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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.
Re-uniting the Bodyshell and Chassis:
Rollbar in situ
rear outrigger and the mounting plate on the bottom of the rollbar
rear of engine bay
forward view of engine bay
One Month Before! :
These photos show the process of building up the chassis with the suspension and braking components.
Bare chassis (upside down :p)
Finished lower roll bar section – note mount point for seatbelt.
Rollbar sections test assembled
Detail view of “B” post section of rollbar
Leaf springs going back on
New master cylinder
new wheel cylinders, ball joints and trunnion bushes
General overview of front suspension going back together
new brake pipes and wiring loom going back on
new rear cylinders
front hubs refitted
starting to look like part of a car again!
The following post documents the rest of the chassis repairs. we then painted the chassis and suspension components which had been cleaned up ready for painting.
Rot cut out:
Replacement steel tacked and hammered in stages to replicate the correct curve:
Trial fitting the prefolded repair section, this was folded to measure by a local fabricator.
Welded in place:
Front section welded in:
Various small holes welded up,
Bottom section fitted,
The following photos show the start of the chassis repair work.
New section let into rear chassis section – while this section was cut out a crack alongside the spring mounting bush was also welded up. Apparently a common problem on the Rebel.
Patched up the rear crossbrace.
new rear outrigger tacked in place
rear outrigger – note wider top section which will take the lower mounting for the rollbar and also the seatbelt reels.
front outrigger also tacked in situ.
Chopping out the area of the passenger side front chassis that had badly corroded from the battery leaking.
The pitting runs along the bottom of the chassis rail as far as the gearbox crossbrace.