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    #16
    The firewall was going to be a challenge as there wasn’t much left in the middle so I didn’t have any real guide of where it went – only a vague idea.
    Al, his Dad and I went to the Small Ford Sunday in 2012 to get some inspiration. We certainly got some in the realization that most old Dustbins are pretty poorly put together…
    Average paint, terrible panel gaps, old tired brightwork… Was quite an eye-opener when you really started looking. Al and I KNEW we could do better.
    I also got to see where the firewall/bulkhead lip should actually go…

    I cracked on making patches for the rusted out sections under the heater bubble – all I had at the time was a vice and a nylon wedge cut from an old chopping board to from the patches., and from all accounts it came out pretty well.

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    The bulkhead lip took a bit more work. I didn’t own a Shrinker/Stretcher at this time, so I cut out pieces from the sheet in sections as welded them in – it was a patchwork quilt but it came up fine once the welds were linished down.
    I also had to remove the bonnet hinge mounts as when we were poking around, we uncovered rust underneath them.


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    The new front panels arrived around this time, and Al was a bit peeved as the new front valance was for a round headlight, and Al wanted to retain the square headlights as he’d bought new ones.
    I quietly did a little jump for joy as I find the square headlights ugly as a hat full of…


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    The front valance looked like it would fit fine, but the guards…
    They must have come off the press at the end of the run, so the die would have been hot.
    They had a warp along the swage line and where the guards met the bottom of the A-post, it was out by a country mile.

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    Al email the supplier with photos to complain, but he just replied: “We are lucky to have them available at all, and you guys sound like you don’t know what you are doing. I’d have them on in an hour.”
    I came damn close paying that supplier a personal visit to insert the guards in him where the sun don't shine...

    This became what Al and I discovered to be the standard issue with Escort aftermarket products – it’s ALL junk, built to a price with the purchaser taking responsibility for making it fit/work…

    With the new front radiator crossmember fitted, on went the new front valance, followed by the heavily reworked front guards.

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    Lots of other repairs were carried out, but that was the bulk of it.
    Working on it weeknights and weekends, by 12 months the Dustbin was starting to look like a complete body shell again...
    Attached Files
    Classic Auto Fabrications:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Class...88753937823811

    http://www.lescollinsracing.com/

    Comment


      #17
      Somewhere near the end of the rust repairs, Al got a significant pay rise from his work - so of course up went his disposable income…
      The replacement of the front guards to Mexico items triggered a change in the build direction and Al stated to investigate more serious performance parts. Down the slippery slope we go…

      A rebuilt English axle was ordered from a Dustbin specialist in Melbourne, with a 3.9 ratio and a TranX clutch style LSD.
      The old 13x5.5 Hotwires were deemed unsuitable, so a new set of genuine Minilites were ordered in 13x7, with gold centres and polished lips.
      With the diff installed, we turned the bodyshell upside down on the rotisserie to investigate rear arch clearance with the Minilites fitted.
      Fitment was fine for the front, but on the rear there was not a hope in hell...
      There was nothing else for it. I attacked the rear outer wheel houses with the cutting disc, then with a bottle jack I pumped the arches out 30mm each side to gain full bump travel with the wheels fitted. I then cut thin strips of 1mm sheet and carefully welded them in, then linished it all smooth.
      My next purchase was a hand held belt sander for this very job. Beer was consumed.

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      Al: “I’d really like a 5-speed gearbox…”
      Oh fuck… where’s this going?
      Next thing I know a rebuilt close ratio Type-9 5-Speed is sitting on my shed floor, along with an Aluminium ‘quick-change’ bellhousing – this item would come back to bite us years down the track…

      (Fitted with the old cast iron bell for mock up purposes):
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      Now fitting a T9 into a Mk1 Dustbin is no easy task – it’s longer in the shifter housing than the old 4-speed.
      It requires moving the transmission mounts back, moving the shifter hole back, then cutting and plating the tunnel reinforcement.
      Add to that, it’s taller so the old transmission tunnel top plate has to unpicked, made taller AND longer. This took a few nights and a weekend of triple checking and careful measurement before I started on the modifications.
      Thankfully the time spent carefully modifying the tunnel paid off. Fitment of the T9 was tight, but it fitted.

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      Classic Auto Fabrications:
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Class...88753937823811

      http://www.lescollinsracing.com/

      Comment


        #18
        The rear suspension also received attention.
        A ‘Twin Cam’ trailing arm kit was ordered from Burton Power, and I welded the body and banjo mounts into place after careful measuring.
        Al also wanted a Panhard bar, so a kit was also ordered from BP - This was sort of a mistake, as we were to find out...
        The kit was tweaked for fitment and the body mount was welded into place.
        Now fitting a Panhard bar to the a car with non-parallel trailing arms is a big no-no – when the suspension goes into bump, the Panhard can bind, breaking either chassis or banjo mount or sometimes both.
        For the moment it’s not installed, but we may revisit it in the future with further modifications…

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        Seats were next.
        Al’s a bit over 6ft tall (although not as tall as me ), and when he used to compete in the Dustbin, he had to move his seat forward and recline it back to gain helmet room. Very uncomfortable.
        If he was ever to use the car in anger he wanted to physically sit lower.
        Added to the fact we discovered that the original seat mounts were starting to crack out of the floor made us:

        Al borked at the idea of ‘expensive’ Recaros or the like, and – much to my disagreement – bought a pair of AutoTechnia recliners from Autobarn. The first pair Al received looked like they’d been assembled by an intoxicated 12yo, so these were returned and a new ‘inspected’ pair were delivered.
        I protested on the use of them again, but my opinion was dismissed…
        “Make them fit, mate.”
        The old mounts were unpicked from the floorpan, and I pressed up some channels at work to make the basis of the new seat mounts.
        Flanges and captive threads for the seat runners were added along with tie-bars, and the new mounts were welded into place after triple checking fitment with the seats.
        Over-engineered, but they aren’t going to move.

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        Classic Auto Fabrications:
        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Class...88753937823811

        http://www.lescollinsracing.com/

        Comment


          #19
          Bloody good. All of it. Watching with interest.

          Comment


            #20
            Al had been busy during all the repairs and modifications – assisting me in the shed or organizing jobs to be done and ordering parts.
            He decided that after getting a less than satisfactory reply from the local Koni dealer, that he’d investigate other options – enter Gaz dampers.
            Fairly well known in the UK, but not out here, they had a brand new Mk2 Dustbin Mcpherson struts with height adjustable platforms available – so Al ordered a set for the front AND back. Errr…
            Annoyingly Gaz failed to mention that the stub axles they used were the larger Capri V6 items (with the larger bearings) so suitable alloy hubs had to be procured AFTER the struts arrived – Al was not impressed with the lack of communication.

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            When disassembling the original front struts to reuse the hubs (that we didn’t end up using), we got a nasty surprise when we noticed one stub axle:

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            The Gaz front struts looked the goods and were a straight bolt in, but there rears Al bought were a bit odd – while they bolted in, even with the spring platforms wound all the way down they (once the Dustbin was assembled later on) would sit the rear way too high. They were just too long.
            I questioned this a couple of times, but Al just quoted the Gaz rep in saying they were right…
            As it transpired years later, they were ‘really’ meant for a Dustbin with a turreted rear end (and the Gaz seller was probably after a sale…)

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            The front end bolted in with an uprated sway bar and anti-dive sway bar kit, adjustable LCA’s and a new quick rack.
            Brakes were taken care of with Hi-Spec vented rotors and 4-spot alloy callipers and EBC Green pads.
            Rear was standard drums.

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            Due to the planned engine upgrade, engine bay space was going to be a premium, as well as the upgraded brakes, Al decided to investigate an adjustable pedal box.
            On the RS owners club FB page a guy in Adelaide was advertising that he built pedal box's from the original items for reasonable coin.
            I showed the photos to my engine and rally car building guru Les Collins and he gave it two thumbs up, so Al contacted the bloke and sent his pedal box over.
            6 weeks later it came back and we were impressed:

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            We unpacked it and drank beer.

            Attached Files
            Classic Auto Fabrications:
            https://www.facebook.com/pages/Class...88753937823811

            http://www.lescollinsracing.com/

            Comment


              #21
              Now you’re probably wondering what’s going on with the engine…? This was actually the first thing that Al got stuck into.
              An engine conversion to a Zetec to Duratec or (ugh) Pinto never entered into the equation.
              1600 Kent all the way.
              If you pay attention to World Time Attack and the Open class GTR’s the name PMC Race Engines pops up…

              https://www.facebook.com/PMC-Race-En...5029935656927/

              Pete of PMC is also an old car club mate and he was just starting out on his own around the time we started the Dustbin restoration.
              Pete had Kent engine experience from building a few F/Ford engines, so Al dropped his old 1600 Kent off along with a spare block for Peter to work his magic on.

              Al’s old 1600 motor was toast – the block was porous and the head was beyond economical repair.
              The spare 711M block was OK and Pete tracked down one of his old FF heads to use.
              The block was over-bored and new quality cast pistons fitted onto the prepped rods. A new standard stroke SCAT crank was bought and capacity was calculated at around 1660cc.
              Pete attacked the head with his carbide burr and opened up the ports, but the valve sizes remained standard. New valves and springs were installed. Static CR was set at 9.8:1 IIRC
              The camshaft is a moot point… Al bought the cam from B.P. with an advertised rev range of 4k to 7k.
              But when the cam showed up, the cam timing on the cam card showed otherwise – it was more of a mild road cam than a hot road/race cam that we wanted. Figuring we could swap it out later, we installed to get the engine assembled.
              Extractors were BP pattern items.
              And Al wanted the engine painted Gold to match the wheels…

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              The neatly made bike carb manifold.

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              Al’s choice of ignition was MegaJolt out of the UK.
              He’d owned a Locost in the UK with one of these systems fitted and he liked the simplicity of the programmable 3D mapping.
              It simply ran a TPS and crank angle sensor, along with a 4cyl Mondeo coil pack.
              (I wasn’t so impressed, but it’s not my car…)
              Fuelling was by 32mm(!) bike carbs on a neatly made manifold – from the UK of course.

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              On the old DatRally dyno in Moorabbin with Les Collins on dyno duties, it wheezed it way to 120hp with fuel stand-off a foot long coming out of the bike carbs. If you waved your hand over the trumpets, your hand would have gotten wet...
              A couple of different ram tube lengths were tried, but they failed to make a difference.
              Les and Pete deduced that the tiny bike carbs were the issue as they simply couldn’t supply enough air to the engine, resulting in reversion.

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              They were eventually sold off and new Spanish 45DCOE Webers were bought along with a Redline manifold.
              It’s yet to go back on the dyno, but we are confident they’ll do the job.

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              Classic Auto Fabrications:
              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Class...88753937823811

              http://www.lescollinsracing.com/

              Comment


                #22
                good thread

                what year are we up to?
                Last edited by 9triton; 02-07-20, 01:19 PM.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Impressive work as always mate

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Great read

                    Comment


                      #25
                      2013 rolls around.
                      The rust repairs, chassis and body mods are complete and so Al and I start enquiring at the local panel shops as to if they’d be interested in painting it.
                      All said they were too busy with Insurance jobs to take it on, except one that was owned and run by a bloke I went to primary school with.
                      Tim came down to my shed, looked over it and said ‘Yeah, we can paint it for ya. Those front guards need some work though…’

                      I set about seam sealing the underside at this time, which seemed to take bloody ages…
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                      But before it went off for paint, Al and I decided we better stone ship the underbody. Al wanted body colour underneath, so no black. There are stonechip products that you can paint over, but if it chips, the colour of the parent stonechip shows through underneath.
                      After a bit of googling, we found a ute bed liner and stonechip called Raptor Liner by UPOL– and it was tintable to body colour.
                      I ordered a kit and had 500ml of Pepper Red mixed up.

                      And this is where I was given some crap info and I also stuffed up…
                      I was told by the seller that supplied it, that it can be applied with a ‘Schutz Gun’ and that it didn’t need thinning down with thinners.
                      Like fuck it didn’t!
                      The Schutz gun sort of worked, but as I found out later a spray gun with a large needle and orifice would have been better.
                      It came out with a heavily textured finished, so I thinned the mix down and it got better coverage.

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                      However it wasn’t great and ANOTHER 1.5 kits were required to cover the underside of the Dustbin adequately. Each full kit was $300 IIRC………….
                      I should have done more research… I should have just sprayed the wheel houses and straight 2Pac painted the underside. Live and learn…
                      Many beers were drunk after this...

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                      Attached Files
                      Classic Auto Fabrications:
                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Class...88753937823811

                      http://www.lescollinsracing.com/

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Mid 2013 I found myself made redundant from my engineering role.
                        I’d been noticing that our workload had been slowing down through the first half of 2013, and then in June my boss advised me he’d lost a couple of his major contracts – he didn’t have anything for me to do.
                        I took LWOP for a couple of weeks but the writing was on the wall.
                        It was actually a godsend as I was a bit over it all, and was really enjoying working on the Dustbin.
                        I told Al, and he got super excited that I’d be able to push the Dustbin along faster.
                        I spoke to my accountant (he said I was mad if I didn’t have a crack at doing it) and registered a business name: ‘Classic Automotive Fabrications’:
                        https://www.facebook.com/Classic-Aut...8753937823811/

                        I’m still restoring vehicles 7 years later, and from my humble beginnings in my back shed, I now have a factory with 2 staff members and a part time bookkeeper…

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                        Classic Auto Fabrications:
                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Class...88753937823811

                        http://www.lescollinsracing.com/

                        Comment


                          #27
                          Good on you Lauchy! Glad it's worked out!
                          GAS 260Z RB26DET
                          GAS 1600 3SGE BEAMS

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Man that's great, didnt know thats how you started.

                            2013 hey? , yay 7 years of updates to go on escort
                            Last edited by 9triton; 02-07-20, 07:15 PM.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Back to the Dustbin - Mid 2013 IIRC.
                              Al decided that he really wanted a Twin Cam 160mph gauge cluster, so he bought a bracket and after much hunting about he obtained a rare Twin Cam 6-dial 160MPH gauge cluster.
                              I cut the old dash frame for clearance and welded in the new bracket. Al set about having the Gauge cluster refurbished…

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                              Now the second of my mistakes – I should have insisted we completely dry-build the car more than we did…
                              With all the modifications, it was inevitable that some things were going to be changed, holes drilled in fresh paint etc, and dry-building the car would have eliminated that issue. But because we were keen to get it painted, we let out eagerness get the better of us. Lesson learned.

                              Off the rotisserie and back on its wheels. Doors, boot and bonnet on, gapped and off it went to get some jam.

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                              I don’t think Tim knew quite what he was getting himself into… Remember I said Al was fussy?
                              Al was keeping tabs on the Dustbin and visiting Tim’s shop weekly. Tim’s beater straightens the warp in the front guards and it was looking good.
                              6 tins of filler (most went on the floor) and 3 coats of Polly. Blocking, blocking and more blocking.
                              I'm glad it wasn't my job!

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                              Progress was steady until it went into primer.
                              Al started picking up things and asking for minor corrections. Tim and his guys obliged, but I could tell it was starting to wear thin on Tim (and he’s a pretty chill guy).

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                              More blocking...

                              Eventually after 6 months(!), the Pepper Red went down inside the cabin and engine bay and we all got a bit excited.

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                              The heater bubble that I'd spent hours upon hours repairing got painted and was actually bonded into position.

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                              Finally the paint went down on the outside - 4 coats of Pepper Red and 3 of clear.
                              It looked fucking amazing.

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                              Then Al started looking… More paint alterations and corrections. I visibly saw Tim loose hair.
                              Eventually after 12 months(!) we collected the Dustbin – I think Tim and his guys were happy to see the back of it and he remarked when we picked it up that this was the biggest, most involved job him and his team had ever completed…
                              Al had finally bought a place of his own in 2013, and so the Dustbin took pride of place in his garage in mid 2014:

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                              Last edited by Lurch; 02-07-20, 07:17 PM.
                              Classic Auto Fabrications:
                              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Class...88753937823811

                              http://www.lescollinsracing.com/

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