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Home > Show Us Yours! > '78 Clubman rebuild

Graham T

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460 Posts
Member #: 1106
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Hungerford, Berks

Time for another project!

The little blue “coupe” is currently all up together after having replaced the valve springs, but is sat waiting in the garage for the opportunity to get out on the road for a few miles at least before I even contemplate another dyno session. I actually got it back together and started up back on the 6th October, but since then there has not been a single day I have been able to get it out for a drive, and the way it is looking at the moment, I have the feeling this in now going to drop into next year.
I still have to complete the variable length runners and CF plenum, but I’m not in that much of a hurry for that, because they will not get fitted until I have some more results with the 1.5:1 rockers fitted, and I’d rather save all the electrickery and Arduino programming until its too cold to go play in the garage.

So rather than sitting doing nothing other than waiting on the winter blues to shake off, I have decided that the time has come to start a long overdue project – rebuilding my ’78 clubman.




A little history on the car:
My parents bought the car for me when I was 15, so we have had it for 30 years now.
During its time with us it has so far had 2 minor low budget rebuilds, both times funded by my parents – once for me and then again several years later for younger sibling.

Here are a few scanned photo’s from when dad and I (Dad mostly) rebuilt it for my first car.

















Originally it had a 998cc engine in it, but I acquired a 1275cc unit from a friend who rolled his 1275 GT and wrote it off in snow, only weeks after having the reconditioned 1275 unit installed.
I managed to screw up the engine within a couple of years. We think it suffer piston ring failure due to me hammering the nuts off it too much in second, but that never got investigated, because needing a car to get to work (as an Apprentice at that time), I was forced to buy a run about. So the mini was taken off the road, with every intention of rebuilding the engine – but that never happened.
I think I ran it for around 5 years before it came off the road.


From there it sat in storage for several years before we started rebuilding it for aforementioned younger sibling. I never did find out what happened to the 1275 engine, because it was converted back to 998cc.
Another couple of years down the line and it was on the road again, this time wearing a nasty purple coat. It was run as a daily for many years until 2009, when my younger sibling could no longer stomach driving it, being 7 months pregnant. So rather than see it go off the road again, I swapped it for my car at the time, an old S plate Hyundia Lantra.



This is the only photo I have of it in “ford purple velvet”








It was when I got it back that I started playing with the MS2 and fuel injection, basically at a loss for something to do while waiting to start building the clubman coupe (at least coupe is what the DVLA registered the blue one as).
March 12th 2010 I had the fuel injection installed and the car drivable, then the long slog to get it working properly…


Anyhow, I kept the car on the road for another 2 ½ years, but it had started to get the rot badly by then, and so, as it was only a play thing and we had started building the coupe, it came of the road for a “future” rebuild.
Since then it has sat in various places outside: on the lawn, in the flower bed and on the drive, then finally inside, into a small garage, all the time quietly rotting away and waiting on that promised rebirth.

It even got used as a work bench for a few months while building the new garage for the coupe – perfect height for the chop saw…








This year, I managed a staggering 300 odd miles in the coupe, due to a few technical mishaps, but mainly due to the weather not really being that good for an open top. When the sun was out, the car was apart, only to get back on the road when it started raining.
This is getting just a little frustrating if I’m honest, because although the coupe is fun to drive, it’s just not practical and I really don’t like the torque steer. (also it weighs in at ~870kg).
I guess I could sort the torque steer out, now that I know what is causing a big majority of it, but somehow I just do not want to change the way the little blue beast looks, so the plan is simple:

Rebuild the ‘78 clubman and swap out the engine (maybe the whole front subframe assembly) from the coupe into the ‘78 clubman, then build either an NA or mild turbo motor (and front subframe assembly) for the coupe.

I know what colour it is going to be, I know it will have a FG/ CF removable front (I am thinking 2 piece), I know what engine will be going in it and I know (sort of) what wheels I am going to use, but other than that, I’ve not really planned much else, apart from getting the shell solid...


Graham T

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460 Posts
Member #: 1106
Senior Member

Hungerford, Berks

So, onto business…

I started stripping out the 78 clubman around mid October, just to see how badly rotted it was before making a decision on rebuilding this shell, or sourcing another shell.




It is fairly bad…


























For a fleeting moment I thought: “Let’s take a look at a different shell that I had been offered previously”, but then I thought about the history of the car and decide no, I will keep this one and do a massive rebuild – apparently a lot of work now that I have got into it…


Having been not too sure where to start, I decided that getting the front solid first would be best before tackling the floor and rear.
























And a coat of epoxy primer to seal it for now.










Hopefully tomorrow I can get the bonnet hinge bracket cleaned up and then start work on the passenger side.


robert

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uranus

excellent... be done in no time ! *wink*

Bicester scramble ,Medusa enjoyed the trip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-7I7-nA19U


jonny f

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Dorking

Good to see a fresh project thread on here! Good luck with the rebuild Graham


Graham T

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460 Posts
Member #: 1106
Senior Member

Hungerford, Berks

On 9th Nov, 2019 robert said:
excellent... be done in no time ! *wink*



hmmm - well that depends on enthusiasm, finances and the other projects...
At the moment enthusiasm is full on, but we will see how that level holds as the winter goes on.



On 10th Nov, 2019 jonny f said:
Good to see a fresh project thread on here! Good luck with the rebuild Graham


Thanks Jonny.

I'm not sure there is going to be anything to exciting involved really - just a basic rebuild of the car, but as I am rubbish at documenting stuff, I thought posting it up on here will force me to keep a diary of types.


hazpalmer

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Carlisle, Cumbria

Good to see people still posting up projects. I'd post mine, but its boring and progress is very slow


theoneeyedlizard

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The Boom Boom speaker Police!

Essex

Excellent work. I’ve been trying to remain motivated on my budget resto. It’s always good to see one in worse shape, coming back together.

In the 13's at last!.. Just


Oli

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Wilts

Good start!

Where did you get the brush on epoxy primer?

On 15th Jul, 2009 fastcarl said:
the pissed up clown stood back up, did a twirl and left bollock naked,


Graham T

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460 Posts
Member #: 1106
Senior Member

Hungerford, Berks

On 11th Nov, 2019 hazpalmer said:
Good to see people still posting up projects. I'd post mine, but its boring and progress is very slow


Yeah, I think this is going to be boring also - and slow. So I'll only post up progress occasionally and try to keep to the major achievements - Or stupid questions



On 11th Nov, 2019 theoneeyedlizard said:
Excellent work. I’ve been trying to remain motivated on my budget resto. It’s always good to see one in worse shape, coming back together.


My motivation is simple – I want to be able to keep on with the EFI and inlet testing, which I can’t do most of the time because I made a stupid decision to cut the roof off the one I am driving… Fun as it is when the sun is out.

I need a complete new floor assembly and most of the back end as well – so yes, its in pretty bad shape all round – made worse by the “sins” of 2 very low budget rebuilds, as I am now finding out.


On 11th Nov, 2019 Oli said:
Good start!

Where did you get the brush on epoxy primer?


It is HB Body Vehicle 989 - bought it on ebay

I read somewhere it can be brushed on. I also have thinners to spray on if needed.
Once I have all the major panels replaced/ repaired, I'll get it shot bast then start again with the primer if necessary.

Edited by Graham T on 12th Nov, 2019.

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