Alan’s 1961 Ford Consul Ute – Australian import

December 2016
With the engine now fully rebuilt and finished in factory specified colours this is a sign of things to come. Simply magic!

Something to eat your dinner off


Column change gearbox also overhauled and back in situ – straight out of Campbellfield, Melbourne

Bench seat now also ‘as new’

October 2016
The Ute’s engine has been removed from the engine bay and is currently going through the process of a complete strip-down and full rebuild. Meanwhile the bodywork is being dismantled ready for sandblasting, a complete refurbishment and fresh coat of paint.

The strip-down commences

A rarely seen three-bearing crankshaft

Dismantling underway

Ready for sandblasting

Buyer beware – but speeding in the sense of the word was merely a dream

August 2016
Alan’s love affair with classic Ford’s continues following the recent acquisition of this incredibly rare Ford Consul Ute. This ‘hens tooth’ of a vehicle is unlikely to be seen on UK roads but we are fortunate enough to have one in the club courtesy of Alan. With his utter dedication to maintain the originality of the vehicle and his attention to detail you can be sure this is likely to be the best example to be found in the country, and probably worldwide.

One of the reasons why Utes became popular was a side effect of the Great Depression of the 1930’s which lasted up to the Second World War, when banks would not lend money to farmers for passenger cars as they were considered to be luxury vehicles. They would however advance money for the purchase of working vehicles and the Ute was perfectly capable of transporting the wife to church on Sunday and visiting the market on Monday.

The following pictures show the vehicle as purchased.





Dave’s Mk3 1.6 Laser

September 2016
Having only recently acquired D52 JMT from Graham within the club, I have unfortunately had to pass the car on due to a lack of storage facilities following my move north to Scunthorpe. Plans to hold on to this car have not worked out and my Capri ownership now rests firmly with the HOO, which is currently undergoing restoration and can be found further down this page.

May 2016
I spoke to Graham about D52 JMT when he originally bought it but he was loathed to sell at the time as he wanted to rectify the bodywork issues (covered further down the Projects page) before deciding what to do with it.

Having sold my Peugeot 604 and BMW 520i and with HOO 77H still undergoing restoration I decided to buy a good useable Capri and fortunately Graham had decided to sell D52 after the bodywork regeneration. I arrived to view the car and Graham pointed out some areas that needed improvement, but overall the car was very solid with an exceptional history. With a deal done, D52 is now in my possession and over the coming months I shall make steady improvements including:

Fitment of a new Sportex 2’’ exhaust
Under seal the whole undercarriage of the car to protect against rot
Fit a regenerated dash due to significant cracks in the original
Replace the instrumentation needles due to sun damage
Refurbish all four alloy wheels
Replace front brake disks due to judder on front axle
A thorough clean of the interior
Replace and fix the plastic recline mechanism on the front seat
Replace the Electronic Radio due to a fault on the speaker pick up
Replace oil and service items
Clean, degrease and dress the engine bay
Strip, clean and repaint the cam cover and radiator air cover
Replace clock for correct colour dials
Replace the strange Italian carburettor with a Webber or FoMoCo carb

I drove the car to the CapriPower Lancaster day where it was well received and am looking forward to attending a number of other shows this season.

My next big job is to sort the huge bundle of paperwork which came with the car and write out its history for the show circuit.

Bodywork now up to the required standard

Theo’s Mk3 Restoration – 1.6 Laser

May 2016
After nearly three years off the road whilst undergoing the body restoration, engine change and various other modifications Theo proudly presented his car on the 16th April at the CapriPower Lancaster Bomber day at East Kirkby.

Theo proudly presenting D107UJO at the CapriPower Lancaster Bomber Day

April 2016
Having converted D107UJO to power steering it turned out the second hand rack installed at the time had a sticking internal valve which made the car pull continually to the left, countered only by a constant pull on the steering wheel to the right! Having spoken to Graham at Station Road Garage he gave me the contact at ACS Power Steering and I sent the original rack off to them to be overhauled. Within a week I had it back from them – superb service from these guys. Having refitted the rack I conducted the subsequent road testing which confirmed the issues were resolved and the job done.

Faulty steering rack with reconditioned unit adjacent – spot the difference!

Whilst at it we decided to upgrade the braking performance of the car with a pair of new old stock vented discs which had been in my store for years, awaiting a suitable vehicle to fit them to. They were accompanied by a pair of 2.8i calipers. Installed and ready for action, the Laser now benefits from improved stopping power even if the result isn’t immediately noticeable.

Discs and calipers, with new pads, awaiting installation

New disc torqued down and lock tagged

Vented disc and 2.8i caliper installed

During the upgrade process, the brake servo decided to develop a vacuum leak. Each time the foot brake was used the engine ran rough, as if on three cylinders, and on occasions stalled. Once the foot was removed from the pedal the engine picked up again. Unfortunately these are sealed units, apparently sealed for life, and can’t be opened. They are also getting scarce as Escort owners like to fit the 2 litre version to their Mk.1 & 2 Escorts. I was lucky and thanks to the efforts of friend Francis Ellingworth (of Capri Power) I got a good second hand one. This was fitted in place of the faulty unit restoring the braking performance of the car. Working on the adage ‘it went together so there must be a way of getting it apart’ I am now looking into the extreme possibility of getting the old unit serviced somehow with a view to having a good one available within the club.

Old unit ready to be removed

New unit installed and connected up

January 2016
Back on the road but with Theo’s preferred 205/60 x 13 rubber, his Laser desperately needed a chauffeur built like the Hulk, or alternatively the fitment of power steering. We went for the latter and this has now been successfully installed, making a great difference to parking manoeuvres. Whilst at it adjustable track control arms and polybushes were fitted at the same time.

The car was taken to a local tyre specialist in King’s Lynn to have the front end geometry set up professionally. Having roughly set the front wheel alignment (tracking) with a tape measure in order to make it driveable, it was comforting to find out it was only toeing in slightly more than Ford’s recommended settings. Returning home however, it had a slight tendency to draw to the left, exacerbated by the road Camber.

In spite of the geometry apparently being correct according to the tyre specialist, a simple check with a plumb line and ruler revealed the offside front wheel wasn’t vertical. It had positive camber with a 3mm difference between the top and bottom of the rim.

Having considered this as a possible remedy, the fitting of adjustable track control arms allowed the arm to be extended and the camber reduced to zero. The offending wheel is now vertical, the same as the nearside wheel.

Unfortunately the local roads have been salted recently, so the car is garaged for now but hopefully the next run out will confirm the problem has been resolved.

Engine support spreader

Old and new cross members

Power steering rack in place and connected

Fan belt, pump and pulley arrangement

December 2015
Since the last update Tommy has really put in the hours to get the front and rear ends painted enabling us to refit all of the ancillaries, bumpers etc.

The inside of the doors and quarter panels have been treated with hot waxoyl but we are yet to fit the plastic inner wing liners or mud flaps. That should be relatively easy in comparison to changing the front sub-frame and fitting the power steering unit…

Theo had some trepidation on the way to the MOT station with everything crossed for a positive result. The car sailed through without as much as an advisory – it was worth the trip just to see his face when the good news was delivered and his finger nails are already showing some signs of growing back!

Conversion to manual 5-speed is on hold for the time being until the new engine has done at least 500 miles and is run in. 60 miles of Theo’s ‘chicken-winging’ completed to date.

Theo is already setting his sights on winning some trophies in 2016 and all being well, there will be a debut appearance at the Lancaster Day show.





November 2015
The battery tray had seen better days and in preparation for the installation of power steering the replacement tray, obtained from CCI, was fitted to the nearside of the engine bay. The battery cables have all been extended to reach the new location and the engine has been fired up and run to ensure everything is in order.

Old battery tray showing its age

Battery and new tray moved to the nearside pre power-steering installation

The windscreen has been removed and thorough repairs have been made to the drainage holes which were beginning to suffer from rust. The sunroof has also been removed in readiness for a visit to the paint booth.

Theo has decided on the four spoke polished alloys and hence their fitment…

Four spoke alloys in situ and trial fitment of the rear bumper pre spray booth

October 2015
Being a perfectionist, Tommy was unhappy with the way the bonnet opened and closed, so the catch was realigned accordingly.

Bonnet catch realigned

Significant rust was developing in the offside rear wheel arch and this has been cut out and new metal has been welded in its place.

Offside rear wheel arch repairs

Next on the list is to fit a new battery tray.

September 2015
Work has progressed, but slowly. The back end is now finished, except for painting, and the job of putting the front end back together has begun.

Theo – patiently waiting for the chicken-winging days to come

Front-end rebuild

What has been done is looking very good, but Tommy has now got a shedload of other work, so this job has had to go back on the shelf for a while.

July 2015
Progress here has stagnated a bit. Tommy has had a blitz of other work and has had to side-line Theo’s Laser for the time being. With the whole car now straightened up, the next big job is to skim over the back end with filler and prepare it for painting.

During the lull, work has again focused on the gearbox which is now completed having been connected up to the car’s original 2.0 pinto engine with spigot bearing, clutch and release arm all in place.

Re-assembled gearbox connected to the original 2.0 Pinto awaiting installation

June 2015
The bodywork continues to progress. A new rear panel has been welded in and the petrol tank is back in place.

The Laser stripes have been removed, which was one hell of a job, and the boot floor is being fitted.



A new laygear, bearing and collar were sourced for the gearbox which has now been rebuilt and awaits installation.

Heavy-duty upgrade for the 5 speed laygear cluster

As it should be…

5th gear locknut torqued to 150 nm and staked

Bell housing on, gears lubricated, checked and all running smoothly

Modified input shaft and bell housing

The finished article awaiting installation

May 2015
Pictures are to follow but the new outer skin for the rear panel is in the process of being fitted.

However, work is now focused on the gearbox.

Box ready for dismantling

Gears and selectors with cover removed

5th gear, synchro and speedo drive

Layshaft being removed from laygears

Layshaft – unmarked, ready to re-use

A 2.8 input shaft, machined and new bearing

April 2015
Work is progressing slowly but surely. The body creases have all been successfully removed and a good outer skin has been obtained for the rear panel.

The petrol tank has been cleaned and treated and is now ready to go back in. The tank straps were both in good condition and can be reused without any remedial work.

The 2.8i Type 9 gearbox is on the bench ready for fitting the Pinto input shaft and bell housing which is the next piece of work to be undertaken.

March 2015
The back end is all stripped out and undergoing repairs to straighten the bent bits. The petrol tank is out and although in generally good nick, requires the treatment of some surface rust.

There was a slight kink in the nearside chassis rail where it passes over the axle, but fortunately this came out when the car was put on the jig, as did the three creases in the quarter panel. Fitting the new tailgate was the proof of the pudding when the gaps all lined up exactly.

Graham’s Mk3 Restoration – 1.6 Laser

April 2016
Following the regeneration of D52 JMT, Graham decided to put the car up for sale due to the number of cars already in his possession and subsequently our club Chairman, Dave Kelsey, has snapped up the opportunity to purchase the vehicle. It’s great that the vehicle will remain in local ownership and expect to see this Laser on the show circuit throughout 2016.

March 2016
With the required bodywork rectifications now completed D52 JMT looks worthy of the history and single ownership status it carries.

Bodywork now up to the required standard

This seat has been occupied by a very small number of people

The biggest issue was the extensive rot in the roof around the sunroof aperture as reported previously, and this has been properly restored back to showroom condition.

With regards to the mechanicals the servicing work has now been undertaken, ensuring the 1600cc motor is performing as it should.

D52 JMT has an extensive history file with literally every piece of paperwork relating to the vehicle retained in the archive. Items include the original vehicle order form detailing a total cost of £6,183.90 including the optional extra of an alarm at £87 plus VAT; the complete and original book pack along with all MOT certificates and former tax disks; and a letter from the supplying dealer confirming a goodwill gesture to rectify some rear panel damage the owner identified following delivery of the vehicle when new!

Original order form for D52 JMT

Original book pack, MOT’s and tax disks

Service with a smile, just about! Rectification of a mystery dent in the rear panel…

A small amount of cosmetic work to ancillary items such as the bumper end caps and wheels is all that remains to turn this Capri into a really special car for a true enthusiast.

January 2016
Whilst taking a bit of time out and flicking through a copy of Capri Club International (CCI) magazine I came across an advert for D52 JMT; a one owner from new, 1.6 Laser manual in Diamond White with just 45,000 recorded miles.

Purchased and awaiting repair

En vogue with its Diamond White paintwork

The vehicle was located in Scarning, Norfolk so I sent my dad off to investigate. Upon inspection the car was showing signs of age, with patches of rust showing on the rear wheel arches, around the fuel filler cap and particularly around the sunroof and in addition there was a dent adjacent to the near-side rear wheel arch but everything was repairable.

As for the history of the car, I have never seen so much paperwork; three A4 folders bursting at the seams, including the original bill of sale from Gates Ford in Walthamstow in East London and recall notices from Ford dating back to 1987.

The lady who owned the car told me she and her late husband moved to Norfolk from London to retire in 2010, but sadly her husband passed away soon after moving. The Capri was his pride and joy and he said he would never sell it, retaining every piece of paperwork that was connected to it.

The car sat around after his passing and began to rust. Some remedial work had been commissioned but unfortunately the repairs were not to a high standard and it began to bubble through the fresh paintwork fairly quickly. Being a pensioner and needing to manage her finances she decided to sell the car but having cherished D52 JMT for so many years she wanted it to go to an enthusiast, hence the appearance in CCI magazine. I promised her I would repair the car and she waved me goodbye with a tear in her eye.

True to my word the car is now undergoing the required bodywork repairs at Dennis wright Body Repairs in Docking, Norfolk. Once back I’ll give it a full mechanical overhaul…

Pretty solid for a thirty year old

Body repairs commencing

Area adjacent to the sunroof was worse than first thought

Lots of new metal required – but the car deserves it

Patches going in…

Charley’s Mk3 – 3.0 Ghia

May 2015
Having upgraded quite a few things on the car since I bought it 16 years ago, I decided to invest in a new Weber carb. The old 38DGAS 6C had been in situ since the car was built in 1980 and had certainly done its job well. However it was worn and the engine deserved better.

Contact with Webcon revealed that the 6C model was no longer available. It was made specifically for the Ford Capri 3.0 models but has since been superseded by the 3C model that was designed for other vehicles using the 3 litre Essex engine. It is in fact the only one now available.

Originally when leaded fuel was the norm the 6C carbs were jetted up with IJ=45 and MJ=142. However after consultation with Webcon on the installation of a K&N filter I was advised to increase the size of the main jets to 147.5. Nothing was mentioned about the idle jets. This mod was almost successful; whilst running on the main jets power was instant and plentiful. However, on the idle jets at low revs there was a certain amount of ‘lugging’. This could be driven through and I lived with it for a considerable time.

However, on placing the order for the new carb I decided to go up one size on both main and idle jets as I have a modified camshaft as well as the K&N filter and a deal was agreed.

Mint in the box

The new carb duly arrived with standard 45/142 jets installed. The new jets 47/150 were with it, which I had to fit myself. With that done I made the swop and fired up. Idle speed was far too slow and the engine stalled. After adjusting the idle speed I took it on the road and everything seemed fine, or so I thought. Back home and ticking over it seemed lumpy so I checked the emissions. The left hand bank was rich at 5.5%, and the right hand bank was running lean at 2.2% so adjustment was needed on the mixture screws. The specified CO% figures given in the Haynes manual can be ignored and after setting the CO to 3.5% on both banks (maximum for a 1980’s vehicle is 4.5%) I took it for a run. It was much better but probably still in need of the next size up in idle jets.

And in situ

The run to and from Stradsett revealed a significant flat spot on the change from deceleration to acceleration. Probably at the changeover from idle to main jets. I wondered if the gap between the jets was too large so I fitted the 147.5 main jets that were working successfully in the old 6C carb.
With that done, a quick trip down the road seemed to indicate the flat spot had virtually disappeared.

Next step was to up the size of the idle jets to 50 and for a modest sum these were obtained from Webcon and duly fitted. I’m yet to have a proper run out with these but it seems like the problems have been resolved with a nicely running car once again.

Justin’s Mk3 Turbo Technics

May 2015
A777HRW has now been returned after spending four days with Turbo Technics in Northampton. Possessing the technical skill of a spoon I had booked the car into their workshop in order for them to diagnose my turbo and smoking issues.

As expected, removal of the turbo confirmed it had suffered significant damage from oil contamination and was in need of a complete rebuild. The likely cause was from the engine rebuild completed in 2011, where the slightest piece of swarf or silicone could cause irreparable damage. With the work authorised, they cracked on with the refurbishment.


Worn shaft

Once reinstated, attention turned to the smoking issues. Upon investigation it was found that the breather system had been plumbed up incorrectly and a number of hoses were beginning to show their age. Having completed the original modifications back in the 1980’s they were quickly able to reroute the system, replacing hoses as they went. One particular component which is key to the original set-up is the MIO filter; these are now fairly difficult to come by. The technician had a used one knocking around and was able to refurbish mine from the pooled parts (I have since sourced a new item from Ebay to ensure a replacement is on stand-by when mine finally gives up).

Shiny new turbo


Finally, the engine was fitted with new service items including oil, filter and spark plugs and time was spent setting the car up to ensure it ran perfectly.

Gone are the flat spots, poor idling and James Bond esque smoke screen with the car now running superbly well, with a good spread of power with turbine-like performance from 60mph+.

Whilst not intended to be an advert for the guys at Turbo Technics, I have to say they have worked their magic on A777HRW and I can’t recommend them enough. They even saved and returned all of the items they had replaced in a box, enabling me to reconcile the expense.

March 2015
Having winced at some of the interesting noises coming from A777HRW at times and aware of the increased pollution levels being dispensed by the twin stainless Janspeed exhausts I decided it was time to commission some investigative work to establish my car’s issues. Cue the proverbial can of worms!

As suspected, the standard gearbox had finally succumb to the forces of the Turbo Technics F16 Evolution conversion after 29 years of service. When your gearbox oil is drained and is full of swarf which was once your transmission you know things are bad. Subsequently the box was removed and sent off to a specialist where it has had a complete rebuild, uprated at the same time to Cosworth-esque specification, and now refitted with a new clutch kit to resolve the clutch release bearing issues also present, all without a glitch. Happy days!

On to the smoking issue. Having been rebuilt early in 2011 it seemed unlikely that the engine was the cause, especially given the limited mileage undertaken since. A few checks later and attention turned to the turbo unit where an oil leak was quickly established. This appears to be the primary cause of the smoking, resulting in the requirement of a turbo rebuild. Not so happy days! As Turbo Technics are fully booked with work the lead-in time is relatively extensive at six weeks with a slot booked early May.

Given the issues it was deemed unwise to drive the car any further, resulting in A777HRW suffering the indignity of returning 50 miles home on the back of a recovery truck at further expense. With a quick kick and a few choice phrases she now sits in the garage awaiting regeneration! Grrrrrrr…





Pete’s Mk1 Restoration

August 2015

Since the last update a lot of work has been done to complete the Mk1 and get it back on the road, culminating in its first official appearance at the Hunstanton Kite Festival in August. It was well received by both members of the club and the general public and it will be on the show circuit frequently through 2016.

Pete’s Mk1 – finished and on the way to the Hunstanton Kite Festival

Restoration completed in a garage – stunning!

March 2015
I’m currently working on getting the engine rebuilt and back in the car so that I can then make up the exhaust system. I had the engine machined a while ago, so I made up an engine stand adaptor and after a jolly good washing down of all the parts, I’ve started the reassembly.

Pictures show the bare block on the stand, crank, mains, ends, pistons fitted and a check of the camshaft timing – not critical on a standard engine as it’s just a matter of aligning a couple of dots on the cogs but it’s worth checking the actual position of TDC for future reference. The engine should be rebuilt by the end of the month and nestled back in its rightful place in the engine bay.





January 2015
I have been chuffing away over the Christmas break in the garage and made a bit more progress on the Mk1. The body is finally top coated and is now a rather bright shade of Daytona Yellow although I still need to wet flat and buff it but I’m reasonably happy with how it has come out. The next job body wise is fitting the Vinyl roof which will be a bit of a steep learning curve as I haven’t really fitted one before so I will be perusing the internet looking for a bit of instruction.

All being well the brakes will all be back together by the end of this week, I have renewed just about everything as eleven years unloved in the garage has probably not done any of the seals etc a lot of good. I had a real problem sourcing some rear brake shoes, which was a bit of a head scratcher for a while, but in the end I managed to locate someone locally that can re-line them at a reasonable cost.

It might well be worth bearing this in mind & stashing a few service items of your own for the future, as I have found a lot of motor factors no longer list parts for older models.





Dave’s Mk1 Restoration

March 2015
Work continues on HOO with the rear arches, floors and outer sills all now completed.


Stewart has now moved on to the front inner wings and front wheel arches to complete the remedial work following the ‘flaring’ by a former owner to accommodate some Speed Line alloy wheels. Once completed, the under-body will be prepped for a coat of epoxy and stone chip.


January 2015
Here is an update of the on-going restoration of the HOO. I went to see the car at Stewarts and I’m able to report progress has been made, the car having been stripped of paint and the wings removed. There has also been the alignment of the bonnet and removal of the doors.

Upon inspection, the doors are solid and will be stripped and painted. The inner sills are solid and the floors are excellent apart from the area in the corner underneath the accelerator. The rear sills and lower rear quarter need much work as plates have been put over other plates; it looks bad but will soon be sorted….

Rear lower wheel arch is another area that needs new metal.

The value of MK1’s is going up, so the importance of a thorough and total restoration to remove the dreaded tin worm is important to the car and its value. The amount of work being undertaken is reflective of the commitment to the cause. Further updates will follow.







Dave’s & Freddie’s Mk3 Restoration – 2.0 Laser

May 2015
With the interior finished my attentions have moved to the engine bay. This just needed a general tidy up including painting the cam cover and rubbing down and repainting the inner wings. The whole bay has had the gunk removed and a jet wash has improved the overall aesthetics. To finish, I intend to buy some decals from DMB graphics.

Cam cover removed for painting

The engine has received some new service items including spark plugs and points, as well as water flush and antifreeze.

The biggest issue now is sorting the bodywork which I intend to generally do myself. I’ll leave the body shop to deal with the bonnet scuttle and wing tops.

Freddie has been helping me to restore the Capri, although recently he has decided to introduce his own system of paint restoration. I found him using a scouring pad which he borrowed from the kitchen cupboard as he said it cleaned the paint surface really well! Unfortunately it took the paint with it…

Car awaiting the ‘Freddie’ treatment

April 2015
Why oh why do young boys with cars feel the need to hack about with the wiring to install massive stereos and strange chassis lighting on their cars? D220BPA has suffered this fate resulting in a wiring loom riddled with scotch locks and block connecters which I’m currently trying to remedy. Who would wire their headlights into the ashtray illumination for instance?

The stereo has now been sorted and a fader switch reinstated, as the manual choke had taken residence in its place when I got the car. This has now been rerouted into the standard position on the left side near the driver’s knee. The plus side of this set-up is that the car comes with a manual choke Webber, an added bonus.

Typically with these cars, the heater was inoperative and the only way to sort it was to pull out the matrix itself and replace the fan motor. With the dash removed and a few frantic phone calls to fellow club members, I managed to remove all necessary items to remove the said unit (you don’t need to remove the centre console I just took the carpet away to stop any staining from the dribbling water as it came out).


Once out I decided to get stuck in with the refurbishment with help from my trainee mechanic Freddie. Having already got a good replacement from Steve Harris (cheers buddy), we repatriated the matrix, cleaning and rebuilding as we went (it’s amazing how much rubbish collects in these after thirty years of blowing) combining all of the working components and dispensing with the duds. With the operable fan now installed it should work perfectly when it is relocated back in the vehicle, sending hot or cold air to wherever I want it – what a luxury!



March 2015
Following a trip to Cranleigh, Surrey I recently acquired a second Laser interior which was pretty much mint except for the usual wear on the driver side bolster. Consequently I took the driver’s seat to bits and removed the cover, then utilised the passenger side bolster from the first set of seats I bought to replace the offending item. This was quite straight forward to do and once you have mastered the hog ties and got used to the smelly foam, it’s quite a rewarding job.

I then turned to the seat cover and managed to use the sewing services of Katie to unpick the passenger side bolster cover from the donor seat and sew it into the original driver’s side seat cover and the result speaks for itself. Many thanks Katie, who can now be considered the clubs new upholsterer!

Freddie and I stripped the old interior from the car and refitted the replacement Laser seats front and rear, complimented by a matching set of Laser door cards.


To complement the seats there is also a mint steering wheel now in place, thanks Justin.

The dashboard has also been removed for refurbishment, having had some experience with these previously, I use modelling filler to fill the holes and cracks and then use a special plastic paint colour-matched to the dash to finish. This has rectified a common problem found in many surviving Capri’s around the show circuit.

The clock set was also falling below par, with the night illumination particularly bad, and some of the dials smudged in oil. I decided to remove the clocks to conduct the required refurbishment. The set was in bad condition – only one bulb was operative hence the poor illumination, and being a bit of a nerd on originality, I wanted to reinstate the blue bulb covers that had shrivelled up. Having stripped the unit it became apparent someone had not tightened up the oil pipe to the gauge resulting in some significant soiling. I had two spare units from other cars and built a really good clock set from the others retaining the original speedo, but pooling the original blue bulb covers and operational bulbs. All in all a very satisfying Sunday night spent wearing my anorak..!



Graham’s Mk3 2.0 Laser Light Body Restoration

February 2015
As his daily runner promoting the services of Station Road Garage, Graham decided it was time to tidy up D807FCL, rectifying areas of the shell which were beginning to show signs of their age.

Attention was required to the offside rear wheel arch where a replacement was carefully spot-welded into position; both sides of the scuttle were repaired with new metal along with the rear spring hanger.



The trickiest repair was to the offside headlight bowl and inner wing. Originally it was suggested the wing should be removed in order to conduct the remedial work but as the wing was original and had never been off the car, Graham was insistent the wing was left in situ. Cue a bit of keyhole surgery. A hole was cut into the upper wing to access the rot and the repair was made before welding in new metal to the wing top.



With a bit of filler and application of paint to the restored areas the car has been returned to its former glory.




Rob’s Tickford Turbo Capri, build No. 25

December 2015
I’ve never dismantled a car before. The nearest I’d come was installing a replacement Turbo Technics turbocharged engine to my former Capri 2.8i Special. I purchased a number of large plastic boxes, a bulk order of jiffy bags, sticky labels and a thick note book and decided to start with the engine bay, since I’d already removed the turbo. I photographed the part I was removing, made notes about how it had been installed, then removed the item, inspect it, make further notes on the condition, then tag and bag it or box it depending on size. A very slow and painful process, but worth it, in order to assist reassembly, which is likely to be conducted over several years.

Out came the battery, fan, radiator, intercooler, front bumper, headlights, grill, oil cooler, fuel distributor, fuel lines, vac lines, screen wash bottle, air box, air intake pipe, plenum and throttle body, water expansion tank, alternator, heat shielding, coil, fuel filter and so on. The radiator was substantially corroded and the bottom hose coupling on the intercooler was warped and possibly heat damaged. Removal of the front bumper had revealed some corrosion to the front valance behind where the indicator light lens was mounted.

Removing the rubber pipes from the oil cooler proved impossible and had to be cut. The oil cooler itself exhibited some light damage. The air filter box was a real nightmare to remove as one of the retaining bolts on the inner wing was seized to the integral nut built into the air box. The result was that the nut turned around as I tried to undo the bolt, and in the end I had to take an angle grinder to the corroded bolt. The associated ducting was actually from a Capri heater ventilation system. Any advice on what should have been installed would be appreciated!

Close up of corrosion to front valence

Close up of the intercooler

Engine bay with ancillaries removed

Close up of the oil cooler

Close up of the air filter assembly

Before lifting the engine, I removed the alloy block that the thermo time switch is mounted too, and underneath was a build-up of white caked powder, perhaps dried out coolant? This was also evident in the vacuum hose coupling on the warm up regulator! After struggling, though eventually succeeding in removing the injectors, I sent all the Bosch Fuel Injection components off to KMI for refurbishment or replacement. They did a lovely job, pricey though!

Soon it was time for the engine to come out. I purchased an engine crane from a British company – support British industry and all that. However, whilst they may have been a British company, their engine cranes were clearly not made here! The disassembled crane turned up poorly packaged. Parts had rubbed together in transit and become substantially scratched in the process. The welding was awful and the paint finish very poor. I bolted it together only to find that it was an accident waiting to happen. The jib didn’t sit on the lower section of the base correctly as I’d either been given the wrong base or jib, or either had been made incorrectly. If used, this surely would have collapsed.

A fight ensued with said supplier whom eventually backed down when I quoted the consumer legislation chapter and verse at them, and I was duly reimbursed. Instead, I opted for a Clarke unit from Machine Mart. Not a bad bit of kit for the money though also probably made elsewhere, albeit by someone with half decent eyesight, unlike the other unit! I also purchased a load leveller from Ebay. I unbolted the bell-housing, engine mounts, dizzy earth strap, and other bits and pieces. I then cautiously lifted the engine outwards and upwards, and with the load leveller, the sump only just cleared the slam panel. Job done! I’d definitely recommend the Clarke crane for the money.

Engine on the crane

Front of the workshop with the engine and crane on the side

Good news then arrived from CR Turbos. They’d managed to source a couple of IHI RHB6 turbo salvage units, both knackered, but combined with the good bits from mine CR Turbos were confident they could produce a serviceable unit. I gave the green light, and two weeks later my nice shiny reconditioned turbo was ready. What a lovely job they did. They even built me a spare compressor too. Not cheap, but hey, better that than having to retrofit a different unit. Thumbs up to CR Turbos.

My turbo dismantled

Reconditioned turbo and spare compressor

The strip down continues with the engine bay, exterior and interior cleared, and the search begins for a company to commission the body repair work.

Not looking very Tickford-Like

Engine out

Interior strip

Skirt off

Strip down continues

February 2015
‘Rob’s Resto’ has taken a back seat in the last year as my wife and I had a baby, we got married and we both started new jobs!

I’d decided to see if I could get her running or at least find out why she’d been parked up for seven years prior to my acquisition. The logic was that I’d then have some idea of what would need to be sorted, before I commenced the strip down.

Rob’s Tickford – more bark than bite but that’s soon to change

I swapped out all the fuses, including the fuel pump relay fuse and fitted a new battery. The lights on the dash now turned on. I fitted a new battery to the remote central locking key fob and performed a synchronisation. The central looking now worked and with it I presumed the alarm / immobiliser would also work. It has a Cobra alarm system, possibly similar to the ones fitted on the later Tickford Carpi’s.

I replaced the spark plugs, leads, dizzy cap, rotor and the coil. I now had a decent spark. I conducted a static timing set up, checked the flywheel sensor was in place and connected. This check revealed an old section of a flywheel sensor lead that had been cut at the bulkhead and a new lead taped up on the loom. I removed the old lead and checked the other lead was connected to the AFT. A prior visit to a friend’s house had confirmed my AFT was in full working order, hurrah! Brian had kindly swapped out his AFT for my unit and his Tickford Capri had still fired up first time and run perfectly. I had noticed that the vac hoses connected to my AFT and boost enrichment module were very tired and broken at the T piece and at the boost gauge. Brian supplied a new set and so I swapped all these out. Brian had also supplied his miracle wire for the starter motor solenoid and so I swapped this out too.

I’d drained the tank, put in a few cans of new fuel, and fitted a new fuel filter. I then thought I’d perform a fuel throughput test. On turning the ignition to the position II, I noticed that I could not hear the fuel pump prime. There was no voltage to the pump either. Hmmm. I replaced the old pink Bosch fuel pump relay, with a non-Bosch replacement unit, but still no difference. I ran a live feed from the boot light to the fuel pump for a couple of seconds and still nothing. A new Bosch fuel pump was ordered and fitted a week later. Whilst being a Bosch unit, it was not quite the same as the original unit as it was a bit thinner and came with a fabric sleeve and different connectors. Despite the new fuel pump being fitted, there was still no priming sound. I refitted the Bosch fuel pump relay and still no priming sound. Hmmm. Perplexed by the lack of fuel pump priming sound I decided to continue with the fuel throughput test, as the new pump seemed to work fine with a live feed to it. I swapped out the fuel pump relay with the wiper motor relay, turned the ignition to position II, and collected the fuel in the bottle at the fuel distributor. The throughput was a little low.

I traced the fuel lines from the fuel pump to the fuel distributor. Some idiot had jacked up the car on the outrigger, which had partially collapsed as a result, crimping the fuel lines that passed through it. I managed to straighten the bent sections and free off the fuel lines. They looked ok as far as I could make out, though my plan would be to replace these anyway. Fuel throughput was then found to be ok, and so I then refitted the fuel pump relay.

I figured the fuel injection system would be all gummed up, and sure enough the air sensor plate was jammed. Some carb cleaner sorted this. However, the control plunger in the fuel distributor was seized in place. This moves up and down inside the fuel distributor in response to the position of the air sensor plate, thereby allowing more or less fuel to the injectors. I tried soaking in carb cleaner, for days, no joy. I tried to grip the end of the plunger with thin nose pliers, but it was stuck at the top of the fuel distributor and there was very little to grip. I managed to get hold of a second hand fuel distributor from a Kings Lynn Capri Club friend who’d recently removed his Cologne engine in favour of a Cosworth conversion. The control plunger in this unit was a little stiff but was much more receptive to carb cleaner and was soon moving nice and freely. I blew through the injector lines, soaked the injectors in carb cleaner, and checked all the electrical connections to the auxiliary air device, warm up regulator, cold start valve and thermotime switch, all of which were ok.

Soaking the fuel distributor and air sensor plate in carb cleaner. The control plunger can be seen next to the can of carb cleaner

I followed the instructions in the supplement to the Ford Capri manual in order to test the auxiliary air device and the cold start valve, but I had trouble with both. As with the fuel pump, there was no voltage at the electrical plug with the ignition turned to position II. With the HT lead to the coil disconnected, I turned the engine over and this time a voltage was present at the electrical plugs. Can anyone shed any light on this? I think the very early 2.8i Capri’s had a safety switch on the fuel distributor, but this was not present on mine, and I suspect the injection system works slightly different to that described in the manual.

Sod it I thought. I reconnected the coil and turned her over. Wurrrr, wurrrr, wurrrr, wurrrrr, stop. Wurrrr, wurrrr, cough, wurrrr, cough, wurrr and she fires, coughs, splutters and dies.

This continued and each time she’d run for less time. Then I saw smoke coming from the boot; the earth strap had overheated. On closer inspection it was frayed and rusty. Brian supplied new straps for the battery and the engine. Wurrrr, wurrrr, fire, cough splutter and stop. So it went. In the short time she would run, the smoke from the exhausts didn’t show any blue tinge, but exhaust fumes were escaping from the manifold gaskets.

I tightened up the manifold bolts, which were surprisingly loose. After each series of starts and stops, it would get to a point where she would not start at all until left for a while. I thought perhaps I was flooding the engine. Sometimes when she did fire, you’d hear a loud pop from around the plenum chamber. Inlet manifold gasket gone perhaps? Also, when she did run I could see oil pass out of the turbo where the turbine joins the waste gate chamber. The waste gate was seized too, surprise, surprise. Full turbo rebuild needed then.

Months passed as I tried to find a company that could rebuild my turbo. I tried Turbo
Technics and several others but there was no joy. Finally, Brian suggested I try CR Turbos. After a couple of weeks, CR Turbos had dismantled my turbo and pronounced the back plate to be shot, the shaft was the wrong size for the turbine, and the bearings and seals were all worn. They could get the seals and the bearings, and the waste gate could be sorted, but the shaft and the back plate were going to be a problem. It was agreed that I would leave the turbo with them, whilst they looked for a solution.

Months passed with no progress on the turbo. CR Turbos couldn’t source the back plate.
Remanufacturing it was considered but a minimum order of 10 was needed, and the cost would have been in the hundreds just for this part, let alone the cost of the rebuild, so just not viable. I consoled myself with occasional purchases on Ebay, including an original radio/cassette, a spare fly wheel sensor from an RS1600i Escort, the correct early 2.8i Capri gear knob, and several other goodies. I also managed to source a new Tickford fan from CCI along with a few other bits including the stainless steel air inlet pipe that the 7th injector attaches to. Some fan brackets have been made for me too.

Until now, I have resisted diving in with the strip down, but with little hope of the turbo being repaired any time soon, I have decided to get on with it. At least I feel I am making some progress. Hopefully my IHI RHB6 turbo will be resurrected shortly…