So the Escort is now stripped (and on ebay) so I'm now starting to get on with the project proper. Hopefully this will be the start of fairly regular updates.
Retro_Will - afraid the sign isn't for sale, had another one which I already sold, and planning on keeping this for if I ever get a really nice fancy workshop
1st job of the weekend was buying loads of wood. Why? Well as part of this project I'm going to be making front and rear suspension setups for the car - to do that properly I really need a flat floor, which the barn is sadly lacking. So instead I'm going to make a large platform to sit the car on and then measure everything out from that. Won't be a small job to build, but being wood means I'll be able to easily mount jigs etc to it. Will also have the added bonus of being insulated from the floor
Next up was to have a good look at how much work I've got ahead of me - so I started with the front end, namely taking the wings off
Seems I've been pretty lucky really. There are a few small holes, but each side should be solid with only an evenings work each. There are a couple of old repairs I might tidy up as well, but in general the previous repairs aren't bad, and there aren't too many. I'm also going to be added some stiffening pieces in, similar to what is fitted to Escort shells.
So having got all that opened up, I decided to make a start on what will probably be the major change in terms of looks. Now I like the mk1 front, but well I've always thought it is a bit, well prestige and not muscular enough. So plan is to change the lights and grill (plus bonnet to match up) in order to give it a bit more of a muscle car feel. Changes are limited, so that with new light bowl parts the original lights could be refitted.
Lighting will now come from a pair of 5.75 inch round headlights. These will be set back along with the grill - a little like an early Plymouth Cuda/ or later roadrunner (71ish). Hopefully that'll inject the muscle I want, and look a bit different and cool.
Does mean I have to make a grill (could take hours, but a good cold night project) and also have to section the bonnet to make the front lip around the lights fit (another big job) but hey, I couldn't just leave it looking like every other Mk1 Capri, could I?!
just seen this, what a great replacement for the Escort. And the price looks properly bargainous looking at the condition of it I didn't even realise the Escort had a Zetec in it (not sure how I missed that ; ) but don't see many Capri's with them fitted! I'm loving that headlight mod as well, think that will definitely achieve the look you're going for
Cheers luckygti. Not sure how you missed the Zetec either, there was a reason it was had to control the thing
So last couple of evenings have been spent doing the other light area, sealing it all up, and modding the light bowls so everything sits level - Et Voila
Now I need to section the bonnet so that front bits which raise up to go around the light, match the new lights (move them out basically) which will probably be a pain, but getting there. Oh and grill - thinking of making that from plastic extrusions, be easy to heat up and bend, shall find a supplier.
On top of that I've been cleaning up the passenger side A-pilar area ready for repair. As usual I found more holes than I started with!
Good evening's work in there at least, plus the lower section around the sills needs some end plates making up, and a new wing/sill rail. Probably do that when the shell is more stripped and high in the air. Then there's the other side, good job I'm still finding welding novel and enjoyable since there was so little to do on the E-type!
Just a little update - not actually got a lot more done so far, but getting on with the LH a-pilar area welding.
Also been making some of the stiffening pieces I'm adding. Should get them in over the next couple of evenings so will update with them. Other than that all of the wood has showed up for my work platform, so will probably get that built next weekend. Already spent ages moving stuff around and tidying to make space for it!
Progress for this week has been somewhat slow, due to getting rid of the two escort shells, giving the CRX some love (it actually seemed to be thinking about breaking down, the cheek!) and running out of welding gas, doh!
Took the opportunity to service the welder, upgrade it a bit (fitted some cooling fans and a much better earth clamp) and have switched to Argon/CO2 mix. Honestly you wouldn't believe the transformation, it's like a completely different machine - which helped a lot with today's welding.
So from this
Now this side is basically sound again (need to do the lower bits round the sill, but that'll wait till shell is nice and high in the air) I've been making up some stiffening bits. Basically these are along the lines of the stuff used to stiffen escort shells (since the shell's design is much the same)
1st part ties the strut top back to the footwell/slash panel much better, improving longitudinal bend stiffness basically. And before anyone asks it's 2mm steel, so nice and strong in that direction
then to tie this back to the A-Post & pilar better, and increase lateral stiffness I knocked up these
which fit here like so. Looks like there's no overlap with the 1st stiffener, but that actually goes further back (the front of the footwell is recessed) so there is a good couple of overlap between the two pieces
and just to show I've been going to town - cleaned down to bar metal then done the whole internal area with weld through primer
The final piece of the front end stiffening jigsaw will be a strut brace (reusing the Escort's alloy one). Though this'll have to wait till the Zetec is in, to make sure it fits around the head, that'll need some custom brackets too.
Next up, the same on the other side, and if the weather is good, building my work platform
oooh will have to watch this thread with interest for when i (finally) get my own 3.0gtxlr ex-race car back on the road
mine also raced BARC post historic so they may even have raced against each other in the past at some point last raced at Spa in 2002, still got the scrutineers stickers in the window and the other tickets shame one of the previous owners decided they needed the heads, cam, struts and rear axle though and that while attempting to take the cage they'd cut through the door bars which were welded to the rest of the cage.........
plans include the essex out of my ghia, hopefully sporting throttle bodies and lots of electrickery coilovers front and back, bigger brakes, bmw 2002 arches, 8x15 wellers, lsd, etc, etc ;D
What makes it odd is that it has 2 sets of springs! Leafs and then coilover struts, very strange.
I think people over here do the same thing for reasons that I understand are in the Finnish law. If you can't change the basic suspension type but you can add stuff, then the only way to keep it road legal is to have both.
I love your suspension building platform. This seems like the proper way of doing it! I bought the old book "How to make your car handle" from somebody at RRG09. It has a section where they're describing about setting up wires/ropes around the car with a carpenters level to use as a reference. The funniest thing is that the book then literally says "once you're done setting up the wires kill anybody that stumbles over them" Exactly why your platform looks like the way to go!
Reminded me of a GRP4 spec rally escort Dad had years ago (before they started to fetch really silly money!).
That if I remember, also had adjustable coilovers along with leaf springs. The springs though (again from memory, will have to ask the old man) were fibreglass 'slipper springs', allowing the lower link to ride along the length of the leaf spring. Fairly certain the axle was additionally located too.
The whole point of this was that compeition rules dicated the original springing method must be retained. This method achieves that, even if the original 'spring' isn't actually doing much anymore! ;D
Interesting info on the double spring setup - certainly one way around the rules I guess. I've seen GRP4 Escorts with leafs and turreted dampers, but not doubled up springs, will keep a closer eye out now.
Been working on the bonnet this evening, needs a lot of work! Currently sliced it into the bits I need and am now fibreglassing it all back together. Then it's going to need a lot of filler, sanding and adjusting to get some sort of ok shut lines!
So to try keep things where they need to be, I used some L-section, then use parcel tape to give a makeshift mould
Then add fibreglass
And this is the result (L-section is staying on till it's fully cured)
and this gives you a sort of idea how it fits around the light now