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67 Mk1 GT6 restoration


byakk0
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I'll backtrack here a few years and go from the beginning...

The fellow I bought the car from claimed it was 'paint ready'.
Here it is the day I started tearing it apart back in, 96 I think it was.


Needless to say, I didn't have a clue what a ride I was in for. On top of that, I had never heard of a Triumph before. I saw the price in the want ads and I was sold, sight unseen. Looking back that was probably my first mistake. (the second mistake was not buying the pristine Mk1 I test-drove 2 years later for $1500!) Anyway, I drove in this condition for two years before I decided a rolling restoration was not at all possible. Heavy rust under the bulkhead, behind the dash fascia,  inside and outside of the A-pillars, floors, rockers, sills, heelboard, quarter panels, rear valence, trunk floor--basically the entire lower tub from the top of the doors down. the sills and rockers were so bad I could reach through them from the inside along their full length.
The bonnet was just as bad. Fortunately someone offered to sell me one for $200 as he decided not to do a spit-six conversion and no longer needed the bonnet. (this is the one from the video I posted in the other thread...more on that later)
So, you can see my dilemma--I have since replaced nearly every scrap of metal on the body and bonnet of this car.

Passenger side footwell. You can see the rust all over, and my half-hearted attempt at floor repair. I knew it needed replacing, but I thought this method may buy me more time. Boy was I wrong.


Engine:
Amazingly enough, it still runs. I fire it up from time to time as I have it on a test-cart. It was the only part of the car that actually was in excellent shape, albeit a tad dirty.


Anyway, lets fast-forward a few years (to 2009-ish) and 2 parts cars later. I'd since gathered tools and started gaining expertise and a game-plan on how to proceed. Up to this point all I have done is move the torn apart car from house to house to house (5 moves) and gotten married and had kids. a little bit of part refurbishing happened along the way, such as upper and lower a-arms and coil springs-little things like that that did not require welding or metalwork knowledge as I had zero skill then. I also placed a few orders for new sheetmetal-Rockers, quarter panels (wings?) and floors. I did have a crappy welder, but I was better off with a propane torch and coat-hanger for all it was worth-I've since upgraded.
I also toyed with various methods of rust removal-reverse electrolosis, CLR, vinegar, Evaporust, mechanical (wire brush, grinding, sanding) to name a few. More on that if anyone is interested.

So here we are at the floors, parts I used from the parts car-still in bad shape but at least salvageable and the metal is solid. (It was easier to use the floors from the parts car as I used most of the lower tub. I'll save my new floor pans for another project.)
I removed the crossmembers and replaced with ones I constructed. These were the first major parts I built by hand, and at the time, buying aftermarket may have been easier but I didn't have the $80 per side to fork over, but I learned a lot and they work, nearly hard to discern them from factory. The metal only cost about $10, and I built an 18" bending brake from scrap.


I knew from experience at this point it would look like this underneath.
I stripped it down to the bare metal and treated with por-15.


The new crossmember fitted. This has is now completed on both sides.

That's all for now. Stay tuned for more of my story!

~Hazen

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It's much further along than this! I'll get to those pics soon. Nearly done with the chassis and then I can wrap the body up.
But on with the bits of the story.
My bending brake-one flaw in my design though, which may be able to fix. It only bends one way!


Finished crossmember. (had a friend with a larger brake finish bending these for me)


Rear-end damage found under bondo. This is an ongoing project, still don't quite have it the way it needs to be.



I bought a small English wheel (wheeling machine?) a few years ago so I could repair this. $40 on ebay, it fits in a bench vise.
This is just a test piece from some galvanized metal I had on hand, just to get the hang of it.




And the new panel in place.



It looks a lot better at this point, but still needs some smoothing and adjusting, but I will get it.

That's it for now...

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on to the passenger side (near-side I think those of you in RHD cars call it 😀 )
This work was performed in late 2012.

Rocker removal. glad the hornets moved out before I found their nest. (There were more nests inside both A-pillars too, but those pics come later)
I lucked out and the upper and lower-Apillars, though rusty, were very solid and saveable.

Cleaned of the rust and prepped with por-15. I removed the por-15 where I would later weld, treating those spots with weld-thru primer.


Sill replacement. You can also see the rear wing and what I have to deal with there, but that too will come later.



Driver's side (off-side?) crossmember



Stay tuned. More rustoration where this came from!

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Quoted from byakk0
on to the passenger side (near-side I think those of you in RHD cars call it 😀 )


RichardB finally explained it all:  near-side is the side that's near the curb.

So the near side is the passenger side of a right hand steering car where it is driven on the left side of the road, and the side near the curb would be the passenger side of a left hand steering car where it is driven on the right hand side of the road.  However, if a right hand steering car is driven in a place where they drive on the right hand side of the road, the driver's side would be nearest the curb and so the near side, just as for a left hand steering car driven in a place where they drive on the left hand side of the road would have the driver's side as the nearest side.  It seems easier to think of this way.

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Quoted from rotoflex


RichardB finally explained it all:  near-side is the side that's near the curb.

So the near side is the passenger side of a right hand steering car where it is driven on the left side of the road, and the side near the curb would be the passenger side of a left hand steering car where it is driven on the right hand side of the road.  However, if a right hand steering car is driven in a place where they drive on the right hand side of the road, the driver's side would be nearest the curb and so the near side, just as for a left hand steering car driven in a place where they drive on the left hand side of the road would have the driver's side as the nearest side.  It seems easier to think of this way.


Ah, I see. That makes more sense now. Could just use port and starboard! lol. I'll just stick to the terminology I know for now. 😉

Shaun, I'll get you some pics of the wheel soon.

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on we go....

Cutting away the old wing (That's my bro. He has a GT6+ currently also undergoing resto)

Ignore the hood/soft-top bolt plate. As I mentioned earlier, I had to use lots of parts from the spitfire parts car. This piece gets dealt with.


Old inner arch with the cleaned up donor panel.


Seprated the B-post for cleanup.




And this is where the passenger side sits currently. I have been having issues getting the door gaps correct, so while I mull over solutions to the problem I have moved on to other projects.

I'll post the pics of the driver side later on. For now, lets jump to the front valance.

The PO had welded extensions over the ends to match some fender flares in the old bonnet, and the old metal underneath rusted away. I removed the extensions and found this.

The 'new' valence needed some work too, and as you can see it is from a GT6 Mk2 and needs adjusting to fit a Mk1. It was bent to 90 degrees on one end, unfortunately I was too gung-ho to fix it and did not take any before shots.


This is where it was bent, and in order to fix it this bracket had to be removed and a crack welded after it was re-shaped.


Notice the non-GT6 grill mount. This gets dealt with later.

comparing the old and the new. Notice the nose on the old one. It's quite thin and badly misshapen there.

The new is still a bit wavy and bumpy and that bugs me. John Bonnet could probably do something with both of these and make them look new, and maybe by the time I get the car done my metal beating skills will be sufficient to smooth it out better--who knows. As for the hinge cutouts-I should add a piece of metal to each notch to make it look like a Mk1 valance, but I think the bumper and over-riders will cover them enough not to be noticed. I'm not going for concourse here. If I had a tig-welder I may consider it.

Marking it for the cut. I only get one shot at this.


And here's another tool I built. A bodywork slapping spoon. I made this after I last worked on the valance, so maybe it will come in handy when I address it again.


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You're welcome. Here are a few more...

Moving back to the back end. The tail light mounts were --you guessed it-- thick with rust. It was easier and quicker to build new ones than strip the rust and hope I got it all. Both sides were completed.


You can see the new part laying on top of the wing. I clamped it to the old one and sprayed it with paint so the holes locations would transfer easily.




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hole in the firewall for a later style master-cylinder. More on this later.


Latch mount for the hatch. My car had been rear-ended sometime before I bought it and this bent up pretty good so I made a new one.







Unfortunately something was off and I couldn't figure out what. Although the new one looks good, I had to refurbish the old one in the end because mine wouldn't fit properly. Turns out the bent one was not as bad as I originally thought....all that wasted effort.

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Bending brake, for anyone interested. No dimensions, but you can add your own. I made mine a maximum work width of 18". I used metal purchased from a scrap yard for about $20. 1/4" steel for the table and 1/2" for the clamp, U-channel for the base.

Concept drawings and assembly diagrams. (would you believe me if I said I drew these in Microsoft paint?)



The clamping bar I actually made is like the second two drawings.
I cut the bolt, as indicated in the diagram, using both parts separately. The head of the bolt was welded to the outer part of the hinge.

Laying out the hinge. At this point I was just working my way through design as I built it.

welded up







I modified it after this with a longer bolt to hold the clamp down, and a wing-nut made from a threaded coupling with tabs welded to the sides. I need to redo these again as I only used grade 1 bolts. I need to remove them if I can and use grade 8's as the threads have worn out and the wing nuts are binding.
I mentioned earlier my flaw in design made it bend only up. I know how to fix it, but it will require a lot of weld removal. If I need to bend something both directions I'll probably fix it then. More pics later if I do.
My clamping bar was also not as accurate as It should have been. Hindsight tells me I should have assembled it on the brake with the bending bar at a 90 angle, and hold the bar tightly in place next to it with a sheet of 18 ga metal to get the correct spacing. Instead, I just made measurement marks and welded it, and after the fact discovered it off on one side by about 1/16".

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August, 2011:
The grey on the wing is close to the color I am after in the end.

This side was not quite as bad as the passenger side, so I did not remove the B-pillar. I just removed the striker captive plate on the inside.






test fitting the replacement arch.






I made a big mistake on this side. I welded the inner arch in place without dry-fitting the wing and it together. When I put the wing on, the lip of the wing and the lip of the arch were off by about 1/2" and I had to get creative to bring the two together, making multiple slices on the inner arch and pulling it tighter, then welding it all back. Looks terrible, but fortunately it can only be seen with the wheel off and looking up. Lesson learned (again!) don't get all eager to weld your part securely in place before checking and checking again. Measurements and tack-welds are your friends!
*I did not make the same mistake on the passenger side.

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back to that hole... This was back in May 2011.

Inside shot.
You'll notice the top of the dash is off. The old one was shot, swapped out for a better one, but that is for later.

The brackets were altered too.


Added some heat and started reshaping.




I cleaned it up and hit it with primer so I could see the flatness of the metal better.



Popped the fresh-air intake off due to the rust that likes to build under the seams and joints.

New deflector.




Master cylinders and pedals, all cleaned up. The pivot pins are new. I have a friend with machining tools and he cut me two identical to the old, minus the rust pitting.

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okay, so you are wondering about the drivers side rocker. It's nothing you haven't seen before...

Here's a peek inside.

Various bits of sand and road grit. It was seriously deep in there.



serious stress cracks on the hinges, so I started cutting it out a little at a time to see just how much needed replacing.

Another one of those pesky hornet's nests. And thank goodness I dug into it. the spotwelds holding the the inner support to the outside were rusted through--only one was holding, and that just barely

turns out its the whole A-Pillar.

A little hole I had to patch. What was that po thinking?









New A-pillar in place.



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hello,
really enjoying your rebuild, your build is very like my own series 3 rebuild jde451l, dont know if youve read it.
its good fun making all the various bits and pieces, saves cash too. really impressed with your work, keep up the good work and pics, i too made my own folder pic on here somewhere.
i am off to finish my drivers side sill outer today.
regards. ian.

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  • Ben Hutchings changed the title to 67 GT6 Mk1 Restoration - New

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