Body Work Adventures – Part 3, Paint!

The Next episode from Julie and Tony….

We left the Stag last time having made it to the spray booth, and just because it it now one of our favourite photo’s here it is again.

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Now we wait for the updates each day from Iain to show how the next stage is progressing.

First we have the masking stage, keeping the paint to the places we want it and not where we don’t.

Next came the first spray action (nice suit!!!)

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Primer then flattened ready for colour

We had by this time arranged collection of the car, so we knew that paint was going on the next day. At the end of the day we checked to see if any new photos had come through from Iain. We were collecting the car the next day so we were not sure if there would be pictures…

There was a message – “How much do you want to see?”

Now Tony said to send pictures through so he could tease Julie, as I had been (Julie’s writing this 🙂 ) a little excited each day as the photos had arrived.

So our first glimpse

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And then…..

How beautiful!!!

The next day arrived and after the windscreen had been fitted – a wonderful and very satisfying job by all accounts – NOT we were to arrive to see the car and take her home.

Thanks to the windscreen fitter – Russell at Ultimate Windscreens, who did a fantastic job of refitting the glass and chrome trim.

We arrived to find the car waiting for us outside the workshop.

The bonnet and boot were to follow on in a couple of days but it didn’t take away from just how stunning she looks!!

We chatted with Iain about the final look, and it is just as we wanted. The car retains its character, this is our car, it will take us to work, go shopping as well as days out and classic rallys.

Now transport arrives – Thanks Steve for both taking the car to the workshop and safely home (Steve is also taking the car to and from the NEC for the Restoration show too)

and safely home

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A few days later Iain arrived with the bonnet and boot, and very carefully – with only a few heart stopping moments they are fitted back to the car.

To get to this point the car we have spent around 150 hours stripping down, sanding and cleaning. There was then a further 90 hours with Iain at iKustoms

We still have to put the bumpers, lights, carpets, badges, grill etc back on the car – there is a nice long list.

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All ready for the NEC Restoration show. See you there March 5th and 6th – come and see the car on the Stag Owners Club stand Hall 6 Stand 340.

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Body Work Adventure – Part 1, The Great Strip

Tony and Julie tell there story of their Stag strip down and re-paint….

We have owned our Stag for 5 years, it was bought as a car to be used and improved as we went along. With loads of help and support from Stag Owners Club members we have replaced the suspension all round, replaced the diff nose and refurbished the cylinder heads. With the knowledge from working with club members we have tackled on our own replacing the exhaust, changing the carburetors, rear brakes, water pump, replaced the front lights and re-veneered the dashboard. This winter we decided that we needed to find out just how good or bad the bodywork is as we had some cracking on the rear wing and rust coming through on the boot.

We found a recommended body shop just 5 mins from where we live, so towards the end of the summer we paid Iain at iKustoms a visit to look over the car and discuss the work. We wanted to play an active part in the restoration so as we have no welding, or any other bodywork skills we did the best job……. stripping off all the paint, and yes we were to go all the way to base metal!!

We started in October, I am not sure we knew just what it was we were taking on. It was a mammoth job, and quite scary as you really have no idea just what you are going to find when the paint and filler is eventually removed.

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We started outside on the nearside back wing where there was a crack in the paintwork around 5″ in diameter, apart from the rust showing through on the boot lid that was the place we thought was going to be the worst.

IMG_1107Once we got through the top coat of paint you could see a large amount of filler, at first we carried on with the sanding, but when the filler started to “move” we changed tactics to a screwdriver and hammer to gently chisel the filler off.

A rather bad repair job was revealed under in some places 5mm of filler!!

From then on it was hard labour with many many sanding sheets and hours. As we started in November and chances are we were not going to get many dry weekends we decided to partition the garage with floor to ceiling plastic sheets – only took 2 of them and it would help keep the dust out of the other half of the garage (not all the dust but it would help!!)

We knew that our car had perhaps not been looked after that well previous to us buying it and so we were very surprised at how few holes we actually found. The nearside turned out to be the worst with a few bad repairs to the rear wing and 3 fairly small holes along the bottom edge where the panels meet the sills.

Under Iain’s instructions we etch primed each panel as it was rubbed down (after any rust treatment had been applied) to keep rust bug at bay until he took over.

We had put the hard top on the car while we were sanding to try and keep some of the dust out of the car. This did help, the hardtop was not being sprayed as it has sat in our garage for 3 years and not been used so this was its last task and would be sold on once the car goes to iKustoms for the work to begin.

Our bonnet and boot were not the best, the bonnet was quite easy to source as there are plenty out there. The boot however is another matter, we were very lucky to hear about a very good and solid boot lid that was for sale and so snapped that up. Once we finished sanding the main car and on a dry day just before Christmas we pushed her out of the garage so we could try on the new boot and bonnet but also start the other mammoth job of removing the dust from the garage!!

Oh yeah the hard top did a good job of keeping some of the dust out of the car but not all!!!

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On 20th January the car was transported up to Iain’s workshop for the transformation to begin.

Now we wait for Iain to work his magic on the bodywork and the sad looking grey car that left will come back in all her glory ready for her debut at the NEC Restoration Show in March.

Next time – what happened at the body shop and chromers…….

 

NEC Classic Car Show – here we come!!!

Its less than 2 weeks to the biggest show of the year here in the UK, there are as we write clubs, cars, enthusiasts all polishing, preparing and getting right excited!!!

Us lot here the SOC are no exception, we have 2 fabulous cars for you to come and see over the 3 days.

First we have “Rally Stag” – that marvellous machine that lead the Trans American endurance rally for 16 days. We will have for all 3 days the 2 fantastic guys that took her across just over 5800 miles – Phil and Kieron. The guys will be giving 3 talks each day, at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00 (times subject to change of course but we will post them on the stand) to give you insights into

  • Preparing our Stag for a 6,000 mile endurance rally across America
  • Navigation and rally competition on Trans America coast to coast rally
  • Trans America Rally route, highlights and challenges

Also on Sunday the guys will be joined by Mick and John from EJ Ward, the Stag specialist that helped get the car ready for her journey.

Come along to the stand and have your photo taken with the car and the guys and we will print it for you to take away as a momento.

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While your with us why not decide on a name for “Rally Stag” – we are running a competition to give her a new name – pop your entry on one of the forms on the stand, at the end of the weekend Phil and Kieron will decide on their favourite.

So whats the second car I hear you say!! Well we have another treat for you. As “Rally Stag” was prepared especially for her amazing journey we have another Stag that has been lovingly finished just the way that her owners dreamed of. When you have a Stag you have a wonderful car, adding in you own personal touch then gives your car just that little bit more!!! Here’s a sneaky peak…..

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Once you’ve done all of that there will still be time to visit Mike and Edd at the Wheeler Dealers stage, see Ant Anstead and Fuzz Townsend on the live stage, visit the hundreds of car clubs and feast on the wonderful cars and of course do a bit of shopping  – there is always something to buy for your classic!!

See you there – Hall 3 Stand 492.

I am looking forward to meeting Mart – from One Man And his Mustang – a blog that I have been following for as long as our little blog has been going. He may not have a Stag (will forgive him because he has a beautiful car!!) but I have learned quite a few things from reading his blog, and his last post let me know that his long-awaited project is almost complete and will be on show at the NEC!! I’m excited to see it!!

Da Da Daaaa – RALLY STAG!

Thanks to the guys at EJ Ward for telling their story……..

With the recent hubbub over a certain Blue Stag and its forthcoming appearance on the Stag Owners Club Stand at the NEC Classic Car Show – 13th to 15th November, we thought you might like to hear about how E J Ward Motor Engineers turned a run of the mill Stag (although some would say that a Stag is never run of the mill!) into a – Da Da Daaaa – RALLY STAG!

Rally car finish

We’ve known Phil Garratt and his Stag for many years.  We’ve also known for some time about Phil and his friend Kieron’s penchant for the adventurous sport of international classic rallying. We also knew they were pretty damn good at it, having won the Peking to Paris in their classic Chevy.  However, what we didn’t know, until they asked us to prepare the Stag for the 8000 mile, Nova Scotia to San Francisco, ERA TransAmerica Rally, was quite how far they were prepared to go to fulfill their Stag’s rallying ambitions.

I guess most logically, preparation started with the engine.  We completely rebuilt it to E J Ward spec with balanced components and a lightened flywheel, stainless valves, bronze guides with the addition of Phoenix Manifolds, coated by Zircotec in a silver thermal barrier coat to reduce the under bonnet temperatures.

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It was then onto the carburetors which were rebuilt with richer needles to complement the improved breathing produced by the K & N free flow air filters and exhaust manifolds.  We then fitted an overhauled Distributor with electronic ignition system.

We completely overhauled the suspension using new Superflex bushes throughout, with 25% upgrade on front springs and 50% upgrade on rears.  The length of the springs was increased by 25mm to give improved ground clearance over gravel roads. The GAZ adjustable shox were fitted with limiting straps on the rear to prevent over extension over deep pot holes, or in the event it becomes air born.  How thrilling! (I’m thinking in the style of the General Lee in the Dukes of Hazard!) The front drag struts were reinforced on anti-roll bar brackets and track control arm mounting points.  And even with the inclusion of 6 ply van tyres to reduce the risk of a blowout the road handling was still very impressive, even at speed.

The bodyshell was strengthened at the load points and stitch seam welded throughout the sills, chassis legs, inner wings, bulkhead, rear arches and shocker mounts.  The seat belt anchorages were made for 3 point harnesses and the boot floor and rear wings gusseted to protect the fuel tank in the event of a side swipe to the rear. We also fitted a boot floor towing eye and tie down point.  The sills were fitted with tubular jacking points braced across inner to outer sills to facilitate the use of a light weight, quick lift jack. The exhaust, engine and gearbox were protected with an alloy sump guard skid plate, mounted from the front chassis rails and cross members.  On the body we then finally tidied up the paint work and gave it a bit of spit and polish.

The manual gearbox overdrive and (although we didn’t know it as the time, what was eventually to be their nemesis) diff were entirely standard.  We rebuilt the gearbox with new bearings and the overdrive was bench tested.  The diff nose housing was also strengthened as this is a weak spot.

There was much discussion as to which driveshafts to use.  In the end we fitted the Proptech, Rilsan coated driveshafts with heavy duty UJ’s.  This eliminates the well know ‘Stag Twitch’.  A pair of Classic Driver Development splined hubs were also fitted as they are lighter weight, stronger hubs, with the advantage of better bearings.

On the cooling system we fitted a Kenlowe electric fan to the existing aluminium radiator, and also fitted one of our aluminium header tanks with a silicone T hose kit from Classic Silicone Hoses.

So that’s basically all you need to do to create a ‘Rally Stag’.  But actually all that gubbins is nothing if you haven’t got tenacity, the desire to win and a spirit of adventure.  Which luckily Phil and Kieron have in spades. We feel privileged to have been chosen to go on this journey with the guys and have enjoyed every bit of it.

You probably all know by now that Phil and Kieron lead the race for 16 days.  We all thought they were on for the win, but that was until the ‘standard’ diff expired.

Rally Car Idaho

Although they gallantly made it to the finish line they’d lost too much time during the diff replacement to make a good finishing position.  Damn and blast that diff!   However, by the time you read this we’ll have carried out our forensic examination of the offending item (and probably kicked and sworn at it a few times too) and discussed the new diff to be fitted.  Because not to be put off by a little thing like a failing diff, it’s looking very likely that this is just the first of many adventures for – Da, Da, Daaaa – ‘Rally Stag’!

Come along and meet John and Mick from EJ Ward at the NEC Classic Car Show on Sunday 15th November.

The Stag Owners Club Stand in Hall 3 Stand 492 will have the Rally Stag on their stand for the 3 days of the show. This is what we have in store for you at the show –

Meet Phil and Kieron, have your photo taken with the car and we will print and frame it for you as a memento of your visit.

Name the Car – Rally Stag needs a name, so come along and enter our name the Stag competition.

And finally saving the best to last – on all 3 days the guys will be giving talks about their fantastic achievement, so come along to the stand to hear about the preparation of the car and the rally. There will be 3 talks each day – check our Facebook page or the stand for times.

See you there!!!!

 

The Names Bond, James Bond (this years NEC Classic)

This years NEC classic show had a theme of TV and Movies, so what else could we do but pay homage to that wonderful few minutes (or was it seconds) where a gorgeous Stag was driven by the very handsome Sean Connery in Diamonds are Forever!!! Various shades of yellow Stags were found and willing owners agreed to display their cars, props purchased and costumes organised.

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Set up day – cars placed, cutout arranged – and tested of course!

So stand ready next we have the cast…..
Dauphin Lundi (aka Baron Samedi)
Burnt Valve Bloback (aka Ernst Stavro Blofeld)
Odd Bod (aka Odd Job)
M 25 (aka M)
Q Likely (aka Q)
Miss Spendapenny (aka Miss Moneypenny)
Coldfinger (aka Goldfinger)
Boozy Galore (aka Pussy Galore)
Commandeer Blond (aka Commander Bond)
Dr Yes Please (aka Dr No)
And various James Bonds ranging from Premium Bond to Shaken Not Stirred Bond

So highlights of the show…….
This year we expanded on the family friendly theme too and as well as the popular colouring in area we also had a racing game for children young and old to challenge there friends and family to the fastest lap in various classic cars (no Stag unfortunately!!)

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This also drew in a couple of familiar faces to the stand, first we were joined by Sir Stirling Moss on Saturday

And on Sunday Ant Anstead and his kids visited for a quick go…

Here’s the standings as the show closed Sunday evening

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One of the other popular parts of the stand were the cut outs – so many people enjoyed posing with them…

And one very special couple Robin Abbott and Gill Roberts

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Robin popped the question on our Stand on Sunday and Gill said Yes – Congratulations to you both.

We were also visited by Alex Riley

and Gordon Birtwistle –  Triumphs High Speed Test Engineer

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Over all we had a really busy show, we hope that all our visitors enjoyed our stand as much as we did, I for one laughed all weekend.

Till next year……

NEC Classic – Get Set (or the set up day)

Been a busy day today at the NEC, all the stands getting ready for the opening up tomorrow. Our guys and galls have been hard at it today getting everything ready to meet and greet you all….

The stand is taking shape…

Now bring on the Stags….

Almost ready for tomorrow??…

Time for a quick clean and polish

Time for a quick clean and polish

Nite nite all see you in the morning…..

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NEC Classic – On your marks!!!

So the NEC classic car show is just days away, we are very excited and putting together the final preparations for the social goings on on our stand.

We will have 4 cars on the stand this year, some real beauties too including a show winner and one that spent the summer cruising the french riviera.

The guys and galls in the shows team will be there tomorrow setting up the stand, putting up the gazebo and giving the cars that last bit of polish before the opening on Friday. Check back tomorrow and we will have some preview pics for you – see the stand first here on our blog!!!

So what have those of us on the social media side have in store for you over the next few days to celebrate this event…….

Pimp my stag and build my stag – get those creative juices flowing and come along to the stand and create you ideal (or just crazy idea) for your stag. Don’t despair if you can’t get along to the NEC just pop along to our Facebook Page and download the templates, get creative (don’t forget to give the kids back their crayons/paints etc!!) scan or take a pic and load back onto our Facebook page and we will add to the gallery (it’s a Take Hart revival!!)

Here’s the prep we have been doing

Pimp my Stag and Build my Stag

Pimp my Stag and Build my Stag

We will also see the return on Facebook of the just for fun “where on a Stag” and “whats the caption” competitions, again you don’t have to be coming to the NEC to take part just pop along to our Facebook page and take part.

We will be on the stand to help anyone get around our social media sites, see our pics on Flickr, how to like us on FB, find us on Twitter and of course read our brilliant Blog!!

We have some “rewards” for all those who come along and take part – we’ve been hard at work creating  unique fridge magnets ….

Coolest Fridge magnets at the show!!

Coolest Fridge magnets at the show!!

And treats for the hard working colourinners

Sweet treats for the colourers

Sweet treats for the colourers

So all in all we are set for three days of fantastic cars and lots of fun….

We will be blogging each day, may be multiple ones so do scroll down just in case you have missed one!!

Lastly we have a little surprise for a couple of SOC members…. watch this space 🙂

A little surprise??!!

A little surprise??!!