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EmperorPigeon's Enfield 8000 restoration project


EmperorPigeon
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Back in late March and early April thanks to a tip off from @Mrs6C, I negotiated a price for the pictured Enfield 8000 four seater (yes one of the two that exist :) ). I offered £800, seller countered with £850 and the man maths said "yes!" and it was still a discount over the £1k asking price.

Since then it has been a bit of a slog getting updates. The seller would find himself busy with life and it did feel that the car and our deal was on the back burner. The chassis, as of April, was "solid" with just the front wishbone driver side suspension arm needing replacing which was finally completed a few days ago, thanks to having a real deadline with myself having arranged the courier (the seller had promised to sort out collection and delivery, but it was clear it wasn't happening). Still, in fairness, the work was completed at no extra cost to myself, and I look forward to taking delivery of the car Tuesday morning. When it arrives I'll be back here with a proper assessment and many a photo and/or video. I have also had a great deal of support and encouragement from @Will on Syrosbehind the scenes in PMs.

I did make it clear when negotiating that my budget was not high, it would be my first car, everything was going to be done cheaply and on my driveway. That budget was £2000 and that is a budget that no longer exists at that amount, so expect to see some things of worth being placed in the appropriate thread from my good self to support the habit go into the battlechest. I don't expect a huge amount of work will be able to be done given the time of year, but I will keep you all apprised.

Weather permitting come Tuesday morning, once the car has arrived I will give the car a clean inside and out as I like to have a clean and tidy working area. Otherwise it'll be moving the soft furnishings and vulnerable interior components inside, along with the spares (I have no idea what the spares will be, these will be documented in a later post). I already have a good idea on how I'm going to go about the restoration, however I'm holding off talking about most of that until I see the car for myself. One thing is the paint. I don't have the money for a professional respray, so I'm going the Not2grand DIY route. I've had a lot of experience with spray paints and with proper prep work, it'll look decent and far better than she does now. Verona BMW red is too expensive (it would be though wouldn't it?) so I'm going with Signal Red because Flame Red is too dark/doesn't feel right. Tubular steel and such is dirt cheap and I have a nearby supplier just 8 miles away and they do delivery - I can even get aluminium and tin from them which will be necessary.

Most people will parrot "traction batteries!" but I'm not paying £1500. I'll take some measurements and go down the route of 8 12v 130-150ah batteries that will cost about £500. As an aside, the brochures/advertisements for the E8000 list the main battery pack as being 8 12v batteries, which I'll configure to be a 48v 260-300ah pack depending on the batteries I get and the space available.  Furthermore, each E8000 was different and various battery configurations were experimented with during production and later by the Electricity Council. I'll be making a cardboard mock-up first and buying replacement cabling and lugs so as to have everything properly measured and relatively straightforward. The onboard charger will be ignored in favour of a Mean Well 48v PSU going into a solar charge controller. That or a Meanwell charger, price permitting. It wouldn't be fast but then I wouldn't be driving every day or going beyond a 20-25 mile round trip. Taking into account the Peukhert effect with what the motor would demand at full power (150amps, or 7.2kw/6kw to the drive wheels at roughly 83.25% efficiency), such a battery pack (12.48kw to 14.4kw depending on what fits the physical space and that I can afford) it would probably be reduced to 9-12kw depending on the pack size. Noting that if I went with a 150ah battery pack it would be reduced to 75ah capacity at full draw, but the bigger the battery pack the less of an impact. I just need not to drive around like a lunatic.

Also until its done, this is all theory and speculation and I look forward to finding out the real statistics for my particular setup.

Lastly,  it should be clear as well  is that this isn't going to be the next Flux Capacitor, very little if any restomodding will occur (although I have a couple of subtle ideas), and I will be cutting corners where I can to get the car functional, relatively reasonable to look at, and roadworthy. As an aside to those that will be annoyed by my approach: the car had been up for sale back in late 2019 when the previous seller bought it, then up for sale since January 2021 until March when the advert was taken down and it was after that when I started my enquiries, so many a chance to make a deal before I did. That said, I know from the various threads I've been lurking in here that most of you are reasonable and understanding. :)

So
here's to an enjoyable-as-possible restoration project! :) 

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Two bin liners full of dirt and detritus from the wind and rain, as well as its necessary to go over the drive again with the non-toxic weedkiller stuff I got from QVC a while back. Either way, she'll be here by about 11am and there is, in effect, my workspace for the next few months. The other side where there is still moss is technically that of my upstairs neighbour, and as a courtesy and to complete the task I will go over that as well.  At least it isn't all of a sudden "OMG! SLIPPY!" like it was last night when I almost fell on my rear whilst holding my next door neighbour's cat to take him home. That would not have ended well for me. At all. *ahem*

Anyway, the next post will be of the car herself. :)

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The car is here, arrived at 10:55 or so. Hopefully my mobile recorded the car being moved on to my drive...I'll find out later. I'm having a much needed orange juice break after hefting in all the interior items (including the motor, which the courier helped me with getting on to the drive...and after he went I rotated the motor full boost vertical and edged it inside bit by bit. It's now in horizontal flight in the lobby.  Most of the window glass is present, sans one half of the driver side window and I've wrapped the loose windows in much bubblewrap and placed out of harms way.  I even managed to get the keys out of the ignition and open the passenger door.

Once I've made the windscreen cover (because I cannot be any more paranoid about that windscreen being damaged than I am now), I'll go and borrow the tarpaulins that my neighbour kindly offered.

Photos and video(s) to follow...

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2 hours ago, EmperorPigeon said:

The car is here, arrived at 10:55 or so. Hopefully my mobile recorded the car being moved on to my drive...I'll find out later. I'm having a much needed orange juice break after hefting in all the interior items (including the motor, which the courier helped me with getting on to the drive...and after he went I rotated the motor full boost vertical and edged it inside bit by bit. It's now in horizontal flight in the lobby.  Most of the window glass is present, sans one half of the driver side window and I've wrapped the loose windows in much bubblewrap and placed out of harms way.  I even managed to get the keys out of the ignition and open the passenger door.

Once I've made the windscreen cover (because I cannot be any more paranoid about that windscreen being damaged than I am now), I'll go and borrow the tarpaulins that my neighbour kindly offered.

Photos and video(s) to follow...

glad to hear the car has arrived! I look forward to seeing some more pics :) 

its quite interesting to see they did a couple 4 seater ones, I never knew that! it almost looks like a baby estate car :) 

very cool to see one saved and being given a sympathetic recommissioning rather then any silly modifications :)

and I also look forward to seeing some video in action, I bet the all the relays clicking and clacking as you change speed sounds lovely!

 

when you say its your first car, do you mean its your first Autoshite car or do you mean it literally as in this is really your first car? :)

 BTW on the batteries and excuse me if you are already well aware of this but make sure whichever ones you get they are deep cycle rated, something like regular car batteries are not really designed to be continuously drained then charged up like batteries are in an EV, so will die pretty quickly in such applications

leisure batteries for a motorhome or something such would probably be a good bet :) 

 

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1 hour ago, somewhatfoolish said:

That's crying out for a skoosh with a jet washer.

My thoughts exactly when I was done. With the Enfield now here, that would probably go too...

1 hour ago, LightBulbFun said:

glad to hear the car has arrived! I look forward to seeing some more pics :) 

its quite interesting to see they did a couple 4 seater ones, I never knew that! it almost looks like a baby estate car :) 

very cool to see one saved and being given a sympathetic recommissioning rather then any silly modifications :)

and I also look forward to seeing some video in action, I bet the all the relays clicking and clacking as you change speed sounds lovely!

 

when you say its your first car, do you mean its your first Autoshite car or do you mean it literally as in this is really your first car? :)

 BTW on the batteries and excuse me if you are already well aware of this but make sure whichever ones you get they are deep cycle rated, something like regular car batteries are not really designed to be continuously drained then charged up like batteries are in an EV, so will die pretty quickly in such applications

leisure batteries for a motorhome or something such would probably be a good bet :) 

 

And here is the arrival of the E8000 on my drive:-

Yes this is my very first car. :) Leisure batteries are indeed the route I'm going down. Before I bought the car, I costed up 8 12v 135ah leisure/semi-traction batteries at roughly £500. Still about the same price now, but those are far down the line..  All the electronics were disconnected already, save for the old charger and associated electronics. For some of the more exposed cabling that may still be needed that I can't remove from the car, I covered the ends in duct tape (only thing I had to hand), the rest of the existing cabling will be scrapped when new cabling is installed.

The plan is to get some kind of gazebo/scaffolding with my own fabric to create a soft garage. But as of the right here and now, I did give the old girl a bit of a wash and removed the moss build up. I've already started a mental list of what I'll need to get a bit further down the line, and the first thing that will happen is rust treatment courtesy of Bilt Hamber and seeing what's left of the old girl afterwards.  Should have all that stuff by the weekend. I expect to be fabricating/recreating most of the chassis, which when welded in place will be painted hammerite white and waxed. Depending on the weather and finances, I'm looking at least four months before she's structurally sound and if I'm fortunate cosmetically restored as well. Then it will be everything else...brake rebuilds or replacements depending, new tyres are a given, any new window glass in case I break anything, new headliner, new carpeting to go with the cleaned salvageable carpeting, the wheels will no doubt need refurbishing and that will be done professionally.

As with any project where one is told "everything looks to be there", that always means glaring omissions. The boot door window glass for one. Still, I have a box of spares to go through and the seats aren't all that bad. Just in need of a deep clean and careful repair (no bodgery like I did with the windscreen cover, a lot of duct tape as the ripstop was too arduous and time consuming to sew). There's more but the mind boggles and needs coffee.

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Interesting choice if first car - hope the project goes well!

Have you heard of this battery tech? Silicon Dioxide.

They seem to be a mid point between Lead Acid batteries and Lithium, both in terms of cost and performance.

I've never used them - only seen it mentioned on YouTube..

https://azimuthsolar.ca/product/12v-39ah-sio2-battery/

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I'm always interested in different approaches to batteries for traction, as I have a milkfloat that came without any batteries (and needs its own cabling and systems checking for missing and non-working items!) and would like to be able to run that on a set that don't cost a few limbs in return.

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3 hours ago, 320touring said:

Interesting choice if first car - hope the project goes well!

Have you heard of this battery tech? Silicon Dioxide.

They seem to be a mid point between Lead Acid batteries and Lithium, both in terms of cost and performance.

I've never used them - only seen it mentioned on YouTube..

No I hadn't head of that chemistry either. Sulphur Dioxide yes but not Silicon Dioxide. Something to look into more detail about. Noted although too expensive at this time but who knows, the price could very well be a lot less in a few years. :)

3 hours ago, Mrs6C said:

I'm always interested in different approaches to batteries for traction, as I have a milkfloat that came without any batteries (and needs its own cabling and systems checking for missing and non-working items!) and would like to be able to run that on a set that don't cost a few limbs in return.

Is that a more modern milkfloat but prior to the lithium takeover? I did a quick search in case you'd made a thread about it but my search-fu could be weak today...

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4 hours ago, 320touring said:

Interesting choice if first car - hope the project goes well!

Have you heard of this battery tech? Silicon Dioxide.

They seem to be a mid point between Lead Acid batteries and Lithium, both in terms of cost and performance.

I've never used them - only seen it mentioned on YouTube..

https://azimuthsolar.ca/product/12v-39ah-sio2-battery/

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There's some weasel maths going on there, comparing their own product at 50%dod with Li at 100%dod(not that any sane person would discharge to that extent). I need to check the maths but my fag packet is telling me that used leaf cells are about half the price of this and will still perform better, not to mention being a lot lighter.

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Good man for taking this on. It certainly looks like it'll keep you busy for a while! They're intriguing little things. Much like Invacars, I wouldn't personally want one but I'm glad that people take them on so the surviving handful remain. I enjoy reading about them.

Interested to see your progress with it!

In the meantime, have a mug 😄

 

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14 minutes ago, somewhatfoolish said:

There's some weasel maths going on there, comparing their own product at 50%dod with Li at 100%dod(not that any sane person would discharge to that extent). I need to check the maths but my fag packet is telling me that used leaf cells are about half the price of this and will still perform better, not to mention being a lot lighter.

Interesting - I just saw them on a couple of videos so looked at pricing.

 

What seems odd? I am no electrician 😁

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I've read a bit about Enfield 8000s (having first seen one in the AA's "Drive" magazine some time in the 70s when they were still newish) but never heard of a long wheelbase 4-seater version before. Were these factory-built by Enfield or converted afterwards?

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On 11/4/2021 at 12:04 AM, Alusilber said:

I've read a bit about Enfield 8000s (having first seen one in the AA's "Drive" magazine some time in the 70s when they were still newish) but never heard of a long wheelbase 4-seater version before. Were these factory-built by Enfield or converted afterwards?

These were factory built, only the two exist though. When I seen the photos of both this and PWR 570P (which is restored and working if I remember rightly), this was ahead of its time. This is really one of the first 4-seater hatchbacks and you look at the side profile of this and say the side profile of Renault 5 of 1975, there is a striking similarity.  Similarly so with the Ford Fiesta a couple of years or so later and other completely new hatchbacks that started entering the market in the late 70s. No one who's alive now that worked for Enfield Automotive will know why, but perhaps it was a result of feedback from the Electricity Council testing of not having enough room in the back for children or shopping.

On 11/3/2021 at 11:44 PM, Dan_ZTT said:

Never even heard of these before

Looks like an interesting project, best of luck with it

Thank you. :)I've had a few people in real life who have had the same reaction. :) One of the binmen (sorry, refuse collection operative :P ) thought for a moment it was a DAF and another person, a delivery driver, had never seen anything like it before and was very interested in learning the history.  My next door neighbour who used to have and repair the various models of original Mini cars thinks its going to be very cool (and she's right :) ).  I really want to get her looking far better and working so I can demonstrate (read: show off :P ) the car, of whom I've officially named her Julie. Which I now realise as I'm typing this could also be a play on "joules"...not intentional but it works. I just didn't want to name her anything that would be pretentious. :)

Edited by EmperorPigeon
Forgot my manners!
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One quick thing before I go any further: I will be at Jonny Smith's ManchesTOUR just milling around. I see that there's a modified Volvo 850 estate, so I will probably be around that and maybe even cooing affectionately... :D

I was saving these photos for a bigger post, but this is supposed to be a moment to moment thread so here goes:-

Before any cleaning of the bench seat:-

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Demon upholstery cleaner sprayed on, then rubbed in.

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First pass complete and that was a brand new clean sponge microfibre cloth:-

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Second pass complete and comparison:-

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Upper section with foam applied, rubbed in, and being washed off:-

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First stage of cleaning completed:-

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This really signifies what this restoration is going to be. Mostly general DIY, cleaning, and elbow grease with some real engineering later on. All of the interior is in a poor state (dare I say shocking? :P ) and all will need a further clean and pieces of new leather that are easily obtainable and cheap. There's an independent fabric shop in the town I live, a specialist leatherworker, and plenty of farms that sell leather to the public.  The foam will no doubt need a deep clean/replacement, however I'm looking to save as much material as possible both for originality and keeping down the costs. I also noted that the leather went from feeling like it would crack and fall to pieces at the slightest touch to being flexible again. I have some leather upholstery wipes somewhere in my flat, so once I've gone over this again with the detailing brushes that arrived this afternoon, it should look even better!

Also, the Demon cleaner only cost £5 at Halfords in July. B&M now have it for £1.50, but I'd think that would only be in bigger stores and whilst stocks lasted. For a cheap potion it does quite nicely and the linen smell isn't powerful once it's washed off with a damp cloth.

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With the wind and rain having largely subsided yesterday, I got to make a start with the rust treatment when it was fairly dry and not blowing a gale.  I found an old bottle of Baufix oil spray stuff that allegedly is a rust remover and to be fair, it done well for just a few moments of soaking in and the plastic straw having long since disappeared. Right now, I only have mini brushes and bigger brushes for my drill (which I'll try out later on today - that being Tuesday the 9th) and my home prepared citric acid solution (which will be 1 part citric acid, 5 parts hot water in a spray bottle). I did record a video and that will be forthcoming when I've recorded more footage later.

The Bilt Hamber Deox-gel is the product I want and that will be bought but not right now, as money had to be redirected elsewhere as per usual. Also, the more I work on the car? The more I think of cutting the bad metal out and completely building anew piece by piece. *breathes* Less speed, more haste!

I did get to chat with Jonny Smith at The Late Brake Show tour in Manchester on Saturday, which was extremely helpful and informative. I even got a fist bump for my endeavours and that kind of real world validation goes a long way! :)

Anyway, I noticed that the tea shelf (as Furious Driving calls it) is held in place only by friction. I was able to safely remove it and I'll be able to clean the vinyl (could be leather, doesn't feel like leather right now though) in the warmth. It did allow me to take a couple of photos of the electronics...firstly, behind the steering wheel:-

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And the Curtis 933 battery controller, the manual of which was chuffing easy to find and despite typos is very straightforward and informative. :)

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As for the metal work, it may be a better idea to use rust restorer on both sides and give it a coating of primer. Especially as by the end of the session, it had started to rain again.

Anyway, just a quick update :) there'll be another update later on today. :)

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At this point, I'm more into the idea of outright rebuilding. There would have been more, but the weather has changed yet again for the worse. I can see myself removing all the bodywork, getting more bungee cords, and a heavier more weather resistant tarpaulin (although I'm still grateful that my neighbour gave me a tarpaulin at all).

Bonus: Two of my neighbour's cats taking shelter from the rain (the second is behind the first, she's mostly black and likes to hide...only comes out for Lick-e-lix):-

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More updates!

I have started a Drivetribe hindsight/retrospective blog that won't contain anything you didn't see here first. So far my first post has had over 13k in views, been featured on the Drivetribe homepage, and selected as one of the six best articles of the week. Well, last week anyway! On that last point, that could just be because of a lack of articles on there...but I'll take it anyway! The other good news is that I'll get a few pennies of ad revenue. I doubt it'll be much of anything, but even £5 is better than nothing at all right? Right!

Work has continued despite the weather, my sleep pattern, and my lack of interest in working in said weather.  It hasn't been bad today with just a bit of spitty rain, so I went out with the view to removing the dashboard. This didn't go to plan and the only thing that broke was the brake fluid container. Not much in it and all very brown and gunky, however the container is so brittle with age that just brushing against it was enough to shatter it. I cleaned up what I could out of it with paper towels, picked up all the plastic that had fell, and decided that the best thing to do is to remove the container completely...when I can get to it. For now, I've wrapped it up in tin foil and duct tape...which should keep curious kitty cats from getting to it.

I've had to come back in because of the frustration I was having. Very close to chopping the whole thing up, so I knew I had to just take a break and rethink my approach. Having done so, cutting the rusty nuts and bolts isn't such a bad idea.

I have successfully removed the Curtis 933 controller and the DC-DC converter that I seriously doubt is standard. Another detail is what I thought was the watt hours meter is actually a kilowatt hours used meter- I didn't see the full display until this morning.  The last total then was 5,562kwh consumed and the odometer tells me the car has done 32,026 miles. Little details that matter. As do the many photos I taken of the wiring which I'm all for completely replacing wholesale. Grumpy Pigeon is grumpy!

The upholstery has been cleaned, although it will need another pass later down the line as well as restitching. However my main concern is the metalwork and a seemingly increased amount of rust/cornflakes which, if I'm right, means time is of the essence to at least put a stop to the rot, get the panels off, and rebuild despite the weather as leaving it over winter will only allow things to get worse. Definitely a damned if I do and damned if I don't situation, especially as I don't have a dry and warm area to work in. I briefly considered one of those portable garage/shed things that are more akin to a gazebo only with heavier material, but the winds in my area would probably just blow it away.

Photos/videos to follow. :)

 

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As promised :)

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From the other night: that was a clean cloth, and the top of the dash is now also clean after a further wipe down with a clean cloth. The cleaning revealed a tiny bit of a damage that a bit of glue will easily fix. But now on to Wednesday morning.

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The wiring loom. The screws in the clips had rusted and with the slightest of messing around the clips came off with without any persuasion. I've sprayed some of that multi-purpose spray where the plugs are as they were difficult to pull out otherwise.

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The curly wiring is for the light bulbs behind the dash, the wiring in the background is for the instrumentation such as the charge meter, and the fibreglass hinged lid IIRC contains the accelerator microswitches. I have the wiring diagrams as all good E8000 owners should have downloaded, it occurs to print them off so I can translate it to the real world and memorise it properly.  I've just noticed that the cracking can clearly be seen in the brake fluid reservoir. An additional image

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Speaking of the heater, the black with white cross wire goes to the heating element in the windscreen and the metal pipe running through the middle of the photo is connected to the windscreen wash pump and spray jets. The piping as far as I can tell should run underneath the bottom rubber lip of the windscreen, the pump and piping will be removed and replaced outright (just moving about the wiring and the piping was flaking off from its holding position).

It occurs that whilst removing the dashboard etc is required, I may be better off approaching this with the panels removed and the front battery compartment also potentially being removed just to gain access. I'd go from underneath but that requires the passenger side to be strong enough to support being jacked up and that won't happen for a little while yet. There is a mild panic and worry, however I realise that if worse comes to worse then I'll just have to rebuild with new metal and replace the old in sections. Ways and means and all that.

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So yes, this could be just as it was or it has degraded even further. Having just this moment checked my video footage it seems to be just as it was or with minimal degradation given the circumstances. That toolbox is plenty heavy too, not exactly the weight of an adult admittedly but it the car didn't just deteriorate instantly. The car does take my weight when I'm sat in the middle in between where the seats would be...understandably I still worry.

Here's the safety close-up of the Curtis controller whilst it was attached:-

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All the screws are rusted as can be, yet they came out willingly with the exception of the last two that had rusted beyond help. As the wiring will only be replaced anyway, I pulled off the last two with pliers. It didn't take much either as the copper essentially turned to dust. My logic for keeping the wiring intact is to be able to copy it like-for-like with new wiring without having to just rely on the wiring diagrams.

On the right is a strong and daunting reminder of the wiring work ahead. Yuk!

 

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Above left: Behind the steering wheel, the cobwebs have been since removed. Above right: clearer view of where the lights behind the dashboard go. Detritus since removed. :)

More as it happens. :)

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As I go through the videos and photos of the tinkering that I've been up to, here's a little video where I tested Bio-D Home and Garden Sanitiser versus Demon Clean. In my bathroom no less! Yes, you're all getting the royal tour here! XD

In other news, I bought a new brush set that I've been delighted with (new toy!) and I have continued preparing the old girl for the day when the panels come off and I tackle both sides of the steel. I did find in my stockpile of assorted DIY bits from Aldi and Lidl three spray cans of Pine Green and one can of light grey metal paint with rust protection. That's her colour sorted then for the time being :P

After I finished for the day with cleaning the inside steel that I could get to, I decided to give the old girl's windscreen a good clean. :)P1080008.thumb.JPG.dadbf8d7acb74ed82ccacd49f150636b.JPG

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And whilst I cleaned the inside of the windscreen for the sake of completeness, I also gave the speedometer cover a quick clean :) (having a senior moment, can't remember if its glass or plastic!)

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More to come! :)

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    • By Sheldon_Classic_Britian
      Hello Everyone
      So I thought I would make a topic about my YouTube channel and my cars and project. So for those who don't know 4 years ago I bought my first car a 1975 Rover P6 2.2SC manual and I made a video on the car and then I made another and another and it became popular ( God knows why LOL!) and people started subscribing and people really seamed to like what I was doing so I carried one and it never really stopped! So I created this topic to connect with some viewers and two see your cool projects and no it does not have to be a Rover! Mostly I just want to chat to people about there projects swap ideas and chat about cars and of course if you have a cool car that I could film that would be great =)  
      Thanks for looking and look forward to seeing your cool stuff! 

    • By Bfg
      .
        
      That was a year that was..
       
      This was the year in which Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral took place in London.   This same year,  Lyndon Baines Johnson had been sworn in as President of the United States following the assassination of John F. Kennedy (a tragedy which had occurred some fourteen month earlier).
      Stanley Mathews played in his last 1st division game, and the unmanned lunar space probe Ranger-8 crashed onto the moon.  The USA sent their first 3,500 combat troops to Vietnam and instigates Rolling Thunder (almost 3-years of sustained aerial bombing).  While back home in Alabama - State troops lay mercilessly into a peaceful protest march (known as Bloody Sunday).  Ironically this happened on the Edmund Pettus Bridge which was named after a former Confederate Brigadier General,  and also Grand Wizard of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.  Following graphic television coverage of that event,  Lyndon Johnson implemented a Bill of Rights for American Negroes.

      Russian Cosmonaut Alexei Leonov leaves his spacecraft for 12 minutes to becomes the first man to walk in space.  ‘My Fair Lady’ wins 8 Academy Awards, and ‘Mary Poppins’ takes five Oscars.   Intelsat-1 communications satellite is deployed - marking a turning point in television, telephone, radio, internet, and military technology.  While down on earth - the Pennine Way is officially opened.
      Racing driver Jim Clark wins the Indianapolis 500, and then goes on to win the Formula one championships.  Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston in a world heavyweight championship rematch, while the Rolling Stones “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is released. The Beatles second movie Help!  premieres and they perform the very first ‘stadium concert’ playing before a 55,600 audience at Shea Stadium in New York City.  
       

       
      Cigarette advertising is banned on British television, and Singapore is expelled from the Federation of Malaysia. And then recognised as a sovereign nation.  After almost two years the Auschwitz War Crimes trials in Frankfurt are concluded. 66 former SS personnel receive life sentences and 15 others receive lesser sentences for their doings.  Bob Dylan releases his influential album ‘Highway 61 Revisited’
      Incredibly all of the above happened in the first 8 months of that year ..even before Tom & Jerry or the Thunder-Birds were first aired.!  
       
      But then.., around about this same time a small sports car was sold ..to an American working in England.  His name was E. Crawford Morten. And he came from New York State. At that time, he was assigned to work in Britain & Europe for the International Paper Co. of  Ticonderoga, NewYork.  
      The year was 1965, and so this particular story starts some 54 years ago.  The car he chose  was British Racing Green with a light tan coloured hood and leather seats. It was the new independent rear suspension Triumph TR4A.  And aside from its Laycock type-A overdrive, and it being a Left hand drive car delivered to a customer in England - it was unexceptional. 
      Well that is as ‘unexceptional’ as any gleamingly brand new TR4 sports car might be ..when owned by a wealthy American living in Britain during the swinging sixties.  So, Crawford (as his family liked to call him)  took the car to Standard-Triumph’s authorised specialist tuners ; SAH of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire ..for a few ‘enhancements’.   
       

      Sid A. Hurrell  (SAH)  had made a name for himself preparing and successfully racing a TR2,  indeed his performance tuning parts were used in Triumph’s work’s cars, with aspects of those carried into subsequent production.  The Triumph TR2 soon made a name for itself in both club and International racing events, in sprints, hill climbs, and in rallying.  SAH had a catalogue of special parts for the Triumph Herald (which made also quite an impact within international rally circles) and Vittesse (competitive in saloon car racing).  Parts were developed for the 1300 and 1500cc Triumphs, the Bond, and for the Triumph 2000 and 2500 models. Naturally each model from TR2 onwards were tuned, tweaked and lightened..  If you're not aware of SAH., they later became Triumph-Tune.      
      E. Crawford Morten was a great enthusiast of motor racing and whenever an opportunity arose he would take off to a Grand Prix event ..anywhere across Europe.  Apparently he was not only a spectator but according to his nephew Fletch  “Crawford never raced that TR, but he was a very fast and skilled driver who used all of the cars capabilities on those lovely New York Adirondack roads” 
      Clearly a man of discernment who also appreciated the advantages of  lightweight components in racing &/or in a true seat-of-the-pants sport-cars, because one of the things Crawford really wanted of  SAH was a set of their knock-on  JA Pearce magnesium-alloy wheels (Magna alloys).  A set of these make wire wheels, alloys and even the works perforated-steel wheels appear heavyweight and/or fragile.

      This is a TR4,  so not the same car but coincidentally is in the same colours and with (bolt-on) magna wheels.
      Of course, as the car was to be left with SAH  anyway -  then the engine might also be tuned, an oil temperature gauge, cooler, and filter fitted.  A Girling ‘brake booster’ and additional driving lamps were also fitted.   It is believed the engine received a Stage-1 tune : for fast road use.  In petrol-head terms that’s raising the TR4A's standard 104bhp to a modest 135bhp - without loosing around town low rev’s driveability.  What’s that 30% more power ?
      This was achieved mainly through camshaft and cylinder-head re-work, carb jetting and filters, ignition electrics, and the standard exhaust manifold being swapped out for SAH’s four branch extractor pipes.  It is probable that the engine was also balanced for endurance ..to survive his high-speed jaunts to GP events across Europe.
      What's certain is that the wheels and tyres selected to transmit this performance potential to the tarmac were of wide profile.  And, for road use throughout Europe, that meant the wheel-arches needed extending.  Remember we’re talking about a brand new car here.  Incredible as it might seem nowadays - Crawford had SAH replace the TR4’s four wings with fibreglass ones.  These not only had extended wheel arch brows but I understand saved about 15lb in weight ..off each panel. 
      That weight saving may not seem very much, but from a standing start in a quarter-mile acceleration run ; a 30lb weight saving would equate to 0.1 seconds difference. Again seemingly not worth the effort, but.. with two otherwise identical cars side by side - the lighter one would be 12-foot in front.!  And aside from aiding acceleration - such weight saving at the extremities also help to centralise the car’s mass for crisper handling. 
      These Triumphs aren’t a heavy car anyway,  the weight distribution is also pretty good on the 4-cyclinder model,  and then of course the C of G is very low too.   With IRS and a 30%  increase in power ..and also factoring considerable weight saving in having magnesium-alloy wheels and a little tweaking of the suspension parts, then we’re beginning to talk about a road car that not only performed exceptionally well but also handled better than most any other on the road at that time.   Jaguars and Astons would have had much more power but a lightweight TR  might well take the inside track ..and be whole lot more fun as well.
      Anyway, I’m rambling..   not least because much of this SAH special equipment has been lost to circumstance and the financial needs of the car’s more recent owner. 
       
      Unfortunately this car’s history, subsequent to Crawford,  is at present a little vague - except that there were three further owners, and whatever we might gather from a bumper sticker, believed to be a pass to a military installation - dated 1982.   So let's fast forward to  June 1998  when the present owner - a Mr. Raymond Lucas Hatfield of  Little Rock, Arkansas  bought this very same TR4A.    " I rescued the car from what was basically a junkyard - a garage that had many old cars abandoned behind it.  My wife said the I was giving it a second 'chance' at being used, and the name stuck ".   Apparently it had been there as junk for years. 
      “ Mr. Crawford passed away before I bought the car, but apparently he told the second owner that he had rallied the car in England for several years before returning to the United States, bringing the car with him.  There is evidence on the car that it had been driven hard at some point and suffered some damage ; dents to the frame, some holes and dents in the body.
       I spoke to the second owner, who states he only drove it on the road until about 1980 when he started tearing it apart to rebuild it.  The rebuild stalled and he finally sold it to the individual I bought it from in 1991.   There it sat until 1998 when I bought it "  . . Judging by the bumper sticker,  that might have been 1982 or 83 when he started 'tearing it apart'.  Perhaps this was the last time the car was together and on the road.?
      The car when bought by Mr. Hatfield was collected from Birmingham, Alabama  (some 375 miles away from Little Rock, Arkansas).   Unfortunately on the way home, with the car on a tow dolly - it dropped off its rear right wheel.   “While loading the TR on the dolly,  I noticed that the 'spinner' was missing off the right rear wheel, but thought it of no consequence since I  (and the seller)  were under the impression that these were bolt-on wheels.  In all fairness, I do not recall seeing any part of the spindle showing on that rim to clue any of us to the fact that it was a knock off wheel.
      …    I'm quite sure that all of you know what happened now. I made it from Birmingham, AL to about 50 miles from my home in Arkansas before that wheel came off. As it came off, it tore the fiberglass rear fender off.  Fortunately, that was the extent of the damage to the TR, but now I am stuck with the car on the side of the freeway in the middle of the night! "
       
      Raymond in his forum posts and in correspondence with myself tells us that the "engine was seized up from being parked in a junkyard for 10 years".   In due course the motor was removed from the car and stripped down,  with the offending piston released from its bore ..courtesy of a big hammer smashing the cylinder liner.
      On the four banger TR’s these are wet sleeve (dry on the six cylinder), and rather than simply replace the liners, the owner acquired another short-block TR4 motor.  But in his heart of hearts - he hankered for a Triumph TR5 with its smoother and more powerful six cylinder sea anchor.  And so is found investigated, on American brit-car forums, the options of a more powerful engine to drop into Chance.  
      V8’s as well as straight-six Toyota and the 2.8 ltr BMW motors were each considered for  “a sleeper Vette killer”.  At the same time he was also considering selling the overdrive transmission in favour of a modern five-speed box.,  but after much deliberation he opted to buy a six-cylinder TR6’s engine.  In the same transaction came a TR6 chassis - which still appears to be in good shape.  The replacement 4-cylinder short-block was sold on, and the original engine remained in bits.
       
       

      Over the past, almost 21 years of present ownership, the car’s  Second Chance  hasn’t yet come to realisation.  The front brake callipers have I’m told been swapped out for Toyota four-pot items, and the rear suspension has modern shock absorbers in place of the original Armstrong lever arm types.   Raymond  has his own TR enthusiast website which recall some of this car's history (last updated  c.2005 ).   Unfortunately  there is not one photo of the car nor any part of it.   
      Below is a recent photo from the for sale advert to which I replied.  

      The exceptionally lightweight and strong knock-off Magna wheels were sold for $800, to an English guy in 2003.  And bolt-on Mustang Bullitt (c.2001 model) aluminium alloys fitted instead. The Englishman who bought the wheels was a Mr. Roger Butt “who then restarted the company and made new wheels on the same pattern. The company he worked for (Rotex Developments) had a factory/warehouse here in Arkansas” 
      Tidbit : Roger Butt was Company Secretary to Osprey Marine Ltd between February ‘94 and March 1998.  He was appointed Director of Rotex Developments Ltd (Company status : Dissolved ) in August ‘05,  and again appointed Director of J.A. Pearce Engineering Ltd  (Company status : Dissolved )  in 2012.   The latter is of course the same name as having originally made racing and sports wheels.
       
      The car has been stripped out of its interior.  I’m told the original leather seats didn’t withstand being out in the elements ..so they have gone in favour of a pair of high-back Mazda Maida seats, not yet fitted. The dashboard timber, light-tan door cards and carpet set have been replaced, but again not refitted.  The black steering wheel looks like an SAH one (it’s leather rimmed with slotted aluminium spokes). And little niceties like the SAH embossed ashtray and the engine’s SAH cast-alloy rocker-cover have also gone, as has the car’s oil cooler, temp gauge setup, and quick change filter. Non have been replaced.  
       
       

      The fuel tank  and under-bonnet space are also stripped out, but most of those parts are with the car,  albeit in unknown condition after having been stored for the past 21 years,  plus another 10 years " parked in a junkyard".
      From what I can see in photos and has been discussed in email correspondence with Raymond, around the bulkhead’s battery tray is rusted,  as is the lower forward edge of the boot floor and spare wheel well.  These have in part been patched by one of the interim owners,  as has one sill.  Both sills have holes to their inside rear corners, and the floors show sign of nature’s aeration.  The paintwork is scruffy, apparently looking better in the photos than in life.  And the bumpers, like pretty much everything else, are off the car and have seen brighter days.  Most probably there are numerous minor bits missing or beyond repair,  but as an optimist - I’ll presume 90% of the car is there and might be reusable,  if enough time and money is spent in their recondition. 
      Oh btw.,  the car is still in Arkansas, which in case you are unaware is 450 miles sorta north of Huston, Texas and similarly from New Orleans.  This being west across state from Memphis Tennessee  ..so not exactly close to any coastline or shipping port.    So, as a largely dismantled non-runner, the overland transport and shipping freight is going to cost £-thousands.   However, even factoring in the transport cost - this TR4A is as cheap as I could find (..cheap is a relative term !).  And unlike most cars from the States ;  it does has an interesting history.  Although not at this time paper-documented ;  the (three remaining) flared grp wings and other remaining SAH parts, as well as email correspondence from the nephew do confirm the story.   Accordingly,  a week last Friday I put a bid on it.  And then I had a counter offer, which I accepted on condition that he’ll prepare and pack the car (together with the 'spare' chassis)  for transport (my proposal below) .   Last Monday evening I received an affirmative response.  
      No, I promise to NOT paint this TR4 red.!
      So there we are,  I have to sell a motorcycle or two and my Ami-super  but.,  despite it being ridiculously too small a car for someone as old, or tall and broad as myself (6’-5” with the accumulative effects of gravity for 60++ years) - it is what I hanker for.  And if I don’t do it now then I don’t suppose I’ll ever have the chance  again.  
      BUT.,  Is this too fashion-taxed a topic for ye  Autoshiters,  or would my reckless abandonment of any last remnant of common-sense ..and the consequential issues I’ll have to deal with over the next couple of years be of some passing amusement to you all. ?
      Bfg 
       
      p.s.   This restoration / recommissioning will be a diy job on a very tight budget.   As mentioned I'm also very tall,  so concessions to those factors override any idea of originality.   I also have no qualms at all in using second hand seats out of a Triumph Herald or an MG.,  or an Austin 7  for that matter ..if they are suitably period styled, available cheaply,  and better accommodate my freak-sized frame.   So, this will not be a car for the TR purist. 
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