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Seat Covers & Anto Roll Bar

Brief update on the Red Rebel,

Since I last posted about it The seats repaired and retrimmed by the trimmer at the boatyard where Dave works in keeping with their striking origonal colourscheme. They’ve come out really well and they are really very comfortable.

A new set of door cards were made at the same time as the seats. These use plastic backs rather than the original hardboard so they should be far more hard wearing. The door cards are waiting for the final fit which requires another order of weatherstrip! then the handles and trim can go back. If anyone has a decent set of red door pulls we’d very interested (believed to be the same as escort mk1 and Anglia.)  There is also a new set of sunvisors to go in too!

The arm rests are a sightly different to the original spec as they are trimmed all the way round with edging.

From then Its passed into regular use with Dave using as his main car, it still has the 600cc engine fitted which is now getting a bit tired and is burning a lot of oil, there are suspicions about a rumbling big end and the solex carb has will only fuel it with the choke left on a bit  :shock: . The gearbox has also developed a nasty wine in second suggesting it too will need attention in the not too distant future.

With this in mind I delivered a tidy Low mileage (less than 17k) 850 to the island at the end of last week. This is to act as a bit of a safety net if the 600cc engine finally quits. The 750cc race engine has taken longer to develop than we’d have liked and is currently waiting for some machining; the crank wants a polish and the whole setup needs rebalancing. Other exciting goodies supplied include a Stainless exhaust system and a rebuilt fully synchro gearbox which is going to be fitted with the early type tailshaft (retaining the gear stick position where it is at the moment.) all of which are there as future projects.

As a final activity while over on the island the saloon was fitted with a nice new accessory… a front anti roll bar! this was a bit experimental as we were unsure how much difference it would make or how well it would fit. Photo shows one of the mounts which had just been welded on.

The wishbones already have the mountings for the drop-links so they were a straightforward fit.

Shown here with the anti-rollbar  in place


The handling has been significantly improved, there is a substantial reduction in bodyroll particularly when cornering and it has given a real improvement in the handling through sharp bends and chicanes. The improvement is marked and I’ll definitely be going for a similar setup for the van as soon as the budget allows. There is a slight downside which is about a 1″ reduction in ground clearance,  possibly something that can be mitigated on the later style chassis (like the van  :D )

Interior Fitting & Bumpers, Badges and Glass

I’ve recently got back form the Isle of wight where I’ve been assisting Dave fitting out the Rebels interior… I thought this was going to be a fairly nice job but the dire weather left the tent where we were working half full water. It made it interesting trying to keep things clean and dry!

Outside the bumpers and badges have been fitted and the boot trial fitted (still needs work on the hinges to get it quite right and the rubber gaskets need trimming to get a better fit. The windows have also gone back and are now just waiting for some new chrome infill to finish them off.

Inside the Insulation, carpet and vynide have been fitted as has the vinyl covering for the roll bar and a new headlining has been made.


Some better post spray job photos now with bumpers and badges on:

The boot, The seal will need changing for a different type as this one is a bad fit when its closed

The locking filler neck, still needs a pipe sorting to connect it to the tank though!

New British made Chrome hinges and New old stock badge. The taillights desperately need replacing the chrome is poor and a couple of the lenses have small cracks. Ideally we are looking for some that are new old stock or very good used.

The following pictures show the Jute underlay being cut and fitted, we’ve used more of this than Reliant did so hope for a reduction in road and engine noise. The underlay was fixed into place with High temperature contact adhesive

Rear seat armrests were sanded town to give a surface as smooth as possible to fit the vynide to, its very thin so imperfections show up really easily.

Footwell carpets in, gearbox tunnel carpet being trial fitted,

First vynide bits in.

Gearbox tunnel carpet fitted,

The headlining and rollbar cover, This is our first attempt at making a headlining from scratch its not bad but has some small rucks at the ends which could be improved on in future. The general affect with the rollbar seems so work it ties in well enough to look like its standard fit.

B Pillar vynide / vinyll join

For the c-pillar and a-pillar trims we recovered the original aluminium

The Rebel shortly before leaving to catch a 2:30 am ferry…

The next stage will be another hit to get the doors built up and fitted ( they are currently waiting for the hinges and frames to be grit blasted and then sprayed.) Then the over carpets need edging and the seats need new covers made. There are lots of other odd jobs to tackle like the dashboard, door cards, etc



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!

Rear view

Interior Doors, Speakers, Waterproofing

Few more pictures these show the doors with their frames and glass as well as installing the speakers, waterproofing etc.

Doors with frames,

Inside of the doors, We had some trouble waterproofing with the front speakers without causing interference. Though this was cured by creating rainwater covers from plastic bowls instead of using plastic sheet which caused a nasty rattle.

Door with speaker and door arm rest bracket, Thanks to Coco Le Blanc who was able to provide one for the drivers side!

a number of other jobs have also been done to make the car useable, Including changing the gearbox oil seal, Propshaft UJ’s, installing a new starter motor and ignition swich….

Interior fit, Carpet, Seatbelts, Insulation

This post covers a few interior jobs, laying down the insulation, carpets, seatbelts etc

Initially I had considered cutting the carpets out myself but in the end decided that it was better to get a cut set (cloverdale)  as the difference in price wasnt that great and it seemed helpful to get the overcarpets edged. Even with the cut set fitting turned out to be quite time consuming. Working out which sections were insulated was interesting as although most insulation sections bond straight to the body some have the carpets bonded on first and the edges folded over to make a single peice which is then bonded in.Between carpet and insulation we used 10ltrs of contact adhesive!

Heres a few photos showing the insulation and preparing some of the carpets, I’ve tried to include quite a few as I’m not sure there are many pictures of carpet installation out there on the web.


Bulkhead section carpet was folded around this.

Folding carpet for rear seat recess.

The following post will cover the final result with the top carpet fitted.