Ford Prefect v8 Hot Rod Progress

Published on 6 June 2024 at 11:21

The dash is starting to come together, it's mostly held in loosely at the moment as I figure things out. Everything now fits, the heater bix is in place, as is the wiper mechanism. The floor won't get welded any further back until the exhaust is in place, it's much easier to do all the fitting from the top with the floor not fitted.

Testing the electrics, the Sony head unit was given to me by a friend that scrapped his car, sadly red is the only colour you can set for the display. It's weird as the model below and the model above can both be switched to blue. Oh well, I shall live with it, I know it sounds excellent as I have the same one in my Mini. Everything in this photo is working, more on a little problem I encountered in the nest exciting episode.

At last, after many months of inactivity I have been able to put some time in to the hot rod, time that I have enjoyed enormously, despite some major frustrations. I had stopped a few months back when I couldn't work out how to do the exhaust. I took a fresh look at it as a result of finding a pair of brand new Jag XJ6 mid silencers for just 15 quid at an auto jumble. Another 26 quid got me a length of 48mm diameter stainless pipe and some offcuts of thick steel plate allowed me to make a couple of flanges so I could bolt the lot up to the Rover's manifolds. To complete the job I needed a couple of rubber mounts and some round bar to act as hangers. The breakthrough was a u shaped stainless pipe that I could cut in half to give me the 90 degree ish bend that I needed. It's all come out rather well, the exhaust should flow nicely as it's very straight and simple, I may need too add a couple of db killers though, I won't know until I get it started.

Things got a bit bad tempered when I came to fit the wiper mechanism, it came off some little Fiat or other, I picked it up at an auto jumble for 15 quid or thereabouts, can't remember now, it was a good while back. I had worked out how to connect it to the Corsa switch, it has to self park for the IVA test, which required the use of a relay. I had worked it out but couldn't remember for the life of me how I had done it. I had written it down but couldn't find where. The book turned up eventually and as soon as I saw the diagram I remembered how it all worked. Fitting the bloody thing proved to be rather more difficult than I had hoped. There were two sets of holes had been drilled in to the scuttle, I say drilled, looks like somebody had used a rat with bionic teeth to do it. Both sets had to be filled, not easy as I could not get access to the underside and it's double skinned. Much careful welding was required and a skim of filler to finish it off, I must say it has come out better than expected. New holes were drilled and threaded bar was welded to the rear to act as mounting points. All that went wonderfully well until I attempted to fit the upper dash panel, now the speedo wouldn't fit. Sod it to sodding soddery, I had to cut the upper dash frame off and will have to come up with another solution. I think I know what I am going to do but will come to it later, as first the sheeting of the center console and floor needs to be done.

The sheeting is all basic metal work, nothing exciting but it's big pieces so it doesn't take long before the progress looks more significant than it is. I'm not welding it all down yet as I want to make sure the exhaust is all ok while I have easy access to it, once the panels are welded I can only access it from underneath, not ideal.

All of the wiring is now done except for the engine fans, the rear fog, reverse light and number plate light. Everything is tested and working, as soon as I can find the lights I want it's just a matter of terminating the wires, which have already been run. I also need to run the speaker cables and a control wire for the sub woofer amp.

I found another problem or two that needed dealing with, one was the propshaft rubbing on the center console framing, the other was a sticky brake caliper. The propshaft issue was sorted with some cutting and re-welding, the caliper needs a service kit. It hasn't enjoyed being sat for 6 months, it was working perfectly but now it is sticking on one side, which is really annoying. A service kit is cheap enough but I hate having to do stuff like that as my workshop time is limited and I want to be making progress rather than re-visiting stuff that I thought was done. Oh well, I guess it's the nature of the beast.

My Mate's Ferrari has now passed it's IVA test, doing that was valuable as I learnt all sorts of things to avoid when preparing and presenting a car, one such example being to have the speed sensor on the rear wheels rather than the front. Some test centers have calibrated rollers that have to be powered by the car being tested so if the sensor is on the front they can't test the calibration. You can fit it on the propshaft as well but then you have to take in to account the ratio of the rear diff when working out how many pulses per mile you get. It's no big deal, it's only maths but it can catch out the unwary and at 90 quid for a retest and a 2 hour drive each way it's not much fun.

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