TOOLMAN'S  RELIANT   SCIMITAR SE5a SITE

Front Suspension Chassis Rear Suspension Interior Bodywork Engine Bay Electrics

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Site Last Updated 06/12/2016

Toolmanweb 2003-2016

Interior
 
March 2003
This picture shows the interior of the car when it arrived. It seems mostly complete and in fairly good condition. However the dash is damaged (see the large silver washers) and the drivers seat has a tear. The door card on the passenger side has also rotted badly.
 
13 February 2004
As part of the rear suspension rebuild I had to remove the rear carpet,  plastic trim and metal access plates. Following the completion of this and sorting out the rear lights etc I gave the whole rear of the car a good vacuum out. I straightened the metal plates and gave them the usual coat of hammerite. I refitted them with stainless screws. I cleaned the trim with armourall and refitted that with more stainless screws. The carpets and under felt are actually in quite good condition so I just refitted them as they were.
23 February 2003
Removed the trim panel from the drivers door to fix the electric window mechanism (see Electrics). The hardboard is split in several places so I plan to use it as a template and make a new one. Hopefully the vinyl trim can be glued on with some contact adhesive. The polythene waterproofing material behind the panel was missing so I need to replace this. Removed the door handle as the lock was seized. I stripped it down and spent some time freeing off the mechanism. This now works ok but I need to obtain a new star locking washer to rebuild it - the old one was so corroded it snapped when I removed it.
 
28 February 2004
Cut out the new hardboard trim panel for the drivers side using the old one as a template. It looks as though this has been done before as the vinyl was not stuck to it in the middle. The old trim split a bit when I removed it from the panel so I need to make the new one slightly smaller to be able to glue it around the edge. All of the clips were either bent or broken so I have ordered new ones from vehicle Wiring Products.
 
29 February 2004
Finished rebuilding the door handle and lock mechanism. Gave the whole thing a good greasing and oiled the barrel with lots of 3in1 oil. Refitted it to the door and it now works a treat.
 
03 March 2004
Removed the door panel from the passenger side. This has virtually disintegrated and is in a very poor state. I am unable to use this as a template for a new panel so I will make a mirror image copy of the drivers side and adjust it to fit.
 
06 March 2004
Fitted the new fixing clips and glued the vinyl back on the door card (with spray contact adhesive). Made a new plastic rain guard for the door using some thick blue builders damp proofing plastic and glued it in with the contact adhesive. TIP: wear gloves when using the glue as it gets everywhere. Fitted the door guard in place and then the clips round the door opener - they slide in from the top and bottom. Refitted the door armrest / handle with new screws.
 
22 March 2004
Cleaned down the interior of the passenger door and tried to adjust the hinges as the door catches slightly when it closes. They are rusted solid so I will have to try fitting some plates to the back of the mountings to the body. Refitted the door handle and the speaker with new stainless steel screws. Lubricated the runners for the electric window with some silicon spray. Removed the seatbelt from the drivers side and fitted a new one from Graham Walkers. The tricky bit is bolting the stalk to the transmission tunnel. To do this on your own you need arms about 10 feet long it is definitely a 2 person job. I will get my daughter to hold the spanner for me whilst I crawl under the car.
 
22 April 2004
Eventually managed to fit the nut on the drivers side seatbelt stalk with the help of my father in law Brian. Removing the old belt from the passenger side proved a little difficult as the main mounting bolt had seized in the captive nut in the chassis. I had to resort to a previously learned lesson and weld an old wheel stud to the top of the bolt. I was then able to undo it. The bolt securing the stalk to the transmission tunnel was also rusted in but I was able to grind the head off this to remove it. The belt was then refitted (me under the car and Brian inside it) with new nuts and bolts supplied with the kit.
 
15 May 2004
Took a good look at the rear seatbelts in the car and decided to replace them as they were rusty and frayed. Obtained original Reliant replacements from Nigel at Queensbury Road Garage still in the original bags. Removing the parts bolted to the transmission tunnel was no problem due to the coating of oil on the underside of the car from a leaky diff. However the outside ones are in the wheel arches and had consequently become well rusted. The passenger side came undone eventually with much use of a breaker bar and loads of WD40 but the drivers side would not budge. The captive nuts that hold the belt in place are welded to a small strap that bolts onto the rear of the chassis and I had to grind off the nut to remove it. The new belt was fitted back to the car using the new bolts that came with the kit and with a new self locking nut. I had to cut a couple of inches from the strap and weld in new metal. The new nut was not welded to the strap to make future removal easier.
 
16 May 2004
Decided to clean the interior of the car and see how well it would come up. Used some Decasol foam cleaner on the seats and other parts of the vinyl interior. They have come up quite well and the whole interior smells a lot better. Made and fitted the plastic water deflector to the drivers door and glued the wrinkled vinyl down just under the window with some spray contact adhesive.
 
23 May 2004
Made a new door card for the passenger door from hardboard and glued the old vinyl trim to it. There are a few splits at the bottom of the vinyl but this looks 100% better than it did before as the previous card had rotted away.
 
01 August 2004
Driving the car has revealed a couple of annoying squeaks inside the car. The first was traced to the clutch pedal pivot point. The second was the drivers seat tilting mechanism. Both were cured with the trusty can of spray grease. I think that this is meant for chains on motorbikes but it is excellent for general pivot lubrication.
 
15 January 2005
I started work on the cars dashboard. Most of the dials have rusty bezels and the switches are all a bit grubby. As I needed to remove the steering wheel and indicator unit to replace the steering column upper bush I took the opportunity to do some fettling. Firstly I removed the dash panel together with all of the dials and switches from the car. I carefully marked all of the wires I removed with a Dymo labelling machine so I would know where to replace them.
This left the car looking like spaghetti junction but was essential for re assembly.
Then I stripped all of the items from the dash panel. I had intended to replace this with a fibreglass item I got from another Scimitar owner as mine was split in several places.
However following a discussion at the Chesterfield noggin with Alan Bower I decided to have a go at 'welding' it back together with my soldering iron. I started with the little cracks first to get used to it (I am an experienced soldering iron user) and then move on to the major ones. The secret seems to be to get both sides of the crack to melt and then move the iron in a circular motion to knit them together. I used a 25watt iron with a small tip so as not to burn through the plastic all together. The results seem to be OK but I will tell how strong it is when I come to refit it to the car.
I removed all of the front bezels from the dials and re sprayed them with a silk finish black in cans from the local motor spares shop. I am quite pleased with the finish.
 
27 Feb 2005
Refitted all of the dials to the dash and wired everything back up. Painted and fitted the mounting screws and the dash. This looks much better. However a small amount of cracking re occurred round the warning light area. I am considering reinforcing this with a piece of matte black painted aluminium. Had to make a new mounting bracket for the bonnet release as it was bending when I tried to use it. Turned out that the old one was nearly rusted through.
To get at this I had to remove the blower motor assembly in the drivers foot well. I was not that surprised to find a mouse nest nestling in the space beneath. I guess that's where all of the chewed bits of my interior ended up.
 
01 Sept 2005
Managed to win some XJS leather seats on Ebay to replace my own worn ones. These have a similar pattern but are high back. I will detail fitting them when I pick them up from Birmingham.
 
10 Oct 2005
Started work on removing the old seats. I was surprised that most of the bolts came undone without to much trouble with just one or two snapping with a little brute force applied. The runners for the new seats are in a totally different place than the Reliant items so I had a decision to make. Do I make up new runner mountings for the Jag seats or do I drill new holes in the floor. Taking the path of least resistance I opted for the latter. I placed the new seat in the car (not easy when you only have 2 foot to open the door into) and with a bit of fiddling got it into what was a comfortable position for me (allowing for a little adjustment with the seat mechanism). It was then I noticed that the rear mounting holes for the runner were actually in mid air! They were overhanging the raised seat section of the bodywork by around 5 inches. I toyed with lots of possible solutions to this problem involving pipe spacers and long bolts or metal angle brackets. In the end I devised a simpler solution. based on the length of the runner I estimated that there was around 20% of it overhanging. Given the type of runner used (one where the bearing surfaces continue along its full length) I decided that this was acceptable and simply drilled a new mounting hole through the runner as far up as I could get it towards the seat back (with the mechanism fully forward). I then offered up the seat again and this time the mounting holes were in line with the ones used by Reliant if not in the same place. I should state at this stage that Reliant bonded plates into the floor of the car for fixing the seat. Obviously as the spacing of the Jag seats runners is different I had to come up with a way of replicating this for the new seats. After much head scratching and chatting to other car nuts I decided to use spreader plates under the floor but also bolt those plates to the existing mountings. I made them up in 1.5mm steel and gave them the usual coat of hammerite before fixing with new bolts and nyloc nuts. I am pleased with the results. They are much more comfortable that the originals but due to the seat pattern don't look out of place. I now need to get a leather dye kit to sort out the colour.
 
07 Jan 2006
Cleaned up and sprayed the ashtrays. They have come up quite well.
 
Sometime after Jan 2006
Whilst working on the engine bay I had to remove the brake and clutch master cylinders so I took the opportunity to also remove the pedal box. This was stripped and repainted but had a broken spring on the clutch pedal. Fortunately I was able to unwind a coil on the spring and refit it so I did not need to replace it.
When re assembling I fitted a new clutch master cylinder as the original leaked and a new throttle cable. I also fitted a new slave cylinder as that also leaked.
 
15/12/2013
Removed the heater box from the car and completely stripped it down. Cleaned out the matrix which seemed to flow water Ok and also removed the leaking water valve. As per Don Kennedys site I have blanked this off with a 2p piece which required the edge removing with a grinder before it was soldered into place. I have repainted and rebuilt the unit with new seals.
 
Also repainted some of the mounting hardware at the same time. Then re assembled it all into the car
 
01/05/2014
Made a decision to start fitting the underlay and carpet set. I have brought some self adhesive closed cell foam for the underlay but I have to say that this is a nightmare to fit.
 
I have also started to lay out the carpet set so that it will hopefully find the correct shape and go in better.
 
Carpet set complete
 
25/01/2015
Started work on the dashboard. I brought a second hand fibreglass replacement quite a few years ago and after a lot of repair work , glassing and filling, I sprayed it in some brown satin paint i had mixed. The colour match is not perfect but it looks quite good and is much better than the original which is cracked all over.
 
 
When I came to fit it to the rest of the dash assembly it went OK accept that the ignition switch would not line up correctly. It wasn't miles out but needed some fettling. I had to slacken off the mounting bolts and move the column about 10mm to the right. Also had to rotate the switch assembly anti clockwise. This was achieved by filing parts the steering lock mechanism. Once done I tested that it all works as it should and it looks great in my opinion.
 
21/01/2015
Re fitted the rear interior trim but before that I had to fit the door lock striker plates. I Brought these some time ago as good used replacements as mine were very rusty. Unfortunately I seem to have 1 screw missing though I hope it will turn up as I start to fit all the other bits back to the car.
 
26/02/2015
I brought a roll of material off the internet some time ago for the headlining. It's a beige colour nylon type with a foam back. Using the old mouldy and rotten one as a pattern I carefully measured and cut the material to size. My mother in law lent me her sewing machine and I had a go at making the new one. Having never used one before I looked at a few clips on you tube and found out how to set it all up. I then sewed the loops onto the back side of the material in the correct position. The aluminium rods that hold it in place were quite corroded so I cleaned them up with a wire brush and emery paper. I gave them a good coat of silicone polish to make them slide easily and threaded them into the loops. Around the roll bar in the car there are aluminium strips that trap the material and are riveted in place. I fixed the material to them first with some spray contact adhesive. The rods are secured at each end with a self tapping screw. Once these were in place the material is stretched from the middle of the windscreen aperture outwards. I used bulldog clips to hold it until I was happy with how it looked. I then fixed it all around the edge with more spray glue. The rear headlining behind the roll hoop was done in a similar way. Right at the rear I removed the existing vinyl trim and replaced it with more of the headlining material. I am very pleased with the results.
 

 

July 2016
Fitted the refurbished front seats to the car. Had to fit a lot of spacer washers under the runners too stop them fouling on the carpet. I am very pleased with how they fit. They match the rear seats very well and look stock.