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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.
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.
More on post accident Firberglass repair work
joins being made steel tabs were then removed and the remaining sections feathered back and glassed:
While waiting for the fibreglass to set there was time to look at some of the other outstanding odd jobs. Dave came up with some spaced off brackets to hang the mid section of the exhausts, Previously the attachement point had been quite low but these seem to be a neat solution.
Another outsanding odd job was the headlights, the outers were suffering from rust on the liners and manky chrome frames so I sourced some Wipac replacement units, the reflectors on main beam lights were in good condition but I decided to replace the holders as well so the all looked nice and shiny.
After prepping the new repair for paint and a few layers of primer a base coat of red has been applied and flatted back, Theres quite alot of paintwork still to do but the current basecoat should be ok for the vic check,
The exhaust light cluster and bumpers were then refitted to get an idea of how well they fitted and to see how they looked on the car.
As a final job the exhausts were trimmed to the same angle as supplied by Relaint.
The Vic Check and RE-MOT were the final part of the accident repair process and and by the end of March 2011 the Scimitar was fit for the road again with all checks passed and repairs signed off.
On December 31st 2010 The Scimitar was MOT’d for the first time in at least 10 Years which is a major milestone in this project.
The following photos show the car on its first long distance run, As it was in January 2011.