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95 Sprite Rebuild & 16V Conversion


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#1 alchall

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 05:27 PM

So having introduced myself in the "Introduce Yourself" forum (seemed like a sensible place to start) I thought I should start a thread to track the progress of my project.

 

So here is the little fella before any work began sat on my drive....

 

Attached File  Front.jpg   74.66K   59 downloads Attached File  Rear.jpg   63.31K   27 downloads

 

And sat in my newly cleared out garage!

 

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I have a reasonable idea of what I want to do but no doubt this will change as time goes on and new idea's pop into my head, but here's a bit of a rundown of where my head is at right now....

 

Strip it back down to the bare shell (started this, more to follow)

Cut out all the rot replacing panels where appropriate (oh, I probably should learn to weld first before I start on this step! how hard can it possibly be?)

Take it back to bare metal, ensure there's no rust or rot left anywhere and get it professionally painted, it's currently knightfire red but it was originally flame red so am thinking of putting it back to flame red, maybe with a black roof

Ditch the sports pack arches and wheels, these will be replaced with something more modest, I will likely go with 12 inch wheels (style tbd) and maybe group 2 arches

Sub frames to be restored (hopefully not replaced, time will tell) and re-built with new parts where necessary and upgrade the brakes to 4 pot calipers up front

Engine to be re-built and warmed over to a greater or lesser extent, I may get it over bored to 1380 but am currently undecided if I want to go that far or not, and I'll be replacing the ECU with a programmable jobby to get the most out of the upgrades I eventually do decide to make

Gear Box to be refurbished, not sure whether to tackle this job myself or not!

Exterior trim and glass to be refurbished or replaced if refurb isn't worth it

Interior to be completely re-trimmed, not decided exactly where to go with this yet but it's a long way off before I'll need to worry about it

 

I'm giving some consideration to getting the shell acid dipped, I want to be 100% sure I've removed all the rust and to prolong it's life as I don't really intend on selling it at any point in the short term. There seems to be divided opinion on here about whether or not this is a good idea and I'm also not sure if I should do this before I replace any of the obvious rot or afterwards. I'll certainly be glad to hear any thoughts anybody has on this subject.

 

So at the end of the day my intention is that this will be better than it was when it left the factory, certainly upgraded but not wholly out of keeping with the year that it was built, I had considered going retro but talked myself out of that.

 

I shall start a new topic here now with a quick update on the small progress I made this weekend, my updates will be sporadic as I won't be able to work on it every week but will try to keep this thread updated as often as I can, if nothing else so I have a nice record for myself.


Edited by alchall, 03 November 2017 - 06:04 PM.


#2 alchall

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 05:56 PM

So here it is, the progress so far....

 

I spent a few hours over the weekend starting the job of stripping it all back, I even managed to get my better half to join in!

 

I've managed to get most of the interior out which has uncovered some dodgier repair work to the floor than I had anticipated, I knew it had had some repairs done about 10 years ago and I even have some photo's of some of the work being done but until taking the carpets out completely it wasn't clear how badly botched the floors were so some more extensive work will be required here than I had hoped. Carpet and door cards were shot so they've all gone to the tip but I had always intended replacing these with new anyway so no biggy here, quick pic part way through this process....

 

Attached File  Interior.jpg   60.83K   40 downloads

 

I successfully got the fuel tank out without blowing myself up which was a result, slightly trickier job than I had thought though.

 

I managed to remove the windows and lock mechanisms and to get all the glass out, this is where I had some good news, I was anticipating rot along the bottom edges of the windows but other than a couple of spots of surface rust these all look solid, happy days!

 

I also removed the rear arches which uncovered another bit of a botch job on the drivers side arch so it's going to need a repair panel here to put it right. A couple of pics of the current state....

 

Attached File  Front 1.jpg   79.48K   18 downloadsAttached File  Rear 2.jpg   73.51K   36 downloads

 

So far so good, some bits worse, some bits better than I had expected, can't wait to get back on with it now  :w00t:

 

 



#3 lancs-lad

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 07:23 PM

Good luck with the resto

#4 Hendred

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 08:17 PM

Can I give you a little advice?  

 

Well this is what I do, some may agree, some may not.  I wouldn't cut any rust out until you have purchased the new panels so you know exactly what, where and how much to cut out, a nightmare if you cut too much out.  Another reason is you will weld one panel in at a time and then one leads to another sometimes.

 

Especially important if it is your first resto, that's the way I would and have approached it anyway.  

 

Sorry if you already knew/had planned to do that.  

 

Looking forward to following your resto thread.


Edited by Hendred, 12 November 2014 - 08:24 PM.


#5 alchall

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 09:35 PM

Can I give you a little advice?  
 
Well this is what I do, some may agree, some may not.  I wouldn't cut any rust out until you have purchased the new panels so you know exactly what, where and how much to cut out, a nightmare if you cut too much out.  Another reason is you will weld one panel in at a time and then one leads to another sometimes.
 
Especially important if it is your first resto, that's the way I would and have approached it anyway.  
 
Sorry if you already knew/had planned to do that.  
 
Looking forward to following your resto thread.


Thanks for the advice, sounds logical!

#6 Hendred

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 09:38 PM

No worries, keep the photos coming!



#7 Fewtch

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Posted 13 November 2014 - 11:49 PM

Looks like a nice project! Always the worst under the carpets and you find some nice holes.

 

Good luck!



#8 alchall

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 09:24 PM

A quick update on progress, I'm still in the process of dismantling and am nearly ready to remove the engine which is both exciting and daunting at the same time!

Basically the whole of the interior is now out except the steering wheel and pedal box, the engine bay is pretty much completely stripped and all the exterior trim is removed.

Here's a few pictures of the current state of affairs...

Attached File  image.jpg   92.43K   45 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   54.28K   27 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   56.9K   22 downloads

I'll probably post another update in a couple of weeks but I'll be silent until the new year as I'm off on holiday for a few weeks but I'm hoping to be ready to start rot removal when I return in the new year!

#9 Hendred

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 06:57 AM

Good progress there mate

 

I take it your location is near Manchester and not the small Chorley near me in Shropshire?


Edited by Hendred, 26 November 2014 - 07:01 AM.


#10 alchall

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 09:54 AM

Good progress there mate

 

I take it your location is near Manchester and not the small Chorley near me in Shropshire?

 

Cheers, and yes I'm up in the North West.



#11 alchall

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 11:02 AM

A bit more progress over the past couple of weeks, pretty much stripped the engine bay now, only the engine itself to be lifted out,

 

Interior is now completely stripped other than the handbrake, getting the pedal box out was a bit of a job, removing those shear bolts is a bit tricky, I managed to snap a screw extractor in one of them so had to get the grinder out. 

 

I've spent about a day chiseling off the bitumen from the floor this weekend, what a job that was, strangely satisfying though! and I don't know why the factory thought it would be a good idea to lay it before painting the floor, it's straight on top of the e-coat and there's some surface rust starting to appear in the channels so a good thing I hacked it all off.

 

Looks like most of the floor is in excellent condition, will probably just need inner and outer sills and repair sections for both footwells to put right the botched previous repairs, however I have now uncovered some dodgy patch repairs to a couple of area's on the bulkhead but they are fairly small so will cut them out and repair them properly.

 

I was pleased to find the exhaust is a nice stainless Janspeed system which looks to be in really good condition, so I'll see how well it cleans up and I may keep it, the cat however was just an empty can! but I'm a long way from needing to buy a new one yet.

 

And here's the evidence...

 

An empty (well almost) engine bay

Attached File  mini-28.jpg   89.47K   46 downloads

 

The naked floor

Attached File  mini-30.jpg   95.44K   59 downloadsAttached File  mini-29.jpg   97.81K   32 downloads

 

The patchwork foot wells

Attached File  mini-31.jpg   66.64K   55 downloadsAttached File  mini-32.jpg   85.58K   61 downloads

 

If I get chance to take the engine out over the next few days I shall provide an update, if not then I'll be done until the new year as I will be on holiday in New Zealand for the best part of a month over Christmas and New year so the project clearly goes on hold.

 



#12 Hendred

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 02:13 PM

The floor looks nice and solid, straight too as in no one has jacked it up and bent the floor like mine.



#13 alchall

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Posted 08 December 2014 - 05:54 PM

The floor looks nice and solid, straight too as in no one has jacked it up and bent the floor like mine.

 

Yep, just a shame the previous repairs are patches welded over rot rather than the rot having the rot cut out and properly replaced, but it could certainly be a lot worse! 



#14 alchall

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 07:42 PM

Well I'm not sure I'll get anything much done this weekend before I go away so this may be my last post until the new year, anyway, I decided to crack on with some actual restoration rather than demolition and set about cleaning up the exhaust to see how salvageable it might be and I think the answer is very!

 

After degreasing and a giving it a thorough clean I used some wire wool to remove the surface rust where it existed (mainly the centre box), the Dremel to remove the worst of the real ingrained rust spots (mainly on the pipe between the boxes) various grades of wet and dry on the hard to reach areas, and this cheap polishing kit from Halfords on the not so hard to reach areas - http://www.halfords....l-polishing-kit I was pretty pleased with that cheap kit, using it was where the hard work was put in but it was certainly worth it and it will come in handy elsewhere as the project progresses.

 

Here is the result of my labours, I'm pretty pleased with the outcome......

 

Attached File  mini-34.jpg   63.05K   56 downloadsAttached File  mini-35.jpg   63.94K   48 downloads

 

It's a shame I didn't think to do a before photograph but if you use your imagination it was like this only covered in black filth and rust, I'm pretty pleased with how it's come up so will be hanging onto this and giving it a final buff before fitting.

 

The only place that's not great is where Ive had to grind off rust but it's not exactly going to be very visible under there!

 

Attached File  mini-36.jpg   62.62K   46 downloads

 



#15 Hendred

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Posted 13 December 2014 - 08:26 AM

Wow that looks awesome






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