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IanMc

Polar White and Rust - a restoration epic, can it even be done?

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Hi all,

Firstly, hello to anyone here who might still remember me - I'm back after about 6 years away...

Anyone who has ever owned one of these cars probably knows very well that it is difficult to leave - these cars just get under your skin. Even worse every passing year makes the rose tinted spectacles more rosey and the problems previously encountered fade to the back of the memory :lol:

I sold my last (Yellow) Cavalier Coupe and have honestly regretted it ever since. Well now I have just bought another Cav and this one is in a real mess to be honest, but it is at least complete. There now starts what I know will be a very long journey to try to drag this thing back to the road - at least that is the intention before I get stuck in. Perhaps I may run out of skill or money, but I'm going to give it a shot.

I'm off on holiday now for two weeks, so nothing will happen for a while. But as soon as I get back I will post some starting photos and report on any progress made at fairly regular intervals.

This forum and its members will be an invaluable source of information, and encouragement - so thanks in advance to you all.

Take care, back soon.

ps The new 'car' is a 1979 2.0 Cavalier GLS Coupe Automatic - yes an auto!

 

 

 

Edited by IanMc
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2 hours ago, zublet said:

Got any pictures of your project Ian?

No, sorry. We are off on holiday tomorrow and we are nowhere near to being organised, so that is the priority I am afraid.

 

 

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The problem iv find is not getting the parts that's the easy part but long headaches over time buying them . But the big problem is apart rebuilding is the storage costs , I'd love some one to start mine , but never again . Mines in pieces but the satisfaction knowing iv got one the better . And not having one the more argue I feel . And more so all them I payed penny's for back in the 1980s I feel a idiot .

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First update:

Yesterday the car was delivered on the back of a low loader, delivered to our door by a specialist classic car transport company.

For anyone interested I used Classic Rally Services and they charged me a VERY modest £165 to collect the car from Gosport and deliver it to me in Braintree.

So as it stands the car owes me  a total of £465.....

My Son used his muscles last night to help me push it into the garage (after relegating my MGF to the driveway :(), so at least the Cavalier is now warm and dry.

After a very quick inspection last night, I report as follows:

Welding a patch plate or a new panel is required to:

N/S sill

N/S wing

N/S rear arch

Roof ‘rib’ each side of rear screen where it meets the rear quarters.

Spare wheel well

Boot floor back corners (behind rear wheels)

Boot lid rotted through on return/lip - definitely beyond repair!

The good news...

The car is complete, except one small piece of side trim, it even still has the original radio fitted and no additional speakers have been added in the doors, footwells or parcel shelf.

Chassis rails, swan necks, battery tray, headlight to inner wing area and jacking points all appear to be OK on the N/S - not been able to check O/S yet. Cavaliers seem to fair better than Manta’s in these areas.

Sincere thanks to Hatch for the parts collected today, these will be very useful!!

Photos to follow at the weekend.

Have a good evening everyone.

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Update:

Pottered about doing a few bits and bobs this weekend.

1) Removed rear bumper (which is shot to bits) and inspected the rot in the boot a bit closer. This doesn't seem as bad as I had first thought as the spare well wont need to be replaced, only patched. The two corners behind the rear wheel can also be patched.

2) Connected up a spare battery to see what worked, assuming nothing... To my great surprise and delight the following functioned:

OS headlamp (NS was disconnected anyway), Horn, Radio, OSF indicator, Clock, Wipers, Washers, Volt gauge, hand brake warning lamp, Oil pressure gauge.

3) Sanded the (light) surface rust off the roof with my orbital sander - this made the car look way better in half an hour.

4) In a spare hour this afternoon polished up the chrome wheel trim rings.

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

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Could one of you lovely people please upload a photo of the ignition connections under the bonnet i.e. coil and dizzy so that I can try to make some sense of what a previous owner has left me to deal with.

At the moment I appear to have some missing cable(s) and cables of the wrong colour in the area...

Thanks in advance.

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Here is a few photos of the mess, err sorry I mean the car.

Everything is fixable given enough: time, money, patience and skill... (I hope).

Curiously the passenger side seems to far worse than the drivers side. I can only assume that this was due to the way or location it had been stored. The seats look far dirtier than they really are in the photo due to the shadows cast on them from my garage lighting.

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Edited by IanMc

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You got the deep red dash & binnacle that I had on mine, shame that the thing has split round the speaker holes (as usual).

 

Good luck with that little lot.

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I have plenty of time and patience, but I might struggle with the money and the skill bits   :)

Edited by IanMc

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My plan for the next couple of months is as follows:

- up until Christmas, potter about doing jobs I can easily and cheaply finish i.e. refurbing badges, wheels, wiper arms etc etc

- keep adding to my 'Christmas list'. At the moment this consists mainly of tools and bits and bobs that I need to get stuck into the bodywork i.e. fire extinguisher, welding blanket, sheet metal nibbler etc. I have a pretty extensive set of tools built up over 35 years, but some items I just haven't needed before. 

- from Christmas attempt some of the basic bodywork repairs/welding & fabrication - thats when things will get really interesting...

The chrome wheel rings came up pretty well with Autosol:

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

Edited by IanMc

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 That wheel looks good with the chrome trim, it was only the higher spec models that had the black and Silver finnish to the ROstyle wheels, lesser models got all silver, though i have seen a singe wheel in what appeared to be factory all over black, perhaps this was a replacement bought from a dealer.

 I notice behind the passenger headlamp you have the rare plug lead cover, that has to go back on.

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On 14/11/2017 at 18:54, IanMc said:

I decided to try something a little different with the original wheels - just Black Hammerite (hammered finish) with the chrome rings and centre caps.

Think they look OK to be honest.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Look pretty good with the chrome trim :thumbup 

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Remember in the book & film Christine by Stephen King, Arnie started off doing the little jobs like replacing wiper blades....

 

The car did the rest itself..... Ohhh spooky.

Er, I wouldn't rely on that happening though. :rolleyes:

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This evenings little update....

Removed the rocker cover to:

1) Prep it for paint.

2) See if there were any clues to the reported 'valve problem'

Here is the underside of the rocker cover - 38 years of accumulated grot

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

Some work with good old Gunk soon sorted that little lot out!

Next I took at look at the rockers and tappets etc - and found this first - anyone got a spare, or should/could I weld it? - thoughts and comments please!

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

Then I spotted what must be the offending valve, which seems to be stuck down/open

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

So.... surely its got to be off with its head hasn't it? - unless somebody can suggest another path?

Before I retired I thought I would give the rocker cover and oil filler cap and quick lick of Hammerite.

Cheers for now.

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

 

Project images are available to Club Members Only, Click to become an OMOC Member.

Sorry, forgot to add that I was able to turn the engine on the crank about 1/2 turn in each direction before I hit a stop - presumably our friend the valve?

The good news is the engine was very easy to turn on the crank.

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I found this video, I was thinking of giving it a go - any comments?

At this moment, I don't think I have much to loose by trying it...

 

 

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Sorry, not something I would do. Also cause I'm a professional mecanic.

I would take of the head, so you can check the piston. And when the valve is damaged you can make it worser 

and damage the valve seat if you try it the You-tube-way.

Taking of the head gives you the possibility to grind the valves again and replace the valve stem seals (yes it has to be done).

And taking of the head is not diffucult with a CIH engine, made once a photoserie "how to", if you (or someone else) is interested 

I will post it on this forum.

 

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What a load of crap.  Just get that head off and do a proper job, it's always cheaper in the end.

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23 minutes ago, H-400 said:

Sorry, not something I would do. Also cause I'm a professional mecanic.

I would take of the head, so you can check the piston. And when the valve is damaged you can make it worser 

and damage the valve seat if you try it the You-tube-way.

Taking of the head gives you the possibility to grind the valves again and replace the valve stem seals (yes it has to be done).

And taking of the head is not diffucult with a CIH engine, made once a photoserie "how to", if you (or someone else) is interested 

I will post it on this forum.

 

Thanks Herman, I had actually been think about this on and off during the day and decided to take the head off anyway.

Its a great opportunity to do a full decoke at the same time.

I have a workshop manual (and I did this about 25 years ago with my first Cav Coupe), so it doesn't hold any fears to be honest.

Don't think I will get time this weekend, so it may turn into one of those 'bit at a time' evening jobs.

Of course I will keep you posted.

2 minutes ago, Julian said:

What a load of crap.  Just get that head off and do a proper job, it's always cheaper in the end.

Agreed lol

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