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Silver G reg Excel resoration

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Air Conditioning

I still haven't been working on the silver car as such but have been removing the Air-Conditioning from the red car (the AC never worked since I've had it) to provide some necessary parts for fitting AC to the silver car.
That's now all out of the red car,but I guess I'll have missed something and be cursing it after I've sold the red one. What it is that I'll have missed, I don't yet know.

Wheels, I need new tyres for the gold car, it has newly refurbished Speedlines. The silver car has Oz which are in need of a refurb. I could just have new tyres fitted to the Speedlines, or have the Oz ones refurbed and fit new tyres to those, using them on the gold car until it's ready (2015 at this rate). Choices, choices.

andydclements

andydclements

 

I hate putting bushes in

I've been fitting the RHS front suspension today, yesterday and most of previous day taken by helping a friend move home. Having dragged myself from the bed and made my aching body move I decided I had to achieve something today. Having struggled to get a bolt for the suspension at short notice (if I'd known I needed them I'd have ordered from SJ) I found the LandRover Discovery 1 uses a 1/2 UNF 61/2 bolt on the A bars, so yesterday I obtained a pair form the local 4x4 specialist.

Putting the main front pivot bush in is fine (poly Non-Genuine), until you push the steel inner tube in, there's just a fraction too much material and so the push then pushes out of the lower link by 1-2mm meaning it's a pig to get into the subframe. I ended up filing the steel washers to form a taper and so drive them in between the bush and the subframe tubes. That was still very difficult and involved tapered punches, a slotted punch (slot means you can drive a washer in on its edge) and finally a 6inch bolt with the end filed to form a taper.

The poly bushes for the top wishbones (first time I've used these as they were not available in this form before), seem OK. Again, a small amount of excess poly material as they bulge out of the upper arms once the inner tube is in place but as they are not limited by the installation in the same way that the lower one is it's OK.

Then comes the damper (OK, I'd put the spring on, tried and realised the damper will not go in the way the OEM ones come out, so the spring was removed again), I had to do the usual trick of threaded bar and a pair of nuts to expand the lower link at the point the damper secures to it. Even having opened it up 1mm-2mm I still had to taper an edge of the spacer and then drive it into place with a punch and big hammer (the bolt with a taper came into play again).
annoying thing with the dampers, the adjuster may contact with the spring. If it does it will come off.


The ARB is not back in place, and it's not for want of effort but I gave up and decided it's much easier once the other side mount is removed and I can fit the ARB to both sides at the same time then secure in place with the new poly ARB mounting bushes.

andydclements

andydclements

 

Seized bolts

Today the progress has been s.low, very slow.

I found the replacement ball joint covers (couldn't find them last 2 days whilst looking), so I've put replacements on the lower ball joint and TRE, both were OK except they were damaged in the removal process that was necessary for other components.

The bolt at the bottom of the damper was seized and cut off a few days ago, today I found the pivot bolt of the lower link was also seized. Having spent a couple of hours with no success in moving it, I removed the spring, cut back the rubber of the bush and then managed to cut through the inner steel tube of the bush. Once done it enabled the lower link and 2/3 of the bolt to be removed but still took another hour or so to break the head end of the bolt free from the subframe then 30 mins of pushing it out of the subframe using threaded bar and nuts, combined with rotation of the partial bolt.
Thankfully it was 30 mins or so to remove that pivot bush from the link and a few mins to remove the top arm bushes.

Now need the poly pivot and poly upper bushes to arrive and I can reassemble those bits.

I also fitted one steering rack gaiter and secured the brake pipe front T.

andydclements

andydclements

 

Seized bolts

Today the progress has been s.low, very slow.

I found the replacement ball joint covers (couldn't find them last 2 days whilst looking), so I've put replacements on the lower ball joint and TRE, both were OK except they were damaged in the removal process that was necessary for other components.

The bolt at the bottom of the damper was seized and cut off a few days ago, today I found the pivot bolt of the lower link was also seized. Having spent a couple of hours with no success in moving it, I removed the spring, cut back the rubber of the bush and then managed to cut through the inner steel tube of the bush. Once done it enabled the lower link and 2/3 of the bolt to be removed but still took another hour or so to break the head end of the bolt free from the subframe then 30 mins of pushing it out of the subframe using threaded bar and nuts, combined with rotation of the partial bolt.
Thankfully it was 30 mins or so to remove that pivot bush from the link and a few mins to remove the top arm bushes.

Now need the poly pivot and poly upper bushes to arrive and I can reassemble those bits.

I also fitted one steering rack gaiter and secured the brake pipe front T.

andydclements

andydclements

 

It's cold outside

I didn't feel like working out in the cold (the interior of the garage is cold and there's not enough room to run the gas blower heater without it facing onto a part of the car or something else that wouldn't react well to heat (like 5l containers of chemicals). On that basis I haven't achieved much in the last few days.
I have removed the front brake pipes and replaced most (need to drill out the LHS flexi from its mount), I still need to make and fix the ones running along and across the subframe.
I had to remove the brake pipe T piece that's on the front subframe upright, so to reattach it I really need access from the damper/spring area. In trying to undo the damper (seized bush/ bolt combo) I pulled the spanner and instead of the bolt breaking free of the bush, the bottom of the damper broke free of the upright tube of the damper. A few mins of work with a reciprocating saw and both front dampers are free of the lower chassis links.
I've also cut off the nuts that secure the body to subframe to ARB mount, in readiness for fitting new poly ARB bushes.

The brake master cylinder reservoir had quite a bit of black rubber dust in the fluid but there are no signs of fluid leak beyond the piston so I've not changed any parts. I forgot to order a 12mmx1mm brass union so I had to re-use the original one in the rear brake bias valve. I also forgot to obtain a female brass joint for the front to rear line, one on order now. I had other choices but decided I'd stick with how it was originally plumbed in that way I am less likely to make a mistake and make a pipe up incorrectly.

The oil bung was seized so had to be sacrificed to get it out, a new one has been obtained with a magnet to help collect any iron particles in future oil changes.



I'm still concerned about the clutch as it doesn't seem that the pedal is moving as far as it should, it took a lot of adjust it to be anywhere near the normal pedal height. Once I get the dash fully out of the car (need to remove gearstick to do that) I'll have a go at checking it and adjusting).

TREs are free to rotate as are the locking nuts so I'll be able to replace the steering gaiters (must get some).


Not a lot of progress but it's all fiddly stuff that is involve din ensuring subsequent tasks are possible.

andydclements

andydclements

 

Not much progress but the wallet will be lighter

I've been laid up with 'flu for a week or so (didn't feel up to working on car sat & Sun, had to work from home yesterday & today as I am worse and couldn't drive in to work). So, I've done nothing physically to the car.
I have just called Mike at Lotusbits and will soon have nearly £900 debited to my credit card. reconditioned cooling rad, reconditioned air con rad, pipes to rad (fittings have changed) and drier. Bushes, ARB mounts, seatbelt mounts and carpet set. In a way it hurts having to order £900 of parts as the car cost me only approx 50% more than that, however the plan is to have a good example and so I'd be paying circa £5k for one that's ready and then not know what is in store for me any time after that. This way I'll get to inspect most parts and replace lots of bits that I'm not happy with, and it should still be way under that cost.

andydclements

andydclements

 

She starts

I had hoped that the other week when I tried to start it, that it would fire but I'd found no fuel in the carbs so checked the fuel tank and found it empty and I do mean empty not just below the take-off level. The small amount of fuel that had been there had obviously evaporated.

I put fresh fuel in, checked that the shut-off valve was making a noise when powered and tried to get fuel to the carbs. After approx 30 mins of the pump (not an SU) running I found I still had no fuel in the carbs, nor was there fuel to the supply to the carbs (so ruled out blocked float valve. yesterday I checked and had fuel to the pump but none past it. I replaced the (plastic cylindrical) pump with a facet one. Lots of brown (rust) coloured sludge came out of the old pump. By the change in pump noise I could tell it had managed to fill the carbs but alas no fire in the cylinders. I then checked for a spark and couldn't find one. After checking a few things I replaced the coil, still no good and finally traced it to a poor connection on the dissy-amp lead. It was good enough to give some AC volage when I span the dissy by hand but was found to be high resistance. I've found that lead is brittle, so brittle that i had to clear insulation away with a knife and solder good wire to it in order to crimp to it, the old wire just snapped each time. I now have a spark.

With fresh spark plugs (old Bosch ones were wet with fuel), new dissy cap, new rotor arm (non-rivet type), new coil it starts. It's a bit loud having no rear boxes and no air box, it's also a bit metallic as the exhaust pipes are resting on the suspension. This should be OK enough to drive it up the ramp that is in the garage, so I can get decent access.

That is success for the weekend almost met, the definition I set myself was to have it on the ramp, that now means I need to clear away the tools I used yesterday to replace a neighbour's CV join and the other things in the way, winch the car backwards , set the ramp and drive it on.

andydclements

andydclements

 

LHS rear damper and spring

Just as cold today and it snowed very slightly. Brrrr.
This morning I fitted the replacement rear spring and so fitted the new rear damper full, put the new bottom bolt in and tightened things up. I will have to loosen the bush pinch bolts and tighten correctly under load but that will be once the whole car is on a raised platform so they can be done evenly.

The LHS rear brakes are now fitted, although the calliper is not connected to the hydraulic circuit. For that I need to get the old steel line of and I am not going to lay on freezing cold concrete and put my spinal muscles into spasm (again). As such there are currently two LHS rear callipers on the car, the newly refurbished on that's bolted on and the old one that's hanging by it's flexi hose.


I've removed and refitted the steering wheel boss, having sprayed it black after removing the oxidation. Perhaps I should have got some wrinkle paint, but then I'd have need a way to heat it sufficiently to get it to wrinkle.



I've looked at the passenger door, it's not the hinge as such nor a crack in the beam, the beam has pretty much rotted away where it extends out from the shell, so the replacement one will be going on when I have a crane back her to support the door (plan is to remove the top frame and glass, unbolt the shell from the beam, unbolt the top or bottom hinge bracket from the car, replace the beam with the shell suspended in the air and re-attach to the car body. That may work or not, but it seems no worse than having to replace the beam having the shell on a bench having had to remove the wiring form it.

andydclements

andydclements

 

Cold and snowing and I wasn't in the mood

It's been a hard week at work, both mentally and in terms of volume of things I needed to get done so I was finishing around couple of hours late each night and getting in half to an hour early each morning, that has taken its toll on my enthusiasm this weekend.

I was up and about quite early but went and got a new battery and coil (I had been using the battery form the Elf but returned it for the Elf's MOT test so now seemed the time to get one for this car. I wanted a new coil to replace the one I put on Simon's car recently that was destined for the gold Excel and a new coil ready to go on this car also. I was back from the parts place mid-late morning but the fact it was cold outside and snowing gently really didn't make me want to go outside.


I have managed some progress, the bracket that the fusebox secures to is now itself secured to the car and the fusebox to it. The replacement bonnet pull cable has been threaded into the long run (pig of a job) and made to work. The bonnet latches have been re-shaped as they were forced outwards and back when the previous person had to get the bonnet off by cutting the hinge bolts off (cables cut through). The aluminium casting that the hinge bolt goes into in the bonnet has been re-attached and both bolts replaced. With a few cable adjustments, bracket adjustments etc the bonnet closes, stays closed when a reasonable opening force is applied and opens when the lever is pulled. I'll take that as success.


I was going to move the car into the garage onto the levo-artis ramps but I found what little petrol was in the car 12-15 months ago has evaporated (no surprise looking at the state of the cap seal) and putting 1/2 gallon didn't seem to get enough to have the fuel arrive at the carbs. Maybe I'll get another gallon and find out whether that helps, I hope the tank isn't holed.

andydclements

andydclements

 

LHS rear

The weather did well to attempt to stop me doing anything on the car, having succeeded for a couple of weekends with the snow. Today it was a mix of snow, hail and rain, combined with strong winds, so generally unpleasant.

I managed (between showers) to get the rear hub carrier off, clean it up, weld on the new dust/stone guard, paint it all, cut and press out the old rubber bushes, fit the new ones. Cut the damper out of the frame. Finally refitting the carrier but not the braking system. Due to the LHS rear spring being broken I have not bolted the new damper in pace fully, it's there with 80% of the old spring (that's 2 of the 3 bits) in place just so that I could return the car to 4 wheels and close the garage door.

The list of parts required is growing, rear spring, front spring, long bonnet pull cable, possibly seatbelt mounts (I may make some), my hope is to make one decent list so that I can have it sent by Mike in one lot.

andydclements

andydclements

 

RHS rear brakes

At least it's a bit warmer outside today than the last few days, so I managed to fit the rear shoes, plumb in the rear calliper (copper pie from T to flexi and new stainless flexi). fit the rear pads and new disc. Adjusted the shoes to hopefully the right place (I will tell when both sides are done and I can apply the handbrake.
Refitted the wheel (with new centre cap).
I also fitted the clear lenses to the front (as clear as I could get by repeatedly washing the paint off with acetone) and amber lamps.

I managed to connect the battery with reversed polarity and wondered why I was getting quite a spark on the battery terminal, it's the battery off the Elf and I'd just placed it in the battery tray as I'd been using it for the window motors. Oops, hopefully nothing damaged.

I took the RHS rear spat off the car ready to be repaired as I clumsily broke it in several stages by hitting it with the dead-blow hammer, leaning against it and grabbing it whilst falling over.

andydclements

andydclements

 

RHS suspension

Despite the temperature outside being rather cold and my spine being very sensitive to the cold I have managed some progress today.
The Right Hand Side rear damper has been cut off and a new one fitted, 4 rubber bushes (top link and hub carrier ones) removed and poly ones put in the place, that means I didn't do the ones that secure to the subframe, those other two will have to wait until I have the car in the garage.
The RHS rear calliper has been fitted although not plumbed in and the rest of that side braking system now needs to be fitted. Once done I can then return the car to resting on its suspension and move it.
I had to cut the nuts off the drive shaft flange so will have to obtain some more, obtainable but a pig of a size, m10 fine (1.25mm) 14mm across flats.

andydclements

andydclements

 

Rear brakes RHS

With the weather as bad as it is and the car outside I decided it was better to work on something that I could remove and perform work in the garage which although not heated is at least out of the wind.
I've removed the RHS rear hub carrier with brakes etc. I've fabricated and welded to it a new dust/ stone shield (fabricated the other side also but need to get that hub off to weld it). The backplate for the brake shoes has been wire-brushed and painted with a zinc primer and now I'll wait for a few days in order to paint it with a top coat. I'll use this time to press the old bushes out and new poly ones in. Ill also need to remove the old damper but I decided it was just too cold to do more out there.

andydclements

andydclements

 

Door beam

The previous owner replaced the door beam on the driver's side but didn't get the passenger's side one done. I have a second hand passenger's side beam sitting in the shed (as you do) so today I knocked the hinge pin out (it was seized), cleaned up the rust on the one end of it that had rusted, drilled and tapped a thread into the beam tube that the hinge runs through and re-assembled. I've fitted a grease nipple in the tube so not only will it be full of grease to start with rather than just a small amount each end, it will allow topping up at service times.
Unfortunately the snow outside hasn't gone away and I don't fancy working in it so the door is not coming off the car yet. When it does the plan will be to use an engine crane to lift the shell (door drops when opened) - Ah I've loaned crane out...
Anyway, use crane to lift shell, then remove glass and metal frame, unbolt shell from beam, unbolt top hinge plate from body of car, manoeuvre door shell so as to remove beam from it and insert replacement beam without having to remove wiring etc. once it's done I may end up posting that I had to remove the door shell from the car and wiring etc. It's not a lot of difference but that may save me having to adjust whatever support I use for the door when attempting to re-attach shell and beam to the car.

andydclements

andydclements

 

Motor OK

Well, the windows are still not operating but I think that's more to do with dodgy switches than anything major. I've had the motor off and the frame off the door.
The frame needs work, rust at the top corner and the bit near where it is secured to the front of the door skin. With the non-availability of replacement new frames and the lack of second hand ones is states much better than this I expect this will be repaired and continue in service.

The window lift channel that is secured to the bottom of the glass has rusted quite badly and I can either obtain a new bit and adhere to the glass of simply use a spare window glass that I have. I expect it will be the latter.
The motor seems OK and I've now put copious amounts of grease in the usual places to keep the water from making the rust much worse.

The driver's door beam has been replaced but the person who did it didn't quite get the door to align so I'll have to adjust that. The person also didn't add a grease nipple to allow packing of the hinge pin, I may alter that situation with it in place. The door movement already seems to require excessive force and that's despite me having put grease on the moving parts of the check strap.

The cold weather didn't make me inclined to do too much today as I don't want to put the spine into spasm.

The driver's door trim has been cleaned and given a coating of hide food, the switch plate has been painted and reattached, and the ashtray is in the process of being repainted.

andydclements

andydclements

 

Progress - some electrics work

Carrying on from the thread which I started as I didn't think it was possible to have more than one blog.

[url="http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/54840-silver-g-reg-excel-se-restoration/"]http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/54840-silver-g-reg-excel-se-restoration/[/url]

Today was set aside for electrics and that's what I did, so that's unusual in itself, me doing what I planned.
There were multiple wires chopped through and damaged near the fusebox and today I went at them with the soldering iron.
I've had a few moments of one step forward one step back, due to getting the last wire of a certain colour joined only to realise it's no the last of that colour and I've just connected the wrong bits together so having to remove the heat-shrink, unsolder the joint and start again.
Too many greens and too many purples, thankfully although there were 6 ends of green and red they all join together in a daisy-chain and there were two thicknesses of wire.
Several were a pain in that the wire had been pulled right at the terminal so it meant getting the terminal out of the block , attaching new wire to it with solder then soldering that new wire to the cut/ ripped end.


Has it been a success? I think so.

I do have one nagging worry, there's a green wire to the otter switch (with a diode in series) and I cannot seem to register a connection there. It was the last green one I soldered together and after the mistakes I'd checked that the clock etc were connected to the correct one, so it [i]must [/i]be the otter switch wire but may have a fault elsewhere.

The lights now work, the hazards and indicators now work, save for the OSR due to a Failed lamp holder and the NS repeater due to a failed whole repeater.

The window motors did not respond, however there is power at the switch so (unless it's a poor connection not allowing sufficient current) I need to look at the motors themselves. that's not a surprise given how rusty everything else in the door seems to be.

The Driver's side mirror motor did respond but not the passenger side one, so could be many reasons, that will wait until I get the door off (door beam needs to be done).

I've now had enough for the day, it's cold outside and my feet feel like blocks of ice. I also managed to reattach the vent grill having painted it and the AB14 module having painted that. I didn't get round to removing the old header tank and fitting the newly painted one in its place.

andydclements

andydclements

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