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Go Back   Madabout Kitcars Forum > Mad Build Area > Marlin Sportster, Cabrio, Berlinetta and Roadster builds

Marlin Sportster, Cabrio, Berlinetta and Roadster builds Enthused or Confused about your vintage Marlin build? Ask away here or show off your build.

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  #1  
Old 4th January 2011, 18:32
denniswpearce denniswpearce is offline
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Question Questions, questions, questions ???

Guys,
More questions for you.
I have a small collection of hand tools, hammer, large socket set, two small boxes of spanners screw drivers adjustables, typical household stuff and a workmate.

In order to build a Sportster what items will I need to succeed and what could I do without ?
I believe an engine hoist is essential ( probably sell that on ebay afterwards ). Coil spring compressor, adjustable axle jacks, grinder, these are some of the things I have seen on your various web sites that I do not have.
Do I need a bench and vice ? or can you do without ?

Most of the work would have to be done by myself as my few neighbours are well into retirement and have a job to lift themselves let alone lend me a hand. Obviously quite a few items need two people ie. back axle and engine/gearbox. Don,t really have a social circle of friends to call on, but I have a colleague who can weld and fabricate and has offerred to help if I am stuck.

I would love to tackle a build and am very tempted to go look at Spart's as its for sale, but am wondering if its a step too far for me.

Also as his chassis is six years old, have Marlin done any mods to the chassis since then because of problems that you guys have discovered during your builds. If that is the case a new chassis might be better.

Many questions I know, but I am in a quandry.

pm me if you don,t want to put it up for public view.

Many thanks

Dennis
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  #2  
Old 4th January 2011, 20:26
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MartinClan MartinClan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denniswpearce View Post
Guys,
More questions for you.
I have a small collection of hand tools, hammer, large socket set, two small boxes of spanners screw drivers adjustables, typical household stuff and a workmate.

In order to build a Sportster what items will I need to succeed and what could I do without ?
I believe an engine hoist is essential ( probably sell that on ebay afterwards ). Coil spring compressor, adjustable axle jacks, grinder, these are some of the things I have seen on your various web sites that I do not have.
Do I need a bench and vice ? or can you do without ?

Most of the work would have to be done by myself as my few neighbours are well into retirement and have a job to lift themselves let alone lend me a hand. Obviously quite a few items need two people ie. back axle and engine/gearbox. Don,t really have a social circle of friends to call on, but I have a colleague who can weld and fabricate and has offerred to help if I am stuck.

I would love to tackle a build and am very tempted to go look at Spart's as its for sale, but am wondering if its a step too far for me.

Also as his chassis is six years old, have Marlin done any mods to the chassis since then because of problems that you guys have discovered during your builds. If that is the case a new chassis might be better.

Many questions I know, but I am in a quandry.

pm me if you don,t want to put it up for public view.

Many thanks

Dennis
Hmm - tools.

I suppose there are not a huge number that are ESSENTIAL but there are plenty that will make life easier. A good quality battery drill is a must. You will also need a fair collection of metalworking tools - hacksaw, files etc. A bench and vise would certainly make life easier but probably not essential. My advice would not be to buy anything until you need it - that way you don't end up with a box full of tools that have no purpose. But when you do need it - buy it - don't try to get away with something not up to the job. That is where bodging starts and the project starts to go downhill.

I bought an engine hoist - essential for lifting the BMW lump which very heavy being a cast iron block. Peter has it at the moment!

As for help. I did the entire job by myself - with a little ingenuity and the right tools you don't need a second pair of hands. (although sometimes they will make a job much quicker)

One serious piece of advice - don't neglect those safety items (safety goggles etc.)

Robin

PS my chassis is about 6 years old. It was fine after I corrected a couple of "introduced" errors in its construction!

Cheers

Robin
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  #3  
Old 4th January 2011, 20:58
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peterux peterux is offline
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Oh, yes, lots of questions.......
Tools; yes they'll be lots of tools you'll need along the way, but my advice is to buy them when you need them and that way you can spread the cost during your build.
A few things spring to mind that are invaluable...
1. a 24" 'breaker bar' it makes difficult nuts to be loosened with less effort and no lost skin off your knuckles!
2. A good battery powered hand drill. I have a pair, one large and one small for small places.
3. Invest in a really good set of high quality drill bits. They save time and temper and drill better holes with less effort.
4. A step drill for making bigger holes.
5. Some good quality marking out tools, ruler, adjustable set square, and centre punch. I think my adjustable set square is my most frequently used tool.
6. For cutting the bodywork, I found a hand portable jigsaw invaluable, but you can leave that until you get to that stage.
7. You'll need a bench and a good vice for holding things and making lots of brackets. You can get away with a cheapish 'workmate type bench if space or money is tight. But if you buy a cheap workmate, then get a decent heavy duty metal workers vice to bolt to the workmate.

I think with enough energy and enthusiasm, anyone can build a Marlin, but you need lots of time, perseverance and desire to have your own car.Be prepared for everything to take longer than you expect and some moments of despair when nothing seems to fit together. Balanced by days when you will be grinning like a Cheshire cat after a day in the garage.

I believe that Marlin have made some small recent changes but nothing that would stop the body being fitted.
I have heard Marlin can be a bit 'iffy' about supporting buyers of unfinished kits but maybe that's not all they can be funny about.
I think you'll get better support from Marlin as a first time builder if you buy direct from Marlin.
You'll get lots of help from the builders on this forum.

Most of the work you can do yourself on your own, with just a handful where another pair of hands are essential.
I'm sure the others will be along with their input soon, I hope I haven't put you off.

Don't worry about asking questions as most on this forum started off with no idea!!

all the best,

Peter

Quote:
Originally Posted by denniswpearce View Post
Guys,
More questions for you.
I have a small collection of hand tools, hammer, large socket set, two small boxes of spanners screw drivers adjustables, typical household stuff and a workmate.

In order to build a Sportster what items will I need to succeed and what could I do without ?
I believe an engine hoist is essential ( probably sell that on ebay afterwards ). Coil spring compressor, adjustable axle jacks, grinder, these are some of the things I have seen on your various web sites that I do not have.
Do I need a bench and vice ? or can you do without ?

Most of the work would have to be done by myself as my few neighbours are well into retirement and have a job to lift themselves let alone lend me a hand. Obviously quite a few items need two people ie. back axle and engine/gearbox. Don,t really have a social circle of friends to call on, but I have a colleague who can weld and fabricate and has offerred to help if I am stuck.

I would love to tackle a build and am very tempted to go look at Spart's as its for sale, but am wondering if its a step too far for me.

Also as his chassis is six years old, have Marlin done any mods to the chassis since then because of problems that you guys have discovered during your builds. If that is the case a new chassis might be better.

Many questions I know, but I am in a quandry.

pm me if you don,t want to put it up for public view.

Many thanks

Dennis
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  #4  
Old 4th January 2011, 21:00
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peterux peterux is offline
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It seems that Robin and I were typing at the same time.

Interesting to see the similar ideas....

...peter

Oh, yes, and I borrowed my engine hoist
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  #5  
Old 5th January 2011, 07:37
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So did I. And the engine stand.

Everything Pete & Robin said - I found having my pillar drill a god send on several occasions, and it was just a cheap and cheerfull one from B&Q. And my vice was essential for making all the brackets I needed.

A small blow-torch is usefull as well - if only for heating metal to make it easier to form into brackets. It's also good for removing old bushes...

You'll be needing an electrical multimeter as well to help with the spagetti.
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  #6  
Old 5th January 2011, 19:07
timbo timbo is offline
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I used to dream of 'aving pillar drill Luxury!
Good vice is essential, along with your welding friend.
Angle grinder, decent drill (preferably with a pop-riveting attachment) and my personal favourite, the power file all pretty important.
And yes, the jobs you really need 2 people for are fairly few and far between.
Tim
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  #7  
Old 5th January 2011, 20:53
NigelB NigelB is offline
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Hi Dennis,

I live in Reading and am in the early stages of an E36 Sporster build. (Chassis collected mid September).

I agree with everything above and would add a decent rivnut tool. I also bought a Pillar Drill as a special offer at a Lidls new store opening. I've used it a few times to drill holes but most of the time it's had a wire brush in it and been used to clean away loads of rust and grime.

Another thing is a decent trolley jack. I aquired one from a chap who had run out of space and its been invaluable. I lifted and fitted the complete E36 rear axle assembly with it with no problem.

And then there's those other accessories you'll need.

The biggest swear box you can find.

A tin hat to keep you from pulling your hiar out.

And something to kick the sh_t out of when all else fails!!

Have fun!!

Nigel
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  #8  
Old 5th January 2011, 21:26
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peterux peterux is offline
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I fear we might be putting you off, but to me buying the tools as you go along is all part of the experience!

You end up with a finished car, a superb variety of tools and usually a few boxes of spare bits left over.

(I forgot the B&D power file, that was pure indulgence, but a great tool when it comes to fitting the fibreglass rear tub. Not really essential)
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  #9  
Old 5th January 2011, 21:28
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peterux peterux is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NigelB View Post

And then there's those other accessories you'll need.

The biggest swear box you can find.

A tin hat to keep you from pulling your hiar out.

And something to kick the sh_t out of when all else fails!!

Have fun!!

Nigel
Hi Nigel,
I see your build is going well then!

...peter
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  #10  
Old 5th January 2011, 22:03
NigelB NigelB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterux View Post
Hi Nigel,
I see your build is going well then!

...peter
Not bad Peter. Not bad..................

The occassional release of steam helps keep me focused.

But you'll know the tin hat didn't work for me

Last edited by NigelB; 5th January 2011 at 22:05.. Reason: Spelling
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  #11  
Old 6th January 2011, 18:23
denniswpearce denniswpearce is offline
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Thank you guys, more replies than I had anticipated and there is a similar theme running through all the tools you mention. Obvious I suppose, as you have all experienced the same problems.
I like Nigel and Robins idea of only buying as you need them and no Peter you have not put me off, its done the opposite, its given me encouragement.
It has now given me a very good idea of what I need.
Fortuitously I have my classic car colleague who has offered me assistance and I am sure I could borrow some tools as well.
Waiting for a reply from Spart at the moment to go up to look at his kit for sale.
Once again guys thanks very much and watch this space. There will be more questions, probably in a new thread.
Sorry for dominating the forum so much.

Regards
Dennis
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  #12  
Old 9th January 2011, 12:46
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Top tools:

Breaker bar
Angle grinder
HSS drill bits
Rivnut gun
Spanners
Sockets
Jigsaw
Big vice
Wire stripper
Soldering iron
Step drill bit
MAPP gas tourch
Magnet on a wire - you will drop stuff in difficult places!
Break pipe flare
Break pipe bender
Hammer

I'll add more if I think of them.

Really nice to have stuff:

Compressor + air tools (got one of these after the car was done, wish I had gotten it earlier)
MIG welder
Lathe - made some custom bits for the interior on this
Hydraulic press (for bushes)
Engine hoist + stand
For E36 and later a laptop + carsoft for analysing error codes
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  #13  
Old 9th January 2011, 19:07
denniswpearce denniswpearce is offline
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Patrick,
Thanks for your list as well as all the other contributers. I believe you could all start a garage business between you.

I am sure the lists will help the other new guys on here as well.

Also picked up on the Bentley manual from the other thread.

Quick question ? Spart says he labelled all the wires from the donor engine but the writing has faded so its illegible. Is that much of a problem to figure out where they go or what they do ?
I am assuming the two new builders have a good understanding of a modern BMW engines but my knowledge is old technology, so I will have to read this Bentley manual from end to end understand it.

Dennis
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  #14  
Old 9th January 2011, 21:27
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All BMW wiring I've dealt with has been coloured and logical to follow, so as long as you have a bently manual it should be relatively straightforward.

Best thing to do is keep the original engine and car loom and trim out the bits you don't need as well as shorten bits as needed.

The BMW loom / fuse box is much more reliable than the lucas stuff
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