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Back in Black

Bugs 77

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Hi Troops,

Finally picked up the new car yesterday and brought her home. Had a really good poke around the car once home and have found it to be even better than I thought it was. The drive home was bit over an hour, backroads and freeway stuff, and it seams to go alright. It did have that tendency to stall when you pull up, even when warm, so just had to be ready to tap the throttle, once home and settled it hasn't dropped much oil either, was expecting more this morning but no, just a couple of spots. Gearbox seams ok so far, no synchro issues but a slight whine from the diff that changes note with load.

So is a US delivered 78 SC, was Tobacco metallic, then red and now black, painted before it came to these shores over 20 years ago and ok, will need some attention but will get away with it for a while. Major plus is that there's not a spec of rust and no damage repairs. It's going to get an engine rebuild soon so while that's out I'll sort out a bunch of other stuff, progress will all be covered here. The car has had LHD to RHD conversion with factory parts, but just enough work to get it passed the authorities and on the road. Door mirrors and their controls are still in LHD positions as well as the electric window switches, along with wipers still other side but may leave them there as it's a clearer view forward (a nod to hot rodding), anyway lots of fun stuff to do.

Really pleased to be back in an IB, cheers,


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3 hours ago, Bugs 77 said:

there's not a spec of rust and no damage repairs.

Everything else is small stuff then :signs85:

Does it have A/C? Black car in Australia....

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Yes it does, but that all original factory system will be coming out and be replaced with one of Classic Retro's kits.

I will most likely be removing as much stuff as possible, the car was really fully loaded for the day, all electric windows, mirrors, the aircon, fog lights, sunroof and even found it has cruise control. 

So all will go, keep it simple and a bit lighter. But must have good aircon here for sure, the engine mods mean the engine bay compressor must go hence the Classic Resto system but would have fitted it anyway. Sunroof will probably stay but would prefer to delete.

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I'm changing the wheels on the car, current wheels make it look like the car is owned by a heavy metal band member, will be fitting 7J and 8J rims finished RSR look in either 15 or 16 inch. Was thinking 15 inch would look nice but tyre choice may be more limited. What do you all think would be best in the sense of look vs handling etc.


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Oh, and the 3.2 tail will be going and will be either plain lid or Ducktail and when I sort the mirrors out I'm thinking 74-75 chrome, so my thoughts were 15 inch rims would suit a 74-75 look better.

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Went up to Perth to my mechanics to sort out what direction we're going with the car and make a list of bits to get, have now started removing stuff starting with the whole aircon system, the cruise control and heater bits. Will take the car back up to remove the engine and gearbox then trailer it home to start the tidying up process.


Cruise control was knackered so that's all out, heater blower motor was falling apart so that's out now too and have started on the aircon. Will be good to compare what this looks like to later.
Motor has never had any major work done to it, never had hydraulic tensioners fitted, no pop off valve,  it still has the broken head studs that according to the paperwork where diagnosed probably 15 yrs ago! It has nearly 180,000 miles on the clock now. So this will be the first time this has been apart.


Up front you can see it has had conversion from LHD to RHD with factory panels. Nice plywood door for the smugglers box, no drain hose for the brake fluid reservoir so fluid has been leaking into the trunk and messing up some paint. Wiring needs tidying up, plenty of bits flapping in the breeze in there. Blower cover broken but would need a bit of modding anyway when the new aircon goes in, but again everything out that is no longer needed, can already see the remains of a few redundant alarm systems in there. After that's sorted will see what I can do with trimming the trunk.

Edited by Bugs 77
Spelling, as usual.
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Well underway now, have started ordering bits and pieces and Friday drove the car up to the mechanics.
We dropped out the engine and box, stripped out the aircon bits from underneath and as the car will be heat deleted I removed the heater control boxes, I've got some blank off parts coming. Removed the oil lines and thermostat for some TLC and a few bits for cleaning and powdercoating, think it'll come up pretty good under there with a bit of  a scrub.

While under there Richard spotted one of the rear roll bar mounts was a bit bent so he straighten, fabbed up some plates then reinforced both of them, in just under an hour.


The lump is out, you can see some of the original Tobacco metallic colour on the shock towers and crossmember.


Usual WA red dirt under there.


Richard getting stuck into the mounts.


And done.

Quick tour of what's in the workshop at the moment,


Fully restored Carrera 3.0 and next to it a  1988 3.2 getting the engine put back to stock as a rock after being in a less drivable mode.



356 Outlaw,


Below it an IROC inspired race car.



Last but not least a Japanese import Supersport Targa.



Came back up today with a trailer and after a bit of engine and gearbox cleaning loaded up and brought the car back to the sail loft workshop where I'll attack all the other jobs that need doing.


Might go plain lid, paint out the reflector strip and put matt charcoal Porsche script back on as well as Carrera side decal in the same charcoal for a bit of outlaw stealth, no badge on the lid. 




Edited by Bugs 77
One shot too many
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Lots coming out of this car, and some tidying up to do. Many little jobs have been done over the years with not much attention to detail, always nice to put right.


Don't think this gear is factory, not working either, wondered why the lock was stiff. Can see the original Tobacco metallic clearly here.


Looks good in the corners, just getting ready to roll the car outside for a good clean once the winter storm we have at the moment clears.
Should probably do some work too, not sure it's a good idea having the car at work.

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While I've been tearing the car down Richard has been tearing the engine down. 

This is the first time this engine has been apart, and really the first time it's received any major work besides clutches (last one stamped 96) and inclusion of the current exhaust. It's never been fitted with hydraulic tensioners and most things hanging off it stopped functioning a while back. Eight broken head studs, signs that it has not been loved for a while, lack of oil changes had stained the insides and cams where very pitted but interestingly main bearings were like new. So good news in the end, what's worn or broken was in line to be replaced anyway and all other bits are in good order, "virginal" as Richard says but did mention that things needed a bit of a scrub. The barrels are being sent off for some TLC and new pistons have been organised with new PMOs to come soon after.

Will get some teardown pics when I head up later with a bunch of bits that need re-plating.

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Dropped off the bits for plating and brought back a box of tinware and parts for powder coating, the new wheels had arrived too so brought those home as well, going to give them the RSR look.IMG_0750.thumb.JPG.584a3c30ba92d9f73f04e7de085fedcd.JPG


She fairly guttered now, it's just the rear quarter interior panels that will remain, all else will be renewed. Several layers of various carpets came out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the sunroof open, has been shut for 20yrs or so.


Old glue and overspray in there so cleaning up to spray black. Have polished up all the alloy bits and cleaned all the old thick grease off the tracks and cables so its free to run. Not sure if the motor runs yet, one wire wasn't plugged in properly and the old headliner had no access zip. 


All glass is out now, the lower corners of the windscreen surround had just a little surface rust so treated and painted that, all other window surrounds are perfect.


Have taken the doors off to have the mirror holes welded up from LHD positions, will put early chrome mirror on drivers door only. Made this slide hammer to get the pins out of the hinges, worked well.


Have started giving the new wheels the RSR treatment.


Giving this a try, it's a zinc paint that seems to mimic the magnesium look ok.


Bit of a close up on a cap. As it's a zinc primer should give good protection to the wheels as well as the look.


I have taped off the outer rim from the beginning of the turn of the rim to give the impression of being polished, plus no paint there means it can't get scratched fitting tyres etc...

Next it's tape up for the black recesses :(

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Big weekend, pretty much stripped down as far as I'm going to go so rolled her outside for a scrub.


Finally got that break in the weather, armed with a pack of degreaser, spray bottle of truckwash and a Karcher went to it.


After removing all the "protective" oil and grease mixed with dirt a pretty nice car emerged. You can see the previous Tobacco colour here,


and under the arches. I'll paint over black to finish the job.


Here's the engine bay painted, will attack the wheel wells soon, was running out of paint.


Fitted a new headliner, with a zip this time to access the sunroof gear.


I'd sprayed the inner sunroof area black, polished up the alloy bits as they were pitted, then fitted the sunroof cables and tracks back in. Spent a bit of time getting the cables to run freely again so if the sunroof motor isn't burnt out should work well. Keeping the tracks clean, have used silicon spray instead of grease to help smooth running.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Picked up the doors, engine lid, rear bumper and front valance from the painters, all good. 


Had the door mirror holes all removed and repaired the check strap mounting position on what is now the passenger door then resprayed.


Welded up the holes in the decklid from the 3.2 tail that was fitted plus the extra US overrider holes in the rear bumper. Deleting front fog lights so rather than fill up the holes in the front valance from them I had vent holes made to let air get to the oil cooler one side and for the new aircon condenser that will go on the other side.



When I picked up the panels the painter gave me some mesh that I then formed around the new inner lip and bonded in place with Sikaflex.


Still working my way around the car getting into all the nooks and crannies and cleaning up best I can without going the total resto.


With a bit of a scrub, sand and paint all is coming up well, working my way around all the wheel wells.


Not sure if this going too far but it's not too hard to freshen bits up as you come across them.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Assembly continues as new or refinished bits come in, way cleaner work now. 

Rear bumper is back on, have kept the rear over riders in the end, have put the rear lid on so it's not kicking around the workshop along with the rear lights, oil tank and the rear bodywork supports. Have fitted new engine bay seals, now just a fresh engine bay liner to go in then will be ready to fit the engine. On that point just waiting for the barrels to come back and that will go back together soon.


Fresh rear lenses and seals sharpen up the look.


The new carpets and seat covers should be here soon too, interior will be staying mainly cork in colour but as the dash was changed to black when the car was converted to RHD I'm changing the tops of the door trim to black along with the the tops of the rear panels, this is where sailmaker has a crack at being a trimmer. The tops of the doors get covered over as their vinyl is molded in but the rears are stripped and re-covered.


So far so good.


I'd pulled out the window frames when I had the doors welded and sprayed so stripped them clean and had them powder coated satin black, all assembled now ready to go back in.

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Just got an email saying an international package will be arriving next Tuesday, that will be the interior bits, awesome :)

Just finished tidying up under the guards, had a moment so I slipped a new rim on.IMG_0829.thumb.JPG.6cba4a3810a6d385d53058ee589c4e4a.JPG

Think these will look pretty sharp with the black.


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Through the cars numerous paint jobs the beading between the front guards and body have been painted over, almost faired in with paint. You could just get away with that with black but certainly not if the car was another colour, anyway it was annoying me. So the plan was to very carefully trim/cut  the paint either side of the beading then remove beading and replace with new Turbo ones that for some reason have a wider upper T section so hide the trimmed paintwork. Well, what a mission that was, many bolts holding on the guards need to be removed/loosened to get the old beading out and the new in. These guards have never been touched so the bolts in the wheel arches are still covered in the factory underbody sealant which you need to remove to get a socket onto plus aerial and fuel filler bits are in the way too so it ended being quite a job. Anyway got it done and although not perfect much better than before.


New interior just arrived, carpets, seat upholstery, fresh sunvisors and I got them (Lakewell) to add a couple of meters of extra cork vinyl so I can make some custom RS style door panels too, lots to do.

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So, away we go, first bits in. Big thing is to not get spray glue where it's not supposed to be, like on carpet that you will see!


The carpet is pretty soft and malleable, as this is going to be back seat delete has carpet where the seat pads where and glued in they show where the capet it overlaps is, bit of a depression.


So I peeled them back and put some foam in the recesses then glued them bach again.


End result is more flush now.


Well underway now.


Just nutting out a few things, the tunnel carpet section I have has no cutouts for the tunnel hardware yet. I will be fitting a black Wevo shifter a bit later so was thinking of exposing the whole base of the shifter, with a hole to suit the carpet will glue down nice and flat on the tunnel surface and when the time comes to swap over it'll be super easy and no need to wrestle with the tunnel carpet. I've got Rennline footboards to go in so I'm just sorting out what will fit and how, most likely the carpets will slip under the bottom of the boards so will need altering a bit, and there are no forward upper attachment tabs for the passenger footboard in non factory air con position so will have to fit something there.

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