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Cavalier MK1 GL Saloon (Automatic)


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Hey all,

I bought this lovely car off Paul at the end of November and it drives nicely and it's barely a project compared to some of the others on here. For my skillset, equipment, space, time and budget though, I think this is more than enough. As the work is mostly cosmetic, I plan on a long-term, light restoration while I continue to enjoy driving it.

It'll be good to keep a running record here of any changes to save trying to keep my memory or photo collection organised. Hopefully I'll work out how to edit my posts to improve photo orders etc.

 

My short list of tasks/ideas:

Small underside welding patches (COMPLETED),

Clean/polish,

headlamp rubbers,

rear light panel,

Paint,

Audio/dash,

Boot interior,

Seats/belts,

underseal/waxoyl,

upgrade instrument panel to 6 dial,

electronic ignition,

firewall

 

The bodywork needs minor touchups and attention all over but particularly the areas below. After a couple of Quotes for a full respray, I'm going to try a DIY effort starting with less noticeable areas to test the method. If I need more skill or equipment (e.g compressor), I'll hopefully either be better or know to give up by the noticeable bits. I'm not aiming for concourse as I'd never be able to keep it that way but clean, tidy and working will do. Ideally the front and rear windows will have to come out for the respray but tbc.

Rough order of attack:

   - underside of the bonnet,

   - the front Valence,

   - engine bay,

   - boot,

   - doors & door slams,

   - roof (repainting black),

   - front and rear window panels/surrounds,

   - wings, rear quarters and bonnet

 

 

 

 

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Hi mepbowls,

The job list to do doesn’t look too bad, the underside of bonnet will be a good one to start with, I would bring it all back to bare metal, small wire wheels both the flat ones and round ones to access all the tight areas, treat with a rust converter, zinc primer and paint, then fill all box sections with wax oil. Be careful not to generate too much heat with the wire wheels and burn the paint on the top of the bonnet. I removed all paint from my panels and I remember the bonnet was one of the panels that took a while, quite time consuming but worth the effort, I think once you start you will be drawn into it and there will be no stopping you 👍

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That's a nice Cavalier! Good luck with the to do list.

The first thing I would be doing would change the number plates back to white/yellow as those are not period.

Rather than paint the roof black again, why not get a black vinyl roof fitted. There's still a few places around that can do it today. Would look so much better and again, period correct for that car even if it wasn't fitted previously. 

You could always get some ATS alloys. They weren't fitted to GLS's back in 78 but were optional on the later models and do suit the car, not that there's anything wrong with the Rostyles fitted with chrome trim rings.

Edited by Monaco Blue
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4 hours ago, Mike. said:

Hi mepbowls,

The job list to do doesn’t look too bad, the underside of bonnet will be a good one to start with, I would bring it all back to bare metal, small wire wheels both the flat ones and round ones to access all the tight areas, treat with a rust converter, zinc primer and paint, then fill all box sections with wax oil. Be careful not to generate too much heat with the wire wheels and burn the paint on the top of the bonnet. I removed all paint from my panels and I remember the bonnet was one of the panels that took a while, quite time consuming but worth the effort, I think once you start you will be drawn into it and there will be no stopping you 👍

I agree. Loads of prep but well worth the effort. Just the inside took me about 5 hours!

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21 hours ago, Mike. said:

Hi mepbowls,

The job list to do doesn’t look too bad, the underside of bonnet will be a good one to start with, I would bring it all back to bare metal, small wire wheels both the flat ones and round ones to access all the tight areas, treat with a rust converter, zinc primer and paint, then fill all box sections with wax oil. Be careful not to generate too much heat with the wire wheels and burn the paint on the top of the bonnet. I removed all paint from my panels and I remember the bonnet was one of the panels that took a while, quite time consuming but worth the effort, I think once you start you will be drawn into it and there will be no stopping you 👍

I know zinc primer is traditionally a good idea but from reading about the rust converters, they create an electrically insulating layer of epoxy which prevents the sacrificial protection. Obviously this would only be for the areas with rust and the rest would benefit from the zinc primer but, there seem to be some who say an epoxy primer gives better barrier protection from its strength and resistance to damage than a traditional zinc galvanising process which is softer and more prone to damage, albeit better when it is damaged.

 

I did have the shopping basket below ready to purchase but before I go and drop my money on a big shopping list, I'd be interested in your thoughts on epoxy primer Vs zinc priming. Hydrate80 was recommended here and it was a good starting place but rust.co.uk has been very helpful in understanding the painting process and it seems fe123 is recommended over hydrate80 by practical classics too.

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During my restoration, I stripped all paint from my panels, inside and out. The rust converter was used on the bare steel where rust had been just to add a level of protection especially in areas I couldn’t get at, seam welds, box section etc then coated in zinc primer to stop flash rusting and handed into my local body shop.

There the professionals again stripped the panels to bare steel, this time opting for coating all metal in red lead then epoxy primer. They suggested red lead was excellent at rust protection but if left can be pours and let moisture back into the metal so they then sealed it all with a top coat of epoxy. The process can be seen on Mike’s Manta in your projects, loads of photos of bodywork, panel prep and spraying, hope this helps.

Epoxy primer if you can get some I think would be a good idea.

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  • 3 weeks later...

While I continue researching the abyss of paints (it's too cold anyway!), I decided to get started on the dash and audio as well as clean up some of the spares I've picked up.

First up is the centre console, dash and front trim bought from Richard.

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After a clean with soapy water and some black trim polish, the centre console looks great.

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The chrome trim still isn't perfect as there are some hard stubborn white spots that autosol and polishing cloths wouldn't shift and it still needs straightening. I can use this spare to practice approaches before tackling the other trim which needs attention.

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The dash will be painted with vinyl dye once it arrives but the rust and peeling foam on the underside will need sorting first. 

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The speaker is a very strange size 7x3" and has dual inputs for stereo output. I can't find a replacement but fortunately it works so it'll be fine for now with the others I'm adding. 🙂

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I wanted to add some new speakers to the rest parcel shelf but cutting holes is just something I or someone else will regret later. After a bit of searching over Christmas I found 3 matching speaker pods on Facebook at a steal so I got them cleaned up and fitted some new 4" apeakers to do the car with sound.

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Unfortunately the new drivers are deeper and protude beneath the housing by a few mm. A little foam padding should sort that.

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Also wanted to measure up for new aluminium faceplates.

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6 hours ago, Jonathan Pounsett said:

I love modern tech hidden behind the original facade. 

Couldn't agree more. I was looking at some 80s speakers but they looked too space age  for a saloon car and more complicated to replace drivers.

These have the added advantage of not looking worth stealing.

I also bought a Kenwood underseat subwoofer to tuck away somewhere for a little extra kick. I got one for my sister's MK4 Escort and it's enough for occupants to enjoy without inviting the whole town to listen too.

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Think the a post speakers from a mk3 cav, got mine from a gsi2000, remember they are up on the dash, left and right, in the corners.

These fit in the dash air vents, kept some for a small project sometime, but i do like my vents, so maybe not a good idea, just thought id throw it out here. Fresh air / heat or tunes? 

Plenty of glovebox space for a modern head unit, or there is a company that builds modern units with old units, great idea! 

 

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The car has a cheap and cheerful Bluetooth radio that fits, looks okay and has all the right connections. So, just the speakers to add for now.

The 2mm foam I ordered arrived today along with some connectors so I think I have most of what I need to make a start this weekend. I should have bought 4mm foam but I've doubled up the 2mm stuff instead and it'll raise the drivers up off the parcel shelf. With some glue and tidying up with a soldering iron, I won't notice they're there.

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In other news, I think I've decided upon the zinc-rich epoxy primer route so am on the lookout for a 3hp compressor. Dash dye should arrive for experiments next week.

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On 16/01/2021 at 19:42, Jessopia74 said:

After this little project if yours, I think period speaker pods are definitely a great idea for 3D printing 

It was getting to that point trying to find them at a reasonable price. I eventually found someone selling them for £5 each on FB so I bought 3.

If you want to borrow the 3rd one for measurements, just let me know.

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4 hours ago, mepbowles said:

It was getting to that point trying to find them at a reasonable price. I eventually found someone selling them for £5 each on FB so I bought 3.

If you want to borrow the 3rd one for measurements, just let me know.

Thanks, keep thst in mind. Once scanned it could be adjusted for extra depth as you say.

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