RUN BY Greg Ma­cle­man OWNED SINCE June 2017 PRE­VI­OUS RE­PORT Au­gust 2018

Classic Sports Car - - Our Classics -

You know you’re get­ting deep into a project when the sum to­tal of the parts that just ar­rived com­fort­ably eclipses what you paid for the car – by some mar­gin. That’s the po­si­tion I was in post-le Mans, with a grow­ing pile of shiny com­po­nents grad­u­ally tak­ing over the floor space in the mas­ter bed­room, and an un­der­stand­ing wife be­gin­ning to ex­hibit the signs of a woman on the edge. Some­thing had to give, so as soon as the Oc­to­ber is­sue had been sent to the printer, Mar­tin Port and I took a day off to see how much progress we could make.

The big­gest out­lay went on a set of Cv-jointed drive­shafts and light­weight al­loy hubs from up­grade spe­cial­ist Clas­sic Driv­ing Devel­op­ments, which should solve the long-stand­ing prob­lem of spline lock with the orig­i­nal com­po­nents. Beau­ti­fully ma­chined and in­cred­i­bly smooth in op­er­a­tion, they es­sen­tially re­place 1960s en­gi­neer­ing with tech­nol­ogy found on the lat­est modern ve­hi­cles. Paired with the new drive­shafts was the re­place­ment dif­fer­en­tial that had been ex­pertly re­fur­bished by Bill Hardy at Hardy En­gi­neer­ing, along with fully ad­justable shock ab­sorbers from Gaz. Chris Wi­tor pro­vided the front 205/400lb pro­gres­sive springs and up­rated 575lb rears, plus trail­ing-arm shack­les from a pre-facelift 2000 that I hoped would cor­rect the com­i­cal – and prob­a­bly slightly danger­ous – neg­a­tive cam­ber.

De­spite our early start, a good three hours was spent try­ing to free the diff from the quill shaft, with the top­most of four bolts prov­ing im­pos­si­ble to ac­cess. In des­per­a­tion I called guru Wi­tor, who quickly di­ag­nosed the prob­lem – we had jacked the car on the sub­frame, which was pinned against the floor, pre­vent­ing the diff from drop­ping.

Diff now free, it was time to tackle the old drive­shafts, which came out without protest. Once re­moved from the car it was plain to see that the pas­sen­ger-side UJS were com­pletely shot – the worst ei­ther of us had seen, and I sus­pect the cause of the vi­o­lent rum­ble above 50mph. With about an inch of play, it was in­cred­i­ble it hadn’t com­pletely let go. Sober­ing stuff.

The re­built diff was then of­fered into po­si­tion and mated well with the quill shaft, and we took the op­por­tu­nity to re­place the old rub­ber mount­ings with Su­per­pro polyurethane ver­sions. Each trail­ing arm con­nects to the sub­frame via two brack­ets, which in my post-’74 facelift car pro­duce ex­cess cam­ber when paired with low­er­ing springs. The out­side shack­les were re­placed with ear­lier units, and the in­side with 1.5º cam­ber-cor­rec­tion brack­ets from Wi­tor, which raise the in­side an­chor point of each trail­ing arm to bring the wheels into a nor­mal align­ment. With the trail­ing arms dropped, swap­ping the springs was sim­ply a case of lift­ing out the old and seat­ing the new. Re­mov­ing the dampers, held in place by a nut at ei­ther end, was al­most as easy.

To­tally ex­hausted, we de­cided to leave the front end of the car for an­other day and dropped it back onto its wheels, which were now much more up­right and cor­rect­look­ing. An un­wanted side ef­fect of straight­en­ing the wheels was the close prox­im­ity of whee­larch to tyre – touch­ing in the case of the pas­sen­ger side. Pa­tience now wear­ing thin, we took an an­gle grinder to the arch to cre­ate enough clear­ance for the drive home.

On the road, the car is trans­formed, and while the rat­tly ex­haust is still un­bear­able, the se­vere vi­bra­tion at mo­tor­way speeds has been com­pletely cured. The only mi­nor is­sue was a slight shimmy from the back end while on the sliproad en­ter­ing the M25; fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion is re­quired.

‘On the road the car is trans­formed, and while the rat­tly ex­haust is still un­bear­able, the se­vere vi­bra­tion has been cured’


Δ Mar­tin Port

Δ Clas­sic Driv­ing De­vel­op­ment: www. clas­sic­driv­ingde­vel­op­ Δ Gaz Shocks: Δ Hardy En­gi­neer­ing: www.hardyengi­neer­

Get­ting out the old diff took longer than it should have, but the re­fur­bished one fit­ted nicely with its new poly mount­ings

…fully ad­justable shock ab­sorbers? Check

Hard work on the hottest day of the year

New drive­shafts are a real work of art

New coil springs front and rear? Check…

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