Bodywork, Paint, Interior, Trim, & Wiring

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TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 28, 2009 04:22PM

I finally got the chance this past weekend to completely look over the TR7 to try to determine how much work would be involved to get it to a point where a V8 could be swapped.

Jim, you pointed out that there is a lot of rust and that there would be a lot of work to get the car up to par which meant it would not be the ideal base for a V8 project.

Mike and Bill, you pointed out that these are typical rust issues for TR7s and the rust wasn't all that bad and was fixable.

I see that you were all completely right!!!

Based on all your advice, I prodded away at the areas around the rust with a pick and literally hacked at the fenders with a hatchet, I arrived at the conclusion that this car won't be the dream TR7 V8 project, after all.

What I'm thinking is that the "variety", for lack of a better word, of body issues ranging from simple surface rust to rusted out sheet metal to separated seams and, curved areas needing fixes make this a great project car to learn on.

Great opportunities to learn and practice:

*welding
*fabricating/grinding/cutting
*and figuring out how to align panels and the chassis overall.

Jim, as you suggested, I took a pick to the rusted areas and can see that the area about 1/2 to 1 inch around the rust is solid.
I estimate there are close to a hundred newbie hours to get the metal repairs done, maybe more as I don't have any previous projects to compare to. Doesn't include learning to weld, BTW.... Or paint for that matter.

With the hatchet, I removed the filler from around the fender lips to reveal rusted out inner and outter areas.

Not too long ago, I finished completely redoing the motor and clutch, converted to electronic ignition and rebuilt and updated the carbs.

So, the choices become these...

One option would be to sell the drivetrain and keep the body to learn on and for parts for the "solid" body dream TR7.

Another option would be to finish the body and then sell the car mainly for the drivetrain and let the buyer know that I did the bodywork. Because I will be learning on this car, I honestly don't know how straight and clean the end result will be.

Thank you to all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts and insight with me about this project.

I took some pics and I'll upload them shortly.

Trip



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/28/2009 04:28PM by TRip.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: September 28, 2009 10:14PM

Trip-There is nothing wrong with tossing in the towel with this TR7. You can still find decent bodies out there. Remember British Leyland made over 100,000 TR7s in 6 years. I gave up on a TR8 coupe which was #93 of 158 built in 1979 with no regrets. You also have the option of the donor car not needing a title since your beyond help shell has one. Rebody has never been an issue.


Dan B
Dan Blackwood
South Charleston, WV
(973 posts)

Registered:
11/06/2007 01:55PM

Main British Car:
1966 TR4A, 1980 TR7 Multiport EFI MegaSquirt on the TR4A. Lexus V8 pl

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: Dan B
Date: September 29, 2009 09:59AM

And if you really do want to learn welding and body skills, why not be creative! Flare the fenders however you want. Add some louvers. Customize the rust bucket.

Mike is right about the TR7s though. You can still find plenty of solid body cars for good prices.


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: September 29, 2009 02:43PM

Ya, you guys are right. :(

Mike: "There is nothing wrong with tossing in the towel with this TR7. " Thanks for that, Mike.

"You also have the option of the donor car not needing a title since your beyond help shell has one. Rebody has never been an issue." That's a good point... Hadn't considered the title issue. Could you please elaborate on how that would work?

Dan: "why not be creative! Flare the fenders however you want. Add some louvers. Customize the rust bucket." I like the way you think, Dan.

Cheers,

Trip


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: October 01, 2009 09:21AM

I know some people may frown upon reshelling cars with existing shells and not a newly remanufactured such as the older mustangs and cameros or MGBs. I have done it in the past with a car that had a lost title when I parted out another car with a good title I stripped ever ID tag and plate from the titled car to use on the better or rust free shell without a title. I would even go as far as the right color and interior for the good shell to match the title numbers and ID plates from the bad shell. Thats was my personal preference though. You might get lucky and find another shell/car with a title in hand but NEVER throw away anything from these cars. I keep a zip lock bag with every metal tag in it plus the title, registration papers and even the keys; ingition, door, glove box and trunk locks as a complete unit.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: October 01, 2009 09:21AM

Oh by the way good luck!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2009 09:22AM by WedgeWorks1.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5935 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 01, 2009 10:08AM

As a point of interest, the process Mike suggests is not exactly in keeping with the spirit of the law governing such matters. Not that I'm saying you can't, and I personally have done similar things with other makes but you need to be aware of a few details that have the potential to come around and bite you at some point. Most particularly, hidden ID numbers. Now I do not know if or where such numbers might reside in a TR7 or in what manner they might be stamped or attached, but I can give an example that will help illustrate what you should watch out for. I used to play with a certain make of vehicle which had a body on frame construction. On this vehicle, the VIN tag was attached, of all places, on the driver's door using four phillips head screws. Talk about an open invitation to mess with the ID tags! However as time went on I learned that the VIN was also stamped in the side of the frame above the driver's side front wheel. So the one time that I bothered trying to match the numbers on a vehicle the frame number was one digit off from the body number, something that would undoubtedly cause endless complications if ever there was a reason to check it. I solved the problem by giving the frame a big bloody whack right where the offending digit resided, obliterating it completely. Now I am not recommending this to anybody as it clearly circumvents the intent of the law and in this particular case I had good and sufficient legal title to all of the vehicles and parts involved, and the vehicle in question has long since gone to the grave. But if you do find you have a need to go this route, just make sure you check with someone who would know where hidden ID's would be found on the car. A state trooper should know for instance.

Jim



TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: October 01, 2009 03:12PM

Mike:

"NEVER throw away anything from these cars." That's good advice. I'm going to keep that in mind.

"Oh by the way good luck!" Thanks, Mike. Got a feeling I'm going to need it!

Mike and Jim:

Now I see what you mean by "reshelling". Thanks for the explanations.

Don't many cars also have invisible markings for vin etc. in a lot of places that can be only seen under UV or black light?

Trip


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: October 01, 2009 11:28PM

The 1975 to 1980 TR7s & TR8s have two riveted VIN tags; The windshield pillar and the driver's side door. Only the 1981 and later TR7s and TR8s have a stamped VIN in the passenger side rain gutter/jamb of the trunk. The numbered tag(s) found on the header panel behind the front headlamp and next to the left side hood hinge are inconsistant body numbers that have no meaning. The only other stampings are for the late 1979 and 1980 on the doors, hood and trunk that have the last two digits of the year stamped in them; 79 or 80. These stamping were done like other typical numbering for TR7s and TR8s inconsistent, so not every car had them but possibly some batches of body panels.


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: October 02, 2009 02:37PM

Mine is an 80 so I'll look for those numbers.

Thanks Mike

Trip


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: October 07, 2009 04:11PM

As promised, here are some photos I took after hacking away at the 7. Please pardon the delay.

Driver side - no rust but it looks like the previous owner scraped up against something and then filled over it without removing the dents.
driver front fender bondo removed.jpg

Pass front has a lot of rust around the lip from one end to the other and also the inner is rusted through (around where inner meets outter lip) and separated where the joint of the two should be.
pass front fender bondo removed top.jpg

I'm not sure that this can be reasonably fixed with metal cut and then added to both inner and outter and then welded to complete the seam. Have no idea how to go about fabricating and then correctly welding these bits, anyway.

It would probably be best to tackle this area last after learning on the more straight forward fab and weld areas on the car.
pass front fender bondo removed side.jpg

I wonder if just getting a full fender inner and outter would be the more parctical thing to do... But then again, where's the learning in that???

Would be nice to somehow cut all the rust away creating a larger wheel opening and have a base for wide/flared fenders.

How about - remove the entire fenders and install fiberglass flared fenders A la Lanocha(???) Okay... maybe unrealistic/over zealous for this project.

Trip



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2009 04:25PM by TRip.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: October 07, 2009 08:09PM

Trip-This is nothing new for a TR7 or TR8. The area you have exposed to be rotted is normal. Here is the situation; replace both the inner and outer fenders which will run about 300.00 to 600.00 for each fender. The inner might once in a while be found new old stock on ebay but have been selling for nothing or rediculous. You can locate some used good feners to use the areas you have that are rotted and same for the inner wheel arch. I would consider patching these only if you want to spend the time cutting and fitting so it will not rot out agian. If you dont feel comfortable with the patching job you can do a decent job and then hide this with rally flares used on the UK rally cars. You can do the same with the rear if they are rotted too.good patching and cosmetic fiberglass flares painted body color will give it a wider body appearance. The Lanocha kit you would need to still do some inner fender repairs/extensions and then bond the fenders to the inner fenders since you would still be using the stock front frame and suspension. For the money you would spend on thr Lanocha Kit you would then want to do tires, rear end, front suspension you would go broke.....well maybe not. You could do two new fenders, patch the inners, patch the rest of the and have money for paint for the price of the kit.

I would keep sanding around the rear fender lips, lower portion of the rocker panels, and fenders to see if you more hidden surprises! Only at this point you will know the overall condition of the car.
20novfront.jpg
Rebuild1.jpg
jjo-wac-stand.jpg


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: October 08, 2009 04:58AM

Hello Mike, thank you for your advice and the reassurance that this is normal rot for 7s & 8s.

This mess combined with the rusted out rockers, rusty rear fender areas, separated floor/rear firewall, lower cowls (minor) under trunk corners (behind the rear wheels), rust on the inner fender area in the drivers side engine bay and other areas make me realize that there's a difference between learning building/fabricating, learning to weld and - wasting my time.

"you would go broke.....well maybe not." Uh, I would say that would be an accurate statement... definitely yes.

So now I have the winter to decide on direction for the fenders and other stuff mentioned above.

Can I say... "money pit!" or is that an explitive statement to make especially here where people can fix anything and regularily do?

Too bad these panels aren't regular stock items at local wreckers and patch panels aren't made. :(

Oh, by the way, very cool pics . The rally car looks sooo new and shiney.

Trip



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2009 03:42PM by TRip.


Bill Young
Bill Young
Kansas City, MO
(1337 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 09:23AM

Main British Car:
'73 MG Midget V6 , '59 MGA I6 2.8 GM, 4.0 Jeep

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: Bill Young
Date: October 08, 2009 08:19AM

Trip, here's some reading you can do on those long winter nights. Peter Ploof up in Canada restored a Bugeye Sprite as a gift to a very special person and probably did more repair work than most people would ever attempt just to keep the original car as it had sentimental value. His step by step photographs will show you how he made many replacement panels and bits himself that were not available at a very low cost. His investment was in time. It will show you what is possible by someone at home without any prior welding skills if you want to tackle the job. [www.cardomain.com]


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: October 08, 2009 03:44PM

Thank you for the lead, Bill. I'm definitely interested in reading all about it.

Thanks,

trip



TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: October 08, 2009 03:51PM

Bill, I just took a quick look at his project pages. That car had waaaay more rust damage than mine!

I don't feel so bad anymore. Starting to think that this may be possible(?)

Thanks Bill,

Trip



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/08/2009 03:56PM by TRip.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: October 09, 2009 10:30AM

Trip-I can feel your pain. I have had cars that have been in the same if not worse condition that I sent to the gods. I recently got lucky through being patience and found decent cars with little rust. Both of my TR8 coupes are in excellent & decent condition to where very little actual patching is required on a panel that is visible. All the work is in nostructural locations.
My Rally Car Project
HPIM0473 Small.jpg

11-29-07 Rear Lower Rust Small.jpg

11-29-07 nose rust Small.jpg

11-29-07 rear window rust 1 Small.jpg


TRip
Trip Anthony

(162 posts)

Registered:
08/18/2009 01:16AM

Main British Car:
1980 TR7 performance 4 cyl

Re: Planned TR7 project decision - Thanks everyone!
Posted by: TRip
Date: October 09, 2009 03:44PM

Hi Mike,

"I sent to the gods." Nice way to put it!

The thing I've been wondering lately is - It's one thing to find and fix all the visible rust, but I'm thinking if there's rust on say the fender lip, what's the possibility that there may be hidden rust in boxed in areas like the inside of a seemingly solid rocker panel. Or, the sealed space between an inner and outter (good) fender. Or, inside a frame rail that can't be easily inspected..

The only way to inspect those areas would be to drill or cut holes big enough to see in. Those areas would then need to be sealed (welded) up again.

For example: If someone gets a seemingly rust free car, strips it and repaints thinking - hey no rust here, nice solid car, they may have what looks like a great restoration but missed the hidden stuff which will come back to bite him later.


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