Imp with Rover VVC power

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Cliff Pountney
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Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:09 pm

I was inspired by Pat’s Rover K series Imp to build something along similar lines and now having been working on my car for a couple of years I thought it might be time to write a few words.

In February 2013 a reasonably solid ’64 shell came up on Ebay. The only serious rot was on the rear parcel shelf which was going to get cut out anyway. Then a couple of weeks later I bought an MGF off Gumtree and now had most of the parts needed for the build.

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From the outside I wanted a standard look so the MGF rear track needed to be narrowed. This was done by swapping the MGF rear suspension for Metro GTA and narrowing in the subframe by 105mm. Even then I still needed very inset wheels to fit inside the Imp arches.

With the rear subframe, suspension, engine and gearbox package sorted I set about modifying the shell. Before cutting anything major out a new floor cross member and roll cage were fabricated. This would hold everything square when the rear floor and rear bulkhead were cut away to make room for the transverse mounted engine. The subframe assembly was rolled in (and out many times) to get the positioning spot on before adding the cross member behind it and the rest of the triangulating structure.

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Time to move forward to the cabin. Cheap second hand bucket seats were positioned on new brackets and the steering column was replaced with a collapsible Metro part mated to the original Imp rack. A modified MGF shifter and handbrake were added as was the MGF instrument cluster.

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Under the hood the MGF master cylinders were grafted onto the Imp pedal box and a new radiator was positioned up front. I didn’t want to cut Lotus style bonnet vents so instead cut an exit hole for the air where the spare wheel well usually is.

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The mk1 suspension mounts were swapped to mk2 and the rack lowered to suit but this resulted in too much negative camber which had to be corrected out by modifying the hub carriers. GAZ coil overs are used front and rear. New front hubs were machined to allow me to use Metro GTA wheels and the MGF front brakes.

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The shell came without doors. I picked up a pair of mk2 doors which I thought would just bolt straight in. That wasn’t quite the case and I ended up shortening the doors by about 3mm and re-profiling the window frame to get an acceptable fit. When I had the drivers door in place the Imp door handle spoilt the line of the body so a bit of project creep came in with fitting a couple of Fiat Barchetta flush door handles.

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Over two years I’ve spent just under 500 hours on this and I guess I am about half way through.

The main jobs still to go are; Passenger door, make an exhaust manifold, bulkhead, tidy the body, paint and assemble.

Maybe another two years :D

Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by colimp66 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:44 pm

Welcome to the Imp forum Cliff.
Thank you for sharing your build on here. That looks like a great project and a well executed on at that.
Keep us posted on how you get on with it all.

Cheers
Col.
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by colin rooney » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:13 pm

I owned that shell some years ago now i fitted the orange rear panel but never got to finish it and so sold it on as i had to many imps around me ,it was a nice solid shell ,you have done a nice job on the engine transplant

col
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by bazzateer » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:27 pm

Oooh, I like the door handles! :D
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:11 pm

What a brilliant project! :D You seem to me to have taken a very good approach and got quite far with it so far. Good on you! :mrgreen: The details are great too, like the Fiat Barchetta door handles. I like them lots! 8)

Keep up the great work and keep us posted. :wink:

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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Lars Hagermark » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:22 pm

Nice project! Front, middle and rear. :wink: :)
Keep us posted on this one.
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Life is full of solutions waiting to be found.
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:46 pm

Thanks for your kind comments. I better crack on a bit faster!

Those door handles feature in the top ten sexiest car door handles http://jalopnik.com/5557864/ten-sexy-car-door-handles/

Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Wed Oct 14, 2015 9:34 pm

Cliff Pountney wrote:...top ten sexiest car door handles...
:? Worrying that this even exists. :lol: :wink:

IM 8)
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Nugget » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:17 am

No mention of Hillman Avenger or Morris Marina handles! :wink:
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by The Nun » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:25 am

More worrying would be why someone is looking up sex and door handles :lol:
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by bazzateer » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:34 am

Probably thinking of 'love handles'.
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by long_gone_John » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:39 pm

bazzateer wrote:Probably thinking of 'love handles'.
..... Ha!

LGJ
TooMuch power.. is not quite enough ;<)

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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by IMPerative » Tue Dec 01, 2015 12:57 am

Love your work!
IMPerative - must have one
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by philgsmith » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:03 am

Certainly different idea Cliff, well done and keep it going - plus regular updates please.

Your comment - New front hubs were machined to allow me to use Metro GTA wheels and the MGF front brakes.

New Imp hubs or new MGF hubs?? Interested because I have an MGF and wondered about the ease of installing MGF discs instead of one of the Ford based ones. MGF steering also brings EPAS option of course.

Phil
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by skamanfrank » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:49 am

philgsmith wrote: New Imp hubs or new MGF hubs?? Interested because I have an MGF and wondered about the ease of installing MGF discs instead of one of the Ford based ones. MGF steering also brings EPAS option of course.
brake.jpg
MGF front calliper on a 256mm vented disc (MGF disc is slightly smaller at 240mm)
I'll also be using MGF rear callipers on the same size as MGF 240mm rear disc, which should leave the brake balance spot on.

More info here:
http://retrorides.proboards.com/thread/ ... des?page=3
Cheers
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by philgsmith » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:49 pm

That is very interesting Frank - I'll read that link more thoroughly later.

It was the specific mention of MGF hubs that I queried, but I wasn't thinking .. as soon as I saw "hubs" I thought of the Imp's stub axle without thinking of the hub being separate ... d'oh!

cheers

Phil
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:57 pm

New year and renewed enthusiasm so I thought I would write a bit more.

Frank – That’s a lovely build you've got going there. I know what you mean about finding it hard to keep the thread going. If I tried to post every couple of days it would say things like “This evening I managed to drill and tap one hole…”. On this build I’ve kept a log of hours and money. After I built my Land Rover I regretted not doing that.

Front hubs and brakes –
The main reason for wanting to run MGF / Rover hubs on the front was so to give the same stud pattern as the MGF / Metro set up on the rear end. This also allowed me to use Metro GTA wheels which have a large, 38mm, inset and get my rear wheels inside the standard Imp arch.
The choice of MGF brakes all round was down to the thought that the front to back distribution of an MGF is about that of my Imp and therefore the balance ought to be about right. I also used the MGF master cylinder to complete the match. That I had all these from the donor was also a big factor.
I made the front hubs by turning the stud flange off the Imp part, boring the centre out of the MGF part, and pressing the two bits together. These were then welded together and trued up to get the run out as good as possible. Longer term I may get some one piece hubs made up in aluminium.
I didn’t take any pictures of these. I’ll take some next time I am delving around in this area.

Cooling and fuel pipes –
31.75mm OD x 1.5mm wall aluminium tube was used for the radiator pipes and 5/8” OD x 1.5mm wall for the heater pipes. These were filled with dry fine sand and bent cold on plywood formers. A bead was formed on the end using a little stamping tool.
All the aluminium tube came mail order from Aluminium Warehouse. I can recommend them.

http://www.aluminiumwarehouse.co.uk/

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=29560

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The fuel lines were 10mm OD x 1mm wall and were bent cold without the sand filling. These may be a bit over large but I didn’t want to limit the tuning potential :D . I looked at options to run them under the vehicle but I want to set the car up low and we have some really vicious speed humps at work so routing through the car with a cover looked the better option.

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This lot will need insulating and covering. I’ve made a start.………

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LHS door –
This needed a small amount of repair then lightening and modifying to take the Fiat door handle. The first side was fun this side seems more of slog.

Hand brake –
The handbrake abutments and operating arms on the callipers needed to be reworked again when I found the clashed with the end of the gearbox. The cables now come out vertically. I’m not sure I really like this arrangement but it was the best I could find. Internally there is a new abutment bracket and the system seems to work OK.

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Still plenty to do! And looking at the surface rust forming around those welds I need to hurry up!

Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by 617sqn » Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:52 pm

Fabulous work there :mrgreen:

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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:41 pm

^^ Indeed! Your project is coming along very nicely. :mrgreen:

IM 8)
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Pat_imp_man » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:21 pm

Coming along nicely Cliff, looks like I am going to have to up my game a bit.

Pat
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:35 pm

Pat,

Your build was the inspiration for me to build a K series Imp........If I knew your address I'ld come round and break your knee caps :D

Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:37 pm

Three months since the last update so here's a few words and pictures to prove it's still moving forward.

Covers for the cooling and fuel lines have been made to protect the alumunium pipes from heavy footed passengers, it's amazing how hard they can push on the imaginary brake pedal when scared. The void around the cooling lines will be packed with Rockwool in the final build up. Sealing panels made up for where the pipes pass through the bulkheads.

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Fuel tank mocked up before a simplified design was sent off to a fabricator. Boss to take MG Rover pump and and sender assembly turned up on my old Colchester Student. Both the lathe and the Imp are older than me.

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Coil-over mounts fabb'ed onto rear upper suspension arms.

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The most interesting job has been to make a new manifold and exhaust. I tracked down a couple of aftermarket Elise manifolds but they went for silly money. New 4-2-1 manifolds cost over £700 and the matchimgh manifold back around £400 so I thought I would have a bash at making my own. It's not pretty but unless it's on a ramp (or upside down) it can't bee seen. I spent lots of time ensuring the inside will be smooth and that it is a good fit and I am pleased with the outcome. But this task alone has taken 40 hours.

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Next tasks are -
1) Move front suspension mounts up. Or modify the arms for a lower mounting?
2) Straighted out and lighten the rear crossmember.
3) Start tackling the superficially rusty bits.

Thanks for reading and best wishes,

Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:45 pm

Lovely work, Clive! :D Now you know why exhausts aren't cheap. The time involved fabricating them, plus the cost of materials (tube, welding consumables, etc.), is considerable. But yours looks really good. :D

IM 8)
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Wed May 11, 2016 9:20 am

I've been working to get the rear end closed up.
The rear cross member has been stripped back to leave just the outer skin. Rust holes patched and lightening /air exit holes made. Although from a philosophical point of of view it does seem strange to close up its 'natural' lightening holes and add new ones :D
I've added a recovery eye for those unintended excursions off the tarmac. This is welded to the right hand side chassis rail as it looked like the battery tray makes that side stronger.
The engine cover was bolted on and suddenly it has the appearance of an assembled car. Woo hoo!

Image

Image

Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by colin rooney » Sun May 15, 2016 2:58 pm

Looks great cant wait to see it done

col
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Sun May 15, 2016 8:57 pm

As Colin said, the car looks superb. Your attention to detail is great. :D I hope to get to see the car at some point.

IM 8)
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by rash12 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 4:36 pm

Cliff firstly what a nice job your making of the transplant, i am just about to set of on the journey you are on so any hints/tips would be most appreciated i look forward to hearing from you and once again the imp looks great
paul
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:50 pm

Paul,
There has been nothing exceptionally difficult. It's just all been a bit long winded. Here are a couple of pointers -
1) If you don't mind having the rear wheels sticking out two inches or so then you can use a standard Metro / MGF subframe. I did not want to fit arches so I spent a great deal of time narrowing the subframe.
2) 13" wheel don't fit on the MGF rear suspension. I ended up using Metro front suspension instead.
3) Put the removable rear cross member back in before cutting and welding the back body up. Else you find it's half an inch too long when you come to refit it :roll:
4) Buy a whole MGF donor and where possible try and use entire MGF systems as the systems engineering has already been done.
If you are anywhere near Chelmsford, Essex feel free to drop in.
Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Thu Sep 15, 2016 11:28 pm

Thank you, Cliff. I do get over that way once in a while. :)

That's good advice on the modifications too.

IM 8)
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:57 am

Hi all,

I haven't worked on the Imp during the summer but now the nights are drawing in I am back on it with renewed enthusiasm.
In no particular order since the last update ...

Harness bars -
Cut and tacked in 50x2mm CDS tubes for the upper harness mounts

Crotch strap mounts -
Fitted an extra mount into the floor for the harness crotch strap. This will need a backing plate when I get around to rolling the car over to sort the floor out.
Image

Tidied up the rear quarters -
When I cut away the lower rear part to fit a repair panel I found the inner wings also needed repair. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
Image
Image
Image

Whilst cutting the inner wings about this dropped out. Initially I thought it might be a bag of contraband or cash but it disappointingly it turned out to be some primitive sound insulation. Anyone seen that before?
Image

More LHS door -
Refitted fitted, faffed about with and filled LHS door before taking it off for primer.
Image

Door bars -
I added some extra crash protection as I have little faith in my driving ability and also thought it would add some extra stiffness by enclosing the whole door opening. Plus I like the look!
Image

Fuel tank-
Mounted the tank which was made up for me.
Image

Colin - Ages ago you asked for some steering column pictures. I finally remembered to take some!
Image

Still plenty to do.

Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:28 pm

Tidy work, Cliff. :wink:

IM 8)
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Grahame59 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:07 am

Cliff,

Great job so far!

The bags of sound insulation you query are in fact standard on Imps and are often referred to on this forum as 'crushed sheep' though I think pulped paper is more likely! There are usually around 10-12 per car and they are fitted under the rear seat squab and into the nether regions of the rear wings. The problem is, if the bags tear (as yours has) the stuffing falls out and absorbs moisture, causing rust in no time. Many people omit them when restoring an Imp but they are actually very effective sound insulation. If you decide to keep them they should be double- or treble-bagged (thick freezer bags work well) and inserted VERY carefully so that no jagged metal can tear the bag. Also worth Waxoyling the inner panels while they're out.

Imp011
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:33 pm

Thanks guys.

I'm doing my favourite bit now - cutting and folding sheet aluminium for the engine bulkhead and cover. I've cut up so many Weetabix packets that I would now qualify for a Blue Peter badge. Where are my round nosed scissors........

The sound insulation won't be going back in. Ear plugs will be order of the day. I think I will be squirting plenty of waxoil around though.

Cliff
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:59 am

Engine enclosure

I enclosed the whole area behind the roll bar and up to rear window level. This leaves good access around the engine and room for future upgrades; supercharger? Gas turbine? Flux capacitor? (that shows my age!). The top cover is the main access to the engine and can be taken off in a few seconds. The front panel is also removable and comes out in a couple of minutes once the seats are out.

I've left the protective covering on the aluminium sheet so the pictures aren't that great. Sorry.

Image

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All the removable panels are secured with either M6 thumb screws or M6 bolts into nut plates like this one.

Image

The larger panels are braced with angle aluminium to hopefully kill some of the drumming noise. Maybe.........

Image

Air filter housing

The left hand top panel also houses the air filter box. A K&N cone filter is mounted in the box on a tapered spigot. The box is covered in foam to minimise heat pick up. The cover on top will seal to an opening in the window where the cold air will be drawn from. I may fabricate a forward facing scope on the window to see if there is any benefit to be had from the ran air effect.

Image

Image

Cliff
Last edited by Cliff Pountney on Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:27 pm

It is good to see that you're continuing to make excellent progress with this beastie, Cliff. :D Top work!

IM 8)
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Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:55 pm

Hi All,

I hope you all had a great Christmas. I work for an old school manufacturing company which has a compulsory shut down so in between family visits, parties, and other commitments I managed to get a good few days out in the garage.

Front suspension
To get a sensible amount of compressive travel at my desired ride height I moved the top mount up by about 25mm. Stripping the suspension down again I found that there is a separate bolt in top mount (this is my first Imp). It seemed easier to modify this than to move the body side platform. A hole was cut in the mount and a top hat section made from 50x2mm CDS welded in. The body platform then just needed the hole enlarged to take the modified mount.
Image
ImageImage

Radiator ducting
A duct was fabricated to connect the rear of the radiator to the hole where the spare wheel well used to be. BTW that spare wheel panel is in very good shape, anyone need a repair panel? This ducting makes use of the low pressure zone under the car to pull air through the radiator and stops the fuel tank from getting hot. The design was awkward as it needed to be easily removable and clear the brake master cylinder. The gaps by the radiator end tanks will be filled with a self adhesive foam strip.
Image
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Steering rack and TCAs
This was done a while back but I hadn't taken any good photos. The inner metalastic joints were knackered so it seemed a good idea to replace them with rose joints. The rack is counter bored as standard so stepped sleeves were machined as a press fit into the rack and a tight fit into the rose joint. These are held in with the standard bolts, bridging washer. and tab washer. The arms are made up from 14mm bright mild steel bar with a Fiesta ball joint on the outer (right hand 1/2" UNC thread I think) and a 14mm left hand thread on the rose joint end. Hopefully the photos make up for the poor description!
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Body shell roller
Although the floor and sills are solid there is still plenty of work to do on the underside. In a Scrapheap Challenge style I searched around the garage and shed and came up with this. Apart from a few exhaust clamps it was all material which I had lying around! The geared head is made from a 1960s Fairy PTO winch which I think was scrapped due to the worm and wheel being worn. Anyway building it kept me entertained.......
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In action video -


Best wishes and a happy new year,
Cliff
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ImpManiac
Posts: 9310
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 pm
Club Member: Yes
Car Model: Singer Chamois
Location: Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:58 pm

Hi Cliff. A happy new year to you too! :mrgreen:

I have Rose-jointed steering arms on my Chamois road/track car too. :D They really sharpen up the steering and there seemed to me to be little, if any, detriment in using them.

Great work on the car! I like the engineering you are doing to adapt the suspension to suit your setup - the lowering of the front mounts, modification to the mounting plate, etc. My front radiator arrangement is similar to yours too. I was not running the duct on the rear of the radiator in the 1,500 miles or so that I did in the car before dismantling it but I certainly plan to when I reinstate the car at some point. :idea:

Following with interest! :wink:

IM 8)
Paul Harrison
imp: a small demon : FIEND : a mischievous child : URCHIN
maniac: Raging with disordered intellect: affected with mania: MAD
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Cliff Pountney
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:56 pm
Club Member: Yes
Car Model: Saloon with MGF running gear

Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by Cliff Pountney » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:17 pm

Hi All,

Since Christmas I mainly seem to have been doing all the small jobs. The loom and drive shaft were a bit more 'meaty' but all the rest have been of the snack variety :D

Wiring loom
When I stripped the MGF I very carefully removed and kept all of the original wiring loom but many of the functions were not going to be required on the Imp so diet time. Wiring for ABS, electric windows, ePAS, sound system, etc were all stripped out. I like to do this by hanging the loom at eye height and with the aid of a circuit diagram pull out the wires one circuit at a time. I've not rewrapped the loom yet just in case I've got something wrong!

Before Image

During Image

3.5kg save! Image

Driveshaft shortening
I've put this up on the 16v Mini forum as it is more thier sort of thing....
http://www.16vminiclub.com/showthread.php?p=368349

Throttle pedal stop
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HVAC motor (yacht bilge ventilation fan) and ducting
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Isolator switch
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Subframe bracing and tidy up of rear
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Plus a hundred (well it feels like that many) other small jobs.

Cliff
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colimp66
Posts: 1020
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:17 pm
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Car Model: 1970 Hillman Imp Deluxe.. "The Pest"
Location: Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland

Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by colimp66 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:04 pm

Cracking work as usual Cliff and to a great standard too.
I really like your take on making the throttle pedal, very clever . If you don't mind I may pinch that idea for my build . ;-)

Cheers
Col.
User avatar
ImpManiac
Posts: 9310
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 pm
Club Member: Yes
Car Model: Singer Chamois
Location: Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire

Re: Imp with Rover VVC power

Post by ImpManiac » Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:16 pm

As above, lovely work! :D

IM 8)
Paul Harrison
imp: a small demon : FIEND : a mischievous child : URCHIN
maniac: Raging with disordered intellect: affected with mania: MAD
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