Ford Prefect v8 hot rod - more messing about in the shed

Published on 3 April 2023 at 09:01
fird prefect river v8 hot rod rear side window

My workshops are entirely off grid with electricity being generated by a combination of solar and wind power. Usually this works really well but last November we had en extended period where we got neither source of power. This curtailed my exploits significantly, especially as my main job at the time was chassis welding. Now we are getting plenty of sun and I have upgraded the system so I now very rarely run low on power as long as I don't work too long in to the evenings.

I took advantage of the situation and finished off some of the chassis welding that was put on the back burner - there was more of it than I had remembered. I am adding a lot of strength, which benefits both safety and handling as a stiff chassis should keep the geometry correct through fast corners and the such like. I very much doubt this car will ever be raced, it will only have about 160 BHP, which is about 1/3 that of my daily driver, but I want to know it's done properly.

Another job I attended to was removing some of the excess filler that had been applied to the nearside rear where the window had been blanked off. Somebody had seen fit to plaster on about 6mm of very hard filler, it took me ages to get it off and restore the car's proper lines.

I wanted it right before I looked at how I was going to fit the fuel filler cap and associated pipework. There are a couple of considerations regarding the BIVA test that need to be considered, the first being that the cap either has to be tethered or it has to be locking in such a way that the key can not be removed from the cap when it is off the car. The idea is that you don't put the cap on top of the car when you fill up and then forget to replace it, which could result in fuel getting spilt. I found two caps that look fantastic, they actually look the same but the locking one is 4 times the price of the unlockable one. I shall do my usual skinflint act and buy the cheap one and tether it. The good news is that I found a patch of panel that is flat enough to fit it without having to do the sort of complex surgery I had to do for the rear lights.

Talking of the rear lights, I found on ebay a set of electrical connectors that are waterproof and looked pretty decent., the set comes with 1,2,3,4,5 and 6 pin connectors in both male and female. I bought the crimp tool with my set as I didn't have a tool with the correct size jaws, the set has hundreds of male and female pins and all the little rubber inserts to keep things water tight. I am pretty impressed although the pins are quite thin and I don't think they would handle the 12 amps that the maker claims. I would rate them at more like 5 amps at best, so they may be marginal for a headlight and totally inadequate for the engine cooling fans. I shall most likely wire the headlights directly with 1/4 inch spade terminals anyway. If I decide to create a sub loom so I can remove the bonnet easily I will double up on the pins used for the low and high beams - that will do the job nicely.

A mate of mine popped over at the weekend and identified my rear lights as being off a mini van, which was nice. I had no idea what they were from, I just felt they were right for the car and give it that retro 1970's look and feel that I am after. Everybody else seems too be using round lights sunk in to the body - nothing wrong with that, they look great but I jus wanted something different - my car, my rules.


Ford prefect hot rod project mini van rear lights
Car / motorcycle multi pin connector kit



Quite a good day's work, I reckon. I'm not in  a hurry, I am doing this for fun and very much enjoying it. Next job is to complete the fuel piping from tank to carbs, I have loads of bits on order eg, fuel pump, tank outlet pipe, pump, clips, brass tee piece and filter. I have already made the metal bits needed to support the filter and pump.

I am currently debating whether to attempt a start of the engine before I take it out to paint the chassis and final fit everything. The new cam needs to be run at 2000 RPM for 20 minutes to bed it in. I don't have an exhaust yet but I reckon it will still be quieter than the BTCC car that my mate Malcolm nigh on deafened we with last week. It's not like I have any nearby neighbours to upset.... 

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