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Day 1.

Disassembly begins
Disassembly begins

The doors, boot lid, seats, floor mats and bonnet were removed. To remove the rear doors it is first necessary to prise or drill out the plastic clips holding the sealing strip/hinge. These will have to be pop-riveted back later.

The front doors were only difficult because speakers were installed. All radio equipment and radio and speaker wiring was removed at this stage.

Front wings were easily removed as per normal service routine.

Removing the rear wings
An impact screwdriver was used to remove the rear wing bolts.

The rear wings were a bit more tricky. Bolts from inside the top of the wheel arch came out easily. The screws behind the back doors sometimes yielded to an impact screwdriver. Otherwise it was necessary to grind the heads off and drill them out. These will eventually be replaced with 5mm stainless steel bolts which look smart and will not rust or rust stain like the originals.

The fuel tank was removed from below. Break the inlet pipe at the flexible joint before starting to move the tank. It obviously helps if the tank is empty or nearly empty. Four bolts hold the tank. These are easily unscrewed from below. The tank hangs from the bolts, so we took two out and left it hanging from two opposite corners. Then one of us took the weight while the other two bolts were removed. Note the order of washers, spacers, etc. There are two wires to the fuel gauge sender; one is an earth that comes off with one of the bolts. The other comes through from inside the boot, a clip holds it to the chassis, and it ends in a bullet connector on top of the tank. The fuel pipe pulled easily off the tank tube.

Now we moved to the front with a view to removing the engine. The front headlanp assembly needs to come off, and the bumper at the same time. The beam adjusting rod was removed from the headlamp end and pulled out backwards through the car. The wiring loom was detached at this stage. It would have been a good idea to label all the connectors. It seemed at the time that they were all fairly obvious (and colour coded) but on eventual reassembly we wished we had labelled them more fully.

The headlamp assembly was then removed from the front of the chassis along with the bumper brackets - three bolts each side.

The steering column was removed next. The Haynes manual was not very helpful here - details may vary considerably with model, age, etc. The basis is the clamp which holds the column to the splined shaft on the steering rack. The nut and bolt was removed - the bolt engages with a groove in the splined shaft so it has to be removed completely. There was then some doubt about what else had to be taken off. It turned out that partial dismantling of steering lock was required.

Dismantling the steering lock
Dismantling the steering lock to remove the column

Unlock the steering with the ignition key. A small shiny bolt is apparent behind the lock mechanism. Haynes refers to this as a screw, but an 8mm spanner is required to remove it. The bottom cover plate now falls down, and a small window at the front of the mechanism is opened. Turn the wheel until the head of an Allen screw appears. Remove this with a 5mm Allen key, (pretty stiff). When that one is out, turn it again to find another - remove it. The two parts of the collar into which the lock engages will now drop down. You may not think so, but this is all that has to be done with the steering lock.

An attempt was now made to pull the steering column off the splined shaft on the rack. It was tight, and eventually had to be drifted off with careful upward blows from the point of attachment to the splines shaft.

The exhaust system was removed at this stage. All three clamp couplings were removed from the front silencer crossbox. A bolt each side attaches this to the gearbox, which when removed allowed the crossbox to drop down. The rest of the system was removed as one piece, the retaining brackets removed from inside the car, where the bolt heads are readily visible on the floor.

Now everything was detached from the engine. The cables to the throttle, choke, heater, etc., were easily removed. The hand brake cables were removed from the calipers. The brake pipes were left in the calipers and removed at the master cylinder end. Because we were intending to fit new pipes, we left the pipe fittings attached to the master cylinder and cut the pipes an inch or so from the end. This would help to keep the dirt out.

All the wiring was disconnected from the engine/gearbox assembly including alternator, starter solenoid and earth strap to gearbox.

The gear lever was removed from the splined shaft on top of the gearbox.

The inner ends of the drive shafts were detached from the brake disks, six bolts or nuts each side, which came out fairly easily. The fuel pipe was disconnected close to where it joins the chassis - at the front nearside corner.

The engine and gearbox were removed in one piece after the four mounting bolts were removed - two into the front engine mounting, removed from below the front chassis crossmember, and two securing the rear of the gearbox to the rear mounting. The engine and gearbox were fairly easily lifted by two people.

The cable connecting the rear fog light was broken at the bullet connector close to the lamp.

We were now ready for the body to come off. It is held on by two rows of 11mm headed bolts along the floor of the car, a pair at the very rear of the boot, four with large washers underneath the back seat, and a smaller one in the centre at the very front, which we overlooked and which tore out when we lifted the body. Another four bolts are found below round plastic covers. These bolt into the suspension mountings which lie just outside the main chassis. Once all bolts have been removed, the body can simply be lifted off. Four people, one at each corner, found this fairly easy.

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