Pooh Bear - The great works continue

Having been locked down at home for a few weeks now I have managed to get some work done on Pooh despite YouTube, TV and sleeping. I have built the lower radiator support but am not happy with it so (obviously) I will be remaking it next week once I can raid the metal store again. the Radiator is in the right spot but the cowl fouls the bottom so I have designed a more elegant solution.
I have finally got a proper welder! It is a proper gas job with all sorts of great features, some of which I have even figured out how to use!!!!!! I am still getting it set up and dialled in so please excuse my shoddy welding in the photos. Feel free to be amazed by my skills with the grinder and flappy wheel that disguise the worst mistakes however!
I have spent the day fabricating a new recess for the fuel filler. I have had a really nice race style one knocking about the shed for about 6 years now, and have finally got around to fitting it. It came out reasonably well, despite me stuffing up my settings and burning the odd hole here and there. There are still a few little pinholes in evidence but, racecar. I ran out of time today so shot a little weld through primer over the work to stop it rusting. I will sort them out in due course when I repaint the whole car, for the second time. There is still the top radiator mount to build, with the front cross support, but that is a job for next week.
The front cowl has been hacked about and has an opening that is about 15% bigger than stock, which is more than 10% bigger! This was achieved by the proper engineering principle of hitting it with hammers until it was the right size. This should allow more hot Aussie air in to cool the new radiator, which just fits under the bonnet. I really do mean just fits as there is probably 3mm between the underside of the bonnet and the front of the rad. I have tried to free up some more space with the redesign. Stay tuned for more...…………….. New welder.JPG Pooh Front cowl enlarged hole.JPG Pooh new filler 1.JPG Pooh new filler hole.JPG Pooh new filler.JPG Pooh radiator just fits.JPG
I have a new oil filter relocation kit on the way with a thermostat. This will be going in the passenger side front where the power steering pump normally lives. I am fitting an electric power steering pump out of a Holden Astra (a Vauxhall I believe in other parts). This is compact, cheap and only requires 2 wires to make it work. I have checked and it should provide all the flow the old Rover system needs. I just need to get to the wreckers once we are allowed to leave our homes.
Thats about it for now but I will try and update when I do something that is noteworthy.
More work today. Remade the bottom radiator mount, and modified the bumper hangers to something more useful. I am almost embarrassed to show my efforts with the stock lower radiator guard. It has taken a few big knocks in its life, and was awful, and my efforts really didn't improve matters. The new support will be much further back and tighter to the rad, this will allow me to us the front cowl in a (mostly) unmolested form, apart from the new bigger hole in the font.
I think I may have just about got my welder dialed in as my welds no longer look like snot. I turns out my wire speed was too high.....or low, and my voltage was too high...……..or too low, and my travel speed was too slow...….....or too fast. Whatever it was I have got a setting and rhythm that seems to result in nice clean welds rather than splatter.
New lower support vs old one 1.JPG
New lower support vs old one.JPG Old vs modified vs first attempt 1.JPG Old vs modified vs first attempt.JPG This photo is the proposed exhaust outlet location. I just have to replace the floor, make a set of headers (my engine has a set of big port heads so stock no longer cuts it), and join the outlet and the headers. So not much then! It keeps me amused and gives me something to plan for once the rest of the work is done.
Hope everyone is keeping busy and looking after themselves. I have found that being made to stay at home is a great excuse to work on the car. I prevents me eating too much, and keeps me exercised moving steel around the workshop.
Guy Exhaust location.JPG Exhaust stickout.JPG


Well-Known Member
All good stuff.
I managed to get a thermostatic sandwich plate in the stock location, and have a 19 row oil cooler in front of the stock rad, behind a stock front valance, so it will all fit, but it is tight.
I like your side exit pipe, I used 2" all the way through and think the exit looks a bit weedy. I may try and find a nice oval for the end and incorporate a resonator just back from that out of sight.
Keep aware of ground clearance if you are lowering the car later.
Managed to get some more done today, after having to actually turn up to work yesterday for a change.
The new lower radiator mount is done and much better than the first attempt. It is nice and strong yet no heavier than the first setup. The welding is mostly good with a few patches of snot, but as the old saying goes "Grinders and paint make me the welder I aint".
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The radiator is now in the correct spot and I am now embarking on the construction of a removable top radiator support and slam panel. Should be fun, and hopefully I can get it mostly don't in the next day or so. This will mean that the radiator is properly mounted, and not likely to thrash about when the car is moved. There is not a huge amount of space behind the rad, but the fans actually clear the water pump bolt, especially since it has a shortened bolt.
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I still have parts on the way (they were supposed to be here on 16th Apr), that will allow me to finalise the oil cooler and remote oil filter setup.
S15 Silvia. I believe that pretty much all the Nissan’s of that era used the same fundamental pattern. It seems a good fit as it has a slightly larger area that stock, but being twice as thick and alloy to boot makes it more efficient. Twin 1000cfm fans also help.
Intend spending the day sorting the top mounts. I will let you all know how that goes.
Got a lot done today. Mostly it involved measuring, fitting, aligning then bumping the clamps and having to have a cup of tea before starting again!
Decided to do things differently today, instead of my make it and see approach I modelled everything in CAD using the trusty Cereal packet. I didn't get quite get full Binky but it seemed to work as all my bits fitted second or third time after fettling. One such piece was a new passenger side panel for near the headlights made out of 1mm mild steel, as I had to butcher the stock one to make room for the radiator. It came out quite well and the spot welds are not totally awful, they just need finishing off with the flappy wheel.
The welding still needs finishing, but you should get the idea of how the removable front bar fits and is held in place. There are currently stunt bolts in place as I will be using a much nicer set of cap head Allen bolts with captive nuts once the fab work is done. Once the ugly is bashed out of it the new front should look quite tidy. The top radiator mounts will be connected to the front bar, and hold it down once the bar is secured. I have yet to make them so more CAD work will be required.
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The position of the radiator also allows the new remote oil filter setup to pass clear along the lower cross member. Once the final parts arrive I will be sure to add more pictures of that as well. For now a slightly odd angle that really shows very little, but you get the idea!
Finished the radiator support and surround! So 5% of the work that needs to be done is complete...……………………………...
The top mounts for the radiator are 1mm steel, and are held on by two 6mm hex head bolts into nutserts. The radiator wont move and the front brace is strong enough that I can just about pick the front of the car up!. It shouldn't fail in a hurry (fingers crossed). For those of an enquiring mind the box section is 25mm X 2mm for the crossmember, with the sides made from 50mm X 2mm box with a 75mm X 3mm tied in underneath to provide a support. Some of my previous posts show this a little better. If you want more detail just let me know. I can bore for Australia when it comes to stuff like this!!!!
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For those who are wondering; no the front cowl will not fit anymore. When using a datum for vertical measurement you apparently need to maintain it in the same position. I messed up and bumped mine without noticing, so the radiator sits about 10mm lower than expected, which means a serious hacking of the cowl is required to make it fit due to where the new crossmember sits. Looks like the perfect opportunity to make a cowl with a big mouth and chin spoiler. I have added that to the list. Not a serious problem as the bottom of the radiator is actually only 4mm lower than where the stock one sits, the issue is that the new one is wider and takes up more real estate. This is a slight embuggerance, but not insurmountable.
On the up side everything came out square, and nothing fouls anything else. so I will call that one a win. Next on the list is the oil cooler and remote filter setup. I have made the oil cooler brackets and mounts, I just need to work out where I can fit them. As a plus I have more flexibility now that I am forced (by my own colossal cockup) to make a new cowl.
I have to go to work tomorrow so no more work on Pooh for at least 3 days. I will let you all know when I have done some more.
More work done today. I have fitted the oil cooler and mocked up the front cowl.
The oil cooler was fairly easy with an addition to the radiator support. Made from 50mm box hacked into sections to make the supports with another bit of butchered 50mm box to form the top. All went together square and level, which is nice. The tack welds were awful and fell off twice (hint, it helps if you weld BOTH parts) so I got creative (swearing and a cup of tea), and finally welded it up. Why are your best welds always in places that no one will ever see them!
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The front cowl has distorted from having treasures (cough rubbish cough) put on top of it. So a new one will be required. It is a bit cold for fibreglass but I will start carving (hacking) foam into a pleasing form and see how we go. The photo looks odd as I was quite low and the lens has distorted the picture, the wheels don't really stick out like that!
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I will need to fabricate a new top radiator panel as the old one is completely knackered, so this bit needs to be filled.
I am still waiting on the final parts for the oil system to arrive, but have made a basic start on the oil thermostat and filter housing bracket. It will fit down in the passenger side where the power steering pump used to live. It should be well protected and a lot easier to access.
Overall quite a productive day, I will be making a start on the new pedal box tomorrow, and we shall have to see how it all goes.
The pedal box is out. After some struggling and a fair bit of cursing I managed to get the stupid thing out and now have a nice empty spot to put the new pedal box. I am going for a race style underslung unit (promise to remember to take photos soon) the will give me a separate circuit for front and back brakes. I am also planning on a hydraulic thrust release bearing for the clutch. Once the engine is out (again) I will measure everything up and see about getting it in.
The day was mostly looking at stuff and planning where new bits will go, and how to make them fit. I mocked up (another) new dash and will bash it out in alloy, along with a new dash top. The photos show the dash from roughly about my eye level, and the fact that the 160MPH is a bit hard to see is not a concern as if I ever got Pooh up to that speed I will be highly unlikely to be looking at the speedo!
Blanking plates have been made in 2mm steel to fill in holes where the old pedal box and brake master went, the extra is for the matching hole on the passenger side as I had put an alloy patch over it but really need it to be a bit more fire resistant.
The race seat is back in but a little hacking will be called for to make it fit better. I will also be remaking the seat mounts and beefing them up a bit to handle race stresses. The firewall needs a lot of love to ensure that all the little holes are filled in. This will consume a fair amount of time but I will wait until the engine is out for ease of access. The drivers side floor needs replacing and will be done as soon as I have time and can get a panel that fits. I will probably use a Ford or Holden panel as they are readily available and really cheap. They also have stiffening beads already rolled in them which saves me having to do it! I wish I had a rotisserie, it would save a lot of backache as I hate welding upside down.
Otherwise I am back at work so will be mostly working on the weekends on Pooh. This at least gives me time for parts etc that I have ordered to arrive and fill in my days.
Managed to some work done today. Mostly involving hacking bits out of poor Pooh and welding new bits in.
I have had to cut a small relief in the transmission tunnel as the back of the seat runner and seat were hitting with the seat in the position I wanted it in. With the front seat mounts hacked off I will be able to get the seat lower as well ( I am 6'8" and with a helmet on it gets a bit squeezy in the standard height). Looks tight in the photo but there is about 8mm between the rail and the tunnel (at least when I don't bump the seat and move it from where it is meant to be). The butchery on the seat mount is not me! It was like that when I got the car. The captive nut had come out and they hacked the end off to fit it again, instead of using the hole that Rover kindly put in place.
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Not much else done but the welding is sort of finished but I ran out time due to having to cook dinner etc. I will fill in the holes and weld from underneath once I have the car in the air. Not on a rotisserie unfortunately but I have looked at plans for making my own, maybe as a side project?
Off to work for the rest of the week so you will all be spared me dribbling on for a few days at least!
I managed a few hours today. I have got the oil thermostat mount welded in place, and there is actually clearance! I was pretty happy with the welds until I hit the back corner. I could not work out what was going on until I realised there was no hiss when I pulled the trigger. Yep, out of gas and my finger sander ate its last belt. Never mind, I will grind and reweld once I have a new bottle of mix. Speaking of which it helps if you turn the gas on to the correct setting as I had it WAYYY to low, hence snotty welds!! Always remember to wear your glasses (if you need them) when setting up equipment!
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As promised a photo of the new pedal box. Like everything else it wont fit. The old pedal box has gone and a mount system of some sort will be fabricated to mount to the 4 big holes. There is just no space for the 4 smaller holes to be mounted. I will have more of a think and once the floor is done I will get on with it. The floor is horrifical mangled and there are lumps where it should be flat. I have a new front drivers side floor (out of a HQ Holden if you are interested) on its way. It is too big but allows me the chance to cut it down to size. The transmission tunnel on the drivers side will also be getting some attention from Mr Angle Grinder to sort out the ripples and odd bulges caused by the ham fitted idiots that "modified" the transmission tunnel to fit the Muncie gearbox. This will most likely happen with the engine and gearbox out of the car. Makes it a lot easier to weld when you don't have expensive moving bits in the way.
I started on the new front seat mounts and have knocked up one as a prototype. I will be using the rear mounts (repaired as required) as they are in a good spot and I could not be bothered hanging upside down tying to weld new ones in. The front ones should be enough of a fiddle as it is. They still need a LOT of ugly bashed out but the factory style will be the most likely result. Unless I lower the front further and need to cut out the top of the underseat hump, then a solid bar from side to side night be the best option. I could also fix the crotch strap belt eyes to it.........…...…. Watch this space.
Oil thermostat in place. It is solidly mounted (despite the hot snot welding in the back corner. I still have to plumb it up with hoses but it should all works as intended. Everything is Aeroflow brand and there is -10AN hose and matching fittings from the adapter on the original housing and it heads to the thermostat. There is -8AN hose from the thermostat to the oil cooler. Once I have the radiator back in place I will finish everything and let you all see the full setup.
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During cleaning back a thick layer of what can only be described as tar I found that the front cross member under the engine on the passenger side was held in place by 4 spot welds and a great deal of happy thoughts, and the metal had pulled apart about 5mm. I repaired this using the approved method of swearing at Rover, having a cup of tea, hitting it with hammers and seam welding the whole lot. This is most likely what caused me to run out of gas as I did this before welding on the oil thermostat mount. But the front wont come off the car now. Forgot to take photos but when the thermostat comes off again I will try and remember. The whole car will be stripped and blasted once all the fab work is done. I am over crappy underseal and duff paint. Time to get it all done properly (ie not painted by me).
Hope everyone is getting stuff done on their cars and keeping safe.
I am in the cold and politician infested depths of Canberra. currently working out of my garage trying to build a decent Rover race car!
I like you wheel arches. Do you have a mould, as I was looking to build something similar? Where about are you situated?
I have done a little more over the past few days, but due to tearing some of the tendons out of my right elbow it may be a while before I get much more done!
A local metal works bent up a closing piece for the front of the radiator, and after a little fettling it looks great. It is 1.5mm steel which is possibly a little excessive but I intend to mount the power steering cooler to it as well, so a little stiffness is probably a good thing. All the attachments for the grill are now 6mm rivnuts and I will weld the closing panel in place once I get the use of my right arm back to full speed.
The new power steering pump has arrived (I had to get it out of the wreck myself), and of course will not fit the chosen location. More metal will have to go to make it fit with a new bracket to hold it down.
A radiator overflow tank has arrived, and will be fitted in the indicated location. It has a cutout to clear the headlight, and will be mounted flush with the top slam panel. I will replace the lip that I cut out to stiffen that area back up again.
Rear seat mounts have been modified (butchered) and are now 20mm lower than stock. The photo shows the different between a stock mount and one that I have hacked about. This means that I will need to hack the humped section out of the floor, but needs must when the devil piddles in your teapot. The alloy brace is to ensure that the mounts are the correct distance apart, and the captive nuts are set in the middle to allow some side to side adjustment.
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Not much else on but I will post more photos when I can get back to work.
Now that the tendons have been sewn back in place I can get back to work on Pooh, using mostly my left arm. I am using my right arm as well of course, just not very well or with any strength or dexterity.
Anyway, the hole for the power steering pump to sit in has been hacked out, and closing plates made as required. This means that I have now lost the fixing point for the outside bumper iron, but sacrifices must be made I suppose. New bracket was made out of 40mm box section offcuts and welded into place.
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The pump is angled slightly to the drivers side to allow it to clear the headlight bowls. It sits just above the slam panel, and clears the bonnet nicely. There is still a little fettling required before it is complete but I will need a few days to recover as the old right arm is a bit sore.
The rear seat mounts that I made last time have been replaced with a new one piece mount made from 40mm x 40mm x 2mm box. The captive nuts are actually the standard Rover items as they fit perfectly inside some 25mm x 25mm x2mm box sliced in half. After re-tapping to 8mm they form the basis for the new mounts. This should be a lot stronger than stock and the fronts will be made in a similar fashion.
The new floor is here and I will work up the energy to start hacking into that and the transmission tunnel in the next few days.
I have also decided that the whole engine bay (and by extension the rest of the shell) will be stich welded as some of the spot "welds" from the factory are dodgy to say the least, I have a number of places that the whole "weld" has come apart. I am sure this has nothing to do with my spirited driving style, or extra HP and torque from bigger engines. This should consume a heap of my time (as well as gas and mig wire).
After a long layoff with work on Pooh conducted on a very random basis, I have actually got something to show. After pulling the engine out (again) I have been sorting out the engine bay. Did Rover back in the day have any form of quality control? I have been finding areas that have not been welded at all! Random lips of metal with no actual purpose than cutting me (sacrifice to the Rover gods?), and getting in the way. I found quite a few areas that the spot welds had not joined the metal at all, so resorted to cutting it all off and then welding the living daylights out of it.
A lot of rust was found once the steering idler was pulled out ( it had piddled oil everywhere). However some creative head scratching has resulted in a repair that should be stronger than the original (1.6mm steel). 4D54AC38-60BB-42A0-B767-2C00270EA42C.jpeg
4D54AC38-60BB-42A0-B767-2C00270EA42C.jpeg 2F295D09-A393-4391-9D18-6D0A876E7C4A.jpeg The firewall has been mostly filled in and the remaining holes are destined to be either ventilation or where hoses/wires will pass through.
Standby for the floor plan (no pun intended) as I will be replacing the entire floor of the car to allow space for the gearbox and exhaust while getting my seat as low as possible (still over 6 foot 8) to allow me to be as comfortable as possible with a helmet on. The engine bay is off to be blasted soon, as this will then allow me to seam weld the whole lot without too much sealer and other gunk getting in the welds. 0895B1EA-21A2-4647-825E-0969299600FF.jpeg
B1926FF7-FB5B-4AE3-91E7-D321D0051AD8.jpeg cheers