Steve has questioned the decision to scrap the green shell. He is right in that yes the rust in the roof could be repaired. There is a lot of damage to the bulkhead in behind where the brake booster sat, where with the spillage of brake fluid on the bulkhead it has removed the surface treatment and where it has rusted badly. The area around where the accelerator pedal was bolted is cracked and has all but disappeared.
The car was raced in this country at some stage. It had a tough life. The new owner of the Sprint parts taken from this car has been reconditioning the engine and in doing so has noted that someone fitted Cortina pistons when it became necessary to do so.
I will be storing the rest of the body under cover in the meantime. If Steve wishes to take the body he can have it at no cost. In return though he might like to bring with him a Sprint Stainless Sports exhaust system which is unobtainable here.
What you folk do not realise is that you have access to spares which are simply uneconomic to ship to this country. We make do where we can.
Most repairs can be undertaken by a competent person except in the case of welding a structural element on the body. It must be done by someone who has the experience and who has been certified to do it. I don’t intend to go into the reasons why this rule was introduced but it followed the export of second hand cars from countries to this country which drive on the right. Sometime after the cars were landed here they failed a routine Warrant of Fitness inspection and had to be written off.
I have sand blasted the interior of the donor chassis rail. The metal treatment given the body of the car by British Leyland has been more than adequate for the conditions in this country. The chassis rail does capture and hold water but apart from some light surface rust on the interior surfaces it is in remarkably good condition for a car which has been used throughout its nearly 45 years of use. It just goes to show that the design and finish of the steel used was perfectly adequate for those countries where alternatives to putting salt on the roads to counteract freezing conditions are the norm.
With the engine and the sub frame assembly removed from the car it was time to mount the body in the jig and when that was done the rear axle assembly was removed from the body without any drama at all. All the radius arm bushes had been changed at some stage so there was no problem in removing the bolts, radius arms and sway bars. The hand brake cables and the hydraulic brake connection and connection to the brake proportioning valve were all disconnected and the axle wheeled away. It will need some work later for it is missing a wheel stud which has broken off.
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The petrol tank was removed which was timely for the rubber connection at the tank outlet to the pipe running forward to the petrol pump had perished and was leaking.
The clutch master cylinder was unbolted still attached to the clutch slave. New seals will be fitted. The clutch reservoir was also removed for I do not want any brake fluid spilling on the body.
The brake master cylinder was removed along with the brake booster so that the top of the chassis rail can be cut out of the body. It too will have new seals fitted.
While all this was going on I stiffened up the jig for although it was perfectly adequate for working within the workshop the car body and the jig will be moved onto a car trailer so that it can be transported into the local Polytech some 20 miles away for the welding in of the replacement chassis rail. The jig needs to be fairly robust in order to hold the car firmly on the trailer.
I built some adjustment into the height of the jig mounts not knowing where the centre of gravity would sit with the body fully trimmed with all the doors and glass intact. It was necessary to lift the car a little and it now spins easily although it is necessary to brace and support the car when it is turned on its side.
It certainly makes it easy to work on the underside of the car which is in very fair condition for a vehicle which is also nearly 45 years old and which the odometer had recorded 100,000 miles of motoring. There is some corrosion particularly around the sub frame bolts where water has been trapped under the rubbers and has not been able to escape. There is also some evidence of corrosion on the bulkhead and on the brake servo on this car where spilt brake fluid has removed the paint.
I am now about to start the removal of the damaged chassis rail which you can see in these two photos has been cracked quite badly and the attempt to weld the crack insitu has not been successful.
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If left the crack will no doubt lengthen until the rail fails completely.
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