So it began. A 1971 Leyland Moke destined for the tip. Full of rust but it ran. Would it be so hard to hard to bring it back to its former glory? I was determined to find out.
What a machine! Rust, rust and more rust. The electricals were non existent with only the ignition working. The car had once upon a time been rescued from a farm and used to carry sporting equipment at a local Little Athletics club. Mechanically the car was a hybrid of Moke and Mini parts boasting a whole 998cc of Leyland A-series power.
The first job was to determine the extent of the rust. The previous owner had welded metal over the rusted floor, hiding the true extent of the rot.
My favourite was the body filler the previous owner used to fill the gaps – cement. Yep – good old quick drying cement. It had about 5 kilos in it.
Cutting out the rust left very little of the original floor and sides boxes remaining. So began the welding-athon. Metres of steel and welding wire was used to bring the floor back to something resembling structural integrity.
The offending grinder – Rebuilt the all the internal panels and battey box from steel sheet. Cutting up the floor
One side done – one to go
Metalwork done , floors, firewall and subframe mounts restored with new metal.
There was no point leaving all that lovely new metal to rust so it has to be protected with putty and etch primer as soon as possible.
All done with a Kmart 2.5hp 40l comp and rubbishy $20 suction gun.
Spray Putty on the inner tub
Down to stripping the beast. Nothing like a heat gun and wire wheel to cut through the house paint(!) that covered the car.
Next was to trial fit the windscreen surround and roll cage. Welding up strengthening panels and then it will be turned over and stripped that side. Painting wasn’t far away
Once it was stripped the car had to be etched so the final paint sticks.
First the bottom and then the top.
The Roll Cage was bolted in and the front bumper bolted loosely until the front subframe went in.
Next the windscreen goes in, steering rack and I start rebuilding the rear subframe.
Assembled the rebuilt rear subframe. The rear subframe has been installed and the engine work started.
The engine before it was taken apart. When we received the car it ran well, blew no smoke and had good compression on all four. The clutch was stuffed. Such a tiny engine is a joy to work on.
While the engine was stored I filled the bores with oil from the jag so the it didnt rust. I tried to get most of it out but as you can see most of it ending up on the garage floor.A giant bag of kitty litter should clean it up. So you can lift an A-series by yourself (as long your wife pulles the subframe away faaasssst)
The pistons and head were very badly carbonised. This is what the piston looked like after about half an hour with 1200grit sand paper. The bores had no scoring and
hadn’t rusted in the time it had been stored.
The head was badly coked and received the same treatment as the pistons and came up well. They seem in reasonable shape with no recession or dings in the valves. The water channels were badly mineralised and will need some attention. The stuff that came out of the radiator looked like the bottom of a river.
Next victim was the clutch. When we got the car the clutch slipped badly so I knew it had to come out. I wasnt looking forward to this with stories of horror about stuck flywheels and busted bolts.
But with some online support and procedures it was easy. No flywheel puller needed. Four whacks with a suitable lump of wood and 4kg brass mallet and off it came.
The worst job always has to be the electrics, another job that I didnt looking forward to.
The loom had been patched and cut all over the place, but once I stripped all the extra rubbish and my own rubbish it wasnt looking to bad. I have drawn up a colourcoded wiring diagram and tags and I am putting the tags on the loom so I can identify what goes where when I put it back in
Clutch went back together well. New gasket and seals in and the motor reassembled. New thermostat and housing and hoses.
There was very little wear in the bottom end and gearbox. So nothing changed. Excellent.
The front subframe needs new boots for the CV and Uni on the Right Hand Side.
The engine has been reassembled. Put the cleaned rad and new hoses on. Put the engine back in the subframe.
I put the body over the subframe. I think this easier for a Moke than a Mini. The body it easier to lift.
Every garage should have a work bucket to sit on.
The headlights went back in it was starting to look like a Moke again.
The wiring is underway. After marking up all the connections, I placed the loom in the car. As I go from connection to connection. I striped the connector back 3mm and resoldering on a new connector, then retaping up to the next connector. Afterwards I test 12v from one end to the other to ensure all is well. Slow but it worked a treat.
Today with some help from the junior helpers, the car met the engine for the first time in a year. We Picked it like a wheel barrow and walked it over the the subframe.
Not a recommended way of installing an engine.
Well the front subframe is now bolted in the front and at the towers. The subframe and the body wouldnt line up so I had to jump up and down on the body to get one bolt in and shoulder charge the car, with a run up to get the first of the other side. All four finally went after 3 days of effort. The front bolts took about 10 mins once the tower bolts were in.
The first seat finished. Mooooooooo. Seat done by us as well.
Engine bay update. Clutch master and slave in, next the electrics and it went broom.
Next it grew a windscreen. The bottom rail was stuffed, so I cut down a piece of steel tube and welded the brackets on.
So the engine bay starts to look more complete.
Fuel Tank and lines in.
Handbrake cables in and adjusted. Pedals in and connected to masters..gotta love those splitpins.
Well finally it started and stopped when I wanted which was great. After Replacing the cap and earth strap and away she went.
I was very happy to hear the little beast sing again.
At last it emerges from the garage, for a clean up for the final assault.
Its come a long way in under a year
We have electricity. After watching the wiring loom for several days – I decided to go downstairs and eat my childrens Christmas lollies. Whilst chewing on a particularly ghastly soap flavoured purple mass the mysteries of the loom became unravelled in my sugar fueled brain..
Rapidly rising the stairs to the garage of pain, I executed my plan and presto I got a vist from the theories of one German named Ohm. Yippeee
Painting the wheels.
Priming the first
Added repainted rims and new tyres. Goodryde H500 175/70/R13. They are very soft yet hard and extremely heavy. Truely awful
New shocks and brake shoes on as well.
Fix the steering. Pulled the rack and mismantled and reassembled with added newness and it goes around corners.
It went for a fly and successfully navigated the block with no mishap. Got into third, stop and steered well. The lack of drivers seat made headroom more than adequate.
Oil change, rear front subframe bolts, horn, fit seats, wipers, washer, mirrors and stop switch and its rego time
Rear seats are in – I had to drop the rear subframe and weld some captive nuts to the body. Bolted up and done.
The drivers seat is in. The indicators are wired and functional. The brake switch is in and operating.
Wipers on and operating The front bumper has been taken off for a clean-up
Well I finally got a seat. So a new cover will go on and in it goes. From this old dear that had gone to god.
Rebuilt and installed the alternator The radiator blew – so in went a new one. Welded up some brackets for the mirrors. Mirrors via Stupidcheap.
Built up a cover for the battery – early days – needs some additional belting, cleaning and painting.
New wheel and indicator stalk. The indicator is on the wrong side so matches the Jag so I dont have to think about it
The switches for everything are in and work they just need a legend so I dont have to remember what they are
Washer bottle in and working
Passenger seat cover in – so no more sewing at night in front of the tele
Front seatbelts in
Then the fire – but fortunately it was mostly cosmetic
The finished product, registered and so much fun.