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Lozza74

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  • Name
    Richard Knowles
  • Car
    1983 Excel
  • Location
    Surrey

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  1. Before I took the engine out of the car last year I drained the gearbox oil, and found that there was a lot of sludge in it, most of which was stuck to the magnetic drain plug. The sludge was quite shiny and metallic, but with no large lumps of metal in it. I thought it didn’t look too bad and considered leaving the gearbox alone, but as I didn’t want to take the engine out again in the future I thought I may as well get it rebuilt. The sludge looked like this When the gearbox came out of the car it looked like this - not very clean, and there was obviously an oil leak around the input shaft. Whilst removing the gearbox it was clear that the bushes around the gear lever had served their time and given up the ghost. Although some people have rebuilt their own gearboxes I decided that it was a step too far for me and I would get someone else to do this work. Reading around on the internet Hardy Engineering Transmissions Ltd seemed to have a good reputation and are not too far from me, so I asked them to rebuild the gearbox - which was no problem. On taking the gearbox to them they have a suitably old fashioned workshop with that deeply ingrained oily smell you only find in places that have been in business for a long time. On a quick walk around there were gears, parts and completed boxes all around. There was also an ambulance up on the lift - obviously in for some work. When I dropped the gearbox off I said I was in no rush as the rest of the car was in bits, and that was perfect as far as they were concerned. A few weeks later I got a call as they had done an initial inspection. The usual synchro's and bearings could do with being replaced - but also 5th gear had been trying to destroy itself, with several teeth missing bits. I had mentioned the rebuild kit available from the US for these gearboxes, and they asked if I could buy that as their suppliers would not carry parts for this box. They also passed me across an ebay link for a new 5th gear set. So I ended up ordering the parts on eBay and getting them shipped straight to the workshop. I bought 2 parts which both arrived after 2 or 3 weeks: "Toyota W55 W56 W58 W59 5th Gear Set" from 'cobratrans' on ebay ($190 including shipping and import tax) "W55 W56 W58 Toyota Transmission Rebuild Kit 5 Speed 1978-91 (BK162WS)" from 'usa.industries' on ebay ($199 including shipping and import tax) Many months later I was getting close to putting the body back on the chassis and called to ask if the gearbox could be ready for Easter. I think the response was 'We'll see what we can do', but that’s also what they said when I asked for the diff back with a few weeks notice, just to have them call up a week later to say it was done. This time I got a call just before Easter to say the gearbox would take a little longer. It turns out the input shaft had been sleeved at some point in the past, and the sleeve was cracked. It would need replacing. However a couple of weeks later I got a call saying the box was ready for collection. It looks significantly smarter - and cleaner than it was. While the box was away I had been on a bit of a shopping spree for bushes and bits for the gear lever. The manky mess in the pictures in my last post is the remains of the 'seat sub-assembly' part number 33505-35020. Also needed is the bush that presses onto the end of the gearstick. This is simply the 'bush' - part number 33548-31010. I also needed the rubber boot that covers the top of the gearbox - part 33555-22050. I got all these parts from megazip.com - and for a very reasonable price. I also needed the gasket that goes under the gear lever retaining cover - but to be honest I cant remember where I bought that from - however it turns out it was also included in the gearbox rebuild kit. As well as ordering those parts I did some googling and found some references on Celica and Supra forums to the fact that the socket the gear stick bush fits into also wears. A solution to this has been created by a guy in the states who sells inserts that fit into the socket - from his website - http://www.w58bushings.com/. I placed an order for that kit as well, which arrived a week or so later. The kit came in a small brown box and contains 3 items. A new 'seat sub assembly', a new gearstick bush, and a bronze bush to replace part of the socket. The web site has good instructions for fitting the bush, and a trial fit showed just how much slop there was between my new gearstick bush and the original socket - its definitely worth removing this slop. Since my gearbox was on the floor I removed the top cover for the gearlever mount, took out the rubber gasket and then used an old cloth to stop any debris from getting into the box itself. Then it’s a case of attacking the metalastic bush that is the actual socket with a screwdriver to remove the inner metal ring and the rubber joint. Once that is done and cleaned up the bronze bush gets glued in with JB-Weld, which I need to buy, so have paused for the moment.
  2. Ive found it depends what has the least resistance - the other wheel or the input shaft. It could just be slightly stiff wheel bearings / brakes that means the rotation is making its way to the input shaft rather then the other wheel.
  3. I reached a big milestone last weekend - the body is now reunited with the chassis! I have very few pictures for this update, I seem to be doing things that didnt warrant a photo at the time. However for the record, and because pictures are good here is one of the lower wishbone where I had to cut the outer steel tube out. From the look of the wishbone this had been done a couple of times in the past. Im pleased to say that none of the cut marks are mine - I was more careful than that. Another little job I did was to replace all 4 jacking points. Well, to be honest I replaced one. The other three were missing completely. I also cleaned up some cracks in the fibreglass above the one remaining jacking point plate. These cracks turned out to only be in the gel coat, but I have now added a couple of layers of new glass fibre over them. This is where I ground out the damaged area. And here after fixing new plates on all around, and also painting the inner wheel arches with stone chip paint to give them a bit of a clean up from the faded and chipped original black paint. Finally I dropped the body back onto the chassis. This was surprisingly easy, and as with lifting it off, was done alone. To do it I aligned the chassis with the body by eye then lowered my scissor lift with the body on it. Once sitting on the chassis I had missed the body mounting holes by a few mm, so I used a trolley jack to lift one corner of the body a cm or 2 and gave the chassis a good kick to move it a bit. Then I tried a bit more science, and used a screwdriver through the mounting holes to 'tweak' the chassis the last few mm. After dropping the body back down the mounting bolts simply pushed back into place. I put spacers back between the chassis and body in the positions they came out from. The real test was the rear mounts I had re-made. Amazingly these aligned perfectly and the original spacers fitted back in. To be honest I could have done with about 0.5 to 1 mm thicker spacers, but I wasnt going to try to wrestle for that amount. This is a picture of the (shiney) rear mounting bolt without the spacer in place on the side of the body I did the most work to. Im happy with that.
  4. Thanks to Pete and Paul for pointing out that my lower wishbone bushes had separated. I'm now most of the way through fighting to replace them with poly bushes. The drivers side bush pushed out easily but left the outer steel tube in the wishbone. A few minutes with a hacksaw split the tube and I could push it out in the vice. The passenger side was another matter. That was firmly attached to the wishbone so in the end I took it to a friend's workshop where the 10T press soon saw it defeated. I am now most of the way through rebuilding the suspension again. Fitting the new poly bushes is fairly easy, but as I always find, once the inner crush tube is inserted into the bushes they end up just that bit too wide to make fitting the large washers easy. However they are in now, so I'm almost back to where I started with the front end.
  5. Thanks for pointing that out - I had not registered that the bushes were Metalastic. It looks like I will be taking the front end apart again then. At least its fairly easy to do at the moment
  6. Congratulations @Cliffords - that looks like a nice project. It also looks very similar to my 1983 Excel, which has kept me busy for the last 2 years. Ive kept a record of what ive been up to here. I titled the thread as 'continued' as the previous owner also posted on this forum for the work he did to the car. Im looking forward to your future posts! Richard
  7. Having been faced with some pretty poor looking repairs I worked out a plan of attack to making some stronger repairs. It took a combination of big boy pants and several brave pills, but the first thing I did was to hack away enough of the old repairs inside the boot to fit some bracing. The aim of this was to hold the body mounting bobbins in the same place whilst I removed the old repairs. So after the bracing was in place I raised the car back up into the air and set to with an assortment of power tools on the underside. To say I was nervous at this point is a bit of an understatement. Thoughts of ruining the car forever were flashing through my head. I had to use a combination of a multi-tool to cut through the handfuls of old repair that were shoved into place, and a flap disk in a grinder to thin out the original fibreglass to get to a surface I thought I could bond onto. At this point on the right hand mount you can see blocks of wood covered in parcel tape. This was to give me a fairly solid base for the first few layers of fibreglass. In the end I used some cardboard cut to shape in front of the wood to fill in a few more of the gaps. You can also see the small block of wood beside the repair area which I screwed one of the internal braces to, since the fibreglass is fairly thin in this area. Once cleaned up it was a case of laying down the first 3 layers of matting on each side. I let that set for a couple of days, and then added a further 3 layers. With a good number of layers of the material on the outside I felt the bobbins would be pretty secure, so moved my attention to inside the boot. I removed my bracing, and set about with the power tools on the inside of the old repair to make a decent surface to work from. I then added 3 layers of matting to the inside of the area. After letting that set for a few days I came back and added a couple more layers - the last for the interior. In the picture I had also added some filler around the repair area to smooth the transition and make it less likely to get fibre rash in the future. Then I moved back to the outside, and just for good measure added a few more layers to the repair area that had the biggest damage. I used a combination of fibre mat and woven cloth during the repair, selecting the one I felt wound follow the contours best for that layer - and had to buy more part way through. To refit the fuel pump backing plate I had to drill through the new repair, and can say that it is about 10mm thick at that point, so hopefully strong enough to hold the body mounts.
  8. You are now up to date, and I could do with some advice for the next stage. I think I mentioned before that there were some pretty poor repairs to the body around the rear chassis mounts. Part of the reason for cleaning up the underside of the body was to get a better view of the state of it in this area. I think I have some fairly major work to do. It looks like both sides have sections of the body ripped out around the bobbins. The drivers side is far worse than the passenger side Passenger side: Drivers side: This seems to have a chunk of body missing below and to the right of the bobbin. The beige fiberous material is fibreglass that has not had much resin applied - an old 'repair'. The bobbin itself is loose. I am not sure the best plan of attack here - any advice or guidance is very welcome! I am thinking of making some sort of brace inside the boot and attaching the bobbins to it so they cannot move. Then from underneath again I am thinking of grinding/cutting back/removing the bodged repair, and also some of the original fiberglass by maybe 3mm or so in depth, particularly around the bobbins. I would then layer on new fibreglass matting over the area to build up strength again. Im thinking of maybe grinding back an area about 5cm all around the bobbins, but making the replacement mat bigger than that. Does that sound like a good way forwards, or should I do something different? Thanks! Richard
  9. After rebuilding the steering rack that was pretty much the end of cleaning and painting parts that were attached to the chassis - meaning I could think of bolting it all back together again and maybe getting it on its wheels for the first time in a fair few months. I started with the front end. And as everything was clean and the bolts fresh it was nice and easy to assemble. Months ago I took the differential over to Hardy Engineering Transmissions in Leatherhead. A quick call at the start of January saying I could do with it back by the end of January had them rebuild it ready for me to collect. New pinion bearing and oil seals, and all repainted, so this was ready to go back into the chassis. I started off trying to fit it to the front bracket, and then fit the combined unit to the chassis. However that was not going to work so I had to take the 2 apart again and fit it the same way I took it out. So, I bolted the front bracket into the chassis without the diff attached, and then lifted the diff up to it and bolted the 2 together. This isnt particularly easy as there is so little clearance for the bolts on the right of the diff. however it all went together. A few more bolts and that was the back end all together again. Wheels on, and I can now move the chassis around a bit! It feels like the car is coming together again, although I know there is still a long way to go.
  10. My steering rack had a slight leak of fluid into the gaiters, but the thought of spending £240 for a reconditioned rack didn’t appeal to me, and since the seal kits are available for about £50 I thought I would give that a try. The rack was already out of the car, so I removed the rubber gaiters from each end of the rack, then the drivers side inner tie rods. The passenger side was really tight and needed to wait until I had the rack out of the case. After the tie rods the pinion needs to be removed. At the top of the pinion is a dust seal - which had disintegrated on my rack, and then a circlip that holds in an oil seal. Before the pinion can be removed from the rack the front cover and pre load assembly needed to be removed. Now the pinion can be removed. It comes out through the top but was quite stiff to remove due to the oil seals. As the pinion moves it needs to rotate slightly due to the screw thread against the rack. To remove the rack from the case take the retaining bush out from the passenger side. This is held in with a locking piece of wire. Rotate the bush until you can see the end of the wire through the slot in the case, then prise up the end of the wire and rotate the bush is the right direction to un-wind the wire out of the case The wire can then be completely removed. The end of it is inserted into a whole in the bush - although I found mine was broken which was why it came out of the case so easily. The wire is quite soft, so when reassembling I cut off the broken end and bent a new 90 degree hook into it. With the lock wire out the end bush can simple be pulled out of the case. Then the whole rack can be pulled out of the case. At this point only the oil seal from the drivers side of the rack remains in the case. This is actually about half way down the case near where the two halves are joined. It also needs to come out of the passenger side of the case. I used a socket that was small enough to fit through the case, but big enough to hit the oil seal (18mm socket as it happens), and then enough socket extensions to be able to push it through the case. This came free with less effort than I was expecting. With the rack apart replacing the seals was quite simple, however I decided not to try to fit the teflon seals. There are 4 on the pinion and one on the rack itself. I understand these are a bit of a pain to fit as the teflon is easy to damage. If they do need to be changed then I believe the way to do it is to heat up the new seals in hot water, and to make a sort of 'cone' out of thin drinks can aluminium so that the new seal can be slid along it and into its groove. My existing seals all looked to be in good condition so I left them alone - which I may regret later. The rack, pinion, case and all other parts need to be cleaned up. I started off washing them in paraffin, and then using carb cleaner to get a final clean - mainly because I had a few cans left. To reassemble I pushed the drivers side seal back into the case - I used the socket and extension bar approach again. The rack should be lubricated and then inserted back into the case. I believe some sort of fluid grease is meant to be used, but after a bit of reading around I used normal grease. I hope that doesn’t cause problems. The passenger side bush needs a new o-ring and oil seal, and then inserting into the case over the rack. Its fairly tight, but should slide on. The outer bush then needs to be put back into place and the lock wire returned to lock it into place. I used a spanner as a 'key' to rotate the outer bush and pull the lock wire back around and through the slot in the case - having bent the end of the wire into a new 90degree angle to fit into the hole in the bush. Now the rack is back in the case the pinion can be refitted. This drops in from the top, slightly rotating as the teeth mesh with the rack. The lower retaining bolt can then be fitted (I left mine loose until after the pre-load bush was replaced). The upper bearing and oil seal also need to be refitted - using the new oil seal. The seal needs to be pushed down into position to clear the slot for the circlip. I drifted the seal down into position with the mallet and a piece of round bar. Once in position re fit the circlip. The pre-load bush, spring, gasket, shims and cover then need to be re fitted. With that all in place I tightened up the lower bolt on the pinion and checked that the pinion could be turned with about the same amount of friction as before taking the rack apart. I didn’t use any gauges to measure this with, just finger pressure on a locking wrench on the top of the pinion. Finally the inner tie rods can be re-attached and re-peened to prevent them undoing, and the gaiters re fitted. I also used some thread lock where the inner tie rod screws into the rack.
  11. I've just bought another charger/conditioner. I got the Oxford Oximiser 3X from Infinity motorcycles as its on a pretty good offer at the moment and had good reviews. I also wanted something that was good on my motorbike as well as cars since these tend to need a lower charge rate. I've been using it for a week or so now and it seems pretty well made.
  12. Hi Pete, The shoulder on one of the lower arms has some weld spatter, but the other is un-marked (you can just make out the spatter on the left arm in the photo above). Neither would budge when I tried to rotate the bolts with a socket extension from inside the arms. I decided to leave them alone as my usual trick is to use enough force to break something, and knowing my luck it would be something expensive to replace 😉. Richard
  13. Whilst the front end had been attended to in the recent past the rear had not had quite the same attention. The bushes had been replaced, but it would benefit from some fresh paint. On the rear my spring compressor did fit, which is good as threaded rod would not work here. Stripping down was fairly easy, although some of the nuts were very tight/rusted on. I discovered that the bolts on the lower arm that the spring and damper assembly bolt to have been welded into the lower arm. Is this usual? Has anyone else found this? The parts manual implies it is a simple bolt. Whilst looking through the parts manual I noticed that my 1983 car had the early rear hoop which doesn’t have any adjustment for toe-in. I decided that it would be a good idea to change this for the later type which has a sliding section the rear of each lower suspension arm attaches to. This allows the toe-in to be equalised across each side of the car. LotusBits duly sent me a replacement hoop. I must admit I have found most 2nd hand parts from them to be in fairly poor condition - which is probably because they come from cars too rough to be kept on the road. The rear hoop was no exception and was really quite rusty, so that got attacked with the wire brush in an angle grinder before my usual approach of rust remover (metal prep in this case because the hoop is so big), then hydrate 80, then etch primer followed by top coat. Im using satin black top coat. Whilst reassembling the rear end I noticed that the way the top links and hubs want to sit means there is a gap of around 6mm between the top link and the hub carrier. This is the same on both sides of the car which makes me thing I may have something fitted wrongly. However Im also not sure if it is simply because of the number of rubber bushes that allow some flex in the fitting, added to the fact the suspension is in droop with no weight on it. I have not yet fully assembled the rear, so any advice or comments are welcome. This is as far as I have got. No picture of the other side, as it is still in pieces on the floor - putting that together is a job for this afternoon unless I can find something else to do. This thread is up to date now, but once the back end is together I think I need to try replacing the seals in the steering rack - they were leaking a little into the boots.
  14. The previous owner of 520Y had already rebuilt the front suspension and changed all the bushes, so initially I had not intended to strip this down, however I noticed that the lower wishbone arm bush was not centralised. While I was this far through a strip down it made sense to fix that now. Removing the suspension requires a spring compressor so I went out and bought one, only to find that it is too bulky to fit the front end. However I also had a length of M10 threaded rod and some 6mm steel plates (lifting brackets for a jaguar engine). So I used the time honored method of using the threaded rod to compress the spring. Once apart it was clear how far off centre the lower arm was on the bush. I used a little rubber grease and pressed this further into the arm. Having the suspension off the car also made it much easier to clean up and paint the chassis turrets. As Haynes says, reassembly is the reverse of disassembly. In this case it was, apart from when I forgot to bolt the brake pipe 'T' piece in place before replacing the lower arm. This meant I couldn’t get into the turret to put the not on the bolt. Rather than take everything apart again I have used a rivnut in the chassis - justified to myself because the brake pipes are not load bearing. On the 'whilst im there' approach I also renewed the brake hoses. I have also removed the old brake fluid from all the pipes and fittings as I am considering using silicone fluid.
  15. In order to pull the fuel lines out from in the boot as part of lifting the body I found it easiest to remove the fuel tank. This was pretty easy as I had taken it out just a few months before. However when I removed it this time it coincided with the news around the introduction of E10 fuel into the UK, and all the issues that would cause. The petrol tank is steel, and given E10 attraction to water the chances of there being lots of water sitting in the petrol tank in the future were pretty high - I know I don’t use my cars enough. So I decided to give one of the petrol tank sealant kits a try. I used the POR15 kit from Frosts. This came with everything I needed. You start off by draining the tank, then giving it a very good clean with the degreaser, and rinse it out. Then dry it very well. To dry the tank I used a combination of fan heater blowing through the level sender opening, and a hot air gun - however I found the hot air gun was too hot and at times started the paint on the outside smoking. After the degreaser comes a metal prep etching liquid. This is meant to leave a zinc phosphate coating over the tank to help the sealer bond to it. The tank was then rinsed, and dried again. The first picture below is inside the tank after the metal prep liquid. The second picture is after rinsing and drying out again - and shows some flash rusting. Finally in goes the sealer to be sloshed around the tank, then the remainder is poured out and the tank left to dry. I left the remains of the sealer in the open tins and it is very strange stuff. It seems to be full of solid particles in some form of suspension that acts like resin. As it dried it went very hard for the first inch or so, but felt soft under that. I didn’t prod it too much further, as it also sticks to anything and everything and the last thing I wanted was a mess all over the floor. The tank has now been left out of the way while I got on with the rest of the car.
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