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Front Cabin

06 Dec 2011
Fitted upper engine cowl after making and adding a missing carb. shield to the engine.

 03 Dec 2011
Fitted new wooden floor to front cabin. Fitted battery isolator switch inside seat box. Sorted foot well plates and bolted in place. Secured seat box in place and added seat. Added steering wheel...just to get the general effect and for the photos! Added handbrake gaiter and gear lever gaiter (gear lever gaiter from MGB) Fitted lower engine cowl in place to see how it fitted. Will fit the upper engine cowl soon and finish painting the floor and seat frame.  That might be all I can squeeze in before Christmas...need to get some gifts sorted soon for her who needs to be obeyed!.

Instrument Panel

1 Dec 2011
Have now added indicator switch to instrument panel. Know its not an original addition but needed a neater solution than just a bracket attached somewhere. Block is fastened to instrument panel and wires run inside block and exit inside instrument panel. Flasher unit is sited above the fuse block. Will tidy wiring when I have checked it all out sometime in 2012..when I get a battery!

Nov 2011
Have sorted and replaced all of the wiring and finished the instrument panel. Have added a headlamp warning light and reset the mileage to zero as I suspect the previous showing of some 19000 miles was a tad out! . See three pics below.
Just need to decide where to hang an indicator switch as I am going to keep the front and rear turn lights already added.

Sept 2011
Have spent a long time trying to sort out some good instruments from those fitted and the spare set that came with the van. Have resorted to stripping down the ignition switch and repairing the broken lever and replacing the faded  words ' HEAD  SIDE OFF' with a printed disc made on the computer. Only time will tell if it all lasts....If I come across a good cheap replacement switch I will fit one. Had one hell of a job removing the steering wheel from the spare column. Eventually had the son-in-law make me a special plate to use with the puller. Cleaned up the wheel and gave it a few coats of black vinyl paint. Looks like new now! Anyone any idea what fits in the centre of the steering wheel?
Cleaned and painted the instrument panel in situ. Once I have sorted the mess of wiring I will refit the instruments.

Steering Wheel


Missing Parts

Oct 2011
Here are some of the major parts I am missing and don't know as yet where to find them. If you can help please get in touch. Email to

  1. Inner door panel covers- both sides 
  2. Spare tyre carrier

Drivers Seat

Nov 2011
Just got the seat back from the trim shop...looks like new..well it should as it has all new upholstery in black vinyl on the original frame.


Sept 2011
Have cleaned and repainted seat box and frame. Whole thing is currently away to be upholstered.
Managed to find seat box door in back of van and restore hinge. So the seat is now complete...or will be in about 4 weeks time when it returns.

Body - Interior

May 2011
Some shots of the inside as bought.


June 2011
He are some shots of the exterior. 
I have decided to remove the front bumper as I think the van looks better without.
It was just fastened on to the body work anyway so needed to come off.
Have now removed the rear doors just for ease of access. Working in a 16ft x 8ft garage is a bit of a tight squeeze!


July 2011
Decided to clean engine of oil, dirt and grease. Also removed most engine components and cleaned and painted them. 
Radiator was already off when van received and in a damaged state, so had a go at hammering and bashing out the dents and re soldered splits around the neck. However the main core was damaged so had a new core fitted by local radiator restorer.
Don't yet know if engine runs! However it should be easier to tackle now it is clean. Watch this section for further news around the end of 2011.
Have also cleaned off the old paint from the engine covers, bashed out the dents, filled any 'spare' holes and primed. They look much smarter now.

Along the way

Before & After

Engine Covers

Brakes and Hydraulics

 June 2011...Soon after purchase I decided to take a look at the brakes as the van had been hard to push along...needed two of us!  Needed pushing because it didn't battery, no radiator, no steering wheel fitted, just for a start. 
Checked front brakes and they were jammed pretty tight. Eventually managed to free the brake drums and remove them. All looked not too bad so I freed the adjusters, re greased the bearings and put them back together. Wheels turned OK now but I didn't try the brakes because there was a pair of mole grips hanging from the rear brake line...which is usually a sign of trouble ahead.
So I removed the rear brake drums to take a look. What did I find?....well nothing!  no brake shoes and no wheel cylinders! Now I realized what the two plastic carrier bags with brake shoes were for!!..... they where not spares!
So I ordered new rear wheel cylinders and replacement seals for the clutch and brake master cylinders while I was at it together with a new rear flex hose.
After a couple of weeks I had fixed it all and put it back together including removing the pedals and painting them and all other associated parts. Also found that Morris Minor rubbers fit the pedals.  So did it all work?
Not quite...The front brakes didn't operate!
After removing the front wheel cylinders it was clear they were jammed tight. So another order to PowerTrack for front wheel cylinders. Once fitted these cured the problem.
So eventually when the van runs I might be able to stop it!
If any one has a couple of front brake return springs...the ones with lots of coils I could do with them as mine has currently got two wrong springs fitted.
Here are a couple of pics of brake bits.

                                                                        Front Brakes

Master cylinders Refurbished and in place

Rear Brakes



Floor and Chassis

Nov 2011
Before I add a new front cab floor I needed to add the U shape bracket, between the seat and pedals that supports the floor, as it is missing. However I decided to also add a cross brace.  Did this using 20 mm square steel tube bolted both sides and made the bracket of the same stuff. The bracket supports the cross brace and the floor. Have 15mm clearance between gearbox and cross brace...hope it is enough! All is bolted in place so it can be removed if needed. Intend to fasten floor to cross brace also. See pics below.

Some photos of the as supplied state.

Chassis as of Oct 2011 with handbrake cable bracket reconnected, new flex hose in brake circuit and the wiring started to be sorted.

Update-11 Oct 2011

Going to try and add new posts by sections of the van. e.g Engine, Brakes, Body etc and then indicate any changes to them by an update notice. Not sure if it will work but will start that way.
Just to let you know I am not a qualified car mechanic but I am a retired Mechanical Engineer with a long passion for this type of van. Have collected all the models and any information on them for some years. The time has come to test out my passion and tolerance as restoration begins.
Not planning to remove the van body, at this stage anyway, but to deal with all the mechanical parts first and the body last. Lots of cleaning, wire brushing, sanding and painting to come! So lets have a look what we have!!

LSV 492 First sighting!

So this is my 'new' Austin 101 registered in 1960 as YMJ 702 but now known as LSV 492. Haven't decided whether it is male of female yet! Only time will tell. It's in a pretty sad state or as my wife put  it  " you've spent how much on this load of cr*p!"
Acquired it in May 2011 I hope to document the restoration progress on this Blog. Only just started the Blog (Oct 2011)so I need to back track first..
Here is the first picture in the just arrived state...doesn't look too bad, does it!
Had to raise the garage door by nine inches to get the headroom but that bit went well.
More to follow soon....MGB