Sunday, 4 January 2015

Change of Heart

Well Im afraid to report that following a recent trip to the Classic Car Show at the NEC before Christmas, Ive decided that the costs involved in bringing this old Pug back to a condition I would be proud of really don't justify any future return from selling the car.

As much as I like this Retro Hot Hatch, I would rather put my time and money into a project that I will get more use out of.

Having stripped the vehicle down to the bare bones, I now intend to sell the parts on eBay which should generate a small profit towards the next project.

If anyone is interested in any of the parts please contact me on or keep your eyes open on eBay.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Next Steps

Whilst the body is away its time to start planning the refurbishment of the interior and suspension.


The rear seats are in pretty good condition and should't need too much doing to the. The front passenger seat is pretty good too but as always the drivers seat has taken a beating over the years. The leather is worn, the bolsters are flat and the fabric is torn. Im hoping to find an interior genius to bring this back to life.


The front and rear suspension has been removed as whole assemblies so time to do some research into the best way for refurbishing these units - IM guessing there's a supplier out there that specialises in this and it might simply be a case of sending it away, maybe even service exchange, but time will tell.

I plan to fully refurb or replace all main suspension components with subtle upgrades that will improve handling without detracting from the originality of the car too much.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Final Strip

Build Day 7

Today we completed the strip down. The original plan was to acid dip or sandblast the body but this seems excessive given the generally good condition of the body, with the exception of the repairs required to the O/S rear quarter only necessary due to a poor previous repair. With this in mind we decided not to fully remove the dash nor the headlining as these are notoriously difficult to refit.

So the last little bits of trim, door latches and the like were removed and the engine bay stripped back as far as possible without fully removing the loom. Once the car has been sprayed, the loom will be tested for continuity (it worked when we started the strip down so should still work) and then the outer conduit will all be replaced making it look like new - well thats the plan!)

We did a bit of rubbing down and fortunately most of the rust spots found were surface rust only. There is a little bit in the boot that will require a small repair which will be done when the rear quarter is attended to.

Hoping to get the tub over to Stuart at Carsmetic early in September for him to start work on the bodywork.

Ready to be sent to the body shop for repairs and paint

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Further Strip Down

Build Day 6 (continued)

Today was a good day and a lot of progress was made. With the front suspension out much easier than anticipated we decided to crack on with removing some other bits and pieces.

1. Front wiper motor assembly 

Front wiper motor assembly

Front wiper motor assembly removed

2. Fuel Tank
Electrical connections disconnected

Fuel Tank removed

3. Brake Servo and Master Cylinder

Brake servo and master cylinder removed
4. Heater Matrix Hoses and Connections

5. Rear Wiper Motor Assembly

6. Gear Shift and Linkage

So at the end of build day 6, the engine bay looks like this...

End build day 6
And the interior looks like this...

Interior at end build day 6

Front Suspension Removal

Build Day 7

Having had the engine assessment back, it seems like a good idea to fully remove the front suspension and replace/refurbish as necessary.

The first step is to disconnect the gear selector mechanism which attached to the cross member.

Gear shift selector connection
With this detached the column has to be disconnected from the steering rack.

Steering column/rack connection
The font suspension is fixed to the body via four mounting bolts. Two at the front and two at the rear. While supporting the suspension with a Jack these bolts are undone and the whole assembly is then lowered and removed.

Fornt suspension is held in place with four mounting bolts

The whole assembly is removed in one piece

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Engine Removal (4)

Build Day 6

My friend Chris Morgan came over in June to help get the engine out and to take it to his workshop for stripping and inspecting. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my camera with me so I don't have any photos of the engine being removed.

Chris has now stripped down the engine and apart from the crack in the block it isn't in bad nick. The crack is repairable as it hasn't gone all the way through which is encouraging and has helped me make the decision that the car the car will be restored as modified concours (or reasonably close to that aim - costs, availability of part and ability will dictate how close we get) now rather than as a track car with a new lump.

Below are some of the images of the stripped engine.


Piston Bores


Block stripped

Piston and Crankshaft
Waiting for Chris to come back with a re-build plan and cost now - in the meantime its back to stripping down the rest of the car.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Next Steps

The local glass repairers came on Friday to remove the front and rear screens. The rear is in fine condition as is the front seal so these will be kept for re-fitting. The front screen is beyond repair so will be replaced.

With the strip down all but complete (just the engine to be removed on Tuesday) I thought it would be sensible to make a list of the next steps/considerations that will determine how the re-build will take shape.

Next Steps:-

1. Remove engine and await engineer's report on condition and rebuild viability.

I am hoping that the engine is salvageable - it has a cracked block but hopefully this can be repaired. Assuming it can be repaired, I intend to go for a rebuild to include as many performance enhancements as possible without losing the original 'look and feel' as my plan is for a completed car that can be described as 'modified concours'. 

If the engine is FUBAR (f**ked up beyond all repair) then the rebuild will take a different path. It will then become a track car of some description. At this stage, Im still thinking to go for a full body restore but fully stripped back interior with roll cage etc.

2. Fully assess body for damage and identify welding requirements. 

The car has had a poor previous repair to the right rear quarter panel. This has been replaced badly and has caused some rusting where it joins to the sill and under the rear window. It may be better to replace this with a new panel.

The front seat support bar will also need some repairs.

Other than that the body doesn't look too bad on first inspection. Hopefully nothing significant will transpire but either way nothing will be done until we know the fate of the engine.

3.  Depending upon the results of points 1 and 2 the seats will need to be assessed for their repairability.

The drivers seats is a mess with worn side supports and badly ripped fabric. The others don't look too bad so it will be interesting what the experts can do with them - I will be going to see the Graham at Intertrim in Telford (the guy who build my Cobra Seats) for his opinion. Finding a set of good condition second hand seats will be like finding fairy dust!!!

4. Body Preparation for Painting

Will need to make a decision on what to do in terms of body prep - sand blast, acid dip or manually rub down. Again this will depend on what can be done with the engine and also the seats. If both of those issues can be resolved then I want a really good quality re-spray which will mean some kind of bare metal prep.