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1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1332 hours of work - Getting close now

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I've gone the other way and while sticking to the factory colour scheme I've been taking more time with the paint.  Everything is taken back to bare metal, etch primed and given a heavy top coat with lacquer on top in some cases.

For the engine I'm just going with satin black for brackets & tinware with gloss black enamel for the intake, block and heads.  A factory finish looks amazing but in practice lasts about a year.  I want to drive the car quite a bit so I'm doing everything I can think of to make the finishes last as long as possible. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

More progress has been made.  The steering rack has been sent away for an overhaul.  It didn't look very good and last saw fluid over 10 years ago.  If it leaks its a bugger to get out again so I decided to get it refurbished.  That should be back in the next week or two.

The car has been moved from the dark corner to one of the other workshops.  I then continued with the polishing now I have much better light.  Caught any edges I missed and set to having another go at the bonnet.

I was well nervous when I did this the first time around.  Since then I've had much more practice so set about getting rid of the remaining orange peel in the bonnet.  You can see the poor edges where I was worried about rubbing through.


A sanding session later and I'm much happier with it now.


After a quick polish its looking much better than before.  Further polishing and waxing is required but I'll leave that for later.


Did the same for the boot lid and scuttle corners


Engine work is progressing.  The block is being bored out to +0.5mm to remove the wear and rust.  I've been hunting down all the various bits as the place doing the machining has drawn a blank from their suppliers.

New +0.5mm pistons are having to come from Germany but I've been able to source pretty much everything else from the UK.

Hardest thing to find was a new standard profile small bearing cam.  Luckily the guys down at Specialised Engines where able to help me out.  They carry just about everything for the Ford V engines including my early 2.3 cologne so I picked up a load of parts including the cam & followers.


Quite the place if you've not been before!


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The modern manufactured cam followers for my rebuilt DS engine only lasted a couple of weeks before the tappets were rattling horribly. It was amazing that you could actually see the wear on them after such a short period of time and less than 500 miles. They were replaced with a good set of originals and there has been no problem since. I'm not sure if this was just a batch problem or if case hardening has become a lost art.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Engine work is still ongoing.  Current status is acid dipping to remove all that rust.  I've located all the parts and it was quite a challenge as I've been looking for decent stuff and not the new unbranded repro stuff.  

The pistons & cam where the hardest to locate.  I ended up getting +1mm pistons in the end.  As far as I know this is the last known oversize set in the UK.  Wasn't cheap...


These are KS pistons.  The box looked about 20 years old but they're in mint condition.  Come with rings and pins of course.

The steering rack has come back from the specialist.  Its been cleaned & painted, all seals renewed, worn stuff replaced and tested.  I wasted no time in fitting it as the car is a pain to move about with no rack.


I also cleaned & painted the steering joint.  The bolts & plate were originally yellow so I made sure to keep it that way.  Started on the fitting some of the power steering pipes.


Such is the level of sadness I'm even using new old stock hose clamps.  I need help!


With some time left I took the alternator apart.  I've not done this before but I fancied having a go.  Its a mess so I'm cleaning it up and re-packing the bearings.  Whether it'll work or not I don't know but I'm interested to try.  It's the correct Bosch type the car should have.


Used an ultrasonic cleaner as I do for carbs and other bits.  Made a nice job getting all the filth off.



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  • TripleRich changed the title to 1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1160 hours of work - More mechanical bits

I suspect you will already have parts but this just turned up on a banger racing group on facebook. I joined years ago to try and save a Viva.  Group is private and would need to be joined etc.  Current owner is roffling it. Car looks like it is in Ireland as price in euro's.


Granada coupe.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Got the seats back.  They've had quite a bit of work.  Certainly miles better than how they were before.  Wasted no time in installing them as I'd cleaned & painted the relevant hardware in advance.


Very comfy and now have some actual support.  The rear bench was originally so bad you hit the floor pan.  


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I've also got the engine back.  The block has been acid dipped and bored out to +1mm.  It certainly looks a lot better than it did a few months ago.

Gave it a lick of paint.  Factory colour for these in 75 was black for just about everything.  I'm painting the bits separately so stuff like core plugs and bolts stand out.  Looks a little more interesting/professional than a big lump of gloss black.


Changed the crank gear to this new one as I have a matched replacement timing wheel to go with it.


Crank, bearings and caps installed


Replaced the camshaft.  The old one is worn and rusty from years of storage.


Pistons installed making sure everything is torqued up and freely rotating.  Cam & thrust plate installed too.


New replacement timing gear installed.  I've chosen the standard fiber type.  Worked on plenty of essex/colognes with steel timing gears fitted.  Although more reliable I personally can't stand the god awful whine/racket they make.


Timing cover & water pump.  Genuine ford water pump and thermostat has been used.  I tested the thermostat before fitting it.


Completed timing cover.  Most of the bolts have been replaced where possible.


New core plugs.


New oil pump & sump gasket fitted.  The oil pump strainer took a while to get clean but it should be fine now.


Cleaned up the heads.  These were re-machined years ago.  They have some slight corrosion from storage but I was able to sort them out.


Valves installation completed.


Tappets, guide sleeves and head gaskets in place.


Heads fitted and torqued down.  New core plugs also fitted.


Rocker gear cleaned, lubricated and fitted.


Inlet manifold fitted and torqued down.


Plenty left to do but I'm very pleased with the progress.  Going together well and it's turning over nicely.  One of the tappets is a little sticky so will bear that in mind if I have any issues.  I expect it will all settle down once its run for a while.  Many parts left to fit and quite a bit of time in cleaning & painting.  Its a 45 year old engine so almost every part needs some attention before fitting.

Forgot just how heavy these are.  Explains why the car sits so high at the front without an engine.  

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  • TripleRich changed the title to 1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1181 hours of work - Seats fitted - Engine build started

Continued building the engine over the course of the week after work and installed it late Thursday night.

Various parts fitted such as the distributor, fuel pump, fan, brackets, manifolds etc.  Its all either new old stock or reconditioned with a wire brush and a lick of paint.  I've stuck with original spec stuff like the crack prone exhaust manifolds.  Keeps it looking the part.  The star shaped water outlet is on upside down and was corrected later.


I'll be sticking with points and condenser.  I have plenty of motorcraft ones in stock and it gives me something to tinker with.  I've set the basic timing so with a bit of fuel the engine should start and run without too much of problem.  Then I'll perform the usual tuning/emissions stuff.

Lifted the engine off the stand protecting the painted surfaces with various rags.  


Gently lowering into place being careful of course.  A straightforward job really (plenty of room in there).


Lowered into the engine mounts and a block of wood wedged between it and the bulkhead.  Theres no gearbox for support so the engine will fall back towards the bulkhead without a block of wood.


I can now begin the progress of fitting the several remaining parts and making all the various connections.  An exciting moment for sure.  The engine has been out for many years and I've never seen the car with an engine before.  Even just to see it sitting properly on the suspension for the first time is great.

Still plenty left to do but I feel like I'm working on a car rather than a shell now.  The battery is only temporary, a period correct one will be fitted later.  The flywheel is currently being skimmed and balanced.  Once complete I'll be able to fit the gearbox.   I've a new clutch ready and the core plugs at the rear of the engine have been fitted before lowering the engine into place.

Since then I've been working on the carb.  I have a pair of correct style solex carbs.  One I bought for spares and originally from a 2.8 auto.  The second is what was on the car, jetted for 2.3 but its not original being made in 78.  The original is long gone so I elected to make one good carb out of two.  These are not easy to find and unlike the webers they have not been reproduced.


In many cases these carbs are often tossed and a repro weber 38 put in its place.  They have a bad rep for being more complex/unreliable and many Brits simply give up with them and fit a Weber.  In truth they're fine, just a few more bits to setup/go wrong.  

This one is a right mess.  The choke housing is bent and one of the mixture screws has been sheared off.  The float chamber is corroded and some parts were blocked/seized.   I'll use parts from the spare and a rebuilt kit to save it.

Dismantled I ran the parts through an ultrasonic cleaner several times before resorting to the spray gun cleaner for some of the really nasty bits.


Some hours later and its back together with new gaskets and diaphragms.  It should be ok but I won't know for sure until I turn the key.  I like these earlier ones as they have adjustable mixture screws unlike the later one that had fixed bushings.  Gives you a bit more control with the tuning.


I'll be working into the evenings again next week getting everything ready for a first startup. 

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  • TripleRich changed the title to 1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1196 hours of work - Engine is in the car!
4 hours ago, Rod/b said:

This is great to see.

Is that just a temporary battery in there? Shouldn’t the posts be engine-side rather than facing the wing? 

Temporary battery for now.  I'll get the right square post battery towards the end of the restoration.

47 minutes ago, DSdriver said:

Does the hours count include time spent by others? e.g. the upholsterer and engine borer.

Just my hours are in the count as I don't know how long the other jobs like sand blasting, powder coat, engine block, seats, radiator etc have taken.  At a guess I'd say its probably another 80 hours or so from various services.

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I've had the radiator reconditioned.  I'm not 100% sure if it came from this car but it is the right size and bolted up no problem.  Finding all the bits has been a challenge on this build.  I'm told the engine & bay came apart in 2007 so that's a lot of unlabelled stuff sitting around for a very long time.


I've cleaned up the power steering pump.  I'm going to try my luck and just see how it holds up.  Feels fine, I just hope it doesn't leak.


With the pump fitted I've continued to fit the rest of the hoses and lines.  Mostly new stuff has been fitted with one original obscure coolant hose having to be salvaged and used again.


Various brackets cleaned & painted.  Installed the carb & throttle linkage.  Fitted the alternator which I ended up replacing as the thread for the pulley stripped out on the old one.  Lots of new zinc yellow bolts fitted.  Also changed the power steering idler pulley for the original one as I'd fitted a Mk2 version thinking they were the same.  They are different and foul the Mk1 pump bracketry.  Changed the bearing in my original one before fitting it.


Slight issue with the gearbox.  Before fitting it I remembered I needed to change the spigot bearing in the crank.  You can see I've installed the flywheel which has been skimmed and balanced.


After removing it I discovered its quite a bit smaller than the one I'm used to.


That means the 15mm input shaft on the gearbox won't fit the 12.7mm bearing fitted to this particular cologne engine.  So I've pulled the gearbox apart to remove the input shaft and get the end turned down to fit a new 12.7mm bearing for my crank.


A slight setback but I'm determined to have 5 gears in this car.  To be sure I've double checked everything else on the gearbox and it will indeed fit once the shaft has been modified. 

Some research suggests cologne V4 & 6 engines destined for 4 speed manual boxes had smaller bearings fitted.  You either machined the crank to take the larger bearing or reduced the diameter of the input shaft on the 5 speed box.  I've dropped the shaft off to a local place and hopefully they'll be able to get that sorted for me.  I'd prefer to leave the engine alone as it keeps the door open for fitting the original 4 speed box in future.  

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  • TripleRich changed the title to 1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1208 hours of work - Engine is in the car!
  • 2 weeks later...

Continued doing various small jobs all over the place.  The seats now have the plastic side trims fitted.  These are usually broken to some extent but luckily I had some spare ones and made an almost perfect set.


The engine is now ready to start.  Everything is fitted/connected and I've filled it with coolant and oil.  I've also put some ATF in the power steering and will top that off once its running.  The gearbox is ready to go back in so a few more hours and I should be ready to turn that key.

The oil is Millers 10w40 which is the recommended grade for these engines.

Coolant is Comma 50/50 premix - The water here is liquid rock so some premixed stuff will do a much better job than a rad full of limescale. 

I've used waterless coolant several times in the past and I'm personally not convinced after trying it in several different restored cars/vans.  Everything I've poured it in runs hotter because the waterless coolant is so thick.  From my experience you need extra coolant capacity over standard if you wish to run waterless coolants.


A square post battery is in the post and that should complete the look inside the engine bay.  I've lots of little jobs and details to fuss over but it only makes sense to do that once its proven it can run and drive.

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  • TripleRich changed the title to 1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1222 hours of work - Engine is in the car!
  • TripleRich changed the title to 1975 Ford Granada Coupe - 1332 hours of work - Getting close now

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      It's only broken down on me twice. once with some sort of fuel delivery related problem which may or may not have been an empty fuel tank and once when the thermostat jammed shut and it overheated and blew out some O-rings for the cooling system. It has recently developed a taste for coolant and oil which is rather annoying, although it's done 89,300 miles which is about 80,000 more miles than BL engineering is designed to last, I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines... 
      I tried to keep ahead of the rust a bit by rubbing down the arches and re-painting them, but apparently rattle can paint isn't great when you are spraying it at -5C, it also highlighted how although my car might have been Inca Yellow in 1976 it's now more of a "cat piss" sort of shade. So I ended up with the wrong shade of yellow which has rust coming back through after 5 weeks. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      The other car is the first "classic" car I bought, so I can't bear to sell it. It's a '77 Dolomite 1300 and it cost £1400 (about £400 too much) and has been nothing but a pain in the arse:

      It looks much prettier (from 100 yards) but that's most due to the darker paintwork hiding the rust. It lives a mollycoddled life in my garage, where it somehow still manages to rust, and is utterly rubbish. 0-60 is measured on a calendar, top speed is 80ish but at that point it uses more oil than petrol, it rarely ventures over 50mph and if you encounter an incline of any sort you can kiss that sort of speed goodbye, along with about £20 of 20W50 as it vanishes out of the exhaust in the form of blue smoke.
      One of the PO's had clearly never heard of the term "oil change" so it developed into brown sludge that coated everything internally with the next owner(s) blissfully pouring fresh oil on top of it. This lasted until about 600 miles into my ownership when there was muffled "pop" from the engine bay and the car became a 3-cylinder. The cause was catastrophic wear to the top end causing a rocker arm to snap:

      As this was my first classic car I'd assumed it was supposed to sound like the engine was full of marbles, it wasn't.
      I put the engine back together with second hand bits declared it utterly fucked and promptly did another 5000 miles with it. After about 3500 of those miles the oil burning started, valve seals have gone so it's been relegated to my parent's garage as a backup car and something to take to local car shows as the 1850 is now embarrassingly ugly. I'm keeping my eye on eBay for replacement engines (deja vu, anybody?) Oh, I also recently reversed it into a parked Ford Fiesta and royally fucked up the rear bumper, rear panel and bootlid. Did I mention I'm incompetent?
      There have been two other cars in my life. My first car, a 2008 Toyota Yaris 1.0 an it's replacement a 2012 Corsa 1.4T. I didn't really want either of them, but it's a long story involving my parents and poor life choices. Ask if you want to hear it!
      So that's a brief summary of my current shite. If you want more pictures or details of anything do say as I've got photos of almost everything I'd done with the cars.
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