A winters Tale

Its getting colder, salt is appearing on the roads and its time to admit winter has arrived. Its a time to be joyous though, over the summer months and circa 3K miles one or two “improvement opportunities” have presented themselves. Here’s to many nights of tinkering in the garage.

Firstly though, lady Marilyn became a show car this past November. Along with two of her sisters she graced the Challenger stand at the NEC classic car show. I was very proud.

Classic car show

Its the first time I’ve manned a stand at a car show. To all the lovely people who visited, asked questions and shared their stories – it was a pleasure to meet you. To the odd one or two dickheads who visited to insult our cars – may you next turd be a headgehog.

It was a cold November day when I drove to the NEC, roof down of course, and, as always, the old girl ran like a dream. I did think when I got there that I could do with more comfortable seats and there started the list.

Seats are on the list for sure, as are a refresh of the half shafts. I elected not to do these during the rebuild and have regretted it ever since. So they’re on the list to. Also, there are bits of trim that have overly much patina for my taste, so a minor re trim is required. Then there the boot that needs sorting, the new fuel pump, throttle cable upgrade, the exhaust orientation at the rear. That little lot should keep me out of trouble for a while.

So, first job, get her in the garage in a work-on-able position and cue the A Team music…

E Type in garage

It took some wiggling to get the right position but we got there and up on axle stands she went. First job, drop the half shafts and send them to D & F Prop shafts

off-side-drive-shaft.jpg

E type drive shaft

Easy as that really. Wait a week and slot them back on.

E type drive shaft referb

Here they are, good as new…

Next, the seats. There’s a lot of classic car chatter about using the Mk1 MX5 seats in E Types (along with TR6’s and others) so I picked up a pair on ebay to get them a try.

The seats feel OK when just laid in place, but I wont know for sure if they’re OK until they are bolted down.

Bolted down… hmm first issue. The MX5 doesn’t have a flat floor pan and so the runners aren’t flat either.

E type seat runners

At the front of the seat the runners turn down for the mounting position, at the rear they turn up. Neither works on my flat floor… Plus they have a peg arrangement that locates in the a special detail on the MX5. PS ignore the steel block, that was just me thinking of solutions….

seat runners

The old seat runners could be made to fit, but they’re not in the best shape and the spacing between them is different to the originals so new holes in the floor would be required anyway…

So I set about modifying the MX 5 runners. Measure about 10 times before cutting anything.

Modifying mx5 seat runners

Here’s the front mounting cut off and the peg un-riveted. Next was to tackle the other end and decide on mounting locations.

I put the old seats back in to get a datum position (mid adjustment)

e type seat 3

took some measurements

and positioned the MX5 seat in the same spot.

Mx5 seats in an E type 2

Loads more comfort, recline adjustment and better hood clearance. Just the ticket.

I’m going to do some welding next, so no fixing positions just yet but making sure they did fit both the car and me was an important first step.

Onwards! >>>>>>>>>>>

 

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Lister and the Jets

Lister was enlisted to move some unwanted furniture recently. Normal run of the mill stuff.

 

 

However, by the time I got home, Lister had developed a cough at idle. Well to be more exact, at idle, Lister would cough and then stop. He’d restart immediately and run well on revs, but no idle..

Its the idle jet then.

First things first, sprayed WD40 around the manifold and hoses with the car running on choke. WD40 makes the revs rise if its sucked into the combustion chamber, however this made no difference.

Off with the carb then, mines fitted with a Weber ICH 34

heres the exploded view…

34ICH exploded

Heres mine on the bench

Carb

I gave it a bit of a clean and then checked the air screw

air screw

All good there, next the idle jet (item 25 on the exploded view)

theres a grub screw used to lock the jet holder in place (item 22) release this a few turns first.

heres the jet and holder. Looks pretty clean…

Idle jet

But the end view shows the problem…

blocked jet

Its not a great photo, sorry, but the end of the jet is blocked. Ising an airline it cleaned up easily

clean jet

Equally poor photo but I hope you can see the difference.

Put it all back together with 1 1/2 turns on the air screw (from fully in) and drop it back on the manifold.

Carb back on

Nice and easy job done.

I can see clearly now….

When I bought the car, the roof came with it, not on it as you might expect. When it came to be fitted it was evident that it hadn’t been fitted before as the brackets were all in the wrong place. Once that was overcome I had some minor protection from the rain, but at a cost.

In this case the cost was visibility, bit of an issue if you don’t have wing mirrors – and I don’t. The rear window was foggy/misty/boarder line opaque – pick your description, but whichever description you use, I couldn’t see out of it. Here’s a photo from within the car, looking out the rear.

Cloudy window Its the same story looking into the car from the outside…

E type soft top window

With visibility this good, driving with the roof up consigned me to the loser lane on the motorway, along with the lorrys, road traffic wombles and elderly aunt Nelly in her Nissan Micra.

I intend to have the roof repaired (there are other fitting issues with it), or perhaps replaced entirely, but there a waiting list at the trimmer and what happens if I’m out in the car and theres a down pour?

I’d read somewhere about using T-cut to restore these Vybak windows, had to be worth a try – it couldn’t possibly be any worse.

So I tried a little with a cloth and it seemed to make a difference, though it was very slow. In for a penny then, out came the polishing pad and drill and I set to work…

soft top window repair

The results are little short of incredible.

looking out….

reconditioned soft top window

looking in…

E type window

its actually better than the photo looks as I’d picked up some reflections on this short.

I doubt many  will have a rear window anywhere near as bad as mine, but the principle of polishing with a very mild abrasive works well on this material. I’ve since found someone of the internet who swears by pledge (but, for some reason, not the lemon variety) to keep the window in tip top nick.

So there you have it, and ultra quick cure for the knackered window…

 

There you go, another easy job, jobbed…

Are you starting?

Actually, she wasn’t. The euphoria of success that washed over me post propshaft replacement was short lived. I’d taken Lady Marilyn for a drive which approximated to turning petrol to smiles in large quantities (of each). Incidentally, I’ve heard that I’m getting my own pump at the local Petrol Station as a mark of respect to my constant patronage. If i use any more petrol I’ll have to join Opec.

I digress… Post fill up Lady Marilyn had a bit of a cough and then nothing. The starter button yielded a click, a “rerrrrr” and then nothing. Eventially I got enough of a turn to fire her up and back to the garage she went.

If I’m being honest, she’d been a lazy starter for a while but as she’s always quick to fire up, that hadn’t been an issue. Now, however, it was.

There are lots of alternative starter motors out there. Powerlite, Wosp, various rebuilds of the Lucas 3M100. So how to decide? Mark McKinlay has posted on the club website that he’d bought a Wosp unit and was very happy with it. I checked the Wosp web page and was happy to note David Manners, my favourite parts supplier, was an agent. Decision made, one phone call later my new starter was on its way to me on a next day delivery.

Right, back to the job, I put the car on ramps this time as theres not enough room to move in the starter area when on stands. Slid under the front and started to remove the old starter. I found it easiest to take the top bolt out first from under the bonnet and then undo the lower bolt from underneath. Its a twat of a job given the accessibility issues and I ended up with a 3/8th drive ratchet and every extension piece I had to get the handle to a place I could turn it…. Still it came out easily enough, though its bloody heavy. If anyone has a boat missing an anchor, let me know I think I can help..

Once out I put the old Lucas unit on the bench, next to the shiny new Wosp unit.

E type starter motor

Jaguar Wosp starter

The Wosp unit is a little smaller, but only a fraction of the weight of the Lucas unit, I mean really only a fraction. I couldn’t believe how lightweight the unit was in comparison.

Fitting the Wosp starter is a doddle given it smaller and much lighter (have I made the point that its, like, really light??). I measured the studs that are fitted to the Wosp vrs the length of the bolts from the Lucas unit and it was clear that I wasn’t going to get the full nyloc engaged on the studs if I fitted the mounting plate. The fitting instructions didn’t mention the mounting plate, seen below, item 3

XJ6 Starter motor parts list

Back under the car to check the mounting and its evident that I need the plate after all.

Jaguar flywheel

The two locating dowls sit within the mounting plate and without the plate the motor wouldn’t mount properly.

I confirmed this by measuring the throw of the stater gear on the old and new motors and they measured the same, from the edge closest to the windings. So the motor and plate were fitted and the wiring reconnected.

Wosp starter

The cable tie is there because there isn’t a lock on the standard solenoid wire. These was a new flying lead with the motor that did had a positive lock, but I didn’t want another joint in the wire, so the cable tie just stops the solenoid wire falling off. Obviously I trimmed the cable tie and greased the terminal after taking the shot 🙂

To demonstrate the finished installation, he’s a YouTube with the Fuel pump and ignition isolated.

Another little job crossed off and another improvement to the car, makes life so much easier knowing she’ll start on the button every time.

 

Shafted…

Lady Marilyn had a slight vibration around 1500 in OD – this puts it at around 60 MPH and right in the spot where you spend most of you B road cruising. Its not been a massive issue, more of an annoyance really.

The engine is as sweet as a nut so it was something from the gearbox onward.

So up on axle stands she went for a nosey around.

E type axle stands

I detected some movement in the rear prop shaft UJ. It wasn’t much but was it enough to cause the vibration? Only one way to find out, get it rebuilt. An hour with a spanner later (its one of those eighth of a turn at a time jobs) and she was out

Jaguar E type prop

on closer inspection one of the bearings has been spinning in the casting, so it was in definate need of a rebuild. I took it to some nice people at D & P Propshafts and they said they’d turn it around in a week or so. Sure enough a week later it was all done and looking resplendent it its new paint.

E-Type Prop shaft

As there was wear in the casting it needed a new slider, which it got along with new bearings and a balance.

I slipped it in over the weekend and the vibration was all gone, it makes an amazing difference to the smile factor of a pootle around the country roads…

Nice an easy job and another improvement ticked off the list.

 

 

Norfolk or bust….

Enough of the fixing stuff, time to hit the road.

It was time for the Challenger E type AGM. I’d been a member for 4 years and during that time I’d never made an AGM – mostly on the basis that I wanted to drive my car to one and it was never in a roadworthy state.

This year it was different, this year I was going, Norfolk or bust… Norfolk and bust as it turned out, 18 MPG? Ouch!

I’d done around 1000 miles since she joined the “on the road Club” and she’d not broken down as yet, what could possibly go wrong?

I packed some tools, then some more tools and then, after a quick review of the tool bag, some tools. I was only some yellow paint short of an AA van, but you cant be too careful. The one thing I was in real need of was some new wheels. Not and alternatoive car you understand, just a new set of wheels and tyres.

Lady Marilyn had come with a set of 185 wheels and indeterminate tyres. I’m guessing they came from the former owners budget shite collection and given this was a 400 mile round trip, I wanted rubber I could rely on.

The wheel of choice is the MWS XW474C I rang MVS and they had them in stock at £297+VAT each. However, my favourite parts company David Manners would do the same wheels for £245+VAT. So, Manners could buy the wheels from MWS, add a markup and shipping (from MVS to manners) and still save me over £200 on the set of 4.

So that was the wheels sorted, now for the tyres… The 205/70/15 period tyres (like the XWX Michelin’s) were north of £300 each.

Now tyre technology has come a long way on the last few decades, was I to have my trousers pulled down for the purposes of a “period Look”? Bollocks to that… I found a Toyo Proxy tyre in the correct size and rating using modern manufacturing techniques and a proper compound for £55 each, fitted. Job done.

They done look half bad either….

1

The new wheels and tyre combo arrived the day before the trip (I do like to run things close) and were fitted that eve.

Given this was pre-new fuel sender, I packed some spare petrol too as I really had no idea what MPG I’d get and, well, its betrer to be safe than sorry…

The next morning it was time for the off, and off I went.

E type ready

The early morning sunshine changed to moody clouds before I managed to get the key in, so up went the hood in anticipation of the downpour that quickly followed.

Lady Marilyn is not a fan of water and as the stream came in from the passenger side door acompanied my gentle drips from along the roof line I made a mental note to address the sealing at a later date. A mildy moist period later I was the first to arrive at The Hare Arms in Stow Bardolph.

E type exhaustThe rest of the crew turned up shortly after and a rather agreeable lunch was had by all.

The next leg was Jerry Preston-Ladd’s dash across the fens to Tichwell, where the hotel for the weekend was located. The sun returned and stayed in residence for the whole weekend, except at nigh of course, when it took its mandatory rest period.

E type parked

Early the next morning it was off for a run out…

E type convoy

First port of call was Holkem Hall Where we parked in front on the majestic building, quite a sight…

Holkham (LR)

Holkham 2 (LR)

Next it was off to a gem of a place, Royal Station at Sandringham. This is a must see place if you are in the area, its a private house that the owner has restored to a period feel of the station used by generations of the royal family. The owner lets you wander round and, if asked, will give you the history of the place. Its just magnificent.

wolferton 4

wolferton 3

Of course it looks even better with a convoy of E-Types in the drive…

The AGM itself followed lubricated by plenty of drinks and all too soon Sunday morning dawned and it was time to head home.

The old girl drove home without issue and was soon tucked up in her nest…

E type garage

 

 

You little tinker

Now Lady Marilyn is on the road and munching up the miles, shes passed from a garage project to  that Utopian state of a road going old British Sports Car – in other words she needs fixing a lot.

At first thought this might seem an odd thing to long for, but think about it, we leap into our Euroboxes for dull an uneventful transport (otherwise known as reliable) experience. In a British sports car its a sense of occasion, a sense of style and a sense that that noise really shouldn’t be there….

In the old days, when I started the rebuild every time I tried to fix something, something else goes wrong.

But now, all the hard stuff is behind me and we’re in the tinkering zone.

As the odd little peculiarities pop up we turn to the trusty spanners get stuck in. Compare this to our daily drivers where we turn to the dealer and go broke. Fixing things is joyous and the little things give us an opportunity to see immediate improvements for a few hours work.

The following little jobs have brought untold joy to Trevs garage.

Left Turn Clyde

One potential problem I discovered was an issue turning left from a standing start. This isn’t a particularly unusual thing to want to do, so reach for the spanners and have a look.

What has happening was the engine has now settled into its preferred position, in so doing the number one carb float bowl (nearest the bulkhead) has closed up distance wise to the first UJ in the steering linkage. Add a bit of engine tourque when setting off and the float bowl came into contact with the the high point of the UJ.

There’s a compromise to be reached in terms of clearance to the steering linkage and clearance for the dash pots and the bonnet. Erring on the side of caution the clearance to the bonnet took the lead. Now the engine was settled I had more than enough clearance for the bonnet so I just needed to edge the lump up a bit. I made a 5mm spacer of the RH engine mounting as a trial…

Engine mounting spacer

and this cured the problem. A neater plate follwed as a final fix.

Exhausting the options

Given the exhaust system was all newly assembled, there was a minor leak where the down pipe met the under body section. A bit of aluminium tape sealed that while the carbon had time to take up residence. However, it seemed to get worse, so another investigation uncovered a leaking manifold plug. There are two of these, on on each manifold and I have no idea what they are for, must be a test point of some sort. Anyway, one of them was blowing so I thought I’d take my strsty spanner an nip it up.

It didn’t so much nip up as fall off.

e type manifold plug

Happily the boss in the maifold is suitable to tap M6 and so a few minutes later the redundant post was replaced with a nice new screw.

Below the boss is reinstalled next to an example of the test port on the other manifold. I’m not messing with that one, its a tinker for another time.

E type manifold

On the Level

The fuel gauge hasn’t worked since Lady Marilyn was put back together. Shorting the terminals at the tank end gave a full scale deflection so the gauge and wiring were OK, the sender must be buggered.

Once or twive in the first few hunbdered miles the fuel gauge would burt into life again, for a few miles, before going back to sleep.

I checked the serial number on the sender (TB9006) and its a top mounted version that was used. These are plentyful and cheap on the web, so I ordered a new one.

Its always a game getting a new sender to read the right level so I waited until the level was low, dry fitted the sender, checked the reading on the gauges and then took it out again, readjusted the angle so the gauge read ‘E’ with a little fuel remaining. Once I was happy I fitted the sender, with Hylomar Blue to both sides of the cork gasket, and that was job done. Another easy fix…

Here’s the old sender, still in the tank next to the new fuel pump. The old pump had an intermittent fault that I couldn’t trace so I bought the facet item. Smashing pump except that it doesn’t have a pressure cut off, rather a bypass circuit, as a result it never stops ticking. I shall rubber mount it at some point as it can be annoying…

Pump and sender (2)

I pulled the sender out and used it as a template to bend the sender arm…

old-sender.jpg

I then fine tuned the sender arm shape by running the tank very low and adjusting the arm until I got ‘E’ of the gauge.

new sender (2)

I sealed it with blue Hylomar both side of the cork gasket. There are differing views on this, some say a dry gasket is better. All I can say it mine does not leak using the sealant. I also put a dab on each thread when re assembling as fuel can capillary along the threads and cause a slight weep.

Word has it that there may be a customer stainless tank being designed by a club member, it this turns into a part then I’ll replace the tank and fuel line routing.

Letting off Steam.

The tick over was a little high on the triple SU’s so I decided to adjust them. There’s no tick over screw its a case of adjusting the air screw and mixture to find the sweet spot. Adjusting the air screw also adjusts the balance and it becomes a fiddly job. Still armed with copious amounts of optimism I started tinkering. The tickover did come down but became more lumpy. I eased that a little but not as much as I’d have liked…

I decided a quick road test was in order and as I backed out of the drive a cloud of steam engulfed the from of the car. Engine off, roll back down the drive and investigate.

It was quickly clear that the bottom hose had come off the stainless link pipe

e-type-bottom-house.jpg

and dumped about two gallons of OAT mix on the drive.

All the hoses were new during the build and there’s no bead on the stainless pipes. A quick check of the other jubilee clips found them less than tight too. So, I put the event down to the hoses settling after a number of heat cycles and duly replaced the hose and tightened up all the clips.

Its done another 700 or so miles since with no issues.

Its a good idea to go round everything with a spanner after a few hundred miles to ensure nothing else has settled in the same way – after all there were a lot of new fasteners used on the build.

Back to the balancing and I think, in the fullness of time, I’ll take her to a rolling road with a gas analyser fur a proper set up of the mixture…

More tinkering to come, but for now, thats all folks!

 

 

 

 

Incy-wincy Spiyda

When scowering ebay for new clocks to replace my miss matched items I came across a set from a MK10 which looked in decent condition, pending a repaint of the bezel. My knowedge was lacking somewhat and I assumed the tacho would be a standard type that counted the pulses from the coil.

Oh, but that would be way too easy. Instead Jaguar decided to fit a generator to one of the camshafts and use the tacho as kind of a volt meter, the faster the engine ran, the greater the output from the generator and the higher the tacho read. Later the R&D department would decide that a gearbox driven speedo was way to simple and propose a new device which unravelled a piece of knotted string with a lead weight on the end, coupled with a sundial and an abacus….

 

The speedo and revcounter…

So did I have to junk the new and much prettier revcounter? No, thanks to Spiyda electronics

Spiyda

They have developed a clever solution to convert the tacho to read coil pulses. There are two basic types, one that goes inside the tacho and one thats remote in its own plastic housing. I went for the remote system and followed the single page instruction…

Firstly srip the Tacho and identify the control circuit board. junk it

spiyda board 3

This leaves just the two wires going to the tacho movement

e type tacho

I just twisted link wires to the Tacho and the Spiyda module

 

and connected it back to the module as instructed.

spiyda module

add a positive and ground the attach the supplied signal cable to the computer headphones socket, one wire to ground one to the module signal feed.

This last bit is used for calibration and uses an audio file at a given frequency to set the tacho needle via a small screw that can be seen top right of the module.

I elected the 100Hz file which needed balancing to 2000 RPM on the tacho (this from a table of frequencies vs RPM depending on number of cylinders)

This dry run was to prove everything worked. next step is to properly wire and solder the leads.

Spiyda Jaguar

I soldered new leads directly onto the Tacho coil. Note – there are no other wires now, just the new leads straight to the tacho drive. I put a blob of silicone on the dial to hold the wires away from the movement and left it to set overnight.

I’d made a school boy error and snipped the old electronics from the board. The board is used to mount the drive at the rear via 2 screws and the bit i’d snipped off filled the hole where the old terminals were.

I used some duct tape (on both sides) to seal the hole and made a small hole for the leads such that they were tight to pull through.

 

next to calibrate the unit with the help of Spiyda’s downloadable sound file.

Then put it all back together again and put the unit back in the dash.

This conversion really is ridiculously easy, the instructions are as clear as day and theres some help videos on YouTube too.

Once re-installed it works like a dream.

 

Spiyda will do all this for you for a very reasonable £95, but its an easy DIY job.

Right, whats next?

 

 

 

 

Ecstas-E

All was looking good. Jerry Peston-Ladd was happy everything was as it should be and a brief road test indicated all was well.

So, the moment of truth. The greatest automotive story ever told (possibly) was coming to an end. Only one thing to do, load up and head south…

South Bound and Down

Armed with the trusty, and very heavy, transporter I headed sarf of the river, Indian country I’m told…

The sight that greeted me brought a tear to my eye. Lady Marilyn, and one of her sisters, were waiting for me to arrive.

two E-Types

No sooner had I extracted myself from the van after a 270 mile non-stop run than my lady came out of her resting place…

People who’ve built, or restored, a car will appreciate how much of a genuinely special moment this is. She’s far from finished, but she’s mechanically done.

Jerry explained the details of his work and some of the special features installed along the way.

Next we paid a visit to Jerry’s other project, the restoration of a 1917 steam locomotive no. 4253. This is another nut and bolt rebuild, but on a huge scale. Its all done by volunteers and, end-to-end, its likely to be a 10 year project.

The website is here 4253 and if its your thing, or even if it isn’t, why now drop them a few quid? There are a number of goodies in the sales and promotions section.

 

Back to base and time to load Lady Marilyn…

E type trailer

To be fair, this isn’t the perfect trailer for the job, so we had to adapt. The triple carb configuration requires the engine to sit a little lower and this means the sump would catch first followed by the exhaust and chassis. We unhitched the trailer used the rear stabilising legs and jacked it up with the nose wheel to get a good angle. Even then a couple of blocks of wood were required to get an extra couple of inches…

With patience and care we got there…

e type transport

Nearly time to say good bye, for now, to Jerry Preston-Ladd, without who’s help I’d still be months and months away from finishing. Jerry’s technical ability is astonishing and he knowledge of Challenger E Types unparalleled. He’s become a good friend over the past 5 months too.

Jerry Preston-Ladd

Here’s the old boy with his trademark grin 🙂

I managed to dodge the monsoons that typified this years Easter break and later that very evening she was back home tucked away in the snug (as in 2 inches clearance) garage in Yorkshire.

E-Type home

We had noticed one of the headlights had rotated in its pod. Not something we’d had off as the wiring terminated outside the pod. As the next job was an MOT it needed fettling so off came the headlight cover for a look-see.

E Type head Lamp

Here’s the final legacy of the previous owners work. The only bit of original wiring left and the final bodge. Easy enough to replace and that was done. the headlamp was secured and everything bolted back up again.

The next day was MOT day, I set off in between showers for my local testing station where she was driven onto the ramp in nervous anticipation.

E type MOT

Whilst on the ramp it was a good change to take some underside pictures.

The IRS

and the front suspension

Some time later the good news came along with a pass certificate.

So she’s on the road!

I still have the roof to sort out and the internal trim to improve, but she’s now a rolling restoration.

Next bits on the list

Make the door card fit properly – currently catching on the cill

Repair the roof – its about an inch short at the rear

Interior trim panels – tidy up for now – replace at a later date

new wheels – the 185’s are period, but I prefer the 205 option tyre

Bonnet pushers – make a pair of new ones.

but mostly….

Drive the bloody backside off the car and smile like the village idiot.

 

Lets Recap….

As the rebuild nears the finishing post, well as much as they ever do, here’s a very, very abridged version of the story so far.

Lady Marilyn was my 50 Car, the successor to the Ferrari 328 which was my 40 car…

 

I’d considered a few different cars for the 50 car, it have to be something special, something that would make my pulse quicken every time I opened the garage door. The decision, in the end, was an easy one in many ways, something iconic, timeless, a true classic and achingly beautiful. There are few that fit the bill and I settled quickly on a Challenger E type.

They were few and far between, a waiting list existed for the Owners Club  “for sale” section. I managed to track one down early on, from Car and Classics website

 

It was a nice enough car, the chap selling it was the original builder, but there were two principle issues, firstly it was an auto and I wanted a manual, secondly and more importantly, I didn’t fall in love when I saw her.

In many ways I should have bought her, she was cheap and a go-er, but we wouldn’t chose a girlfriend that way, I’ve done that in the past and it never ends well, so why adopt that approach with a significant vehicle.

I heard of another example, a good one – or so I was told – and off to see her I went. I’d seen photos and had already done the falling in love thing before I set off.

Here are the photo’s….

 

well you just would, wouldn’t you? I know I would, and I did….

Now, for anyone who’s tried online dating, this experience was much the same. Photos from an earlier age, lots of activities in my wish list (like driving, braking and steering) and very much available.

Internet dating is mostly where (according to, ahem, a friend) you turn up and what looks like the mother of the girl in the photos is waiting, then you have to think of an excuse to spend the shortest amount of time possible before running for the hills. This is what I should have done… Sadly I took my rose tinted spectacles with me and even more sadly a significant wedge of cash.

A little time later we were winging our way back to Gods county with a Challenger on the back of our transporter.

 

The problems first started when I first started, or tried to, the engine on our return. Nothing, nada, nyet, zip, sod all happened. When we finally managed to get her into the drive we came face to face with problem number two… No brakes. It turns out you can polish a turd after all.

First things first, lets get her started. This lead to an investigation….

 

which led to the rebuild of the carbs.

 

Now she started. Time to see if I could make her stop. The brakes wouldn’t bleed but whilst trying I realised how shitty the suspension all was. So off with the front…

 

Replace everything that can be replaced, powder coat the rest…

 

Then to the IRS, out it came…

 

Full rebuild, new everything….

 

Now she could stand on her fully refurbished suspension.

Next job the engine, out with the lump…

 

Full strip and rebuild with all new parts, including head studs, pistons, bearings and shells, clutch, flywheel skim. The lot…

 

 

 

Rebuilding….

 

 

 

Next, with new wheel brakes all round, rip out that nasty master cylinder…

 

and replace it with a new pedal box…

 

Then it was off to Uncle Jerry’s for a full rewire and final finish.

First some custom parts, radiator, jockey wheel, bulk head panels, engine mountings…

 

and the masterpiece throttle linkage….

 

 

Then a dash rebuild with new parts…

 

Before a full re-wire

 

Then get everything back together….

 

get the old girl running….

Before bolting the new shiny bits on…

 

The next phase is the MOT test to get some miles under her belt, whilst I save up for an interior retrim…

I know there are lots of people who read this, they’re all three years older than when I started. I thank you for your patience and leave you with this thought….

All good things to those who wait,,,,,,,