It was nearly 3 years ago when I first came across this car sitting looking somewhat neglected in the city. It was nearly 3 years ago when I first came across this car sitting looking somewhat neglected in the city. It was as I described it, a barn find in my earlier posting, “Another Sprint discovered in New Zealand”
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Earlier this year the ownership was transferred across to my name which has allowed me to start the restoration process. The registration has been allowed to lapse and here in New Zealand in order to re-register the car it must first go through a very detailed vehicle safety inspection before a Warrant of Fitness can be issued and only then can the car be registered and driven on the road.
Outwardly the car looks remarkably sound as will be evident in the photos which will follow as the work is undertaken. However an examination underneath showed the right hand chassis rail which connects to the back of the sub frame has been crushed.
The rail has pulled away from the body and it has been pop riveted back into position and an attempt has been made to repair a couple of cracks. It will not pass a safety inspection. The rail will have to be removed, restored and then welded back by someone certified to undertake structural welds on a car.
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Before that can happen the engine and sub frame and the damaged chassis rail have to be removed so that it can be repaired.
The ghost of Jonners came back to haunt me when I commenced the process of removing the engine and sub frame. Somewhere on this forum he announced before he died that he believed that I could remove the engine and sub frame from a car like this in less than an hour. I was certainly able to do so on my earlier restoration, 24 years restoring Sprint in New Zealand
, but this car has caused me all sorts of problems. The task which should have taken about an hour was spread over several days.
Disconnecting all the services to the engine and the gearbox was a relatively easy and straightforward task.
The biggest problem was removing the nuts off the four sub frame bolts. they had been removed at some stage and then lock-tighted back into position. It was necessary to use a very long extension on a breaker bar and to wedge the bolt heads within the engine bay so that they would not turn. I left penetrating oil sitting on the bolt threads for 48 hours. Even so when I finally managed to break the nuts free it was a real struggle to unwind them off the bolt threads. I cannot understand why someone lock-tighted them for if they were torqued correctly there was little chance that they would have come undone. Likewise the nuts on the prop shaft to the gearbox had been lock-tighted at some stage.
I removed the spoiler before raising the body. The alternator was pushed up against the block so that as the body was lifted up the alternator passed by the bottom hose connection on the radiator.
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The exhaust system had been replaced at some stage with a non-standard system. The bracket which supported the downpipe and which bolted to the gearbox had been discarded and it was no longer possible to break the exhaust at that point. I had to unbolt the downpipe off the exhaust manifold and I did this as the body of the car was raised off the sub frame.
It was necessary to remove the rear anti roll bar to allow the exhaust to drop and the nuts on the four bolts holding it onto the rear axle trailing arm assembly had been secured with lock-tight. I needed a larger ½” drive socket set for breaking the nuts free.
It was not necessary to remove anything from the engine bay other than the air cleaner assembly so that the heater hoses could be disconnected at the H cross piece although I had to remove the heater motor so that I could gain access to the left hand rear sub frame bolt which had to be wedged so that the spanner did not reach round and damage the starter motor assembly.
With the sub frame and engine assembly removed I fitted a dolly which I had fabricated previously so that the car can be moved from under my chain hoist and positioned in the workshop where the next step will be to mount the car into a spit which I have fabricated so that the car can be rotated on its side. Then the damaged chassis rail will be removed.