Sunday, 19 January 2014

FHC resto nr. 2; Stripping interior

Went over to the car yesterday afternoon again. This time the target was stripping the interior. Started with removing the seats and the doors to create a bit of room to work. Found out that the driver's door is in very good condition. But the passenger door is (for me) beyond economical repair. It has been repaired in the past and that hasn't been done very well. And there's rust everywhere. And with a few better ones in the shed, this one will go to the skip ...


After creating the space to manoeuvre, I worked my way from the back to the front of the interior. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of tin worm in the area behind the seats that is visible ...



But it was amazing to see how the previous owner has neglected sealing the body from the elements. The flaps behind the rear quarter grills were missing and there are fairly large gaps and no sealant at the four corners of the rear deck. This is probably from when he replaced it with an incorrect one from a later car. Looks like the car wasn't intended to be driven in the rain ...


With the rear end bare it was time to switch my attention to the front of the interior, and that revealed some nasty surprises. The passenger foot-well is in reasonable condition although I do expect some more rot hidden behind the sound proofing ...


But the driver's side is worse hit by the tin worm. And it looks like the previous owner found out that clutch slave cylinder was rather inaccessible with the Sprint gearbox, so he cut a rather big hole in the transmission tunnel ...




Left me with the last job for the afternoon, removing the dashboard. After removing the vacuum/economy gauge  the PO had screwed to the left-hand side of the dashboard, it turned out there were only two small holes there so this dash can be reused as its overall condition is pretty good. Which meant I had to be careful with removing the (rather wedge like) cover for the extra gauges on top of the dashboard. I think the PO watched to many Leyland adverts on the TR7 😜


Sadly though the mounting screws for this contraption were rather inaccessible, it took me almost an hour to get it out without damage to the dashboard. Luckily the screw holes will be hidden by the original cover. Time to call it a day and head for home ...


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

FHC resto nr. 1; So it begins ...

Started on the restoration today, some 39 years after theTR7 was officially introduced. And as ever with such a job it starts with stripping all parts of the car so only the bare shell remains. I really wanted to avoid this, but using the original body will give the best result.

Sadly I won't be able to work more than one or two days a week on the car for the next month or. So it was decided to do this in a friends garage across the border in neighbouring Belgium. Otherwise Robbie's workshop would be occupied far too long, and he has a few projects going that need finishing.

And today was the day. I travelled to Belgium this afternoon for a few hours of spannering. The original target was stripping the boot area ...



But as that went rather smoothly I also stripped all parts of both doors and surrounding areas.




So far no real horrors. The passenger door looked pretty bad from the outside, and it turned out to be just that. At least I didn't have to be too careful stripping it of all the good parts 😈 Stripping the interior is scheduled for this Saturday.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Next project ...

There's no way back now for the 1976 FHC. After an inspection earlier this week by the guy who will do the panel work it was decided that we would get the best result by using the cars original body shell and use the back end of the yellow body shell as a spare panel donor. Which means that I will have to start with dismantling the car first.

But first things first. When I removed the Wolfrace Turbo wheels from the car I put a set of 7Jx15" Borbet Type A wheels on. These came from a friend and were fitted just to keep the car mobile. But as the fitted tyres didn't hold air I had to replace them. Luckily the original TR7 alloys I used during the restoration of the DHC were still at hand and holding air. So these were fitted to keep the car mobile.


And with the car mobile again it was transported to a friend's place today. Here it will be dismantled in the coming month or so, in preparation for the body repairs. Would have loved to take some final pictures of the car as she was, but the weather conditions were rather wet. So it was unceremoniously loaded on the trusty trailer and transported to the workshop. Here work will start this Wednesday when work allows.

Also looking at various options for paint removal and blasting of body shell once it is bare. Needless to say I won't use the company or process again that I used for the DHC. At the moment looking for info on Soda blasting and thermal paint removal (pyrolysis).

Friday, 3 January 2014

Good intentions for 2014

Started with some good intentions for 2014, or how to fill the Christmas holidays. Most important of which was/is cleaning/sorting out the shed. Over the years I have collected a fair amount of cars and parts. This combined with too much room means that everything was stowed away somewhere. So I decided it is time to go through the various storage spaces to see what I might need in future and what can go (either to the skip or flea bay).
First on the to do list is getting rid of two of the body shells I have, a late Solihull FHC with a big hole in the roof and a an early Dutch Canley built DHC. Although both could be restored someday, to be honest it wouldn't be very cost effective . In other words, the time has come to get rid of them. The plan being to remove all good bits, like chassis legs, good panels etc., and ditch the rest. And of course  I do need a bit of space to start work on the '76 FHC. So a bit of reshuffling and cleaning in the shed was in order ...



Talking of the new project car. In one of my previous posts I mentioned that I am working on some period striping for it. I made a full size print on paper at work to see if the measurements I had taken were correct. After cutting out the various parts it was time to tape them to the DHC to check for a correct fit and alignment ...



Pleased that the fit was already pretty good. Only two parts needed some slight adjustment. Next stage will be having the striping cut from adhesive foil. But I am in no hurry as I first have to start on the car itself.

Talking of which. There was an issue there. Namely the passenger door wouldn't open. In 25 years of TR7 motoring this was the first time I had this problem. But after removing the trim from the inside of the door ...


... it became clear that the previous owner had done something wrong when closing the door. One of the tabs inside the lock mechanism was bent slightly as a result of which it couldn't be unlocked. Well it could with a screw driver and some persuasion! A functional door makes life so much easier when working on a car.