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.

September 2017 (continued)

Steering Column

The steering column is now installed in the car. It was a tight squeeze and doesn't leave much spline poking out of the bulkhead, but I can put a UJ-joiner on and a coupling spline in place if required, to join it to the power steering rack. I may need to perform some more fabrication to do this, but that's to be expected I suppose since I'm kind of building a car to my own specification and whims.

September 2017 (continued)

Rolling MOT exemption

From the 20th of May 2018, any vehicle which is 40 years old or older will no longer require an MOT. This currently applies to cars registered before 1960, but the government is extending it to a rolling 40 year exemption. The reason behind the change, according to the Department for Transport is "There are lower MOT failure rates and fewer fatal collisions involving vehicles over 40 years old". This applies to mostly anything that is not used as a commercial vehicle.
This would mean that the MOT process for a vehicle over 40 years would be an entirely voluntary process. You can still get an MOT if you wish. The same new rule will apply to motorcycles.
In my view, this is both good and bad. People who maintain their cars anyway and know their car inside out (who have done a huge amount of their own work on their car) will probably be keen to maintain their car. However, it could be said that this could encourage rusting and dangerous MOT exempt cars onto the roads. I'm happy that mine will be roadworthy as I know it very well by this stage.

September 2017

Slow progress

I'm making slow progress on the car. I've fitted the power steering belt and made a battery tray (another pic here). Meanwhile, inside the car, it's still a mess. This is the next job. (At least the clock is keeping the correct time), and that's the only thing I've tested since connecting the battery.

July 2017 (continued)

Engine Bay

The BMW's engine bay was a lot larger than the Capri. It just means it'll all be a tight fit (notice the airflow sensor and intake filter takes up a lot of room. So much so, that I've relocated where the power steering reservoir is, and now sits behind it. Next, I have made a couple of 'L' shape brackets which are bolted to the bulkhead. This is the support for the battery tray. It needs a bit of reshaping and fettling but here's the battery tray. (It's actually made from the side of a washing machine, but when painted should look ok).

July 2017

Even more wiring

I realise this isn't very interesting for anyone following my progress if I just say 'more wiring', but that's exactly what it is. It just involves connecting everything, one thing at a time and is a very slow process.


I've finished tidying up the wiring joining the engine to the ECU and just finished wiring in the Intake Air Temperature sensor and coupling everything back up.

June 2017

A few legalities

Oops, There's a few things I obviously didn't think about and should've remembered when doing this. On the DVLA's website, the law currently means you can't modify too much on a vehicle before it's considered 'radically modified'. This means it has to wear a 'Q' plate and would mean it has to go through a strict type approval test.

Something I don't want to have to do.

What it comes down to is that you have to keep at least 8 points of originality to qualify (link here).

Part Points
Chassis, monocoque bodyshell or frame - original or new and unmodified 5
Suspension (front and back) - original 2
Axles (both) - original 2
Transmission - original 2
Steering assembly - original 2
Engine - original 1


So, because I've already changed the engine, the steering and the transmission, I'm not allowed to change anything else if I want to retain my 8 points of originality. The chassis is still original, so that's fine (5 points). The front ford suspension will have to go back on (+2 points), and it'll have to wear the ford axles and hubs again (+2 points), which will give me 9 points and I can keep it's original P-reg (1973) tax exempt status and not have to have a Q plate. (40 year rolling tax exemption status)

April 2017 (day 6)

Yet more wiring

Another day of wiring (and I'm still not finished). It's a very time consuming process as I'm double checking the placement and connections of each wire and I'm checking each wire for continuity before I solder them in (as these spare wiring was scavenged from a Toyota Landcruiser which was a good 15 years old). Anyway, what I have succeeded in doing is joining up the engine to the main ECU and recreating the wiring loom. I'm even starting to find a place for everything to fit in the car.

April 2017 (day 5)

A little bit of wiring

Another one of those jobs that I'd started and left half done. The wiring is getting there slowly and is starting to look a tiny bit more organised. You'll also notice the door is now on the car (it's a fibreglass outer door skin bonded to the metal frame of the original door to give it the required strength). The next task is joining the wiring loom up to the engine, which is the job for tomorrow.

April 2017 (day 4)

Passenger-side door (again)

A rainy wet day today, which means I'm confined to working in the shed as it pours down outside.Here is the door assembled with all it's working parts, and here's a video of it working (perhaps this is a strong contender of the year for the most boring clip so far).


April 2017 (day 3)

Passenger-side door

What follows now is me rebuilding the capri door with all new innards. First step is to cut the outer panel away and de-rust. Next, I've installed the BMW door mechanism and attached control cables to it. The reason for doing this was because it now doesn't matter where my door handle is exactly because it'll work wherever it's mounted on the outer-skin of the door. Here's a video of it in action.

April 2017 (day 2)

Door Lock

So, short story: I've lost the keys to the capri (the original ones anyway). This doesn't really matter too much as the original door locks have seized solid on the capri, and I've decided to use the BMW ones. The original BMW door lock barrel was too large to fit in the capri door handle. As you can see, I've filed the end down to replicate the old capri one. Next, I have to modify the inner part of the handle to operate differently.


You can imagine with all this filing of the aluminium that it makes lots of metal swarf which would get in the workings of the lock. To prevent this, there's sellotape over where the key is inserted and blue-tack works really well (and is easily removable afterwards) when it comes to keeping swarf out of the lock inner workings.

April 2017 (day 1)

Rear suspension

I've been doing some more on the Capri for a few hours this morning. Finished removing the rear wishbone suspension from the BMW, complete with the dampers and the rear anti-roll bar (which needs new bushes and a clean up). I'll be doing more work on the car in the coming week.


October 2016

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.


September 2016

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?



May 2015

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 diagram).


Front suspension, all assembled.

Please see pictures 12 onwards in the suspension gallery as this shows the latest progress I've made.


April 2015

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.

December 2014

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 and here.

November 2014

Engine in!

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).

October 2014

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

September 2014

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.

August 2014

Gearbox in

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).

Suspension mounts

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.


This picture 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.

April 2014

Moving house

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.

March 2014


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 continued

More 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

I'm 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 2

Today 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.

October 2013

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.

September 2013

Stripping out the interior

Here'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.

May 2013

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.

April 2013

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.

January 2013

NSF wing

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.

November 2012

More of the same

More 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)

Patching holes

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.

August 2012

Front (Continued)

More progress today - this time I've spent a few hours on the front valance again, and also on the engine bay.

July 2012

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.

March 2012

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.

The roof

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).

December 2011

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.

November 2011

OSF wing

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.

October 2011

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.

September 2011

Progress continues

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.

August 2011

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.
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