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[car_overhaul] Roadspeed Revival


206 replies to this topic

#21
swordfish210

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I never thought i would see the day when you could park a car in your garage, nice work. Its a shame the beam was built so poorly, at least you know it will be in good condtion for a while now though...um...did my beam build have something to do with you wanting to paint yours ;)

#22
Anthony

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309PUG borrowed mine to see if he could get some machined, he said that where the bearing/hub locates against the modified stub pin this has a 1 degree taper to it.

Could you check that under the dust cap the cutout on the end of the stub pin is facing vertically downwards? as it is on mine.

The rear toe on mine was roughly 2mm toe in per side.

Interesting - that suggests that it's 1 degree negative camber from the SBC conversion plus the 0.5 degrees that the standard arm has, giving 1.5 degree negative camber in total?

I'll probably get mine checked out properly on a computerised 4-wheel alignment rig when it's all finished and back on the road to make sure that everything is as it should be and equal side to side. I wouldn't trust the average monkey operating it to actually adjust the tracking if it's in your typical chain tyre fitting center, but it will give me a proper print out of camber, toe etc for both front and back.

Checked under the dust cap on one of the arms, and the notch on the stub pin is facing upwards and forward a touch - with the beam on the car and on the ground, I'd guess that the notch would be around the 11 o'clock position. I didn't check the other arm, but the one that I checked I don't believe has been touched since the conversion was done and certainly has an oldish looking wheel bearing/hub fitted (the other side has a newish wheel bearing/hub)

I never thought i would see the day when you could park a car in your garage, nice work. Its a shame the beam was built so poorly, at least you know it will be in good condtion for a while now though...um...did my beam build have something to do with you wanting to paint yours :)

No, you're safe Mark - I can't blame you (this time) for the sudden uncharacteristic urge to paint, as I'd already done it when you popped over to collect the calipers. I was tempted to get all the bolts zinc-coated though after you mentioning about it, but in the end I decided that they'd only look rusty again in a short period of time living underneath the car and thus to just get on and build it with what I had.

#23
welshpug

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so they have longer and bent stub axles?

#24
pacey205

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I cant believe you managed to clear the garage, surely thats more work than sorting the car out! Looking good so far though.

#25
Anthony

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Picked up some new parts for the car at the weekend :huh:

Firstly, a replacement pair of Alpine White doors from Baz that mean that I can finally replace the doors on my car that were damaged when some brainless moron kicked the wing mirrors and rippled the door skins. For such a common colour 205, I can't believe how much difficulty I've had in trying to find a pair of doors - the later Bianca white doors I've found, as well as most other colours, but Alpine White had proved stubbornly elusive until now.

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Secondly, a set of refurbished 1.9 Speedline wheels finished with black with a Goodwood style polished outer lip, complete with four Falken 912 tyres (which are highly recommended by the way, and fantastic value for money). Picked them up off Josh (Lemmingzappa) who was selling them after buying himself a set of Fondmetal 4000's that he'd been after for a while.

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I paid fairly good money for them (atleast by 205GTiDrivers notoriously tight-arse standards :)) but they're in fantastic condition bar a small curbing mark on one, and the tyres all have around 6-7mm tread remaining. I personally reckon that they look fantastic on white 205's, and certainly they've got to look better than my current wheels that appear to have been refurbed using a wire brush and trowel...

#26
Anthony

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Given that I had to swap both doors, I decided to combine that with another job that I'd been meaning to do pretty much since I bought the car but have to date never managed to get around to - namely upgrading the car to electric windows and central locking, given that my car is pauper spec with neither at present.

Stripping the door and removing it is fairly straight forward and doesn't take long. First you remove the interior door trim, namely the door pocket, interior handle, speaker grill, winder handle, and lastly the doorcard itself. Next remove the speaker, interior door mirror trim (if not present on the new door, as in my case), door lock, and then remove the glass and winder mechanism. The door is then ready to be removed.

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The runners on the bottom bottom of the window looked like they'd been sat at the bottom of the ocean aboard Titanic for years such was the level of rust on them, and certainly whilst they're still surprisingly solid and fine for now, I'll have to either buy a replacement or keep my eye open for a GTi door window with a decent runner still on it.

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Removal of the door itself is easy once it's stripped - knock the roll pin out of the check strap, and then the door is bolted to the hinges by a pair of 13mm headed bolts for each hinge, Support the door whilst undoing these, and lift the door away from the car. located inside the door. Interestingly, there's evidence that the door has been removed previously, although I'm not sure why as subjectively it does appear to be the original door and hasn't been painted.

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With the door removed and out of the way, next it was time to install the wiring for the electric windows and central locking, as helpfully, none of it was present on my car - not in the doors, not in the boot, and not behind the dashboard. Sometimes you're lucky and the section behind the dash is present, and sometimes the door sections are there, but in my case, nothing. Thankfully, I had all the dash and door wiring that I'd removed from a car I'd stripped previously:

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As with most of the wiring on a 205, it's pretty straight forward compared to most newer cars. I seperated the section that runs behind the dash, tidied it up somewhat, and then using an old handbrake cable I had lying around, pulled it through from the fusebox area, over the heater box and through to the drivers side.

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  • White connector in the top left goes to the passenger door loom.
  • Brown and white connectors on the right go to the drivers door loom.
  • Blue connector plugs into the fusebox.
  • Yellow connector plugs into the loom that goes to the boot locking motor.
  • Earth (not pictured) is via the drivers door loom, which is earthed to the earthing point on the steering column.
With the wiring in place and plugged in, I quickly tested everything worked fine before fitting it in place. Also took the opportunity to clean up and regrease the window motor mechanisms, so hopefully they'll go up and down at a reasonable speed rather than the snails pace that some 205 window motors seem to work at.

At this point the clouds were turning ever darker and the car was sat on the driveway without a door fitted. The upper door hinge had a small amount of play present, so whilst the door was off I took the opportunity to replace the door pin with a new one - part number 904431 - which tightened things up significantly, although there is a small amount of movement still present. Only way to fix that will be to drill out both parts of the hinge to the next size up and fit a large roll pin, but I didn't have one to hand and the play was minimal anyway.

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Just about managed to get the door bolted in place as the rain came, although it will need some adjustment as it's not sitting quite right at the moment. That can wait for another day when it's not raining though.

#27
Anthony

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With the weather proving to be uncooperative, I got cracking with reassembling the front dampers instead.

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Despite having covered 65k miles since being installed back in 2001, the damper inserts showed no obvious sign of any wear/leakage and hence decided to reuse them - certainly prior to removing them the car drove very well and felt well damped, and subjectively testing them off the car showed both dampers to have similar levels of bump and rebound damping.

Springs too were looking a bit second hand with the once black powdercoat having crumbled away and repaced with light surface rust. I considered buying a replacement set from Skip Brown, but in the end decided that they worked well when they were removed and showed no obvious sign of heavy corrosion or cracking that I could see, so I'd reuse them along with the dampers.

The following numbers were stamped onto the inserts - 73759878T0 and 200.80 - which I'm assuming is the model number and the damping rate respectively:

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Assuming it is the damping rate, 200/80 is actually quite alot softer than I was expecting, given that the Group A tarmac inserts are 300/200 from what I could gather after doing a search. Couldn't find the values for the Gravel/Forest inserts though - does anyone know?

I also measured the spring spec for anyone interested - 275mm free length, 12.5mm thick coil, and 5.4 coils in total.

In the end I just rebuilt the struts with new Group N rubbers (had standard ones previously), new top mount bearings, and a set of cleaned and painted top mounts. Also replaced the dust covers (thanks Baz) as the previous ones had split and fallen apart - they're not strictly speaking the correct ones for Bilstein shocks, but they'll work perfectly well for keeping mud, water and debris away from the inserts and bronze bushes.

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With both front struts now built up and ready to fit, that's another job that I can tick off the list.

Just hoping that the weather is a little better over the weekend so that I can finish swapping the doors and installing the electric windows and central locking.

#28
jord294

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impressive work anthony :(

one thing i have to ask. you say the beam is set to 302mm between shocker bolts

that sounds a little low :(

but i suppose the thicker torsion bars keep it rigid enough

#29
Anthony

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one thing i have to ask. you say the beam is set to 302mm between shocker bolts

that sounds a little low :(

but i suppose the thicker torsion bars keep it rigid enough

It would certainly be sat very low with standard 18.9mm torsion bars, no question of that, but with the 20mm ones it will be about right - as said, I checked it prior to stripping the old beam, and it was around 300-301mm.

Effectively, the thicker the torsion bars, the shorter you need to set the distance between shock centers with the beam unlaiden for a given ride height, as it will sag less when you drop it back on the floor with the weight of the car on it. From memory, the last beam I did for someone with 25mm torsion bars had to be set to something like 280mm because it the wheels only moved about an inch or so when dropped back on the ground :(

#30
swordfish210

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It would certainly be sat very low with standard 18.9mm torsion bars, no question of that, but with the 20mm ones it will be about right - as said, I checked it prior to stripping the old beam, and it was around 300-301mm.

Effectively, the thicker the torsion bars, the shorter you need to set the distance between shock centers with the beam unlaiden for a given ride height, as it will sag less when you drop it back on the floor with the weight of the car on it. From memory, the last beam I did for someone with 25mm torsion bars had to be set to something like 280mm because it the wheels only moved about an inch or so when dropped back on the ground :(


I have a 292mm shock height with my 24mm bars, it does sit a bit higher than it could though and i only have base model arches so i can't go too low.

#31
alync406

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Nice looking revival you are doing. I would'nt mind having some Skip Brown suspension myself, it looks like a good setup.
I am fairly sure that the Group A gravel inserts are 250/120 and as you said the tarmac ones are 300/200. Must just have a look at mine tomorrow maybe which I am fairly sure are tarmac inserts and see that they are 300/200.

#32
jord294

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I have a 292mm shock height with my 24mm bars, it does sit a bit higher than it could though and i only have base model arches so i can't go too low.


very interesting that. thanks both of you

i've just built a beam with 24mm bars, but set it at 312mm.

so tomorrow i will re-adjust to around the 290mm mark

#33
swordfish210

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The first time i built the beam i set it to 290mm which was just about spot on aesthetically but i wanted it a little bit higher as the front end of mine is a bit higher than it could be.

Whats next on the list Anthony, apart from the doors?

#34
Anthony

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Whats next on the list Anthony, apart from the doors?

In no particular order....
  • Finish swapping doors and installing central locking and electric windows
  • Prep and install engine, including cambelt/waterpump, XU10 pump/sump, and lightweight flywheel/pulley
  • Prep and install Xsara VTS quick rack and power steering componants
  • Fit rear beam and front struts
  • Replace weeping heater matrix
  • Sort out rust patches under rear seats and on boot floor
  • Apply fresh underseal
  • Replace scuffed/damaged rear interior plastics
  • Sort out snapped bonnet hinge bolts
I'm sure that there will be plenty more than that, depending on what I find when I start pulling the car to pieces - it last had major work about 3 years ago and has done over 25k miles since then, so there's bound to be additional preventative work that's needed to make it ready for a few more years trouble-free usage :(

#35
BusEngineer

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This is a great read Anthony, keep up the good work :(

#36
alync406

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Assuming it is the damping rate, 200/80 is actually quite alot softer than I was expecting, given that the Group A tarmac inserts are 300/200 from what I could gather after doing a search. Couldn't find the values for the Gravel/Forest inserts though - does anyone know?


The gravel inserts are definately 250/120 as can be seen in this thread -> Grp A Gravel setup
You would be expecting the skip brown dampers to be close to that but looks like they are a bit softer.They are probably well suited to the springs whatever rate they are? They must be a good bit softer than the 185 lbs springs in the gravel setup too.

#37
Anthony

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A cold but dry day greeted me so I cracked on with finished the door swap and electric window and central locking install that I started previously and haven't managed to finish yet thanks to the weather not being cooperative.

The drivers door I'd managed to get fitted last time before the heavens opened, so it was a quick job fitting the electric window motor, glass, and the central locking motor - as the car the door came from had central locking previously, the fixtures were already present and it was just a case of fitting the motor.

Swapping the passenger door over was the next task, and this proved to be somewhat more involved.

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The original passenger door had excellent paint and didn't have a hint of rust anywhere on it, but was extensively rippled just below the glass line where the mirror had been on the receiving end of someones boot - frustrating, but such is life unfortuntately.

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With the old door removed, I found something that made me chuckle - poking out from the bottom of the front wing was an old rotor arm which had obviously fallen down at some point in the past and had been rattling around in the bottom of the wing ever since. Loosening off the bolts that hold the bottom of the wing in place allowed enough movement to remove the rotor arm, so that's one less rattle I'll have to endure.

The replacement passenger door that I picked up last weekend turned out not to be as good as I'd hoped - it had all looked fine on the donor car and I hadn't noticed anything when removing it, but when I loaded it into the car I had spotted some rust on the underside. Looking at it carefully today in the light, the rust on the underside had started to bubble through onto the door skin itself - and in my experience, it's rapidly downhill from there.

I had another passenger door that I'd picked up a while ago, which whilst not perfect, was much better than the existing door - although as I discovered when I started prepping it, it wasn't without its issues...

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Scoped out of the bottom of the door was a couple of handfuls of rusty metal fragments, suggesting that perhaps all was not well. Well it indeed wasn't when I removed the window, or rather, what remained of it...

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Even the window runner was rusting away - I really have no idea what the history of this door is, but clearly the galvanisation on the door itself works very well considering that there's no rust on it when the ungalvanised internals are completely rotten.

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Thankfully, the window and runner from my original door were both in good condition, so I swapped those over to the new door and fitted the previously tested window motor and locking motor. All back together and assembled, just lacking a few small interior bits that I'll post a Wanted post for shortly - namely, the circular blank that goes in place of the window winder, the plastic surround for the locking pin, and the triangular plastic that covers in the inside of where the door mirror bolts to the door.

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By this point the light was beginnging to fade, but it's all but complete - the passenger door sits nicely, with equal panel gaps and flush transition from panel to panel. Needs a damned good clean and polish, and a replacement red strip if I can't straighten out the one from the old door - it's been creased and shabby looking for a while, so makes sense to do something about it.

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The drivers door still needs further tweeking to get it aligned properly. After a bit of tweeking I'd managed to get it aligned at the front, top and bottom, but needs further adjustment at the back as it sits proud as if its not closed properly (but it is). So long as the door striker pin can be adjusted it should be easy to sort out, although not something I've ever had to do before when changing doors. Indeed, given how much difficulty I've had getting the drivers door aligned, I'm wondering if the door is slightly warped, or my shell has some "dubious" tolerances.

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Still, that's a big chunk of work that I've been meaning to do for quite some time done and dusted - two doors swapped, and central locking and electric windows successfully retrofitted. Well, mostly retrofitted - I still need to do the central locking for the boot, which I'll do once I've got my hands on the piece of loom that I'm currently missing.

#38
shalmaneser

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Given that you've been playing around with the central locking, you seem as good a person as any to ask!

Do you know if your drivers side door has a motor? I can only 'centrally' lock my car with the key from that door, if i do it from the other doors i have to lock each one individually. Can anything be done about this?!

Also, do you know if there are any good replacement motors available? My passenger side one makes a terrible racket!

#39
Anthony

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The 205 central locking system is a bit primative compared to more modern cars.

On Phase 1/1.5 models, it only works off the key on the drivers door, which is purely a glorified switch AFAIK. On Phase 2 models, it was also operatable using a remote central locking fob and uses a different drivers door solenoid containing a motor as a result.

It would be possible from what I can see to adapt the system to work off both doors if you used a Phase 2 drivers motor (which has both a motor and the activation switches) on both sides and adapted the wiring to suit. I'd have to study the wiring diagram to see exactly what would need changing/modifying, but I can't see why it wouldn't be feasably possible.

As for other motors, 205 and 309 ones are the same. Beyond that, I'm not sure in honesty - I've heard of people using Astra Mk3 motors, but no idea if they're a straight swap or how involved any changes are. Probably best doing a search to see what infomation there is on the Astra motors, and starting a new topic in the relevent section where it will get more visibilty than it will in my project thread :)

#40
feb

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Nice work Anthony.
Speaking to Paul @ SBC in the past he said that the Bilsteins can last up to 80-90k depending on use so I guess they still have quite some meat left in them :). The car certainly felt planted and the handling was great as you say.
To those that think that stiffer is better (it may be for smooth tracks/road surfaces but not for an everyday/fast road/occasional track car IMHO) they have not tried the SBC setup yet ;)

Edited by feb, 08 November 2010 - 12:19 PM.




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