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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2021 3:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
Posts: 6706
Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
The original dashboard plastics had gone brittle after nearly 40 years, as they all seem to, and the instrument binnacle was cracked and damaged. Thankfully a later good spare came with the car, so removed the original, which broke into multiple parts when extracting the instruments. Pulled out the centre console at the same time to make sure there was no hiding broken glass fragments in behind the console or in the heater box - good job I did too, as there was loads of it hiding down there, and in the heater pipes and box.

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Even though the spare dashboard was in much better condition than the original, the corner sections were still snapped and damaged, so I had to build these up with fibreglass and resin.

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Restuck down the loose vinyl on the top of the dash & refitted the vents. The vinyl has shrunk in the centre and at the edges, so slowly heated and stretched it down to the corners. The new dash fascia installed and fixed down at the edges - the centre console was test fitted for alignment, but needs to be set aside to install the centre gauges.

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Finally, this was a nightmare to fit... original fuel filler neck with a super snug new rubber body grommet. Lots of silicon lubricant to push it through from below, then connect up the elbow. The breather tube was most fun, reattached blind high up inside the quarter panel :argh:

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Next on the list, have bought a full kit of original style bullet crimps and connectors, plus the special tool, to replace all the connections throughout the car. Went through them all back when we first bought the car to get everything working, but the poor condition of them all suggests that replacing them all would be the best long term option.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2021 12:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
Took a few days off last week to get holidays used up, so made a bit of an effort to get the Fox finished off. Local windscreen fitter came round to fit the screen, which has been gathering dust behind the sofa for nearly two years. Bought a brand new screen rubber to go with it, but when it came to installation it didn't fit at all. Much head scratching ensued, along with phone calls to Pilkington to check the glass was right - an expensive mistake if not! After much deliberation it was decided this modern seal was probably no good, so the old seal was found and reused. Screen was fitted in about 20 minutes after that.

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Front bumper was fitted with new mesh, and new mounting bolts fibre glassed into place. Much awkward contortion between the front panel and the radiator ensued to get the fixings done up...

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Tailgate paint was cut back with G3 & G10 compounds before the RELIANT letters were carefully measured up. Not quite 100% straight and equal, but it looks okay.

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MoT booked for this morning (Monday 30th), so up with the lark to get Basil warmed up and ready for his first official road trip in over 20 years. Would he start? Not on your nelly. Running perfectly yesterday... after much cranking he finally spluttered into life and ran like a bag of nails. Figured it might be slightly sooty plugs from sitting idling on the driveway, which should burn off with a bit of use. Reversed up and onto the road, headed off towards the MoT garage. Managed to make it half a mile before he 'failed to proceed', but otherwise it all felt good, brakes are sharp (well as sharp as drums can be anyway) and the suspension feels tight, no clonks or groans. Eventually managed to convince Basil to run again, did an about turn and spluttered & coughed our way back home. Pulled the plugs and sure enough a bit of soot but not terrible, cleaned them up and tried to start - nowt. Money now is on the carburettor, which has been rebuilt, a sticky float needle, or a failed fuel pump diaphragm.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 2:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
Spent yesterday evening fault finding the failure to proceed issue. First off pulled a plug and checked for spark - there was one. Checked float bowl for fuel, which there was, but there was also some sediment in the bottom of the float bowl so whipped the carb off for a full clean out & nice warm bath in the ultrasonic cleaner. While that was soaking I fitted an electric fuel pump and Filter King, as I have done to our other regularly used classics. The Filter King uses a glass bowl with a top exit to the carburettor, so any sediment or crud in the fuel settles out here and doesn't end up in the carb. It has been of great help on the 95 V4 in trapping sediment and crud that would otherwise end up causing mischief. Ran the new electric pump off into a bottle to check for flow, and also checked there was no vacuum at the fuel filler cap. Rebuilt the carb & fitted it, then pressurised the fuel system & checked for leaks before finally attempting to start the engine. It coughed a few times on full choke, then part choke, but nothing would convince it to catch and run. Pulled a plug and checked for flooding - it was damp but not soaking. Checked again for spark, but this time there was none, which I put down to damp plugs. Gave up as it was getting dark.

Went out this lunchtime to have another look. Popped the dizzy cap off as I had problems previously on the Bug with the same engine/dizzy setup, where the clearance between the electronic module and the rotor went out of tolerance, meaning the spark was erratic - I discovered this at the side of the road after a breakdown! Anyway gap seemed fine, so then rotated the engine by hand while checking the coil voltage to make sure the electronic module was breaking the low tension circuit, which it was. Set the king lead against the block and cranked the engine - no spark. Hmmm. Tried number 1 plug lead - no spark. Popped the dizzy cap again, and then noticed quite by chance the back of the electronic module...

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Ah. That'll be goosed then. Never had a problem with these Powerspark modules before, so I'm surprised it has failed. Anyway, new Accuspark module ordered, then hopefully we can go for an MoT.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2021 11:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
Getting on with the last few bits of painting, the canopy needed a once over and freshen up. Took the tailgate down to Fife Auto Paint for a colour match, and the nearest we could find was BS 365 Vellum. Guy in the shop suggested that the off white / cream finish was likely to be the factory original, as opposed to a white colour that had faded over time. Prepped and cleaned the surfaces prior to painting. Inside the canopy is unfinished fibreglass and seems to be a brighter white colour, but I'll just do the whole thing the same colour. No concours prizes for this Fox.

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First pass after a couple of coats. Not perfect but looks okay. I'm always surprised at the shine this Cromadex gives straight out of the gun. Inside the canopy reminds me of an MGB Primrose colour, presumably because the white undercoat has made it slightly lighter.

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This Cromadex takes so long to flash off and harden. Left overnight with heat in the booth, it was still tacky this morning, so brought the tailgate into the house in an attempt to get it hardened off. I need to turn it over to paint the other side, so I don't want the paint to mark on the wooden support rails.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
Canopy all painted, hardened off, and fitted with new seals all round. So tempted to put a SAAB transfer on the sides :mrgreen: make it look like an 80s dealer runaround.

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Upper and lower tailgates fitted. Had a bit of a nightmare with one of the upper hinge studs, they were all rusty so decided to replace them with stainless studs. Used the old back to back nut trick to get them out, using a bit of heat and penetrating fluid. Three came out no problem, but the fourth snapped. It's steel into aluminium, so drilled out the stud and tried to use an easy-out to get the remainder out. That too snapped, and being hardened steel is impossible to drill... :wall: ended up drilling around the perimeter of the stud hole, and then brutalising the entire remnants out using a chisel and much violence. As I don't have aluminium welding apparatus, I resorted to a good dollop of chemical metal, which miraculously tapped a thread and held a stud, and is now holding the tailgate on.

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The original tailgate support was one of the old sliding and latching types fitted to a great many British cars since the 1940s, and probably did suit the utilitarian Fox. But I fancied an upgrade, and so had a pair of gas struts made up to replace it. Specifying the force of the struts took a bit of guesswork, but I estimated 100N per side and this has turned out more or less correct - they lift the tailgate to full elevation, but don't cause a crashing stop. The mountings on the tailgate were reinforced with fibreglass resin, and rivnuts installed. On the canopy I reinforced the existing mount, and then fabricated a replica for the other side and fibreglassed that onto the canopy. Pleased with how it has turned out.

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Replaced the failed ignition module with good old fashioned points and condenser, and replaced the resistor plugs with non resistor type, as the leads are already resistive. Gapped the plugs to 25 thou, set the points to 15 thou, set the static timing to 10 degrees BTDC as per the book. This should get it into running territory, and it could be tweaked from there. Sure enough it fired right into life and a smooth steady idle. Tweaked the mixture once it was warm, nudged the timing slightly to find the sweetest spot. It's now on the button, and sounds quite a healthy little engine for having lain in a field for 20 years!

MoT booked for Friday 17th September.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:58 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
An interesting side by side comparison - as delivered versus present condition. I'd say it's an improvement :park:

ImageImage

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:23 am 
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Looks fantastic! Brilliant job.


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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 10:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
Andy_Viking wrote:
Looks fantastic! Brilliant job.

Thanks Andy, it's been a long job! Let's hope it passes the MoT tomorrow without problems...

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 5:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:24 pm
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Location: Dunfermline
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Aye looks like you've done a good job there Dave.. should be kicking about for another few years eh..
Has it passed yet

:corn:

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:17 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
Car 55 wrote:
Aye looks like you've done a good job there Dave.. should be kicking about for another few years eh..
Has it passed yet

:corn:

Cheers Mike, not quite up to your standards of excellence, but I'm happy with it. Wish now I'd pulled the engine and sprayed the engine bay, but I'd never intended to respray it in the first place, the car was all back together and ready to go before a certain someone decided she would prefer a nice shiny respray :mrgreen: :wall: two years later it's finally done...

MoT booked for 13:30 today, hoping for the best, been through it with a fine toothed comb. Let's see what happens!

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:32 pm
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
Well the old fella went along for his MoT this afternoon - we made it there without incident or breakdown this time. He did enjoy a Police escort for most of the journey, as the route takes us past Police HQ in Glenrothes - one of the traffic 5 Series came speeding up behind and tailed us for 3 miles before disappearing off. I was waiting for the blues and twos to come on, but they never did.

MoT man and old time served mechanic were most complimentary about the general condition of Basil - I did say there were very few original parts left... Trigger's broom. He behaved himself very well on the ramps, didn't overheat or stall. Brake tests were good, on the drive down the brakes (drums all round) felt progressive and good, able to lock the wheels when really pushed and stop on a sixpence.

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A pass with no advisories, which is always good to have. Very happy with how he has turned out. Of most surprise were the emissions - 0.05% CO and 83ppm HC, cleaner than some brand new cars!

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I think the old fella is more or less finished now, so I'll stop posting updates on this thread and revert to Doive's Garage instead. Now taxed and fully road legal, he has probably increased the number of Foxes on the road by a good 5%.

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 5:56 am 
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Great story Dave... Excellent MOT pass, which was expected anyway..

Well done mate..

Whats next :?:

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 Post subject: Re: Reliant Fox A80CJR
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2021 4:05 pm 
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Location: Glenrothes, Fife
Car Models: 95, 99, 900, 9000, 93, Sonett
Car 55 wrote:
Great story Dave... Excellent MOT pass, which was expected anyway..

Well done mate..

Whats next :?:

Thanks Mike :D

We have an endless list of vehicles that could come next... Allegro needs a steering rack, carb rebuild and new hydragas displacers. Sonett needs a water pump and Weber carb. Chevette needs a complete restoration. So many choices!

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