The Garage

Endurance racing

The Family


1975 Reliant Scimitar GTE manual

My Scimitar GTE on the day that the last bits were bolted on (in about May, 2000)   Pic from after the rebuild, obviously...


There is such a lot of data on this car that I had to create a subset of pages for various parts:

The GTE is currently "resting" in the UK... It was bought from a farmers field as a wreck, around 1998, and it took about 5 years to originally rebuild it from the ground up.

Update time!


Ok, since I will return to UK soon, I started recommissioning the old Scimitar, since it is both tax and mot free..



Surprisingly, the brass radiator header tank sprang a leak shortly after JDS was recommissioned. Fixed via Araldite for now (the pressed seam seems to have split due to vibration etc.). Also bought some vinylcote to recolour some of the interior, from the same supplier that I bought the original supply from, 20 years ago. Replaced the two front "shield" badges that had fallen off the front wings at some point. Bought a fibreglass replacement dash top, but I'm undecided about it, as I can see it will look different when installed. I will likely replace the instrument voltage regulator, because both the temperature and fuel gauges seem to be less accurate than I remember, and the VR is the original. Need to replace one or both of the windscreen washer pumps, as they're quite clapped out..



Recommissioning work (over the last 2 months):

Refurbish all 4 wheels and get new tyres/balance.

Replace all rear fuel pump hose with E10 compliant stuff, also add a fuel filter in case of garbage in tank after 20 years parked!

Get all the lights working again (some had magically stopped by themselves for no apparent reason!)

Fix broken rear light lens, somebody bashed it during the last 20 years..

Cleaned/lubricated everything I could, door locks and so on (all worked..)

New battery, obviously. After this lot it started right up, runs fine. Replaced the coolant as I found two water hoses a bit leaky after heat cycling and had to replace them also. The other fluids were still fine(!) but I'll change the oil soon. Oil pressure about 50psi when running, 30 at idle.

So far, the only thing that doesn't work is the clock! (Smiths "transistor" ha ha ha...). Now my daily driver, lol. Some of the paint has deteriorated though, I'm not sure why, because it was "OK when parked" and had been OK for quite a few years before I parked the thing!


This below is the log of work up until I parked it in 2007 - it awaits me in the garage still... :)


Quite a lot of work since the last update.. On a 200 mile trip the Scim developed a cloud of steam from the drivers side exhaust which followed me about :(  -one head gasket had gone, no apparent reason since I was not (and had not been) driving it hard previously. Damn thing lost so much water that overnight after I managed to splutter home, it filled cylinder 1 and “hydrauliced” and wouldn’t turn over. Had to change both head gaskets (only way to be safe..). I was pleased to see that the heads were very clean, almost no carbon etc. After changing the gaskets it ran far better than before at low speeds, which suggests that it’s been leaking slightly for a while even though it’s not overheated or lost any obvious water until it finally went big time. After the gasket change it smoked like buggery on the ‘blown’ side for about 100 miles, I can only assume that the water had left some corrosion on the bores (I could see some when I changed the gaskets) but it gradually went back to normal. The heads were torqued to 90 ft-lbs of course. In order to get rid of the water in the oil I had to change the oil (and filter) 3 times before signs of water disappeared, which was the most expensive bit.


Replaced the 2 worn tyres with Toyo 215/65’s, now I’m back to having 4 nice Toyos, goody. Also blew out the pilot passages in the carb, which seems to have made it idle and low speed run properly again, but it still misfires on acceleration, I think that running with the mixture miles out for at least 2 weeks earlier has messed up the plugs – perhaps it will recover, I’ll wait a few days and then try cleaning the plugs or replacing them. Clutch master no longer leaking.


Replaced both track rod ends as one had developed play (again – why?). Replaced the drivers side top inner wishbone bushes with better quality poly ones. Replaced the trunnion bushes on drivers side only, that side needs a new trunnion really also. Replaced both rack gaiters as they are both perished, I should have done this when I changed the rack…  Replaced the seals etc. in the clutch master cylinder as it was still losing fluid, I had to make one part for this also. I also changed the antistall and accelerator pump diaphragms in the carb, as the antistall one had perforated, causing it to idle really badly – mind you, replacing that has only partially fixed the idle, I don’t understand why yet. Need 2 new tyres v.soon.


Adjusted the tracking as the insides of my new tyres are disappearing! –It was miles out, so hopefully they’ll be ok now.


Clutch slave cylinder failed without warning on the way to work, which was a real pain – the “cup type” seal actually split, which is very odd, instant fail as it pumped all the fluid through the split. Changed the seal and reassembled it and all seems normal again. Apart from that not much to report, the rear crank seal is weeping which is really annoying as I changed the gearbox not so long ago, and it started after that! The wheel alignment must be out because the new front tyres are not wearing as evenly as usual, I must get it checked quick!


Changed the trunnion bearings and replaced one trunnion also. Changed the rear pinion oil seal for a modern lip seal, instead of a crap leather one, which has instantly fixed the oil leak. I also had to replace both front tyres, my favorite Toyos were not available so I took the advice of my local tyre shop and fitted 205/65 Firestones, which so far are better than the Toyos in one area: they are much quieter in terms of road noise!


Ok, it all went back together ok, gearbox seems ok, although it promptly sprang a new gearbox oil leak, now that I’ve fixed the engine ones. The new rad has improved the cooling and strangely stopped slight water loss, although the old one didn’t leak. I can only assume it’s because it runs cooler now (under 90 degrees all the time). In order to pass the coming MOT I had to replace all 4 headlamps (cibies as before) because the silvering was failing after 5 years or so. I also changed the steering rack for a better secondhand one I have lying around, because mine had slight play in straight ahead position, plus two new outer balljoints. The bottom UJ on the column was also shot, and I changed the lower column with both UJs as well. I will also change the lower outer wishbone plastic bearings once I’ve ordered them, plus the rear pinion oil seal ‘cause that looks like it’s failed (sigh).


Now we do have big deals.. the gearbox started to make nasty noises and I have had to park it for the last 2 weeks, remove ‘box, and rebuild my spare (which I had not done in advance, twit). Sadly the spare box had it’s own problems, the front 3rd/4th synchronizer circlip was missing, and they are unavailable nowadays. The one on my existing gearbox was also knackered as the front roller bearing on the mainshaft had broken up and mangled it… Sooo I had to source a HD circlip of the right size (rather than a snap ring) and modify that..which took a while but in the end I managed it. I replaced the syncro rings etc. The “new” gearbox is now ready to install, and I’m waiting for a new clutch kit – why is it that one from a “club supplier” is 130, whereas they are about 50 from normal outlets???

ANYWAY… while I was at it I noticed that a lot of the rad fins were shot (it was new 5 years ago) so I bought a new standard rad with modern fin layout. I also bought new hoses…

AND… since I had my head under the bonnet, I replaced the crappy standard fuse box which I have used ‘til now, with a 12 way euro blade fuse one – much nicer!

AND… I finally fixed the front end oil leak. I assumed the front seal had failed, in fact when I pulled the front cover, the seal had actually dropped right out of the cover! Very odd! Anyway I replaced the seal and used a self tapper to lock it in. ..

AND… since I had to pull the front cover, dropped sump and replaced sump gasket, also I swapped the oil pump for an almost new one which I had “lying around”.

Hopefully the next instalment in a few days is where I will reinstall the box and a nice new clutch!


No real big deals to report! –I retorqued the heads and water loss dropped but I still suspect there’s a weep. Temperature dropped also though but not enough to convince me. JDS started misfiring as well, and after a LOT of playing around, discovered that 2 of my resistive plug leads had gone more resistive than the others! –A “new” (old stock) set from ebay for 10 fixed that one.

I also noticed the two front outer dip Cibies are beginning to lose their silvering – not so impressive really, (about 4 years old) but they’ll last a while yet.


JDS started to suffer from overdrive 'slip' and dropping out. This was caused by the pin which holds the solenoid together, beginning to slide out and letting the solenoid body move slightly, reducing the actual valve movement. Fixed by shoving back in and sticking a jubilee clip round the solenoid! Also the water pump failed suddenly last week (wobbly pulley and water everywhere) but the car still made it the 10 miles home, although the pump made very nasty noises. Changed pump for my spare. I'm also going to change one head gasket I think 'cause I think it's got a small 'blow' (one plug is a nasty colour and the temp creeps up after an hour or 2). We'll see... changed the oil as well last week.

Passed MOT (17/4/05)

Ok, JDS passed after I tweaked the inner track rod ends and changed one balljoint... nothing else to report but I must try to source new inner spherical joints/trackrods... 

MOT Time. (10/4/05)

JDS failed MOT due to play in one track rod end and play in the track rod bearing. Adjusted the track rod but need new ones, which I'll order anyway...otherwise it's ok...

Spare gearbox now dismantled and seems good. The synchro cones are a bit tired but no big problems, so I can start getting bits for rebuild.

Few "developments" .. (10/3/05)

Picked up a spare gearbox/OD, courtesy of ebay, now I can rebuild it at my leisure (hah!)

Few "developments" .. (05/3/05)

JDS lost 3rd totally on the way home on a Friday, no warning, it just wouldn't select any more, plus the jumping out of top much worse. I (a) found a complete spare gearbox on ebay, and (b) heaved the side cover off that weekend. The 3rd/top selector fork was totally worn on the 4th side, though the other side, and the 1st/2nd fork, were fine. The actual selector mechanism was all fine as well. I built up the fork with braze and filed it back to shape(!), then refitted the side cover and refilled with oil - hey presto, I have top gear again, but still no 3rd, it seemed as though the syncro hub mechanism was stuck somehow........astonishingly, after I had driven JDS around for 4 days without 3rd after this, whilst waiting for my ebay gearbox, 3rd gear came back again by itself, still no warning or any symptoms, and it's syncro seems fine.

Whilst about it, I changed the upper inner poly suspension bushes for another type, since they had worn, and regreased the front end, topped up the diff oil etc. etc.

Hmm .. (20/2/05)

JDS still ok, still jumping out of top...must fix that :v) 

Hmm .. (12/12/04)

JDS has been fine recently, however in the last few weeks it has started to slip out of top gear on the overrun, I don't really know why...I think I'll save up and get a good "tweaked" rebuilt 4sp+od gearbox, because I like the od and I don'r want a 5 speed.... Other than that, and that one set of front suspension bushes is shot now, there's little to say... <smile>