My 86' Laser - Back To Basics

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sparks
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My 86' Laser - Back To Basics

Post by sparks » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:12 am

Hi guys,

Thought it was about time i got round to posting up my project thread! Its been along time coming.

I bought this beaut early 2014 after viewing it once in the pitch black and countless people telling me not to bother. But like a lot of you, i imagine. Once i had seen it.... i had to have it!

Shes a 1600 Laser from 1986 And here she is the day i bought her.
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After eventually getting it to work (I work for Ford as an Apprentice Technician - Which has its benefits i must say!) I was able to get it up in the air, and begin to inspect the underside. And as expected. It was terrible. There were holes in each four corners of the floor. One of which i could put my hand through, the rest not as bad. But still not safe.

There was ALOT of welding failures on the MOT sheet that i basically ignored... So i continued to prod holes in her until she basically looked like a block of Swiss cheese. Removing the driver side wing revealed some nasty surprises as the top mounts had rotted through and the strut supports were basically dust. And this is to be expected on the near side also!
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While the wing was off and i was waiting for a better idea of what needed doing i set to work on some of the smaller bits i could crack on with. Starting with the headlights. They looked faded, dirty and the chrome had started to peel off from the inside, So i removed the units and set about restoring them. I ended up at Classic Ford Show this year and managed to pick up a damaged set of front lights. the car had clearly had a shunt and the frame was bent and damaged. However the headlight bowls were mint with no peeling chrome! and at a bargain of £20 i couldn't resist. I wire brushed the bowls and gave the backs a coat of good old Hammerite.
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I also gave the tatty and rusting bowl retainers a revamp and now they are ready for a coat of paint.
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At this point, i was either waiting for parts or deciding how to approach the welding and couldnt go much further! So i proped the wing back on and gave her probably the first wash in months.
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Eventually the welding overhaul began and tackling the wing section began. The wing rail was cut away to begin with to remove the rotten metal underneath and as you can see, it only got worse. Followed by a section of the strut support.
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It was obvious that someone had already attempted a repair patch the to top mount section of the inner wing, so first of all it had to be cut out and see the damage underneath. What i found was far from pleasant and quite shocking. The repair section had been welded on top of not one. but two! other repair sections. It was horrific.
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Once it had been removed, i was left with very little of the original metal.
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Once all the bad metal was removed the repair sections could be fitted. I had to make up a top mount section as half of it was now missing! as seen above.
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The strut support and the repair section could now be welded into place, i did have to remove the master cylinder however to stop the thing from melting!
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From here i stopped working on the wing as i was waiting for new wing rails so i began to tackle the drivers side floor. After removing the seats and carpets i soon found some more holes appearing. And began cutting out as much rust as possible. I made quite a mess....
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More has been done since this, however i haven't uploaded the pictures from my phone yet. So they will be added shortly. I have removed the front bumper along with the corner sections from both the front and rear and have been testing painting methods to achieve the "motted" plastic finish. And ended up using Gloss black instead of satin black and a clear lacquer.
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The front bumper is being sanded back to metal to be repainted also, however i managed to snap one of the indicators out of it being the genius i am. So that needs repairing (some super glue sounds best.) Also cannot decide whether i even want to refit the bumpers as i do like how it looks without. But we will see when they are done.


Thanks for taking the time to look/read, Questions and comments and suggestions welcome. Plenty of updates to follow!

Looking forward to your thoughts.
Last edited by sparks on Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:23 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: My 86' Laser

Post by Peter-S » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:19 am

Looks like you've found yourself quite a project!
Great that it is being restored, looking really good so far :)
Sadly, you can expect to uncover more of the same but keep us updated with the progress.
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Re: My 86' Laser

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:13 pm

sparks wrote: like a lot of you, i imagine. Once i had seen it.... i had to have it!
Hi,
Credit to you, a lot of people may have become disheartened when it became apparent how much work will be involved to restore the car to her former glory. It's good that you have the enthusiasm, dedication and ability to see the project through to the end. Having the workshop facilities helps as well, I suppose!
I like what you've done so far, and look forward to future updates.
Keep up the good work,

Andrew.
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Re: My 86' Laser

Post by sparks » Tue Jul 29, 2014 8:09 pm

Thank you both, i have always loved capris with a passionand now I have one I couldn't dream of owning anything else. I just can't wait to take her out in the summer!!
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Re: My 86' Laser

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Wed Jul 30, 2014 4:02 pm

sparks wrote: I just can't wait to take her out in the summer!!
Live the dream! Hope you get the car up and running soon!

Anfrew.
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Re: My 86' Laser

Post by sparks » Mon Aug 04, 2014 7:30 pm

Back with an update! Looking a lot better than she was in the previous pictures! But still plenty to do.
Managed to pick up a few bits and bobs at Ford Fair this year also so those updates will follow in the next few weeks. *Fingers crossed*

So the welding was finished to to the drivers side wing. and surrounding areas. under sealed and will soon be ready for a final coat of hammerite.

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And i also started taking back the front bumper as the paint was shot and rust had started to push through. So back to metal and a new lick of paint is ongoing.

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Also had some fun under the dashboard with some incredibly worrying wiring bodges from the previous owner(s) All ok now thankfully!

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More to come soon. Not had alot of time to do much recently with, and im off on training for two weeks sunday so will hopefully crack on once im home!

Comments and Questions welcome!
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Re: My 86' Laser

Post by sparks » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:47 pm

Well, managed to get half a day spent on some bits! The car being at work and me being off today meant i could only crack on with what i had in the shed, which to be honest... is almost as much as there is at work!

However, i managed to get stuck into some interior work as well as a few bits of exterior.

The center console has been out for some time, as i stripped the insides while welding is carried out, don't fancy and unexpected fires... Any how, i wasn't keen on the interior in general, but didn't want to buy any either. So i stripped it all down, and generally ill be going for a black overall and possibly, if i can decide how to do it, red detailing in some of the grooves... but we will see how it turns out!

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Ready for paint, ran out of black rattle cants however.... just my luck!

Anyway i also managed to get the headlights finished, now the headlight units are a big deal to me, they were the first thing that came of the car in the beginning of the year, and they are only just finished! So its a bit of a mile stone for me! happy to see them finished.

I also did a small repair on the center console arm rest (bit that lifts up and has a storage section) as it has split, so i filled it with some RTV silicon sealer and painted over it. Looks ok for now.
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The headlight carriers were in terrible shape when i first took them apart. every adjuster had seized and they were terribly rusty! But they are finished thanks to an AMAZING product i got from rally designs! its called Deox C and if your not aware of it, you should check it out. Its brilliant!
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Before
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After - no sand paper, grinders or wire brushes were involved!
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Hammerited and ready to go!
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Headlight assembly!

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This little fella also came in the post, just another one of those finishing touches! But will fit that at some point when I'm back at work!

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Thats all for now, will keep posting as and when things start moving again!

Comments and questions welcome!
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Re: My 86' Laser #Updated#

Post by Caprifan Rob » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:49 pm

You've done some good work there, hadn't heard of that rust treatment you're using but looks really good results with it. Top work on those inner wings, it's amazing what can be lurking underneath but looks really solid now. Thanks for the updates, it's giving me enthusiasm to start ripping ours apart. We're still enjoying driving it as much as possible for now but the hard work starts when the nights draw in..
Keep the updates coming.
Cheers,
Rob.

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Re: My 86' Laser ~Back to the welding~

Post by sparks » Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:07 am

Well, Well, Well....

Its been to long since I've posted some progress... Needless to say, a lots happened in the last month or so.


So there has been plenty of hammers, chisels, welding and generally bashing things... going on recently. I've also created a list of what is required. And needless to say it wasn't as bad as i thought it would be! So that's a big smile on my face, and my wallet.....
Had her in the air recently, on a rare occasion as i'm to afraid of it falling in half... And managed to get a closer look at some of the underside, begin cutting away and inspecting everything else.

Now, the car has had a huge oil leak recently, which was the oil pressure switch pipe had loads of splits in, simply cut it back and re attached it and now its fine! But its covered virtually everything in engine oil... Bad? well the way i see it is its stopped everything covered in oil from rusting! ha!

Anyway here's some pictures to get an idea of how bad the leak was!

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As you can see, its going to take some serious degreasing! Anyone got any suggestions as to the best product?


Turns out, someone recently fitted a new caliper to the drivers side front, not complaining!

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The rear axle has defiantly seen better days! The diff probably has no oil in.... as most of its either on the floor on on the rear shafts! The diff cover also needs removing, refurbishing and resealing!

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By the looks of things, one of my rear drum is leaking fluid, no doubt a wheel cylinder!

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But onto the most important part! And of course, i mean the rust. So i knew it was bad, and i knew it needed a lot of attention. But until you start ripping up carpets, cutting out bad metal and giving it a good old whack, you just cannot prepare you self for what you will uncover! Regardless, you just have to press on!

Thought I'd start with the most structural of parts, being the front of the chassis frame, as one side has a big hole in, which meant cutting it out quickly and welding in a new section!

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Still a bit messy i know but its not quite finished!

Now, I'm sorry if you mistake the next few pictures for a block of Swiss cheese, but i understand if you get confused!

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Holey hell..... get it?

Someone did a brilliant job on repairing the front valance... using pop rivets.... not....

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Think i might pay £100 for a fiber glass one?

Not quite sure your meant to be able to see the drivers seat from this position? But i could be mistaken....

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Now.. in my last post, i showed you pictures of the sticker replacement for the heating controls. Well i got it fitted, its a bit of a fiddle to get it right, but its close enough and it looks a dam sight better!

Before:
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After:
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Now, the wheels have defiantly seen better days! The plan for these is to paint them similar to RS 4 spokes. Paint the 4 inner recesses black and the rest silver.

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Well thats the end of one update. There is more to come below, but the photos were taken at a later date, so i thought best to make one post but split the two sections up.

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Got more of the floor section welded up.. after setting fire to the under seal... insulation and even a wiring loom! don't even ask.. i don't even know how... Anyway, shes looking alot better now. Not finished yet but its already looking safer!

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This sectoion even got some under seal!
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Whilst cutting away, something i was hoping not to find appeared. Now im aware that it has had replacements rear arches. I was not however aware that instead of being done properly, they were poorly fabricated in, and then filled with filler as you can see.
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I managed to pick up a manifold, 2.0 VV carb from a Pinto transit! and a K&N air filter for only £29! Personally it was a bargain! I didn't use the carb, as its pretty much useless. and the manifold ill keep as a spare. And yes, i know the engine bay looks very tired. But its the least of my concerns at the moment!

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Overall, shes still looking very sorry for herself, however she has come along way in the last 6-7 months and I've gotten a lot done considering the lack of time i have had to restore her. Just hoping she wont rot faster than i can weld her up!

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Thanks for reading, hope I'm inspiring someone or just entertaining you at the very least!

Shall keep you posted on anything new that happens, although im moving house in the next couple of weeks so will probably go quite for a while as i settle in to my new digs!

Questions, Comments welcome!

Sparks.
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Re: My 86' Laser =30/9/2014=

Post by Arya2.0S » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:45 pm

Wow, you are doing a great job. That was in a terrible state glad you are saving it.

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Re: My 86' Laser

Post by sparks » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:11 am

Finally! I have got round to the next update. Its been almost 5 months since my last one! And a lot has changed!

I started spending some money on the old girl and have been fitting away. Including.... you guessed it... More welding!!! woo....

So the passenger side front got the attention it required as like the other side. and is almost finished.

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So the only thing to do now is tack on the wing rail, refix the wing and then finish of the floor pan.

Just tidying up the front valance abit

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Got a few new bits of kit for the girl! including some sexy stainless steel braided hoses!

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As you can see the drivers side rear drum was virtually useless due to an leaking wheel cylinder that caused a nasty mess inside the drum!

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Looks as if its mixed with the brake dust and fluid causing a thick nasty black paste that was a nightmare to clean off! however, perseverance prevailed! and after sorting it the shiny new cylinder, shoes and chrome springs and fixtures were fitted!

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Then i was able to move onto swapping out those nasty rubber hoses for my lovely new ones!

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Looking good!

The next thing was the wonderful brake bleeding... Which when you have one of these is ace!

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Just a few random shots of the girl:

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Now i got some of the interior trim out and started repainting it as it was very dull and faded and some of i decided would look much better in black!

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Well that's it for now. there will be more to come in the near future as I'm trying to push the car through an MOT in the next 4 weeks! Planning to install some polly bushed Adjustable TCA's in the next week so i can get the camber correct. cleaning up the underside ready for some treating and under sealing once the welding is done and hopefully repairing my sun roof as im sure your all aware is not going to be fun!

Thanks for looking, comments and questions welcome!
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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by MS Injection » Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:34 am

I've enjoyed following this thread very much. As has been said, the condition of the car when you got it would have put many people off. The restoration looks to be careful, methodical and thorough. Plus you will have the satisfaction of knowing the condition of the car throughout.

Good luck with the final push to the MOT.

Mike

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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by pbar » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:40 am

Great stuff. Out of interest what did you use for the interior, was it vinyl paint?

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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by sparks » Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:30 am

Thanks guys. It's glad to hear positive comments towards the work being carried out!
pbar wrote:Great stuff. Out of interest what did you use for the interior, was it vinyl paint?
Believe it or not I've just used a standard rattle can of hycoat satin black. Those a pillars are wrapped in some kind of material that has given it that affect but I think it looks great!
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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by Peter-S » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:42 pm

Nice work, great to see it all coming together :)
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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by pbar » Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:59 pm

sparks wrote:
Believe it or not I've just used a standard rattle can of hycoat satin black. Those a pillars are wrapped in some kind of material that has given it that affect but I think it looks great!
Well what a great result! Thank you for the info.

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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Tue Feb 24, 2015 5:03 pm

Hi,
You've been very busy in the last five months!
Good to see the car coming along nicely, it won't be long before you're able to enjoy driving the car.
Keep up the good work,
Andrew.
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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by sparks » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:29 pm

Hey chaps,

Just a quick post. But updates none the less...

I completely forgot about this beaut of a toy i bought for the car last year at the NEC Lancaster Insurance Classic Car Show.

Haha! weather or not ill fit it is undecided yet. will have to find somewhere to put it!

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Also, huge credit to Nick (Fordoholic Nick) for generously donating me this the other day! Thanks a bundle!

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Well packaged as well!

Thats all for now. Will keep you posted!

Tom.
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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by sparks » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:45 pm

We'll,


Being payday... I bought some of the expensive parts!

I got a fully polly bush kit on route! As we'll as some adjustable TCA's that should be here in the next few days! So will be looking forward to fitting these in the near future!
Now just to crack on and get the welding finished and then next Month I'll be purchasing an Ashley competition exhaust and tubular manifold!

Then she'll be ready for an Mot. Not finished. But driveable!!!

Will keep you all posted.

Tom
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Re: My 86' Laser - Finally an update!!

Post by Ghia15 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:17 am

Really good work there Tom.

The state she was in to where she is now, I take my hat off to you.

Once you get her driveable you can then just sort or tidy everything else when you get time. Plus you will be able to enjoy all your hard work.

What do the ford guys think having a cappa back in the workshop?
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