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Go Back   Madabout Kitcars Forum > Mad Build Area > Vintage and Classic Roadster Kit Car Builds

Vintage and Classic Roadster Kit Car Builds For Vintage and Classic era kit cars. Post your build reports, problems and progress here

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  #1  
Old 18th August 2020, 14:30
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MartinClan MartinClan is offline
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Default Marlin Roadster (Re)Build

I have just acquired a previously built Marlin Roadster which I am planning to re-build/restore.
It has an interesting history in that the guy I purchased it from is the original builder. The car itself is correctly registered although never really finished having never been painted or trimmed. You could call it a blank canvas!
The kit is based on a Morris Marina (yes really!). This particular car used a 1.8 as the donor and so has a BMC B series engine. Not exactly a firecracker and pretty heavy but due to the love of the MGB there are plenty of tuning parts about.
It won't be a quick re-build so don't expect frequent updates!

The car currently looks like this:
blank_canvas by Robin Martin, on Flickr

But I am not planning a standard build. So it may end up looking like this:
11898940 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

Or this:
10377971 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

Robin

PS - Must try to understand how the pictures on this forum work.
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  #2  
Old 18th August 2020, 16:12
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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Well it looks like you've mastered how to do pictures!
For info (as far as my knowledge goes) there are only small differences between the Marina 1.8 and MG 1.8 engines (dependant on age the Marina one may be more powerful than an older MGB one for instance). IIRC the crank on MGB was forged, but not on Marina. There may be some cam differences...... Just in case anyone tries it DON'T fit a 'fast' or 'high lift' cam to one of these as you'll kill the torque and (as they aren't meant to be a high revving engine) never exploit the extra power at high revs. Someone was bitterly disappointed years ago when his kit car (with 'stage 3' or whatever tuning parts he'd paid a fortune for with expert fitment) was noticeably powerless compared to my bog standard MGB engine(same kit car). The crankshaft pulley is a bit bigger than the MGB, but fits either crank (ask me how I know!) but of course needs a slightly longer belt.
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  #3  
Old 18th August 2020, 19:49
Lucky@LeMans Lucky@LeMans is offline
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Nothing wrong with those old "B" series engines. The 1800 TC ( Twin Carb ) Marina went really well and in the light Marlin will be quite quick. Simple upgrades such as an electronic ignition module to replace the points and the twin carb conversion if yours is a single will be all you need.
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  #4  
Old 19th August 2020, 11:07
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Mister Towed Mister Towed is offline
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I was a huge fan of the Marina based Marlin back in the very early 80's - it was the kindest thing to do with BL's Finest (!!) saloon back then, far more subtle than dropping a caravan/grand piano/etc. on it like Jeremy C did regularly on Top Gear.

The old B series engine makes all the right noises and is simple and strong enough to be a very reliable lump with a bit of basic maintenance. Who cares if it's never going to worry a Fireblade rider in the insane 0-100-0mph dash between roundabouts on a sunny weekend?

As for the style to go for, it'd be option 1 above with Alfa badges for me all day long. A lot of people put Alfa/Fiat (and Toyota) twin cams in them back in the day, which justified the badges.

Hmm, I know I said there's nothing much wrong with a B series, but I wonder if the Twin-Spark motor from the cheap as chips 156 could be mated to an RX8 gearbox....
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  #5  
Old 21st August 2020, 15:32
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MartinClan MartinClan is offline
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I took a few pictures of the dirty bits yesterday before covering the car up till I am ready to start stripping it.

20200820_114555 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
Chassis is in good condition other than some surface rust.

20200820_113916 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
Front suspension. Tie bar bushes completely disintegrated!

20200820_113803[1] by Robin Martin, on Flickr
BMC B series engine with a mere 130k miles

20200820_115115[1] by Robin Martin, on Flickr
Rear spring arrangement. Not the prettiest part of the car. I am considering shortening the spring by about 50mm and shortening the chassis accordingly thereby bringing the spring mounts closer to the rear tub. Sounds a bit drastic but I have seen it done on another car with no ill affects on the handling.

On the plus side I was ploughing through the history file that came with it and although it hasn't run for nearly 30 years it had an MOT just before it came off the road. So other than those items affected by time, mechanically it shouldn't be too bad. And I found an invoice for a new gearbox so that's one less thing to overhaul. The engine itself will need a complete rebuild I suspect. At least an unleaded head conversion. Currently thinking about the Peter Burgess EconoTune head which allegedly produces about 20% more power without much further modification.

Cheers, Robin
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Old 21st August 2020, 17:31
Mitchelkitman Mitchelkitman is offline
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Instead of moving the spring mount, have you thought about creating a 'real valance' or similar to hide the rear of the chassis/springs?
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  #7  
Old 22nd August 2020, 18:02
Dpaz Dpaz is offline
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Wow a dynamo! Remember if it is registered as a Marlin (some aren't) with the donor reg and pre-1980, it is probably tax-free. Have you joined the Marlin owners Club? Lots of help and advice there. B engined Roadsters do tend to overheat so if you have, keep the engine fan and put louvres in the engine side panels. No need to tune it, the B is no slouch. I have a B roadster. Good luck and remember it is supposed to be fun.P.S. I too love the look of the first pic. The Alfa look is great!

Last edited by Dpaz; 22nd August 2020 at 18:04..
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