Sep 2011 > (onwards...)
Ok, here we go again. This is my latest (long term) project. Another mk1 capri you can read about the first restoration here
They called me mad...
The fools. They called me mad... well, actually they still do but that's not the point. The car is in the shed
, on top of the car transporter that I made
. I wasn't sure at one point if it'd actually fit but it does.
At least now I'll have enough space underneath
to work on the car.
A year and 4 months later!
I have no time to spend on this project these days, but that doesn't mean I'm giving up. It just means the project has been going at a snail's pace, and a slightly different direction. This was a caravan.
I separated the caravan from it's chassis and burnt the bits I didn't want. I was then left with the frame pictured. Why did I do this? Well, the idea is that the car will sit on top of it allowing me to work underneath.
I then welded the frame to make it much stronger
(lots of triangulation here) and added plates so the car wheels can sit upon these ramps. The general idea is that the car will be supported and I can do anything I then need such as welding, fitting suspension, brakes, exhaust, undersealing... everything which would mean I had to crawl around on my belly in the dirt otherwise. I really hope it's strong enough, but I'll find out soon. This is because I can't afford a car lift or a platform lift (which normal people would buy), but as I'm skint that's not going to happen.
Speaking of crawling around on my belly in the dirt, I've also had enough of getting rained on while I'm trying to work on the car. This
is the next mad idea. Continuing the 'no money' theme, this is the beginnings of a shed. Yes – It's a load of doors nailed together. Step 2
, after the doors are nailed together, a frame is made around the top of the doors, then the roof beams are assembled and nailed into place. Step 3
was where I'm beginning to make it look more like a shed rather than a pile of wood. We had these corrugated sheets of plastic lying around. The boards for the side of the shed are made from fencing which has been taken apart to use the shiplap boards for the sides.
I'm next going to finish boarding the shed (on the inside and outside), then I'm going to put heavy duty paving slabs on the floor
(after I rake the ground completely flat first). The point of all this is so I have somewhere dry to work on the car and I'm not going to be caked in mud every time I try and make progress. As I have so little time to spend on the car, I decided the time I do have should be spent working in better conditions. After I lost the original workshop I had (we moved to a smaller house), the car has been sat at my Dad's under a cover. Enough is enough and it's about time I had somewhere decent to store it. So far, the caravan and the bits that have been turned into a shed have cost me absolutely nothing – They have all been donated willingly or been someone else's cast-offs.I almost succeeded in getting the car onto the car transporter
, but the 4x4 ran out of diesel and I have no more time left for a couple of weeks. I'll have to wait, but what's a week or two when I've been waiting this long?
It's been a while...
More progress! I've liberated the BMW rear suspension
to use on the capri which, as you can see
was a pain.
I now have the job of cleaning all this
which will keep me busy.
Front suspension, lower control arm mounts
Another day, another small bit of progress made. This
is the front suspension, lower control arm adapters,
(which is hopefully illustrated clearly by This
Front suspension, all assembled.
Please see pictures 12 onwards in the suspension gallery
as this shows the latest progress I've made.
This project isn't dead
No, this project hasn't been abandoned. It's just I've been very busy in my shed with another project – A Honda CBR 600. I will return to doing more on the capri again, but for the time being I need to get the bike finished. You can see my progress on the Honda here
Too cold and wet
It's too cold and wet to do anything now, so the car is back under cover
. It's now sitting on it's new suspension, up on ramps
to let a bit of air flow underneath. There's a couple more pictures here
The engine is now in
. It's also bolted to the gearbox. Reminder to self: must make sure all bolts are torqued up correctly! Here
are a few shots of it installed in the engine bay (pics 11,12 and 13).
Front Suspension (continued)
In my continuous quest to use the BMW front suspension, I've had to modify the subframe mounts. This means also modifying the box-section of the chassis to take the new subframe. This means plenty of welding
. You can see the progress I've made on the front suspension in the relevant page here
Strut top mounts
As I'm using the BMW shock absorbers and not the Capri ones, the mounting holes are in the wrong place on the strut top mounts. So, to get around the problem, I've cut the strut tops out of the BMW
and then seam welded them in place.
Achieved quite a bit today. The gearbox is now in
which took a while as had to finish making the crossmember mount
(see the gallery here
). Also, the front suspension and subframe was removed
. Also, managed to make a locating bracket for the gearstick mount
and checked the alignment
was ok. (I didn't need to cut the tunnel at all).
This is not as straightforward as I'd hoped. I've had to create a suspension mounting adaptor
as I don't want to have to cut the gearbox tunnel of the car, and there's no clearance between the gearbox mount and the top of the gearbox at the underside of the chassis. See the gallery here
for my workarounds for this gearbox problem.
shows the entire front suspension legs and subframe removed from the donor car. I'm also keeping the power steering and everything attached so that I can retain this in the capri. A gallery of the suspension, as I complete it will be here
Preparing the Engine and Gearbox
With the engine and gearbox now removed out of the donor car
the task of preparing the engine for the capri begins. It's quite a time consuming job, and while cleaning I've noticed a few things that need replacing. Off to the scrapyard tomorrow then... Pictures of the engine and gearbox prep here
Stripping the donor car
We've now moved house, and although this has meant I've lost my large workshop, I'm not going to let that stop my progress with the build. The car is now at my Dad's place. Yesterday the engine and gearbox was removed
still assembled, straight out of the BMW. It was a pain getting the gearbox and propshaft bolts undone as access from underneath was restricted. More pictures of the donor car strip-down here
We are moving house, so this means I've lost my workshop until I build (or rather, extend) the new one. The car has now been relocated at my Dad's place
as a temporary measure. It was a pain getting it there, but I have more important things to get sorted out now.
Test fitting headlights
Here, I'm just test fitting the headlights. Will need to make some adjustments, but just wanted to see if they looked ok. Also, I need to make the car impervious to pests and rodents (will explain in the post above), hence the temporary wooden windows
Wiring...Here's a picture of the donor car
, which I'm stripping (a BMW). I'm using all the wiring and painstakingly labelling everything so I know what each wire is. I've measured the wiring out and there's over 10 metres (or 1 stone in weight) of wiring alone!
Wiring continuedMore progress made on the wiring now
, It looks worse than it actually is (honest). It really helped that I labelled everything up when extracting it from the BMW donor car as I'd be a bit confused where everything went otherwise.
Chassis prep and repair
repairing the chassis from the underside of the car
and removing all the old underseal. It's a very messy job, and just like the bodywork prep, will take a long time to get through.
Sanding down, part 2Today I've been busy with the sander again
. The entire bonnet has been stripped of paint and old gel-coat (which had all cracked), headlight backings are now in place too. I quickly sprayed a coat of primer, just to see where the bodywork imperfections are.
Sanding down, part 1
This is going to take me a while. I've removed the front lights again, now that I know they fit ok. I've fitted the new bonnet as well, just to check gaps and alignment. I've now started sanding down the bodywork
. This is a huge job, so I'll do it bit by bit so it doesn't become a chore.
I was going to use the BMW ones, then remembered I have a set of headlights from a MK3 capri in the shed
. The mk3 ones needed slimming down with a disc grinder
. On a Capri, if you want to change the headlight bulbs, you have to unscrew the entire front facia, remove all the chrome trim, taking care not to break or lose anything in the process. This means battling with rusted screws in the front panel. Then remove the entire light cluster housing. I now have a better way. The entire light cluster will hinge outwards, making changing the bulbs much easier
Stripping out the interiorHere's a shot of how the interior of the car is at the moment
. As you can see, I've been busy removing everything inside ready for the re-wiring to begin. You'll also notice from the larger picture that I've cut a section out of the dashboard. This is to accommodate the new gauges that are to go in (MPH, RPM, Temp, MPG & Fuel). I'm also working on making a new custom dashboard.
More work on the engine bay
More work done on the engine bay today. It's been ages since I've done work on the car. This is because I've been furiously working on getting the house done (I'm going to be a dad!). I've had a change of heart with the colour scheme - I'm going matt black all over with a couple of red stripes up the side. I'm concentrating on the engine bay
so that all is ready for the engine install and I can work on wiring and all ancillaries.
Front Valance finished
Today I've finished the front valance.It took a lot to rebuild it
, but I was determined as a replacement one is silly money.
I've probably used £30 of metal and welding wire but it's still a lot cheaper than buying a new one.
More engine bay and NSF wing
More work done on the engine bay today. I've disc grinded off all of the old rotten support for the battery tray
, leaving a bigger space for the new engine. I've also fitted the replacement NSF wing and finished some welding alongside the NSF A-Post inside the car. It's now all structurally sound at least and everything remains square and in-line so that's the main worry over.
Today I've removed the Near-Side front wing. I had hoped to sell it once it was removed, but unfortunately it's too far gone to be of use to anyone really. With this removed
, I can see just what's required to repair the A-Post and so far it doesn't seem as bad as the other side was.
More of the sameMore welding of holes in the floor today. This time on the passenger side
The door was the biggest pain in the rear today. The lock had seized and the key I have didn't fit. With the door removed the NSF A-Post is going to need some work, just like I've already done on the other side. (Groan)
Been really busy making sure there are no holes in the chassis today
- an ongoing job. Here's a tip I've discovered. Put a high intensity spotlight underneath the car, then turn off the other lights in the workshop. Any holes in the chassis show up instantly. Unfortunately, underneath the clutch pedal looked like a colander
. I had to remove all the rotten metal, cut a new section and weld it all back in. Pretty happy with how it went
More progress today - this time I've spent a few hours on the front valance again
, and also on the engine bay
Cutting and welding
I've been cutting out more rust today, making replacement panels and welding these repair sections in.
The first job was the hole in the driver's floorpan
The second job was to cut all the rot out of the front valance, cut the rust out of the subframe then weld in a replacement part.
Cleaning out the workshop
I've decided that I need more room (can't move for parts and tools everywhere), so I've extended my workshop by another 10 foot and unmasked the back end of the car.
I remember I need a new boot lid but think I can repair the rear valance, although it will need to be bent back into shape.
At least I've managed to finally open the boot, and there's a few assorted parts in there.
New rear-light clusters and a very manky-looking centre console. I can at least move the car for better access now.
I am also after some better wheels as the current ones are definitely past it.
This is definitely going to take a while. I've pulled out the sunroof and very rotten fabric and aluminium runners
which were supposedly holding everything together. I now have the long job of taking it all back to bare metal
, then I've got to weld in a replacement steel section
to make the roof a solid hardtop again.
Sills, OSF wing and A-Post
Bits'n bobs and a bit of reassembling. Amongst other things, I've put the front wing where it's supposed to be and riveted it into place
. I also repaired the sill sections
(my welding is improving) and just painted the top of the scuttle panel atop the A-Post
(when I put primer down, this red oxide primer should act as a guide coat so I can see if things aren't 100% smooth).
It's still possible to pick up a bargain!
This other capri was on eBay recently. It had 5 bids and went for £310.
It's in a lot worse condition than mine was, but at least it came with an engine and gearbox. It's not known if the engine was actually a runner though. It's still perfectly possible to get a bargain mk1 capri if you are prepared to put the work in.
Finally finished repairing the OSF A Post today. An epic task it would seem.It needed so much welding
I've also been test-fitting the OSF wing, making sure it all lines up and everything is square. I had to put the old door back on to check the lines and gaps were correct.
I had forgotten how heavy the doors were.
I'm definitely going to be looking for fibreglass ones to replace these.
More progress on the OSF A-Post
Been busy doing more work on the OSF A-Post today.
It's just a case of cutting the rotten metal out
and replacing with good steel.It's time consuming work though
This is probably going to be a re-occuring theme for the forseeable future.
I'm only doing a bit now and again so it doesn't become a chore.
Got a replacement Mighty Mig welder today as an early birthday present.
Brilliant little welder. It's a no-gas welder which makes life a lot easier, it's a wire-fed mig welder with variable wire feed speeds which is really handy. It's also possible to turn the current right down making it ideal for car bodywork. I have been making progress with the rotten A-Posts.
Will put some progress shots up on this site as soon as I have more to show.
Need more tools...
Having a welder that I can actually turn the current down on would be..... wonderful!
Plus I really need a load of clamps to hold metal in place that I am trying to weld. Car boot scavenging time.
Why a Capri
It was the first car I ever drove. I was only about 5 years old, but my dad would do the pedals, I did the steering. It was on deserted common land at the time. It's always something I will remember, driving that silver v8 mk1. I wish that we'd kept it now.
You restored one before - Why get another one?
I always regretted selling my first one
, so I had planned to get a replacement project for a long time. My financial situation back then meant that the original mk1 had to be sold. Amongst other things, I also needed to pay for my motorcycle test.