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TripleRich

1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1023 hours of work - Rebuilding all the mechanical bits

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Showed this to my wife, and even as an abstainee from the pursuit of shite - aside from our cars, of course, which are special, she's somewhat impressed.

 

When it comes to eventual (and inevitable) rust repairs on the Rover, it's (perhaps misguidedly) the sill and floor fixes that worry me least. At least they don't have to look pretty. Though yours almost certainly will.

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Thats right.  The coke bottle coupe was the early one and was made from launch in 1972 until 1974.  From then on the coke bottle coupe was replaced with the straight line coupe.  Personally I think the coke bottle styling looked better, but they are super hard to find these days.

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After cutting off the sill sections I set to cutting out the rot in the edge of the floor.  A few areas needed doing and after a day or so the floor was all fixed up on this side.

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With that complete the inner sill and strengthener are temporarily fitted to check everything is going to work.  A bit of hammering later and the whole lot fits reasonably well.

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Next up was the jacking point.  Very little was left of the original so I has to guess what the original shape was and make another one.  Being a jacking point I made it from one piece of 2mm steel using a metal folder for the edges.

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A few adjustments and some more welding and it was back in place ready for the sill strenghthener to be welded over the top.

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This is one of the few aftermarket panels being used on the car.  Unlike most aftermarket panels it actually fits quite well.  First job was to apply as much protection as possible to all parts of the new inner sill, jacking point and sill cover.  I also put in a bead of tiger seal along the seam where the lower part meets the floor as this area is prone to letting water in.

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Before welding everything was once again mocked up to check the door gaps.

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Now for the spot welder.  A very fast way to attach stuff but it weighs a ton when the large electrodes are fitted.  I can usually be found on the floor in a pool of sweat after using it...

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Next job is to fit the cover and reattach the bottom of the rear wing.  Its rotten though so will need some repairs before being fitted again.

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There is something immensely satisfying about seeing really good quality fabrication and welding. Being a non-welder myself, I can only assume it's equally satisfying being the person doing the decent quality work. I always wonder what sort of money would be quoted by a specialist to do this kind of work - I can only assume it would be mega-bucks owing to the huge amount of hours involved.

Looking forward to seeing this one back on it's wheels again 8-)

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Thanks, being able the stand back and say 'I did that' is whats keeping me going at the moment.  What you see here a basically how every car we get is treated subject to customer budget.  To get to this point I'm at 186 man hours so that gives you an idea of how expensive it can get.  I'm lucky being able to do the work myself only paying for consumables and use of the workshop, but its hard graft and there are times when I feel like paying somebody else to do it so I can go home and fall asleep.

 

That said the expensive is worth doing.  We've seen plenty of cars that were 'restored' for half the money 5 to 10 years ago and they look like they need restoring again already.  Much of our time is spent undoing previous shoddy repairs.

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Every time I find factory seam sealer I find a ton of rust.  Dunno what Ford were using at the time but it seems to have more in common with a sponge rather sealer.  The bottom of the rear wing that I removed so I could replace the sill had loads in it.  Below is what was left when I peeled it all off.

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So I went ahead and made new flanges for the whole thing and replaced a few bits here and there.

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It was then put back in place and it lined up rather nicely.  Its only thin so controlling the heat is important while welding.  Took a while but i'm rather pleased with the result.  Its cut short at the moment as most of the wheel arch needs to be replaced.

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Fantastic work as ever.

I've had my share of dealings with that seam sealer Ford were using. Exactly the same problem! I think it either dries or just ages to a point where it goes hard and stops sticking properly which then let's moisture past it.

When ever I've come across it, it often scrapes off fairly easily with a screwdriver or similar but leaves a rusty mark where it was.

That stretchy plasticky under seal stuff Ford used at the time can be a pain too. Some of it seems ok yet other areas will look ok but on inspection it's almost blistered and come away from the metal underneath. You can peel it off and find all the rusty beneath.

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It burns very well if you weld near it so I try to get as much off as possible.  As you say it does come off very easily.  The black tar stuff in the floors is usually more resistant.  

 

Its very interesting when you take a car apart to this level as you find all the little faults and water traps in it.  Most are there to keep the production cost down, but you do wonder how may are there on purpose to make sure you had to buy a new car later on.

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With the sill cover welded on and the bottom of the wing back where it should be I finished up the welding.  Right pain of a job due to all the shapes and curves but after a few hours work I had something that looked about right.

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Next on the list is the replace the outriggers I cut off previously.  Make up end closers for the new sill and move onto the rear wheel arch.  The plan is to sort this side of the car before moving onto the other.  Leaving the other side alone gives me all the reference I need to ensure things go in the right place.  When I start that side I can use the repaired side as reference knowing its right.

Before that though I need to fit the wing and door to make sure the repairs line up.  

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The work has paid off and the panels line up quite well.  Theres the odd small discrepancy here and there but nothing stands out.  After all its a 70s car so the gaps were never very good anyway.  

I've also filmed most of the work from start to finish which should give a better idea whats involved.  I'll be making more of these as I progress through the car.

Cheers

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Guest Lord Sward

So how much would this restoration have cost a punter at you place, so far?

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So far I've spent 196 hours on the car and if I was a customer it would have cost about £7.6k to get to this point.  The work has been done in my own time so the pace of work would be a bit faster if I was on the clock.  I would say theres probably another 196 hours of metalwork left to do.

The average cost of a full restoration at our place varies a lot depending on the car and it's condition.  You're looking at anywhere from 20 to 40k to get the car finished.  If the car needs alot of work the money soon adds up for stuff like stripdown, blasting/dipping, metalwork, repair panels, engine & driveline, brakes, interior, electrics, spare parts, powder coat, wheels, paint, underseal, waxoil and reassembly.

We get a fair bit of interest from people all over the place with all sorts of stuff.  The Talbot Express was probably the biggest surprise we had this year...

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