Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Use this forum to post threads of ongoing Capri projects and restorations.
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Car(s): Fiat Tipo diseasel (daily driver)
Audi A8 luxobarge (high days, holidays and general waft)
Ford Capri 1.6 Laser (former daily driver, stored 15 years, rebuilt in lockdown, done, but in dire need of paint)

Re: Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Post by [email protected] »

Once I'd recovered what tattered shreds of my sanity remained I had to make a call. Fight, or buy bonds. Turn it in as someone else's project (part complete lockdown project, might make the money back I've spent on the parts?) or go down swinging with a hacked up ruin fit for scrap.

Well, I had nothing else to do in lockdown....choppy choppy it is :roll:
1st thing is some nice thick steel into those suspension mounts. Before anyone chimes in, I know there needs to be a hole in there for access to the spring nut. But in my defence I didn't have a step bit to hand, its damn thick steel and until I need a hole there a nice box will just have to do. The horrors! A none original fix!...listen, this is a patchwork quilt not a show car, as I said at the start if it looks remotely Capri shaped its a win. So there :tongue:
The repair also runs inside the sill (there's extra metal in there if you aren't aware) and then has this rather fetching finishing piece joining the sill lip to the suspension mount to the inner arch to the inner sill thing. There are no photos. You can barely get to it let alone poke a phone at it. But it's in there.
Now the bump stop mount....
Lovely. That should hold the rubber bit that stops the wheel hitting the inner arch when I decide to Dukes of Hazzard and leap a ton of Capri off a sand hill while being chased by Rosco. Or whatever else its supposed to do.
Can you tell I was putting it off? The tricky bit. The elephant in the room?
It's because I wasn't entirely sure how to fix it :xd: :?
Do I cut a bit I need from a repair panel? Chop the bad off? This is where I strongly recommend you seek professional advice. Because this is not how to do it. Because I...well....I decided to (after an entirely sleepless night) zip up my man suit right to the neck, have a strong cup of tea and attack it with a grinder...
In retrospect, I may have taken a bit too much. I got giddy with power. Crazed some might say. :twisted:

But look at how ruined the inner arch is. Couldn't get to fix that with all that steel in the way. It wasn't madness I tell you. I wasn't locked, alone, in a house for months away from my other half, family, friends and colleagues and going a bit peculiar. The missing metal and primer fumes had no effect on me :lmao:

Better put some inner arch in then.....
Better, the front of the back arch is metal again.

This led to dilemma the first....how with a hammer, a pair of pliers and some tin snips do I fabricate a great big inner arch with lip and 2 compound curves. Because I'm not merlin or a 50 tonne press. I retired with cocoa and thought about it for some time....
Simple. I'll make a frame out of strapping, split the curves in 2 and make it like that. Is this the correct method of making inner arches? Good lord no. Was it the correct way to do it? Don't know. Did it work? sort of...see a professional is the overriding fink advice.
so...weldy weldy the new bits...
Well, it ain't pretty and concourse it will never be but that is, unquestionably, an inner arch made of metal in approximately the right shape (few love taps with a hammer with fettle for final fit) made with no clue, no talent and no pattern..YEEEEEHAAAAA! cowboy fabricobbling FTW :turd:
And then of course what do we do when we weld boys and girls? We zinc primer EVERYTHING!!!!!

Now dilemma the second... lets try that replacement panel....
oooh. Now obviously this is after several hours of calling it rude names, hitting it, cutting it, it cutting me, hitting it more, buuuuuuut...yeah...capri-ish?

Now for the hideous task of tiny tiny welds to not distort it. Then grind back. Then weld. Then grind back Then weld. Then grind back........... :banghead:
Not that I was losing the will to live and talking to myself. It'd been a rough couple of weeks with all this inner and outer arch stuff.

Alas, that's all the photos the forum allows in one post. And what a post. Suspense(ion mounts), drama (queen after sympathy), action (packed photos), madness (constant), redemption (maybe)

But where do we go from here? What kind of a monkeys breakfast have I made? Tune in next time for more....LOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTT LLLLAAAAASSSSSSSSEEEEEEERRRRRRrrrrrrrrrr

Or don't. I'm pretty much rambling on the internet, possibly to myself, or possibly to strangers if anyone is even reading this dribble :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Posts: 2091
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:26 pm
Car(s): 1986 Laser 1.6, daily runaround project
1981 GL Auto 2.0, Barn-Find-Resto, now also a runaround project
1980 3.0S, crash damage resto
1993 Fiesta 1.1

Currently full up and no more space but I still want a 2.8...
Location: High Wycombe/Aylesbury

Re: Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Post by D366Y »

I'm reading it! :lol:
Great work on the arch, it may not be concourse but who cares!
A wise man once said... "you can never have too many capris - buy another" :beer:
It's me, I'm the wise man.
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Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:43 pm
Car(s): Fiat Tipo diseasel (daily driver)
Audi A8 luxobarge (high days, holidays and general waft)
Ford Capri 1.6 Laser (former daily driver, stored 15 years, rebuilt in lockdown, done, but in dire need of paint)

Re: Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Post by [email protected] »

Now, where was I? Ah yes. The arch......what happens once we weld in the new metal? Zinc primer everything. Obviously needs filler and someone with the talent to make it pretty but..metal is in. Good enough. Looks Capri shaped to me. If I squint.
Now to move backwards... It appears tinworm has taken an undue fascination with the Capri's derriere. How very rude!

Time for bum-ectomy. Sorry old thing but we simply can't let you wander about with a raggedy butt.
Now I have better access (small mercies?) I will attack the rust behind the rear wheel arches. They weren't pretty....
holey...holey moley in fact!
Still, compared to the madness I've seen thus far (running outta lockdown at this point and now stuck with a sort of nearly finished car body thing, and much less time to do it :? ) these rusty crevasses are naught but a minor headache. Queue hot metal glue gun......
(not my finest photography but you get the idea!)

Then re-cheek-ifying the rear end. And all is well with the world.
Then many many paints. All the paints. All over everything. Then more paint to make sure.
And then the final job and I've completed a full lap, snout to tail, left to right, top to bottom, under, over, in and out. Ladles and Jellyspoons, the battery hodder:

Its welded. Oh joyous day! calloo! callay! a hip and a hop and a skip and a bounce. All the burning can end. The weld in places I didn't want it. The cuts from the metal. The constantly wearing respirators (which given 'rona wasn't the worst idea anyway!) and ear goggles and eye goggles and gauntlets and welding sleeves...finally....done. No more welding. My silly little lockdown idea is welded. Just over a year ago to this very day. :woot: :woot: :woot:

It took: 5 months of evening/weekends and early starts, 2 wings, 1 rear panel, 1 NSF a post repair panel (useless, poor fit, I cut most of it away) a battery hodder, 1 OSR arch panel, I lost count but I think 10 x 0.6 kg welding wire (yes, really, 60kg just in wire) and another several tens of kilos of steel plate of varying thickness for all the patches, panels and random bits I had to make. Seeing as the total weight is about 1 tonne and the engine/axle/gearbag and whatnot weighs rather a lot of that, I estimate I probably put back 1/3 of the chassis weight with all the replacement panels and new metal :lmao:

That's not including 2 pairs of welding gauntlets, 1 pair of overalls, 2 pairs of shoes and a fair few permanent scars to remind me of the good times when I'm a wrinkly old fink in the old fink's home.

Now for the next part. Fixing things with spanners. I much prefer that part. But for that you will have to tune in next time for another thrilling instalment of LLLLlllloooooooosssssttttt LLLLllllaaaaaaaasssseeeeerrrr
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Car(s): Capri 2.0 Laser, frequent driver.
Location: North-West

Re: Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Post by pbar »

You should be really pleased, and proud of what you've done there. It's great to see a thread like this.
Lord Flasheart
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Car(s): 3.0 Ghia

Re: Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Post by Lord Flasheart »

Excellent effort & story ;)

Onward with the spanners :)
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Location: Devon

Re: Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Post by andyd »

pbar wrote: Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:45 pm You should be really pleased, and proud of what you've done there. It's great to see a thread like this.
Lord Flasheart wrote: Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:34 am Excellent effort & story ;)

Onward with the spanners :)
Never welded in my life and pretty sure I wouldn't have the patience to do the amount of work you have.

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Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:43 pm
Car(s): Fiat Tipo diseasel (daily driver)
Audi A8 luxobarge (high days, holidays and general waft)
Ford Capri 1.6 Laser (former daily driver, stored 15 years, rebuilt in lockdown, done, but in dire need of paint)

Re: Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Post by [email protected] »

Why thank you all, I was quite pleased to have made it this far, I wasn't planning on doing it but what with the "unknown virus of unexplained origin" I had the time and it stopped me going more crackers than I am. Just imagine how much better it would have been if I knew what I was doing! :xd: :lol:

Since I don't have to drag great piles of welding gear out every time I want to work on it, and I don't have to worry about spontaneously combusting or turning the car into the towering inferno it becomes a far more pleasant prospect of tinkering (handy as winter was arriving by this point).

Since I'm at the back anyway, lets start replacing all the bits that are missing, like one bump stop that was gone altogether :shock: At some point in the early naughties I suspect it set off like the little hobo, singing the catchy theme song as it went "down the road, that's where I'll always be" or the parts that were just utterly ruined (like the other one just fell off when I poked it in the welding times)

First some willy nilly drilly into my new shiny bump stop plates

And then, because apparently rubber bushes and bump stops are now unobtanium, on goes the replacement polyurethane bump stop. Utterly pointless material for the application but oooohh look. Shiny.
Now on to the shock absorbers. Astonishingly the weren't leaking and still did absorbing of shock (original ones too!) but they had become truly spectacularly crusty, the piston surround was half gone. Just rusted right off. That will never do, not with all my newly painted chassis.

Easy job, couple of nuts and bolts (which unscrewed easily, weren't even rusty inside the lower bush!)
There, that should impress whoever pokes it come MoT time

One of the original anti roll end bushes has a split for some reason (baffles me, I never drove it with any giddiness in my youth :whistle: ) and as they are also unobtanium, more shiny hard poly bushes, this time in a fetching shade of orange just for giggles.
Now lets start stripping the braking system. Based on much oldness, the whole shebang will be getting replaced top to toe, whether it needs it or not. Because I'm a big sissy and jumping on the anchors and something going "ping" doesn't really appeal :drive: and I've been spoiled by modern cars with brakes. That brake.
First off this rather solid cable. Mmmmmm crusty.
Then all this calamity...
This is replaced by a nice new cable, the rod also had a good clean and some nice stone chip paint so it is all clean when it gets tested. They like clean when testing things. Makes it look like it was looked after.
and then new pins, shoes, springs and cylinders (and of a suitable quality brand so I know they'll work when I finally need them) all on cleaned and painted back plates. Should give it a fighting chance of stopping
And that's enough, I won't leave you in suspense(ion), time for a brake in the action (:sorry: couldn't resist...) The restoration continues in the next thrilling episode of Looooossssssttttt Laaaassssseeeerrrrr
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Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2021 4:43 pm
Car(s): Fiat Tipo diseasel (daily driver)
Audi A8 luxobarge (high days, holidays and general waft)
Ford Capri 1.6 Laser (former daily driver, stored 15 years, rebuilt in lockdown, done, but in dire need of paint)

Re: Hello...lost laser making a comeback

Post by [email protected] »

so...now the rear brakes are finished
mmmm....shiny, its time to have a look at the servo and hydraulics:

Awww...look how teeny tiny it is. Explains why you need to give it such a shove. Not like a modern car with massive servo where you breathe on the brakes and it stops. How very retro. Unfortunately look how the paint has decided to fall off and go all rusty :|

Much sanding and wire wool plus a coat of enamel later.....
much shinier. Shame it won't stay that way. Probably rust over winter just to spite me :(

And while the paint dries off, time to start with the pipework. First job, the cross axle line. This time from lovely corrosion resistant cupronickel and not that crumbly steel lark. Fun fact, several of the lines on the car were the originals, and still in reasonable order.

Then a look at the brake master cylinder. Considering the age, mileage and lack of use it was in a surprisingly good state. Some of the seal edges had rounded off a little but at a guess it probably would have worked for at least 1 whole pedal press. Not that I would have trusted it as far as I could throw it!
Fortunately I had plenty of tinker time in the dark lockdown winter evenings but Finks top tip would be just buy a new one. Its a fiddly, messy job swapping them out, the allen bolt is tighter than a ducks squeaker, they need to be scrupulously cleaned and checked for wear and for the price of a new one...I'd just wang one of those on!

The next job once the freshly rebuilt master and the painted servo were bolted back in place (carefully avoiding mentioning the agonising crawling around under the dashboard fitting the pedal pin and bolting it all together so it sounds like its a cake walk and not the horror it really is) is to have a look at the front brake assemblies.....
and they be nasty! In fairness the discs aren't that bad considering they haven't done anything in decades. My Fiats brake discs see a shower and they are orange so, well done ford. Apparently.

However first off, the conked out flexi and calliper hard lines. Again cupronickel, and just for utter pointless pretty bling, braided. (honestly, can't tell the difference in pedal feel)
oooooh. Shiny.

Now what about those callipers?
ah. Things came out. Lumpy things. And chunks. Them too. And smell. Could they be rebuilt? Yes probably. But.....despite having purchased the kit, I think discretion is the better part of valour, new ones it is. Hey, I'm already many pounds into it at this point. What's a few more?

and then looking at the price of recon ones...are better ones that much more? No, not really.... And the discs are going to be changed anyway, and looking at the cost of better ones are they that much extra? Not really....Good job my credit card company likes me....CHARGE!!!!!!!
And look how pretty they are. Did it need vented grooved discs with braided hoses? No, its a 1 ton 1.6 pinto with barely enough power to pull the skin off a rice pudding. But you mind your own washing, I wanted them and I've got the visa statements to prove it :geek: and, I think that is where we shall halt this decent into monetary madness for now. All the actual brakes are now new, the master cyl and servo are happy, just pipework betwixt the two and it will stop itself for the first time in many moons.... but you'll have to wait till the next thrilling instalment of LLLooooooossssssssstttttt LLLLAaaaaaaasssssseeeerrrrrrr for that.
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