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Nightmare Sprite.
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pigtin
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:14 pm    Post subject: Nightmare Sprite. Reply with quote

Some time ago I promised to do a restoration thread on my "nightmare" Sprite restoration. Unfortunately the disc I had it on locked my computer each time I tried to download it. Now, at last I have the contents.

I bought the Sprite from a fellow club member as an MOT failure, which is what he had been given to understand when he bought it.

It was obvious that it needed an extensive restoration but I took it to a friend with a car repair business and asked him to do just do what was nescessary to pass the MOT so that I could do a running restoration, and I supplied the panels nescessary to repair the rear spring hangers, which was what it had failed on.

I had already received one piece of good advice, and that was to fit a new 'Heritage' body. My friend in the garage then gave me another piece of advice; to throw the car away, and to reinforce this, delivered it back to my house on a trailer. Free of charge.

I love a challenge and foolishly decided to rescue "grevious" as I had named it, from the grave.

It was obvious that it had had a very expensive and thorough spray job, the filler was half an inch thick in places and covered an unbelievable amount of rot and damage, the cost of the spray and cover-up job alone should have been enough to have bought a reasonable replacement car.
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Have another 8 photos covering the finishing stages when I can access them. Don.
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buzzy bee
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blimin heck, I see your challenge! Weldone! Very Happy
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pigtin
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of the problems at the front of the car had been so well disguised with filler that I thought that the back, and floor would be the main area needing renovation. How wrong could I be.

The first batch of panels (pictured) were obtained from Moss, but they seemed to be having some staffing crisis at the time and every other shipment had a mistake in it and it was starting to cost me time and money.
I then started to use the 'Welsh MG Centre" what a difference, instead of dealing with storemen you could speak to an expert and receive help and advice, some of the parts even, were cheaper.
The original front wings had been expertly bodged with about a kilo of filler covering the rot, so I bought a s/h pair from the WMGC. Four or five panel were sourced from ebay at really low prices. I think many people buy new panels without realizing the amount of work involved in fitting them and then put them on ebay. A case in point is the front triangular web, I bought one cheaply, complete with inner wing assy, but the work involved removing the old one and welding it in made repairing a more attractive option.
All of the braking was renewed and a new clutch, The engine was surprisingly good but the carbs were worn and it was fitted with the wrong distributor.
I have a Ford Type 9, 5 speed gearbox for when I can justify the expense of the conversion kit to the memsahib and I must do something about the take-up clunk that seem to come from the diff, not sure what yet.
I have done about 5k really enjoyable miles with it since restoration and the handling is a joy, almost makes the time and money spent worthwhile,
But I should have taken the advice about fitting the new 'Heritage' body.

Don.
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The car has been named 'Grievous' because the reg No is GBH !
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Rick
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Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 20335
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that was some weld-a-thon wasn't it!! I assumed 'Grievous' came from Grievous Bodily Harm, as in the condition of the bodywork at the beginning - hasn't realised the reg. was GBH too!

Over what period of time were the photos taken - weeks? months? years?

Again, great to see a series of pics explaining a major resto through its various stages! Smile

Rick
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Rick (OCC Admin)
Various 1920s-1960s - Austin, Morris, Commer, Dodge etc.
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jensen541
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love this kind of thing. Well done!

jensen
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pigtin
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The work shown was over some 12 months, the frightening thing is that I have a photo of it before I started the work and the paintwork, if anything, looks better.
The words 'caveat emptor' (buyer beware) springs to mind.
Anyone attempting a similar restoration must realize the importance of the 'spreader' frame, fitted after the door apertures had been jacked out to allow the doors to open and close again after the welding and the 'roll cage' which held the back end in shape while new inner wings etc' were fitted.

Don.
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buzzy bee
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

Great, If the paint is too good, it allways makes me wonder etc, so better to have it solid!

Good point about the bracing, the amount of warpage etc, can be shocking!

Cheers

Dave
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62rebel
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2007 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

brilliant job; more so for the effort involved! care to take on a '52 Plymouth Cambridge saloon? truthfully, not as bad as what you started with. but seeing what you made of that.....
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pigtin
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the praise guys, and good luck with the Plymouth, 62 Rebel.

The Sprite was my first restoration of a post-war car, and definitely my last. I just don't have that much energy left now and any spare time I have, I would rather spend driving old cars.

Don.
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pigtin
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Postscript: safe arrival in Dinan (Brittany) with other members of the 'Castaways' group, a month after completion of restoration.

Only problem I had was where I had forgotten the check the hose clips on the transfer hose between the water pump and head, as a result we had a little "Steam Up" on one of the motorways. Far better than the guy in the TR, who did most of the trip with only two gears.

http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t103/donthebat/SafelyinDinan.jpg

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