Start planning for the Spring

Whilst I’ve usually avoided the garage when its cold, our sales of fasteners to classic vehicle enthusiasts “take off” in winter!  Indeed, December 2023 was our best sales month ever, particularly for the mixed bags of UNF and UNC bolts, nuts and washers.  However, there are number of jobs which are worth tackling before the driving season!

Tyres

Whilst you Classic should have been laid up with tyres pumped up to stop flat spots, it’s also worth keeping an eye on the dates of tyres, as 9 years seems to be the longest you should keep them on the car.  Also check for cracks and ensure no mixing of tyres (especially cross ply and radial) remember that permanent 4WD vehicles need tyres which are the same type with similar wear.

Paint

Worth getting those paint jobs done now as paint shops often have long lead times.  My pal an accident repairer is currently running on 3 months and actively discourages Classic owners, who he reckons “get in the way”!

Engine and drive train

Those jobs like a decoke, yes many people don’t remember that on older vehicles you do get a build-up of carbon, on the tops of pistons, but particularly around valve stems an seats.  Pictured here is one of my pals in the Healey club who popped the head off his Healey and found a major blob of carbon.  When de-carbed the vehicles can breathe much better…until the next time!

It’s also worth giving the electrics a good shake down, particularly if you’re still running with points.  The HT leads will need replacing regularly, something which often gets overlooked as we all forget how long we’ve had our cars.  Consider some of the new “all in one” distributers that look like the original and yet are a computerised replacement, needing no maintenance.  I fitted one to

Its worth mentioning tightness of bolts on suspension, brakes and brake drums looking for leaks.  I had a horrid problem with my Healey with binding rear brake, turned out I needed a set of new brake linings, even though those on the car looked fine.

Pleas also remember that when you are undertaking jobs and removing items, its almost always well worth replacing fasteners as well as using the correct type of washers.  If you need any help, email or phone us here at Leyton and we’ll be happy to help.