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1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1054 hours of work - Making new brake lines

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Today I finally finished most of the repairs to the door.  It’s taken ages, but door skins are a bastard to repair!

Last time I tacked the repair section onto the original skin in a few places.  It’s now ready for bashing the flanges around the door frame.  It’s done with a hammer and dolly in the traditional way starting in the centre and working out to the edges.  

Before I started hammering I painted the seam with POR.  Door skins typically have very few welds holding them to the frame, the flanges bent over the frame is enough to hold them tightly.  As insurance the POR will provide extra strength by gluing the skin on when it dries.  However it’s mainly there to protect the repair from rust.


With that done I checked the fit on the car.  The fit is quite good and the few bits I'm not happy with can be fixed with more hammers later on.  The skin is now ready to be welded on fully.


Welding this on decent is a challenge.  It’s a long flat butt weld on thin material with no reinforcement behind it.  If I get too much heat into the door it’s going to warp like crazy. 

I started off by adding loads more tacks to the repair.  I started in the centre and worked out to the edges swapping ends with each tack.  I kept the air line in my hand and cooled each tack as I went.


With the tacks complete I ground them down and set about the final weld.  I started in the middle and used the same method as before.  It took me 45 minutes to complete the weld as I had to follow a tack - cool - tack - cool approach.  I made sure to feel the temperature of the door before every few tacks to make sure it wasn't getting hot.

All the previous tacks reduce the chance of blowing through the steel and also reduce the chance of pinholes.


With that complete I checked inside the door to make sure the weld has penetrated properly.  Note I've cleaned back the steel on both sides of the door which reduces spatter and makes for better quality welds.


Happy the weld has been a success I ground the outside smooth.  Great care needs to be taken here as it’s easy to grind things too thin in pursuit of a seamless job.  I used a belt sander to take the worst off and finished with a 5 inch orbital sander with 60 grit paper.  The large surface area of the sander stops you from grinding out a trench along the weld line.


Then with the door flipped over I finished the last of the welding.  I put a blob on each corner to fuse the flanges together.  Not doing this may cause a crack in the outer skin to appear over time.  I also blobbed the flanges together up the sides were the repair meets the original door skin.


I then used hammers, dollies and body spoons on the repair to get as close as possible to the original profile.  Terrible access to the inside of the door means I can't get it perfect but it doesn't matter.  A skim of filler was always going to be needed on a repair like this so I've got the metal as close as possible to reduce the amount of filler as much as I can.  The process probably took about 2 hours as the door was put back on the car several times as I went.


Next I removed the rust causing anti-boom mat that Ford slapped into all their doors.  It was a right pain to remove but you can see the rust that was hiding behind it.  Took about an hour.


Then I continued cleaning up the frame and taking scabby bits back to bare metal.


While doing that I repaired a hole that had been drilled many years ago for waxing.  From what I’ve uncovered the whole car was drilled and waxed at some point but most of the wax I've found was so thick it missed all the vital areas including the bottom of this door.  The hole isn't needed so I welded it up.


After removing more old paint from the door skin I degreased and painted it with POR.  The POR can be keyed up and a small amount of filler be skimmed over the top once I'm doing the paint prep.


The door is now mostly sorted out.  It was quite a bit more work than I'd expected but that’s the story of this car.  I'm another step closer to paint so will continue to work down my to-do list.

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Made some more progress over the past few weeks.  Most of the work focused on the front wings.

One of the first places to go rusty on Fords of this era was the front wings.  No arch liners meant that dirt, water and stones would start to attack the wings as soon as you drove away from the showroom.  I have 3 front wings for the car and none of them are the originals.  They are however genuine Ford which is a bonus as the aftermarket ones you could get in the 80s and 90s weren’t very good. 

Started off with the driver’s side using the black wing as it looked slightly better than the red one.


Further investigation reveals it was actually in quite poor shape.


It basically needs all the edges that touch the car remaking.  It’s doable but it would take a long time.  I declared it fucked and took a look at the red wing instead.


Always remove the part at the back of the wing that holds it to the A post.  It’s the same sort of construction as a door so always rots over time.


Apart from that the wing was quite good under all the dirt.


I made a few small repairs and took the whole lot back to bare metal.  Then painted and reassembled the wing.


Next I did the same for the wing on the passenger side.  


This one was in very good condition but of course there were still some areas that needed cleaning up.


With that done I took it right back to bare metal, painted and reassembled it.


I've done various other small jobs on the car.  One of which was to fit a mirror to the passenger door.  Being a left hooker means the one mirror the car has as standard is now on the wrong side for UK roads.  Luckily motomobil still offer the correct type of passenger side mirror.  It would have been an option when new and one I feel is worth fitting.  I've drilled the holes now to avoid having to do it once the car has been painted.


Still a bit more work to do on the wings buts it’s another step closer to the spray gun.  Next time I'll finish the wings and apply stone guard and seam sealer to them.

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I had to put the good book down the other night (Observers Book of Automobiles 1965 edition) and spent an age with mouth agape following the progress in this thread you sir are a mechanical genius. A quite staggering display of skill and never ending patience, more power to your MIG welder.

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Been busy on the car as usual over the past few weeks.  Most of the work focused on the front end getting everything fitting as well as possible.

Lining up the front end was always going to be a long process as everything except the chassis legs has been replaced.  Getting panel fit and gaps to 90% comes quite quickly but the last 10% takes days to achieve.

I've already set the bonnet previously so next was to get both repaired front wings fitting as well as possible.  Most of the work focused on the passenger side as the wing didn't line up with the front of the car very well.  Measuring and fitting of trim pieces showed the lamp panel to be set back too far by a few mm.  To fix I need to pull the top slam forward slightly but will need to release it from the inner wing first.  


With it released I can now pull it out to match the other side and gap properly with the wing.  I used various tools but the main one was the slide hammer.  Being this aggressive at this stage of the restoration may seem harsh and damaging but in practice its well worth doing.  The trick is knowing were to pull or hit and how much force to use.


A lot of noise later and some measuring showed things have moved in the right direction by 3mm.  I tried the wing on to make sure I was happy and then welded the slam panel back onto the inner wing.


I then trial fitted the lamps and trim to make sure everything lines up.


Plenty of bashing in the right places on the wing and valence was also done to improve the fit.  With that complete I moved to the other side and got the drivers wing to fit much better.


The car finally has a face again and overall I'm very happy with the panel fit.  The red wing still needs a little bit more work but I'd run out of time for today.


Moved back into storage alongside Ryans SD1 (which has its own thread).  Should make for quite a pair when finished.


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I bought a couple of books last year that purport to show exactly how to do what you're doing here, Rich. There's lots of pics. And lots of text. But the pics rarely match with the text, and there's nowhere near as much detail as you're giving anyway. I'm thinking I'll rip the pages out, print off all your posts and paste them in instead.


Epic. Thanks so much for all the effort you put into these updates.

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Another chunk or progress has been made.  I'm now quite close to paint prep but still have about another 20 hours of metalwork left to do.

I stripped all the old paint off the outside of both front wings ready for POR.


Then I sorted out the various dents in each one using a hammer and dolly.  Also had to move some trim holes in the drivers side wing as that had been incorrectly drilled by hand many years ago resulting in the trim not lining up with the door.



Painted them up as usual and left them to dry in the paint booth.  


Another area to sort was a small spot of rust along the edge of the sunroof area.


Only a small section to replace here and I was pleased to see under the roof skin that the edge of the sunroof tray was in very good condition.  They can rot and are impossible to remove due to the way the car is constructed.


Next was a nasty job.  The very back of the sunroof tray has rotted through in a small area due to a puddle of water.  I cut it out and again was pleased to see the actual bit of sunroof tray that’s seam sealed to the roof in in excellent condition.  You can see inside that the roof skin has a nice layer of surface rust all over it but it’s nothing serious.  I'll spray it with POR later on.


Made up a repair section as the section I cut out was very badly pitted.


Then painted it and the area it goes before welding.  Welding it back in was not much fun as I had to sit in the back seat and weld above my head.  Got a few burns but the repair section went in fine.


Ran out of time for today so will continue as usual next week.

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Great stuff as usual Rich, fair play too for sticking at it! That amount of work even before painting must drive you mad.

I’ve given my Capri a rest for a bit, last time I did anything on it I got fed up so I think it’s time to do something else for a while before I start making mistakes or getting mad!!

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You have utterly ruined this car! When Ford made it back in the dark ages it was thrown together and where bits landed, they were welded on. You have made things actually fit! It'll never ever pass for a Ford again.


Great stuff, do my Jag next?

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Work on customers cars is getting busier by the day.  We currently have 18 cars on site and only two of them are in for minor work.  All the others are restorations.


The Escort Mexico has just come back from being dipped and e-coated.  It’s now waiting for a paint slot.




Austin 16 has been painted and is now with me undergoing reassembly.  This one really challenged the fabricators due to all the curves in it.  Basically the whole bottom of the car has been remade.




Oselli Capri has been jigged and had the entire front end replaced.  It was involved in an accident in the early 90s which was very badly fixed by a BMW approved accident repair centre.  Their work rendered the car undrivable and the owner took it off the road and began buying up the panels to repair it.




Peugeot 205GTI has also had its entire front end replaced due to severe corrosion.  We've had to use a red donor car for this one as structural bits like chassis legs just don't exist for these anymore.




Cavalier hatchback has had its entire boot floor replaced due to rust caused by a leaky tailgate.  We've the same job to do on a saloon which thanks to Scruffy Bodger we have a genuine Vauxhall panel for.




Mk2 Granada sport has also come back from being e-coated. It’s now in the queue for paint.  This one was a bodged up restoration attempt so much of the work done was mostly corrective.  Things like floors and chassis legs had to be cut out and done again.




Renault 4 van is progressing well and should be ready for paint in a few months. The fabricators have replaced 80% of the chassis and also had to make a new rear floor from scratch.  Numerous other panels have also been replaced.




Most of my time recently has been spent rebuilding a Rover P5.  It’s a mk3 3 litre saloon and the customer stripped it themselves and didn't take any pictures.  I'm having quite a job working out where everything goes and obviously I'm missing a few parts.  Ended up taking a trip to a P5 breakers to get some of the missing bits.  We had to replace most of the metalwork below the door handles on this one too.  Good fun to work on though, built very differently to anything from a Ford factory.




Car that left most recently was this Mk2.  Another full restoration that went back together very nicely thanks to its low mileage.  I had a couple of issues getting the rebuilt solex carb to work properly but once that was sorted it runs very well.  I'd not driven a 2.8 Granada before and was surprised at how quick it was.  




If you're really bored I put together a video of the SL restoration we finished back in the summer.  Gives you an idea of just how many hours are involved in restoration.


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So much to like there! I’m so jealous of you Rich getting to work on cars like that. Any jobs going!?


That finished mk2 pre-facelift is gorgeous. Exactly how a Granada should look.

I miss my mk2 estate, superb cars and they go really well too. Mine was a 2.8 carb and it absolutely flew along and it had almost 200k miles on the clock too! People that slate those cars and the Cologne V6 frankly don’t have a clue!


Having such a workload is a very good thing too, keeps you employed and shows how well regarded your work is. Also shows how strong the classic car market is too with people so willing to splash the cash on these cars.

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Thanks Dan.  We do need another apprentice in fabrication.  The two guys in there are swamped with rust and I was helping them out but now I'm swamped with painted shells that need putting back together.  Hard finding people who want to do it though.  So many people my age just want to work in offices, do social media and get pissed!

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I was stood in front of that gold Granada yesterday at the Crown in ley hill chatting to the owner.

It is immaculate and he was very pleased with it.





I have more but wont post as they show the registration number and I didn't ask permission to post them online.

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