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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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  #641  
Old 10th February 2024, 20:39
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Default Hood frame preparation

Time for a small update.......

Since the New Year, I've been focussing my efforts on fitting a badge bar with driving lights and preparing the hood frame before the new hood is fitted in the spring. More on the badge bar when I have some decent photos so this update is about the hood frame.
The wooden battens that form the hood windscreen rail were very rotten from being left out in all weathers for many years so had to be remade.
Following the instructions in the Royale build manual I started by cutting two battens according to the dimensions given. These are then screwed together either side of a steel spine.

Hood header rail by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

You then have to make two cut outs in the lower baton for the Triumph hood catches.

Hood header rail by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Trial fitting the hood catch

Hood header rail by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Having screwed the two batons together you then have to plane a 15 degree slope to the top piece of wood and then chamfer the lower baton at 55 degrees. (Marked with a pencil line.)

Hood header rail by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Lower baton now chamfered.

Hood header rail by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The front corners and top ends are then rounded.

Hood header rail by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The next picture shows how the hood side rails are located on the cant rail. My timber battens are thinner than specified so I added a 2mm thick aluminium strip between the battens and the steel spine. (photo taken before final paint preparation.)

Detail of hood side support by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

I then dismantled the frame for painting. Whilst preparing the hood hoops for a fresh coat of paint I discovered they were very rusty beneath the black Hammerite that I put on about 11 years ago. They had clearly suffered more under the leaking hood than I first thought and I suspect they were not particularly well painted when first built.
I decided they needed to be stripped back to bare metal. This is one of the hoops after stripping, sanding and having been treated with Rustin's rust converter.

Hood hoops stripped for re-painting by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

I then applied the first coat of primer.
I'm trying out "Direct to metal" Epoxy primer. Apparently, this creates a barrier that prevents moisture from reaching the metal surface, thereby reducing the risk of rust formation. They also claim it forms a strong bond with the metal surface, which helps prevent the paint or coating from peeling or flaking off over time.
It went on very nicely and dried to a pleasing smooth finish.

Hood hoops primed by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Following the application of primer I will be finishing the hoops in Midnight Blue to match the bodywork.

...............peter
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  #642  
Old 13th February 2024, 12:26
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MartinClan MartinClan is offline
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Looking great!
Who would have known that the header rail is so complicated.

Cheers, Robin
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  #643  
Old 14th February 2024, 13:47
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Looking great!
Who would have known that the header rail is so complicated.

Cheers, Robin
yes, John Barlow was quite specific how he expected his cars to be built!
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  #644  
Old 29th February 2024, 16:07
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Default Potpourri

A little 'potpourri' of updates from my garage..........

I've finished off the hood header rail and given it a few coats of paint.

Hood frame assembly by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Hood frame assembly by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

I've also fitted the 'side arms' and the window seals.

Hood frame assembly by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Bit of an optical illusion as the side arm is actually parallel with the top of the window.

I've also finished fitting the new reversing and fog lamps. Here is a picture of the fog lamp which is not very exciting!

Fog Lamp by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

And I've changed the side lights to LED as the originals were very dim. Not very obvious but here is a before and after shot. Nearside changed to LED and offside is the original bulb.

LED sidelights by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Well, that's all for now.
Hopefully, I'm off to the trimmers next week to have the new hood made and fitted.

.............peter
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  #645  
Old 1st March 2024, 10:05
Amir Manzoori Amir Manzoori is offline
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Hi Peter, as always, carrying out everything in the best way possible. Just a question, have you considered having your original hood frame modified so that you don't have to leave your seat to open the top. Instead you unlock the two screen locks, lift and drop it back behind the seats, and to close it, just the revers of that? Just an idea.
Keep up the fantastic work.
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  #646  
Old 1st March 2024, 17:24
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MartinClan MartinClan is offline
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Looking forward to seeing the hood!
The last piece of the puzzle?
That rear fog light looks very nice. I don't suppose you remember where it was from?
Cheers, Robin
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  #647  
Old 2nd March 2024, 18:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amir Manzoori View Post
Hi Peter, as always, carrying out everything in the best way possible. Just a question, have you considered having your original hood frame modified so that you don't have to leave your seat to open the top. Instead you unlock the two screen locks, lift and drop it back behind the seats, and to close it, just the revers of that? Just an idea.
Keep up the fantastic work.
Hi Amir, no I hadn't considered modifying the frame, opting to keep to John Barlow's design to keep it simple.
I did see something about this in your recent article in the owners magazine but the picture wasn't clear enough to see what you had done.
Maybe something to consider for my future projects
cheers, Peter
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  #648  
Old 2nd March 2024, 18:52
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Originally Posted by MartinClan View Post
Looking forward to seeing the hood!
The last piece of the puzzle?
That rear fog light looks very nice. I don't suppose you remember where it was from?
Cheers, Robin
The hood is the last big piece but I still have a few other things to do before I would say it's finished

The reversing and fog lights come from ebay like these....

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/232996587...Bk9SR86N94rAYw

Lots of sellers selling the same lamps so check the prices if you fancy buying some.
Of course, they are not 'E' or 'F' marked but they do have 'old school' glass lenses ad look nice!
Made of 'Chinese' stainless steel so not sure how long they will last?

cheers, Peter
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  #649  
Old 19th March 2024, 20:02
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I picked up my car from the trimmers this morning. I have to say that I am absolutely delighted with the result. Dave Joy at Hukes Car trimmers has done a fabulous job, a real craftsman!

New hood by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

New hood by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Details of front rail and hidem banding. Extra 'flap' above the windscreen to stop any water ingress.

New hood by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Latching handles. Dave made up a new piece of internal trim to cover the rail. Looks fantastic and a major improvement.

New hood by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

New hood by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

New hood by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Next job, when time permits, is to fit some nice real leather seats

....peter
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  #650  
Old 20th March 2024, 21:15
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Looks very nice
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  #651  
Old 18th April 2024, 21:13
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Default New seats

The somewhat scruffy MX5 seats were always a temporary measure to get me through the IVA. My original plan was to have these seats recovered so I was on the look out for another pair. The plan was to get another pair to use while mine were being professionally recovered. Recovering costs in leather by my trimmer, who did my hood, was estimated to be about

FORUM PLAYING UP AGAIN!! I'LL TRY AGAIN TOMMOROW>>>>>

Last edited by peterux; 18th April 2024 at 21:43.. Reason: Forum faults
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  #652  
Old 19th April 2024, 19:29
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Default New Seats

Okay, so let's try that again...........................

.................................................. .................................................. .........................................

The somewhat scruffy MX5 seats were always a temporary measure to get me through the IVA. My original plan was to have these seats recovered so I was on the look out for another pair. The plan was to get another pair to use while mine were being professionally recovered. Recovering costs in leather by my trimmer who did my hood, was estimated to be about GBP2k in leather and about GBP1k in vinyl.
Whilst looking for another set, a pair of cream leather MX5 seats came up on ebay for GBP300. They looked to be in good condition in the pictures so I snapped them up. When they arrived I found they were in nearly perfect condition, just a bit dirty.
This picture is one of the leather MX5 seats. In remarkably good condition but slightly the wrong shade of cream/beige. I tried one in the car but it didn't match the cream vinyl and looked awful.

New leather seats by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Due to the 'new' leather seats being the wrong shade of cream I decided to have a go at re-colouring them. There are companies that do this professionally but I thought I would have a go myself.
I found a company called Carbusonic that offered to provide a leather coating colour matched to my vinyl dashboard surround. You first have to thoroughly degrease the leather with their specialised prep fluid and then sand with 600 grade abrasive paper. Then three coats of the leather coating. You can use a hair drier the dry the coats to speed up the process. This picture shows the head rest half done. Top part is coated and lower part is the original leather.

New leather seats by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

This is the passenger seat after two coats.

New leather seats by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Close up after three coats.

New leather seats by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The leather coating covers the small cracks in the leather but follows the natural gran and makes them look like new. It surpassed my expectations.

New leather seats by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The company that makes the leather coating recommends you use sponge brushes. I was sceptical as I had never used these before but they worked really well. Easy to use and left no streaks or brush marks. Each seat took about 1 day including preparation. The prep solution cost GBP22 and the colour matched coating cost GBP34. So with the brushes and sandpaper about GBP65 for two seats.

New leather seats by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

And here is the first seat fitted.

New leather seats by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Came out much better than expected so I'm delighted!
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  #653  
Old 19th April 2024, 22:39
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Good job, they look nice, I've been considering MX5 seats for the Sportster as the ones I have are not the best seats, even if they look the part.
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  #654  
Old 27th April 2024, 18:37
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Quote:
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Good job, they look nice, I've been considering MX5 seats for the Sportster as the ones I have are not the best seats, even if they look the part.
The Mx5 seats are very comfortable and I think Robin (martinclan) had them in his Sportster.
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  #655  
Old 27th April 2024, 19:59
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Default A grand day out and other things.....

Last Sunday was Drive it Day so it seemed like a good excuse to go for a drive in the Sabre. I joined a local group on a little drive to a rather nice cafe and farm shop. It was an eclectic group of cars that turned up.

Drive it Day - 24.04,2024 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Drive it Day - 24.04,2024 by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

It was a bright sunny day but rather cold. We wrapped up well and started with the hood down. First problem was the heater was not working! I was thinking the worse, had the heater valve failed, was there an air lock but later I found it was just the heater flap in the wrong position
After refreshments were taken we headed home taking the scenic route. This time with the hood up. This was the first time I have driven my car with the hood up. I was concerned it might feel claustrophobic but not all, it felt bright and airy with excellent visibility. This time we were snug and warm and eventually had to turn the heater off!
We stopped at the shops on the way back so here is the obligatory car park shot....

The obligatory car park shot. by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

We arrived home safely having thoroughly enjoyed our first day out.

Of course, there is some feedback and small list of things to do. One of the most over-riding things to address is the Sierra diff ratio is much too high and needs changing to a lower ratio. And the front suspension is too firm which means that speed bumps are met with a thump from the big tyres.
But the most immediate thing that needed to be addressed is the rear ride height was too low. Something was scrapping on the ground when going over speed bumps or when exiting a pot hole.
On returning to my garage I investigated and found that the rear silencer had been hitting the ground. Indeed, I had lost one of my nice chromium plated exhaust tips.

Ride height too low by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

I looked at raising the exhaust pipe and this is not possible due to the size of the BMW silencer and the spare wheel well. Neither of these I wanted to change. Looking back at the discussions between builders in the early years when there were many more builders there was debate over whether Sierra or Granada rear springs should be fitted. Some opting for Sierra springs whist others fitted Granada springs. I have had a set of Granada springs in my loft for many years so decided to fit these to raise the rear of the car.

Ride height too low by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

The Granada springs are about 30mm taller but slightly thinner wire diameter.

The procedure for removing the rear springs is in the Sierra Haynes manual. The most tedious part is disconnecting the drive shaft along with the inherent risk of rounding off one of the bolt heads but thankfully all were okay.

Ride height too low by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Fitting the new springs was a bit of a challenge as the exhaust was preventing one of the wishbones dropping fully. So I compressed the spring with my spring compressors and tied it with some rope.

Ride height too low by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Ride height too low by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Here is the spring tied compressed which allowed easy fitting. You can see the gap at the top of the spring. I raised the rear wishbone before untying the ropes.

The result is I now have an additional 70mm clearance at the back but I expect the springs to settle a little with time.

One other small issue was a known problem whereby the rear handbrake caliper spring was rubbing on the body tub. I relieved it a few millimetres with a flap wheel.

Rear caliper rubbing on body tub. by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Pleased with progress I had a cup of tea...........

New Seats by Sabrebuilder, on Flickr

Next I will trialling some new springs for the front suspension...........


..............peter
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  #656  
Old 27th April 2024, 20:31
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Excellent - glad you are using it :-)
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