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Excel SA

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  1. I'm busy rebuilding the door skin on my Excel - if the damage is that bad on the outer skin, there is also likely to be damage to the mounting points as well. It's not a quick or fun repair removing all the old repairs and then trying to rebuild everything properly. First prize would be a replacement, unfortunately Lotus Bits is a bit far from me to be an option! Neil
  2. Nice to see all the progress. Pete, yours had to open to change your air filter.... Neil.
  3. As far as I can tell the rear springs for the Excel should be 12" long. I can measure the front ones from my car on the weekend as they are in a box and not fitted yet after refurbishment. The rubber pads they sit on should also give a clue as to which goes where as I think the diameter is slightly different as well. Neil. Also have a look at - that shows the front spring length options - all longer than 12".
  4. I'm pretty sure the springs front to back are different sizes on the Excel, but off hand have no idea which is which. Suspension bush bolts should also only be tightened when the car is under it's own weight, and sitting level. Neil.
  5. Nice to see all the pics of someone else's repair! Have similar, but more extensive damage to the front of my Excel - some was patched up badly, and some damage was just left as it was with no repairs even attempted. Neil.
  6. Hi Dave, Good luck with the conversion! I'm currently trying to squeeze a Lexus V8 into my Excel - it is a pretty tight fit. This will keep you very busy and your mind thinking all day (and night..) trying to work out where to fit everything! Will be keeping an eye on your progress as well. Neil.
  7. Thanks Pete - will work out which side I have space for the fold, and will probably bolt it to the chassis rather than weld and have to grind away the galvanising. Have some brake lines to avoid as well so may need an extra hole or two for those to pass through. Neil.
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    Excel SA

  9. I am planning to put in a bracket on the rear suspension for extra support - I believe it was a change made by the factory to later cars. If anyone has a picture or drawings of the bracket I'd appreciate seeing it so I can replicate the factory option rather than making up my own design - which would look something like this: Thoughts and criticisms welcome! Otherwise the chassis is cleaning up really nicely, all the damage to the chassis where it was used as a jacking point has been straightened out, and I am working on the repair to the damage to the front of the chassis. Neil
  10. I haven't been idle these last few weeks! Body and chassis have been separated - no major issues removing the body - finding some of the bolts underneath layers of carpet was interesting, and one of the bolts under the fuel tank wouldn't unscrew and I needed up shearing it off. There is no access to the captive nut for that bolt, will need to make a plan to remove the rest of the bolt - a bit easier now. I made a trolley for the body, but it needs a few modifications to make sure it's up to the task of supporting the weight of the body and being moved around. I have checked the measurements that I can check, as well as checking diagonal measurements and am happy that the main part of the chassis is OK - not bent, nor twisted. The chassis has some damage from being jacked incorrectly in the past - some panel beating will be required to straighten out the flanges that were damaged. With the body off, the camber on the rear wheels looked pretty extreme, a bit of looking and the answer became clear - the top suspension mount on the front side of the chassis has been broken on both sides (the rear mount is still OK) and the bolts both point towards the center line of the chassis, pulling the top of the wheel inwards. The bolts don't look original as they are quite rusty, and someone has taken the damaged bits apart and refitted them incorrectly. The broken piece is there, it has been put on the wrong way around and is hidden by the bush. More welding, panel beating and some reinforcement will be needed. Looks like a complete suspension refurbishment is going to happen now, as well as some cleaning and painting of the rusty and corroded bits. The pile for powder coating is also getting bigger... Neil.
  11. Thanks Pete, it's certainly not there on the passenger side along with the fiberglass that was around it.....will need to get a much closer look on the drivers side to see if it's there, but the fiberglass seems ok. Neil.
  12. The bobbin on the right looks fine - if by bobbin you just mean the fiberglass body work? Damage to the chassis definitely looks like something has been used to lift it up from the bottom - but will be checking it all when the body is off. Will need to grind and clean off all the repairs so will get the zinc off - will also check the condition of the zinc over the chassis - rust and corrosion is not something we normally worry about here in Jhb, but the car has lived at the coast. Am doing a lot of other small bits that I can do inside, was quite surprised that the powder coating on the window frames was hiding some areas that had started to deteriorate - nothing serious, but it all looked good until the powder coat was removed. Staggering on anyway, a lot further backwards than I was hoping to go, but this is a project!
  13. And getting somewhat back on track....the whole front flipping forward is very neat, but I'm hoping once the car is running I'm not having to spend too much time in there! No plans for a vinyl roof either.... Had a better look at the chassis - the passenger front outrigger section has been damaged and very badly repaired, the main chassis behind that doesn't have any obvious bends or creases in it, but it's hard to get a good look with the body still on. The bottom of the chassis has been used to lift the car so a number of spots have the edge flattened out, and the chassis section running across the front of the car has been a popular jacking point judging by the concave shape of the plate. So if you weld in a plate on the side of the chassis (and don't bother to paint it) like this: Then you can hide the abortion of a job you did on the inside.... Redoing that will be a lot easier with the body out of the way. Neil.
  14. No worries! Have pretty much decided to lift off the body - there will be work to do on the chassis and body that will be a lot easier to get to without the other part in the way. My garage doors and opening mechanism will be in the way and won't allow me to lift the body too high, so will rig up a structure outside to lift it off and then go from there. It's winter here so although fairly cold it's dry. will need to have garage space by summer to keep out the rain though. I really do need a workshop with a house attached rather than a house with a garage attached! Neil
  15. Crikey, that's an impressive way to lift up a body shell! I have a few challenges first, like clearing out the space in the garage, but I think if I need to lift the body off it will be with a bit more of a rudimentary structure that would then need to become an engine hoist.
  16. Thanks Chris - with shipping to South Africa, that becomes a bit of an investment! I have managed to find some chassis dimensions whilst sifting through all the info I have already downloaded and stashed - Pete has got my head churning, so will have a really good look at the chassis over the weekend with straight edge in hand, and then decide whether I think I need to lift off the body and measure properly. Even without an engine in the car, things are still quite cluttered and awkward to get to. Anyone have any idea of how heavy the body is? Can it be lifted off by 3 or 4 people? Seats will be out, but dashboard in. Neil.
  17. There is some chassis damage, but seems confined to the front outrigger section, which will need redoing as the repair there is as poor as the fiberglass, but behind that all appears OK. Need to track down all the various manuals for that year - but if you have those measurements available it would be useful to check. I don't even have an owners manual for the car, so fuses etc. are also a mystery right now! I have undone the front bolts connecting the chassis to the body and removed the arb, and nothing sprang out of alignment. I am not sure how much the car was driven after the accident and before the engine was removed, but the tyres on the car don't show any alarming wear patterns. I have been reading the various threads on the plywood crash panels for the front as well - they were replaced with ill-fitting fiberglass ones, maybe they did their job! Neil.
  18. And there is more to be done hidden away in the murky recesses behind that panel. Will make a mold (once I can work out the amount of curve needed at the front of the car - nothing in the front is right) ad make up a panel to fit in place. Having it hidden does help, and will give me some idea of what I need to do to the areas that will be visible - without requiring tonnes of body filler. Neil.
  19. Below is how that small visible crack developed into something rather larger....bodywork has now become the main focus of attention. Am hoping that the drivers side door area and the front are the only repaired areas - there were cracks and bodywork issues in these areas and nothing as noticeable anywhere else 😰 And the end result: The front central panel will need to be replaced - what's left is delaminating in sections and is just a mess. The car has shed a few kilos, and if patched properly, the front of the car will be the right width and the spoiler may even fit properly.
  20. Some good news - I connected up a battery and nothing went blew up, no smoke, nothing! Some things actually work - even the headlights....the passenger side one didn't move the first time I switched the lights on, but seemed fine after that, just a touch noisy. Will clean and grease all moving bits before reinstalling them. I'm not sure you'd be able to see very far at night with them on so some work still to do, but small victories will be taken! The red arrow marks the scene of the next crime against fiberglass....and paint.
  21. Some progress - door locks and handles have all been stripped, fixed, cleaned, re-greased and put back together (and cut washers/bits of wire used to hold tings together were replaces with E clips) which helps reduce the number of parts to remember how they all fit together....The fan for the air-con system was also stripped, re-painted and re-lubed and put back together. It did have some muck in the fan cage itself, and was quite noisy - will need to clean out the intake/unblock drains etc. All of the grease/lube in the car has dried up and gone hard, so all moving parts will need some work.
  22. Thanks for the info - interesting option with the springs - is it fine with just the hessian protecting the foam from the springs? Am trying to complete some of the fiddly bits I've started with and taken apart - have too many small pieces of car disassembled right now - need to have fewer pieces lying around.
  23. Yip - Lotusbits would be a bit of a trek for me! Will need to get some bits and pieces for the car from one of the suppliers over there in time - am making a list. I haven't thoroughly checked the rest of the body and there area couple of other areas that need a closer look/attack with a sander. A full respray will be on the cards , but for now the body repairs will be done, along with all the mechanical work before worrying about the repaint - and then the debate about colour will be argued in the house..... The drivers seat wouldn't slide very well, and it needed to be removed to allow easier access to the back of the damaged area - the seat frame is broken, so will need a splint and some welding. And oh dear, what about this? And no, all of that was not an effective fix. Anyone know what the black seat base that is split is made out of? Next post will be about some working bits!
  24. Thanks Richard - pm sent. The weekend wasn't a good one for the car.....removed the drivers door to dig deeper into the issues around it and found them. The car has obviously been damaged quite badly in this area, and the repair work done was pretty awful as can been seen from the pictures below. Will need to redo these areas properly, but access from the foot well is tight with not much space and a lot of wiring running through there. The fiberglass mostly just peeled off - looks like no surface preparation was done, and not enough resin used. Body putty is also not an effective adhesive.... The green filler hadn't really hardened properly, and was pretty thick in places - some paint just peeled off Further attack to the wing resulted in this - there is also a crack at the top of the wheel arch and the body has split apart there as well. What was left of the insert that supports the body shell came out relatively intact, but will also need some work to get it back to being usable. And that's not all.....more trauma to follow! Neil.
  25. Thanks Tony, if anyone can help push it along I'd be grateful - have tried to register and sent the admin a couple of emails from the registration page but no joy so far. Neil
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