1972 Nail Project

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1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:31 pm

After talking to HB Peter by PM he convinced me to start a thread here on the VVOC Forum to record my 1972 Nail project. I apologise to those of you who think this de-ja-vue because I've already run this thread on another forum.

The build has been ongoing in 'stages' since 1979 when I bought the car from a breaker's yard. It's an original 1972, Northern Ireland registered, Tasmin Orange with black vinyl roof, Firenza 2300 Sport SL - EIA 9932. Purchased minus running gear, front seats and bonnet and much of the rest of the bodywork due to rust!

Because of the realy extensive (and in the previous owner's eyes, terminal) body corrosion it was always going to be fitted with a Nail kit and a flat front one was purchased a few months after the shell. I still have the invoice from Blydenstien's in a file.

So no cries of 'another original car being ruined' please! :angrywife:

This is what it looked like when purchased.



So to the future - I picked up a photo of a 'Nailed Snoot' a while ago and I 'Photoshopped' it to give an indication of what I hope mine will turn out like.



Flat front, Arden Blue Pearl, no rear wing air vents and 9 & 10x15 Image / Compomotive split rims.

It might also get 19 and 6mm gold stripes to loosely mimic the original Sport SL heritage.

No engine swaps, no 5 speed gearboxes, no custom interiors etc are planned. It will be built as I originally planned as a teenager (very young teenager by the way) in 1979, with exception of the paint colour of course.
Last edited by 1972nail on Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby hbpeter » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:36 pm

What do you mean with exception of the colour!!! That blue is gobsmacking!

Peter
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Sat Mar 30, 2013 11:56 pm

HBPeter wrote:What do you mean with exception of the colour!!! That blue is gobsmacking!

Peter


I had originally partially painted it Monaco White in the early 80's. My original teenage dream did not foresee the stunning Astra VXR Arden Blue Pearl and the wonderful look of Carbon Fibre - more of that later!

Unfortunately my wife and daughter refused to allow me to revert to the Tasmin Orange when I suggested it!
It wasn't really a serious suggestion more leg pulling! :angrywife:
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:40 am

As a teenager I had bought a 1970 1159 HC 2 door as a donor for this build. It was intended to be a quick summer resto - cheap insurance, cheap parts and cheap fun! But by the early 80's the 1159 engine and box had been used to keep my 72 SL 4 door alive and the 'quick resto' wasn't happening.



Another plan was hatched - 2300cc's!

In '83 a '74 Magnum 4 door MOT failure was purchased , with 48K and terminal rot, as the new donor for a longer term show car build.

To cut a long story short the car had to go into storage and move location at least 4 times with varying degrees of weather proofing! The final move was back to the garage of my new house in early 2006 awaiting funds and time to evaluate and possibly restart the build - hmmmm!
Last edited by 1972nail on Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:45 pm

Heres a couple of shots of the Firenza just before going to get blasted in 2010.



The inner front wings were new ones fitted in '79 ish



The front panel was removed because it appeared to be welded in slightly the wrong place - 6mm to one side. I later discovered when fitting up the wings and bonnet that my '72 Firenza shell left the factory with the windscreen opening offset 10mm to the left of the chassis centreline and the bulkhead below 6mm to the right - no wonder we can't get new panels to fit properly!

Here's the rusty boot floor - look familiar? :(



The underside didn't look much better :cry:



I thought I was mad!! But teenage dreams prevailed and here I am!

Hard to believe that the car was only 6 years old when scrapped for terminal rust.
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:00 pm

The front panel is one taken from a the 1159 donor Viva fitted with the Sport SL twin headlight panels. It came off the Viva really easily as it was already second hand and just tacked in place! The bottom half was unusable so a GRP one was made from a shell in a breakers yard in about 1980.

Image

When looking at it again last year I wasn't happy with the shape. The scrap shell had had a front end bump at some time so there was a slight twist at the top of the central opening.

Another new one was made from a mate's NOS spare one he's been saving for his build.

Image

Modified to have a wider and shallower opening.
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:27 pm

Thinking of fitting a Nail Kit are you? Take my advice - don't!

The fit of the original GRP panels is extremely poor and requires extensive work to make look right.

The door gap - variable up to 1 1/2 inches!

Image

Image

Both wings had to be cut and re-bonded closer to the door.

Image

Image

The shape at the sill is really poor along with the front edge at the headlights / grille.

Image

I had to cut away the front of the wings completely and re- make in solid GRP then hand carve with a Bosch type multitool.

Image

Then the wings themselves sit too high above the front panel. Compare it to the steel wing shot below.

Image

Image

Cut and shut again!

Image

Image

And that's only the front. The rears only 'fit where they touch' to quote a post on another forum!

I'm glad I'm not paying to have the panels fitted. Either I would be very disappointed with the result and poor fit or have to pay an extremely large bill! Or even worse - both - disappointed and broke!!
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:44 pm

To make the welding to the chassis easier I decided to make a rotisserie - roll-over spit.

Not an expensive steel one for me - no! My brother was re- roofing his porch and had some scrap timber, being an Architectural Technology Lecturer it was a simple job to come up with an adequate design.

Image

Here's it when finished with.

Image

Sold it on Gumtree for £40!
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:18 pm

Here's what the spit was used for.

Rot in the usual places - rear chassis legs, boot floor, shock mounts, inner wheel arch,

Image

Inner and outer rear panel, spare wheel well.

Image

Spring and axle mounts, rear seat wells, inner and outer sills, mid chassis legs etc, etc........

Image

Here's the finished underside.

Image

Image

Image

Image

All stone chipped and painted. :D
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Re: 1972 Nail Project

Postby 1972nail » Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:47 pm

Before attempting to fit the front wings I thought it would be a good idea to tackle the worn hinge pins in the doors.

A set of 4 was purchased from Adrian Millar. On investigation I decided that only the top ones really needed replacement, at least as a first step anyway. The bottoms would follow if necessary.

A strong blow torch, lots of oil and a steel bar in conjunction with a Russian screwdriver (big hammer to those who don't know the intricacies of 20th century USSR engineering) and the pins were out.

Image

Image

A bit of wear there! The hinge is waisted in the middle anyway but you can clearly see the wear on either side of the waist.

When the hinges were cleaned up there was quite a bit of wear between the butts of the hinges. So much so that the new pins did not seem to make a big difference. By the way a 1256 OHV pushrod is the same diameter as the standard hinge pins if you're stuck!

To take up the wear I inserted an M8 brass washer between the butts on the thrust side before assembling the hinge.

Image

No more shake! The bottom ones were OK so happy days! :D
Last edited by 1972nail on Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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