Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 82

Thread: Rodshop Model A Delivery

  1. #1

    Rodshop Model A Delivery



    I first saw my Model A looking a bit sorry for itself in Matt Nixon's garage when I was working in Fort William (see picture above). A couple of years later I heard that it was up for sale so I took a run up from my home in Hamilton to Matt's new house in Inverness and bought it (the car not the house). By then it was up and running, and could just about be driven on to the trailer so most of the groundwork had been done, but there was still a lot of tidying up to be done, with all the glass either cracked or scratched, the doors not quite fitting correctly with the inner and outer mouldings de-laminating, rear door hardware to be fitted, the bodywork very flimsy in most areas and a lot of other bits and pieces. Knowing Matt's work, at least I knew that he would have done a good job on all the important things like brakes and steering.
    But it sat outside my house for two years until I could get shot of the Mark II Escort that I had been restoring, then my wife was offered the chance of a promotion to Inverness by her employers, with them footing the bill for the move as well. So the Model A came back up to the Highlands again!

    My personal preference for a rod is shiny, but definitely with independent front suspension, rack and pinion steering, radial tyres and a smooth ride. The A came with Cortina III front suspension and a Volvo 240 rear axle , mounted on Cortina III triangulated four bar suspension. Master cylinder (leaking, but Matt had told me about it) and servo were Fiesta XR2, Fuel tank was Minivan, mounted lengthwise underfloor on the nearside. The Model A came with a pinto engine and 5-speed but that would be replaced with a Rover V8 and autobox instead. I knew that it would also require a lot of time spent on beefing up the flimsy shell with lots of extra layers of GRP and the only way to do all that was to strip it all down and start again!



    Inverness rodders David Robertson, Gregor Cooper and Matt Nixon give me a hand to lift off the main bodyshell moulding followed by the one piece floorpan and wings. The mouldings will weigh quite a lot more when they go back on again!
    Last edited by Rossphotos; 27-12-15 at 10:26 PM. Reason: add details

  2. #2
    NSRA member Flamin Black A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,618
    Images
    19
    well done ross I'll look forward to the progress

  3. #3
    NSRA member dwgunn159's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,549
    Images
    11
    happy new year,ross....good to see your build thread started again................denis

  4. #4
    Thanks for the comments guys.

    The first task was to remove the Pinto engine and 'box, then after cutting the engine mounting brackets off the side of the chassis rails, to start with the installation of the RV8 and autobox. This took much longer than I expected, as there are so many factors to be taken into account. With the chassis set at ride height I placed the engine dead centre between the chassis rails, making sure it was running dead straight along the centre line of the chassis. The centre of the Volvo rear axle diff pinion is offset from the centreline by 25mm to the offside, but this is quite acceptable because the propshaft angles at about 1.5 degrees to the offside at the gearbox end and angles 1.5 degrees to the nearside at the diff pinion end, thus balancing out any vibrations while allowing some movement in the propshaft couplings to help with lubrication.



    Like most engines, the Rover V8 has the carb sitting level when the engine is set at 3 degrees downwards to the rear so I set it up for the engine, gearbox and prop to angle downwards at 3 degrees (measured against the level floor, NOT the chassis rails which were set at a slight rake down to the front). I could see that the SD1 engine was quite long which would make it tight to fit everything in between the bulkhead and the radiator, and also that the gearbox cross-member was set too low in the middle and would require a bridge to be fabricated and welded in. So the middle of the cross-member was chopped out, the crankshaft pulley and water pump were swopped for the shorter P6 units and the oil filter swapped for a shorter Ford Pinto unit.




    The Rover V8 being positioned for fitting in the chassis


    L to R the crack pulleys and water pumps from the SD1 and P6 Rover engines, and the oil filters from the SD1 and Ford Pinto.

    With the new bridge in position over the gearbox I could raise the engine to the correct height, adjust it for length giving 20mm clearance at the radiator fan fix it in position and make a start on the engine and gearbox mounting brackets. But then I discovered that the pinion on the Volvo diff was not pointing upwards at 3 degrees to match the drivetrain, but pointing downwards at 1 degree instead. I decided that the easiest and quickest way to fix it was to drill the fixing hole for the axle end of the upper suspension link 10mm further out on the bracket so that the axle could rotate to the correct position. Later I will weld a disc of re-enforcing steel over the bracket and re-drill.
    Last edited by Rossphotos; 06-02-16 at 02:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Nice thinking ! headers or cast manifolds? worth offering the steering shaft up 1st too see how that looks

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jsf55 View Post
    Nice thinking ! headers or cast manifolds? worth offering the steering shaft up 1st too see how that looks
    It will be a nice pair of stainless block hugger headers, which I acquired second hand but unused from Denis (thanks Denis), who lives about 40 miles further north from Inverness (That's a near neighbour in the highlands). They hug the block really, really tightly which creates a fair bit of space between them and the chassis rails so the plan is to run the steering link up at about 10 degrees from the rack but under the engine mount. That should line up quite well with the column, but no doubt there will be problems when I come to do it!
    Last edited by Rossphotos; 04-01-12 at 03:48 PM. Reason: missed a word out

  7. #7
    Thats fine Ross, those rover's are so damned wide got relies in forres and aberdeen

  8. #8
    I could have bought new engine mounts, but thought I'd have a go at modifying the original SD1 units. It was a simple task to chop about 2 inches out of the middle of the mounts then weld the two remaining parts back together again. They may not be beautiful but they will be well hidden under the headers and with a blast clean and paint they should be just fine. I added a little heat shield to protect the rubber mount on the offside bracket as one of the headers runs very close to the rubber.




    The new, narrower mounts


    nearside mount


    Offside mount

    I tried to make up my own gearbox support cradle from 5mm wall 50mm round tube, but with only hand tools it proved to be very difficult to get the angles just right, so instead I drew a plan and got a local fabricator to weld one up for me. I added the brackets to fix it to the inside of the chassis rails.




    Gearbox cradle in position

    It is attached to the gearbox using one of Pop Browns mounting bracket, but It had to be a SBC unit to fit the GM180 'box as the Borg Warner bracket did not fit. It interferes slightly with the sender unit for the electronic speedo drive so a small section will have to cut out for clearance later.



    The handbrake system was also very easy to modify. The Volvo 240 rear axle uses a twin cable system so that if one fails there will still be one side working,. However the Volvo handbrake lever is big and ugly so I plan to change it for something narrower like a single cable Ford lever. I made up two simple brackets, the first to fix to the chassis and hold the cables, which have been shortened by about 2 feet, the second to convert the twin cables to a single cable. Later when I know the exact location for the lever I will get Speedy Cables to make up a short cable to join the bracket to the lever.




    Bracket welded into position
    Last edited by Rossphotos; 23-01-13 at 08:36 PM. Reason: add more details

  9. #9
    NSRA member dwgunn159's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,549
    Images
    11
    your making good progress there ross.must try and visit you.before its finished!!!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dwgunn159 View Post
    your making good progress there ross.must try and visit you.before its finished!!!
    You are welcome to pop round any time you are coming down to Inverness Denis. I'll Pm you my new mobile number.

  11. #11
    coming on well whats next on your list to keep the photos coming

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by 53pop View Post
    coming on well whats next on your list to keep the photos coming
    Thanks Allan but give us a chance! The pics I have recently posted up have covered a few months of work. I'm still sorting out the chassis, then I'll strip everything down again to get the chassis blasted and painted, the engine overhauled, the GRP bodywork strengthened, star cracks repaired, chassis rebuilt, floorpan and body painted then remounted on chassis, doors re-built, wiring and plumbing, radiator and fan, trans cooler, steering column mounted, body wooded out, seat base and seats, lamps and switches, all glass fitted etc etc.
    That lot should take at least two weeks!
    Last edited by Rossphotos; 15-01-16 at 11:08 AM.

  13. #13
    I was given what I consider to be very good advice from other rod builders in relation to the bridge over the gearbox which would require a hump in the floor to cover it. It was suggested that I could combine the cross-member with the gearbox support instead. So that's exactly what I did, although it meant making yet another cross-member. Talk about doing things several times before you get it right! I then cut down the gearbox support to just the central section, and added extra brackets each side which would bolt on to the new cross-member. That was quite a fiddly job to do.


    The cut down gearbox support with new brackets tacked on (shown upside down)


    The new cross-member in place. Looks very neat and leaves the floor almost flat, although there will still have to be a very small hump over the gearbox.

    I also fitted a new Lokar shifter. Well I couldn't use the original Rover shifter, it's the cheapest, flimsiest looking piece of plastic junk you could ever see. The Lokar was the one for a 350 gearbox so quite a lot of mods were required to make it fit. The rear bracket which bolts to the tailshaft was too wide so 10mm was chopped out each side and the bracket welded together again.


    10mm was cut from each side of the rear bracket


    The three parts were then rewelded together.

    I managed to fit the nearside bracket in the correct position after bending the side support brackets in some places and straightening them in other places, but the offside bracket was still too wide and required about 20mm to be cut out, then the two parts re-welded before it would fit.



    There are other problems to be sorted out. The selector lever is on the wrong side for a start. It's on the offside on the GM180 gearbox, so the shifter has to be fitted back to front, the big chrome nut at the base of the gearlever loosened so that the lever can be turned through 180 degrees, and then the little detant selector bracket at the base of the lever hack-sawed from the shifter and welded back on in the reversed position. I've still to fit the selector rod in place.
    I didn't work all this out for myself, but got a lot of assistance from Allan (53Pop) - cheers Allan - who has already covered it in his Pop thread. Like Allan, I have found that the selector goes into reverse easily but does not want to come out again, so a little bit of filing will be required.

    Just a few minor details to be sorted now on the chassis, so it won't be long before I can get it blasted and painted. To celebrate actually making some progress I decided to give the garage a quick tidy up. It's amazing how quickly it gets messy.


    My garage looking tidy - a very rare sight! Although the pile of metal offcuts under my workbench is getting bigger at an alarming rate.
    Last edited by Rossphotos; 14-05-14 at 11:41 AM. Reason: to correct bad grammer! + Add detail

  14. #14
    hi ross good progress there and glad i could be of some help looking forward to seeing the chassie in paint keep the photos coming

  15. #15
    Ross could you not have got the crossmember back another inch ??? That way it would be just a straight piece and the upper crossmember you cut out could of had flanges welded to the ends and bolted below into the side rails.

    Any advice or help given is actually based on having done the job, not read about doing it or Googling it.

    www.langysrodshop.co.uk Our parts are air freighted so 5-7 day delivery, The best GRP Willys body available/Rebel Wirings only UK dealer/Speedway Motors authorised dealer/Summit racing/Jegs/Hotrod parts supplied, MAC Autos, We deal with all the US hotrod suppliers even non car related stuff.
    Brake,Oil & Fuel etc plumbing stockist/Totally Stainless fastener dealer/Dolphin Instrument dealer, LMC & Brothers Trucks,
    Stainless Exhaust tube & mandrel bends stockist

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Lang View Post
    Ross could you not have got the crossmember back another inch ??? That way it would be just a straight piece and the upper crossmember you cut out could of had flanges welded to the ends and bolted below into the side rails.
    steve thats what ross has done, pics in post #13

    Your emotions will always interfere with your sense of truth

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by weemark View Post
    steve thats what ross has done, pics in post #13
    Ah missed that pic Mark
    Any advice or help given is actually based on having done the job, not read about doing it or Googling it.

    www.langysrodshop.co.uk Our parts are air freighted so 5-7 day delivery, The best GRP Willys body available/Rebel Wirings only UK dealer/Speedway Motors authorised dealer/Summit racing/Jegs/Hotrod parts supplied, MAC Autos, We deal with all the US hotrod suppliers even non car related stuff.
    Brake,Oil & Fuel etc plumbing stockist/Totally Stainless fastener dealer/Dolphin Instrument dealer, LMC & Brothers Trucks,
    Stainless Exhaust tube & mandrel bends stockist

  18. #18
    Got a bit more work done on the chassis. The original rear cross-member had a bridge in the middle for the axle but it didn't give much clearance for the upper trailing links or to run the exhaust over the axle, so I replaced it with a wider one. I was surprised to find a lot of metal filings and grinder debris inside the cross-member, enough to nearly fill a pint glass and quite heavy. I also found debris inside the main chassis rails, with a good handful of pistachio nut shells in the nearside rail!


    The original cross-member


    The new cross-member ready for welding in.

    The main chassis rails have large (6" x 4") openings in them, two each side, the front ones level with the rear of the engine and the rear ones about halfway down the rail. Can anyone tell me what is the purpose of them, or would it be better to weld plates over the gaps?


    One of the four openings in the chassis

    I noticed that the pedal box was not set parallel to the centreline of the chassis but angled off to the right looking forward by about 4-5 degrees. Not much I suppose and I could have left it but I thought it might make the pedal action feel a bit strange so I ground off the welds at the front of the box, pushed it into position and re-welded it in the correct position


    The pedal box should be at 90 degrees to the cross-member on the left but runs off to the right


    Re-positioned, the box is now at 90 degrees to the cross-member on the left, as shown by the strip of wood clamped in place on the servo mounting plate

    Next job was to drill through the chassis rails at the upper mounting points for the running board support brackets, as I felt that the welded-in nuts inside the chassis rails were a bit flimsy. But to avoid the new long bolts crushing the chassis I welded in sleeves.


    Sleeve in place to take 8mm bolt


    Sleeve now welded in and the welds cleaned up. Job done.

    The axle was in need of a good clean up so I set to it with a wire brush in the grinder. It cleaned up really well so I reckon Volvo used good quality steel on their cars, but where the original Volvo suspension brackets had been removed I discovered several large gouges on the casing, as well as filler which had been used to cover the holes! They will be filled with a run of weld later.


    Not easy to show in a photograph but there is a deep cut in the casing shown here

    All the suspension, brackets and so on are now at the blast cleaners so I'm looking forward to getting them back very soon. If I think they have done a good job the chassis will be next.
    Last edited by Rossphotos; 10-04-12 at 07:37 PM. Reason: to correct spelling

  19. #19
    NSRA member Knowledge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,034
    Images
    10
    Great work so far. Just a thought but your shorter oil filter may reduce flow a little. If you want to keep filter size you could replace the bottom half of the pump with one from a P6 as they go down not forward.
    Last edited by Knowledge; 10-04-12 at 01:48 PM.
    I know you think you believe you understood what I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what I said isn't always what I meant.


    My Intro '

  20. #20
    NSRA member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    3,578
    Images
    2
    That purple paint takes me back a bit - to the .37 cabrio 'demonstrator' that Chris Boyle had at the NASC Nats circa 1990, and which a few years later became the basis of the car i built. Found some scary welding in parts, but no nutshells!

    I think the gaps in the chassis don't have a particular purpose other than making the boxing process easier, ie less work. Full boxing isn't always necessary and indeed, the gaps can make routing lines etc easier. Fully boxed has a much neater appearance though imo.

    Be very careful about the amount of heat you put into the axle fixing the scab. All too easy to warp it, if it's not already from the replacement braketry.

    Have you got a rover prop? I have one lying around that i keep tripping over.

    Chris
    Bumper sticker - This is an historic vehicle and only has three speeds....... if you don't like this one you sure as hell won't like the others.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •