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sleag40

Vauxhall Cavalier

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sleag40

Dash top panel was fitted.

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The fiddly bit was next, heater control cables were a bit of a faff, but were easier than I thought they were going to be!

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The binnacle cover, lower switches, and column shroud on.

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And finally, the lower dash panels and steering wheel.

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Now the dash was in, I could mount the choke knob.

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I routed the cable through an unused grommet in the bulkhead, just above the servo. I think it's where the kickdown cable goes on an automatic.

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Before I left, I treated the insides of the doors, sills and A-posts with cavity wax. 

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sleag40

I ended up enlisting the help of my main welder bloke to help me make a spring compressor. I couldn't find a genuine one anywhere, and none of the freely available types of compressor were of any use. I did have a few pictures of a proper one to go off though, so we had half a chance!

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In practice, it wasn't nearly as straightforward as I was hoping though. It took many attempts at compressing, offering the arm/spring up to the car, then unwinding it, repositioning the tool and trying again until it was right for fitting.

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Finally, after several hours of trial and error, it was in!

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All the paint remains intact, although the same can't be said about my head, so I finished the day off by fitting the disc/hub, calliper and brake hose.

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I was hoping that the other side would be easier now that I knew where to position everything, but the tool had the last laugh and broke!
It would have been a lot easier if I wasn't bothered about ruining the paint - I think there might be something wrong with me!

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sleag40

 July 19th  As my spring compressor broke whilst trying to do the other side, I got on with other stuff while the mk2 version was being crafted. It was ridiculously hot in the unit  - 32 degrees outside - so an easy task was chosen. 

Starting with this 

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I attached the door membranes with a bead of black silicone sealant, as I couldn't find any of that silly putty stuff used originally. The finished job looked identical though, but I forgot to take a picture!

The door cards went on with new door pull surrounds (thanks to a man called Peter!) The cards were pretty grubby from storage, but they'd clean up nicely when I'd got the car away from the unit.

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Bought a new battery, and some 20/50 oil on my way home - as soon as I'd got it on four wheels, I was gonna run her up! :) 

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sleag40

I gave the rear panel a bit of satin black paint. The area to be painted was scotched, then panel wiped, then hit with the black stuff.

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I unmasked it while the paint was still soft.

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Once the paint had hardened, I put the lights, trims and letters back on. 

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Rear end starting to look like a Cavalier again.  :) 

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sleag40

I found a new radiator for very little money on eBay - a lot easier than trying to  smarten up the old one. 

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It was identical in every respect other than cosmetically!

It was soon in position, complete with a shiny new cap..

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The second spring compressor was done, so the other side of the front suspension finally went on.

It was a lot better now, but still took a little trial and error to get it right - it didn't matter now though, it was sorted!

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There were a couple of bits of touching up to do from when the first compressor broke, but it was no biggie! 

Edited by sleag40

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sleag40

Back on four wheels for the first time this year. 

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Boot lid now in paint

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Carpets back in

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Fuel was next on the list. :)

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sleag40

July 24th. Fitted the front shocks first - not so bouncy any more!

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Back on it, petrol in hand - it was time to get her started. Oil went in, new battery fitted, and water in the radiator (in case of any leaks!). I turned the key and......lots of clicking and occasional slow turning of the engine. The battery was new, so it could only have been a bad earth or a dead starter motor. The bell housing to chassis leg earth strap wasn't very tight, so I tightened it up, and then the motor cranked over nicely. The fuel pump at the front of the engine is gravity fed from the tank, but the fuel line runs up the chassis leg before it drops down to the pump. I only put 5 litres of fuel in, so I needed to make sure it was reaching the pump - it wasn't. A clear plastic tube was inserted into the end of the fuel line, and I syphoned it through, it didn't need much help - now we were in business! After 5 seconds or so of cranking, she burst into life, and with a couple of tweaks of idle + mixture adjustment screws, settled down to a nice even tickover. Belter!
 I left it running with the heater on for half an hour or so to bleed the air out, the thermostat was working nicely, and best of all - no leaks of either water or oil. :)

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Flushed with success, I fitted the anti roll bar next. It was something of a faff, but I got there in the end. Another one of those jobs that would have been a lot easier with an extra hand!

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^^^ Here you can clearly see the curve the spring needs which made the spring compressor so difficult to get right.

All in all, a good day! :)

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sleag40

The last painted piece came back.

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All the front and rear suspension bolts were done up tight now the car had settled on all four wheels. Next all the brake pipe unions were checked for tightness ready to fill the system, then the boot lid went on.

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Before I left, I made sure I could remember how the jack/wheel brace/spare wheel are fitted.

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I needed to hijack another pair of hands to fit the bonnet.

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sleag40

Filled the gearbox with oil, then had a go at the brakes. The fronts filled nicely under gravity, but nothing at all made it to the rears. I ended up using a vacuum bleeder, but still no joy - in the end it was done by closing the front bleed nipples and mashing the pedal to wake up the valve in the rear brake line. Once past the valve, it bled itself by gravity.

Being very careful not to get any on the new paint - 

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We now have a brake pedal! I didn't t find any leaks either!
A new bonnet stay clip arrived, thanks to Keith at VauxhallGreenParts. I'd forgotten that the original one had disintegrated when the car was stripped, but luckily he had one left.

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I couldn't resist cleaning the dust off the car -

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sleag40

The bonnet went on when I had access to a couple of helpful bodies from next door. :)

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I managed to get the panel gaps pretty even, but the final adjustments would be done when the wings went on.

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Sealant applied to inner wing/wing mating surfaces.

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Lined up pretty well considering this wing came from another car.

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The other side was good at the front.

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But it stood out from the door a bit at the back.

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I had a good play with it, and did get some improvement. This was the wing that was a little battered and disguised with filler - obviously when it was straightened, it became a little distorted.

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sleag40

Gaps were optimised before bolting the wing down fully.

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The black bits at the front were then blown in.

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Again, it was unmasked along the black to blue line whilst the paint was still soft to avoid cracking/flaking.

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I went away to do some chores, (and play with my Polos!) and then went back and took the rest of the masking off. It was a good time to fit a pair of nice new indicator lamps. :)

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sleag40

August 1st. These were on the door mat when I got up.

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These are the same style as the original rear plate. The front one that was on the car when I bought it was an 80s plastic one, fitted after a bump. Now we had a matching pair thanks to Tippers. :)

Whilst waiting for the flat and polish session, I got a bit more assembly done.

The seating was now back where it belongs.

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Once the drivers seat was in, I drove it around the yard for a short while. It felt good to be behind the wheel again. :)

I cleaned up my sill trims while the bodywork was being polished. They have a little pitting, but they look a lot better than when I started!

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The bodywork would have do be polished again though, it looked ok in bright sunlight, but once it was back in my unit, I could see sanding spirals all over it. :(

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sleag40

Sill trims went back on.

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I used the original clips on the underside, but with self tapping screws instead of the plastic pegs used originally. Should be easier to remove now.

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The VIN plate was next.

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Then the wipers.

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And then the ariel - Matsui Radio worked a treat now! :)

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sleag40

The front end was built back up next.

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I then flatted and polished the rear facing part of the boot lid, and then the trim and badges were added.

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I intended to fit the hockey stick trims to the front valance next, but I'd left them at home. I did have the number plates with me though.

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I had to mount the front one slightly off centre, as the characters were in the way if done centrally , it didn't look too bad though.

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I ended up making a couple of brackets to move it a little to the left, keeping the screws where they were. :)

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sleag40

Hockey stick trims went on next - this was the first time I'd used the special rivets I bought that replicate the "pegs" welded on at the factory to facilitate trim attachment. All non original panels (drivers door, drivers wing and front valance) needed these to avoid glueing the trim back on. Just a 3mm hole was required in the correct places and...

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A "peg" to attach the trim clip to^^^

Trim clip slid onto the peg...

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Repeat a few times and then clip on the trim pieces...

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Number plate now centralised.

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The car then went back to have the polishing sorted out. 

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sleag40

Rear bumper fitted.

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Arch trims went on next - three out of the four needed holes drilling due to repairs and the replacement wing.

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The side trims were next, just the drivers door and o/s/f wing needed holes drilling and rivets putting in. A couple of the trims needed straightening, the nearside rear quarter trim was the worst of the lot, but ended up pretty reasonable. 

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The roof gutter trims went on next, I thought that these were going to be a pig to do, but they were relatively straightforward. 

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Finally, the washer jets and lines were fitted and tested. I still needed to sort out a dim offside headlight, but it was looking good for its MOT the following day :)

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sleag40

August 12th. MOT day. Had a quick look about the car in the morning - I had plenty of time before I needed to be there, so re fitted the tank cover.

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Then did something I've never done before - tyre shine!

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Waiting for MOT

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Job's a good 'un! A most excellent experience - the MOT guy wasn't the usual tester,  but was a top bloke anyway. :)  Car seen here outside my gaff after a most enjoyable drive home. Did about 30 miles in the afternoon, and nothing had fallen off yet. :)

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sleag40

The MOT was timed to perfection weatherwise. Went out and about in it to show a few friends what's been occupying so much of my time this year. I even took it to work to prove that my reasons for doing bugger all overtime this year were not fictional.

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All too soon it was time to put it away again - after a couple of pictures! 

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sleag40

Momentum had been lost since I'd not done any work on this for a week. I dug these period correct mudflaps out of storage, and made plans to go about fitting them. 

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Took the car back to my unit.

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I had intended to finish up the polishing as well as fitting the mud flaps, but the weather was too good to be spent in the unit. Did some mileage instead!

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sleag40

Finally got my act together when the weather turned.

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Not a lot to do with this other than driving it now. (Until I find some fabric to re cover the seats with.)

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sleag40

Passed a bit of a milestone a month after the MOT.

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Done 600 odd miles since it's been back on the road, always puts a smile on my face when I get out in it. It'll probably be put away for the Winter soon, so I'm taking advantage of every opportunity for a spin at the moment.

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nige8021

Fantastic write up.

 

Reminded me of rebuilding my Opel Manta GT/E (1983)  that engine crossmember so heavy !

 

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sleag40
On 20/10/2016 at 21:48, nige8021 said:

Fantastic write up.

 

Reminded me of rebuilding my Opel Manta GT/E (1983)  that engine crossmember so heavy !

 

Cheers Nige! 

 


I've been lucky with new parts again - this time it was a pair of new early type mirrors. This car only had the drivers side mirror from new, which makes some manoeuvres guesswork! The mirror the car came with was also from a later car.

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Unortunately they came with the wrong quadrant for passenger side mirror attachment. :)


A swap was arranged, and the correct one obtained - comparison of the saloon quadrant (left), and the manta/coupe one.

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Mirrors now fitted.

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volksfan1

What an excellent write up, gave me the boot up the behind to start my daughters polo again [emoji3]

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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sleag40
On 22/10/2016 at 14:10, volksfan1 said:

What an excellent write up, gave me the boot up the behind to start my daughters polo again emoji3.png

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Many thanks! It's pleasing that the thread gave you a bit of motivation.

 

Got this out for a drive this afternoon 

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After I put the car away, I saw the gritter trucks out on my way home, so this could well have been my last ride out for a while.  :(

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