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IanMc

Polar White and Rust - a restoration epic, can it even be done?

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Today I have been messing about with 'stuff'.

As it was a nice day I decided to get the old girl out of the garage to get some fresh air....

 

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Today I have:

- Set the timing using my new timing light, purchased at the Practical Classics show in March.

- Set the auto box/carb damper pot/plunger.

- adjusted the mixture a tiny bit.

- set the idle speed.

The car now starts freely and idles nicely. When revved it sounds clean and powerful, which is very pleasing. As I still need two new mounting rubber, the exhaust vibrates and touches the body at every opportunity. Also, I still have a blow from somewhere in the region of the exhaust down pipes or manifold. Not too fussed just yet, that should be fairly straightforward - fingers crossed!

Spurred on by these small victories I could not resist taking it down the end of our road and back. The one massive worry I have had all along is: what about if auto box failure was the reason the thing was taken off the road in the first place?! I should not have worried though, it changed through the gears beautifully - phew!!!

My Son was just off out, so he caught this tiny piece of history for me on his phone. Remember this is the first time in over 21 years this car has turned a wheel on a road...

 

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Definitely worth the effort re doing the snagging work, car now looks great 👍 

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"That's One small drive for car....one giant leap for cavalier kind"well done you should be very proud of what you have achieved.

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 Hi Ian,hope you're well. Glad to hear car is up and running and virtually finished.

i wouldn't worry too much about the mot. You have gone through the whole car and now know it inside out. Theoretically there is nothing it can fail on anyway. As we all know the mot is a very basic examination of the cars structural integrity and condition. Your car and any other real car enthusIasts car will be free of holes / corrosion ,have no leaks or rusty pipes etc in the braking system and a complete set of fully functioning parts. Electrical,suspension etc all working as it should. 

In my mind the people who take car for an mot wondering if it will pass or fail are people who have possibly either neglected their cars or know very little about them.we all know people who only ever do work on their cars when the mot fail dictates so !. 

Only areas that could be fails without our knowledge could be 

mixture slightly out,too rich.older cars with carburettors tend to run best when the mixture screw is erring slightly on the rich side so usually best to set to smoothest idle then a half turn in.

headlamp alignment. Basically to the left of centre line and approx 20%  down.

brakes should be balanced anyway if discs,pads,drums ,shoes etc all good and bled properly with good working calipers and cylinders.

etc       Etc  

 I read somewhere though that even cars which are mot exempt some insurance companies may insist on having a mot cert to prove the car was at least mot standard on one day of the year ! Owners then required to keep to this standard rather than being mot exempt and very badly corroded cars being driven around with owners disregard or un awareness.

my cars are now mot exempt theoretically but I just mot them as normal as I'm sure lots of people do.

please remember Ian this is my opinion only .no offence intended to you or anyone else. 

 

 

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Great work, with out wishing to offend when I first saw this project when you started I had doubts if it would get finished, great commitment, apart from the endless prep on the body I think I’d be right in saying you’ve enjoyed 99.9% of it! Well done doesn’t quite come close but the best I can come up with 👍👍

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Thank you kind people, much appreciated.

I have said it before, but I will say it again - you will probably all never know how much your unwavering support, advice and knowledge have helped me and kept me going through the good days and the dark days. Thankfully the dark days have been relatively few, but having you all there right with me has been immense.

We are probably still a week or two away from finishing ‘phase one’ = fit to drive and enjoy on a public road, but I do feel that it’s all downhill from here (fingers crossed!).

The last hurdle I can think off at the moment is headlight adjustment. We are out most of tomorrow, so I’m planning on having a go at that when we get back in the evening.

Then I will move on to phase 2 in 2-3 months, which will be minor paint corrections and sorting out the seats etc.

My Wife was speechless when she watched the two videos, she did say she honestly didn’t think this day would arrive. She then let slip that the guy who brought it to our doorstep (who also restores classic cars), said that it was too far gone and could not be saved...

Thats a point to us, the members of the OMOC I reckon. 👍

I tip my cap to you all - thank you!

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Ian, like may on here I have been following your Cav. resto with great interest. Your dedication to getting it done has been nothing short of amazing.  My own project has been stalled for a couple of months due to a shoulder injury but I now have the green light from the Doc to resume normal activities.  During my down time I have been compiling an inspiration board for the garage wall, something to look at and keep me driving forward during those times when all you want to do is sling the spanners into the corner and say "F-it I'm done with this".  Your before and after photos of the CAV feature prominently on my board.

Thank you for the inspiration.

Chris

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5 hours ago, Limeysore said:

Ian, like may on here I have been following your Cav. resto with great interest. Your dedication to getting it done has been nothing short of amazing.  My own project has been stalled for a couple of months due to a shoulder injury but I now have the green light from the Doc to resume normal activities.  During my down time I have been compiling an inspiration board for the garage wall, something to look at and keep me driving forward during those times when all you want to do is sling the spanners into the corner and say "F-it I'm done with this".  Your before and after photos of the CAV feature prominently on my board.

Thank you for the inspiration.

Chris

Hi Chris,

Thank you for your kind words, they are greatly appreciated. I’m certainly nothing special, far from it, but I probably have three attributes that have helped with this little project: patience, perseverance and a (generally) positive attitude.

The trick I have found with this lark is to split the job into manageable chunks, that way the end of one chunk is always on the horizon. If I didn’t do that, I genuinely don’t think I would have made it this far.

There are no short cuts and there will be many of ‘those days’ along the road. But hey, if it was all easy and plain sailing, the roads would still be full of classic cars...

Best of luck with your project mate, I know it will be a stunner when completed.

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Exactly what I have done with all my projects over the years. Never treat them as 1 big job but several small jobs .definately works better that way otherwise none of my cars would actually ever be finished !

i remember in the mid 90,s removing a sill trim and drivers side carpet and found extreme rust in the outer sill ,inner sill and floor / footwell area . Others would have scrapped the car but I was advised by my brother and partner at the time to ignore it all for a day or so or week ? . Then JUST concentrate on doing one area .say the footwell side for example. Then when it was done do the floor bottom section .etc. Etc etc until each seperate job was completed. Result= car ok again and me unstressed again ! .

us classic car people are a strange but resilient bunch who can do things no ordinary person can do.sometimes it’s worth it just to prove other people wrong who say “it’s not repairable “ ,other times it’s for the satisfaction afterwards that we have created something that’s unique and due to our own abilities ! 

Keep up the good work . Nearly there now 

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Very good advice lan 

I am having a problem with reaction so going to leave  that for now and do a bit of trim work as l have no no correct colour paint 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Did a little bit on the interior today before we went out.

1) Fitted some 'old skool' parcel shelf speakers

2) Wired those into the new head unit and then pushed it back to its final resting position

It all sounds pretty good - but then I wasn't actually driving, so who knows really  :lol:

 

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Edited by IanMc
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I set myself two main jobs this evening:

1) Give the interior plastics a good clean up - mission accomplished here. No need for a photos, because you all know what they look like already...

2) Another little adventure was to try to set the headlight / beam alignment.

You always know things are going to get interesting when the laser comes out  :lol:

 

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Onwards!

 

 

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Bit of a late one tonight, but I decided to hit the 'snag list' head on!

Firstly I wanted to get to the bottom of my exhaust blow - I did, it was the center section of the manifold to head. Bit of an odd one really, but there you go. New gasket now on order...

The darkened area on the side of the head and on the gasket itself gives it all away.

 

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Next I wanted to try to establish why the exhaust was hitting so much. I found that too. Basically there is a triangular bracing bracket between the bellhousing and the auto box, and the exhaust down pipe is touching that any vibrating like hell.

My first thoughts were to remove that bolt and skim the head down to about half thickness and/or heat the down pipe up and try to reshape that (basically dent it I guess). Any thoughts folks?

Here you can see the interference (just below center):

 

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They do run quite close to there .can be squared up a bit when you are ever replacing the 6 bolt flange gasket or like you say just squash it oval a bit or doctor the bracket/bolt. It will probably be a pattern exhaust. Some fit better than others !

cant see your pictures so I’m guessing here a bit but I’m sure you know what your doing.! 

See ya

Ps.   There’s a headlight on ebay !  !

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3 minutes ago, cam.in.head said:

They do run quite close to there .can be squared up a bit when you are ever replacing the 6 bolt flange gasket or like you say just squash it oval a bit or doctor the bracket/bolt. It will probably be a pattern exhaust. Some fit better than others !

cant see your pictures so I’m guessing here a bit but I’m sure you know what your doing.! 

See ya

Ps.   There’s a headlight on ebay !  !

 

Cheers Chris, hope your keeping well mate?

Thanks for your help - as always!

Tonight I have fitted the washer nozzles/jets. I decided to be a little controversial and go for some Ebay specials. The originals could best be described as tired, so it semed like a good opportunity to try something new. At less than £4.00 a pair, whats not to like   :lol:  :thumbup

 

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And here they are in action. I think that they are a decent upgrade on the weedy originals to be honest. Maybe not for the purists, buy hey its my car...

 

 

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Lastly, I thought I would give the VIN plate a quick scrub up as it was almost unreadable - well it is over 40 years old now!

 

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As a Winter project, I'm thinking about stripping my seats down and making my own covers. I mean how hard can it be?!

The way I see it is all I would have to do is:

- pick the seams apart

- end up with some templates of old seat material

- trace round the templates

- buy and old sewing machine and teach myself how to use it

- stitch the new material together

- sell the sewing machine again.

 

With all of this in mind, I have collected some material swatches from on-line sellers over the last few weeks. This is them - what do you think?

 

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My personal favourite is the ribbed one, second row (from the bottom) at the front edge of the seat. Of course, to keep it as standard looking as possible, I need to find a matching plain material - unless I do the whole lot ribbed?!

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Im with you on that one for the centre part, but think it would look nice to keep the contrast and have plain sides if you can find something to match.

All looking very nice 🙂

 

Andy

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agree that the one you like is the closest match to the original, but think plain sides would work best.

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At the weekend I noticed that the temperature gauge wasn't quite going to twelve o'clock (like every other Cav I have ever owned has) - instead it was reaching about half way between the end of the blue and the normal/twelve o'clock position.

As the air cleaner, carb and exhaust manifold was out of the way, access was perfect to change the thermostat. The new one arrived to day, so a nice little pre-Dinner job I thought. Oh no, the new thermostat described as being for a late Mk1 Cavalier, genuine Vauxhall old stock (Delco), is too small   :lol:

 

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So i guess I am back to just cleaning things again this evening then while I wait for parts to arrive   :rolleyes:

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As my new exhaust manifold to head gasket arrived today, that was the main job for the evening predetermined.

1) Dropped the down pipe, which came away really easily.

2) Lifted out the manifold. 

This gave me a chance to have a closer look to see if I could see why the old gasket had not sealed. It was very simple - somebody had not removed all of the old gasket...  :rolleyes: The bottom and sides of the old gasket were still stuck n place, which left a big gap at the top when the new gasket was fitted = the bad leak I had - what a Muppet!

(Apologies I forgot to take a photo of that)

3) Fitted the new gasket with plenty of Red Hylomar - old habits die hard I suppose.

 

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Then refitted the down pipe from the underside of course. You might remember that I had a bad knock on the down pipe from that bolt head. Well guess what, it now misses - weird or what? It also still misses the nut and end of bolt for the brace to the chassis rail.

Oh well, perhaps there is a God after all.

 

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Happy days, just need my new (correct) thermostat to arrive and I can get everything buttoned back up again. Fingers crossed, that should be with me tomorrow.

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I remember fitting exhaust to cavs  back in the 80,s bolts always snapped off ,centre exhaust box knocked on the rear axle 

You did well that no bolt snapped off

Cav is looking sweet 

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18 minutes ago, 1200bandit said:

 

You did well that no bolt snapped off

Well......

I have had my fair share of grief in that respect - somewhere in this thread is some photos of the 6 bolts I had to drill out of the base of the exhaust manifold.

Happy days   👍

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Replica or original Ian, think i have a few originals for each car, which is nice! Hold on.....£8.50????? Wtf! Not to worry, you should be free this yr in you are 1980. Love the idea of fitting a LS corvette eng or m3 bmw, and getting free tax......

Good luck with your finishing touches, car looks the part, im sure you will enjoy it on the road. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, ®evo03 said:

Replica or original Ian, think i have a few originals for each car, which is nice! Hold on.....£8.50????? Wtf! Not to worry, you should be free this yr in you are 1980. Love the idea of fitting a LS corvette eng or m3 bmw, and getting free tax......

Good luck with your finishing touches, car looks the part, im sure you will enjoy it on the road. 

That’s a replica mate - EBay special...

I found an old photo on the net, which showed 12 months tax at £12.50 - incredible isn’t it?!

ps my Cav is tax free next year.

Edited by IanMc

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