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Dave’s been prepping the Rebel for paint, working around his other commitments its taken 2 weeks of repetitive work: Priming with a roller, flatting back. priming again, filling, sanding off, swearing, spray priming, flatting back with wet and dry…. but as of today the rebel has now had the final flat off with 800 wet and dry and is now awaiting top coat!
Sorry I’ve only got one crap phone pic but I thought I’d share It anyway.
This weekend saw a bit of progress on the rebel saloon, we dug it out of hibernation in the lockup garage where it has been since the start of the year . Dave (who is buying the rebel off me) has just passed his driving test and so It seemed like a good opportunity to revive the rebel and for it to be transferred over to him to drive it to the Isle of wight where he rebel can get it prepped and painted.
It only took some water for the cooling system and a fresh battery to get the rebel going again. £60 was blown at peter pikey’s part worn tyres getting a set of the original steel wheels fitted with new(ish) tyres.
Insurance was sorted for a very reasonable £340 (not bad for a new driver Age 23 with the car insured in their own name.) and Dave was then able to test the full potential of the 600cc rebel on the open road… It was a slightly different experience to the driving instructors 11 plate fiesta!
The test drives highlighted an ongoing issue with the clutch snatching in first, When the clutch is released in first there is a violent series of judders before the gear engages. Its a fairly common issue on Reliant cars using the gearbox with no synchro on first gear. But the exact cause can be attributed to dozens of different sources… Worn Clutch, Worn Primary motion shaft, engine and gearbox movement… etc! In the end most of Saturday was spent removing the engine and swapping the clutch over for a new one and the engine stay bar was adjusted (designed to limit engine and gearbox movement) this resulted in a much better gear change in first.
The Rebel has also been temporarily fitted with a set door mirrors… when driving the car last year it was decided that the original long stalk wing mirrors were too prone too movement to be practical for regular use. The decision was taken to swap them for a set of Tex door mirrors as soon as the budget allowed. The Tex mirriors never quite got ordered and in the end we have fitted a set of mirriors I was intending to fit the the rebel van.
The rebel was then driven the 45 mile trip over to the Isle of Wight. It made it despite an issue developing with the voltage regulator not putting out enough power to charge the battery. Some bump starting later and the rebel made it to the tent in where it will be prepped and painted.
Some time was also spent working out how much money had been spent in total so far… Which even if you discount the spending on race engines still amounts to a substantial amount.
Hopefully I can update soon with some progress on paint and engine building…!
It would be easy to think that the Rebel Saloon was loosing out with the current efforts being put into the van but we’ve still found time to do some work on it.
These are a few photos last year when we were sanding, filling and faring the bodywork and repairing stress cracks before paint.
More recently we trial fitted the original doors. One had a major chunk removed where the scrapyard had broken into it. The other was cracked around the mounting holes for the hinges and on both the joins between inner and outer moldings was weak. Repairing the original doors was preferable to keeping the regal ones as they have different door card styles and would always have looked a bit wrong, the regal ones were also not that good a fit and required lots of shimming to get them to sit right.
The door frames have also been repaired. Dave spent long hours welding up good ones from sections cut out of several rusty spare sets. The ones that came with the Rebel were very rotten and were preventing free movement of the window glass.
We have removed the opening quaterlight windows, this a compromise as the seals are no longer available and leaving them would have meant that the car would leak ruining the new carpets (still to be fitted.) As its a car that will be used regularly practicality is over-ruling originality here!
Coparison between old and new style quaterlights:
The new quarter lights will now use larger panes bedded in on silicone, We’ve used this in the past on the Scimitar rear hatch and it works very well.
The frame section at the bottom unbolts to allow the Quaterlight pane to be fitted from below, before the frame is dropped onto the door moulding
We are hoping that the top frames should be a decent fit and when painted up should be at least as good as the standard that reliant managed, if not hopefully a bit better.
The plan now is to move the Red Rebel back to the Isle of Wight for painting when the weather has improved…
With the car on the Island we made moulds for the B-Pillar trims,
First attempt at moulding our own trim panels,
We also made moulds for new heater blowers,
Random shot of Dave driving the Rebel,
Happy with the side sections we moved on to making the difficult curved piece.
The female mould was made out of Ply and timber.
Imperfections was faired in filler, so that the fibreglass would not stick to the mould special release wax and PVA was used.
Applying Gel Coat,
Finished moulding awaiting trimming,
Trimmed down and trial fitted,
Random cat photo…
With the Rebel up and running we have been working towards fitting the Interior and getting the outside ready for paint.
Before fitting a new headlining etc, we needed to make a fibreglass moulding to cover the new rollover bar. We decided it would be best to bring it over to the Isle of wight (its future Home,) as the workshop facilities were better than they were in my garage! This meant I had to drive the relatively unproven Rebel from Littlehampton to Portsmouth to catch a ferry!
The journey to Portsmouth went well and I pulled over just off the A27 to check everything was ok, grabbing a few photos at the same time.
The boot was full and back of the car were quite heavily laden down
Waiting for the ferry.
Arrival in Newport IOW.
More on mould making to follow…