I got the angle grinder out and cut of one end ...
As you can see they are fairly thick walled. Compared to this the weld looks a bit suspect to me, so that will get a bit of extra metal added for extra peace of mind.
At this stage it was time to decide whether to stick to the TR7’s original four link rear set up, or adapt it into a parallel four link plus a Panhard or Watts linkage. I have decided to go for the latter one as the roll centre for this set up lies much lower so should improve handling. But that also means I’ll have to fabricate the necessary box sections to change the upper pick up points on the body and brackets for the axle and lateral linkages. Or find one of the so called “Increased lateral location kit” (STN 0104) which ST manufactured for theTR7 rally program, in order to comply with homologation requirements. The third option, and probably the easiest, is to go shopping at some Ford escort specialists to source parts which can then be adapted to fit. To be continued.
Needless to say I wasn’t in a mood to put the spare one in, so I left that till yesterday. Again took much longer than it should, not helped by a knee injury which started to play up after less than 15 minutes and a fluorescent tube that fell from its aperture when I went in search of some wire to hold the steering column out of harm’s way. Got it all sorted in the end and in time to take the car for a spin to a neighbouring village to visit an old school engine builder. Was as if the engine felt I went for its replacement. It was rather reluctant to run properly, sometimes backfiring heavily both under load or with the throttle closed. First guess is that I drowned the engine whilst starting, which has been a problem a few times in the past. At least by the time I got home she behaved quite normal again. Will check all likely culprits in the next few weeks just to be sure.