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Hi from Berkshire with a MK1 Cavalier


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Hi all,

In a moment of madness my wife agreed to buy a MK1 Cavalier 1.9 Auto so I went to collect it last weekend. The previous owner got it running very nicely but there's a small list of things to do, and therefore questions, some are below. Mainly paint related as there's lots of surface rusting that needs attention. I'm not in a hurry as it's running and stored in a garage so it can be enjoyed while I focus on fixing up the house.

- Can you patch repair metallic paint well?

- What are the best options for a full respray regarding dismantling effort and cost e.g. Priming and flatting myself and top coating professionally? Should a metallic top coat all be done in one go to avoid panel mismatch? How much should be dismantled and what can be covered (screen, engine bay etc).

- What's the best way to fix cracks in a leather dash. I was thinking a semi flexible epoxy then working a texture into the surface and colour matching (any recommendations?)

-Are there any seats from similar models (Chevette?) with headrests that are a straightforward swap or can headrests be added to the low backed sseats (otherwise I'll just live with it)

- low down on the list but considering lowering and electronic ignition for a few years time. Looks to be fairly simple swaps for both.

 

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Hey welcome 😀  the good news is that your car shares a lot of parts with the Ascona and some with the Manta.

Dash - you might be better to try and find a good used one, they are about. But yes you can get special repair kits that are a plastic filler and then airbrush the dash to hide the repair. There are specialists that come to you to do this, but they are not cheap.

Seats- there are seats out if Asconas / manta GT/J that come with headrests. Not 100% sure if subframes are exactly the same, but have seem Manta GTE Riccaro seats fitted to the 4Doors too. Backs are a 4door thing only.

paint - prep us what costs the money. You can patch metallic, but they blend into areas with the base coat, the clear coat to the next full panel /lines etc. But if your aiming for a full restoration, then depending on what prep work is already done, expect around £2k as a minimum for a good job. Vinyl roof, use boot polish to bring it back 💪

Electronic ignition. The GTE distributor and ing amplifier will fit, or go with an after market conversion that will replace the points with an optical sensor that just all screws into your distributor and a small box that fits next to your coil. A worthy upgrade for better engine running.

 

Hope that helps you get going 😎

P.s car looks like it's it's already in pretty good condition for it's age 👍
First performance upgrade - get rid of that tow bar 😂😂

Edited by Jessopia74
P.s
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10 hours ago, Jessopia74 said:

Hey welcome 😀  the good news is that your car shares a lot of parts with the Ascona and some with the Manta.

Dash - you might be better to try and find a good used one, they are about. But yes you can get special repair kits that are a plastic filler and then airbrush the dash to hide the repair. There are specialists that come to you to do this, but they are not cheap.

Seats- there are seats out if Asconas / manta GT/J that come with headrests. Not 100% sure if subframes are exactly the same, but have seem Manta GTE Riccaro seats fitted to the 4Doors too. Backs are a 4door thing only.

paint - prep us what costs the money. You can patch metallic, but they blend into areas with the base coat, the clear coat to the next full panel /lines etc. But if your aiming for a full restoration, then depending on what prep work is already done, expect around £2k as a minimum for a good job. Vinyl roof, use boot polish to bring it back 💪

Electronic ignition. The GTE distributor and ing amplifier will fit, or go with an after market conversion that will replace the points with an optical sensor that just all screws into your distributor and a small box that fits next to your coil. A worthy upgrade for better engine running.

 

Hope that helps you get going 😎

P.s car looks like it's it's already in pretty good condition for it's age 👍
First performance upgrade - get rid of that tow bar 😂😂

Wow, thank you both for the quick help!

My sister's going to Oxford next weekend so I'll nip to Abingdon for the dash Jonathan suggested and see what other parts I can pick up. Looks like he has a few bits going cheap. Then if I can fix the current dash then I'll have a spare.

There's little bits of rust on every panel so it all needs attention. I guess I'll remove the rust and see if I can blend it. If it looks terrible then I'll prep it for topcoat. Any recommendations on paint makers rather than using a rattle can?

The roof is actually just black paint that was painted two owners ago to prevent rust. It cracking rather than vinyl so it's something else that needs doing.

If the electronic ignition is so straightforward I'll definitely look into it more.

Thanks again, oh the fun that awaits!

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You can do a decent enough job with a can of base and clear coat. Plenty of how to vids on YouTube for that. However when you get down to the rust etc, make sure you treat it properly. Hydrate80 is well respected on OMOC and us something I now use too.

Good luck with parts hunt, it's all fun 😁

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1 hour ago, Trooker said:

Pretty sure that the seats have the right holes internally but whether you can still find headrests is a different story.  

I wondered that as they look similar to Chevette seats which do have them.

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Hi matt ,I'm glad you found your way on here I saw your post just by browsing.  I don't use this forum much as prefer the Facebook omoc pages for faster quick responses. 

In question to your electronic ignition query, I didnt get to fit it to this car but ive fitted accuspark to my other mk1 cavalier.  Basically just a unit ,simple to install in the distributor and looks stock so no clumsy boxes to fit on the inner wing ect  ..  I never actually adjusted the points on your car it ran so very well.  

 

With more comfy seats manta ones are a direct fit ,recaro ones from a gt/e even better for comfort.  

 

I did try and source a dash but met with no avail ,I did replace the  binnacle over the clocks as that was more broken than the dash itself . Oh and if you decide to remove the towbar as recommended  ,please sell it as it was brand new and I only fitted it in April, the holes were already there from a previous towbar.. 

 

Any help needed please contact me .

 

Regards paul 

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On 05/12/2020 at 11:52, Jessopia74 said:

You can do a decent enough job with a can of base and clear coat. Plenty of how to vids on YouTube for that. However when you get down to the rust etc, make sure you treat it properly. Hydrate80 is well respected on OMOC and us something I now use too.

Good luck with parts hunt, it's all fun 😁

Nice. I've used rust converters before but usually just Rustins or Kurust and it's always seemed a little thin. Hydrate80 looks much better... and cheaper! so that's ordered, along with some other stuff to qualify for free postage :D 
 

 

On 05/12/2020 at 17:09, plumster said:

Welcome to OMOC, loads of help on here, suggest you support & join the club.

Yes, I joined before I signed up for the forums. It's already paying it's way :)

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!

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