Upright Prefect Build
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  1. #1
    Official RnS Addict Perfect65's Avatar
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    Upright Prefect Build


    I thought I had better start putting some of my build on here as I find others interesting so might as well put mine up for scrutiny. I wont be in strict order as I can only add little bits when I get the time.
    Electric wipers I converted the wheel boxes so they had the same size spindle tubes as the original vacuum setup as there is not much room on the scuttle for the larger 5/8" spindle housings. I turned new ones from some phosphor bronze I had in stock. I soldered the tubes to the steel backplates of the wheel housings. I made new stainless spindles as they needed to be shorter - these are knurled and pressed into the wheels. I bought new drive gear from Stafford Classic to give a greater sweep than the original 2 speed motor I took from a Triumph Spitfire. I cut the steel tubes to fit and had to sleeve joint them as I dont have a flaring tool, which I did with a steel tube loctited in place on the car to get the length right. I found the standard motor bracket had matching diagonal hole centres to my bonnet hinge bolts so I put in longer bolts so they projected inside behind the dash and then made a 3mm spacer plate to fit. The motor slotted in nicely and lined up perfect. I will use the Triumph wiper switch and I recommend you fit a new parking switch/socket to the motor if using the same type as if they develop a fault you can get wires melting. They are about £12 new. Dave



    When I saw the car advertised it was described as "Almost a complete car". This reminded me of the comedian Billy Bennet of the Variety Theatre days who liked to be known as "Almost a Gentleman". Anyway, it was certainly a big almost - no back wings, no engine or gearbox and a box of various nuts and bolts many from another vehicle I assume. Good side was it had new floorboards and number plates plus all the documentation going wayback. Most of the metal was good and fairly clean. The seller had been meaning to renovate it so got it dismantled then found another car to do. It sat in his garage for 30 years waiting for me.

    As you may have guessed I have a 1953 Prefect but I am fitting an early front end. I was lucky enough to find good wings, grill etc. 'Found' the front quarter panels in New Zealand.




    The bonnet has been damaged by someone or some thing landing on it so will get this straighted out or replaced later ( see "Denterazer" in technical Features). Engine is a 1500 Spitfire, rear axle 105e Anglia, front suspension is period Ballamy split axle. Brakes 105E super. Scott of Scotrod fame welded the axle and ladder bars. I am currently hand beating and wheeling the fill-in panels where the early wings dont quite match up with the body. The problem lies where the late wing flange take a different trajectory so have to be removed and new inner wing and the above mentioned in-fill blended in. As it happened the area I needed to remove had been damaged anyway so no regrets there. I will insert some good pictures later.
    August 2013 - here are the pictures of the little panels I have hand-beaten and wheeled to blend the 39-47wings to the 48-53 body. They are still not fitted but hopefully will get on to this soon so thought I'd better take some pictures before I get to the serious bit. If anyone is interested I will do a piece on making these in the technical section as it was very basic, ie I dont have very much specialist equipment.





    Here is the new body/inner wing section.


    So far everything I have found for this car has been broken or has a fault so lots of work for me to do but it is satisfying nonetheless. I feel another picture coming on.................


    This is the handbrake relay lever and balancer assembly. This is located under the front end of the propshaft. The original handbrake lever is fitted in more or less the original position beneath the parcel tray but had to be skewed to the left to allow the cable to exit away from the rocker cover.
    08/10/14 handbrake update - I have now made the handbrake relay lever over twice as long because there was insufficient leverage to make the brakes hold efficiently. Now the umbrella stick has a longer pull and the rear wheels hold better - real test of course will be when I get it on an incline.
    The original Spitfire speedo fits snug in the Bakelite dash using a brass ring plate attached using the three bosses behind the dash. The ring has four upstanding tabs rivetted to it so a jubilee clip can grip these to the speedo case. I made the ring in the lathe so when I assembled it the speedo sat plumb central and looks like it belongs. Hopefully the reading will be something similar to accurate but anyway I will use the satnav to get a percentage inaccuracy when the time comes.



    I hope to use most of the Spitfire wiring loom after cutting out any damaged or unwanted sections and re-taping it like new. I already have a battery which is dual voltage, ie is a 12 volt with a 6 volt tapping to power any 6v parts like semaphores and petrol gauge. I already have 6 volt flashing semaphores on my running original 53 Prefect - solenoid is 6 volt but the bulbs are 12 volt and this works fine. On this one I am fitting flashing stop lights from PopBrowns to supplement the semaphores.
    Another thing I found - a bench seat that used to reside in a prewar E93A tourer. The owner of the tourer decided to fit bucket seats so I asked to have first refusal on the bench seat and in due course I got it. I was repairing his choke and starter cables for him with new stainless cable inserted. The seat looks perfect although needs a bit of renovation to get me going before the full re-upholster. Somewhere to rest the lunchbox if you get my drift. I had to use heat on the gearstick to give it a forward lean to clear the seat which made the midway rubber damper smoke a bit.

    This week I finally cut the mini roof panel out as the weather was fine and I could get outside with the nibbler. It is about 0.5" over all round so just the final trim to go but it looks perfect laying in place on the car - a bit like a toupee. The roof hole is same size as Pop although the car is about 4" longer.


    Th black tape is to keep it in place but it sits so tight I dont think it is necessary.

    Roof now trimmed ready for final prep and fixing. I have decided to solder and lead-in abit like a Sardine tin.



    I also got on well with the exhaust - all sourced on ebay from a company at Oulton park circuit. The parts are by Jetex and I chose 1.75" which is just a tad bigger than the original 1.5" of the Spitfire. The silencer is a neat cylindrical stainless item by Simmons. I also got the rubber mounts on ebay. I couldn't believe how well the system lined up as I had to lower the header outlet pipe so the system would clear the front A frame. The header points about 13° to the near side and when I linked all the parts up up the tail end was right under the chassis for a hanger mount. The silencer lies in line with the left side ladder bar and the up-and-over pipe clears everything. I just need to shorten one handbrake cable to keep it away from the pipe. The ladder bars look very close to the back heel plate so may need to cut some away and build pockets.



    Next thing is the floor cross member which needs to be moved back, widened and raised in the tunnel area. The original is in good condition and I have another centre to use for inserting sections so its out with the hacksaw and welding torch.
    Last edited by Perfect65; 08-10-2014 at 07:49.

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  3. #2
    Official RnS Addict mygasser's Avatar
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    looks like it'll be a cool little car but should be in the 'garage' section surely. this is tech discussion.
    need a job done on your project? i may be able to help.

  4. #3
    Official RnS Addict Perfect65's Avatar
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    No problem - how can I transfer what I have put in so far Neil?
    Last edited by Perfect65; 26-08-2013 at 21:13.

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    Official RnS Addict mygasser's Avatar
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    ask the mod's i suppose.
    need a job done on your project? i may be able to help.

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    Official RnS Addict Perfect65's Avatar
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    Done - no reply yet, Cheers, Dave. Ps I think Scott has dropped his phone down the toilet. Hope to speak with him in near future.

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    Official RnS Addict mygasser's Avatar
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    his daughter washed it along with his wallet too in his trousers
    need a job done on your project? i may be able to help.

  9. #7
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    prefect351w is offline
    solid looking shell very nice good luck with the build chris

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    Official RnS Addict fad15's Avatar
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    keep it going. Not many of these in the build threads.
    built by hand NOT by computer

  11. #9
    Official RnS Addict Perfect65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fad15 View Post
    keep it going. Not many of these in the build threads.
    I certainly want to but how do you get through to the moderator, I've tried three times - I would like to put this in The Garage. Just need a bit of help from the moderator. Perhaps he is on holiday ...........
    Just had a look today and my car is now in the garage - thanks to the moderator. More pictures in the can ready for the weekend.
    Last edited by Perfect65; 06-03-2013 at 21:34.

  12. #10
    Official RnS Addict Perfect65's Avatar
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    At last the exhaust is sitting pretty and the front floor x-member has been cut and shut to give it 1" lift in the middle and widened as it has been moved back 2". Object here was to make it with original metal and keep it in a nice curve with no thrupny-bitting (50 pence-bitting for the younger guys). I had to cut the centre about 2" past the centre-line then notched out to lift it like a Bobby Charlton hair comb-over to give the 1" lift. Then more or less same notch on the other side. Finally cut a bit about 2" long from another cross member to bridge the gap with about the right curve. The welding was all Oxy with a few little clamps to keep it in line but it was still like freestyle wrestling with a gas-torch. Anyway it turned out alright. the top piece is the donor section and the lower is the main member with the Bobby Charlton already done. It still needs some attention to the flanges but that can wait till I marry it to the tunnel.








    Next - the prop tunnel using original metal and getting last few dents out of the bonnet. If I get time I will finish the A post repairs I started last year.

    Had some spare time yesterday so cut the prop tunnel down, flattened the sides and made up new flanges. The tunnel is same way round as original but now kicks up at the front to meet the raised cross member.


    And this is it rivetted and welded in place with some matt black water base paint ready for a layer of vinyl to be glued on later.




    Also had some time to make a prototype pedal box platform. This is a tight space for the Spitfire master cylinders but it is promising. Mini type vertical cylinders would have been easier but I am determined to use as much of the donor car parts as I can, being a registered tight wad. As you might notice I am setting out to use edge welds where possible as I have oxy welding kit and is therefore very quick, uses less or no filler rod plus easy to clamp the work tight in position. This method also forms a good stiffening rib when complete. I used edge welding a lot in my time repairing and modifying old WD BSA B40 motorcycle petrol tanks and turning them into Gold Star tanks - happy days turning up at the shop with 12 Goldie tanks and taking away 12 more battered WD tanks.





    Another 'little' fill-in job has been adapting the Triumph Spitfire column stalks to fit on the standard Ford column. I had some 2" exhaust tube as a basis as this just passed over the end of the column. I cut slots in it lengthwise halfway down and also some cross slits so I could form up the basic lugs for the switches. The lugs needed lengthening about 1/2". I also added some fillets to locate the switches closely - dont want them flopping up and down involuntarily. Then I added some brackets so I could use the original Spitfire fairings. I turned up some collets that fit each and of the tube, a tight pair for the top and easy for the bottom but secured with a stainless toggle type hose clip. The picture shows the completed adaptor but I will take another of the assembly when it has been painted - Nut Brown Hammerite garage door paint matches the old column paint colour.




    Got a lot further with the pedal box this week. Bought a Spitfire master cylinder shelf repair panel as a base and then turned it upside down and left to right, cut it bent it and it fits ok. Also had to cut more out of the bulkhead to clear the reservoirs so then had to make a piece to fill in the hole. Most of it is joined up with edge welds and the sub assembly shown will be welded in using the same method tomorrow. This was a major part for me to work out as so much depends on this for sizing up. A bit like the wiper motor which really is the starting point for making a car.


    All the extra cutting into the bulkhead means the parcel shelf needs cutting a bit at the back to clear it. I have just started on a small sub-dash-board to take the tacho, hazard flasher switch, oil pressure gauge, power socket, indicator warning lamp flush fitting fuse block and 2 speed wiper switch. I am using a piece of brown SRBF (synthetic resin bonded fibre) which blends in nicely with the bakelite dash. Will post a picture when it is all gauged up. It fits snug in the area between dash and parcel shelf.
    Heres the picture - sub dash is sitting there without brackets but these are made just need some hank bushes to finish them.


    White Prefect steering wheel just creeping into shot - a lucky find.

    Pedal box all welded in so took a day off and went down Southend Pier. It looks rough because the black paint has burnt. Must give it a coat of primer soon.



    Added a triangular brace and a 14g dural backing plate just to make it all rigid. A lot more work than I imagined as there is a fair bit of planning involved both under the bonnet and behind it with all the extra dashboard components I am putting in.



    Now you wouldn't think it difficult to locate the horn. Just stick it somewhere out of the way maybe? No, not in this case. I tried all over the front area of the car and it just seemed to get in the way. Not a small one, I even thought about putting it at the back somewhere. One last try - holding it up in various places and then at last it slotted into place. Not ideal but it fits and doesn't get in the way of anything.


    Its a close fit but thats the way this car is working out - everything is a close fit - even the driver.

    So now onto the firewall. I have just started this section and cant wait to get it all filled in so I can start painting the chassis and engine bay.


    A few little bits to fill in before the whole bit gets welded into place.


    When this is all tight and welded in I will make a gearbox tunnel. I had thought of buying a glass fibre one but getting the right fit is impossible and the tunnel is not so difficult and its good for access. Worst bit is getting a good blend into the firewall section. The tunnel will be removable, fixed probably with self tappers into U nuts or perhaps screws into hank bushes.
    More progress on the firewall section - welded and ready to weld into the shell when the engine is out for a paint job.




    Last job today was check the fit of the radiator and hoses. I found a 107e Ford bottom hose that is a pretty good fit after a bit of trimming. I have also been advised a Fiat Punto bottom hose will fit. The top inlet tube of the standard Prefect radiator was damaged so I decided to shorten it and make a new one to solder inside the old stub and this will make the hose same diameter throughout - 35mm. A standard 45° silicon hose is a good fit. Just need to turn up the new tube. Luckily I have some cored bronze bar that needs a job so this will be used for a sleeve.





    I found a beaded tube the right size at a local radiator repairers who was winding up. I made the bronze sleeve adaptor and here it is all nicely soldered. I filled the rad with water and leaned it at an angle to dissuade the nearby seams from melting.


    The original steel floors were still good and already painted so all I needed to do was extend these back by 2" to catch up with the cross member I moved earlier so it should appear fairly standard to the casual observer.



    The gearbox tunnel is progressing. I had planned to make it in one piece but I realised I dont have the tooling so its in three and will be either rivetted together or perhaps might get it migged. I plan to cover it in vinyl or ribbed rubber like the running boards so rivets wont show. I also want to put a caddy on the top as I have lost some of my parcel shelf to the sub-dash. Got to have somewhere to put the sandwiches and sunglasses and perhaps a holder where I can put a coffee cup.


    I am using the original cover toggles in my policy of keeping things as original as possible as long as they work. If the fit is not good enough I will use self tappers and U nuts or hank bushes.




    Here are the hardboard patterns. The first set were cardboard. These patterns are well worth the effort when designing and making, even the simplest things as you get a 3-D view and sort any problems before cutting metal.




    Todays job - fitting the gearbox tunnel sides now they have the top flanges formed. The flanges had to be hand formed over a 3" square bar suitably clamped in place. When these are sitting right I will be able to mark off the top plate that is already rough cut with gear lever hole in place. When it is pinned in place I can decide - weld or rivet? - that is the question.

    Go to page 2 for the next bit ...................
    Last edited by Perfect65; 01-06-2015 at 08:04.

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