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Hard to believe that this thread has not had an update since March…!
Its easy to let updates slip once a car is on the road but hopefully this post will fill in some of the gaps I’ve failed to talk about during the past few months. Since returning to the road and getting its panels the van has been in regular use clocking up the miles….
As seen here In Birmingham:
Rebel Van with dated architecture (petersfield)
Rebel Van in Grimsby:
and as documented in another thread recently… Stoke on Trent:
This year its done 4400+ miles, In the time since the engine swap its needed a fuel pump and a different dynamo to replace parts that were long past their prime. But other than that its been a faithful workhorse that has repeatedly exceeded my expectations. To the point where I now happily overlook some of its very real faults. eg the inability to see out of the wing mirrors, the huge amount of transmitted road noise when doing 50+mph and the tendency to get blown about by high winds or high sided vehicles when traveling at speed .
With the one year ownership mark fast approaching my thoughts recently turned to securing the next MOT and addressing some of the problems that had been deferred when the van when back on the road. These really needed to be sorted to guarantee the little rebel van a chance to stay on the road in the longer term.
With this in mind I took the van over to the isle of wight where the plan was to make and fit a set of replacement chassis outriggers. Heres a look at the old ones:
Passenger side rear, The rusty hole is actually the seat belt mounting point hidden beneath a large washer .
Passenger side rear outrigger profile view, This shows the basic construction, steel pressings spot welded together which has left a rust trap between the surfaces. This had then been very badly overplated in a previous repair.
The front Passenger side outrigger, which had again been overplated
The front drivers side outrigger, the whole in the middle is caused but water accumulating between the 2 spot welded sections over many years,
Despite the appearances the Reliant outriggers were surprisingly solid still and did take some effort to remove, the previous repair work leaves alot to be desired and while it was hiding the problems of the original design it wasn’t actually providing any real strength.
A new set of outriggers were put together, These were fabricated out of 3mm steel plate which is slightly thicker than standard. They are made to the same pattern we used on the rebel saloon we did last year. This design includes a wider top which can be used to fasten a B-pillar roll bar to the chassis if one is fitted at a later date.
Photo Shows a set of outriggers before final trimming, rears at the top fronts ant the bottom.
For the Mot the Van needed 3 Dust Boots for the track rods, a nearside Tyre and the front brake balance sorting (turned out to be a sticking piston in a cylinder)
The following pictures show the van up on the MOT lift and the new outriggers fitted…. Sorry about the lousy Iphone pictures I’d left my good camera behind.
Finally a couple of post Mot shots Which show the van as it currently is with its correct tail lights fitted and chrome bumpers fitted.
Plans in the new year include sorting the interior out with some carpet / insulation fitting some door mirrors to replace the wing mirrors and working on a high ratio axle swap. The mid term plan will still be to get the body off and get it nicely painted etc but in the meantime I’m now happy that its now all solid and the fine details like nice paintwork can wait until the weather is better.
The van now has side panels!
We spent the last 2 days putting the panels in and giving a rough coat of paint generally very pleased with the result, the fine fettling on the paintwork will be done in the future when the whole van will be repainted.
In other news the van is now tax exempt which took a while to sort the paperwork out with the dvla.
Spent the morning getting the blue Rebel MOT’d and have now clocked up 20 (painful) miles…!
Early start… our first attempt to reach the test station resulted in us heading back home having only covered a few hundred yards! The Zenith carb and 850 engine combination proved to be un-driveable…
After spending some time swapping Jets over we finally made it to the test station.
It passed, with a few advisories: Bit surprised about the wiper blades as they were brand new, most of the other points were quite minor so all in all very pleased.
A few photos of the van taken on the way home, (wheels, tyres, starter motor, battery and petrol filler neck are on loan from the red rebel!)
Tools and assorted carb’s in the back, In total we stopped 4 times to attend to carb issues, Accelerator diaphragm burst resulting in changing it for a spare perished one and disconnecting the operating cam – made for a slightly gutless drive home!
Front view, note the slightly improvised choke cable… This rebel came with two windscreens- both were scratched but we’ve swapped for the spare as it is at least usable! New windscreen seal fitted too.
New seatbelts, these take some getting used to compared to modern inertia types!
Rear door, Hinges have been repair’d and a temporary doorlock striker plate fabricated up
Theres a very short video of the journey home here: http://youtu.be/08X5PSxSflY
There a few bit still to be done – Tax class needs changing which will have to wait until after the bank holiday, Its currently registered as a Disabled Vehicle, Needs a SU carb to suit the 850 engine and possibly a 850 distributer too instead of the 700/750 items currently fitted. Engine front-plate still needs proper feet making up. The LUK clutch ultimately destined for the red rebel which is currently fitted wants swapping for a standard one which is on order along with a new starter, a proper choke cable would be nice as well as a new wiper switch so the self-park
feature actually works!. All that should make it a bit more usable.
After getting those bits done we’ll probably make up some panels for the rear to turn it back into a proper Van and sort out the other bodywork bits. Major suspension/chassis overhaul is not a current priority and will happen in the longer term.
This last post brings the Rebel Van photos up to date with the van running and moving under it own power.
Rad filled with water, a borrowed battery off a Scimitar
Checking the Electrics, Terminals were cleaned and some modified wiring removed and everything came back to life, The fan motor switch is dodgy, and a new wiper switch would be nice but virtually everything else electric works.
The front brake pads never arrived in time to fit them bleed and check the system but we decided to try and get the engine running anyway. Photo Here shows Dave priming the carb
We were missing the starter so it took half an hour of pushing up and down to get the engine running, after a few false starts it fired up… Just as well as really as rebel with hard crossplys on the front and slightly flat radials on the back is quite hard work to push!
The Video: http://youtu.be/r5hV_EeOA4g
The Carb is wrong as its a Zenith and it should have an SU, As a result it doesn’t want to idle on it’s current settings. A decent play with the idle screw will probably make workable in the short term. It sounds fooked but its probably just the timing chain tensioner, It needs a new water pump as too as the current one pisses water everywhere.
The MOT Jobs list is something like this:
Replace windscreen – (current one has severe scratches, new one came with the car)
Fit new seatbelts – old ones are a bit frayed
Starter Motor – Because push starting is too much like hard work
Water Pump – May borrow this off the rebuilt 850 sat on the bench in the garage to save £££”S
Timing Chain tensioned,
Proper Engine mounts making,
Replace rubber filler pipe – Old one had dissolved.
New Tyres, – The van will probably inherit the Rostyles off the Red Rebel as Dave doesn’t like them the red rebel will then get something different.
Replace Rear door, – Requires a repair to one of the hinges
Source new numberplate and test numberplate light.
Fasten remaining chassis bolts down – needs more 1/4 inch unf bolts
Probably paint the rest of the chassis as some against protection against the winter roads.
When the van first arrived we ordered the first lot of parts and so far the Rebel and so far the list isnt too long:
Handbrake cable, – Supplied but the Kitten Register thanks Brian
Radiator, – bought a new one for a mini
2 New Master cylinders – bought off the shelf from my local classic oriented motor factors,
A tail light, -
A starter solenoid,
Cylinder Rebuild Kits,
Replacement front cylinders – (turned out to be badly made pattern parts which did not fit,
Front Brake shoes, – Which still wave not arrived
Everything else we’ve uses is either stuff that came with the car of spares that were in the garage. or have been borrowed from the stock of bits intended for the other rebel.
Master Cylinders, I think we were lucky to find these and they were the most expensive Item bought to date. They are not thought to be a common part with this combination of bore and sideways fixing. It would be possible to make adapter plates up to take more common land rover style master cylinder should availability be a problem in the future.
Exaust was removed to get a good look at the outriggers, It turned out to be stainless which was nice.
One of the 850′s that came with the Van was dropped in we don’t know much about any of the engines that came with the car except that this one was the most complete and seemed to have good compression. Old Rad being trial fitted to see how it should be mounted.
Dropping the engine in has revealed a difference in the engine frontplates between the Rebels and their 3wheeled cousins, This rebel was missing its original engine and so we are short of a Rebel front plate.
So for the time being temporary adaptor plates have been made, We’re now on the lookout for a front plate to suit a rebel.
Engine with new Radiator, The bracket over the rocker cover is the support for an improvised throttle cable, it was later cut down.
There was no starter motor on any of the engines we got with the car and our spare was to fit the later type 850 engine and had a different mounting bracket and 10 teeth in stead of nine.
Photo of Dave’s custom made radiator mounting bracket.