't come off with the chemical stripper and since the glovebox fits rather nicely we opted to leave that in place and allow it to continue being a shim.
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Under the lock is stamped 36 and 7, which is presumably a factory code for this part.
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Three coats of Danish Oil later and the glovebox lid is ready to be beeswaxed and reinstalled.
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It's a bit lighter than the door cappings, that shouldn't be a problem providing the rest of the dashboard matches the glovebox lid. It will also darken down a little as the Danish Oil cures, or whatever the equivalent is that it does.
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A very quick look at the glovebox lid against the dashboard shows the improvement, even if the picture quality isn't the greatest here.
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Vulgalour
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:04 pm
Location: Kent

Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by Vulgalour »

Quick addendum since the post just arrived and in it was the key we'd gambled on fitting the locks. Happily, the key works perfectly so we now have a working glovebox and boot lid key since they're the same lock barrels. We can now screw the boot handle back on which will make opening and closing the boot much easier.

ranald
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Re: 1951 LD10 KKV 222

Post by ranald »

If you don’t already know of it, I can recommend Paste Polishing No 5 by Greygate Chemicals as a treatment for Bakelite. I seem to remember reading that it was developed for use by the GPO for cleaning and polishing telephones. I use it on all the bakelite in my car. All the best, Ranald

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