400E Thames Van - Slow and low, that is the tempo.
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  1. #1
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Morris575's Avatar
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    400E Thames Van - Slow and low, that is the tempo.

    After a few questions on the Forum a concerted effort has now been made to get the Yellow Thames progressed with a view to being finished in time for its 50th birthday.

    Despite being a driver up to 2002 has been out of action since then. A full rebuild is planned with modifications. A few pics to mark the restarting of this project.

    Many thanks to sidspop for assisting with technical information.







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    Turbo 4 pot freak 20vT_pop's Avatar
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    That looks like a nice condition base to start from, most of the ones I have seen are rusted badly, be nice to see this progress.

    John
    My Pop Build thread https://www.rodsnsods.co.uk/forum/gar...op-build-32191
    My 55 Chevy Resto https://www.rodsnsods.co.uk/forum/tri...ed-today-67186
    Anyone can drive a fast car, not everyone can drive a car fast!!!!

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    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Morris575's Avatar
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    A bit more progress.

    Got the rear end out ok. It was heavier than I thought though! Certainly a struggle to stand it up out of the way. Have sourced a complete Consul axle today so as long as it's serviceable will have a the following options for rear end -
    1) original axle with a ratio change & modified to sit on top of springs
    2) Consul axle (same dimensions 3.9:1 ratio and already mounts to top of springs) obtaining a 3.5:1 diff would widen the options of this axle
    3) Ford Capri Atlas axle - will need suitable spring mounts welding on. Currently have a 3.09:1 in this which would probably only be suitable for the diesel engine if used but other ratios are easily available, or
    4) Sierra Diff - needs rear end converting to IRS but have plenty of ratio and LSD options in my stock so can go 3.15:1 or 3.38:1 which would cover the diesel engine option if used or 3.62:1 or 3.92:1 for the Pinto. Could also fit LSD or Quaife ATB to any of these which would be nice. (not sure if an LSD or ATB exists for the Consul axle? Does anyone know?)



    Got the engine and gearbox out. I'd forgotten how tight the engine was in the bay. Gearbox came out easily as the floor lifts up. Most of my wiring, relays, fuses etc sit in a purpose made box above gearbox/below floor so this was removed first then unbolted bellhousing and dropped gearbox out under van.
    Engine had to have various bits removed first. I intended lifting it up and out through the cab but as I was on my own ended up dropping it out the bottom.






    Next job will probably be to find some tyres and mount them on the rims and then mock up the ride height to allow some measurements to be taken.

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    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Morris575's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20vT_pop View Post
    That looks like a nice condition base to start from, most of the ones I have seen are rusted badly, be nice to see this progress.

    John
    Thanks

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    Now a BIVA Build dlonamow(oldwoman)'s Avatar
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    the first van i ever went away on holiday in with the lads, it was great lifting up the seat to pull the reverse gear knob carn't wait to see the end product

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    Semi Proffessional Prat sidspop's Avatar
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    Got the optional heater in as well, they were an extra £17 on the purchase price. Any help you need, just PM me. Be glad to help.

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    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Morris575's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlonamow(oldwoman) View Post
    the first van i ever went away on holiday in with the lads, it was great lifting up the seat to pull the reverse gear knob carn't wait to see the end product
    That sounds funnier than you perhaps intended.

    I presume you are referring to a gearstick of a different box which ended up way behind driver or the original side linkage box which apparently would jam up?

    I solved my gear box behind driver problem with a remote cable shift as I didn't want autobox. It works well but I will improve it a bit when it goes back in.

    A guy once told me how him and his mate were approaching a crossroads in his 400e donkeys years ago, he changed down a gear before the lights and the next moment they were both laid in the road. The gearshift had jammed the box up solid and they had both been launched through the windscreen. His mate had gone straight through as he was sat on the wheel arch (passenger seat was an optional extra and there were no seatbelts). The guy driving had hit the steering wheel with his legs and was injured a bit. Both were cut on the knife like shards from the windscreen.
    Despite this he seemed to enjoy the reminiscing about it.

    Thanks for looking

  10. #8
    Semi Proffessional Prat sidspop's Avatar
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    3 speed version has two selector rods, the 4 speed had 3 selector rods. Common modification was to put a 4 speed box in, but then use an extra rod or lever to select reverse, hence the previous comment.

  11. #9
    Rods 'n' Sods Junkie Morris575's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sidspop View Post
    Got the optional heater in as well, they were an extra £17 on the purchase price. Any help you need, just PM me. Be glad to help.
    Much appreciated.
    Will do.

    I may be looking for an electric wiper set up at some point if anyone has one or any suggestions. The vacuum wipers are interesting to say the least. Mine go full pelt at low revs then at full speed they slow down to nothing. Makes sense as the vac is lowest then but not much good in a downpour. Thought maybe Mini or Minor might provide the bits but I see from the manual that some 400e's had electric wipers? No prob for the diesel engine as it has a vac pump. Hmm maybe if I mount that on the Pinto...

  12. #10
    Semi Proffessional Prat sidspop's Avatar
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    Two possibilities.
    Wiper set up off mini or Minor as suggested.
    Get a an electric vacuum pump, I beleive Volvo V40, others will confirm.
    Incidentally, if you do decide to keep Thames rear axle, I supply gaskets for hubs to owners club. Ditto rear lights gaskets.

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