The Garage

Endurance racing

The Family


Some of the rebuild work and pictures...

First, the "befores". Not pretty, sitting in a field for years with one window open.. none of the wheels revolved at all :)...




Then we have the post-rebuild (and during) images;




During painting, with initial flatting coat of blue.



Rebuild Blog:

(20/06/02) Not so good news as the top hose split yesterday. this was due to it being a 'cheapo' non-reinforced hose despite being bought from a reputable supplier. I replaced it with one from 'something else' which my garage stock gave me. Annoying though.

(10/06/02) Time for the MOT, which it passed. Changed the brake servo for a new one as old one leaked air and upset the idle, although it worked ok. It also leaked a small but annoying amount of fluid sometimes. Changed the 2 top balljoints for new ones as they were cheap (10) and really easy to do. Adjusted out the play at the inner ends of the steering rack via the adjustable nuts, all of which has tightened the steering noticably. Also finally traced an annoying vibration in the steering at over 70mph - due to one disk being not quite round (yes really!, about 1mm out) which is due to poor QA I'd say, they were both brand new, and this is not like runout, which could be caused by e.g. heat... Ground off a chunk on the 'heavy' edge area and now much better but still needs a bit more I'd say, as there's still a tiny trace of vibration.

(13/05/02) Time for a bit of routine maintenance! -Adjusted up the handbrake and checked all pads/drums. Pads/drums ok, but some play in one top balljoint and also one inner end of steering rack I don't like. to be investigated further! Also added an earth to the fuel tank because the gauge had gone unreliable - that fixed the gauge. Tweaked idle and added some coolant.

(17/02/02) Hmm, the last 'routine maintenance' didn't quite go as planned.... I intended to change the existing standard cast iron exhaust manifolds for s/s 3-branches. On removing the LH exhaust manifold I noticed that the front block core plug was weeping. Not so good, since I put them in when I rebuilt the thing about 9 months ago!. Ok, give the core plug a 'light tap' to reseat it and hopefully it will stop weeping.

Result: Water starts dribbling out and now I'm screwed, can't drive car, no spare core plug, wife is out in other car all day...arrgh!. Luckily a friend went to get a couple and I drove over to pick them up later that night, and fitted the following morning. Back to main plot, the 3 branch fitted fine, all the bolts etc. unscrewed no problem, as they should when I only put them in a few months ago! Next start or RH side....oh oh...all the manifold bolts except 1 unscrew fine, but the top rear felt very dodgy indeed, felt like it would shear rather than move. After a lot of indecision, decided to put all the bolts back in and change the RH side later, when I have more time. So JDS now has 1 3 branch and one cast iron manifold. I wonder how she'll go now :v)

(01/02/02) JDS engine performance has deteriorated suddenly, sounds like it was running on 5 etc. A check of valve clearances showed that 2 exhaust valves had no clearance. So finally, after approx. 16,000 miles of 100 miles a day @ 90mph up and down motorways, JDS has developed some valve recession! Not too worried as I expected that it would, and have other heads to fit if I wish. Still it's puzzling that it took until now, since my heads had no 'lead memory' etc. Also, with 10:1 pistons one might have expected the effect to be worse!

(19/12/01) JDS still fine, nil adjustment to anything except the manual choke, I hiked the idle speed a little.

(3/11/01) Oops, had a little event involving driving totally flat out in overdrive top for quite a while, and a sudden loss of power followed by a lot of smoke....

Seems I partially seized poor old JDS whilst pressing on, however despite initially horrendous smoking from the breathers, this now all seems to have quieted down (it was 1000 miles ago) and the engine is still behaving ok, except that it now has an annoying tap (piston slap!). Can't see why it siezed 6000 miles on from it's rebuild, but perhaps the Hepolite Powermax pistons had a hand in it, as I've heard of them doing similar things in other makes of cars. Also fitted an external capilliary thermostat for the fan on the top hose, which I can adjust as needed. At the moment it is set to slightly under 80deg C which is odd in itself, since the engine runs higher than that! I have also had to add some water now after my little "event", but hopefully all will be well. Adjusted rear hatch lock as the seals have settled and it was rattling. Retarded ign slightly and weakened idle mixture (it's at about 2 turns). Adjusted the head;amp aim up a bit as well, as the suspension adjustments in the last instalment had put the lights too low for those country lanes :v)

(03/09/01) Scimmy has needed very little ongoing maintenance up to now. Changed the oil a week or 2 ago. Inverted the front wishbones as the front ride height was not going to drop with use as I had hoped. wound the spring seats up about 20mm on the rear spaxes as the rear HAD dropped slightly. Played with damper clicks some more but still not happy. The 8-Track has blown it's fuse for no apparent reason! Still playing with idle mixture but idle and on/off idle behaviour not great. No overheating and no added water. Checked valve clearances but needed little adjustment. Ditto points...

(30/07/01) Added a heavy spring to the advance/retard (used to have 2 light ones) and much better, also richened idle mixture a bit. Found that the one old rear wheel brake cylinder is leaking lightly, time for a new one (should have done it in first place!). 2 new rear 205/65 Toyos have improved both the ride and the grip dramatically. Added a bit of oil, time for a change soon! Damn brake light switch fell apart 2 days ago, got another. Could definitely do with lowering an inch or perhaps more, as it rolls too much now.

(15/07/01) Took a coil off the centrifugal advance springs, and put 5 deg. or so extra advance on the engine. Feels better and seems to run slightly cooler.

(19/06/01) Up to about 3500 miles now, no real issues. OD now ok. Still pinks sometimes but now only on warm afternoons, not cool mornings, using cheapo unleaded, so I'll live with that. Got to 4400 in OD top so far, then bravery ran out. The brake creep seems to have gone away by itself. I have altered the OD to be switched by a switch in the gerachange lever, because the switch I put on the clutch rest got in my way, as did the footrest! Running at about 24mpg. No water loss or overheating issues. Noticed that one exhaust was possibly resonating on the body where it exits under the bumper, so adjusted slightly - time will tell....

(29/05/01) Fitted the bumpers and car is now effectively finished. Some further detail changes have been made however, in particular I noticed some pinking when accelerating hard at over 80mph in top or o/d top. This seems to have been cured by a bit of advance/retard spring 'adjustment'. Also, the overdrive initially (I have done about 1000 miles so far) sometimes stuck in, but this seems to be ok now. So far, I have taken it to 4000 rpm in o/d top, which should be about 112 mph with the 15" wheels etc. Fuel sender and clutch operating rod adjusted and now ok. Ongoing issues for investigation are:

 Why does brake pedal creep, and change height sometimes?

 Can cooling be improved - it seems pretty marginal in e.g. 1 hour stationary traffic jam

 When it gets really hot (see above) the fuel boils in the carb - think about a fix!

 Best way to lower it slightly if it does not settle more on suspension

 New front seats, or rebuilt originals etc??

 2 new Toyos for rear soon

 Get better servo than the original now fitted?

(13/05/01) Seems like the filter has fixed the flooding issue, along with another carb cleanout. Fuel tank sender seems to be partially duff though, so that will need fixing somehow. Clutch stop might need adjusting as well.

(07/05/01) Fixed the fans by discovering that one of them was wired backwards! Also I have added a Filter King fuel filter in an effort to stop the float needle getting bits of grit/rust/crap from the tank in it, and causing varying degrees of flooding, which is what has been happening in test drives. Hopefully, once a few tanks of fuel have gone through, it'll be ok. Also got insurance (285) and booked an MOT, oh oh... Still no @"$%^& bumpers though.

(29/04/01) Some final fettling... Changed the revcounter, now it's ok. Installed new belt on the 8-track, now that's ok as well. Adjusted carb sync, which improved the pickup and seems to have stopped the off-idle hesitation. Noticed the fuel gauge seems stuck, dismantled the sender and it had jammed (why?) -tweaked it around and it seems ok now...whilst doing that, saw that the low fuel warning light was intermittent, so fixed that as well! Now only awaiting bumper rechroming (should be a few days) before I go for an MOT. The to-do list now looks pretty short:

 Improve the seat ratchets

 Fit the bumpers

 Improve heater fan mountings (and perhaps the fans)

 Perhaps tweak r/h exhaust positioning

(23/04/01) More test runs... Replaced o/s rear wheel cylinder, now no more fluid loss, good! Adjusted up f/wheel bearings for no play. Tweaked ign back a touch, as I heard a hint of pinking. Rerouted fuel lines to minimise heat transfer. Finished door stiffeners, realigned doors, and, after a lot of tries, managed to make them both line up and shut reasonably well. Had to replace rad fan as the blades got loose on the original, leading to a lack of cooling! Made a couple of faster runs, and noticed an annoying "off-idle" pickup hesitation, yet to find out what it is, carb or ign, maybe related to the idle performance, which is not great, nor do idle adjustment screws work as I'd expect. Revcounter still wayward, to be changed. Fixed brake fluid level sensor, which had "sunk"! Wound spax adjusters back to 1 click and the damping is still quite firm, but we shall see.. Noticed that r/h dip headlamp aim is a bit low.

(16/04/01) Made several test runs, and adjusted ignition timing to remove slight pinking (at over 2000 rpm on load). Adjusted up headlamp aim. Checked leaking o/s rear wheel cylinder, looks like I'll need a new one. Added spare wheel. Setup tracking to parallel. Made another clutch footrest to hold the o/d switch as the standard one is in wrong place! Replaced hazard and indicator flasher units with a single "electronic" one, much better! Installed all the badging. Installed the windscreen finish strip. Began work to add stiffeners to the door pull plates, a la later 5a's, as they bend too much. Lightened one advance spring, which has improved low speed behaviour. Cut all the paint back to (reasonably) flat and polished for the first time! Noticed a lot of pad knockback. Now done 85 miles in "tests", naughty naughty.

(01/04/01) A suitable day for a tentative real drive!. Took the heap up the road & immediately discovered total non-performance over 2500 rpm. Mind you, this was also the first time I got to find if all 4 gears and the synchro worked 'in anger'. After examining the ignition, carb float level blah blah, I FINALLY noticed that I had installed one of the carb venturi boosters the wrong way round, which totally cuts off fuel flow to that barrel, other than the accelerator pump or idle/progression jet. Oops, what a twit. With that corrected it felt fine. However everything else worked, including my patented momentary push button o/d switch that drops the o/d by itself if you change down. Tweaked the ignition timing all over the place but it refused to pink when floored at 1000 rpm, which is surprising, unless I've just built the best motor ever from scratch (not very likely...). Not happy about the 'sit' of the suspension though, even though the springs are the originals and standard as far as I can tell. It's too high (even for standard) and although such things can settle, it just does not feel like it will - also, the back feels softer than the front! Also, the @$%! revcounter stuck at 2000 rpm even though it has operated fine statically for the last several months!

(29/03/01) Installed step plates, installed new windscreen. Installed windscreen wipers. Rear hatch fit is still very poor but it shuts at least. Found the 1 maladjusted tappet that was causing the thing to 'tick' (oops!). Maybe I could get away with a drive up the road now... One door now shuts ok (bl**dy door seals) but the other one is still useless.

(20/03/01) 2 new tyres, Toyo Roadpro R610's. Rechroming of bumpers under way, finally. Ordered nice stainless step plates and shield badges. Tweaked the distributor more, welded the stops for about 6 degrees distributor advance. Bought and fitted front/rear number plates. Partially fitted engine breathers. Redid heater valve seal which started leaking due to my naff seal (homemade) - Made a better one & ok! Did suspension nut/bolt check.

(11/03/01) Did few odd tasks, fitted rear no. plate light, rear seat hinges, rollbar nut plates. Ripped distributor to bits and removed vacuum advance, bolted up baseplate, reduced mechanical advance a little (sleeved the posts). Reinstalled and began setting timing by experiment!. So far, seems best with about 18 deg, initial advance, and about 8 deg. of distributor advance, so total would be running around 18 + (2*8) = 34 degrees...more experiments will follow!! Fitted body bottom edge trim strips.

(02/03/01) Removed my motorcycle fuel pump and fitted a Facet competition solid state pump in the tool cubbyhole instead, since I didn't trust the other one!

(01/03/01) Fitted bonnet and aligned doors

(25/02/01) Built/fitted doors, rear hatch, overiders, and went for first test drive! (up and down our close). Everything seems to function, but engine pickup is naff, needs attention! Also, suspension needs to settle a bit....

(18/02/01) Fitted seats, various interior parts, sunvisors, steering wheel, rear hatch lock, washer jets etc. Still got to fit rear hatch and windscreen, plus doors, bumpers.

(12/02/01) Resprayed all seats and door interiors. Remade door panels. Resprayed transmission console and made/fitted gearlever boot etc. Refitted (again!) the dash top after grinding most of it's interior away - now it fits! Built rear hatch but not yet fitted. Fitted door seals. Doors 90% rebuilt with new seals etc. but not hung.

(16/01/01) Installed rear lights and wiring. Installed towbar. Installed modified overdrive switching (footswitch and relay interlock). Installed frontend rad covers etc.

(29/12/00) Dashboard repaired with fibreglass tissue and rebuilt. Dash partially installed, with all switches and wiring etc. Switch and warning light functionality checked. 8-track stereo rebuilt/reinstalled. Heater fans modified and installed. Manual choke installed.

(20/12/00) Ex CX rad fan installed, plus battery, and new earthing arrangements for whole front end. Most of front end wiring connected

(10/12/00) Relays added for dip/main/fan. Cibie headlights installed. Various odd items added such as flasher relays etc. Cooling system filled. Ignition and indicator switches installed.

(06/12/00) Brake system filled, Clutch system filled, Handbrake cable installed, Gearchange mechanism installed in suitably modified way(!) Seat belts installed. Bonnet catch etc. installed.

(26/11/00) Most of the carpet is now installed, as is the rear deck area (in Hardura). Also, the last few chassis-body bolts are installed at the rear. Roof gutters have been installed, with a certain amount of cursing and redrilling, as well as a lot of sealant. Handbrake and steering column also in place.

(20/11/00) Hooray! -the headlining is installed. Not too many wrinkles but it was the best I could do. About half the interior carpet and sound deadening is installed as well. Most of the interior vinyl has been recoloured grey (via vinlycote), but the seats have not been investigated yet. Dash body installed, and top glued on, but not in best position despite my trying very hard to get it right. Hope to add some images soon.

(23/10/00) All carpet glue etc. cleared from body interior (used thinners, maaaan I'm high... :v) ). Installed much of the engine ancilliaries as well - in the process finding out that the servo I rebuilt 2 years ago was the wrong one anyway...never mind. About to get carpet and sound deadening etc. in next few days. Bolted most of body down, using stainless bolts.

(8/10/00) Whole car and doors, bonnet etc. now has 2 coats of clear. About 2.2 L of clear used in total (before adding hardener). A few screwups, notably where I added 5% thinner for part of 2nd coat because I thought it was a cold day, and this thinned the paint much more than I expected, leading to 2 monstrous "curtain" runs - still, they'll flat out... Some images of it as it is now below, note that this is all straight from the gun, no flatting or tidying yet....;

(1/10/00) Pinholes fixed and whole car has had final base caot. Used 2.8 L of base in total, thinned 50% of course. All shuts, underbonnet etc. have had 1st clear coat (2 pack). Whole exterior body has had 1st clear coat also. So far 1L of clear has been used. So far, overall appearance is good, no patching or banding, and metallic effect looks uniform. Some orange peel due to insufficient paint weight by me, and a few insects landed in it! Again, I hope to get images before I proceed further.

(24/9/00) 2nd/3rd base coats applied to door interiors etc. Door hinges and hinge covers also. Doors refitted (bare). Whole car got first base metallic coat. No obvious problems, but I spotted 3 pinholes I missed.... Hope to add images of this stage, but no time yet.

(16/9/00) Whole car flatted at P600, all the blue off again, and spot primed where necessary, then reflatted at P600. Metallic base coat now applied on door shuts, door and bonnet interiors and underbonnet areas etc, main body to follow perhaps next weekend.. looks OK so far (no clearcoats yet!).

(31/8/00) Whole car now flatted at P400 and guide coated with cellulose.

(29/8/00) All flatted at P240 so far, tomorrow we start on P400...

(17/8/00) Headlining given to be remade by local Morgan dealer's upholsterer in light/mid grey vinyl.(13/8/00) Second coat of primer sprayed, and flatting begun. Still not as flat as I'd hope, maybe some areas will get spot primed again (it's high build primer).(8/8/00) First coat of primer now sprayed. Body shape looks ok. Homemade mask 100% ok, not even a hint of leaks etc - it kept well pressurised.(1/8/00) Body now good enough for primer coats. Also, I have made my own(!) 2-pack breathing mask, so I should live through the experience of spraying it.