HA Roma restoration

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HA Roma restoration

Postby Gromit » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:12 am

Hello all,
I have not posted on here for ages but have just come in from a cold garage to warm up as have been putting the Roma’s engine back together. I have spent what spare time I’ve had over the last year in the garage, but am now driven in to the warm! I guess I would rather spend what little spare time I have out in the garage rather than sat in front of the computer! I have visited the forum on many occasions and have found lots of answers amongst the posts, but it’s about time I updated my progress.
The engine is back together now, I put the head back on earlier in the week and am starting to fit the ancillaries – most of which I reconditioned as I took them off. I have still to rebuild the carb and have a few gaskets missing but it has been an easy rebuild as the engine and gearbox were in good condition. I had a good feeling when I discovered the clutch still had the stickers on it from new and must have been changed just before the van was laid up in the early 80’s. I will leave fly wheel and clutch / gearbox connecting until I am ready to refit the engine as this will be safer stored on the engine stand.
The welding is progressing and I would like to think that I’m more than half way as, from the B posts forward is almost complete with just the driver’s side wing needing refitting. I need to trial fit the driver side door before I can complete this and I need replacement hinge pins. The hinge pins were a nightmare to take out – at some time they had seized and sheered into three parts! The welding on the bulkhead was the most difficult as in several areas it is double skinned and the top panel where the heater sits had to be removed to give more access to this area which was badly corroded, particularly where the bonnet hinges mount. I have been lucky it was still possible to make card templates out of what was left to transfer onto new metal. The floor and chasses were also rotten but easier to access and effect new fabricated repairs. I’ve been lucky that I have repaired original panels, although time consuming, replacements don’t seem to be available. I am now thinking about the back end and hoping it’s easier to work on?
I have also had some lucky finds on parts that are missing or need replacing and have been sourcing what I know I need over the last year....cataloging items as I have removed them has helped this and I hope to see the benefit of this as I eventually put things back together!
I often get asked when she will be on the road and, if I am lucky maybe this year sometime? Ever the optimist. As I get around to the back I would like to replace the tow bar that was taken off at some time so if anyone has any plans it looks to be a simple angle iron construction? I also get asked what colour will it be and I think grey with a blue stripe, as to the best of my knowledge that is how it was originally painted? The trim plates were missing along with most of the inner wings so I have no way of being sure.
I will post some more photos when I can work out how I did that last time as I’m sure pictures are more interesting than paragraphs of text!
Gromit
I have organised some recent pictures to show the state of play. Compared to the photos I posted a year ago progress is being made.... I plan to continue with the body welding next and will try and put some current body photos up when I get started.
Here are a few up to date pics of the engine, as it is looking much better now!

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....and as it looks now, almost complete.

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Petrol pump still to fit

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I haven't looked at the carb yet so saving that for a rainy day!
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Body photos to follow............
Gromit.
Last edited by Gromit on Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby jpsmit » Fri Feb 10, 2017 4:00 am

Looking forward to pics! sounds like a great project
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby Fred Dukes » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:22 pm

From what Steve Gray tells me it is easier to put the engine and gearbox in together as the space in the bulhead tunnel is tight. I changed the clutch on the pickup and had to get help to relocate gearbox :roll: :oops:
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby Bob perry » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:04 am

Definitely agree about fitting engine and gearbox at the same time. Tried a gearbox out method for a clutch once!! Very difficult!!. Just no clearance for the bell housing to clear the body tunnel.
Mind you Van's or Roma derivative might be different, Steve would know.

I found I needed to get the rear of the car a bit higher off the ground as well to give some extra clearance, when putting the engine/gearbox back.
Bolt the starter and fuel pump on as well before fitting. Starter bolts can be a swine if you do it afterwards!!

AND, as I also found to my cost!!, get the prop spline in to the tunnel, and the flange above the torsion bar at the rear, before settling the engine on its mountings. Definitely a two person job that bit!!
Not too bad otherwise though. Good luck.
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby Gromit » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:46 am

I haven’t posted for a while and have been looking back to the first post when I started work on the Roma in Feb 2016. It has come a long way since then, but here is where I am up to now.....

The engine bay in primer.....

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As you can see from the photo I have been working on the front end of the body shell and to make this easier I took front suspension off which also gave me a chance to give it a going over. Welding forward of the B posts is now complete and the front half of the underside and engine bay have now been primed and are ready for colour coat, when the rest of the body gets to that stage. The front suspension has had a going over, with the only modification being the use of land rover brake adjusters, as the originals were rounded off and the early land rover cam’s have the same profile and a more robust adjusting nut.

Here is the rolling engine and gearbox....

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I decided to have a trial fit of the engine and gearbox (it will have to come out again for the final painting), so I fitted the wheels to the suspension, bolted on the engine, fitted the flywheel clutch and gearbox all together as one unit. I wheeled it under the body shell and lowered the shell down in to place. It worked like a treat and was soon bolted in place. The gear box mounting is not as it should be so I will have to look at that....I’m not sure at the moment if there is a bit missing as it was disassembled before I got the van.

Joined together again....

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I have also tried fitting 6mm stainless steel roll pins as hinge pins for the front doors. I needed new pins as I destroyed the old ones when removing them. They fitted nicely and I will see how they perform as it seems a good upgrade to me?
Next on to the removal and renovation of the rear suspension and some welding delights to look forward to on the back end! Here to hoping this is easier than the front end as I would like to get the final coat of paint on before the autumn, which may be a bit ambitious? (The day job keeps getting in the way) I am planning to paint the Roma gray and wonder if anyone knows the colour code for gray used in 1969, I assume it original colour but it has lost its trim plate so I can’t be sure.
Gromit
Last edited by Gromit on Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby jpsmit » Thu Jun 08, 2017 1:58 pm

looking great!
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby Fred Dukes » Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:20 pm

Keep up the good work - you wont know what to do with yourself when its all done :!: :lol:
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby Triumph66 » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:29 pm

Looks absolutely fabulous what you have done so far. I look forward to another update and photos :respekt:
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby Kraken » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:34 pm

That subframe and engine look great.
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Re: HA Roma restoration

Postby Gromit » Wed Nov 07, 2018 5:04 pm

Hi All,
I've just replaced some of the missing links to get some photos to come back cos I don't know where they went! I have just taken the Roma out for its first test drive......but first some photos of the body......after a year of welding the painting commenced....
the underneath and inside were sprayed whilst it was a bare shell.

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and then the suspension, engine etc were fitted

and the outer panels were painted

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along with the doors, bonnet and tailgate

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And the dormer roof was repaired and painted. The metal reinforcing bonded in the Fiberglas around the hinges had corroded, expanded and had to be replaced - along with a few other minor repairs.....

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And then it was all put back together again

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The best part of a years work in a few photographs! It is looking good...to me anyway. The paint job is not perfect, but I have tried to let the Roma look its age so the chrome is as was, i.e. nicely aged and the side stripes have got a few dents over the years and the paint work fits in nicely.

And this is were up to now

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There are still a few outstanding jobs to do on the Roma, but top of the list is to get it running correctly, hence the test drive. she is hesitating on acceleration at the moment and running a little hot so I am playing with the timing....and it is getting better but we are not there yet. The exhaust is banging in the underside of the car some times, but on the plus side the charging circuit is working fine and it stops in a straight line from 30 MPH.

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