Sunday, 9 February 2014

FHC resto nr. 4; Ready for the next stage?

With all parts removed from the body shell, it was time for what should be the last bit of work of the dismantling stage. Removing the front wings and the sound deadening material.
Although the front of the shell didn't look to bad, it was a fair assumption that (judging by the visible patch repairs on the inside) the wings should be hiding more rust and/or rot.  And I have to admit that I hate removing panels from a car, especially when it has to be done carefully. Luckily I had some help here by someone who is rather experienced in breaking all sorts of Triumphs over the years (thx RenĂ©). And it is not his car which certainly helps ...
The left hand wing came of fairly easy. After drilling out all spot welds only a few spots needed a well aimed blow with a flat chisel. And as expected there is some rot there:

But as you can see it is not too bad. Rather pleased that the outside edge of the inner wing is in pretty good condition and straight. Most important is to treat all the rust that is present properly. Still looking at the various options for this at the moment.

The right hand side did put up more of a fight. This was caused by the fact that this side has been repaired in the past. And these repairs were rather difficult to drill out. So it took rather longer, but in the end that wing too came of. Here also some rust but again overall not too bad.

With the wings removed we attacked the sound proofing in the interior. Was a bit of a mixed bag this time . Some pads could be removed with a flat chisel only but that didn't work for all. For those some added heat from the paint stripper was needed to get them of easily. But after a few hours of scraping and chiselling the soundproofing was all gone. With no nasty surprises hiding underneath

And to end the working day I had a closer look at the fuel tank yesterday. It looks like the tank that came from the car is in pretty good condition. Haven't had a look inside yet. But at least the outside looks pretty straight with no signs of rust. Especially the areas underneath the straps look almost factory fresh ...

With the car dismantled the time has come to decide how to carry on from this point. Will have a chat with the guy who will be doing the body repairs soon, see what his advice is now the extend of the work clear.  Maybe I have to attack the underside, again depends how the paint will be removed. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

FHC resto nr. 3; 3 days into the project


After removing the engine and gearbox last Wednesday and the wind screen last Saturday, I am now three days into dismantling the car and it is completely bare now. Except for the suspension that is. I left that in place to make moving the car around easier. But not before all nuts and bolts were loosened, just to make sure they can be removed easily when needed.

So far no real horrors turned up although removing the bulkhead insulation  showed what I already expected, some rot in the seams between the front inner wings and bulkhead. But not as much as I had expected ...


Then there are some patched repairs to the front inner wings. And as there are some signs of (surface?) rust on the front of the sills behind the front wings, these will have to come of to make sure everything is Ok underneath. And although this is a fair amount of work, the added bonus is that the seams between inner and outer wing (which are rather prone to rot) can be dealt with properly.


The transmission tunnel has been butchered even more to accommodate the Sprint gearbox


And they managed to tear of one of the front tow eyes and damage the cross member between the front of the chassis legs ...

 And while removing the gearbox and noticing all the adaptations needed to get the Sprint gearbox fitted properly, I have decided to ditch the idea of using Sprint 'box in favour of a LT77 'box. This decision is prompted by the fact that the car will be built as TR7 Sprint, with a standard spec Sprint engine on twin SU's.
Talking of engines, the original engine that came out will only be used after it has been completely stripped and thoroughly cleaned. There is evidence that the coolant system is clogged up quite badly. As this temperature sensor the PO fitted into the lower radiator hose clearly shows ...


And of course a few bits and pieces did put up something resembling a fight. Like the straps holding the fuel tank in place. The bolts were rusted solid to the straps, but that was dealt with accordingly using brute force. The 4 special bolts were all saved but the straps are scrap now. But despite that very pleased to say the tank came out unscathed and looks brand new.
Another one was the wind screen. In the past I have tried all sorts of special tools but while removing the screen from the DHC some 5 years ago we found out that a simple penknife and perseverance works best. And indeed after a few hours of gently cutting away at the sealant I was able to remove the wind screen intact leaving me with a very bare car ...

While working my way to the front of the car so far I found some evidence that somewhere in the past this car was re-shelled, probably using an early US spec shell. First there are clear markings on the right hand front suspension turret suggesting the original VIN number has been removed. Then there are two small holes in the left hand wind screen pillar which are a perfect match for the little alloy VIN number plates as used on US market cars.