A restoration conundrum

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A restoration conundrum

Postby Orkney » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:05 pm

Ok a fundamental question here – just how far do you fix/restore?
Just spent a couple of hours mucking about with scabby, removing some more underseal, experimenting with the best wood stripping method, finding out what diff its got etc.
As I only get to spend a couple of hours as and when, kind of get to take a mental note of things then they sink in a day or two later.
Well today doing the diff test re-noticed something I had last week – rear brake cylinder gone, damned annoyed not even 12 months old and has brake fluid all over the place.
Initially had thought I was looking at where I’d been spraying the rear spring bolts etc to assist removal when the time comes. Alas not, whipped the wheel off and the drum, soaked, everywhere, doubly annoyed as it was new shoes too so off to dig out the receipt later, have a horrid feeling that I bought them off ebay though : - (
I digress… so whilst its jacked up one side start seeing niggly bits, easy sortable quick fixes certainly that would be good enough for a couple of MOT’s, but not sure I’d be happy with that.
The intended object was to give 10 years trouble free corrosion wise, but the more I look at it the more thinking that this isn’t going to be a halfway job. In so much as don’t want to live with a ‘fix’ when for double triple or quadruple the work its something that wont have to be gone back to in sooner years.
Seriously found myself sat there earlier headscratching and thing well hang on, with the time available to work on it this car isn’t going to be done this year (budget of course being another and hugely important consideration)
If it’s done properly then 18 months of spare time which probably means 2 years knowing day to day life here.
So why not I’m thinking take a little more time and just go all out – bareshell it and get the TC 16v Daewoo front wheel drive running gear grafted on. It seriously wouldn’t be that much more work.
I cant bear bodges, but was kind of counting on scabby being on the road for a couple of years within the next 6 months, bit stuck for answers really so throwing it to general consensus !
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Postby Judge » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:09 pm

I think you have answered your own question Kevin  :wink:
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Postby alex_holden » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:36 pm

Danger Will Robinson!

I've been down the road of wanting to do a quick fixup to get a car on the road and ending up doing a ground-up restoration instead. It took even longer than it should have (about five years) because I got bored part way through, bought another car, went to university, etc. If you want to do a full restoration of Scabby for the enjoyment of doing it consider getting a second Minor first as it gets quite frustrating not having a car on the road for long periods of time. Although it does help motivate you to get on with it.

Adapting it to FWD sounds like a big job to me, and I'm not sure what advantage it would give you over upgrading to a more powerful RWD setup.
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Postby Guest » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:04 pm

Tough decision to make, patch and make do, but not be happy with the result, or full ground up restoration that WILL cost an arm and a leg. Third option, fabricate all the panels you need if and when time/materials allows.

To get a 10 year no corrosion motor is not that easy. You will need to be brutal and hack out all steel that is showing signs of deep rust pitting. If you grind away at a 1.2mm panel, it will end up a lot thinner = quicker corrosion if water/dampness find a way to the metal.

It's going to have to be a compromise between your idea of perfection to your standards, cost and time. One area that is going to cost money is the rust treatment/prevention you use. Little point in replacing metal only to use Hammerite to protect it. It's going to need zinc/galv spray then chassis/stonechip quality paint, then waxoyl or Dinotrol.

Lots of hidden costs in a restoration. That said, I know how inventive you can be, so please do a stunning job, as I know you will.
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Postby bmcecosse » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:19 pm

I reckon if you start a full resto - you will never finish it.  Just sort out what matters for an MOT and get it back on the road pronto.  Otherwise - I see a money pit with no end in view!
 









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Postby bigginger » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:27 pm

Seconded - been there, STILL doing that...
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Postby Orkney » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:40 pm

Judge oh wise one i thought i'd answered the question too before i typed it - but i'm 50/50

Alex Know exactly where your coming from - partly hence the question knowing there are others whove been in the same situation - guess in stupide r& wealthier years would have been a no brainer - scrap scabby & buy one thats done.
However time teaches - besides i really like the car, and from it want enjoyment & reliabilty - with the exception of the rangerover spit spit have always felt theres a bit of karma involved with cars - what you put in you get repaid.
The FWD thing was intended to be next project long term - simply because theres a car sat there thats the perfect donor for the running gear, only done 50k miles, wouldnt have the top end of a JLH conversion but no doubt would out accelerate it to 70mph, handling wouldnt be so good but would still be a refined & fun drive.

MT you hit the nail on the head - as i see it now its compromise - if i start hacking i might never stop... I'd be happy with presentable & functional but dont want to do half a job.

BMC you probably summed it up and not finishing it is a massive fear.

If i were a different kind of person i'd do a quick only whats neccessary tidy up, 12 month ticket and sell it and recoup what it owes. But couldnt do that no way because thats just passing a problem on to someone else.
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Postby mrbenn » Sun Apr 06, 2008 6:47 pm

Me? I'd sort what needs sorting now, and continue as a rolling restoration :)
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Postby DTH » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:05 pm

^^ What he said!
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Postby bmcecosse » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:18 pm

Yes - it wouldn't be right to sell it - so just patch what needs doing and get it an MOT!  And run it for the year's ticket and see if anything better crops up.  It is what it is- an old Traveller - but it could serve you well as cheap transport for a year.
 









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Postby Chickenjohn » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:08 am

Yes, good idea- do a proper, thorough job even if it takes 2 years, use zinc spray to protect inside box sections then waxoyl inside to stop rust reforming, but then I read this-

" bareshell it and get the TC 16v Daewoo front wheel drive running gear grafted on. It seriously wouldn’t be that much more work. "

NOOOO! Horrible idea. Two of the best bits of the Minor are:-
1, Characterful tough easy to service economical A series
2. Rear wheel drive.

You'd have to butcher the car to get a FWD set up in. More power yes, but RWD and please dont hack the car up. there are fewer and fewer Minors about all the time, less than 2000 travellers on the road now. And for a daewoo engine (sorry "Chevrolet Matiz"). Too many people end up with modified cars that you think "why on earth did they do that?", the answer "because I happened to have it lying around".
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Postby Orkney » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:39 am

Hmm its gets no easier to decide :-(
Gave it some more thought last night. Guess what i hadn't accounted for was how much its all going to cost ... regardless of what needs doing on the underside to my satisfaction it will need at the very least
New radiator
2 new headlight assemblies
possibly 2 new wings
definitely drivers door
bumper blade & rear bumpers (old but unbent will do as they wont be chrome)
rear light & indicator assemblies
Wiper arms & blades
rear window channels - the whole shooting match there
At least £150 for paint & wood finish & waxoly
maybe petrol tank
Gearbox must be replaced so more than likely new clutch - and wouldnt be a bad thing to do whilst doing the box.

And thats just what i can think of off the top of my head. So realistically half what i paid for it needs to be spent just to get it to reliable daily runabout - because if its going to replace the modern its got to be happy doing 250-300 miles a week.
Not to mention have already spent 250 or so which was complete brakes, and various bits & bobs that just add up.
Course not forgetting £1k of materials it cost to make the garage for it to go in - but thats not bad for 16x16ft and at least i can find all of my tools now :-) In that though ive also got the materials to extend it to give more than double the floorspace under coverwhich will get done when the weather picks up.

What i had intended initialy was to do the neccesary on scab to be a reliable daily, save up for the £350 transpot cost and get a freeby as and when one came up, then use that as the long term to try the 16v fwd implant.

Point is i dont have 6, 7 or 8 hundred quid to drop on it, so being blatantly realistic until such time as i do then i might as well be doing stuff that doesnt cost and doing it properly. At least then when it is done i know that i wont be having to go back to stuff in a few years - a 'that'll do' fix really isnt time cost effective, but worst than that would be the knowing its there and having that festering away in the subconcious :-(

CJ 2000 on the road? thats a surprisingly low figure ! really thought it would be more than that !
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Postby Chickenjohn » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:09 am

2000 travellers on the road is a higher estimation than the 1600 figure that was posted the other week on the National Club site message board. People assume that there are "plenty of Minors about", magazines print nonsense such as "of course there is always the ubiquitous Minor".

That may have been true 20 or 30 years ago. Ten years ago there were still enough on the road that on my morning drive to work I would regularly see 4 or 5 going the other way. Now 10 years of rust and MOT's and I'm lucky if I see one every couple of weeks on the road.
Cheers John

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Postby alex_holden » Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:12 am

Me too. Even on the LEO I saw very few Minors that weren't part of the rally.
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Postby Guest » Mon Apr 07, 2008 11:20 am

Yes numbers are on the decline, and it's not just major MOT failures that are getting scrapped. Not long after I bought the traveller, I found a very good 2 door saloon in the local scrap yard, it could have been a rolling resto but I didn't have the space or time, so just stripped it bit by bit.

The Minor is 60 this year, with production stopping 35 years ago. Several suppliers are listing what was once common items as either out of stock or worse no longer available.

With high motoring costs due to excessive taxation, tree huggers, and the cost of mortgages, the classic car is becoming even more of a niche market.

I am lucky if I see a half dozen Minors a year, and I frequently travel a route that it used by classics in Central Scotland.
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