My 3500S Restoration Project

This is really impressive stuff, one of the very best restorations I have seen so far on here (if anywhere)! Can't wait to see it done. Sadley I lost the space a few years back for the work I wanted to do myself on mine. The guy I was recommended by a mutual friend to do it made a really bad mess of the bits he did bodge,. Now just left in a lock up until I decide what to do with its sad remains. Yours will hopefully be one of the best out there and you deserve to enjoy every moment of driving / showing her once done.
 

iwish

Active Member
Guys,
Due to ongoing health issues my last update was back in July, i do apologise for not replying to your comments but getting motivated has been difficult.

I have managed a little progress when mind and body have been willing, which i will update you on soon.

In answer to Jörg "Did you make any supports for the filter elbows ?" No i simply removed the carburettor body and drilled and tapped 3 raised head machine screws in each. I have kept the original filter box so that the car can be restored to original build if necessary.

In answer to Barten "Can you tell us a little bit more about the astra servo pump conversion?" At present no, i have not resolved how to wire this, when i am satisfied that all is OK i will update you accordingly. However, my current thinking is it is not looking like such a good idea, Despite being recommended in the Feb 2014 issue of Driving Force it does not go into any detail on the wiring, nor does it tell you that to get a new hydrolic hose made up would cost £124 without any wiring , fuses or relays that may be required. I am currently considering reverting back to the original pump arrangement.

Ron, GRTV8, GHCE, CBV8 & RichL your comments are encouraging.

Regards
 

iwish

Active Member
As it it is now the 5th anniversary since buying the car its about time i made the effort to post some updates.

The next task was to fit the exhaust pipe, I opted to go with a new stainless system from Wins. I had a few issues with the new exhaust, firstly i had to cut 32mm off one of the drop pipes to get the two pipes to slot together and for the fixing plate to line up under the gearbox.
Then after getting the rest of the system together i found that one of the welds had not been fully completed which is blowing. The other slight problem is the rear silencer is touching the top link which i am hoping will clear when i get some of the weight back on the car.

This shows the faulty welding at the Y joint, i decided to remove the exhaust rather than try to weld it in position.
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Rear top link touching
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The rear silencer
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Sound deadening now going in
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For some reason i have lost all of the pictures for the carpet & underlay going in. I bought the carpet set from Coverdales, which is quite challenging to put in, every piece except the main loose floor mats were over size which really didn't need to be which makes it difficult to know which edge to line up before cutting. The outer cill carpets are difficult to get nice at the A-post and the one piece tunnel carpet is also a pig to get looking nice.

Now outside under its own steam for the first time in years.
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Another view of the interior, yes as you can see these are not the correct seats.
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A shot from behind
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A shot from the front.
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Its starting to take shape. The only issue at present is the clutch is juddering badly, hopefully i can slip the clutch for a while to bed it in?
 
I agree bite size chunks is the way to go . I was once rebuilding a Morris Minor and lost motivation after taking the whole thing apart and had a garage full of bits , so much so that I couldn't get round the car to work on it. Eventually I sold it as a Kit!
Take lots of pictures and bag and label every part and fixing you take off as I did with my P4. It made a world of difference when I eventually rebuilt it 3 years later after moving house! Also for a bit of motivation, if you can, complete some part as you go along so you can see a difference .
 

iwish

Active Member
Thanks Guys, due to ill health i have been pushing things on when ever i can,

I bought a sand blaster from eBay and used kiln dried sand which gave a gentle strip, as i have found out since it was a little too gentle.
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Another view, it took several days and is already showing signs of surface rust on the newly stripped panels. Doing this again i would strip and epoxy prime each panel one by one as by the time i got round to priming them they all had to be cleaned of rust again.
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The only area to blow through completely was one front wing. However i was soon to find out that the fine sand which left deep pitting where the rust was removed was not deep enough, i can only think that rust must have been left in micro pores as i now have a few areas of rust bubbles coming through my finished paint.
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Section cut out for repair, you can see the bronze appearance of the surface rust staring to form in a matter of a few days.
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New patch complete, you can see a few pin holes just to the bottom left of the new patch in the area that's been grinded. I treated this with Phos clean A acid from rust buster then gave a coat of FE123 which i thought would be good enough, again i now have blisters in the paint where these holes were treated. I have come to the conclusion that these treatments are not a permanent fix.
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Some of the body panels now painted and ready for fitting over the next few days hopefully. Each panel had 1 coat epoxy primer, 3 coats white cellulose primer and 6 coats of cellulose top coat. then after around 3 weeks they were rubbed down first with 1500 then 2000 grit wet and dry and finished off with Farecla Profile 200 then 300 grade compound and then 3M Ultrafina SE compound. I will give the paint a final buff and polish once the panels have been fitted back on the car. You can just see on the left wall where i constructed a condensation and oil droplet filter system for my air compressor which worked great.
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Sadly the bonnet is not a good as it looks in the picture, it was quite badly buckled in where it had stuff chucked on it over many years in storage, whilst the panels popped back out it still show wavy lines and flexes very easily when you touch the surface making it impossible to fill and sand down. Ideally i would source a replacement, the only problem is it will not fit in the back of my car, so i will live with the one i have for now.
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As soon as boxing day is over i will push on with fitting the panels as i have a very tight agenda before starting lengthy medical treatment in the new year.

Merry Christmas to you all.
 
a great job, considering your ongoing heath issues.
I wonder if the bonnet has been in a fire, that would seriously weaken the whole structure and could have been covered up by
previous painting ?
Peter
 

iwish

Active Member
a great job, considering your ongoing heath issues.
I wonder if the bonnet has been in a fire, that would seriously weaken the whole structure and could have been covered up by
previous painting ?
Peter
I guess anything is possible, there certainly is no signs of it ever having any fire, i have pictures of the car with the bonnet propped up and buried in rubbish, i think it has just been bashed around and distorted from being left up for years, There was lots of stuff wedged between the bonnet and windscreen From the limited history that came with the car i know it has been in here since the end of July 1986
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iwish

Active Member
Well its been a busy couple of weeks getting the car back together, which was not as straight forward as first thought.

First to get fitted was the front scuttle panel, as this was original to the car it went straight back on.

Next was the rear deck panel which came from a doner car via eBay, no problems with the panel but despite hours of playing i could not get the new window rubber to sit properly at the 2 ends which just keeps distorting upwards leaving a rippled effect and gaps against the glass. Not sure what the answer is to correct this?

Next was the rear wings and boot, the wings were not original to the car. Fixing new rubber seals is a pretty straight forward job but many hours were spent shimming and reaming out bolt holes to try and get the joint lines against the boot nice. I don't like the vertical gaps between the valance and the wings but from what i have seen they are all like that?

Next task was the doors, the rear near side door like the wings had to be replaced as it was too far gone, hanging and aligning the doors was fairly straight forward apart from no amount of slamming them would crush the new door rubbers sufficiently to allow them to catch the keeps. I decided to bite the bullet and buy a second set of door rubbers from Wadhams as reading posts on the forum suggested they were softer than others. The original set came from Wins, when comparing the 2 sets together the rubbers from Wins were a lot stiffer and stood 2mm higher and i had to cut 1mm off each side of the tongue to get them to fit the track, the Wadhams rubbers were a doddle to fit in comparison and the doors shut nicely.

Next was the window frames, the trickiest thing is cutting the window rubbers along the quarter lights. I bought these from Wadhams, they are not quite the same thickness as the originals and do not have the rounded front edge, but they are nice and soft and easy to cut. However, to get the frames to line nicely with the door pillars and roof line i am getting a gap between the rubber and the glass for a few inches before it meets the quarter lights on the rear and the same above the door handles to the front doors. Not sure what the answer is to correct this?

The door cards again from a later car as is the rest of the interior went on OK, although i would like to renew the hard board at a latter date as they are a little ripples along the edges.

Front wings next, again not original to the car actually bolted on first time without any problems, as did the front valance, again i don't like the vertical gaps between the wings.

The dreaded bonnet was next, not an easy thing to line up. As thought the gaps to the wings are horrible as is the line along the under side to the front grill.

Finally the 2 cills, i bought these separately on eBay, the near side is great the drivers side is not pressed properly, its does not come out to line with the door faces and has no indentations where the underside fixings are and ended up with a 6mm gap along the whole length, a definite candidate for replacement at a later date.

A small dilemma with which wheels?
I thought it safer to let the wife decide.
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Getting ready to venture outside
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Nearly out.
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The front
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Rear view
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The boot, new carpet and millboard
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Back in garage, the drive was as far as it got.
You can see the bonnet joint and gaps between the grill.
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There was one other job, as the service history is 32 years old and bears no resemblance to where the car is now i decided to try and re-set the mileage. Alarmingly this is very easy to do. You cannot see the foam gap seal when in the driving position.
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The first venture outside was basically a disaster, despite trying to slip the clutch to try and stop the judder there clearly is something wrong so its out with the engine to investigate. Also the power steering box is leaking quite badly from the bottom despite replacing all the rubber seals etc.

At least as of this morning medically things are in remission so i will be able to push on with the clutch and power steering work. and hopefully get on the road again soon.
 

cobraboy

Well-Known Member
Before pulling the motor …….. Clutch judder is usually oil contamination, why not buy a can of aerosol brake cleaner with a straw and see if you can spray the clutch through the bellhousing, either through the clutch fork hole or elsewhere.
If it is a main seal weeping, it may get better when warmed up. The other trick is to warm the clutch by slipping it, getting it hot can clean the surface and the judder sorts itself out. Got to be worth a try !

The reason that your panels may not fit as well as they could may be because you blasted them. I made that mistake and blasted some of mine, my front scuttle panel changed shape and now does not fit well, could be why you are struggling with the rear deck.
As you say your bonnet may have been deformed over time by weighty stuff being stored on it.
At the end of the day you have a great looking car, just get out and enjoy it at every opportunity.
 

mrtask

Well-Known Member
Iwish, that looks excellent! Pat yourself on the back!
I know just how much fun it is trying to get the panels mounted again without damaging the shiny new paintwork, and getting the gaps right! I had to fit some washers under the driver side bonnet hinge to close up the letterbox-sized gap to the top of the wing on the other side. Tight joins between the front and rear valance and the wings eluded me too. Cobraboy might well be right about deformation during sandblasting, I think my front wings 'bowed' outwards a wee bit too.
The wheel choice was the right one. Cracking.
 

iwish

Active Member
Before pulling the motor …….. Clutch judder is usually oil contamination, why not buy a can of aerosol brake cleaner with a straw and see if you can spray the clutch through the bellhousing, either through the clutch fork hole or elsewhere.
If it is a main seal weeping, it may get better when warmed up. The other trick is to warm the clutch by slipping it, getting it hot can clean the surface and the judder sorts itself out. Got to be worth a try !

The reason that your panels may not fit as well as they could may be because you blasted them. I made that mistake and blasted some of mine, my front scuttle panel changed shape and now does not fit well, could be why you are struggling with the rear deck.
As you say your bonnet may have been deformed over time by weighty stuff being stored on it.
At the end of the day you have a great looking car, just get out and enjoy it at every opportunity.
Yes, i did consider trying brake cleaner but could not see how i could get this between the clutch plate with any certainty, so i am pretty much resigned to the fact that i will need to pull the engine out. I do know that the rope seal is weeping and will get a rubber lip seal machined in this time.

I was very wary of distorting the panels when blasting them and kept an eye of the panel surface for any sign of buckling, everything looked good at the time but now painted there are a couple of spots that do look like they are slightly rippled. The rear deck panel looks good and straight its the new rubber that is causing me issues.

I cannot wait to get out on the road as the last time i drove a P6 was in 1981.
 

iwish

Active Member
Iwish, that looks excellent! Pat yourself on the back!
I know just how much fun it is trying to get the panels mounted again without damaging the shiny new paintwork, and getting the gaps right! I had to fit some washers under the driver side bonnet hinge to close up the letterbox-sized gap to the top of the wing on the other side. Tight joins between the front and rear valance and the wings eluded me too. Cobraboy might well be right about deformation during sandblasting, I think my front wings 'bowed' outwards a wee bit too.
The wheel choice was the right one. Cracking.
Yes i think you may be right about the sand blasting as i think my front wings look like they are bowing out slightly compared to the bonnet line. I like the wheels too, these are in original condition there was so little kerbing that i could not see the point in getting them refurbished. An eBay bargain at £90 for the rims.
 
Hi there,
Loved your informative rant of refitting everything, and the wheels were the right choice...good wheels, good wife.:)
Quote:
There was one other job, as the service history is 32 years old and bears no resemblance to where the car is now i decided to try and re-set the mileage. Alarmingly this is very easy to do .

how did you do that? ;)

Peter
 
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