Mk1 Escort Rebuild - Retropower Gordon Murray Episode 7


In this episode the Retropower guys take a look at the progress on the metalwork and explain the dry build process. The Escort comes off the jig and onto a rotisserie so we get a good look at the work done on the underside.

The instrument binnacle has been moved to suit Gordon's preferred driving position. Lots of work.....

Here's Episode 7:








Transcript :


I suppose we've been talking a lot about
dry build and does if everybody knows
exactly what I'm on about and I suppose
we should go into a bit more detail on
that because it's a very very important
part of the process we do of building a
it's been a little bit longer since we
did the last episode than the normal
because we've been so busy it's just
been ridiculous we've got like four cars
reaching completion we've had shows and
we've had people on holiday it's just
been absolutely manic so it's been a
little longer and also annoyingly
because I've been so busy and stressed
with other things I've not been able to
grab the camera as much as I would like
to so we've kind of missed a lot of the
huns I'm actually on the car which is
annoying because we've actually done a
hell of a lot of hands-on action on the
car most obvious thing is the fact that
it's not on the jig anymore we are late
on the jig for all the kind of geometry
related stuff all the stuff where we
were taking a lot of structure out of
the car and that's all done now and the
curse kind of structurally sound all the
accurate stuff still and so it's back
off the jig so we could get it onto this
rotisserie roll it over and access all
the bits that we couldn't really access
conveniently with it on the jig so a lot
of that is just grinding back welds
welding bits that we couldn't finish the
welds on with it on the jig or we didn't
want to because it's incredibly
difficult welding upside down well I'm
sure all these like pipeline well that
well there's a laugh at me and say oh I
say you say it's easy but it's it's a
pain welding upside down so we can get
it back on now and finish all the welds
we couldn't get to with it on the G
yeah I guess this is an interesting way
to see it because we've not been able to
see it at this angle for a long while so
yeah we've been going over just cleaning
up all the welds and things that we
couldn't really get to when it was the
other way up and there's various little
sort of detailed jobs are still what I
do on the metalwork underneath but it's
nice to see it like this and actually
it's quite a good demonstration of how
much metal works been changed on it
because really the chassis legs are
original and the back part of the boot
floor and the you know wings and that's
it kind of looking forward to getting
this back in the blast broom and
blasting it all doing that Thermal zinc
spray process that we're going to do on
the underside at which point it starts
to really look like a new shell
how's it going I'm looking forward now
the end of it would be nice - it's gonna
be nice bottom some mechanical bits to
it yes so all the major changes we've
done are all back here but I will just
mention the - which because we were
talking about this last time we've done
the kind of main part of the - and the
other thing we've done since then is the
actual instrument binnacle we didn't
want to use the original one for a
number of reasons
I mean hey we're going to use some
different instruments and warning lights
and by the time you've cut all of that
mid out to do anything with that there's
barely any point using any of the
original and also we're lowering your
position of it because because he's lots
obscure a lower steering wheel position
with me on he's pretty tall guy with the
the instruments in the original position
the wheel would have completely obscured
him so the plan has always been to drop
those instruments slightly so it just
made sense to fabricate an instrument
binnacle in steel so we've kind of done
the lower sort of transitional piece as
part of it and the the actual panel at
the instruments mount into and then the
top parts just got to return lit because
we'll be making a molded soft pad for
the top here so similar to the original
just just different shapes and that's
what we've got
that'll come along and that will come
over the top of here and just meet up
with that that edge piece there and then
this steel at the bottom we'll carry on
the line that we end up here the sort of
details done on this that the angle was
something we paid attention to so that
angle and that angle both matched
perfectly and they're both designed to
be pointing straight towards the
driver's eyes and in the actual back of
this we've done sort of clearance holes
for where the LEDs are gonna go there's
going to be a series of warning lights
three there one there
that's for the back of the LEDs to pass
through there'll be a trim panel on here
in anodized aluminium which is what's
going to have this sort of engraved
lettering to say what the LEDs do but
then the actual instrument holes we've
made these the same size as the
instrument so that we can use the
instrument through the bezel panel
through that back panel and then use the
actual mounting bracket of the
instrument to hold the fascia panel in
and we've done the same at this these
these holes are actually the exact size
for the gauges so that when we've made
the anodized aluminium panel rather than
having it bolted on with any visible
fixings we can actually use the
instrument retainers to sandwich both
panels together so there's no visible
fixings that's the plan there which
pretty much completes all of that and
the biggie at the back is all of this
structure here which we were just
cutting out last time so kind of
starting with the structural tube we've
put a tube across here and that was
planned sort of when we were talking
about the design interior design on the
structure of the car for a number of
reasons I it gives us a nice stiff sort
of cross brace on the car there on the
shelf at the back there also gives us a
really nice curved transition between
the parcel shelf and the bulkhead and
they're just a neat way of doing that
and thirdly gives us mounting points for
this to the harnesses because we talked
before about him alight he's to have
normal seat belts on but wanting the
provision for harnesses so we've done
three points here so it even got double
options there we can either have the
shoulder straps mounted on separate
points or we can have both go into a
single point depending on preference and
these will just have blanking plugs in
them when they're not in use and the
trim panel that will go around here will
mean that they're completely out of
sight anyway they'll just be a whole
wish so they sit just slightly less than
flush with the hole we've obviously made
all of these panels the parcel shelf
the separate panel on both sides there
the bulkhead panel with a little infill
each side which ties it up to the inner
arch to which I think we were just
making that stuff remember that we've
done those or not so these these tubes
have been made to allow us a good amount
of clearance on the inside of the wheel
the central panel there we've just a
slight sort of folded cross into it just
to stop it drumming and it's the same
reason really on the parcel shelf those
those lead beads that we've rolled into
there just stiffen the panel up and stop
resonating so much over bump stopping
vibrating and just stiffen the whole lot
of this one here we didn't want to do
the beads because we still wanted to
leave open the opportunity of trimming
straight onto that rather than having a
separate panel on there and we thought
actually if we just did that we've still
got the option of literally upholstering
straight onto there and without having
this the sort of lines of the bead
showing through I think we were just
rolling this in last time so that's done
and then the only other change that's
visible from here is this section we've
made here because we were planning the
exhaust routing and noted that we were
going to need a bit more clearance
basically well where the exhaust comes
up to kick over the rear subframe
assembly so we've done an enlarged sort
of area or a floor pan there to give us
some exhaust clearance the other thing
you can see is these access hatches
which go down into the access the top of
the turret so we can get to the fixings
that hold the top mounts in for the rear
struts and also the dumping of just a
knobs are going to be on top of the
struts so those hatches are used to
access the damper adjust the knobs and
then we're going to make some little top
caps that go over there basically and
bolt on so that just then becomes a flat
shelf but you can remote you can remove
the caps to adjust the dampers or remove
the struts so that's most of what you
can see from here and then if we just
turn it round I have a look in the boots
and you'll be able to see that metalwork
from the other side
from this side you can see sort of more
of the structure and the more critical
suspension related structure that we've
been working on predominantly the
turrets here and that was one of the
critical reasons again why it needed to
be on a jig so we could we could
actually make a sub assembly which
located the truck top mounts really
accurately in relationship to the jig
which is obviously accurate in relation
to all the other suspension mounting
points so we've basically made a jig to
hold the strut tops and then fabricated
the turrets themselves around that
they're then tied into that cross tube
that we looked at at the front there so
the whole lot kind of is just a really
really stiff structure you've got the
turrets going up and braced into that
cross tube within the parcel shelf and
the bulkhead tying it all together as
well in our opinion this is just going
to be an incredibly sort of rigid and
stiff location for the rear suspension
there the top here you can see where
we've we've added the sort of section
that raises up to the parcel shelf which
is that cavity that we saw from the top
where you've got the adjuster knobs and
the top mounts for the suspension there
and so that's kind of what encloses in
that area so it's not just opening to
the boot and I again was in case of
trying to stiffen it all up and then
it's quite notably the entire floor area
here on this sort of over axle area has
been completely refurbished from scratch
in the main to the floor section where
again we've rolled some ribs in to
stiffen it off and just make it look a
bit prettier I think this section here
was actually the same press tool that
Stu made for the bulkhead panel inside
but it just makes a nice a nice job of
it and the reason for this is multiple
again a it gives us clearance for the
rear subframe B it gives us more
clearance over here for the exhaust
underneath C it gives us a flat plinth
to rest the fuel tank on because the
fuel tank is going to be located here
keeping the weight nice and far forwards
and then lastly that the the sort of
lowered section in the middle that air
is going to allow clear and spread top
section in the middle of the fuel tank
which is where the inlet and outlet on
the fuel tank will be
which basically gives you your anti
surge so there's kind of a captive pot
in the bottom of the tank with only a
small opening into it which means all
your cornering forces braking
accelerating the fuel can't really exit
that pot so you avoid if you just had
the tank without that in corner hard
with a half a tank of fuel all the fuel
goes to one side and if you let the tank
is the other side you get fuel
starvation that's kind of incorporating
provision for that at this stage and
then you can see that the arch tubes the
earth was the section we were working on
last time they were all finished and
welded and I think I still have even
more welds to do on these and then we've
since done the outer which we've put
quite a lot of work into those to get
this cake really far out and close to
the quarter panel all the way to its
full height to give us maximum wheel
clearance so when when the wheels
normally you've got the coarse panel
here and the inner arch kind of cuts in
much much further away from the quarter
which means when the wheel troubles look
really high there's a good chance of it
hitting so what we've done we actually
used another outer arch repair panel and
use that as the basis for the outer part
of the art still banned then fabricated
all the rest of it but that means we've
got the first part of it it's almost the
two panels together for quite a long way
up so we've just got as much wheel
clearance as we can possibly get in
there I think that's pretty much in
terms of the changes we're doing here I
say that as if it was a small amount of
work it was a fairly significant amount
the last time I realised we'd missed
quite a not particularly important but a
very obvious bit of metal work in that
we've put these slots in the rear
balance and which I never even mentioned
last time and this was something that
Gordon was quite keen on the detail he
wanted to add something to the to the
rear of the car that was just a little
different a little something
non-standard just to put his own stamp
on it and we did various drawings and
ended up with almost totally standard
standard lights standard bumper exhaust
on this side because that was going to
be the convenient way of reaching it and
because the side the manifold is but
then putting these slots in and then
we're going to do there's like a shape
in the in the pressing of the back panel
here which almost has like a diffuser
paint that black in that section which
will sort of narrow the back of the car
visually which is kind of what he was
one said he wanted to sort of make it
look a little little wider and lower so
but kind of leading on from that we've
were going to be fitting the bumpers
because we've changed so much metalwork
on the car we're at that stage now where
we really need to bolt things on the
lights the bumpers because there's
chances of these holes and mounting
parts being in exactly the right place
on the pattern panels is often
remarkably slim so I'm currently in the
process of ordering a vast amount of
parts to actually initially build onto
the car while it's bare metal just to
make sure all the mounting holes and
things are in the right place and
everything fits so we could probably go
through and have a quick look at all the
parts that I'm ordering now and the kind
of job list I've formulated for the dry
build and so you get a bit more of an
insight into that
I suppose we've been talking a lot about
dry build and those if everybody knows
exactly what I'm on about and I suppose
we should go into a bit more detail on
that because it's a very very important
part of the process we do are building a
car and the reason really for doing it
is so that when we get a painted shell
and we're building the car we don't find
sort of problems unforeseen problems
that mean we have to drill cuts grind
any part of the car and sort of
custom-built car it's amazing how many
stumbling blocks you come across and
just even the standard stuff so you know
for instance we've replaced lots of
panels on the car place the front panel
the rear panel there's a prime example
all the lights and grille or mount into
the front panel the rear lights mounted
to the rear panel they've been changed
and although their replacement panels
you've know full well with these things
that stuff is not going to just bolt
straight on and I don't want to find
after its painted that I've got these
headlight bolts don't quite line I'm
going to drill a hole through this front
panel next to the one where it should
have been and you've got a random hole
and then a drilled hole with no paint
around it so everything that might
affect metalwork we build onto the car
while it's still bare metal before we
paint it consequently there's quite a
lot of thinking on into that and I mean
here's an example
each of these jobs will probably break
down into another one but this is a
rough job list I've done for the stuff
we want to do in the dry build which is
quite a few jobs and as I say each of
those is likely to them result in a few
more this things like fitting door
handles well we've done door skins on it
they are escort door skins and so
supposedly the door handles will just
bolt in but will they really and I don't
want to find that out when it's painted
so fitting the door handles fitting the
quarter window frames again we've rigged
in the doors there's a gap that that
a-frame has to fit into between the
outer skin and the inner frame and if
we've somehow got that not quite right
I'm gonna find out later that we've got
a match something to get the door at the
window framing so we want to find that
out now if it doesn't fit and that just
goes on you know seals the heater unit
and also this is a biggie making
all the wiring and plumbing so not only
making holes in bulkhead for where
wiring or plumbing passes through but
also drilling the holes that will put
threaded inserts in which will actually
attach the clips that mount the wiring
the clips that mount the plumbing so
when the shells painted we just put the
ribbon in with a ribbon tool and then
we're ready to go so that River insert
is going into a painted hole so there's
there's no bare metal in well we're not
drilling the painted shell and then
exposing bare steel which could rust
later and you know you can see some of
the parts we've got laid out here so for
example headlights we definitely want to
try them make sure the holes to mount
these are in the right place these are
just the sister beauty of working on an
escort so much stuff new it's amazing
like some of the cars we work on it's
just an endless trauma of trying to find
new old stock parts or refurbishing old
these are sybbie ones you can get
cheaper ones but we thought on a build
like this we might as well go for the
banner made stuff so city lights we'll
try them these are the little lip seals
that go on the outside of the door where
the window sits again you can buy these
brand new even though they're a molded
specifically molded seal for the
Martinez core not just a universal
section so we want to make sure that
that fits perfectly and they at between
the outer skin and the window is nice so
it sits nicely against that seal window
seals from really screen seals I'm
hoping the windows will fit if they
don't we've done something majorly wrong
with it but it's always worth trying
these things just to be on the safe side
the bumpers we've got and we've got all
new mounting hardware
these are Harrington stainless steel
bumpers kind of decided seeing as there
were an off-the-shelf stainless item
made sense because you haven't got any
of that worry of chipping the crime or
the chrome flaking and starting to
corrode or usually what happens on the
crime ones is the backs not been
finished as nicely as the front and you
end up with them rusting through from
the back so they were just an
off-the-shelf thing and we've got all
new brackets and hardware to mount them
which again will will mock all that up
now because all the bits at these mounts
are that have been changed around the
wings are replaced and that's where the
bolts go through on the end ultimately
with the dry build is we end up with a
car with engine gearbox axle all the
suspension bolted in on its wheels and
tires literally sitting on the floor
like a finished car with seats in with
the steering wheel in with the
instruments in so that Gordon can sit in
it and say you know yes I'm happy with
that and we can assess that everything
fits correctly that when when it's a
painted share all the parts are just
going to bolt on and I know this never
actually happens there will be something
we've overlooked there always is
something but the idea is that
everything will just bolt on and we'll
have a beautiful painted shell with all
the parts and no ragging of paint
it's easy to overlook certain things you
think you've ordered all the parties
when you go to fit something and realize
oh yeah we need a certain screw for this
or a certain talent for this and then
you have to go away and order that and
that takes time to arrive so that
there's a little bit of that but now you
shouldn't it shouldn't take that long
we're kind of in the latter stages of
the metalworker now at the minute we're
just tidying up welds on the underside
which we couldn't get it when the car
was on the jig we've got to do the rear
chassis legs where they we've cut them
out where the turrets go through and
then we're making basically a box
section that continues the chassis leg
around the turret that's the only
remaining kind of key bit of metalwork
then we're going to be pushing ahead
with the dry build doing any metal work
related to that and then at that point
which I'm hoping will be probably two to
three weeks from now I think Gordon's
Gordon coming Gordon's coming on the
27th and it's the seventh today so that
tells you exactly we've got we've got
three weeks basically to get it totally
dry built and then at that point we'll
strip it down and hopefully it'll be
ready to take through to start the prep
for paint the one thing we've probably
not mentioned is we're going to do all
the seam welding on the shelf because we
want to and this was something Gordon
was very particular about is making sure
this the shells as stiff as possible so
also we've done all the all the
essential metalwork we'll get the car on
the rotisserie and go around every seam
and that will be TIG brazing stitches
along all of the seams to basically
stiffen up every seam on the car and
then once that's done we'll blast the
shell again which will just completely
strip all of the kind of outer coatings
it won't we won't be stricken back all
the epoxy primer that we've carefully
put inside all the hidden areas but all
the outer stuff and all the welding
scale it's just a great way to clean
everything up and all the surface rust
and then we do a thermal sprayed zinc
process on the underside of the car
which where we've literally got an oxy
propane gun with a solid wire of zinc
fed into it and it sprays molten zinc
onto the underside of the shell and
that's kind of our ultimate corrosion
protection system and once we've done
that then it goes through
to the bodyshop guys and they'll start
doing the seam sealing and basically
doing all the groundwork to work towards
painting it so it's becoming pretty
exciting time now my kind of number one
excitement is seeing it on its wheels
really looking forward to Gordon coming
over and seeing it and no doubt that'll
be a bit of banter back and forth and we
probably have to do a few little tweaks
and changes but once we're all happy
with it and then it's yeah over to the
body shop guys and watching it transform
entertain which is quite exciting
how's things that no wait I meant some
promotion stuff well I suppose paint yes
I think supplies the paint I was down at
Brook way there a couple years ago
building a more a built in a mini Oh
cheering hey Sharon hey you know China
yeah there is a bit more musical yeah
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