Saturday, March 14, 2009

Turning point

After a few more evenings in the shed, the GT6 has finally been stripped down to the chassis. It's straight and rust-free, so will get sandblasted and painted next week. After that comes the ceremonial turning of the ratchet, when I start screwing bits together again.

In the meantime the body and mechanical components are tucked in the garage so the Herald can nest in the middle. Small cars are great - once the GT6's shell gets reunited with the chassis I'll still be able to tuck it sideways in the back of the garage and wheel it out to work on it.

With the exception of one piece of the wooden dash and the steering rack, I now have all the parts required to convert the car to right hand drive. Time to practice my welding skills.

The reassembled car will have a few improvements built in. The gearbox's magnetic drain plug held a significant amount of swarf and a needle roller. She can't have been running too well at the end! A popular upgrade is a Ford Type 9 five-speed box. Triumph diffs are known for their fragility, so I'll fit a Subaru 3.7 LSD which just happens to be sitting on my shelf. The rotoflex couplings are another weak link (see above), so the Subaru diff will be connected to Datsun sliding spline halfshafts (they bolt together).

I'd hoped to be able to run the existing engine for a year or two before rebuilding and upgrading it, but the crankshaft has about a half millimetre of fore - aft movement, signalling worn thrust bearings. I'll check their condition before making a final decision, but if the thrusts are worn, chances are the rest of the engine is pretty tired too. The engine can stay in the garage for now, though, as restoring the bodyshell is top priority. It'll be much nicer to rebuild an engine with a beautiful painted and trimmed car waiting to receive it.


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