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Return to the Island

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…!  :)

Now MOT’d

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.

Running and Driving

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.

It Lives: Moving under its own power

174

This post documents the work getting the rebel to move under its own power after 30 years off the road….

New exhaust system being fitted:

The old exhaust was mostly swept off the garage floor the a section of pipe just below them manifold has been replaced with flexi pipe bought form a local exhausts place. Its the first time we’d used it and It will be interesting to see how well it lasts.

We picked up an new silencer which is attached to the original tailpipe section.

It would have been nice to have fitted a replacement but the pipe bend over the axle is going to take some fabrication and there is techincally not much wrong with the old pipe!

This photo shows the new seatbelt support straps, now painted and fitted, Astute observers will also notice we now have a handbrake cable fitted.

We have also refitted the windows and 2 regal doors which i picked up for £10 the channel section on the old doors requires extensive repair and will be revisited later. The new doors were spectacularly brown, I ran out of Coarse Da sander pads which accounts for the slightly odd look! Regal doors are essentially the same the main difference is in the internal moulding which is different as the rebel has a nicer door card.

Given the doors are 8 years newer than the car they required quite a bit of shimming to get them to sit right, presumably slight differences in the mouldings at Reliant.

Door closeup, The handle and latches have also been refitted and the door can only be locked on the latch from the inside, oddly the drivers door appears to have always been unable to be locked from inside the car, presumably to stop you locking your keys in!

Drivers side door,

An inside view,

Not really sure why I took this picture tbh,

Before fitting the windows the internal moulding needed bonding back in, A scimitar Rear view mirror has been fitted until we can get a more appropriate one (the old one was in poor condition and did not survive removal.)

This final photo shows damage to the boot where the latch should mount we need to bind in new captive nuts to the holes:

The new bonnet will to be modified as its slightly different to the one that came with the car:

The new bonnet is designed to have external hinges mounted where as ours has internal hinges:

New bonnet:

The shortlist for an Mot is now:

Sort out a cooling System,
Fit the fuel tank,
Fiberglass work to the bonnet and boot to allow them to be fitted,
We need to buy a battery and do some other small finishing off jobs.

Ps For anyone who’s interested there are a couple of videos of the car on youtube showing a pre exhaust car running and moving under its own power.

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/I2N-U7gCI0U” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

And:

<iframe width=”420″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/suquMWUsLsA” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>