Pete's Van Percy

Show off and tells us about your car, finished or a work in progress

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67cali
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Pete's Van Percy

Post by 67cali » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:29 pm

Well, after some long searching the quest for a van has ended and I'm now the proud owner of a 1969 Imp Van. The Cali now has a brother/sister (not sure on a name yet) and is not being abandoned or sold.

The van has been patched up where required when the MOT guy said no, she is solid and has a current MOT, but by no means meets required standards so will be stripped back to basics and all the patchwork removed and replaced with proper panels. This will ensure both the strength is put back in to it, and the correct look is restored. I figure if you are going to restore something, then you should do it properly and I know my trusty bodywork man and friend, Colin Rooney, will not do anything by halves.

The van has been in service for many years early in it's life but has been retired from active service for several years now. The good thing is it retains all of it's original features, namely, the van wheels, van exhaust, low compression engine, heavy duty springs, extended dip stick etc etc. Previous history is minimal so I'm applying to the DVLA to get the previous owner details and maybe then I will find out what kind of use it first got and by what company. It's been painted both red and green at some point in it's past and the only indication to the original colour so far is under the dash where it looks factory paint and it's a greyish white though do not know if all vans were this colour inside.

The previous owner resprayed it and got it running, but could not set up the carb. I spent some time yesterday stripping the carb down and found that it was not designed for an Imp. The jets were totally wrong and the chamber made even Malc's performance solex look small. I therefore rebuilt it with the correct parts and with a few turns of the key to get the petrol flowing, the engine burst in to life. It's very deep sounding and quite gutless, needing revs to get up my drive. Not yet sure if the engine needs attention or if this is typical of a low compression engine but hey... at least it moves under it's own steam. Water pump had a leak and a small oil leak where the sump joins the block, but they are simple things to rectify.

Although it's MOT'd, I think the previous owner must know the guy well as certain minor things look like they would not pass an MOT. I'm therefore giving the van an overhaul to ensure it's safe before taking to the open road. Also, having sat unused, I want to renew certain things, for example, the rad water was orange and the brake fluid is black.

I'll be updating this thread as work continues, but basic plan is to get on the road, use for perhaps a year whilst I get funds in to place and then begin the full resto to put it back to it's original glory.

Thanks to Colin for his assistance in getting it home for me!

So now for the important bit... the photos so far:

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Last edited by 67cali on Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:57 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by james » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:36 pm

That's very nice - a good find.

I don't know if the deep note is due to the low compression, but I suspect that the ignition timing is retarded (especially if it sounds a little, er, flatulent as well as deep). Also, my car always took a few turns to get it running, but now I have the timing right it starts instantly.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by kilty » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:25 am

A very nice looking van mate! All the best with it. Bringing it to Reading? :D

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:52 pm

Cheers,

Might bring to National, but will see how she develops. Need to get her out on the road to see if there are any gremlins or not before committing to a longer journey.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by colin rooney » Mon Jun 15, 2009 7:23 pm

Glad you got her running you should name it patrick just to wind the racist bloke we pickit up from :lol:

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:41 pm

This week has been a little slow as I've been on call so can't really go getting all mucky in case I have to shoot off out. However, I've pulled the water pump out and the fan and cowling, cleaned them all up and refitted. The sill heater hoses were missing and a lovely bi-pass job had been done so fitted new sill heater hoses, though the passenger side hit something near the front so ended up routing through the cabin. Not really worried though as the van will be getting new sills later anyway.

Took the air filter box off and cleaned it all up and repainted, tried to fire him up again but not pumping petrol. Found the pump had packed up.... I can see a theme starting here! Rebuilt the pump and cleaned it all up. She fire in to life and I'm glad to say the water leak has now gone all bar a very tiny seepage from the pump, but nothing to worry about.

Got the tax disk sorted so took her for her first drive and well.... The engine is a bit err, worn out, the gearbox whines a bit in 4th and there is a total loss of power when hitting hills. Clutch is a bit knackered too. Oh, and a clonking from the rear driver side so think a UJ is required. Not really bothered though. Might keep my eyes open for a spare engine and box so the originals can come out and be rebuilt. It's been 40 years so only seems fair. Will pass the flywheel over to Dennis Allt for another of his clutches as the one in the Cali is superb.

Next jobs:

UJ's
wheel bearings
new bushes etc for gear linkage

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by rdlee » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:53 pm

lovely van 8) how many of these are estimated to be left ???
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:48 pm

Cheers.

Not many left really, that said, we've been getting a few turn up to nationals recently, guess more are being held on to now and restored.

Renewed my faith in the engine and gearbox today. Spent a couple of hours tinkering and thought it worth checking the oil level in the gearbox. Took the top bolt out, no fluid spill, carefully added a small amount, then a bit more, and a bit more until I ran out of oil. I'm thinking that it's either never been checked or a previous owner emptied the fluids whilst in storage and the last owner just checked the engine oil.

Took him for another spin round the village and after a couple of laps, the sluggishness on the hills was beginning to wear off and it's occurred to me that I dumped 5 litres of fresh stuff in the tank and it's mixed up with the remaining few litres that was smelling quite old. Think the fresh stuff has more octane left in it as the lines are beginning to clear. 4th gear is no longer whining so need to sort the UJ and try and bleed the clutch a bit better as he doesn't like dropping from 3rd in to any gear unless you take your time or pump like crazy.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:16 pm

Well, the new water pump helped, but the head gasket appears to have also gone as well as I can only get down to the next village before it boils.

With that and the fact it seems pointless doing the head when the engine would be coming out upon return from the national, I decided to make an early start and the front end is almost stripped down now. Will carry on with the strip down when I get back from the weekend.

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by Prometheus » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:31 pm

Very nice Pete.

Pity it won't be at national but maybe next year :wink: . I would love a van myself. Are you going to keep it that blue or do a full respray after you've done the work, perhaps in it's original colour? Assuming that you can work out what that was of course :D :lol: ? Are you planning on keeping an original period look to it or fitting alloys and montes etc. Keep us posted with plenty of pics of your progress whatever happens.

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:05 pm

I've been after a van for quite some time myself, if you keep determined, you'll get one.

I've traced the history of the van, it was originally recorded as colour 'not stated' but in pen it was written 'fawn'. From the very few places there is any original paint, it looks like an off white, kind of Balmoral Grey but a little yellower, though it's 40 years old. I'm kind of guessing here, but I'm figuring that this was a standard paint job for all vans, well at least later ones like this, and then would have been painted to the customers requirements when sold new?

In October '86 there was a record of a change of owner and at that point the colour was recorded as red. As you can see from the photos, the red was behind the indicators and from other observations I've noted, it looks like the van was professionally resprayed on the outside, in engine bay, in boot and on insides of doors.

In April '98 the van was recorded as being now blue. Although the van 'looks' clean and tidy, the paint job was just a blow over and nothing was removed. The washer jets got coated in paint and the indicators, handles, and just about everything else has overspray. The van has also been subject to an extensive coating of underseal, but sadly in most areas it was applied too late and will need a lot of panel work replaced or repaired to bring up to a good quality 'original' standard.

I'm the 10th registered owner since 1977, but there were two other owners recorded in the documentation supplied by the DVLA.

I'll be returning the van to a totally original state, though colour will be to my choice and whilst not the original colour, it will be in keeping with the age of the vehicle. The origianl unique features are still intact and will remain in place including the van steel wheels and the low compression engine. I'll even be going so far as to remove a couple of 'extras' on the dashboard that have been added over the years, or at least blending them in so you see a standard dashboard.

Yes, I'd love to do a sleeper and fit a bike engine in it, but until there is some kind of bolt on kit that can be returned to original, it's a no go'er, plus, with all it's originality still intact, it seems fitting to put it back to how it would have been.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by thowman » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:44 am

My van is painted 109 Orchid Green, which is a very pale yellowy green. Might be that - though your van is a bit newer than mine, or could be something like safari beige, going from the paint swatches I am looking at. Once you start restoring it, I am sure you'll uncover the original paint and be able to get a good match.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:06 am

On the brochure ive got theres a list of standard colours or you could have it supplied in primer so as to pick your own ( Commer ) , Hillman vans came painted , the primer option isnt there .
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:56 pm

I think best guess is Balmoral Grey, it's the closest I can see as a match. It's not been recorded anywhere though.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by SCOTMCDOT » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:31 pm

It has to be said, i have never been one for Imp Vans or Husky's, however (despite all the talk regarding the colour) i really like this one as it is. I think the colour really suits it.

Looking forward to seeing it no matter what you do to it though. Hopefuly it will be solid enough to recommission quickly.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by long_gone_John » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:56 am

... totally agree.

That blue is...sort of... proportioning it!! :roll: ..err, I mean, well... it says just "I'm a van!"..no fuss

I love it, good find... the truth (and some van) is OUt THerE :mrgreen:


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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:53 pm

Well, the mystery original colour of my van was solved when I walked around judging at National. The Chrysler Imp section had one Imp that I looked at and instantly recognised the colour as the same as my van. It was Safari Beige:

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by long_gone_John » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:56 am

my Dads' Avenger (Kreg) was Safari Beige.......

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by GURNSIMPS » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:41 am

Are you sure thats not prarie wind?? :shock:
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by bazzateer » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:53 pm

If you want to know what colour that is I can ask Glenn the owner, he did the arches last year so will know the paint code etc.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:43 pm

GURNSIMPS wrote:Are you sure thats not prarie wind?? :shock:
No, I had a Prarie Wind Imp and its much more yellow. It's just the photo making it look more yellow.

I found the paint code on Franka's site. Not that it matters, I won't be painting it that colour. Was just interested to work out what colour it used to be from the factory.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:33 pm

I had Prarie wind , but I feel much better now :lol: :roll:
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:56 pm

Noddy wrote:I had Prarie wind , but I feel much better now :lol: :roll:
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by thowman » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:08 pm

Aha, so I was right in my prediction of Safari Beige. :D
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by ganderson888 » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:37 pm

Noddy wrote:I had Prarie wind , but I feel much better now :lol: :roll:
It must have been the curry last Sunday night Dave... :lol: :lol:
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:59 pm

It's been a year but seeing as things are beginning to pick up pace, I thought I'd give a quick update on progress.

Van is pretty much a rolling shell, been working on it today to get the last few bits off and bagged and labelled. Found some accident damage on the front and rear, but it's not too much of a concern as it can all be fixed.

I've been busy buying up bits and pieces over the last few months and now have a 915 ready to drop in, Cobra Classic buckets, R17, Colin Valentine Fiesta disc kit. Picked up a pair of calipers from a mk2 Fiesta in my local breakers for a bargain price, restored the dashboard, but need a new top section if one comes along in unmarked condition. I picked up a load of bits at National and had my eye on lots of other bits that I couldn't really afford to buy or had room for. I have a pile of parts to be sent off to be media blasted and powder coated, including a set of banded steels which will be painted black to look stock at first glance. The spot lights are being replaced with a set of Nortek spot and fog with blue centres. I'm placing an order for more bits to pick up at a local show but there is much much more needed and that's not including all the bodywork that is needed and then the paint job. So far, the bodywork is looking like a complete floor, sills, probably inners as well, repair work to the nearside front tub to rectify previous repairs and front panel/wing work, maybe complete replacements.

Here are some update pics:

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by Charlotte » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:33 am

Looking good :D & love the way the Imp bonnet is resting against a BMW (?) 8) :lol:
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by ImpManiac » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:36 pm

It's been two years, more like! :P But it looks to be making progress. Nice work! 8)

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:05 pm

ImpManiac wrote:It's been two years, more like! :P But it looks to be making progress. Nice work! 8)

IM 8)

oops, yeah, you're right. Didn't realise how long it'd been sitting about in the garage. Well, things should start to pick up pace, aim to get it back on the road in 18 months time so should be just in time to celebrate 2013 :D

Charlotte... yeah, the Imp is pushing it's weight, showing the BMW who's boss.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by chris d » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:26 am

great resto pete
i like the storage facilities (even got a carpeted floor) :)
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:55 pm

chris d wrote:great resto pete
i like the storage facilities (even got a carpeted floor) :)
chris d

:lol: Well, hopefull once it's got a new floor, sills and the front end work, it'll be a great resto, it's a bit of a rusty shell at the mo.

Errr, yeah, the storage really needs addressing. The engine is wrapped up in plastic sheeting and covered with a throw so that it's not obvious it's sitting there under the stairs when people come round :? and the accumulating mound of parts was suppossed to be temporary in the spare room, and the wheels really need moving from the landing. :? :? :? Perhaps this weekend I might lay some floor boards in the eves of my garage so I can get the house back. It really is a sad sight to see, the wardrobe in the spare room houses the wrapped up dash, the chest of drawers resembles a visit to Mr Anderson.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:00 am

Spent a few evenings on the van lately. Got every last bit off, bagged it all up and seperated many items for blasting and powder coating. Took a trip down to a recommended coater (cheers Andy). He seemed quite taken back by the sheer amount of bits I had (there is a box in the photo that is stuffed full) but was confident that I'd be happy with the results. Not sure how long it will take as he said there was a good 2 solid days of work in my bits, not allowing for the rest of the work he has in. Took a quick piccy of the main bulk of what is being blasted and coated and will post up once it's all back.

Other than that I have divireted some attention to the garage itself. I realised I had too much stuff cluttering the garage around the van and it all had to go as you cannot rebuild a car in those conditions. Luckily I'm blessed with a peaked roof on my garage so a trip down the local timber yard and I've now boarded out a loft and and working on shifting the stuff either up there, or out the door.

Once the garage is clear, I'll spend many an evening with the parts washer cleaning up the removed parts and getting them back to a condition that would suit a restored car.

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by The Nun » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:12 pm

chris d wrote:great resto pete
i like the storage facilities (even got a carpeted floor) :)
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:01 pm

Now the wheels are at the coaters, that is all that's on my landing.
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:17 am

Just a few updates.

As it was getting close to the van being taken away for the bodywork and paint, I thought I'd chip away at some filler just out of curiosity, and to assist the guy who will be blasting it to bare metal. Found rather a lot more filler than I had thought. I knew there was a lot, but didn't expect the corners at the rear to be rebuilt from riveted plates, old news paper and filler. Going by the dates of the paper, it looks like the full respray in red was done at the time the plating and patchwork was done back in 1986 when the owner wanted to put it back on the road and then more was done at a later date. From the look of it, the van has rusted on the bottom half quite badly, but the top remains solid.

Anyway, it'll get sorted and the next step is happening. I've collected the floor that was cut out of a saloon and the garage are picking it up, along with the van in the morning to take back to their units. They will then fix it to a frame, remove the running gear and off it goes to be media blasted. Then the true horror of how bad it is will come to light. As long as things pan out ok, they will then get the body back to how it should be, repaint it and I'll get it back to put back together. I've no idea on time scales as yet as they don't know what they will find, but they are confident that it can be on the road by 2013 so should be taking part in some of the 50th anniversary shows. I say should be because I dread to look at it once it's been blasted, but hey ho, the garage have undertaken far worse so I'm sure they will do a grand job.

On the other side of things, I've bought myself a new small bore Janspeed manifold, will be ordering up the Janspeed silencer shortly. Hoping to buy the lights this weekend and will be speaking to my electroplater soon and handing him a few bits to be rechromed. Once the van is out of the garage tomorrow, I'll have a couple of days just clearing the remaining stuff on the floor and then concentrate on cleaning and renewing all the bit's I've been taking off the van. That should keep me occupied for quite a while.


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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by ImpManiac » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:17 pm

Looks to be a lot of work, Pete. But it'll be worth it when it's done! 8)

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by 67cali » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:21 pm

Well, the garage sent the shell off to be blasted and it came back this afternoon.

Mixed reactions really. It's pretty much as I had expected, some bits are worse than I had hoped, some bits are in suprisingly good condition. The back door and the bonnet are in very good condition, the rear door just needs a minor amount of repair, the bonnet is almost undamaged and the front lip is rock solid. The doors have the corners missing :lol: but otherwise solid. There is some damage to the rear of the gutter rails, but the main work is the bottom half. Looks like I'll be needing new front wings, valance, sills complete inner and outer, the whole box section. Rear arch repair panels unless I can find me a pair of van/husky rear wings. Lower rear corner panels (not sure if they are the same shape as a saloon?), inner wings/tubs front and back, the cones that hold the rear springs, h brackets and the floor I bought. There is also a big repair needed to the scuttle panel? where the corners of the windscreen fit andf the panel in front of it.

Some major work ahead and lots of cash but just got to keep the final aim in my mind. She'll look a beauty in time.

Any suggestions on where to loacte good quality or new old stock panels?

Front valance with some repair needed:
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I'm sure you're not suppossed to see light between the wing and outer tub section:
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Driver side front wing:
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Driver side rear tub:
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Driver side gutter rail at rear:
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Driver side gutter rail with a few holes:
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Replacement floor nice and solid:
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Lots of previous bodge jobs:
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Passenger side rear:
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Passenger side rear tub:
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Passenger side front wing... what's left:
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Rear passenger wing with previous repairs:
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Damage to passenger side front tub:
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Ahhh MOT repairs... gotta love em:
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Driver side front showing some of the damage to the scuttle. Any repair panels available???:
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Driver side rear tub:
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Meerkat Pete
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:04 pm

About what I expected TBH , front panel appears to be from an earlier car as its got the divider fitted , rotten gutters are factory fitted as standard , And as for the pigeon Ýªé™ welding from previous repairs that lot needs hoofing out .
Worth doing though thats for sure :)

EDIT
Just looked through your whole thread .
Its shocking how good something can look to start with but be that rotten ,
Bodges and filler :roll:
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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by Dave ' Linwood ' Lane » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:13 pm

67cali wrote: The van has been patched up where required when the MOT guy said no, ]she is solid and has a current MOT,
▲▲▲This is even more shocking :o
Looks can be so deceiving

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Re: Pete's Van Resto

Post by ImpManiac » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:01 pm

^^ Got to agree with Noddy. Pretty much as might be expected underneath all the shiny paint. Those bodges! :roll: And that wheelarch "repair?" :shock:

But, to me at least, it doesn't look that bad at all. Certainly worth saving and repairable. Yeah - like I know anything about car restoration! :lol: Only what I've read and watched others do. :roll: But people save vehicles in much worse condition.

I suspect that you will need to make a repair panel for the front scuttle. Feasible, though. :wink:

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