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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:

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.

Fitting an Engine

When the van first arrived we ordered the first lot of parts and so far the Rebel and so far the list isnt too long:

Handbrake cable, – Supplied but the Kitten Register thanks Brian
Radiator, – bought a new one for a mini
2 New Master cylinders – bought off the shelf from my local classic oriented motor factors,
A tail light, -
A starter solenoid,
Cylinder Rebuild Kits,
Replacement front cylinders – (turned out to be badly made pattern parts which did not fit,
Front Brake shoes, – Which still wave not arrived

Everything else we’ve uses is either stuff that came with the car of spares that were in the garage. or have been borrowed from the stock of bits intended for the other rebel.

Few Photos,

Master Cylinders, I think we were lucky to find these and they were the most expensive Item bought to date. They are not thought to be a common part with this combination of bore and sideways fixing. It would be possible to make adapter plates up to take more common land rover style master cylinder should availability be a problem in the future.

Exaust was removed to get a good look at the outriggers, It turned out to be stainless which was nice.

One of the 850′s that came with the Van was dropped in we don’t know much about any of the engines that came with the car except that this one was the most complete and seemed to have good compression. Old Rad being trial fitted to see how it should be mounted.

Dropping the engine in has revealed a difference in the engine frontplates between the Rebels and their 3wheeled cousins, This rebel was missing its original engine and so we are short of a Rebel front plate.

So for the time being temporary adaptor plates have been made, We’re now on the lookout for a front plate to suit a rebel.

Engine with new Radiator, The bracket over the rocker cover is the support for an improvised throttle cable, it was later cut down.

There was no starter motor on any of the engines we got with the car and our spare was to fit the later type 850 engine and had a different mounting bracket and 10 teeth in stead of nine.

Photo of Dave’s custom made radiator mounting bracket.

Rebel Van – Evaluation

With all the parts unloaded we started working out what we had and what parts were needed,
The clutch master cylinder was missing, Radiator was holed (and a later type), Handbrake cable had been cut, Front brake shoes were missing, Taillight and indicator bodies were rusted beyond repair.

We then took the wheels off and the car up on axle stands for a decent look at the chassis. The main rails appear to be in good condition, but the outriggers are a real weak point on the Rebel and could do with replacing.

Drivers side Front, Notice the bolts have been removed on the towers, it looked like someone had prepped the car to remove the body.

Passenger side front


Chassis general view

Gearbox Mount area,


Mount for Brake master cylinder

Drivers side rear,

Propshaft, axle and diff.

Seatbelt mount point

Petrol tank, This has been drained and appears not to leak.