Scimitar SE6a Restoration - Head Gasket

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JoeySully
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Scimitar SE6a Restoration - Head Gasket

Post by JoeySully » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:20 am

Iv had my Scimitar for the last 6 months and have been meaning to start a Project thread so finally here it is.

So I'll start at the beginning. I was looking for a classic car to buy at the start of last year. I had it down to a shortlist of TR7's, Rover P6, MGB and BWM 2002 . My budget was quite low so getting one that didn't need a load of welding was quite challenging. Then I came across a SE6 advertised on the web in Ireland. I had never heard or seen one before this. Did a bit of research and after finding this site and others like sporting-reliants with lots of pics and stories I decided that I gotta have one. After hearing Dave Pools exhaust note on youtube gave me an extra push to start my search for a good one.

The main reasons for choosing scimitar was the fiberglass body. I'm not a welder so this was important for me. Also nice big engine - road tax and insurance would be pretty much the same no matter what classic I got so the bigger the better really. Also the hi spec of the SE6 really got me going unlike a rusty MG.

So searched websites daily to find one within my budget and which was in a roadworthy condition. Found a few and had my heart set on a brown and cream one "JAW978V" but someone on this forum got there before I could fly over and take a look. So the search continued and finally a nice black one came on on eBay.

It was exactly what I was looking for with all the nice bits - leccy windows, power steering, webasto, leather seats. The pics were small in the add so couldn't get a good look at it before the auction ended and the seller wouldn't send me any more, so I took a chance and after a few drinks on my birthday I waited patiently to the end of the auction to bid.
Well won it anyway and booked my flight for the next week. At this stage I had never actually seen a Scimitar other than pictures. Early flight to London and the train to Oxford where I met the seller at the train station.

I was presently surprised :D. Car looked good and took it for a drive back to the sellers house. Everything seemed OK, plenty power in the engine, brakes were good, lights all worked and recent MOT. So had a good look around the car, checked the service history, filled out all the paper work, handed over a wad of cash and headed for the ferry in Fishguard.

The Drive over was strange - the radio didn't work but I didn't mind. Every creak and noise was a bit of a worry but it powered on all the way without any problems. Well except for the headlights not working for a few seconds which was a bit of a fright but pressing the big red switch near the gearstick that lit up sorted it out. (still don't know what that really does).
Onto the ferry and got a bit of kip on a bench. Woke up in Rosslare at 6 in the morning. Car started cold so I was happy with that. Had another 3 hours to drive home. It was great to get the power down :). I was a bit scared to push it in the UK in case I broke something but now that I was near home I could open her up a bit. It was great fun overtaking spanky new cars along the road and the noise was quite pleasing.
Landed home finally. The brother called over and we started to give it a good clean. Took a few hours but here it is on its first day "home".
ImageImage

More to Come

Jobs Done :
Cooling system
Fix Leaking Fuel
Repair Rear Seat
Front Suspension and Steering Rack
Replace the Fuse box
Fit Semiconductor Voltage Regulator
Add USB Power
Replace Exhaust
Fit Amp and New Speakers
Fit New Shocks and Springs
Install Remote Central Locking Kit.

To Do
Fix water leak at rear of car (in progress)
Fix water leak in passenger footwell (in progress)
Replace rear wiper motor(in progress - need to sort out the park switch)
Paint Steering Wheel
Re-rivet foot panel under door
Fit new Carpet
Replace Webasto Wooden Frame.
Replace Nasty cover under bonnet with shiny heat shield.
Replace headlining with Vinyl/leatherette
Make panel to take 6*9's in the boot.
Fit SS rear wiper park cover?? maybe.
Fix side Window Drain tubes.
Paint Bumpers front and back.
Last edited by JoeySully on Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:12 pm, edited 55 times in total.



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Scimitar SE6a Restoration - Cooling Problems

Post by JoeySully » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:28 am

The First problem I encountered was a leaking radiator. About a week after getting the car I got stuck in traffic on a really hot day and the temperature went way up :shock:
I didn't notice till the next day when I found water under the front of the car. Got the Rad out but couldn't see any obvious leaks. Sent it down to a local Radiator company and they found it completely blocked and had to cut it apart and solder the joints.
Got the rad back after a few days and refitted it with a new 82 thermostat. I also flushed out the cooling system with some liquid cooling system flush and gave the heater matrix a good flushing with a garden hose. Some of the pipes had become a bit cracked so I have now replaced all of them.
Last edited by JoeySully on Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Scimitar SE6a Restoration - Fuel tank

Post by JoeySully » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:48 am

Since I got the car I always got a smell of petrol, especially when accelerating hard or going uphill.
after getting the rear panel off so i could look in behind the filler cap I found a load of expanding foam over the rubber filler pipe.
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After removing the foam I could see there was something wrong in there and the smell of petrol got much worse.
So I dropped the tank and found the neck to be Well rotten
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Not only around the neck but all over the top of the tank was rotten.
So went in search of a new one and found a good one on eBay cheap enough and got it shipped over. Took a week to arrive so couldn't drive it.
Ordered a new rubber hose from GW too. Luckily the straps were in good shape.

painted up the new one with some hammerite
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and lifted it into place
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The fuel sender wasn't working in the car so got a new one of them too
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I got some new rubber fuel lines and replaced all lines at the tank and in the engine bay. one other problem I had was a leak at the metal fuel pipe at the front of the engine. It was rubbing on the brake line that goes along the cross-member and the metal fuel pipe actually wore a hole in itself. Got it out and cut off the end where the hole was and just used a longer rubber hose under the engine.
Last edited by JoeySully on Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.



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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by MickP » Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:55 am

Is the paint job as good as it looks in the pics? - It looks pretty well spot on (unlike mine).

Michael.


SOLD: 1978 SE6a Auto.
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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by JoeySully » Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:08 am

The paint is OK. there are a few cracks here and there but nothing major.



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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by Coco La Blanc » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:53 pm

Joey,
That looks quite a tidy car - well done particularly as it was on Ebay (eg. littered with unscrupulous people selling cheap tat including cars both large and small).
Just bide your time and you will be able to put together a really nice car. Look to replace, as necessary, with SS (Bolts/Pipes/Self Tappers/Etc) where applicable and make sure the Chassis and Suspension are well lubricated (prior to my ownership my 72 5a had always had a minor oil leak but it had preserved the chassis superbly and I now use old engine oil to ward off the rust beetles). Don't you love the faces on the euroboxes owners when you fly by !!! ;~} haha
Regards,
Viv



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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by zeb » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:03 pm

That looks very tidy!! I remember buying my first Scimitar. I was having kittens handing over the cash, wondering If I had bought a right pup or not.
The drive home was like no other I have had,part terror and part excitement as i had no idea what the car was supposed to do and not do.
As it turned out, it was a gem, stupidly sold later on. You live and learn!
Thanks to this forum my second Scimitar purchase was done with far less worry, there are some top people on here who really know their stuff.
Best of luck, there really is no car like a Scimitar ( ive owned and driven stacks of other cars) and you really wont want to own anything else of the same vintage.
Good luck!
Rob



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Roger Pennington
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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by Roger Pennington » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:29 pm

Yes, it looks very smart. You must be well pleased. :D Well done.

cheers,

....Roger


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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration - Rear Seat

Post by JoeySully » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:03 pm

Thanks for the positive feedback :)

Next Job was to attack the interior. It was very dirty and the leather looked terrible. The rear seat was especially bad. Water had got into the recess under the rear seat and the water soaked up through the button strings and rusted the buttons and in turn rotting the leather around the buttons. The leather had gotten very hard also.
ImageImage
So got some leather cleaner and leather cream and this helped a bit but the buttons needed to be replaced. Spent half a day walking around town for a shop that could make me some buttons. Found one in the last place I looked :wink:. But they could only make them on Tuesdays because Tuesday is the day that they make buttons :? and I had to supply my own material too. Finally go them made anyway for a couple of euro. Got some new string and some glue.

I took it apart which was quite easy, the leather is glued onto the base. The buttons were held on with string that went through the foam and secured with clips at the bottom. Gave it another thorough wash and added leather cream twice a day for a week. It Improved it a lot and got much softer.
Image

As well as buttons holding the center of the seat down there was also some cloth that was sewn to the back of the leather at the seam near the buttons. This had completely rotted away on mine so got some material form an old sheet to replace these with.
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It was tough work sewing through the leather seam but with some help from the GF we got it done in about an hour. I used a curved needle which made it a bit easier. Left plenty length in the material so that I could secure it when gluing it down.

Reassembly was a bit tricky. I had my trusty assistant to help.
The material I added at the back of the leather goes through the foam and is glued to the fiber glass base. In hindsight I think I should have done this first but instead I attached the buttons first.

I used a hanger wire with the top bent over into a small closed loop to push the string through the leather foam and out the bottom of the base. removed the hanger and attached a clip to secure the string.

once all 8 buttons were attached I glued down the material at the bottom of the seat and then supported them with some old window weights until the glue dried.
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once the glue had dried i removed the excess material from the base and glued the leather around the edges.
This was a bit tricky and was hard to get it back to the exact location to where it was before.

A hole behind 1 button had gotten too big so the button just pulled behind the leather. I backed it with some Vinyl and glued the vinyl to the leather. Worked a treat and you'd hardly notice it.
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And that was it. last thing to do was to refit. Before I put it back in I removed most of the hard sound deadening in the car that's under the seat. It was holding water so it had to go. I was going to drill some holes under the seat but I found some Rubber grommets under the sound deadening at each corner. Removed all of them so if i do get water in there then it wont be affecting my seat.
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I will be reconditioning the seats with liquid leather or similar but need to do a bit of stitching of the front seats first. Going to wait till I have a nice summers day restore the leather fully and get the seats out.



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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by Roger Pennington » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:35 pm

I have black leather too, and I use Gliptone Liquid Leather. Also I find their Scuffmaster Dye is great for getting rid of any areas of scuffing or scratches. With black there's no colour matching worries either.

cheers,

....Roger


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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by JoeySully » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:45 pm

Roger Pennington wrote:I have black leather too, and I use Gliptone Liquid Leather. Also I find their Scuffmaster Dye is great for getting rid of any areas of scuffing or scratches. With black there's no colour matching worries either.

cheers,

....Roger
Yeah im going to use something like that for the leather Roger. Might go for this one as the leather need a lot of work and this stuff seems more heavy duty.



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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration - Front Suspension

Post by JoeySully » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:52 pm

The next thing I needed to do was the front suspension and steering rack which was leaking heavily and leaving puddles everywhere I parked.

I was getting a bit of a knock at the front going over bumps too. Most of the poly bushes at the front were cracked and were fitted ~4 years ago looking at the service history.

I had some new top and bottom bushes - rubber type, which would be better here in Ireland, with the roads the way they are, poly is just too hard.
I had a steering rack to fit anyway so I thought id get the suspension done at the same time.

steering rack all cleaned down and painted with new tack rod ends.
Image

I started by draining the cooling system. The easiest way do this I found was the leave the cooling system intact. Remove the drain plug from the bottom of the rad and the water will only tickle out rather than flush out. This way you can use a dish pan to fit under the car and its easy to refit the plug when it full, tip it into a bigger bucket and fill the pan again.
After that get the pipes off and remove the rad and then removed the TRE's from their home.

Getting the rack off was a bit difficult. Its held on with 4 bolts, these are easy.
The hard bit is getting the steering column off the rack. The bottom bolt is hidden by the chassis upright. So had to take the steering column apart at it upper joint.
I would mark its orientation of the top and bottom column to each other if I were to do it again.
Once that is done I removed the securing bolts holding the PAS pipes on the cross-member in the engine bay. This allowed me to move the rack freely to undo the lower joint on the column.
Next I removed the two top bolts holding the pipes to the rack. These are a bit tricky to get off due to the lack of space. And that was it - out with the leaky rack.

I then continued to dismantle the suspension on one side leaving the other together as a reference.
Image

Image

As you can see it was VERY greasy from the leaking rack but it did help as all the bolts came apart without a fuss. I was expecting it to be much more difficult.
Once it was all apart I started to degrease all the parts with some heavy duty degreaser. It took at least 2 attempts washing them to get all the grease off.
I then got all the metal clean using one of these Image
they work great and are much better than wire wheels even though they are more expensive.

At this point I found that I needed new top ball joints so ordered some on ebay and a new trunnion kit from GW

Once they were all cleaned down i could start the painting
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and start putting it back together
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so all back together and then I noticed a bit of a leak
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this was not good :x :x
Had to take the Rack out again and swap the pipes from the "old" rack to the "new" one
Both pipes split when trying to remove them from the rack so there wasn't much life left in them.
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Luckily the pipes on the other rack were in great shape and they swapped over nicely.

After that I bled the brakes and fitted the radiator.

On refitting the Thermostat housing this happened! :x :x
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i tired to fix it but it broke again
Image

The cause I found later was that the gasket paper I used to make a new gasket was too thin! The repair above would probably have worked but the second time i didn't realize the problem was the thin gasket.
So once I got a replacement I was very careful fitting it and then saw the issue.

All back together and back on the road. No more horrible knocking noises and the steering rack I put in leaks much less that the other one :roll: :roll:

I have some new shocks and springs on the way so will get them fitted soon.

The job should have taken me a week but believe it or not it took me over a month to get it all done. Most of the problems were I guess waiting for paint to dry but also waiting for parts to arrive from the UK and removing and fitting a steering rack twice takes a lllong time. Also working in a dark cold garage is just horrible and the work really cant be enjoyed as much as it should be.



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Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by JoeySully » Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:55 pm

Got some nearly new Bits today off eBay:)

These arrived along with a interior light dimmer switch.
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New rears on the way next week.

Wont get to fit them for a while though, cause some "card" company decided that this weekend should be all about the ladies :roll: :roll: did you forget !!!

This came too :D its 1,000,000W I think :wink:.
Image
Didn't look that big in the photo. Plan is to connect it up to the original radio and some MP3 connections in there too. Don't know where I'm going to fit it though??
Maybe in front of the spare wheel, Might be a bit hot in there though? or else make a small box in behind one of the rear seats. Was originally going to put it under the glove-box but water might get at it. New 70A alternator is on the cards soon too to drive it.

I also spoke to a guy selling recon steering racks on eBay - gave me a quote for £195 delivered with 2 of my leaky racks in exchange. don't know if I'll go for it or not.



Coco La Blanc

Re: Scimitar SE6a Restoration

Post by Coco La Blanc » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:05 pm

Joey,
I see, in your piccy, that you have two new colletts and two fairly rusty ones. I have spare new ones in "Alladin's Cave" if you want to put new ones on. PM me if interested.
Regards,
Viv



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Scimitar SE6a Restoration - New Steering Rack Install

Post by JoeySully » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:53 pm

Got my reconditioned rack from classic_performance_steering yesterday so booked a long due day off work to get it fitted.

It arrived well packaged but all the pipes had been damaged to some extent in transit. Courier must have put at the bottom of the pile.

Got the old rack out last Saturday so the work today was just to fit the new one.
Started by swapping all the pipes over from the old rack which took some time but they all came off nicely and went back on without any major problems.

Got it into the car and started getting it lined up to attach to the steering column. As I joined the lower column to the upper column I pushed the steering column up and pushed the steering wheel out about an inch. No matter how much wiggling and pushing I tried it just would not go back down. After about half an hour of messing with it I realized that the key was not in the ignition. Put the key in and it released the steering lock which was stopping the column from going back down.

So once that was together I got the rest of the bits back on. Tried to track it by eye which doesn't seem to bad. Went to 2 tyre shops and both couldn't do the tracking because it "wasn't in their computer". One of them asked "is it a ROVER" ??? So I'll have to find someone with the old mirror system to get the tracking good.

Well as for the rack, so far so good. Drove about 20 miles today and no leakage. The steering feels a bit heavier that it did before but i guess that is due to tighter seals.

Did a bit more fettling. I replaced the dimmer switch in above the rear view mirror. That panel is a pain to remove and wouldn't you know it the replacement one didn't work either :(. Refitting it was more difficult trying to get it behind the window seal. Got some help with that job using a wire behind the window seal. Don't thing I could have done it alone.
Then I cleaned up the earthing strap contact at the chassis, a job iv been meaning to do for a while. It was getting dark now and turned on the lights. More problems the dash lights all stopped working. So spent half an hour checking fuses and wires and then realized that the dimmer switch was set to the minimum, Grrrr who did that:D??? They seem to be a bit intermittent as later they went out again so I'm guessing its the dash light dimmer switch is on the way out.

So next job is to fit the shocks. Still need to get some rear springs though.
Getting a box for the amp made on Saturday to protect it in the boot. Still need to get some speakers and wiring though oh and a new alternator. Will probably go for the one recommended by Don Kenny



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