A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

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A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Joe. » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:38 am

This just arrived at my lockup garage, Its a future project as its going to take some time to get it back on the road.

While it appears to be an estate it originally began life as a 750cc van. It was built in 1972 but wasn't registered until 1974 at this time Rebels were selling quite well so its a bit of a mystery why it took so long to leave the factory. It has a number of non standard features, including a galvanized chassis, Spax shocks, Disc brake front end. At some point it was converted to have a flip front, and a Ford 1600 crossflow engine has been dropped in.

Shockingly it was on the road as recently as 2006 but since then it looks like its had a very hard life, the interior is fetid, it hasnt run for years and it generally needs work pretty much everywhere.

The plan currently is to refit the side panels and turn it back into a van, recommission it and find out what its like to drive.

Thats enough talk on to the photos:

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I'll try and keep the thread updated as we try to get it running again!



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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Joe. » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:45 am

I wasn't expecting to get much done on this car in the short term but assisted by my mate Dave we have at least made a start.

First job was to have a look at the look at the electrics, which have suffered from years of owner modifications and neglect. The rebel wiring loom was still there mostly but had been repeatedly hacked up and modified by a previous owner who's understanding of electrics was limited at best. There were lots of aftermarket dashboard mods, scotch-locks, extra relays, multiple earths, fused and unfused feeds (all feeding the same item) and the wiring colours used were at best random, Red earth cables anyone!

Heres a few photos of what it was like:

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The first step was removing the rats nests from behind the dash, we then spent the afternoon removing all the modified wiring leaving just the remains of the original loom. The footwell steadily filled up creating a huge pile of stripped out cable. in the end leaving us with a decent starting point which as ready for new connectors and testing.

Rats nests:

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With the wiring looking more normal we put a battery on and tried to see if the engine would turn over... it didn't. So confident that the wiring was ok the starter motor was next on the list of suspects. It turned out it was completely seized, once freed off the engine turned over on the key! We then decided to try and get it running the timing carb and oil was checked, Plugs, leads, points and condenser were swapped, but it did not want to run.

Carb checking:

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Jumping off the other Rebel didn't help enough:

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After some head scratching it was decided to take the starer off and take it apart for a look. The brushes were not in the best condition and there was a fair amount of wear and corrosion. Fortunately both Ford and Reliant were using very similar Lucas starters which meant we had a few spares knocking about which we could use for parts. The result was a reconditioned starter capable of turning the engine over quick enough to have a chance to get it running...

Sorry about the inane comments on the video...




The initial drive suggests that it will be quite entertaining to drive the engine is probably 50kg heavier that the standard reliant unit but does offer nearly twice the power so the overall performance should be very good.


It now looks like it wont need that much to go through an MOT.

Brakes sort of working, need bleeding / checking. possibly wants a replacement servo.
Bodywork needs attention to make it safe and secure,
Electrics need a final session tidying up the wiring loom and connecting replacement components,
Seats and Seatbelts need attention,
Washer pump needs moving.
A battery tray needs fabricating.
A wheel stud needs replacing at the back and it will need replacement wheels and tyres.
The interior needs removing and throwing in the nearest skip... Anyone want some fiesta mk2 seats.



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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Joe. » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:46 am

quick update, In between playing with other cars we've faound a bit of time to play with the crossflow rebel...

Its now got:

working electrics, new headlight bowls, indicators etc.
Working brakes (needed a new master cylinder to fix a binding on issue)
Sheared off rear wheel stud has been replaced,
Correct Rebel Seats bolted in!
Correct rear lights fitted,
Its had a triumph herald steering wheel fitted which has a similar look to the factory original wheel and cost 99p on ebay!

A few recent pictures:

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The next stage will be to bring the car home to have some fibreglass repairs done, also to weld up a new battery shelf, fit some seatbelts and a screen wash system.



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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Scimher » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:03 am

Great work, guys - brilliant..!! Loved seeing it start up & move under its own steam. (Could be the quickest 'recommissioning' on record......)



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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Stephenl » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:46 am

I'm in. These things are great. I love to see a solid but beat up looking car made road worthy first job. that is what I would do.


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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by MikeyBikey » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:30 am

Great stuff to see it come back to life. :)


Is we sideways yet...

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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Roger Pennington » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:53 am

Great - could be quite a "wolf in sheep's clothing" as long as the heavier engine hasn't affected the balance :)


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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by philhoward » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:58 am

A 50kg increase is probably a 50% increase in engine weight?? Glad it's got discs up front with a 1600 crossflow!


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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Oaksey » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:09 pm

Mmm I love Rebel estates


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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by greeny » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:17 pm

Stunning! Well done!


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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Joe. » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:14 pm

philhoward wrote:A 50kg increase is probably a 50% increase in engine weight?? Glad it's got discs up front with a 1600 crossflow!
A Reliant engine is 60kg dry - The crossflow's about 110kg. It's well positioned with most of the weight behind the front wheels so shouldn't be too bad - a front anti-roll bar will help stiffen it up and is a easy mod which we've done to both the other Rebels.

I've got some re-drilled Morris Marina hubs which can be made to fit the original Rebel vertical links along with bolt on Lotus caliper mounts if the spitfire discs arent up to it!

Dave



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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by nickkeyser » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:17 pm

Cool! this looks awesome!


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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Joe. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:53 pm

Dave and myself recently long weekend free and managed to get a bit of work done on the crossflow rebel, Hauling it out of the lockup and into the garage at home to do some much needed fibreglass repair work.

Crossflow rebel as it arrived:

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The front suspension was stipped off for an overhaul, pads and discs, and bushes were due for replacement...

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The body was scraped back the remains of at least 3 paint jobs was removed mainly with a chisel, paintwork removal seems like a cosmetic job but was actually vital to identify areas where the fiberglass needed proper repair.

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The side windows were also removed to allow the side panels to be replaced.

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The following photos show more of the scraped back bodywork the gelcoat is actually in very good condition under all the paint.

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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Joe. » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:23 am

To replace the side panels I'd planned to reuse the wooden moulds made for my blue van, unfortunately a couple of years in a lockup garage near the sea had allowed them to warp in the damp conditions.

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After replacing the panels on the blue van I had acquired spare set of original Rebel van side panels, but before using these It seemed wise to take a fibreglass mould off of them to allow for future rebels needing the same conversion. The panels on a rebel van are double skinned consisting of an inner and outer moulding. So four moulds were required to make a complete set.


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Original panels were waxed and then coated with a pva release agent. Gelcoat was then painted on with two layers of csm two follow. The process was then repeated on the inside to make the inner mouldings. The photos below show the compleded outher moulds:

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The proscess was repeated to make the inner moulds. (photo of all 4 moulds)

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Re: A 1600GT Crossflow Engined Reliant Rebel...

Post by Joe. » Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:07 am

As the moulds were setting we found time to have a look at a few other areas, with the door card removed it turned out the window winder mechanism on the passenger side was missing and the drop glass was held up by two bits of wood.

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The front suspension was rebushed, new discs and pads were fitted. However some concerns remain about the condition of the calipers while free and moving, neither pistons nor seals look particularly healthy. The claipers will probably need overhauling prior to going for an MOT.

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A new battery shelf was also made and has been relocated to the other side of the engine bay. The plan will be to fit the brake servo where the battery used to be, this makes more sense than the old arrangement as it reduces the length of the brake pipe and locates the battery nearer the starter and alternator.

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The Radiator was also replaced, its a new one to suit an escort mk2

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These photos show some of the fibreglass repair work to the body:

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The front has been patched back together but to do a tidy job the whole front section would need to be replaced.... This can be done but will require quite a bit of work so Repairing the existing front was probably the best short term option. The creation of a replacement will involve taking a sectional mould off the front of the blue van (after removing the bonnet lock and hinges and temporarily fairing out the bonnet joints with plasticine or clay), achievable but not vital for an mot.

The Repalcement panels were then bonded in.

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The following photos show the crossflow rebel as it currently stands:

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The snagging list for an MOT Reads like this:
Caliper overhaul,
Replacement rear numberplate,
Missing drivers exterior door handle needs replacing
Trunnion Top seals need replaceing (not on test)
Fuel tank needs draining and reconnecting,
Replacement Air filter needs work to fit,
Wiper motor needs repair,
Wiring needs a final check over,
Needs new tyres,
Screen wash system needs attention,
Seatbelts need fitting,
Plus a few other bits I've forgotten...!



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