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Styled in Italy, built in Britain - The story of the blue Ital Van

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Is that a proper RS bodykit on the Orion? I remember going to an RS dealer somewhere near Lincon whilst on hols and getting a brochure. All the bodykits were pretty much the same - glue a spoiler onto the bottom half of the bumper to make it deeper, a boot spoiler, sill covers.

 

Still remember a pretty much stock Granada, looked like a 2.0 GL or something in a solid colour like Doom Blue, and then this bodykit glued to it for the photos making it look like a pig wearing lipstick. Oh, and every car had 7-spoke RS alloys.

 

I bet that kit is a rarity now though, hardly ever see period stuff like that. Probably all got binned off in the 90s in favour of some awful smooth Max Power job.

Wasn’t just RS dealers who did the RS accessories from memory, the dealer my old man got his later mk5 Escort shape Orion from wasn’t an RS Dealer but had a RS wheel stand in the service/parts bit, always liked the 5 spoke ones with the RS inside a hexagonal bit on the centre cap. Brochures and pictures on the walls of cars along with the price lists with RS stuff on them when we went in to get his car serviced.

 

Best one is seeing a standard car, like the doom blue Granada GL you mention, with the RS accessory kit but still with steelies and trims.

 

Shame that although OEM genuine accessory spoilers, skirt kits, bumper extensions etc still exist in the accessories brochures for moderns you hardly see any cars with them fitted compared with back in the day Fords with RS accessories or Vauxhall’s with Irmscher stuff or even Peugeot’s with SP grilles and so on were common. Guess there’s just not the same level of ‘tasteful car customisation’ there used to be sadly.

 

That Orion looks cracking btw! :D

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I managed to get out today in this and see my dad in Colchester to plyline the back out, this job didn't go completely to plan due to time restrictions (there was a Renault Clio inbedded in the armco on the A12 which caused a long tailback to get through) and dad didn't have enough ply after all, whilst i was there i also went to see the chap i bought the van off, he was impressed! I took some photos whilst at his barn.

 

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He also still has the Orion that I'm buying in the back of his barn, again I've known the car since 1993 and used to spend my Saturdays whilst at school washing it and we often went to shows and track days in it during the 90's, It's been sat in the barn since 2003 and has still only covered 35000 miles. From what i can see under the dust one arch will need work now and the boot won't stay open anymore although the spoiler doesn't help. The biggest problem is that its so buried that it could be a while before it can be got too!

 

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and this was about as far as me and dad got with the plying, on the plus side the speakers sound much better! I plan on covering the ply with black felt and carpeting the back. I also need to change both rear half shalf oil seals as they have started pissing out oil which is really annoying.

 

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Smiley Face resto next up Trig?

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That's a pre smiley, it's a K plate 2.5D Custom. He bought it new and I spent much of my teenage years in it as the works van when I was 13-16, about 15 years ago there was the foot and mouth outbreak and it was washed in sheep dip a lot and it's now totally rotted out the chassis.

 

Shame really as it's a good spec with velour seats, lumber support, RDS tape player and a one piece tailgate, its sat here since 2005 but mechanically it's still starts and was working when it died.

 

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They’re like steroid abusing, coke snorting cockroaches those 2.5DI motors, almost impossible to kill.

Shame about the underneath, is it completely beyond saving?

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Is the front bumper and grill special on that transit? it seems to stick out more than they usually do, but then again I have drank a LOT of beer since I last saw one of these.

 

looks like they did a facelift before smiley face and changed the lights, grille and a different bumper which was then used on the smileys

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I got my long shaft out yesterday and made a awful mess and now I can't get it back in again!

 

Dad came over to help me (i.e do the job for me) change the rear hub seals, the half shaft came out easy enough and in fact the whole job wasn't bad. The old seals were rock solid so that would be the problem.

 

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The new bearings are sealed rather than exposed like the old ones but they pressed in ok with use of a large socket and vice.

 

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The only issue now is that the hub nut is a 48mm and we only had a 46 or 50mm and none of the local shops sold 48mm's so we couldn't finish the job, dad's going to see if he borrow on before I have to spend £20 for one of eBay then it's a case of topping up the axle again with EP90 and road testing!

 

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Guest Hooli

I always prefered the Mk1 Onion, never liked the fisherprice dash in that version. It's still a bloody lovely thing though & deserves saving.

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Guest Hooli

Oh axle nut wise, box spanners might be cheaper. I don't recall the size but LRs used similar so I've got one somewhere from those days & it was cheaper than a socket.

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I wonder how a Marina would be with an A40 box? Or a Dolly Sprint engine?

 

The Marinas they sent to Australia had the Maxi engine and gearbox and were front wheel drive.

So, from quite shit to even shitter.

Marina vans in NZ often came fitted with a CNG conversion which meant almost free motoring on the North Island anyway but adding 200kg of tank ate into the load carrying ability and took the edge off the performance*.

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Wowsers on the Ghia in the barn..... very very nice.

 

On the boot self-shutting - an ex GF had one on a H plate when it was only 4yrs old, same boot spoiler and it wouldn't stay open even then. Far too heavy for the supports. I always forgot and always got a wack on the back of the bonse for it......... bit like the ex actually.

 

Top work on the van fella - looks a dream* drive. Envy just doesn't come close - that is top chod of the finest order.

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I always prefered the Mk1 Onion, never liked the fisherprice dash in that version. It's still a bloody lovely thing though & deserves saving.

The only bonus with the Fisher price dash of the mk2 onion/ mk4 escort is they don't crack like the previous model

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The only issue now is that the hub nut is a 48mm and we only had a 46 or 50mm and none of the local shops sold 48mm's so we couldn't finish the job

Easy enough to make an adapter to lose 2mm on a big socket - just make a hexagon shim from a bit of steeel, like this one I made for Princess / Ambassador hub nuts and 32mm ring spanner.

 

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In between in bouts of shitness I've managed to spent a few hours this week on the van, I didn't do a very good job painting the front wing, part of it was done with one kind of paint and the other half with another and it had clouded up where the two joined and looked really patchy so I've gone over it again all with the same can.

 

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I'm really pleased again with how well it's come out for a rattle can. I also spent some time giving the whole van a polish again

 

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And I've repaired the hanging headlining now.

 

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I've also fitted the roof rack this evening, the jury is out on this one though, I think it would work but it's far too shiny I think? I was planning on fitting a paint covered old wooden ladder on it?

 

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Mechanical it's a bit poorly at the moment, I used it for work for a few days last week and that was enough to kill the diff pinion seal and that's leaking everywhere now and the little link pipe between the water pump and head has failed, I'm not surprised though as that was rotten to hell! All those years in the barn hasn't helped the perishables!

 

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Today me and the old man tackled the leaking diff pinion seal and the little water bypass pipe, that was easy enough but the seal took a few hours, the old one was rock hard so no wonder it leaked. It's now much better though, I took the van for a run around the block and got a photo of the roof rack outside.

 

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I then decided to sex it up a bit with a ladder, does it give you wood?

 

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