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Daihatsu Fourtrak - Sill-y thing to do on a hot day

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These old things really are a great workhorse, well worth a save as like the saying goes, they’ll never make another one like it.

This ones a funny car, above sill level the body is good. It’s only done 81k, and being a TDX, has luxuries not seen on any other tractor, such as electric windows, mirrors and stuff like central locking.

Naturally, every last thing on it worked properly. Despite being crustier than a stale baguette, I’d been using around the farm where it’s stored for the last couple of years, with a length of scaffold tube stuffed into the broken crossmember! The old beast pulled trailers like that, towed a car out the car park with three wheels jammed etc, truly a great thing. It deserves another chance in my opinion, and I reckon I’ll get it pretty tidy eventually. 

I do have a contact who can fix the tank. Unfortunately when I mentioned it was from a fourtrak, he turned a funny colour, so I think he’s done one before.

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There were two of these, more or less the same era as yours, for sale in a really crappy garage in Eardisley, Herefordshire in the summer - ironically the exact site was a Daihatsu dealer around 30 years ago.

They were both up for around £2.5k and didn’t look particularly presentable from a quick drive-by.  Asking if either example had a valid MoT would probably have been met with laughter.

They were sold within the week - these things do have hardcore fans.

There are still quite a few around the area. I think the last were registered in mid 2001 - I’ve seen X and Y plate ones but never a ‘51’. 

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I thought mine had silver arches as well but my memory let me down, they were body colour in blue. And mud.

Paintwork was unbelievably tough on it, got loads of bush / tree scratches on it yet a thorough machine polish a few times a year saw it gleaming


My mate had to go one better than me through that mud/water hole though. One of the better pictures I've ever taken, even if I did get showered in muddy water and chunks of ice...



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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress achieved:

Broke out the welder and grinder and got a good four hours in today.

- repaired n/s/r body mount

- repaired nearside rear boot floor, and the lower 4 inches of the inner arch. 

I reckon there’s about another 6 hours in the rear arch this side to do. Then it’s the floor, sills and inner sills. Before the same the other side! One step at a time, eh?

Will update with pictures.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More progress achieved:

This is the offside rear inner arch I fixed last time. The edge of the boot floor, and lower 3 inch of the inner arch welded in.


Next up was the top of the arch, this is where the factory roll cage! and seat belts mount, so was repaired with thicker steel and seam welded both sides.


This work completes the inner arch tub, so next it’s a look at wheel arch.










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Wheelarch diagnosis. Fucked036B8F1D-81BF-4816-B7A5-C29220F85CCF.thumb.jpeg.6de7a9e0d5ba92056ec1f0443127fca2.jpeg

6F888C2F-1EA5-477A-832E-055E2DCBBBF6.thumb.jpeg.3dab4867a27a440a3b1f1acbd681369a.jpegThis repair would be the right shape if the car was made from Lego blocks.


Not too sure you could accuse this of being either a repair, or welding.


DA6D359F-A542-4189-8B2B-E364E93CB365.thumb.jpeg.d6e1e0202270a906de7913f2e4cf422f.jpegobviously welded over rust and some of the canal silt elsewhere in this Japanese Range Rover.

If to stick your head in the wheelarch now and look forward, yhis is what you now see...

4F9A2A21-3062-4DA3-9125-1B7D686F53F3.thumb.jpeg.58d3b533521adb0a93079c4bef6b2130.jpegAll the way through to the dash!

More welding to come,..

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  • 2 weeks later...

More progress, on the offside rear arch. I’ve rebuilt the inside parts of the panel behind the rear bumper, and also repaired the outer piece.AAD9CA86-C7D0-4087-9702-45188204E09B.thumb.jpeg.edc2853b0478a02d0d3e5b4473ea17ef.jpeg

The repaired outer piece is clamped on above.

Before this can be welded the inner arch had to be rebuilt.

40DE92CD-08F2-43F3-B2AE-61C9B24649FC.thumb.jpeg.23c1f2f41c59d2049705023cc91156d3.jpegthere’s all manner of curved bits in here, as the body shape fits around the fuel tank pipes etc. All this I sort of made free hand, as there was little of use / original cut out to template from. 

8FBAFA5A-1A23-4CF5-A235-9AA358904DEB.thumb.jpeg.18cb9128fa3326575d1c2c36292c4306.jpegthere’s one small bit here to finish at the rear edge, and then the outer panels can be repaired, and I can call this side arch done.

The peach paint is some retro rust primer from Hammerite, painted up the inner arch looks like this. 
A44980E9-FE38-4A8A-8241-D8CF1CCDE358.thumb.jpeg.f93e0a2cc177389d25cea290ea616fa6.jpegI must remember to take more pics as I keep getting wrapped up on the job and forgetting! will trim back the return edge of the inner arch, as it’s too wide, I remade it with a band of steel and it’s about twice as wide as it should be! 


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  • 2 weeks later...

Wheelarch update.

CBDF1323-E305-4DC8-BFAE-634D279536A5.thumb.jpeg.b202eb5c8080506f6f5145bb6395230c.jpegThese arches actually have a plastic cover over them. When removed, this was the initial scene.

B4059BB8-AB1F-4961-810C-979D6EB37569.thumb.jpeg.977d015f4672edd982e1d7b5ea6a32b2.jpegwith paint and loose flakes off, the arch looks slightly better. I begin repairs at the very bottom, careful to shape inner panels correctly to go round the fuel filler neck.

ABEF12B4-DC4B-43AA-80A6-D279E5FA08CE.thumb.jpeg.4ce265bc6a24642985cc02ebbcfe57df.jpegthe inner arch with about 90 percent of it repaired. I welded in a band as an arch lip, using the original profile as a template. Then joined my new band to the inner arch panels with pieces as necessary. Most of this I butt welded to keep the shapes. If you zoom in on the pics you’ll see the scars from this.DBA4614A-97B7-4638-9FA7-53448E741E0E.thumb.jpeg.cda05ffad140b2dd91247af7742b0b0f.jpegwith the inner arch repaired, I repaired and remade some sections of the outer piece, that sits below the bumper.

479C9E00-11FF-487D-90D8-AD2D1D14B0CC.thumb.jpeg.b62e1530ea010459461aee68f9355c00.jpegThe remade arch lip is too wide, but will be trimmed back later. I will use it to patch up the outer arch first.

B47369F5-D021-4F96-BFC6-AE691347E435.thumb.jpeg.4de4dcbaa83781b5f0126faa16598562.jpegthe lower bit inside, repaired and primed up. I had made and fitted the closing panel for the bottom of the inner arch here too.533A0135-BEF9-44C7-A7A9-5119ECDFE4E6.thumb.jpeg.cc9fefb39970b72c9307630732cd5e01.jpegready for outer arch fabrication!


2D7310ED-3753-4288-ACEF-045F602FA4B2.thumb.jpeg.5f7f1841749050f27fbb5e3e94dc0fbe.jpeg1D9551BB-7C57-4287-943C-050CD68B2318.thumb.jpeg.6433e679237890f0a393d19395228c56.jpegdidn’t stop to take too many pictures, as once I got cracking I got a bit absorbed.

i basic ally built the arch up from several bits of steel.  I used the repaired inner as a former, and tacked it together on the car. 

Even though it’ll be covered up with trims, I’d like it 98 percent right under it all. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Still going on the crispy wonder.

7E24D49C-FF84-4F46-9AFC-DD23D9E9C68D.thumb.jpeg.4f4598e2b22e99bd22ecf8463434c2fc.jpegpart way through welding my patchwork outer arch on.

Where there is no weld in the pic here, basically needed to be cut out. This was all done in small sections to avoid distortion.

B2BDEE59-2648-4C0A-B165-ADF22D6853C1.thumb.jpeg.7bf0a45d6d5fb5ab028ff7ab1179048f.jpegtacked and ground back, These tacks were filled in to create a seam weld.

The black dust is a guide coat, I was checking the levels.

B7617E13-0519-4276-9DA4-EF725010D46B.thumb.jpeg.dc2b7f8562ccccdd028e17fe6c06df8c.jpegThe lower bit welded on, with a skim of p40 across the welds. This should reduce the amount of filler later.

91C7103A-8E2F-4D7B-82CE-88E40E3D0C85.thumb.jpeg.c8c5e37a43a2eebe54f57492f16d3dcd.jpegarch welded and skimmed with p40.
DDF06CB9-DFCC-475A-9D23-FF03E18959E9.thumb.jpeg.489ada75d225f4dba606a1fb47c3a7fe.jpegInside view, there’s a nice gap between inner and outer arch here, so I can get some wax in later.


F898459F-1942-4883-8B3D-A823F8A87630.thumb.jpeg.2ebd180426ec80b77566260cf450abaf.jpegfiller time. Hadn’t used filler for about three years! Took ages to set in the cold.

then started on the other side.50232888-31E7-4C35-A734-D76059DAD6AE.thumb.jpeg.891c6aec8951bfbb59a1b81c080b0d78.jpegpassenger side arch looks better than the other. It’s a very low bar, granted.

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 Couple of other bits done too.

Few bits and bobs cleaned up and primed. 
Some rust treated with the awesome hydrate 80 stuff from bilt hamber.

also refitted the hardcore tow bar. Which weighs at least 12 tons.


D5D1BD08-BD24-4020-A6B7-41CA1D25A800.thumb.jpeg.dc43c1e47d3d0bbfbf8b88cf6de9a6ef.jpegActually refitted parts! And broke out the filler and sander. Progress in the air.

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  • rickvw72 changed the title to Daihatsu Fourtrak - At least the glass isn’t rusty
  • 2 months later...

Quick update.

Struggling with pics of late, as my phone battery is knackered, so cuts off if you use it as a camera!

But progress is being made.

8C87F72B-F732-433B-9A5C-B47EC79C262A.thumb.jpeg.8439716d33cf28fb626c68d56829741a.jpegDirty, deceased and not very structural. This was taken after I ground the worst flaky stuff off!625FB78C-0FD2-4434-86CB-EF9274853FE2.thumb.jpeg.50ad3c4eb091a9be054dbe0f7f4cab77.jpegE61CFDAB-BC87-4F8F-841E-DE11375D0A55.thumb.jpeg.2c14ea01665c7dc8f7f1f23ac2a7268c.jpeg

Of course, all of the panelwork under the bumper was missing. Can it technically be rotten, if it’s fell off?3311C549-C0EA-4D4A-A97D-F85AE19D953D.thumb.jpeg.0c5437e5e4db9cd6e5db25a89454ad0a.jpegWith the inner made up and welded on, I made up this panel above, and zapped it on.

A0817FB7-8AE0-47F8-A67F-01FA029D727C.thumb.jpeg.12d715a13c1864a98a34d24ccd9434a7.jpegTo celebrate more metal going in, I removed some more from the wheelarch.

6FADD3E9-C528-46C1-9ADF-358D49DE91E4.thumb.jpeg.ede563a257089415bfc45572fc03265d.jpegSince this pic, I’ve repaired the inner arch, primed it and made up a outer arch panel, using the inner as a former again.

No pics as phone battery went south. 
Do have new battery coming for phone monday though, so next week should generate more pics.

(unless I kill the iPhone during surgery. Should be similar to welding up a rotter though? )

Part way through this side I bought a bad ass MiG, so loving the welding at the minute!

DB82F2F4-5981-4862-90E5-B22FBC09FABF.thumb.jpeg.19dc18fd545b16e1b3ac188411faafcb.jpegCracking Murex MiG, from I beleive 1987. My new favourite toy.

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I can’t understand why these aren’t more popular? I’ve not been in one since I was a child but on first look, they seem to be just like a Defender 90 but much nicer. You’ll pay ridiculous sums of money for even a knackered Defender but these are comparative bargains. Am I missing something?

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I'd say leafers are a bit too agricultural compared even to a 90. They also have a turning circle of rather a lot.

The Independents are good - for proper off-roading, they're a little short of axle articulation and ground clearance but they can be modified to good effect. Really, the only big downside is the rot - as this thread neatly demonstrates! Still a good number of them in use in rural Wales.

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Prices seem to be rising on them, I paid £400 for this, 4 years or so ago. It was mot’d on arrival too, although it arrived on a trailer with a popped brake pipe. Welded up and re motd I thought it was worth a grand when I bought it, there’s several now 4 grand plus for sale.

They live in the shadow of the defender, like other Far East off-roaders, and a lot of 4x4 types appear to only appreciate Land Rover only.

Mines got 5 link rear suspension, LSD, twin wishbones at the front, heated electric mirrors, windows the works, all still working at 19years old. I personally think there better than a defender in every way, but it’s realistically more modern than the 40s designed Land Rover, which was originally designed to be a type of powered wheelbarrow.

I had a 3.1 Trooper before this, and that was great too. The heavy Japanese 4x4 of this era are very capable. The Fourtrak is a hard bastard though. There’s a few farm truck ones I know of, the treatment they get, mixed with the state their in, no vehicle could cope with.

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5 hours ago, Ian_Fearn said:

I can’t understand why these aren’t more popular? I’ve not been in one since I was a child but on first look, they seem to be just like a Defender 90 but much nicer. You’ll pay ridiculous sums of money for even a knackered Defender but these are comparative bargains. Am I missing something?

They rust for sport; good solid workhorses though.

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Finished the passenger arch of this eve, road testing my new 3 phase welder.0751E679-EDC6-475C-8A3C-1ABD4FBEC947.thumb.jpeg.676d92d5d010d4090ef14c11a16d6991.jpegtacked on my home made arch panel first.

EB4A535E-6E96-4A0B-980A-8F85891C33CD.thumb.jpeg.3d063665af050edc089523a2883db90d.jpegNew welder is on it. Much awesomeness. My first time out with 0.6mm wire too.

A1750B6A-0D4C-49D4-8925-5CB4C6AC4307.thumb.jpeg.5b02283dd5cc956031a3d48b6beffd9e.jpegFully seam welded, and the other holes filled.

D8B7D255-AFD3-4900-BBDE-93521E3BC77B.thumb.jpeg.b7e7b4316fd93ecda5b71bb46ac91712.jpegwelds ground back. Grinding stone to start, flappy disc to finish.

B48AA1C1-E782-418B-96F4-C7DC389E3504.thumb.jpeg.38869d06cc37f19458cb41eeb07494fe.jpegCoat of fibre glass filler to be a foundation for filler.

EF469E44-8728-426C-B90E-F35694A8435D.thumb.jpeg.286f0fb2f39c56e6678f3b8d04cb5883.jpegFiller work near finished on the other arch. Magnets stick all over, as the filler is thinner than it looks, which is cool.

A fourtrack with metal wheelarches! There’s a rare thing.

Perversely, none of this work is seen. The plastic arches cover the metal arches, like this...


Bits at the bottom rear covered by the bumpers too.

None the less, this is what I started with as wheelarches 



There’s now a bit of inner arch repair finishing needed, and I’m on to rebuilding the floors under the back seat. There’s a large chunk of this missing one side, and the other side don’t really look very attached. Then the box section sills bodged on are coming off, as the inner sills are ruined.

Should go a bit faster too, as the bits will be easier to make up than inner and outer arch sections.

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  • rickvw72 changed the title to Daihatsu Fourtrak - Wheelarches of steel

Phenomenal work.

Here's a random question. I know welding an existing crossmember is frowned upon by Mr MOT (not that it matters if hidden) but what's the situation with a fabricating a new one from scratch?  I only ask as I've considered doing that myself.

The rear crossmember looks excellent btw.

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Can’t see any issues with crossmember welding, so long as it was strong. It’s no different to welding a section into a chassis really. 
For the Fourtrak, it only holds the anti tramp arms, and supports handbrake cables, exhaust hangers and a couple of fuel pipes. 

Interesting rear steer effect when it snaps though! 

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Bit more done today, I really, really love my new welder. A bit of an investment but so worth it!

F7863293-C654-40C9-AB3B-43B77B1CBD28.thumb.jpeg.cc9413eb0a090abc18aebd810aa4f5f4.jpegPlug welded the arch return edge, to my remade inner arch lip. 
Finished the rear under bumper area too.

F515A652-F604-4D1E-A697-BE43DA712F57.thumb.jpeg.f18cc1a3c789663bb66358b874a249a3.jpegKnocked back last weeks P40 smear, and lobbed some clag on.


FE214A84-6352-41DD-9C2E-129C7973D4AD.thumb.jpeg.e10fdd9beb8e0ab72d89094883045664.jpegFingers crossed this side needs a bit less, this side wasn’t as badly crumbled.

This was hard work, so I thought I’d have a sit inside, enjoy the opulence.

opulence fail.

FC38CD88-AEEE-49DC-8B3F-B9F690FEA3F7.thumb.jpeg.8a10c11c6369302f958980aec19da54a.jpegfloor under seat total fail.

Welder work out to continue then!

Really happy with how the repaired arch’s have come out. 

The view from inside

BE55F40A-3F9C-473D-9396-EE00F613A6E8.thumb.jpeg.28a7952190966f74fdec7adb5c7791c2.jpegThere’s a nice gap between the inner and outer arch, this will be most useful to inject some wax into later.

Lovely day to, took the Mk2 to the unit today. A 16 mile, all back roads through countryside, commute.


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More welding occured on planet Fourtrak today.

F01CD20A-65F4-4F28-BC05-E26231278492.thumb.jpeg.ad235c03d5db10dcaaebd8ca04f7f1ac.jpegThis is inside the rear inner arch, passenger side.

2A85B571-214D-46EE-91FD-FAC7C901288E.thumb.jpeg.a73ed67a382a23d4f50bd59b4781d020.jpegAlso in here is the middle body mount, and the boot floor edge. Right in the miflddle you can see one of the boot floor strentheners.

533D3139-74D3-4C08-BAFD-EA685EC7562E.thumb.jpeg.b902a4713db879aa590ca0ea8c860358.jpegThis is the rear body mount, behind the strengthening panel that is a touch crumbly.

C9EA6F60-22FA-49CA-AC20-0E0D82FE9D77.thumb.jpeg.517a9026eadc1bab2ced8faa9f016709.jpegwizzed out with the noisy spanner.

Deconstructing the rotten old shite, various patches and some ultra flammable sealer took over an hour.

0C4D55F8-0043-4C25-87F7-A0B96C47704F.thumb.jpeg.6c36699ed7fbc930b3f3e649dddcfc7f.jpegChopped out, you can see the body mount. This was repaired, primed and welded up.

Then it was on to the arch lip, and also the boot floor edge. 

2BB2CE33-3DC8-46DC-A7F1-1A3ACC6389CD.thumb.jpeg.a9105fbd359b7df59eddc9c99064191a.jpegLooking better!

0278190A-C74D-437E-BDE2-B8FA811C079C.thumb.jpeg.fbedc7cea644bbe58f301605bd9e0df7.jpegWelded it from inside. 

Nice to not have blobs dropping in your ears! 

Did tidy up and prime these bits too.

Next time it’s onto the drivers side floor and under seat bit! Theoretically the tank, fuel pipes, rear suspension etc could be put on and it would be drivable.

Unfortunately im too sadistic for that, so stay tuned! 

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  • rickvw72 changed the title to Daihatsu Fourtrak - More welding than the Bismarck

Moved on to the under rear seat area this weekend.

There’s not much to work from on the drivers side.

5A3D1116-E4B1-452C-B6E3-BB8FB0348ACD.thumb.jpeg.8c9768f882901091d2c85b57097f829d.jpeghow it looked when I stripped it down.

DA33AF33-0AA6-4C92-A9C2-0684AE6A66C3.thumb.jpeg.0dfbb70e98db15213c4f0110b053f130.jpegWith some of the several hundred patches cut out

282A5CCE-836E-4A29-BFE8-F974DE8B4815.thumb.jpeg.fecac49f307b51d17fd87348116949c2.jpegLooking in from the boot door.

Several areas tie together here. Boot floor to inner arch, rear footwell area, rear seat supports, and also there’s a a large crossmember that holds on the body to the chassis. (You can see the body mount bolt in picture 2)

For rigity this all needs tying together.

A5065561-F59C-49AE-86C4-311DB10E05CB.thumb.jpeg.5ca6fdc9d9ed330e8d8ed7ff04b70f4e.jpegmade a repair section for the rear bulkhead and inner rear arch.

Flipped over and welded it in

C7F8383F-2148-44C4-A1BE-9EF17185B510.thumb.jpeg.ccaf18ac5e146ad8cb54e81b240ab18d.jpegFew small sections added to fill gaps too

C263C022-ECF2-463B-88A5-63F1B73E571A.thumb.jpeg.b106314a33165913ccdd7362527f1220.jpegSeveral more miles of mig weld wire was sacrificed 

0D7D9983-7E1D-4C37-8FE1-66943AC3D4A4.thumb.jpeg.a2051c7c462b1a8df00b1e1dc2af173b.jpegView from outside, scorched some of my primer from before.

Good penetration though round the body mount in centre. I’ll seam weld this this side too when I take the wheel back off.


Quick grind back and zinc prime the new bits.

Next time round I’ll finish this side arch area off, and further tidy these welds. Also tidy up and seam weld to the rear body mounts.

Otherside is slightly less ruined than this, so fingers crossed it’ll be a bit easier. 

Ordered new sills for it too, so the box section ones will soon be history.CA2E2BAE-127E-4E45-AA16-D9FF37C9F373.thumb.jpeg.fee24772f81432fa57e8fd9c9dc9858a.jpegnice!

Old shot of this side when I took the plastic arches off originally 

1631DAA1-10AC-4DAC-8B18-3E2500929A9D.thumb.jpeg.f61281508e819676d0d505100f682619.jpegThink I can improve on that.

Cheers for looking.

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  • rickvw72 changed the title to Daihatsu Fourtrak - Sill-y thing to do on a hot day

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      It started life here in the Portsmouth area and doesn't seem to have ventured far since.
      Originally a stardust silver 1.6 L poverty model, which means virtually sod all regarding luxuries. Basic 2 pod dash with black 'crackle' finish facia, no radio, no sun roof or vinyl roof, not even a centre console!
      When I got to it unfortunately it had suffered severely from serious rust and latterly a vandal attack, having it's door and rear quarter panel booted in.
      Over the next couple of years I got it sorted and a cheap re paint into roman bronze, which was a favourite colour of mine at the time. For the first year or two it seemed fine but since then things have deteriorated.
      The respray wasn't good! It's thin in places and started to micro blister in various places, worst of which is all over the bonnet. The same bodyshop also did a bit of the bodywork I hadn't finished which was also pretty poor in some places.
      It's always been a great driver and never struggles at mot time so I just kept on using it and doing nothing more than collecting parts now and again with a view to sort it one day.
      It's also gained a few non original extras over the years like a higher spec wood effect 2 pod dash facia (which I like more than the original), a short console, brown interior instead of the utterly fucked black original, 'laser' 4 spoke alloys and a few other things.
      Anyway, fast forward to last weekend, when I dusted it off after winter and noticed various areas of new rust coming through or older rust that's gotten worse. So the decision was made to go for a professional resto job now before I end up finding something else to distract me (like big american cars with knackered engines!).
      1974 Ford Capri BBK244M by Dan Clark, on Flickr
      Here it is as it currently stands. Looks ok from a distance but the reality is very rough around the edges and the paint is so bad in places it's becoming embarrassing!
      IMG_0509 by Dan Clark, on Flickr
      And the interior which I'll be re trimming into black leather at some point after the body works done.
      It's been taken to the same place that did my Mercury's engine rebuild, since they did such a good job and they seem a good professional bunch.
      I dropped it off Monday afternoon for a thorough check over to build up a list of work and get a rough quote.
      Today I heard back from them.
      Good news so far, I suppose. It is as solid where it counts as I thought it was. Chassis is fine, original strut tops fine, most of the back end is solid and just needs a few repairs here and there.
      The worst is the bottom of the windscreen surround due to the wrong seal being used and then fitted badly causing leaks. Inner sill to A post bottom corner very scabby, front wings pretty crap, and various paint defects etc.
      The engine is fine, compression all in tolerances. Suspension needs work, and some brake pipes are getting quite rusty. So far so good and no surprises!
      There's still more checking to do over the next few days but it sounds alright so far.
      This work should be made a bit easier by having a lot of panels and parts to fix things already. The big find being a new unused pair of front wings. Very hard to find mk2 items now, though I did have to pay for them!
      The plan here is to make the car solid, reliable and good looking. I'm not making a show car or going too mad as that stuffs not my thing and if it was I'd start with a better more original car.
      Some of the later add ons will be ditched like the mk3 boot spoiler that I hate! And return it to more standard looking mk2 as it should be. No go faster mods or anything like that.
      The main priority is to get the body sorted and painted properly (engine out job and everything) then maybe a bit of mechanical work as needed.
      The original idea was to re paint back into original stardust silver, but having thought about it I'm leaning more towards another favourite Ford colour of the era, Miami blue metallic, which is a lovely colour! Any opinions?
      This will be another expensive project but not one I think I could do at home on the drive and do justice to, so I'd prefer to farm it out and get it right this time. It also means I can carry on working on my Transit and Granada at home without another distraction!
      For anyone whose interested I'll try to update this now and then as things progress. I'll also try to get the old pics of the car from when I got it so you can see how rusty it was! Bear in mind though that I paid £100 for this car in 2001 with MOT and tax! Try doing that now.
      I'm sure this is going to be worth the expense, not that I'm even considering selling it of course but I've had it so long I kind of feel obligated to do right by the car in a weird way!
    • By Fumbler
      To mark the genesis of my fleet project thread I here present my new car: a 1997 Nissan Micra Shape-

      It really looks that good. There is a reason for this: its previous owner was an old lady who loved the thing so much so she made every effort to keep it in good shape. It originally came from Fleet in the GU postcode which suggests to me it was bought by the present dealer at auction, hence arriving down here in Kent. Before seeing the car I checked its MOT history and its only fails were thanks to broken stoplights, which shows me that it was very well cared for. I suppose an example of this was that on the last MOT, an advisory was a corroded rear silencer. The silencer on the car when I saw it was new. Methinks the lady wanted to keep it as good as possible. It was kept in a garage and so all the bumpers and black trim are very black and the tyres are in very good condition. Spare never used! Also included a free Dettol first aid kit from 1997.
      This car has 15000 genuine miles on the clock. We clocked over 15000 during the test drive! The lady owner really only trundled around her village in it and the MOT shows that it only did some meagre miles between tests. This, of course, came at a price. We saw a cherry red Micra from 2002 at the same dealer. Paint was shoddy and when they washed it the boot had massive sections of bare metal and it wasn't very happy. This car, however, is in fabulous condition and there was no contest between the two cars- it really is that good, inside and out. Immaculate interior, driver's airbag, cassette player... all there and all functioning (apart from cassette thanks to new battery and failed display). This meant that I bought it for £1600, £100 over what was my uppermost limit, but I knew I wouldn't see another like this that was in as good shape for a fair while. It was priced very ambitiously, at £1990, so I'm content in the fact I managed to slash a few hundred off the price. There wasn't that much paperwork though. All the dealership received was the logbook with 3 service stamps from 1998, 1999 and 2000, the radio key pass, a National Trust sticker, and the original paperwork holder. I suspect the old lady died and had her car auctioned, and the massive file of paperwork is now someone's egg carton, along will everything else she owned.

      As always, this car isn't exactly in showroom condition. While the inside is great and the floor is solid, and the underseal is in great shape, the not undersealed parts need a small looking at. Mainly the rear of the driver's side sill. It's really the only bubbling on the car. I suspect a well aimed stonechip managed to fester over the wintery salted roads, making it rust even more. It's around the size of a 5p piece, and will give me the opportunity to spray the insides of the sill with some chain oil to prevent any further corrosion. Behind the fuel tank there are a few rusty joints- places where the spraygun cannot get paint onto- which some Vactan and Dynax should put to rights. Alternator belt looks original because of the cracking and Nissan badges and will need doing soon as well as the front plate. As much as I like the 90's font and original dealer surround, the dishevelled R and general water ingress is a persistant MOT advisory. It could be the MOT station being strict (and most likely is considering there's a Saxo down the road with far worse blackening), however for the sake of peace of mind and all that, I'll get a new one made. The rear has already been replaced indicating this has happened before.
      All in all, I think this is a nice plucky motor. I'll have it by the end of the week; just got to sort out tax, insurance, and it's going to have an MOT. As part of the deal it's getting the MOT and an oil and filter change which will be something ticked off the list. It has some love scratches and chips here and there, but it drives well, is stiff and controllable, and should make out to be a nice summer project!
    • By Zelandeth
      Well I've been meaning to sign up here in forever, but kept forgetting. Thanks to someone over on another forum I frequent poking me about it recently the subject was forced back into my very brief attention span for long enough to get me to act on the instruction.

      I figure that my little varied fleet might bring you lot some amusement...

      So...we've got:

      1993 Lada Riva 1.5E Estate (now fuel injected, as I reckon the later cars should have been from the factory...).
      1989 Saab 900i Automatic.
      1987 Skoda 120LX 21st Anniversary Special Edition.
      1985 Sinclair C5.
      2009 Peugeot 107 Verve.

      Now getting the photos together has taken me far longer than I'd expected...so you're gonna get a couple of photos of each car for now, and I'll come back with some more information tomorrow when I've got a bit more time...

      Firstly...The Lada. Before anyone asks - in response to the single question I get asked about this car: No, it is not for sale. Took me 13 years and my father's inheritance to find the thing.

      Yes, it's got the usual rusty wings...Hoping that will be resolved in the next couple of months.


      Next, a proper old Saab. One of the very last 8 valve cars apparently, and all the better for it. I've driven two 16v autos and they were horrible - the auto box works sooooo much better with the torque curve of the 8 valve engine. Just wish it had an overdrive for motorway cruising...

      Next up a *real* Skoda...back when they put the engine where it belongs, right out the back. In the best possible colour of course...eye-searingly bright orange.

      Seat covers have been added since that photo was taken as it suffers from the usual rotting seat cloth problem that affects virtually all Estelles.

      Then we have possibly the world's scruffiest Sinclair C5...

      Realised when looking for this that I really need to get some more photos of the thing...I use it often enough after all! We have a dog who's half husky, so this is a really good way of getting him some exercise.

      Finally - again, I really need to take more photos of - we have the little Pug 107.

      Included for the sake of variety even if it's a bit mainstream! First (and probably to be the only) new car I've bought, and has been a cracking little motor and has asked for very little in return for putting up with nearly three years of Oxford-Milton Keynes commuter traffic, before finally escaping that fate when my housemate moved to a new job. Now it doesn't do many miles and is my default car for "when I've managed to break everything else."

      I'll fill in some more details tomorrow - I warn you though that I do tend to ramble...
    • By dome
      This evening I venture forth into hitherto unknown lands (Kirkintilloch) to collect my latest acquisition.

      Which, naturally, has issues.

      I have purchased my first line of defence.

      Which appears to have antigravity properties

      More will follow this evening...
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