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Old 22-11-2015   #16
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Thanks for the comprehensive advice on the top removal. I could get away with leaving it as (touch wood) I don't have much guttering rust. But there is at least one broken hinge and a rusty bit below a gutter. There is a fibreglass pod moulded to the roof. The whole thing is like those roof lockers you can get for cars.
You seem to have the paint system sorted. I watch with interest.
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Old 20-02-2016   #17
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

It's been a while since any progress has been made on Connie and I've been an avid follower of Bluebell's progress so I thought it about time that I pressed on - one weeks holiday & good weather later here are the results.





In summary:
- Roof off (two man job - we could have done with being 6" taller)
- All paint removed from main shell
- POR Marine Cleaned (This strips skin as well - glove leaked, very nasty )
- POR Prep & Ready
- Two coats of POR15
- All seams sealed with Eastwood Seam Sealer (this is like trying to force plasticine through a syringe. You need a strong grip but it's good stuff.)
- First coat of POR Tie Coat primer (this is a high build primer designed to be easy sanding - I hope it is as I've got a few runs (was getting cold and starting to get dark as I was painting)).

With the biggest single job done I can now crack on in small sections inside my garage.
Next on the list is to fill in a few dints and sand down the primer to a smooth finish, followed by a couple of more coats of primer and a final sanding ready for the top coat(s).

More photo's are on Connie's website: http://fiat900t.co.uk/?u=83&p=Body-and-Paint

Hopefully I'll be making more regular posts as I crack on with the restoration.
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Old 22-05-2016   #18
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Major milestone reached... all primed, doors and panels back on and first two coats of gloss paint on.





6 days of work to get everything primed and painted - very sore fingers now
I'm really pleased with the result of the filling of the dents and weld joins - I know where they are and I can't find them.

Now need to wet sand all over and then two more gloss coats and two coats of lacquer to finish - wax in three months time when paint fully hardened.

The full log of what I've done on the paint work is here: http://www.fiat900t.co.uk/?u=83&p=Body-and-Paint

With a bit of luck the paint will be finished over the next couple of weekends and I can get on with putting everything back together.
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Last edited by Gary50; 22-05-2016 at 16:29. Reason: forgot to say
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Old 23-05-2016   #19
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Very jealous. I need to get a move on😂
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Old 05-06-2016   #20
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Last 2 gloss coats, 2 coats of lacquer and wet sand and finish compound complete.




At this stage more of a lustre finish rather than high gloss but good enough for now.

As you can see from the photos the general rebuild has also started. I now know why most re-spary are done with the windows in... horrible job to put the windscreen back in.
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Last edited by Gary50; 05-06-2016 at 20:21. Reason: typos
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Old 05-06-2016   #21
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

....even more jealous
I will be getting a move on tomorrow.

It all looks very straight and lined-up in a way that my van never will. I even notice details like the little slots each side of the front windsreen where I have had to weld in new metal and will never have them again; presumably meant to let water drain out of the seal.
You've been a very busy boy.
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Old 06-06-2016   #22
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

I forgot to mention...

I've put so much paint on that the holes are much smaller now and I've had a few cracks & splinters putting bits back :-( Fortunately not through to the rust proofing and the bits cover the cracked paint.

I've now taken to lightly using a file to remove the excess paint and make the holes the right size.
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Old 28-12-2016   #23
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Long time no post... taking a leaf out of Peter's (Bluebell restoration) book with an end of year update.

Since my last post in June the only significant progress is to put the roof back on and fit new door weather seals etc. The new roof gutter seal is a slightly different profile to the original and leaves a slight gap between the seal and the gutter channel. My hope is that this will allow the gutters to dry properly rather than lock the moisture in (to cause the rust).

I've refitted a few odd bits - mainly as I find them in my garage (I really should have made a list of where I put everything when I stripped the van).

My next planned activity is to make Connie watertight - refit the remaining windows (with new seals). I've also obtained new seals for the quarter lights - I just need to find the metal hinges, as I put them somewhere safe when the fell off the glass.

Once watertight I can leave Connie outside (under a cover) to free up garage space while I work on the engine & gearbox etc.

Mechanically the only part that I know I need to get is a new clutch - these appear to be readily available. Hopefully, it will then be a case of a clean down and reassemble. I've decided not to rebuild the engine at this point as it was running fine before I took it out and freely turns over by hand. If it isn't broke don't fix it - sod's law means that you will end up finding something that you could have happily lived without knowing about.

Altogether I estimate about 6 weeks of work to get Connie ready for the road and MOT - spread out over several weekends and a week or two holiday. Once MOT'ed I can get on with the internal refit... that's what I'm really looking forward to.

I hope to introduce Connie to a few of her siblings in person in 2017.

Bye for now.
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Old 03-01-2017   #24
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Great progress Gary.
Your forward plans sound good.
It's very sensible to get to the MOT ASAP, without worrying about internals or major engine and gearbox stripdowns. I hope to do the same as the propulsion department on Bluebell seems good, however I will be a year or two behind you.
I'm going to get cracking next week.
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Old 12-05-2017   #25
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Hi All

I'm finally getting around to restarting Connie's restoration... almost a year since I've done anything substantial. Combination of project fatigue, work and life in general.

I'm now faced with boxes of bits where the labels have fell off/faded - a bit like piecing together a jigsaw without the picture to go on. I'm now working on the principle of working from the garage and shed and putting things back on Connie as I find them (clearing a section at a time) - rather than trying to find specific bits to put back on. A bit higgledy-piggledy but at least I can move the project forward again.

One extra job I wasn't expecting/planning on was to repair some of the paintwork.
As you can see from the image, some of the paint blistered around the window frames - I'm guessing there must have been some residual moisture. The black patches are where the primer and top coat lifted off the POR15 due to not keying it enough before applying the undercoat. From what I can tell there are just a couple of patches but I'll need to do a full check to make sure no where else is affected.

Luckily I hadn't put the windows back in and I stuck to the original paint colour - so matching in shouldn't be too difficult.



By for now.
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Old 13-05-2017   #26
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Quote Originally Posted by Gary50 View Post
.. almost a year since I've done anything substantial
Ditto..my reasons are similar together with having put quite a lot into my Fiat 500, including a bigger, rebuilt engine and gearbox together with a lot of tweaking to make it even more reliable and usable.
I'm currently respraying some dodgy parts of the 500 paintwork, so as the next job I'm thinking of tidying-up and painting the approximately 50% of the bodywork of the camper which is finished; welding etc. can be done in Winter.
I'm sorry to hear of that adhesion problem with the paint; I wasn't keen on that idea of using the POR 15 on the bodywork. It looks like you flatted it up quite well before the topcoat primer, but I had similar small problem areas after using epoxy primer, which has similar properties. It seems that the paint needs to be really well scuffed as near as possible to the time of over-coating with a 320 to 400 grit paper. The POR 15 must be quite challenging to get the abrasive to "dig" into.
Good luck and keep us posted; I'm sure there are plenty of other people keen to see what you do.
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Old 13-05-2017   #27
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

On the plus side the POR15 appears as if its fused to the tin underneath and looks as smooth as if it had been sprayed. If the areas coated with POR15 aren't exposed to sunlight you don't need to paint over it - just a shame they don't have something that could resit discolouring if exposed to sunshine. (Exposure to sun doesn't affect the rustproofing qualities though.)
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Old 28-05-2017   #28
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

Been busy putting bits back on... canvas top and top bunks now back.

Also had a result with replacing the headlights... anyone for Jeep Cherokee!



Details and more pictures are on my Connie restoration website here: http://www.fiat900t.co.uk/?u=84&p=Reassembly
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Old 28-05-2017   #29
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

That does look nice.
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Old 28-05-2017   #30
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Re: 900t Restoration (Connie)

I now have a front seat again
It came from a 'roadworthy' 900t that was made into an ice-cream kiosk drag the image around to see the van - just to the right.

When I get on to the interior refit the back of the front seat will flip round to form the back of the interior front seat/headboard for the bed. This will allow the rear seat to move forward and line up with the side pillars. These will be strengthened to take 3-point rear seat belts.

Moving the rear seat forward should also provide space behind the rear seats to stand up at the cooker and sink.

You may also notice a couple of headrests underneath the seat. These came from an old Ford Fiesta and will fit nicely inline with the brackets holding the bar securing the seat.
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Last edited by Gary50; 28-05-2017 at 17:48. Reason: typos
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