Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Chop Shop

I picked up some reinforced cutting wheels for the Dremmel, but didn’t get cutting on the front. I started thinking it may be better to relocate the bar under the dash, instead of cutting the inner panel, as the wiring and speedo go through near that area.

However, relocating the bar, would mean getting the body back off, getting someone around to weld some tabs on the door pillars to fit the bar which I removed from the old Chesil subframe.
So, whilst in the garage I put some attention to the rear of the subframe/body.

Even after removing the old chesil bonding, the rear seat area is still colliding with the subframe aswell as the front colliding.

Changing the rear subframe isn’t an option here, so I will need to cut a small piece out both sides of the rear seat to lower the body to rest on the subframe sills - which are still an inch too high at present.

So I’ve got even more fibreglassing to do. I just need to pluck up the courage and get cutting. The rear seat area will be covered in carpet so my fibreglassing skills or lack of will not be seen when the cars interior is finished. Although I’m treading close to the limit, I’m not quite out of my depth.. yet..
I took a few photos before giving up for the day...
The Chop Shop is on Discovery Turbo in an hour so hopefully Lipu's cutting, and Bernie's 'Get on with it' attitude, will inspire me for tomorrow *-).

Monday, 29 December 2008

A New Year is about to begin, and my car is still a long way from completion...

When I was taking it apart, I was anticipating it being back together within a couple of months. LOL. My motivation dropped after getting the body back in the garage. It should have had the reverse affect, yet the weathers been cold.

Santa Claus managed to get a new drill and accessories down the chimney this year, so with a few spare days off work I couldn’t relax for the guilt of not making progress on my car.

I finally went back in the garage after five weeks and cut the loom in order to thread it through the subframe, I will worry about getting a multiplug later.

With the wiring loom out the way, I could lower the very tight fitting body further down... but not to its resting position yet as the main bar across the front is going to collide with the fibreglass inner body.

About an inch needs to be removed across the width of my car 8-(.

On the old chesil subframe, this bar was bolted in place so could be removed. However, the pilgrim design is welded in place and uses a different inner tray under the bonnet.

I managed to break all the ‘thin biscuit like’ cutting discs I had for the dremmel when I cut out the footwell previously, I’m not sure what they were meant for cutting?. So I will go and buy a proper cutting disc and get on the case tomorrow, and take some photos!!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

All Together....

The Body, subframe, and chassis are all back together! hurrah.

I still need to cut some more fibreglass from where the chesil subframe was bonded, as there isnt enough play to manouvre passed the subframes rear trailing legs, which are presently holding the rear up.

Still along way to go, but the end is in sight at last.
However, Ive all the wiring to reconnect, and steering column bracket to sort before lowering it, so with the body raised several inches, its handy at present.

In preparation for putting the body on, I obtained some primer adhesive for galvenised metal and smooth black paint to top it off. Although I plan to fabricate closing panels from fibreglass to give a more authentic look, the galvenised subframe would have still been visible in some areas.

Woops, I must have missed the door pillar when degreasing.

Friday, 31 October 2008

More drilling and tapping to come...

The subframe looks superb, a big thanks to http://www.wjbwelding.co.uk/ for getting it to fit.

The subframes final position is dependant on some body bolts... so I need to get the body back on the subframe and position it to fit two bolts through the body to the front beam.

With the body in position, I can then mark the hole positions for the subframe to floorpan, and door hinges. Oh joy! I can then drill and tap the door pilars.

I needed to cut the footwell out of the fibreglass chesil body, as the footwell's built into the new subframe. I much prefer this design as it adds a little weight and protection to the otherwise very light frontend.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Many Hands make Light work

Well it's sad to say Pilgrim have gone into receivership from what I understand, I found some links on the cobra forums confirming my thoughts.
So I've sourced another subframe which I think is a pilgrim or the same style at least, it's certainly not a chesil though as it doesn't have heating going through the sills. I will need to fabricate something to get the heat into the interior.
A big thanks to Frank Hand Galvanisers who are hot dipping it for me. They were very helpful and very quick turn around. Though I will want a black finish on the viewable areas I couldn't do without the corrosion resistance.

I should also be receiving the other headlight ring this week from Karman Konnection, they only had one in stock when I ordered. It's the tripple plated chrome ones. Ive been through three sets of cheap chrome rings overs the eight years of ownership. These ones will hopefully last 20 years plus.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Ahh reminisce the chemical brothers as I push that button.
I phoned to chase up the subframe today...
OMG, to cut a long story short, it'll be a few weeks yet.

So as a distraction I've been looking at hoodrides and thinking about treating the camper.
I've been driving it to work each day and have fallen in love with it again.
It’s a bit tatty looking and steers like shooting a movie.
Maybe that’s why I can’t help but smile when I drive it. Or maybe it’s the queue of cars on my bumper, ahh makes a change!.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Two weeks into an approximate 4 week leadtime for the galvanized subframe from Pilgrim, I'm
itching to get my car back together, but there aren't many jobs I can do until the subframe arrives.

The brake fluid bowl is attached through the body so I cant blead the brakes yet.

I had not done anything to protect the steering wheel since getting the car 8 years ago, so it had become very dry looking as the varnish had worn off long ago.

After sanding and polishing followed by a few coats of clear varnish and another light sand, it looks loads better.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Belt and Braces...

The grey POR-15 arrived today, I'm really glad I decided to get the color change, you can see the 1st coat has some holes which I would otherwise have missed.

Naturally, with tin and brush in hand, I couldnt resist giving the top a coat of grey.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008


The haynes manual says "Removal of the rear brake drums is a considerable task." Well, ta da - job done. Now I can get back on with getting my car back together.

I decided I would get some grey POR-15 to do the 2nd coat underneath. It's a nasty job, but having a colour change between coats will make it more satisfying and will help monitor it in future.
Managed to get the first coat of POR15 on the underside, this time showing respect and running indoors to wash off any splatters as soon as they were felt. It wasn't a complete success as one splat wouldn't come off!
Found a couple of motivation photos. Air Suspension would be sweeeeeeeeeet...

Monday, 11 August 2008

The sun finally came out, so I had another go degreasing the underside. This time I followed up with metal ready and after rinsing let it dry off. Whilst towel drying the overspray on the topside, I found the clips for the passenger side brake pads - oops, I thought I'd put them in a bit quick. It didnt take a few minutes to get the wheel off and put them back in.
Now I can get on painting the underside and wait for the 36mm socket.

Rained Off...

Well my plans for the underside were rained off, so I figured I would go ahead and get the calipers painted and the porsche pattern discs on. I could have sworn I had a 36mm spanner or socket - but alas no, so will need to tackle the rear brakes after I receive the 36mm socket ordered from ebay.

Everything came apart nicely, the first caliper I painted came out rasberry colour! I think it takes a few minutes after applying the hardner and stirring for the paint to completely reach red. After a couple of coats, I still had some paint left - so painted the anti roll bar.

It's a good job the phone rang as I was about to paint the steering damper and then probably would have painted the control arms etc and would have run out half way through. I wouldn't have bothered painting the calipers if I wasnt putting alloys on.

Well 15 hours later the calipers were dry to touch but in putting the pads back in I managed to disturb the paint and also got them a bit dirty due to wearing dirty gloves Doh! I'd sealed the tin yesterday but was suprised to find it still useable - why don't the manufacturers just put the hardner in themselves?

After touching up the calipers I had the urge to paint something else again but managed not to. The rain finally stopped long enough to get a photo of my efforts.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Waiting for the weekend to degrease the underside. I'm wanting to get all the pressure washer stuff out the way before I start on some upgrades like rear disk brakes and fuchs Ive had sitting around for a couple of years.

I've found a website of a guy who's rebuilding his replica as a proper replica! Anyone who loves the 356 and has owned a chesil will appreciate what hes doing - 'fixing' all those niggley things that remove from the viewing experience. There's only a handful of real speedsters in the UK, as far as I'm aware. You won't see them on the road outside of Porsche meetings. I dont know whether he plans to sell it after completion but I'm sure he would have a queue! http://www.speedstars.co.uk/.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Having decided to keep my floors, it meant needing to remove all the old sealant and nails that held the old seal in place. I also went over everything with a drill and wire brush insert to remove any loose rust, flakes of paint etc. This worked well on the topside but will need a few more applications underside to completely remove the 14 years of road grime and waxoil!

The water hoover and pressure washer came in really handy and made the job alot more do-able.

I've degreased with marine clean, followed with the pressure washer to rinse, then hoover up any remaining water, let the sun dry the remainder off, then repeat the process with metal ready instead of marine clean, finally applying a couple of coats of POR15 and chassis black. This got the topside done, but Ill need to finish off degreasing the undereside another day. Despite my best efforts and wearing marigolds, I still managed to get some POR15 on my feet, hands, arms and face and I only painted the topside!. The POR15 was runnier than I expected, also it has a very shiny finish, i think I would have prefered matt. The chassis black was also quite shiny but looked a bit murky and duller than the POR15. I regret not getting a tin of grey aswell as black POR15 so that applying the 2nd and 3rd coats would be more satisfying to know where I've not been.

Whilst degreasing the underside I found the plugged up drain holes in the floor, I left them plugged as Id already painted the topside the previous day, and had drilled a hole in the marine boards to hoover any collected water through.

With the marine ply boards back in place I'm satisfied that I kept the floors, but from the time it's taken degreasing the underside it would have been cheaper to get new floors if a shop was doing this - but this is 'free time'. I remembered to repack the front beam with grease which squirted some water out in the process.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Drilling out Rusty Bolts...

The M10 Tapset arrived today, just looking at them in the packet gave me a sense of dread at what lied ahead. If I messed it up, it wouldn't be the end of the world though, as there are things called helicoils...
thanks to http://coolercasesuk.co.uk/showthread.php?t=1211

It took several hours to get all the threads clear and working again, I thought that was the end of drilling out rusty bolts on this project... however, looking at the photo a little earlier reminded me that the rear bump stop bolts also need repairing to accept the new rubber bump stops which I've had sat in the garage for a couple of years.

I've also been having a rethink about my floors, I'm going ahead with the POR15 and hope to get some years out of them.
I think using heat shields, adhoc repairs could be done to them once the cars back together.
Anyway it has marine ply boards which sit over the top and bear the most weight. I'm going to drill a 'hoover' hole into the rear of ply boards so that I can hoover out any future water straight away and not repeat the 'puddle'.

... I also found a picture which has remotivated me to get a move on...

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Once the body was off I made a start on the subframe, all the bolts to the floorpan were a pain but eventually came off in pieces. The bolts to the rear suspension were the worst bolts so far, only one came out in tact easily, the other 3 I had to drill out almost completly, and will need to retap the existing threads before putting it back together. Ive found the size on thesamba.com is M10X1.5 and ive found a place namrick.co.uk to buy a tap. I read a suggestion to hacksaw an old bolt to use as a tap, but i think I'd lose a finger or two in an effort to save £8.

Now the subframe is removed Ive been able to start preparing the floor for paint, it's worse than I'd thought though, it takes my weight but has the sound of rotten metal in a couple of places. Ill need to replace the floor boards.

I've no welding equiptment and I've never tried welding, I know a man who can but has no kit. Depending how much it'll cost to replace the floorboards, it may make more sense to buy a welding machine and get a lesson or two - especially as we have a 1965 vw camper that needs restoring at some point.

Got the ride height sorted!

Well I thought all the wires/etc were disconnected but found the last one prior to lifting - possibly to activate the reverse light as it was a thin wire connected to the gearbox. With the body off and on the ground the ride height looks sweet lol...

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Getting ready for lift off!

The rust buster didn't work as Id hoped, the windscreens still in place - i'll leave it there and have another go at the pillars once the body is off the subframe as there will be so much more room available for a spanner or drill (I may even use up the rust buster as it did come in a well designed bottle.)

The body is jacked an inch or so off the subframe and I've manoeuvred the wiring loom through the subframe so it can lift up with the body.

Ready for lift off!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Rust Busting...

The stainless steel chesil exhaust I've got is a pain in de arse, design - the rear silencer needs to be removed to remove the engine, or to lift the body off.

Typically the three bolts holding the rear silencer were rusted solid, grinding and a hacksaw saw to them. I cant help thinking of the A-Team when the sparks are flying.
To be precautious I jacked the body at the back for support because the exhaust had been taking its weight since the subframe collapsed.
I also jacked the front, eased up the sides and supported them with some bits of wood, the drivers side felt like it could lift straight off, but the passenger side was really tight after a couple of inches. I'll be a bit braver once I've removed the windscreen, the windscreen pillar bolts have rusted solid and they are inaccessible to my tools other than an impossible looking few degrees with a spanner at finger tips best. I've ordered some rust buster from Frosts and hope it does what it implies.
After having spent the evening grinding & car jacking, I then relaxed? with a blast on GTA IV.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Some unexpected gardening...

No problem with rusty nuts or bolts tonight, and access was easy with the battery cover removed. Disconnected the wiring loom from the engine bay, starter motor and engine earth without any issues.

I stood back to take a gulp of tea when something made me turn around - a massive plant on the side of our house has been wrapping itself around a downpipe for several years. I had turned round in time to watch it slowly fall off the side of the house taking the downpipe with it like a felled tree. So some unexpected gardening has halted progress for now.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Preparation before removing the body...

I found some fibreglass wrapping the bottom of the front door pillars. Only a couple of inches each side which came off easily after some work with a Stanley knife, hammer and screwdriver.

I lifted the drivers side a couple of inches and put it back down, the passenger side still wont budge. Good job really as I still need to remove the windscreen, drain some brake fluid and detatch the wiring from the starter motor and engine earth - before I get carried away trying to lift it.