Coupe Build From Australia

If you have a long-term project and would like to share/document progress, this is for you.

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Post by Scott » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:17 am

Terrible news about your illness, however I am encouraged you said you are improving.
You have all my best wishes. Get well soon.

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Post by b.c.flat hat » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:59 am

Hi Victor. Had a few problems too this year while doing my Coupe and garage. Friends must be thinking I'm in denial due to my irreverent appearance but I'm determined to enjoy what I've got.
Close family and friends know I live by the following:-

"Ageing with attitude!"
"Adventure before dimencia!"
For those who are still enjoying tobacco, sex, alcohol and Rock n Roll:-
"No pleasure is worth giving up------------for two extra years in an old folks home!"

So I wish you the best o' luck in both endeavours, from your "coupe in Shropshire" pal.

Ps, there's always that old chestnut "Nil carborundum illigitimi" which for the youngsters roughly means "Don't let the barsteward grind yer down"

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Post by upstart8s » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:30 am

Hello Victor, just to add my best wishes for your recovery and to reading further installments of your motoring saga...

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Post by mermar74 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:07 am

Continued from previous installment;

Interior Fit Out – Part 1

The next lot of work will concentrate on fitting out a completely new interior.
The plan is to replace all the trim, carpets and headlining with high quality materials and carry out improvements where required.

I have thought long and hard as to the type of interior and colours I would like for this car, and in the end decided towards a modernised version of the original. I have had local motor trimmers quote this job, and the prices given could easily have been mistaken for their telephone number. I will now carry out as much of this work myself and pay only for the work not within my capability.


Due to the inclusion of roll bar, the governing engineer has stipulated the seats must incorporate headrests to comply with road registration requirements; this has ruled out my plan of retaining the original seats.

A long search for suitable replacements has been unsuccessful, leaving me in a bit of a quandary as what next to do.
The standard Coupe seat configuration is somewhat unusual as the overall width is very narrow, the cushions low, and the unusual placement of the tilt mechanism hinges provides wider than normal access to rear. This wider access is very handy on this car, as it allows good access to the unique luggage shelf (previously rear seat) and the battery.
IMG_2030.JPG (146.27 KiB) Viewed 851 times

Weighing my options (or lack off), I have decided to retain the original seats for all their benefits, and convert these to high backs with integral headrests.

Work on the seats started by completely dismantling down to the bare frames. This uncovered a few issues with the frames including fatigue cracks, flogged out holes, worn tilt hinge housings and pins, aged cushion diaphragms and broken welds on tilt adjuster threaded nuts; all this needs attending to prior to converting the frames to high back.

Frame repairs;

The frames were bead blasted clean and made ready for repair.
The diaphragm hook holes are badly flogged-out; these have all been welded shut and the welds dressed. New holes will need drilling to suit replacement diaphragms.
The cracks found on the frame tubes have all been vee’d out, welded and dressed.
Two of the four tilt adjuster screw nuts have broken away from the frames; these have been fettled for a good fit and re welded. One of the knurled adjuster screws was also missing; a new replacement has been machined, threaded and knurled on the lathe.

Cushion Diaphragms;

The original seat diaphragms are no longer available. I suspected Triumph TR6 seat diaphragms are a similar size, so took a bit of a gamble and ordered a pair from the UK to try out.
Upon arrival I was pleased to find these are quite similar in most respects, although the hooks are positioned slightly different to the originals requiring drilling new holes in the frames.
IMG_2039.JPG (94 KiB) Viewed 851 times

Tilt hinge repairs;

The hinge housing bores have all worn oval; these have been made round again by reaming to a larger size. New oversize hinge pins were next machined to suit.

The original hinge pins have a shoulder on one side and a split pin hole on the other. When assembled, the pins are able to float in the holes resulting in sloppy hinges. The new pins have been made to bolt onto upper frames (rather than float), eliminating the slop.
IMG_2041.JPG (93.18 KiB) Viewed 851 times

The hinges fix to seat frames with two bolts; silly as it is the tubes are round and the hinges are flat resulting in uneven seating and a wobbly attachment between the two parts. This has been rectified by welding flat steel onto the round tubes for satisfactory seating between these parts.

Converting the seats to high back;

I obtained a 1980’s Toyota high back bucket seat to use as a guide for the planned headrests. This seat was stripped down to the bare frame and a template of the headrest area made.
The template was next used to create the framework for the new headrests; the framework has been made from solid steel round rods shaped to suit.
Holes were next drilled into the seat frames to accept the headrest main hoops. With all assembled, the framework was lastly positioned and welded into place.

With this done, the frame assemblies were bead blasted clean, prepared, undercoated and painted.
IMG_2043.JPG (134.21 KiB) Viewed 851 times

Replacing timbers at bottom of seat squabs;

These timbers are used for nail tacking the vinyl material to bottom of frame. The perished originals were used as templates and new parts cut from ply timber.
IMG_2040.JPG (85.3 KiB) Viewed 851 times

The timber pieces were next aligned and attached to the seat frames with self-tapping screws.
IMG_2044.JPG (161.89 KiB) Viewed 851 times

The seat frames were lastly assembled and now await dressing in new upholstery.

Repairs to door trims;

As with the rest of interior, the door trims will be restored and recovered.

These were firstly completely stripped of all upholstery.
The backing boards are mostly GRP; a very good material for this purpose.
The GRP was found to be in good order, although the same cannot be said for the rusty steel panels riveted to lower part of door trims. Each door trim is made up of two GRP boards riveted together; these have been separated, thoroughly cleaned of old foam and glue and made ready.
The rusty steel panels were removed from the boards and used as templates. New replacements were next made from sheet aluminium eliminating future rust issues.
IMG_2120.JPG (135.37 KiB) Viewed 851 times

The unusual brass buttons used to fix the door trims to the doors are fortunately all present and in good condition; not so the corresponding female plastic bungs as most are damaged and some missing. The correct bungs had to be purchased from the UK as these could not be found in Australia.
IMG_2118.JPG (165.41 KiB) Viewed 851 times

These bungs fit into holes drilled into the door shells. Some of these holes are too large for the bungs; this required fibre glassing the offending holes shut and re drilling to the correct size.

Door arm rests;

The condition of both door arm rests are poor and will need replacing; these parts originate from a Cortina and are now hard to find. A search for better examples yielded no results, so I next searched breaker yards and luckily found a close matching pair from an older Japanese car. These will now replace the originals after re colouring and some fettling.
IMG_2115.JPG (155.63 KiB) Viewed 851 times

Dashboard Restoration;

The dashboard substructure is made from a number of GRP components assembled together to form a single unit. Prior to starting work I constructed a stand to safely support the dash on the workbench while repairs are being carried out.

Restoration started by removing the vinyl from the main dash, dash top and glove box lid. The GRP was found to be in good order apart from a few stress cracks that need repair.

The vinyl was next stripped from the safety padding (surrounding the lower dash) exposing the rubber extrusion.
This 50 year old rubber is still in amazingly good condition apart from having lost some suppleness. This was next coated with a rubber conditioner and left it to soak for several days successfully regaining suppleness; this old rubber will now likely survive another 50 years.

The rubber extrusion mounts onto GRP bases riveted to the lower part of dash; the fit between bases and dashboard is awful and riveting has cracked the GRP. The extrusion also extends along the top of dash and mounts to the front edge of dash top.

Work here started by repairing the cracks and sanded smooth. Getting the bases to fit correctly consumed several hours of re shaping and fettling, and the horrid rivets have now been replaced with screws.

The rest of GRP components were cleaned of old glue and sponge, and the GRP cracks repaired by V’ing out and re fibre glassing prior to sanding smooth.

The main dash and dash top carcasses were next installed in the car to check for fit; this next highlighted a poor fit between these two parts. This was rectified by moving the dash top and mounting brackets to obtain best fit overall.

The dash top is fastened to the main dash with two nuts; these are accessed though a hole in the glove box and a hatch on right lower side of dash.
Accessing these nuts is awkward; more so on this car due to the myriad of extra wiring housed under the dash. This was made easier by replacing the nuts with extra long nuts machined from hex aluminium bar; these 4 inch long nuts now provide easy reach without having to push clumps of wires out the way.
IMG_2117.JPG (157.94 KiB) Viewed 851 times

Having installed a 4 speaker sound system now negates the need for a speaker hole at top of the dash top; a sheet aluminium closing panel has been made and fitted to now delete this hole.

This completes all repairs to dashboard substructure prior to re covering.

To be continued:
Victor Pace
Last edited by mermar74 on Thu Aug 30, 2018 11:01 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Post by David Tew » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:33 am

Victor, stunning stuff.
Your dedication and commitment is an inspiration to us lesser mortals also rebuilding Coupes. Keep it up as it drives the enthusiasm in us all.
David. :)

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Post by Pepe » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:17 pm

Victor we had french and englisch already so let me add some german:

Alles Gute und Gute Besserung! Halt die Ohren steif...

Very sad to hear your health is currently not good. I wish you all the best! It reminds one that health is al so important. As the others said: Car can wait.
It's funny isn't it:
One sometimes hates the jobs to be done on the car and still one can't wait to get back to it when, a while has past...
Good to hear you are in good hands!

ON the the Door card "bungs":
Can you please post where you got the "bungs" from and what name to search for and where?
Mine are all left , but some are not in nice nick anymore...

Keep it up

1975 SE5a restoration link
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Post by Coupe Racing » Thu Aug 23, 2018 3:19 pm

QRG do them I believe

Blessed are the Cheese makers

Better to be an hour early than 1 minute late

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Post by Joe. » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:43 pm

Pepe wrote:
Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:17 pm
ON the the Door card "bungs":
Can you please post where you got the "bungs" from and what name to search for and where?
Mine are all left , but some are not in nice nick anymore...
"Snap Sac" fasteners, available in various depths. Either Bresco or most landrover dealers ... tml#SID=23

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