Thursday, 29 January 2009

New Suspension ‘t Kreng

With a slight delay (originally planned as a Christmas present), the new suspension set up for ‘t Kreng arrived today. To be honest I think it looks pretty nice, and I can hardly wait to put it under the car to see how it performs!

To start with, the front springs are 60kg/cm (336lbf/in). Although they look rather flimsy the rear springs are 30kg/cm (168lbf/in). But as these will be placed slightly behind the axle, the effective spring rate is almost 45% higher compared to the original location. So they compare to 43kg/cm (241lbf/in) springs in the original location. A few test drives will be needed to determine if these springs are up to the job.

And a few details of the set up; The top mounts have fully sealed spherical bearings and camber adjustment plates;

As the front dampers are placed “up-side-down“ in the strut the adjuster knob sits on the bottom of the strut casing;

And finally a picture of the top mount for the rear coil-overs;

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

DHC report nr. 8; First stage complete

Finished the first stage of the restoration of my DHC this evening. Dropped the engine from the shell;

After which I went over the bare shell to see if there was anything left or forgotten. Only found a few grommets and clips, so it is completely bare now;

Body will be send off for paint removal and shot blasting next Wednesday. And tomorrow I will go to AST Suspension in Valkenswaard to pick up the new suspension set up for ‘t Kreng ...

Sunday, 25 January 2009

DHC report nr. 7; Suspension removed

Nearing the end of the first stage of the restoration, the dismantling. Spent a few more hours in the workshop yesterday afternoon. Started with the front suspension;

As this was renewed in the spring of 2007, al the bolts came off without a problem. Only the anti-roll-bar put up a bit of a struggle but that was solved by removing one of the track control arms. Having access to some proper tools certainly makes life much easier!
Also loosened all the nuts and bolts from the sub-frame in preparation for the last job;

As you can see there is some light (surface?) rust at the top of the front suspension turrets. As the affected area is double skinned this needs to be treated properly otherwise the rust will return sooner or later.

With the front suspension removed it was time to switch my attention to the back of the car. As there is a pallet lift in the workshop I thought it a good idea to use it, makes life so much easier;

With the back axle firmly supported on the lift, it was only a matter of undoing the four bolts which hold the links to the body and pull the back axle out from underneath the car, easy really!

By removing the back axle I could (at last) access the fuel tank. Only part that put up a fight were some jubilee clips from the fuel line. Easily sorted with a pair of pincers and some brute force. And after I found a deep 17 mm socket to go over the rather long mounting studs, removal of the tank itself was a piece of cake. And by the looks of it, it’s a fairly new tank. Which could well be as, judging by the body protection, the tank clearly has been of the car somewhere in past;

Will drop the engine from the body somewhere next week(end);

Body will go to a local firm to have the paint removed in a chemical bath, after next week. They will also lightly shot blast bad/rusted sections. After that the body work will be done. And when that's ready the whole body will be shot blasted and coated with an epoxy primer. But that is still somewhere in the future!

Friday, 23 January 2009

DHC report nr. 6; Windscreen removal (it’s a draw)

Went to the workshop with a friend yesterday evening to have a go at removing the wind screen. I had tried to remove the windscreen from a TR7 three times before with mixed results (one shattered, one cracked and one came off in one piece). So I entered the workshop with mixed feelings. But we did come fully prepared. As said friend works at a body shop, he had borrowed a few tools to make life a bit easier;

First attempt was with the traditional cutting wire;

But we had to abort that because the wire almost immediately started to dig into the glass. This is pretty normal on a TR7 and is caused by the way the window is glued into the window lip, and the depth/length of this lip. After that we tried an air powered knife. This worked pretty good as long as there was enough room to work and see what you were doing. Which meant we only used it on less than half of the bottom part. So only solution left was cutting out the sealant with some pen knifes. Pretty easy, only took the two of us well over three hours to cut it free. But we have a result, one reusable front screen;

Which means I removed two front screens successfully and broke two. But as I have a NOS one in stock (still in its original factory packing) the old screen will go to the spare parts storage. And after removing the last bits of kit it was obvious that the front screen frame is pretty solid;

Now I only have to remove the back axle, the fuel tank, front suspension and engine. Shouldn’t take more than a few hours. So well on schedule to get the body ready for paint removal and light shot blasting in preparation for the body repairs.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

DHC report nr. 5; Hidden horrors

Again spent a few hours in the workshop today to empty the fuel tank. While it was emptying itself I occupied myself with removing the last few clips and grommets which I had overlooked. The rest of the time was spent going over the body in search of some hidden horrors. And I found a few!

Clear evidence of some typical US body repairs. Drill holes in the damaged body area so the filler won’t fall of (probably because they didn’t know how to prepare the surface properly!). The positive side is that there is no trace of rust on the inside of the wings.

The inside of the left hand rear wing;

The area of the left hand rear wing with holes;

The area of the left hand front wing which has some filler applied.
The marked area might extend a few inches further;

And a few pictures of the floor area, after the insulation was removed. No real horrors but there is some surface rust underneath;

RH rear floor section.

LH rear floor section.

Passenger foot well.

But there was also a bit of good news. For the first time I managed to get the heating wire, from the front screen kit, free. In all other cases they were either cut off or pressed into the kit completely. This time they were only covered by a blob of kit. Now I have them free I will try and reheat the kit to make removal of the windscreen easier.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

DHC report nr. 4; Almost bare

Been in the workshop for a few hours today to get some work done on the car. Except for the suspension, engine, fuel tank and windscreen everything is now removed. This has given me the opportunity to have a proper look at the rot in the seam between bulkhead and front inner wings. It doesn’t look to bad. I get the impression that only the bulkhead panel has rust in it and not the inner wings. Here is a view from the passenger side of the bulkhead;

And one from the driver’s side ...

As I had to wait a bit before I could switch of the heater I had a go at removing the sound proofing material. First attempt was with a chisel only, but I soon found out that wasn’t going to work this time. Time to get the paint stripper out to heat it up a bit and that worked rather well. Got the drivers foot well and a large part of the transmission tunnel stripped in just 30 minutes;

Luckily no hidden rust underneath the soundproofing!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

DHC report nr. 3; No physical progress

Not much physical progress on the car at the moment as it is literally freezing cold, with temperatures dropping to -20ÂșC at night. But I haven’t been completely idle. Made arrangements to get the paint stripped of the car. I’ll have to have the car stripped of all parts (including sound proofing material and under body coating) by week 6. So the body will be ready for repairs by week 9.
The plan is to have the paint removed chemically and have the bad bits shot blasted lightly. After that it is time for the welding and removing of the dents. When that is complete the body will be completely shot blasted and coated with an epoxy primer. So at the moment the good bits of the body look like this;

RH rear valance from underneath.

RH floor and suspension mount.

Inside LH front wing.

Panel under the wind screen.

Area underneath the wind screen (RH).

Inside RH rear valance.

Spare wheel well.

Rear of LH inner sill.

Rear of RH inner sill.

Drivers foot well.

Rear area of RH floor section.

Rear area of LH floor section.

Wonder what it will look when it it’s stripped of its paint.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

DHC report nr. 2; Day three...

Again didn’t quite reach the target I set myself. But over all fairly pleased with the work done yesterday. Removed the following parts;
  • Exhaust and prop shaft;
  • All wiring;
  • Cooling system;
  • Brake and clutch systems emptied, ready for removal;
  • Handbrake lever and cable;
  • Oil cooler;
  • Throttle/choke cables etc...

Only thing connected to the engine now is the fuel line. As the tank still contains some 30 litres of fuel I need a few extra containers to empty it. Also will need a pair of extra hands to remove the fuel without making a complete mess of it !
So after I finished work I had a proper look over the cars body, the obvious bad bits;

The dents

The right hand side of the nose, clearly showing multiple damage.
Probably caused by more than one accident.

Some rather strange damage on the LH front inner wing.

A small dent on the top of the RH rear wing.

And of course one of the foot wells has a dent in it.

The rust

Some rot on the lower front of the RH front wing.
The afflicted area is relative small by the look of it.

Rust on both sides in the seam between inner wing and bulkhead.

Some moderate (surface?) rust in the hollow area of the bulkhead, above the pedal box.

And some rot around the filler cap.