Wild Rover - NADA 3500S

mrtask

Well-Known Member
Looking good! You're right, the front GAZ shock is the wrong way up. Won't take you long to sort that out though. Are you using standard bushes for the upper swing arms, or have you fitted polyurethane? I used the latter, and they don't seem to be up to it, meaning I'll have to tackle taking the front springs out again to change back to Metalastic bushes. Not looking forward to that job.
 
The Rovering Member said:
Looking good.

From what I've seen of Overhaulin', "restoration" seems to consist of junking 90% of a complete car & replacing it with brand new, totally non-original parts. :roll:
If the rest of the local motor industry is based on the same premise then I'm not surprised you struggled to find someone to take on your small, but straightforward job.
Thanks TRM. You're not wrong about Overhaulin' but I suspect it has more to do with the time allowed for the restoration than it has to do with their skill. They have some really talented guys working on the show, but like you say more often than not they just cut out and replace. One of the members of the "A-team" is an English fella called Aaron - he's a brilliant body guy and is supposed to be helping with the body work on WR. I have just about given up holding my breath, I know he's a pretty busy guy, so he may surprise me yet.

You have nailed the problem with most modern mechanics, or "technicians" - I don't mean to generalize here, but it seems that these days the emphasis is on replacing parts rather than repairing what's already there. I know that's a simplification, but I really wish there were more old school guys around. It seems like you are spoiled for choice in the UK whereas we have to turn over every rock in the hopes of finding someone that still has the knowledge.

Case in point - I just watched Wheeler Dealers this morning and the chubby cockney waltzed off and found a manufacturer to make a set of custom coil springs and I seem to remember them doing it in at least one other episode. Both me and Tom (302 Rover) spent hours and hours chasing down leads to find someone here in the US (not just California, but the whole country) that would make us some coil springs. We both independently arrived at the same company somewhere in Kansas - in the end it was just easier to order them from the UK and pay the shipping charges. I think it was Mark Grey that told me there were at least 6 companies local to him that could do the job - oh well, such is the steep price that we pay for the eternal sunshine and the cool ocean breeze 8)

Quagmire said:
Looks lovely! Keep up the good work :D
Ta mate

mrtask said:
Looking good! You're right, the front GAZ shock is the wrong way up. Won't take you long to sort that out though. Are you using standard bushes for the upper swing arms, or have you fitted polyurethane? I used the latter, and they don't seem to be up to it, meaning I'll have to tackle taking the front springs out again to change back to Metalastic bushes. Not looking forward to that job.
Cheers Al - I actually tracked down some photos of your car and Simon Owen's car so I had pretty much answered my own question about my shock.

I opted to stick with Metalastic from the beginning. Poly has a reputation for squeaking and being a bit harsh - I could live with the firmer ride, but the squeaking would have done my nut in. Plus there has been some talk on here about the suspension on these old cars relying on the give of the original style bushes, as a non-technical wizard that made sense to me, so I went with it.

I feel your pain about getting those springs out to redo your bushes Al, I really do. I used several methods to try and simplify the job, but the truth is that it's just a large pain in the arris. I sheared off at least four of the studs that secure the pivot blocks - not all at once. I threaded and ruined one pivot block and I screwed up the top link where the pivot block is pressed on to it. I shed many tears and used many curse words - I also now own the largest private collection of spring compressors in the world... none of which really helped. And... I still have to do the left hand side - yay!
 

So Cal V8

Active Member
Having just read through this thread again, it seems that there is a bit of a theme emerging... time passes, and then I post to say that time has passed and not much has happened :(

The truth is that although not much has happened little bits and pieces have been going on - not much, but just enough. I am totally awed by the people that get their projects and just crack on, they always seem to have boundless energy and talent - I don't, but I love those threads as they inevitably get me back to my car. On the other hand, I have spoken to some folks that have had their cars even longer than me and they are slowly plodding on - and that gives me inspiration too. As corny as it may sound, it's the journey that's important.

I'll try and give a small update - and perhaps more regular reports... at least as long as the mojo is flowing.

In the last few years I have stripped out the engine bay, taken it all down to the bare metal and then made a few attempts to get it nice and refreshed. Some may remember that the car had the top of the inner left wing punched through when I bought it. There was also some talk that the base unit may have been "twisted" due to a high speed impact with a pot hole.
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Grove-20141228-00440.jpg

I bought a cut out section of a car and had it shipped here from the UK. I figured I'd find someone to cut out the damaged piece and patch in the replacement. Well that was easier said than done. I have lost count of how many times I tried to get someone out - so many phone calls and broken promises...

Finally, I was introduced to a guy that had recently retired after many years in the body shop trade. My friend spoke highly of Bill and so I went and met with him. Initially I was getting him to do the body work on my front wings as they had some pinholes and just needed some general TLC.

I dropped my wings off just before Christmas 2014. Bill said he's have them back to me in 3 weeks or so and I paid him cash up front. During our talk I told him that I would rather he told me 6 weeks instead of 3 followed by endless extensions and he assured me that he didn't operate that way... so, nine months later I got my wings back after he had moved to a different state without telling me - fun times, but I am jumping ahead here.

I showed Bill some pictures of the damage I wanted repaired and told him I had a repair panel - Bill came round and after viewing told me he could do the job, so a price and time was agreed. I can't tell you how many times I rearranged my schedule as he would flake at the last minute - see a theme here? But what do you do? I hadn't found anyone else, and I didn't know how to weld.

Bill eventually showed up and cut the marked piece out. He then trimmed a piece from the new/old panel and set to work welding it all together. Originally Bill told me that he was going to joggle the edges and lap weld it all together so the engine and most visible side would be "seamless" and I could cover the obvious repair in the wheel well with filler and/or undercoat. In the end Bill said he was going to butt weld the parts together.

I am not sure that I can adequately describe how I felt about the finished product, so here's a picture or two...
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Grove-20150415-00529.jpg
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Grove-20150415-00532.jpg
I think it's fair to say that I was less than satisfied with the end product:eek:

Now I can't weld, so I am not really in a position to judge, but... I am fairly sure that if I got royally pissed up and then had a stab at this using a Fisher-Price my little welder set I could have done equally as well, if not better.

It was right around now that it occurred to me that Bill may not be the man for the job. Now he is a nice enough bloke, but I wasn't paying for his personality - the decision not to use Bill again was made easy by his relocation to Arizona, albeit with my wings in his possession.

So I was now back to square one, maybe even one square before that. The search for someone to do the work and in this case redo/undo the work continued.

I used all of my contacts with friends in the motor trade, they in turn would send me to a mate who would definitely help me as a favour to them. I don't blame my friends for trying, I appreciate their help, but it got very old to go and see someone who would promise to call me back only to hear nothing - no matter how sincere they sounded. I admit the problem was compounded by the car being on three wheels, but I was sure I could solve that problem if only I could get someone to do the work. Time just marched on and no progress was made - these setbacks tend to bring you down about the whole project, so things got ignored.

Then, in a case of pure serendipity I got a client that owns a body shop - better yet, it was fairly close to the house. I did work for him and gave him a discount on the understanding that he could help with the Wild Rover.

True to his word, John showed up on Sunday morning like he said he would - took a look at what needed doing, evaluated the three wheel issue and told me "no problem." All we had to do was wait until his trusted tow truck driver was available as he could deal with the 3 wheeler easily. (I had built a dolly to support the left front, but getting it on a tow truck wouldn't be straightforward - in the end it was easy peasy). I had also sourced another panel to replace the bodged welding.

John's tow truck driver's wife was pregnant and due any day, so there was a slight delay, but after a couple of weeks he called, we made arrangements and most surprisingly of all - he showed up :eek: Car loaded up and away with no problems. John's body shop is pretty busy so the Wild Rover was sat to one side to wait for a lull in regular business, but it was in John's yard and one step closer to the work needed.

Long story short, after about a month (during which time John kept in touch) I got a call saying that the repair work had been done - John also checked the car for true using the WS manual I dropped off. A few days later the tow truck showed up at the house and delivered the Wild Rover home.
IMG_20151002_172139.jpg

The welding repair was done - and well - They sealed the engine bay and checked the car for square/true. All of this, including a tow truck to and from John's shop came to $250. Result!

Following this I slowly but surely got around to reinstalling the front right suspension - more of that in a different post.
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Garden Grove-20150307-00497.jpg IMG_20160402_171800.jpg

Just a partial update for now. I'll try and fill in all the other details in another post.

Cheers to everyone that has provided me with help, advice, information and inspiration.

Happy 2017;)
 

clive P62

Active Member
Hi Alan.
Looking 100% better and what a relief that you have found someone who can give the factory look after repairs.
That damage you had before was probably due to the steering arm and top ball joint making contact with inner wing when it was airborne!
Had the same damage on my U/K car.
Regards.
Clive.
 

unstable load

Well-Known Member
Then, in a case of pure serendipity I got a client that owns a body shop - better yet, it was fairly close to the house. I did work for him and gave him a discount on the understanding that he could help with the Wild Rover.

Long story short, after about a month (during which time John kept in touch) I got a call saying that the repair work had been done - John also checked the car for true using the WS manual I dropped off. A few days later the tow truck showed up at the house and delivered the Wild Rover home.

The welding repair was done - and well - They sealed the engine bay and checked the car for square/true. All of this, including a tow truck to and from John's shop came to $250. Result!
He's a keeper, for sure! Have him bronzed and mounted on the wall!
 
Hi mate, loving your determination with the project, just reading all the old comments and good to see my dad was helping as much as he could, if you ever need any pictures of anything nada related, a/c , electric windows or whatever it may be dont hesitate to ask me and ill try and help best i can and am more than happy to send pictures for reference off of my NADA, just as im sure keynsham would as well, good luck with further ventures on the car
 

So Cal V8

Active Member
Thanks Joseph - it's great to see you on here and still keeping on with your car. Your dad was a champ mate, I spent more than a few hours on the phone with him, and not just talking about old cars. Your offer of help is much appreciated - in fact you already have helped out - Clive picked up the air con vent from you and sent it on to me, so cheers for that! I have a CD with 2000 + pictures from Richard (keynsham) of his top notch restoration - I know the bloke that sold that car to your dad. And, your dad told me to check in with Roly for NADA help, so I know I am well sorted - along with all of the other guys here on the forum. Now if only you were all a bit closer for when I get stuck...
 
In keeping with my general theme of posting a progress report and promising more, and then nothing... it has been some time but, not as long as usual since my last update.

This will be a quick update but, I will try and give an account of some of the bits and pieces that have been keeping me busy over the past months.

Last Friday I got a delivery - something I have wanted for a very long time but, had to delay over and over due to lack of spare fun tickets.

A lovely large box arrived from Scottsdale, Arizona... inside was a set of hydraulic roller lifters by TA Performance and... a custom ground roller cam from Crower (ordered as part of the TA package)...

I will be following this up with a set of Yella Terra roller rockers - which all should go nicely with the custom forged 10.5:1 pistons from Venolia.

(I tried to upload pictures but just got some unspecified error message - so you'll all just have to take my word for it when I tell you just how lovely the cam and roller lifters look...)

More to come soon... I hope... perhaps with pictures :(
 

mrtask

Well-Known Member
Oooh! Go-fast goodies! I'm jealous! Will you get your engine Dyno-tested once it is all assembled? What power do you expect to make with that cam?
 
Thanks fellas.

Al, I am not sure if I will dyno test the engine - I would very much like to and I will certainly try but, we'll have to wait and see what opportunities present themselves. I am not sure what kind of power the cam alone will deliver and, to be honest I am not sure what the overall bump in horsepower will be - Joe, my engine builder, and I are hoping to get north of 250.

Joe is an old school muscle car guy and he didn't want to take on my build at first as it wasn't something he was familiar with - he is a BOP guy so I was able to sell him on it being a Buick 215 o_O Now he's just as keen as me to see where this all goes.

I have had some trials and tribulations along the way, not least of which were with the machine shop I chose - I have posted about those problems elsewhere on this thread. The delays I have encountered due to businesses and/or individuals promising much and delivering little are probably familiar to everyone that ever undertook a restoration. But, Joe has been there all the time, through thick and thin and, even when his own business was on the brink he promised to come round and do the work at my house at whatever pace was needed to accommodate my fickle project car finances. He's a top fella for sure - not that anyone is local but, I would highly recommend DTP Precision Rebuilding DTP Precision Rebuilding & Automotive Repair

As I mentioned, Joe is a muscle car guy at heart, and so the Wild Rover's cam has been ground to make sure it has a bit of that lump and bump associated with big American iron - Joe wanted it and he's been so good I couldn't say no ;).

The engine has been blueprinted and balanced, the heads have been ported and flowed - I don't have the numbers due to my less than perfect experience at the machine shop... they do great work, they just lack customer service skillz. The pistons and rings are custom forged from Venolia in Long Beach, CA Venolia Pistons and Rods | Forged Racing Pistons for Racers and Engine Builders It turned out that getting a set of 10.5:1 pistons was nigh on impossible and when I could find the correct oversize it was very expensive, so much so that a custom set was quite affordable.

I will be using the cam and roller lifters described above, coupled with yella terra roller rockers - the intake is an Edlebrock Performer which I will combine with a FiTech Go Street EFI. Go Street EFI 400 HP – FiTech Fuel Injection

A customer of mine told me today that he has purchased a mandrel tube bending machine and all the goodies that go with it... I wonder if I could put that to any use????? :D Custom headers and exhaust perhaps

I have a Jag LSD in my garage awaiting the day the car gets close to completion. I also have a ZF box which will be controlled with the compushift controller - I have already had the torque converter reworked to up the stall speed to 2,500 rpm to match the cam.

More to follow...
 
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oldbloke

Active Member
Sound like the stuff of dreams! Luck to ya mate! My Napa NADA is receiving new leather interior this week and I'm hoping I've got her in fairly reliable shape mechanically. Have some car club tours of some distance planned in future (Canada, Colorado, etc.). Actually found that York still has the A/C parts available and it is next on the list after interior. Looking forward to further reports and pics of your project!
 

GRTV8

Well-Known Member
Sound like the stuff of dreams! Luck to ya mate! My Napa NADA is receiving new leather interior this week and I'm hoping I've got her in fairly reliable shape mechanically. Have some car club tours of some distance planned in future (Canada, Colorado, etc.). Actually found that York still has the A/C parts available and it is next on the list after interior. Looking forward to further reports and pics of your project!
I'd like to see your new leather interior too - Oldbloke
 
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