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D85CGV

project advice needed

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Hello 

Sorry if this ends up a bit long winded. I'm looking for advice on where to start with my restoration. Soon I'm going to be moving the car into a lock up. It's a bit restricted space wise but it's all I can get and afford. I read somewhere on here that people have tackled restoration in small garages and managed it by just doing a section at a time. I'm in the course of trying to find these threads in "your projects" to get ideas on how its best to proceed. I really just don't know where to start. By just looking at the car I can identify some issues that will need attention. For instance the usual rust behind the sunroof. The rear valance panel is rusting along with various other panels.  The nearside chassis leg will at least need a clean up to check of it's split or if it's just surface rust. The reason I'm wary of starting the restoration is because of something I witnessed as an apprentice.  The garage had an old Albion bus. The mechanical side of it was completed relatively easily. The body wasn't as straightforward. The coachbuilder completely stripped it with the best of intentions to identify exactly what was needed. Due to the space of time from being dismantled to going back together, the way things went on and where etc had been forgotten. That was 15 years ago and it's still just a shell. I don't want to get into a situation like this. I will only be able to tackle this as time, money and resources allow. I don't want to find myself with a completely stripped shell and a pile of bits. I'm a mechanic but I have never attempted a full restoration like this.  If anyone out there has a method that they have found works I would love to hear it

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 I think your first move will be to go around your Manta with a camera, front, back, top, bottom, inside and out.

 Secondly examine your Manta Carefully and make a job list

 Third, find space for storage boxes, a car taken apart takes up an amazing amount of space.

 Then you can think about taking your Manta apart, or just shut the garage door and retire to the pub till you've drunk enough Whisky to give you the courage to proceed !!

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This sounds like a good start especially the end bit haha. Thank you. 

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You need to ask yourself what type of manta you want to end up with.  

A concours job will take an age to do in a small place as you really need to get the car to a shell and go through it bit by bit. 

A full on restoration can put you in a hole of you're not careful.

As Ian says. You will need more space for the parts.  

Make sure you bag and tag all the parts and if you disassemble a part to get it off then re assemble it and tape it up before bagging and tagging. 

A light restoration or keeping the car on the road repairs can be done in parts. 

Depends on what you want. 

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Also worth considering, rear end is ok, but if you need the wings off, you need the skirts off, to do this you needs rear seats and rear panels of inside. Thats if its a gte.

Better to write a list of whats needed, we have  all been there before. So can offer advise on what to tackle first.

A tempory loft comes in handy, to store stuff out of your way!

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The Manta is pretty simple really in so many ways. But be prepared to do a lot of welding and fabrication. It can turn out to be a massive job time wise. I am amazed that some on here do simply incredible work in confined spaces, so it can be done. You really need to "want" to do it, and expect it to take time. I have spent a huge amount of time online researching, finding parts at the right price can be a challenge. Its a journey really, you will meet new people who are Manta freaks and its those friendships that help along the way. If you need to rely on favors expect to be patient and do your best to return them when you can.

 

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Thanks guys for your advice. Plenty useful points to get me thinking on.  I don't need the car to be a concourse finish. I just want a tidy rust free sound car which I can take out and enjoy like I used to when it was my daily driver. In general it's a reasonably sturdy car or it appears that way. From what I've seen on here though looks can be decieving.I think to start with taking the wings of will let me see some of what lies beneath. Brady made the point that to get skirts off parts of the interior need to come out. So perhaps I will strip out the seats and carpet as I'd like to see how bad the floor is. She suffers from quite a bad dampness problem which I can only imagine will be causing lots of rust. It would be nice to make friends with other manta owners. I'm also very happy to help out others , especially if they have helped me in some way.

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First task, find that leak, do you have a sunroof, could be blocked drains, or damaged pipework. Good way to test pipework is by pressuring it. Air compressor. You will need a mate to block the ends with finger. Front pipework lives behind front kick panels, you need these off, to take wings off, btw! Rear pipework runs inside c pillar. Look above rear axle, thats where they exit. Top tip, you can extend front drain pipes, so they dont rust your sills out.

Other possible areas that could cause leaks, bulk head, rust holes, battery tray, grommets, windscreen seal, door glass, door seals, it is endless really.

Best bet, strip her out, dry it out, and hose, or leave out in some rain.

No point in restoring a car, if the problems that caused damage first aint sorted!

 

 

 

 

Edited by brady
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top of the A pillar where the metal trim and rubber all come together on the body can be a leak area. under the battery and along the top of the bulkhead another problem area for leaks. plenty of good info on here on where the tin worm lurks, bottom of the B pillar is a very busy place where panels come together inside the sills so any rust behind the side skirts in that area will be a sign of problems. Chassis legs are always my first look see, followed by front jacking points and sills. bubbles in the roof around sun roof, again lots to see on here about that. extending the drains as mentioned above is good advise, factory / design mistake there.

like all cars of this era they were never designed to last forever, some really good cars been made from something that looks like its been submarine deck cargo for the past 20 years. its always good to have at least one donor car to hand as well if possible.

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