Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

Postby MrBounce » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:17 pm

I won something very nice on eBay the other day - for significantly less than they should have cost me. These beauties are now mine! Just need to sort out some runners. Am hoping I can utilise the modified MX-5 runners easily enough...

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

Postby MrBounce » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:20 pm

This week has not been much fun. I have managed to get some things done, but others have made life - how shall we say - a touch difficult. I was very restrained and left the hammers on the tool wall.

The MX-5 runners do not fit on to the new seats. However, I have acquired the correct runners for them for a very reasonable price (cheers Ian!) and have given the seats a quick check for fit in the car. Lovely. Now I need to measure up to mount them - and also to raise them slightly on a frame so the runners will actually clear the carpet I haven't yet made.

The alternator is now on the engine and the fan belt has also been acquired and fitted. Nice and easy. I also took the time to sort out the heater pipes in the engine bay and also the grommets in the bulkhead. I had to do a bit of trimming and use a bit of right-angled hose I had kicking about but it's all gone together quite nicely.

And then we move on to bit that (almost) made me reach for the hammers. The rear lights. Anyone who's had to replace the gaskets on these will know just how much of a stupid design they are. The gaskets fail, and water then drips down on to the 3 (mild steel) studs on the bottom, rusting them and causing them to snap, breaking the built-in posts that hold them on the lenses. This is what had happened on mine. I then cleaned up the mess which was there, and Araldited in some new bolts to take their place. I then triumphantly fitted the rear lights which looked great. Unfortunately, when tightening up the nuts, there was the unmistakable sound of creaking and cracking under pressure. Within 5 minutes of tightening the nuts, 5 of the 6 "new" bolts had parted company with the lenses.

I am currently trying to thing of a way to rectify this situation without the use of fire. TR7 light lenses are not exactly common in good condition, with all the studs in the right places.

MX-5 runners don't fit. However, new runners have arrived.

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Seats look great in the car.

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Lights looked good fitted...

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...until this happened. Nuts.

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

Postby MrBounce » Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:04 pm

Someone popped out of the garage for the first time in forever today :D

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Lights and things

Postby MrBounce » Fri Sep 01, 2017 7:09 pm

I have to admit to being a bit a grump after the rear lights debacle, but I have sat down with various forums, friends and Facebookers and together we have come up with a solution. I really didn't want to drill through the lenses as they're pretty rare and I quite like to keep fixings hidden. The solution(s) have appeared to be relatively straightforward. I did have a spare left light lens, which had one of the three lower studs remaining, but also critically, the plastic fixings where the studs locate were still there, albeit cracked and split. I turned down some M5 bolts (read: cut and ground a bit with the Dremel!) then, using a plastic-specific epoxy, glued them into place. 2 days later, I fitted them and so far all seems to have worked well.

The other lens does not have the plastic locating lugs, so I flattened down the heads of some crosshead M5 bolts, then used a nut and washer to make them the same height as the other studs. Using plasticine to surround the studs, I then filled the resulting gaps with epoxy. They are currently drying (they'll stay where they are for the whole weekend) but already it seems much stronger.

I turned my attention to the headlights next. My Midas uses Allegro headlights - and the ones I removed were somewhat...rough. Unfortunately there were two problems with replacing them: 1) Replacements are rarer than Unicorn Poop. 2) They're a bit rubbish. In my search for a suitable replacement I rejected Allegro units (could only find one - since sold), Triumph Acclaim (too expensive) and Bedford Rascal (despite what I was told, they're too big!). Instead I sourced 2 Austin Metro Van H4 units. Now, these have brackets on them which do not fit the Allegro surrounds but I am nothing if not resourceful. A little tickle with the Dremel saw them cut and ground off and they fit perfectly. I have since repainted the surrounds as one had been chipped in storage. I celebrated by fitting the headlight backplates to the car.

First of the two rear lights fitted, properly!

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New Headlight, including unwanted bracketry.

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Allegro surrounds fitted after surgery

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Headlight backplates fitted

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Lights and things

Postby MrBounce » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:48 pm

Been finding a few more little bits to do, so here's another little update.

I repainted the petrol filler and fitted that, and turned my attention to the cap itself. It needed a good clean up, so I carefully took it apart. Ideally it needs a new seal, but these are unavailable, and as the cap is over a foot from the neck of the tank, I am going to chance it for now. If there's any need to change it in the future I will look at my options. I gave the plastic part of the cap a good clean then gave a it shot of primer. I had to do this twice as there was a minor reaction to the primer - possibly the washing-up liquid not being rinsed off enough? Anyway, this was sanded down and resprayed and the second coat worked. I made a "gasket" out of rubber sheet for the plastic to the metal part of the cap; the previous abomination was typical of the 70s BL parts bin as this is an early TR7 cap. I shall fit it all together once the new coat of satin black has dried.

I found the adjusters for the headlights in a box and found them in a bit of a sorry rusty state. Half an hour in the Bilt Hamber De-Ox gel and a good wire brushing had them looking much better. The worst one still has a little bit of rust on it, but considering how bad it looked before, it's actually a massive improvement.

The RH Rear light has been adjusted and re-fitted, this time it's worked rather well. There are a few unavoidable Dremel marks on the inside of the lens but it will do for now. I know they're there and it does bug me a bit but until a good used lens comes up at a sensible price it can stay there.

I have solved the Oil Cap clearance issue by simply buying a different one, and dare I say it it looks quite nice. I am not convinced by the colour but as painting it would be a massive ball ache that can wait.

I've also started sorting out the new front grill by cutting a new piece out and using epoxy (and several props) to fix the studs so it can be wingnutted into place. I am waiting on those to dry.

And finally, just as a bit of a morale-booster, I popped the headlights into their holes "just to see". Zippy's starting to look like a car again!

Petrol Filler loosely fitted.

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New "gasket made for fuel cap innards to plastic outer.

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Cap in primer (take 2) - sorry for the rubbish photo!

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Not so rusty headlight adjusters

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RHS Rear light FINALLY fitted.

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New Oil Cap, looking less "In your face" than the MG Metro item.

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New grill mesh cut out and ready to go in

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And Zippy has his face back!

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

Postby Hans Efde » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:18 am

Great color, must be a fantastic car when finished. Worth validating.
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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

Postby MrBounce » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:51 pm

Thank you Hans :) It's actually a standard RAL Colour (2008 I think without looking at the can) called Bright Red Orange. Definitely a "10-foot" paint job though :lol:

A few more jobs completed today, the first of which was the brake caliper bolts. I had received these via eBay and although the correct thread, they didn't look like the ones from the photo, and it was something that was bugging me. As a result I ordered the correct ones from Mini Spares and when they turned up, the difference was plain to see - different lengths of both thread and shoulder. So a quick couple of minutes with a ratchet and 9/16" socket saw them changed.

I rubbed down the sunroof surround and gave it a good shot of Satin Black to match the rest of the car's trim. I know it's going to be a pain in the butt to fit, and I'll also have to find a new seal for it, but I should be able to get it fitted fairly soon. I also finished off the petrol cap and put it on the car - mainly so I don't lose it!

i popped over to Tink's last night to help with his project, but also to use his "much better than mine" Mig welder. I needed to sort the brackets for the hatch struts as the original nuts were (quite badly) welded M8s and my stock of those was somewhat minimal. I lopped them off with the angry grinder and then zipped up a couple of 5/16"s in their place. I also had a bit of a problem with my Metro radiator. The old one had studs attached for the fan whereas the new one did not. I absolutely detest the zip-tie method of attaching the fan so that was definitely out. Using a bit of ingenuity we turned the welder right down and welded some studs (well bolts actually!) to the top and bottom of the rad. I then masked up the rad and gave it and the brackets a good coating of satin black.

Finally I have quickly thrown the grill into place and although it needs a little bit of fettling, overall it looks pretty good. More soon!

Massive difference between pattern parts and correct spec on the caliper bolts.

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Sunroof surround now black. Looks MUCH better than bare aluminium.

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Petrol Cap fitted. LOVE this thing.

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Hatch strut brackets with newly "glued-on" UNF nuts.

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New studs on radiator.

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Masked radiator and brackets now in black.

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And finally, a first look at the grill. Me like!

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

Postby MrBounce » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:24 am

Well I've done a tiny little bit more, just to keep my foot in as it were.

The strut brackets have been finished, painted and fitted to the car. Before I put the radiator in (which I haven't yet), I needed to look at where the oil cooler was going to sit. As there's precious little room anywhere on these cars, it's going to go just behind and slightly to the right hand side of the radiator, sitting above the front subframe mount. As such, it's going to need some brackets. So out came the angry grinder, some steel and the pillar drill. They've been completed and painted. I love these little jobs! And as I'd dropped it down the back of the workbench and had to retrieve it, I made sure that I wouldn't lose the VIN plate again and fitted it to the car.

Oh, and I've taken the alloys to a local blasting firm to tidy them up. They did offer to powdercoat them as well, but sadly my budget doesn't quite run that far. I should pick them up in a couple of weeks and will paint them myself.

Strut brackets completed and on the car

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Newly-constructed oil cooler brackets

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And VIN plate is now where I shouldn't be able to lose it...

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

Postby MrBounce » Sat Sep 16, 2017 6:00 pm

I don't have too much to show for my few hours of tinkering this week, so here's a picture of my freshly blasted wheels to keep you all happy...

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Re: Mk 1 Project Zippy - Engine is In! 01/04/17

Postby MrBounce » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:01 pm

Just a few more minor bits of tinkering tonight. When I initially made my top radiator brackets, I had measured it all without any ancillaries on the engine. Naturally, once I came round to putting the rad in, it did line up, but was pushed up right against the alternator. With a bit of minor tweaking, I was able to lean the rad slightly forward to the front of the car. However this meant that the old bracket was useless. A quick bit of CAD using a Jaffa cake packet (what else?) saw a fairly simple "L"-shaped bracket cut out, drilled and bent to shape. I gave it a try and all works perfectly, with no bolts showing through the bodywork. Excellent. It's currently hanging up having been painted. I also had some help whilst I was measuring up from Sherman, who popped in to try the seats.

One job that I have been putting off was the clutch slave cylinder spring. I hate these as they're strong springs and when stretched, they do tend to let go with quite a force. On more than one occasion it pinged off and landed under the car. After several angry words and threatening it with various tools, the needle nose pliers secured it and it's now on, at least until the clutch needs doing...

Finally, I had a good look over the wheels and despite some minor kerbing (which I tidied up with the Dremel), there were only very minor imperfections and the occasional nick in the wheels. I shall attend to that with some filler before I give them a coat of gloss black.

New radiator top bracket in primer, awaiting paint.

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FINALLY! Clutch spring is on!

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Sherman inspecting the seats. As soon as the power tools came out he was long gone!

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Minor imperfections such as this are pretty much all that's wrong with the wheels. Filler to follow before painting.

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