SE5 Project - Identity Unknown

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

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GavinR
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SE5 Project - Identity Unknown

Post by GavinR » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:27 pm

I saw this one come up for sale in May and thought about it for a while, before contacting the owner (Mike) in early July and going to have a look - being only 30 mins from where I live, it seemed a good opportunity

It was as described, a SE5 project with a galvanised chassis and a stainless exahust, various bits missing but mechanically complete and very tired paintwork!

So I decided to buy it and went back last weekend to collect it with the help of Carrie and Peter - the car was in a double garage accessed half way along an 8ft alley, in the middle of Bristol. After a bit of manoeuvring I managed to reverse my trailer up the alley and close to the garage, we winched it on, collected some other parts that Mike had for it and headed back to my workshop

Picture from the for sale advert
Image

The paintwork is worse the other side, and the Dunlop Composite wheels need some work.
Mike bought the car in 2004 or 2005 as a project and it ended up in his garden for 12 years - this side probably got most of the sunshine
Image

Rear hatch glass is missing and the hinge pins are broken, but Mike did give me the frame. The bonnet hinges are also broken / missing.
I've found a replacement for rear hatch already
Image

The interior is lacking quite a lot - I think someone started to make a grey interior as the seat is bolted to the floor and the rear side trim (above) has grey fabric glued on to it
Speedo shows 92k miles so it was used quite a lot until being taken off the road in 1994
Image

And there's some interesting "plumbing" in the engine bay - both the top and bottom metal radiator pipes have been replaced by copper pipe soldered together to make the appropriate angles :?
Image

Mike said he had the engine running when he first bought the car but it hadn't run for at least 10 years. There was still wiring and a switch in the engine bay, as well as a pipe from the fuel pump leading to the nose. The oil looked clean and there was water in the expansion tank.
In the workshop, I checked the fuses and found there were none except for one 13A household fuse :shock: in the position nearest the engine.
This was removed, along with all other unecessary connections until I was left with the coil hard wired to the battery side of the starter solenoid and a switch to engage the starter (the alternator was also wired to the battery side of the solenoid). With a battery connected, the engine turned over well so I put the fuel pipe in a jerry can and cranked again.
No signs of life, or even fuel so I top the top off the carb and filled the float chamber with fuel.
Tried again but still nothing and when I checked the spark there wasn't one.
The points looked good, but I cleaned them up with some fine sand paper anyway and this gave me a spark and signs of life.

So another crank with the choke flaps closed and working the throttle lever, she started and ran smoothly :)
A bit of smoke out the back, but nothing to worry about and I let the engine warm up. After 5 minutes she was idling nicely and 70 psi oil pressure :D

The engine looked original - it has a front bowl sump, dipstick in the front cover and the 40 DFA carb, but from what I can make out of the engine number it's not original to the car.
I also don't know when the galvansied chassis was done, but I found the chassis number is in the correct place and it looks correct for the age of the car - I'll find out when the documents arrive.

Current plan is to start rebuilding mechanically while I locate the missing parts - it's worth more in parts than I paid for it, and with the engine running it would seem a shame to break it.
I'll go through it more over the next few weeks / month and make a list of what bits are missing...
Last edited by GavinR on Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Post by manny » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:35 pm

Should keep you busy over the summer\autumn\winter....years :D

Good luck and keep us posted...

Ta

Manny



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Post by scimjim » Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:50 pm

Nice :D

I have a repaired hatch hinge you can have when you come up to collect the hatch, unless you want to repair yours in situ.


Jim King

SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), 1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Post by 1969SE5 » Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:11 pm

got a few SE5 bits, having stripped a donor for trim parts etc, to complete my own... obviously i have chosen the best bits, but most are serviceable if you get stuck, message me.


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Post by GavinR » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:56 pm

1969SE5 wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:11 pm
got a few SE5 bits, having stripped a donor for trim parts etc, to complete my own... obviously i have chosen the best bits, but most are serviceable if you get stuck, message me.
Thanks - I'll send you a message over the weekend, there's a few SE5 specific parts I'm missing!
scimjim wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:50 pm
Nice :D
I have a repaired hatch hinge you can have when you come up to collect the hatch, unless you want to repair yours in situ.
Thanks to Jim for the rear hatch and various other bits and pieces, although my hatch hinge was fine when I checked so the glass must have been broken for some other reason


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Post by GavinR » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:30 am

Tonight I got stuck in to a few bits and pieces, some investigation and a few surprises

Firstly, the grille in front of the windscreen, covered by an ally plate...
Image

Removed the plate, no grille... that's going to be fun to recreate!
Image

Then I had a look at the front suspension - when we had pushed it out of the previous owner's garage on full lock, it was scrubbing one of the front tyres so I was expecting a bent wishbone mount if nothing else
Passenger side - spacer for the wheel
Image

Wishbone mount
Image

Driver side - washers instead of a spacer
Image

Wishbone mount
Image

Spot the difference :shock:
I assume one side is original Reliant and the other has had the mounts replaced...

And finally I covered the clutch slave cylinder in penetrating oil and will attack it with a sledgehammer another night!
I've got a new one from Powertrack brakes for £43.48 delivered which is very good - I bought an identical one from the same company for my rally car in 2011 and it cost £64.99
Image


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Post by scimjim » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:56 am

GavinR wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:30 am
Firstly, the grille in front of the windscreen, covered by an ally plate...
I have some parts of the grille from the car I cut up - not in one piece I’m afraid, but might help in making a mould?
GavinR wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:30 am
Spot the difference
I assume one side is original Reliant and the other has had the mounts replaced...
it looks like one side is SE5 and the other is 5a :shock:


Jim King

SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), 1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Post by GavinR » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:33 pm

Thanks Jim - I'll make both sides match

So after a couple of evenings of hammering in all directions, the slave cylinder came out in various pieces!
The sockets and threaded rod were to extract the remains from the bellhousing

Image

I cleaned the hole with a wire brush attachment in a die grinder until the new cylinder fitted nicely and I also bought a new 33mm circlip to hold it in place.
I took the master cylinder apart - it looked fine, so just gave it a clean and put it back together with fresh brake fluid and gravity bled the clutch system

I tried it today, with the engine running and the car on stands, the clutch works well enough to turn the rear wheels - and the speedo works, showing 50mph in 4th

And I've made a start on the interior, removing the odd front seat and the partial rear seats - one hinge came off ok but the other (which already had a snapped rivet) I had to grind the nuts off
Interestingly,it is fitted with rear lap belts with straps linking the mounts to the chassis near the axle

Finally I did some repairs to the steering wheel which looked like someone had taken a hammer to it to get it off the column, and an incorrect column nut was wedged on.
After some careful thread repair with a thin hacksaw blade, and a new nut (9/16" x 28TPI, same as TR4-6, Spitfire, GT6, Herald, Lotus Elan according to the eBay listing) it all fitted nicely


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Post by GavinR » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:09 am

My next job was to drain the radiator and remove the hoses - even though the expansion tank had some water in it, all the hoses crunched when squeezed :shock:
A lot of "water" came out of the system, but it didn't smell like any antifreeze I had come across before, and wasn't blue either
Most of the hoses had a layer of rust inside them and the thermostat housing was full of water crystals
I'll take the engine out at some point and flush it through, although the inlet manifold looked ok under the thermostat

Image

After sending off the Application for Registration Form to the DVLA four weeks ago, I received a request for further information last week
This had an email contact, so I took various pictures of the car showing the number plates and chassis number and emailed them to the DVLA
On Tuesday I had a phone call from them, asking a few more questions about whether I had any paperwork from the previous owner which had the registration number on them (I only got a receipt).
They are making other enquiries and will get back to me in a few weeks...

I've got a few events coming up so will put this project to one side for the moment


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Post by GavinR » Mon Dec 23, 2019 2:33 pm

After a few months of letters and emails to and from the DVLA, they identified a discrepancy, presumably that the chassis does not match the registration plate, as suggested by Jim when we looked at 8 Ball over the summer.

I filled in more forms for a rebuilt vehicle which asks where the different parts (chassis, body, engine, etc) have come from and wrote a covering letter explaining the little amount of history I have gathered from the previous owner and other sources. I also sent them a copy of the appropriate page of Glasses Guide which proves that the chassis is from 1970, although probably from a car 6 months newer than the registration plate. It seems that a previous owner bought a galvanised chassis over 25 years ago and fitted it under the body - so the chassis number relates to another SE5 from 1970, just with a different (unknown) registration plate.

This was in September and after a few emails chasing the DVLA for a response I received another letter last week requesting that the car is inspected by SGS.
I was half expecting this, and the inspection is booked in for Thursday 2nd Jan 2020 and the car should be "complete" but doesn't have to be drivable...

Rear hatch and seats were put in a few months ago, and I've got some old headlamps from the rally car which I'll fit to make it look more complete.
Searching google for other people's experiences, it sounds like the inspection is to make sure the numbers match what I have submitted to the DVLA, and hopefully a registration document will be issued - whether for the current registration plate or an age related plate, I'm not sure, but I'm not too worried as long as I get some documents :)


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Post by scimjim » Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:02 pm

Good news - hopefully it’s just the same as the old VIC inspection.


Jim King

SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), 1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

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Post by GavinR » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:11 pm

The inspection was done yesterday by a sensible chap from SGS and took about 30 minutes
He took various pictures - front, back, sides, dashboard, mileage, and did a good job of cleaning the chassis number so he could get a decent picture of it, and asked a lot of questions

Apparently his notes from the DVLA state the car should be yellow, so I assume the chassis was originally on a yellow car
I showed him the layers of paint I have scraped off the roof which confirms the body has always been blue
He then looked under the boot carpet for the original colour and found a light shade of green..., but was happy with my explanation that it was the raw fibreglass finish, especially when I showed him the same colour green under the arches of my SE5a which just happened to be next to it

He wasn't worried about the engine number as it's difficult to photograph but was happy the engine was to the original spec, even if it wasn't the original engine
He also asked questions about why the chassis was galvanised and whether it had come from a later car, but my explanation that someone had an identical spec chassis galvanised as a one off made sense

He will report back to the DVLA and I'll keep everything crossed until I hear further from them...


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Post by Old and Slow » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:26 pm

We used to use SGS as our Approvals Body - they weren't cheap! Being an independent QA organisation should avoid any bias, but I didn't realise the DVLA were outsourcing this.
Fingers crossed everything went OK.


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SE5 Project - Identity Unknown

Post by GavinR » Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:39 pm

So the registration saga continues, after chasing the DVLA again, I received another letter today

"Dear...
Following investigation of our records and from the information recevied from you, the vehicle in your possession will need to be re-registered with a Q registration number.
The original registration and identity is now VOID and the vehicle cannot be used on the public road until it has been re-registered with the DVLA.
... our Re-registration Section will be in touch with you shortly ..."

I await another letter, it's only been 7 months so a few more months won't make any difference!
I look forward to discussing getting an age related plate with the Re-registration Section


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SE5 Project - Identity Unknown

Post by roymck » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:07 pm

If they give it a Q plate you will not be able to take it off or gain a age related plate unless you can provide proof of the original reg number . This also means no free road tax , no MOT exemption and no travel free in the ULEZ .



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