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  2003 rebuild

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19th January


Finally, a fairly decent day! No rain, but overcast. The roads are wet. Ok this day is bound to stay with me for quite a while. Regulars will know that ever since fitting the 1300 engine in K-C we've had a few problems with blue smoke, therefore causing an oil consumption issue. This particular day was no different. After starting the car up in the morning clouds of blue smoke were pouring from the exhaust. Gassing the neighbours and everyone within a mile radius!

The afternoon soon came around and Dad had topped K-C up with oil. He came in to tell me that he'd done the afore mentioned, and suggested that I should go out for a drive. That afternoon I wasn't too bothered about going out, and my reply was "I will see in about 10 minutes". I didn't think I had anything to loose by going out. So decided that I would.

Whenever I go out for a drive I always have a particular route which I follow. Which I call "Sunday test route". It usually takes me though a few small Derbyshire Villages, past Chatsworth House, and back home. About 10 minutes into the journey you end up on a road that takes you into the Peak District national park. This road is a national speed limit road. Therefore you can legally travel at 60mph on here. Usually I do like to do around 65mph on this particular stretch of road. However on this particular day the road was very wet, and there were temporary "Slippery road" notices every 2 miles or so. So I adjust my speed to 40mph. Once you start to drop down into the small Derbyshire Village of Baslow there is usually water on the road, again I adjusted my speed to 35mph, and dropped back from the car in front (to stop the spray going all over the car).

Suddenly the car in front of me slammed its brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of that which had stopped in the middle of the road and was trying to turn around. The car in front managed not to run into the back of the other car. I panicked and took the action which I thought was necessary to stop the car. Unfortunately the wheels locked and the car slipped down the road into the back of the other car. The last thing I remember was well the bonnet coming up, and hearing everything go quiet. For some reason its like your mind shuts off briefly. I then took more notice of the state of the interior of the car. I noticed that the front passenger seat had tipped up, the back seat base had come out of the clip.

Unfortunately I couldn't do anything about it now. It had happened. The drivers door was jammed against the wing, and I had a struggle to get out. That's when it hits you. The mess!

Above left: Not much remains of those 7 inchers, this one is broken and the other no longer works. Above right: Hitting a car with a towbar certainly makes a bit of a mess, the bumper looks like tin foil.

Just as she left the factory, K-C passed all checks for panel alignment, and improved airflow before hitting the road.

A hammer certainly won't knock it back into shape. The force was so great, it split the landing panel in two, smashed the battery in two, and crumpled and split the drivers inner wing. In a way it was a good thing the drivers inner wing was damaged. You'll find out why later on in the story...


20th January


I went to work today (which was a mistake). I wasn't really feeling myself and I was shaken. However Dad decided to crack on and try and tidy up some of the mess so that K-C began to look a little more respectable.

After much of the day was spent avoiding the battery acid that was everywhere the grille, lights, bumper, over-riders number plate, and the remains of the front panel-come-wing were removed. However the choice to remove only the passenger side was probably the best idea, this is because it was still fairly straight.

The passenger inner wing only suffered slight damage to the front of it. This was soon sorted out.

25th January


At last! Some major progress. The front end is totally gone, and part of the drivers inner wing is off. Its surprising what you start to find when you get prodding around. I had originally purchased a pair of wings for the car, as the current pair had seen better days. Judging by what we found when we removed the wing it would have required an inner wing on the drivers side, basically because it was like bodge city! Patch over patch. By the time you've messed around, you might as well have put a front on the car too.

The power unit looks open! It looks strange seeing the car like this.

Although it does look quite shocking, I feel at this point I should point out that we know exactly what we are doing...or do we? Yes little did we know that when the front is gone off the 1100, it just has no character at all! Besides anything else...the car really does need a wash!!

Now that looks more promising! A wing placed on... ok just to get an idea, but it seems to make you realise that we are so near, yet so far!

29th January


Today the engine and subframe were removed from K-C as a complete unit. The first (and last time) we've done this. You've never seen two people struggle like we did. Of course we had a huge disadvantage having no engine lift or lifting facilities. But we managed. Of course the subframe and engine are to be refitted as two separate units when they go back.

Not too much damage to the power unit. The horn on the right is broken and the bell housing is damaged.

Finally, we now know that K-C won't be going to the 1100 graveyard in the sky. Ever since the accident there have been a few problems with the drivers side door. It has never appeared to hang correctly. Luckily Roy Maskrey of RPM Workshops, a good friend of ours, came to have a look and diagnosed the problem to be the windscreen pillar. Because the drivers side had taken most of the shunt it had pushed the windscreen pillar back. We were always in doubt if this would ever take shape again. Roy seemed fairly optimistic and said he'd come round with the body jack, and "reverse the accident" (if only!).

Its surprising how weak the body is on the 1100 when the inner wing and subframe are missing. Roy came along with the body jack, wedged it on the sill and to door pillar and began to push the pillar back to its former shape and glory. You should have seen the front move. The windscreen was moving, the whole bulkhead was physically moving. But it did its job. After several attempts, stopping in between to check that we hadn't gone to far, we were there. Finally a door that fitted correctly again.

Above: The inner wing is put in place for a dummy run. Giving us chance to check that everything will line back up, the wing was also put into position to check that everything was set correctly.

Below: Inner wing was a genuine BMC part and came fitted with trumpet, wing stays and all the brackets. The interior was stripped out to get an idea of what damage had been done to floor. We set about straightening it with a hefty block of wood and hammer.

1st February


Some more progress? Well yes! Ok another very cold day, so everything you touched was like ice, but we've got the whole of the front end aligned. We used two methods. Firstly a jig. Built by Roy of RPM Workshops to basically do the job of a subframe for welding purposes, but allows one person to lift the jig into place and line everything up.

The Jig, Ideal for one person operations. Just checks everything before you weld it into place.

Also we fitted a subframe, the one that my Uncle was (is) going to fit in his project car, that however is ANOTHER story. When fitted, the subframe gives you a better impression than the jig. And in some cases, can give you more stability for welding purposes.

A more convincing dummy run. This time with the wings in place, a subframe, and a landing panel, all we need now is the front panel, and we're pretty much there.

7th February


Finally after a week of messing, tucking, fiddling, and lining up the inner wing has been welded in place, and the front end is already looking much healthier.

Looking at the inner wing from the front of the car. The red stuff is Zinc Oxide primer, and is a great product for using after welding. It stops rust coming back through.

Not only was the inner wing welded in, it was also sealed along the the edge that falls in the engine bay. We also stripped down the old engine. Guess what we found......?

Oil on the top of three of the cylinders. In a way we were pleased to see this we know now, that the engine is past it. Next job, find another engine or put the 1098cc unit back in.

8th February


K-C is beginning to look more like a car at last! With the wings and front panel in place...before you know it she'll be done?

Finally a woman with a face...even though its only held on by a few clamps and mole grips. We are starting to get there.

K-C's inner wing has been cleaned of rust, and treated with a rust cure. If everything goes to plan, it will undercoated and painted within the next day or so.


10th February


Well I was at work today, but can you guess how shocked I was to arrive home today, and find out that K-C was stood on all four wheels again? Not only that...but to have the inner wing painted too.

The paint on the inner wing looks a little dull, but at the end of the day it's all progress.

The inner wing painted and looking spot on. Although it is possible that we may give the wing another coat of paint, this time using enamel paint. On four wheels... and with the new 4x4 suspension system. The idea came from the states, from a certain Mr Todd Miller.


15th February


We had a rather large parcel delivered by trailer this week. It turns out that K-C's engine turned up. Quicker than what we expected, and ahead of schedule, so the engine will currently reside on a barrow until we are ready to fit it.

The new BMC 1300 powered barrow. Makes light work of those Garden chores.

Roy Maskrey also came with a gift (well not quite...but he did deliver it).

20th February


Ok, so today we've made some real progress. Why? Well I've been at home of course. So we really got stuck in. The new engine, was cleaned and painted. I refitted the trim, and painted a few bits and bobs too.

I thought I'd take a picture of Dad doing something. He's cleaning the engine.

The newly painted - engine and the accompanying parts.

Now the interior is looking more like a car...and less like the scene of an accident...get it?

21st February


You've guessed it. Yet more progress. Finally the spot welding commenced today. With spots here there and everywhere. So the front end is slowly going in. I've heard (this is a rumour) that towards the end of next week the engine could well have been fitted.

It's not that bad... Honest!

Finishing touches


Well this page hasn't been updated in ages, so a selection of pictures during the final stages. Although K-C is waiting to be painted, I am pleased with the overall finish of the car, when you consider the damage that occurred at the beginning of the year.

The engine bay, after refitting the engine. Beginning to look better (shortly after the Servo unit would fail on two different occasions).

The 1300 GT... I wish! The blue paint on the front panel has come through from painting the engine compartment.

With a coat of paint on, maybe not as shiny as it could have been, but the idea was to get a coat on to allow us to fit the rest of the car up.

Fitted out, fitting new seatbelts ready for the road testing.

The servo unit was painted black (to hide the rust) and makes the engine bay look a lot neater.

Finally, fitted with the correct grille for a 1300, awaiting for that final coat of paint, and the side repeater lamps to be fitted.

Early 2004, awaiting a repaint.


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