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- I had been looking for a better set of
wheels for a long time and found some via the internet. They are the
Dunlop composite wheels with the chrome outer and alloy inner. The only
problem is they were in Buxted - halfway between London and the south
coast. With my father in law as co-pilot we set off at 7.00AM to pick them
up. Took us about 4 hours to drive there and made the purchase from a nice
chap called Gregg. Got a cup of tea as well you cant say fairer than that.
When I got them back home I decided to give them a clean up as the paint
was flaking off the alloy. Blasted them with my power washer and used the
trusty smoothrite and a small brush to paint them. The first one has come
up quite well. I hope the others are the same.
- 27 April 2004
- Here are some pictures of the car
illustrating the current state of the bodywork.
- 04 May 2004
- Finished painting the last of the new
wheels today. Hopefully the stainless wheel nuts will arrive tomorrow and
I can fit them to the car.
- 11 May 2004
- Fitted the new stainless steel wheel
nuts and the reconditioned wheels. Also fitted new chrome mirrors to the
- 25 May 2004
- Cut and fitted a new stone guard to the
air intake below the front bumper. The old one was heavy steel mesh
around 1 inch square and was badly corroded. I have replaced this with
some perforated aluminium sheet obtained from a car accessory shop. This
is the sort used to fill the various ducting holes that cover the front
spoilers that are currently fashionable. I am hoping that being
aluminium it will not corrode as badly as the other one and it does look
rather nice under the chrome bumpers. I wonder though if it will let
enough air in to the radiator. Time will tell.
- Went to the classic auto jumble at the
NEC in Birmingham and managed to get 2 new rear light units for the car.
They were not cheap but are a bit like hens teeth now.
- 14 May 2005
- Removed the rusty rear bumper from the
car. I have been treating the bolts with WD40 for a couple of days. Of
course one of the mounting bolts wouldn't come undone easily so I had to
use mole grips to hold the rounded shiny end whilst I undid it.
Fortunately I had a replacement in my spares stash. Fitted my second
hand replacement bumper after hammeriteing the mounting brackets. I also
cleaned down the number plate light, sprayed it silver and fitted new
bulbs. It had been my intention to use the second hand bumper a
temporary replacement whilst I had mine re-chromed however upon removal
and inspection it turns out that it is in terrible condition. There are
several patches and repairs that were hidden from view when it was on
the car. I will have to get the replacement bumper done when I have the
- Sometime after July 2005
- Following the repair on the engine I
decided to bite the bullet and start work on the body. Because of the
limited space available in my garage the only way I could tackle this is
by splitting the work into smaller jobs. The first to be tackled was the
bonnet. I disconnected the electrical wiring for the light and removed the
hinges. It came off quite easily but was fairly heavy. Once painted and
ready to refit I will get someone to help me hold it in place to prevent
any damage. Once removed I started by sanding off the paint. Take my
advice, unless you have a seriously large compressor do not by an air
powered random orbit sander. My 50 litre machine runs it for about 20
seconds then takes another 30 to put enough pressure in to start again.
Because of this it took me 1 week! to remove all of the paint. But
that was just on the outside. The paint on the inside was flaking very
badly and fortunately came off easily with the use of a scraper and a bit
of elbow grease. Then followed many hours of sanding, filling, stoppering,
priming , sanding again, stoppering again......... you get the picture.
Finally I sprayed it in my chosen colour - Bold Yellow - not the original
shade but I like it. Whilst my spraying is by no means perfect it gave me
enough confidence to continue with the rest of the car. The next job was
tackling under the bonnet. I started by removing as much as possible and
then began repairs. This to was something new to me as I have never worked
with glass fibre before. The car must have been in a small front end
impact in the past as both of the front body chassis mounts were cracked
as was the battery tray. These had been crudely repaired before so I had
to remove lots of old matting and filler before grinding into the matting
and laying up new mat and resin. Again I am not an expert at this but I am
quite pleased with the results and for the under bonnet area they are
fine. Probably best to practice here before I start on the rest of the
- Next on the list to tackle are the
doors. Today I removed the drivers door. I was unable to move the hinge
screws even with an impact driver so I had to resort to drilling the heads
off them. A point to note here is that there are 2 hidden screws 1 inside
each hinge aperture. A result of a few hefty blows with the impact driver
is a large pile of rust under the car. there should be a metal plate
sandwiched between 2 layers of glass fibre that helps to support the whole
thing but most of mine is long gone. I will need to fabricate a new one
which might be interesting given the amount I have left to work with. I
removed what was left by cutting the outside skin away with a Dremel.
- This is the result of 2 hours work with a tape measure,
steel rule and a lot of rusty metal bits. As I have no pattern to work
with I resulted to the trusty cornflake packet and made myself a cardboard
one. I will offer this up a few times to the car and see if it looks OK
before using it to construct one in 1.5mm steel.
- This is the finished article. I must say
I am pretty pleased with the results.
- Some time later...
- This is the gel coat layer being painted
on to the repair from the rear. I have wedged a mould on the outside of
the car and painted on to this from within the wheel arch.
- This is then covered with 3 layers of
glass fibre and resin and finally the reinforcing plate is fitted with
just 1 layer of matting to hold it in place.
- With the mould removed from the outside
this is what is seen. Any rough areas where the old and new gel coats meet
will be filled.
- Later still....
- Soon after getting the car I was aware
that the rear bumper mounts were not very clever and knew that this was
due to the rear chassis extension being rotten. I figured out that either
I would need to remove the body completely or find some other way of
repairing it. I decided on the latter as I have no room to remove the
body. So one afternoon I fired up the Dremill and cut the back of the body
off the car.
- This revealed a mangled rusty mess which
was once the chassis extension. With the help of a can of WD40, and a lot
of heaving I eventually managed to unbolt this from the car. I brought the
replacement a couple of years ago from Adrian at Southwest Scimparts and
this was given a generous coat of the smoothrite before being bolted in
- Then it was just a matter of glassing
the back of the car back on. Not a bad job even if I do say so myself. It
needs more preparation before the final spray job but that can wait until
I have all of the repairs completed.
- Started to remove the paint from the
rest of of the car.
is the car masked up and ready to paint. I have already gone round it
several times with a few rattle cans to try and see any imperfections.
- The problem I have is trying to spray
it in my single integral garage - not really happening so I decided to
make my own spray booth. Two Gazebo's from Ebay later and I had
- Time for a final flat back of the
- And then some primer
- Time for some nice yellow paint (Bold
yellow in Cellulose)
- Left it for a couple of months to
harden than removed the masking and machine polished it. Still got the
doors and bonnet to do yet.
- Couldn't resist fitting some of the
new bits I had been buying for some time like chrome letters, lights and
fuel filler cap.
- Couldnt decide on what colour to use for
the headlight surrounds but eventually decided on Black
- Had to make 2 new brackets to hold the
read seat outside hinges in place together with captive nuts.
- I re fitted the guttering using a
sealant to both waterproof and fix them to the body. I found that normal
pop rivets would not hold so I brought some peel rivets and they worked
fine. I also re fitted the vinyl trim and GTE badges on the B pillars.
- I brought all new rubber seals for the
car including rear windows and all apertures. I fitted the rubber to the
rear windows but swapped the frames side to side leaving the un touched
former inside edges now on the outside. These look like new and have
certainly saved me having them chromed. The secret to fitting these is
plenty of lubrication on the outside of the seals where they touch the
body. I user silicone tyre dressing as I had some and it worked a treat.
- Made and fitted a new rear number
plate lamp bracket from some stainless steel and fitted with new bolts.
Also fitted the rear hatch locking mechanism along with the rear hatch
and door seals.
- Managed to obtain a second hand
replacement windscreen via a request on the RSSOC forum and had it
fitted by a professional with a new seal. He made it look easy but it
wasn't. Looks very good though and I am extremely happy with the
- Refitted the rear hatch with a
new lip seal.
- I had painted the drivers door and
bonnet several years earlier but unfortunately they got damaged in
storage so I sanded them back and re prepped them. Got them primed and
top coated in a weekend and I am pleased with the results.
- Disaster struck when I accidentally
tried to start the car in gear and it shot forward and hit my workbench.
There is some damage to the front and to say that the air was blue would
be quite an understatement. I cant believe this lapse in concentration
and this now means that I will have to do more repairs to the body and
try and blend in the paint somehow.
- Started to put the frame together for
the drivers door. Got new quarterlight seals from the RSSOC and they fit
perfectly. Then re assembled the door and fitted it to the car. Its nice
to be putting this back on as it feels like real progress at last. Also
refitted the rest of the door mechanism including new door handles.