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1987 Ford Sierra Sapphire 1.8L - Earning its keep - see page 28

Peter C

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  • Peter C changed the title to 1987 Ford Sierra Sapphire 1.8L - Rust treatment progress, see page 15

Sorry I have been slow.  Here are the two 'tools'.  One is a home made thing for holding the hub on the front of the water pump still.  It locates on the M6 screws.  The other is an old Pinto tappet adjusting spanner/tool, which may have spread a bit.

If you want them there are two condition.  You have to take both and you must promise not to give them back.  Anyway, I've been so slow with this you've probably done the job several times over.




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I had another go at removing the fan clutch. I've wrapped an old fan belt around the pulley, secured it with cable ties, squashed it in a vice to stop it from turning and with three of the four bolts that secure the pulley removed (one is enough to keep the pulley in place) I can comfortably get an adjustable spanner on the lock nut.


I'm still not sure which way to turn to get the lock nut off but by applying plenty of force on the spanner, the fan belt snaps before the nut shifts. 


@lisbon_road - can please have your locking tool?

I have made progress with the rust treatment. 

I brushed down remaining dust and  debris from the underside and coated the exposed metal on the floor pan and the rear suspension components with a Rust-Oleum spray on black wax.



It has sealed the sill seams very nicely.


I've coated exposed metal in the offside rear arch.


I used filler to make good the end of the offside sill. Rust plebs on the rear arch were probably caused by scratches (impact damage, which is partially visible towards the rear of the arch) as the inner side of the arch is solid. 


I pained the offside sill.


I painted the exposed metal in the offside front arch.


I painted the underside of the front and rear offside doors.



I painted a section of the offside upper side of the chassis leg, where water has  been pooling and caused surface corrosion.


And finally I gave the battery tray a lick of paint too.


The paint match looks horrendous in the photos. It's not perfect but it looks better in real life than in the photos because I had a massive spot lamp shining on the areas that I photographed and iPhone cameras are not the best. For some reason, my phone's camera has made the original paint look very pale, which it isn't. 

Also, bear in mind that the new paint is shiny and the original paint is flat. I expect the paints will match better once I have cut and polished the original paint.

The arch liners will conceal most of the exposed metal so I am not fussed about the patchy finish.

The plan is to over spray all painted repairs above sill level with the aerosol can that I know is a good paint match.

I am confident that the Sierra will look ok once it's finished. Ideally, it would need a complete respray but that is not going to happen under my watch.

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Another day spent in the garage but I am making good progress.

I started by coating the exposed areas along the nearside front and rear arches and along the sill.




I gave the spare wheel well and the fuel tank a lick of paint where surface corrosion had taken hold.


The windscreen posts looked nasty but turns out there was nothing to worry about.

Offside first, I scraped off the plebs to find completely solid metal underneath.


I lifted the windscreen seal with the plastic mixer that comes with P38 Isopon, which is ironic as the repair didn't need any filler.


I will sort out the cosmetics once the paint has fully dried.


Exactly the same situation on the other side.




I prepared and sprayed the black bulkhead panel that will soon be almost completely concealed by the battery.


Before removing the cam cover, I marked up the ignition leads. It took 30 seconds and could prevent an embarrassing situation come reassembly.


The cam and valve-gear look very clean.


Nothing to see here, certainly no sludge.


I degreased the cam cover with paraffin.


And painted the rusty bits with a high temp black gloss paint. Shame most of the cam cover will be covered up by the air filter housing.


Speaking of which, the air filter housing lid looks awful with this repair.


So I ripped it off. The repair patch was hiding a nasty hole.


Does anyone have one of these?


I put the paint and spray cans down and spent a bit of time tidying up the engine bay, specifically the inner wings and slam panel. The engine bay is remarkably free from rust. The more I look at this car, the more I believe that the mileage is genuine.


Take a look at the front wing to slam panel seams, they are factory fresh. I don't think this car has even been involved in a significant accident. 



I've ordered more aerosol blue paint and a king size bottle of T-Cut. You know what's coming next.

More next week.



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@lisbon_road Thank you for the gifts, top bloke, I owe you a cuppa.


Your tool works great, I can now fit the water pump etc in the vice and the pulley doesn't budge.


However, my fat adjustable spanner will no longer fit in the available space between the locking tool and the clutch.


I've made up a cardboard template, the locking nut is definitely 32mm.


As @Rightnider advised, this is the right tool for the job. A tenner from Amazon, should be with me next week.


More soon.

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22 minutes ago, Conrad D. Conelrad said:

The decline of traditional media has caused so many problems. Last time I needed to mask up my car, I had to print out a load of Reddit posts. 

What's the best newspaper these days for filling rust holes in sills?

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Bad news first.

Just before I closed my workshop doors yesterday, I sprayed some blue over the primed windscreen posts. The garage was warm and dry, the primer looked dry, all looked good but this morning I found this.



The blue / primer has wrinkled around the edges of the Rust Oleum base paint.

Along the bottom of the rear door, the primer also reacted with the paint below.


My plan was to rub down all the areas that I painted with Rust Oleum paint, apply primer and blow over with blue aerosol. This is not going to happen. Evidently, the Rust Oleum paint does not like to be primed and sprayed over. Sorting out these three patches will be awkward enough but redoing both sills would be a nightmare, especially considering the paint compatibility issues. 

I will rub down the windscreen posts and two door bottoms, remove the Rust Oleum paint and prime and spray over in blue. Tomorrow, I am going back to the paint shop and ask the paint man to mix up a fresh tin of matching blue paint, which I will brush apply to the non-matching blue along the sills and wheel arches. 

Slightly disheartened, I left the bodywork repairs for another day.

Now for some good news.

This arrived last night.


And this happened this morning.


I have now ordered a new water pump and thermostat, which should be with me by mid week.

I fitted the new exhaust. In the first photo, it looks like the exhaust hangs low but it doesn't, it fits nicely below the prop-shaft.


The tail pipe sticks out in the right place, all looks good.


Next, I cleaned up the front of the engine and marked up the positions of the three pulleys.


I removed the crankshaft pulley with a generic puller, it came off very easily. Starting this job reminded me of the massive problems I had with the removal of my R53's crankshaft pulley, something that @gm knows all about. Sorry mate.


Fitting the new cam belt was very easy.


The new cam cover gasket fits nicely.


This bit of metal art fits over the exhaust manifold and provides hot air for the air filter housing to inhale. It needed a good rub down.


Much better.


I also cleaned up some exposed fixings.


I reinstated the cam cover, the air filter housing and associated ductwork and all that is left to do is fit the new thermostat and water pump.


Almost forgot, the replacement oil filter has a smaller capacity than the old one.


But it fits just fine.


I also need to change the engine oil.

More next week. With the new thermostat and water pump fitted, I will be ready to fire up the Pinto. How exciting. 



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31 minutes ago, Peter C said:

I removed the crankshaft pulley with a generic puller, it came off very easily. Starting this job reminded me of the massive problems I had with the removal of my R53's crankshaft pulley, something that @gm knows all about. Sorry mate.

ah yes, i’ve still not gotten round to fitting the replacement (of the replacement (of the replacement (of the original))) ! it has, however, been safely installed in a box in the boot :) 

good to see the sierra making progress 

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I visited the paint shop this morning and walked away with another tin of matched paint. Fingers crossed it's a better match than the previous one.

I had a bit of time this afternoon to tackle a couple of small jobs.

I re-fitted the battery.


Ignition on but I didn't crank the motor as it doesn't have a water pump fitted and there are stray hoses all over the engine bay. Note the position of the fuel gauge needle. I suspect that's bullshit. 


We have bright lights.


And a full complement of dashboard illumination. 


The driver's door lock was seized. The lock wouldn't budge by key nor by operating the internal button.

I removed the door card. Someone has been here before.


Definitely no sign of any central locking gubbins. So what are the wires extending to the boot lid for???


Repeated squirts of WD40 onto the locking mechanism and a bit of manual toing and froing was all that was needed to ease the lock mechanism. It now works perfectly from the key and from the internal button.

Door locked.


Door unlocked.


Or is it the other way round? 

I've checked all the doors, the other locking mechanisms work just fine. What I thought was a spare key, turns out is a key just for the boot lock. Evidently, the lock has been changed at some point in the past. I need a key cut. Who does old Ford keys nowadays?

I was uncomfortable having a front fog lights switch staring me in the face. 


I've already removed all associated wiring from the engine bay, today I popped the switch off and fitted the blank that @wesacosa kindly provided.


Much better. 



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4 hours ago, Peter C said:

the wires extending to the boot lid

Does it have a Mercury switch or similar which activates a luggage compartment lamp?

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10 hours ago, mk2_craig said:

Does it have a Mercury switch or similar which activates a luggage compartment lamp?

There’s no luggage compartment lamp as far as I know.

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12 minutes ago, adw1977 said:

There should be.

You're right.

I looked in the obvious place before, the underside of the boot lid and didn't find anything exciting.


But looking deeper into the boot, there it is, hiding on the rear panel.


But why would a manually operated boot lock need an electrical supply? 

Could the lock mechanism also act as a switch that activates the boot light?


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