FGU 997 J after 10 years of being thrashed and generally misused is now showing signs of age so a replacement seemed like a good proposition. But as FGU was my first ever Bug and I've had so many good times in her I feel she wont be leaving the Smith's
The new project-
This example is another box of bits but most off the bits are there.
The chassis was the best example of the three I Have done only needing to be sand blasted, red oxide coated, a little welding done plus a coat of Hamerite. The middle chassis tube was bent but this I managed to straighten by giving it a couple of good clouts with a large lump of wood. I know it doesn't sound to technical but it did the trick. You may have read in the Club mag the exploits in getting the axle back in. This after completion looked somewhat odd and even after comparing it with the first Bug it took some time to register that the thing was on upside down. After flipping it round all was well. New Brake pipes were fitted along with Brake shoes and caliper .The dreaded King pin was reamed out and a new one fitted and then I made a start on the engine. This looked like a good lump and the previous owner said it was a runner. So off came the sump to have a look. No large shinny bits in the bottom the crank looked ok and after a consultation with my Dad it was passed fit. The tappets were re set, Carb cleaned etc and the lump was placed with the help of my Mum into the chassis. After a bit of adjustment the rest of the engine was added and she was ready for the big fire up.
Starting your car up for the first time is always a high point in any restoration so armed with the battery from my VW Beetle and a can of lawn mower petrol all was ready for the big turnover. A big turnover was all I got- not even a splutter could be heard. After a bit of investigation I figured the petrol pump had shuffled off this mortal coil but a replacement from a large collection of junk in the garage still didn't work. The next attempt had a gravity fed system but even this didn't work due to a crappy pump in the Carb. Back to the collection of bits and all was well on the carb front. The 3rd attempt at starting had the gravity fed fuel system, a hot wire ignition and there was a spark at the plugs. Its going to go this time thinks I, "Oh no I'm not" says the engine. Despite turning it over there was still no sign of life- at this point I felt like hitting it with a stick Basil Fawlty style but sanity prevailed and I got my Dad down to the shed, "have you got the leads on the right way round", " yer I checked" them was my reply "I did them by the book". I blame the Reliant workshop manual- after checking they were all on wrong so after putting them in the right order it was time for another go. Armed with the lead from the starter the battery terminal was touched there was a whirl of engine and the thing roared into life. After a bit of adjustment the thing was running like clockwork with all the usual noises of a Reliant lump. So I now have a rolling chassis in the shed only problem is the things so big now it wont go through the door.