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Mitchelkitman 19th April 2021 15:08


Originally Posted by MartinClan (Post 106317)
I am now on the hunt for some decent plywood to make the doors proper from. Not so easy as one might think nowadays...

Cheers, Robin

Indeed - I bought some ply from B&Q - meant to be boil and waterproof exterior ply. I treated it to a couple of coats of Sadolin and put it on my trailer. Within 2 days (no rain, just dew fall) it was bent like a banana! I returned it, and was immediately told "we cut it, so you can't return it". I requested to speak to the Manager, and he immediately granted a refund. I think you'll need a specialist supplier, or How about making the doors using GRP?

Grey V8 Pete 19th April 2021 18:17

Why not try marine ply from a boatbuilders? If it will stand a sea environment it should be ok. Peter.

molleur 19th April 2021 21:05

Have you priced ANY plywood of late?
really expensive these days.

MartinClan 20th April 2021 07:20


Originally Posted by molleur (Post 106325)
Have you priced ANY plywood of late?
really expensive these days.

Yes, it's expensive. The problem I have found is that even some of the expensive stuff is rubbish. I don't mind the cost if the quality is there but the stuff from the usual builders merchants suppliers is, without exception, rubbish. So that means mail order which almost doubles the cost. Grrr

Cheers, Robin

Lucky@LeMans 20th April 2021 08:50

Have you thought about making an ash frame and skinning with aluminium ? The coach builders method from years ago. The trouble with ply is that it will twist and distort if its hung on its side as a door.

kon 20th April 2021 09:31

Or how about a hybrid? Exterior grade ply as the frame, with fist-sized holes added for lightness, and as a reinforcing shape. Then coat with epoxy to seal it, and cover with fiberglass, leaving one side on a flat surface to make the exterior smooth and flat, with the reinforcing shape visible on the inside.

MartinClan 20th April 2021 10:10

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. The original doors were 25mm ply skinned with aluminium and never warped - so I was following that method. The trick I hope is to get some good quality ply and then seal it against moisture ingress. My favourite so far is something called duraply which is an engineered ply made from Poplar.

I will be cutting out the centre though so as to allow for a small door pocket and lighten the whole thing. I have just completed building a camper van from scratch so have all the good tools for that kind of thing.

Cheers, Robin

MartinClan 5th July 2021 15:20

A little update
It seems ages ago since I last posted an update but I have been beavering away.
I have made new seatbelt mounts to take standard inertia reel belts. I say new, but there wasn't really any proper seat belt mounts previously with static seatbelts just being attached to the aluminium inner skin. Ooo-err...

I have also been working on the rear tub repairing myriads of holes so its back to how it would have originally been supplied by Marlin. Also, in an attempt to improve both the appearance and strength I have added several layers of fibreglass tape to the top edge. It's now fairly consistantly about 6mm thick - previously it varied between about 2 and 6mm. Still needs some work but its getting there. by Robin Martin, on Flickr by Robin Martin, on Flickr

The observant may spot that there is more clearance between the tub and seatbelt mount one side to the other. Not sure what is out of true yet - some careful measuring needed...

Cheers, Robin

MartinClan 7th August 2021 19:14

Some more progress....
I have re-made the rear tub support plate. The original was pretty ugly with oversized holes. The new one is a tad lower so I should be able to get some tite-n-fast trim arround the top edge of the tub. The original went right to the top which would have made that impossible. by Robin Martin, on Flickr by Robin Martin, on Flickr
I have also made some new floor pan sides from 1.2mm zintec steel. The originals were alluminium -a bit scary as the seatbelt lower mount is bolted to them. My home made bender was just about up to the job but I may have to think again for the next step which is to remake the rear bulkhead. This was also ally but again I would like to make it from steel but I think my home made bender will struggle with that as it is nearly a metre wide. by Robin Martin, on Flickr
And finally - bought these of Ebay. Ex Austin Healey 3000 - 15x4.5J - just what I was after. I didn't want spanky new ones as they are:
A - Expensive
B - I am going for the well used classic rather than show car look.
You may spot there is actually 7! One guy had 4 for sale and someone else 3. Of course I wanted 5 so I bought both lots. They are all made by MWS - 4 seem to be original British made and the others later Indian manufacture. All 7 cost less than 1 new one. by Robin Martin, on Flickr
Cheers for now, Robin

MartinClan 8th August 2021 16:39

I have cut down the rear bumper. It's robust but a bit utilitarian looking and as I am planning cycle wings I thought it would better a little smaller. by Robin Martin, on Flickr

The old fuel tank was well beyond rescuing and so I think I will see about getting a custom one made. There are loads of places offering this service but does anyone have any recomendations? by Robin Martin, on Flickr

molleur 8th August 2021 20:05

Don't forget a fuel tank vent and sender.

MartinClan 9th August 2021 20:22

The plan is to use a vented cap. And I will make the cut out for the fuel sensor myself once I know what I am using.
Had a quote of £240 from CompBrake which seems reasonable. Made from 3mm ally and baffled.
Cheers Robin

molleur 9th August 2021 22:15


MartinClan 18th August 2021 17:37

Made some good progress in the last couple of weeks. After a lot of fitting and refitting the rear body tub now fits square. It had been originally fitted (by Marlin) not very well and I had to fill all the original mounting holes and redrill them. Also, as it had not been square for some 40 years, the moulding had become a bit distorted and it resisted my efforts to sort it out. Fits fine now though! by Robin Martin, on Flickr
Originally countersunk head screws were used for the fixings but these were perilously close to the edge so I have replaced them with conventional allen screws and large washers. Hopefully the wheel should hide most of them.

I was going to get some new leaf springs made but this was starting to look expensive so I thought I would check the originals a bit more closely. They turned out to be far better than I expected with little or no age related sag. Not bad seeing they are nigh on 50 years old. Picture shows them compared to a NOS original spring. by Robin Martin, on Flickr

I was also able, to my suprise, to obtain new metalastic bushes. I suspect this is because they may be the same size as used in 1970's Fords. There isn't a lot of Marina bits out there. Burnt the old bushes out and the new ones pressed in suprisingly easily. by Robin Martin, on Flickr
That's all for now and probably for a while. New kitchen fitting starts in ernest soon...
Cheers, Robin

MartinClan 1st September 2021 09:10

The fuel tank, made by CompBrake, arrived and is exactly as my fag packet sketch so thumbs up to them. It fits almost perfectly (see below!) between the chassis rails as planned. The original tank was suspended much lower which made it rather vulnerable IMHO. The new tank is made from 3mm aluminium and so should be tough as old boots. It's also baffled and sumped so there shouldn't be any problems with fuel surge.

So - it fitted perfectly - almost... I discovered after a trial fit that the original tank mounting flanges on the chassis are positioned in such a way the the back of the tank is angled downwards by about an inch. Doh! No idea why but as the fuel take off on my tank is at the front this could prove to be a problem. Also I planned to use the tank top face as a level for the boot floor. Had I realised I could have had the flanges on the tank mounted at an angle to compensate but too late now. So i am going to have to grind off the flanges on the chassis and remake them so the tank is level. Grrrrrrrr......
Cheers, Robin by Robin Martin, on Flickr by Robin Martin, on Flickr

MartinClan 10th September 2021 16:41

Today I bit the bullet and chopped the old, very rusty, spring pads off the axle and replaced them with new shiny ones.
My main concern was getting the new ones back in exactly the right place. To position them laterally I marked the axle with the ends of original spring pads with a centre punch. I then cut of the first mount. The axle was extremly rusty due to the design of the spring pads allowing water to collect - I hope the strength hasn't been compromised. by Robin Martin, on Flickr
I then levelled up the new pad by axle using a spirit level on the remaining pad and then again on the new pad. by Robin Martin, on Flickr
And then welded the new pad in place. The process was repeated for the other pad. by Robin Martin, on Flickr
Ok - so my welding won't win any prizes but its strong enough...
And finally, cleaned up the brake back plates which were in suprisingly good condition considering they are 50 years old! The shiny bits in the picture are good clean bare metal. by Robin Martin, on Flickr
Just needs a coat or two of paint now....

Cheers, Robin

molleur 10th September 2021 16:57

looking good Robin

peterux 11th September 2021 11:28

Nice welding, much better than mine, well done

MartinClan 21st September 2021 12:16

A little bit of progress mainly due to the fact that IKEA seem to be out of stock of some of the components for our new kitchen! Which seems to prevent you ordering any of it....

So - I trial fitted the rear springs and all the bits that the axle hangs on. Bit of a milestone this as it means I am actually starting to assemble the car rather than dismantle!
Not quite as simple as it would first appear as the original U-Bolts and lowering block were shot so I had to get some replacements. Of course Marina ones are simply not available so in the end I used some Grayston lowering blocks and U-bolts intended for the Ford Escort. Actually better quality than I expected. I had to squish the u-bolts slightly as they were a few mm wider than the original ones. But they are made properly from HT steel, it seems, so I had to heat up the U bit to cherry red before they would move. They are also 1/16" greater in diameter so had to fettle the spring plates.
The other good game was the rubber spring pads. Again originals unavailable. You can get them from one of the polybush companies but they are over £100 for the 4! In the end I modified some intended for an MGB. Cost me all of £6. by Robin Martin, on Flickr
Cheers, Robin
PS - The block of wood is the axle simulator...

MartinClan 12th October 2021 10:07

I trial fitted the refurbished axle this weekend. It is very heavy! I have been pontificating about what dampers to use but Ebay had a special offer on Spax adjustables (20% off) so I spashed the cash and bought both rears and fronts (which are actually Herald rears). trial fit by Robin Martin, on Flickr

The only real issue I had, prior to fitting, was the handbrake compensator lever which mounted using some long ago perished rubber top hat bushes. I managed to find an oilite bush of almost the correct size which was a tight press fit and used that instead. Probably better than the original. brake compensator by Robin Martin, on Flickr

The only snag, and yet to be resolvled, is the proximity of the handbrake cables to the damper. I think it could well touch when the car is moving. Which probably wouldnt really matter but I guess it would be an MOT failure.... brake cable by Robin Martin, on Flickr

Next job is to remake the rear bulkhead - which I am going to make in steel rather than the original ally. That's going to be fun - folding 1.2mm zintec. Watch this space...

Cheers, Robin

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