My 3500S Restoration Project


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Really good work there. Do you plan to do any upgrades to your engine, I guess you need new rockers anyway.
One tip seeing you have replaced parts of your gutter railing is to ensure the it is even on the top. That makes it easier to install the stainless steel railing without distorting it. How do I know? Well I got a small dent in mine when I installed it and I had replaced some of the gutter too. Quite annoying when you have a new stainless steel rail.
Regards, Barten
Yes, i would hate to dent the gutter rails when i eventually get round to putting them back on. Fortunately i only had to replace short sections so i was able to leave enough each side to give me a good line to work to, only time will tell.


Active Member
great work there, I want to replicate the underside paint job on my car.

what is the treatment for the engine? have you though have having it ice blasted?
I am fortunate to have won a large de-greaser on ebay for next to nothing, and i had 25 ltr of bilge cleaner which i had kicking around for years which is a brilliant de-greaser shame the labels are long gone as i would gladly buy it again. As you can see from the pictures below it did a fair job.


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So here is whats i have been up to.

I'm happy with the de-greasing results, but it would not take the tarnishing off the inside.

I took the block and crank to my nearest engineering shop for inspection and it turns out that the bottom end has had a rebuild at some point and just polished the crank and re-honed the cylinders. Although the bearings and piston rings looked good i will replace them whilst i have it stripped down.

Unfortunately, the engineers shop were not familiar with machining the block to fit a rubber oil seal.
So i decided to go with the rope seal. This is a bitch of a job, it took all day to press and crush the seal a bit at a time, then turn the crank, then remove and re-lubricate it and start again gradually increasing the pressure on the bolts and using a sash cramp to keep the end cap square as it would tilt using the bolts alone. There's no way you could ever do this with the crank in situ, its far too thick.

Next was the cylinder heads, i bought some later heads off eBay which were in pretty good shape. I made a jerry built jig so that i could press the old valve stems out and new ones in. with the aid of a 10 ton jack it worked surprisingly well.


New valve stems and oils seals in place.

New springs and valves fitted using the old spring caps and colletts. The valve and seats were re-seated the old way.

Bit of a jump as the pictures between these 2 didn't save for some reason. still it saves you getting bored.
At this point nearly everything is re-fitted, i upgraded the timing cover and oil pump with an one from a SD1 which is a straight swap and has the bonus of a rubber oil seal.
New cam shaft and bearings were also fitted.

Next it was the turn of the carbs, a complete strip down and new carb service kits from Mark Gray whether they needed it or not, who knows.

Now fully assembled, i decided to upgrade the air filters as the old air box had rusted through in places.
Work on the gear box is about to commence, i was hoping to replace the 4 speed box with a 5 speed SD1 box, but in over a year of watching they never seem to come up for sale in my area and looking at the price people are asking i'm not sure it warrants the money?


Well-Known Member
Work on the gear box is about to commence, i was hoping to replace the 4 speed box with a 5 speed SD1 box, but in over a year of watching they never seem to come up for sale in my area and looking at the price people are asking i'm not sure it warrants the money?
It depends on the price people are asking, but it's a very worthwhile conversion, and the 4 speed is weak, and parts are had to come by. The rear bearing alone is £174, and laygears unobtainable. I've heard of one new laygear surfacing in the last 30 years or so.

As for the 5 speed, there are lots of boxes about used for sensible money, it was the V8 bellhousing that was hard to come by, but Rimmers have had these remade and they sell them for £300+VAT IIRC, which will reduce the price of the used ones.


Active Member
It´s well known know, that the LT77 box is required for many modifications, so prices here in Germany are approx 350-500 EUR for the box only. Harvey is right, it´s the bell housing (and the correct one), but more problems now makes the gear-selector unit on the box (the tricky sellers take it off) and (very expensive) the gear-stick and the pedal box.
2nd hand bellhousing (at mine the slave cyl housing was cut off and closed with an alu cover, ok...) and the rest quickly adds for another 400-500. Took me one year of intensive search to get all. in the Netherlands currently offers a overhauled LT77 box for a very fair price. Interesting site and guy, he is driving a Rallye P6.


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Things are starting to come together.
I have currently decided to keep the original 4 speed gearbox as people are asking the earth for LT77 gearbox's with the bell housing which are probably as worn out as the one i already have, and bell housings alone are priced as if they are made of gold.
I stripped the gearbox for a close inspection, the oil was very clean with no visible metallic flakes.
All the gears and selectors etc look in really good condition with no obvious signs of wear and move smoothly, there is around 2-3mm play when rotating the drive shaft backwards and forwards.
The lay shaft whilst overall looked very good, there is some curious pitting to 1 face of the cogs, the face and edges look good and true and the mating cogs on the other shaft has no pitting?
A replacement shaft is non existent so as the mating faces in profile look good i will have to put it back for now.
The casing looks good, i will replace the bearings to be on the safe side.
Nearly reassembled.
Inside the bell housing.
I made new gear link bushes (the originals were long gone) with hard nylon blocks which were shaped, bonded and bolted into the housing.
The other side.
New clutch with a snug fit bolt and socket as an alignment tool.
Engine lifted.
Gearbox fitted.
Nearly ready to install :)


Well-Known Member
The pitting on the laygear is normal. I've seen better and I've seen worse, but at least with yours the body of the tooth seems to be all there. Your remote selector rod bushes look like a good solution to a very common problem.


Active Member
when I look at all this really nice quality of work and good ideas, just have a look on your carb filter arrangement. In Des Hammill s "how to power tune..." it´s recommended to use the standard elbows and then the K&N or similar high flows. Between the filters an air separataion plate should be mounted to prevent interference. This arrangement gave significantly more power (on an already modified 3.9) than yours.


Active Member
This is looking really good and will be a car to be proud of! I wish I had the time/space/money to do the same to mine :( One day...
Thank,s its very satisfying work.
As for Time, yes its is a major issue. Space is a luxury, i just wish the building was more weather tight. Money, i am beginning to wonder if my pockets are deep enough?


Active Member
Time for another update.
Frustratingly the engine has sat like this for around 4 weeks due to family and work commitments.

Finally on its way.

A little closer.

Nearly there.

The next couple of pictures didn't come out, think its time for a new phone.
I decided to upgrade the power steering pump as recommended in an issue of the driving force. i have gone for the Astra pump as suggested, I made sure i got one with the mounting bracket which can be welded or bolted to the existing chassis.

From another angle.

Here is a quick reminder of before.

Nearly done, some of you may notice i have altered the filter set up as suggested mgb_tuli which looks better as well.
New exchange radiator fitted and filled with fluid to test for leaks.
2017-06-09 15.00.39.jpg

Another View. Could not resist putting on some labels as it just did not look right without them.

2017-06-09 15.00.48.jpg

2017-05-25 15.30.28.jpg
Next will be the exhaust, i have the car sat on blocks of wood with deflated tyres so it wont move, giving me about an extra foot to crawl about underneath.
I am planning to fit a Huco electric fuel pump, then i need to sort out how to wire the electric power steering pump, knowing my limitations i am going to need guidance with the electrics.
Thanks for reading. D