1965 Hillman Imp with Honda Goldwing flat six. First drive!!!

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911hillclimber
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by 911hillclimber »

Good going as ever!
11/10 to the wife getting involved, priceless.

What about the front suspension and brakes?
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yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

At this point I'm only going to re-make the caliper mounts for the front brakes because I'm not happy with the ones in place. But otherwise the brakes seem fine. Not to modern standards for sure but in keeping. They don't seem to fade much, if at all on long descents. A fella called Mike Dent, well known in the imp circles, makes really good rear shoes with a excellent compound. They could be worth trying.


Rear discs would be nice though - if only for simplicity, cleanliness and being self adjusting. Once the engine has proven to not just be a ticking bomb of many parts I might look at making a rear disc setup. I have spare rear arms etc so I can easily play around making bits on the bench. If I was to do this I'd be finishing it before the car goes for certification so then all the mods are accounted for.

As for the suspension - it's setup really well and handles great just with the makita one ways. I just need shorter from dampers to keep the springs captive without needing limit straps. I'll also adjust out some of the negative camber on the front so my tyres scrub less/last longer.
911hillclimber
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by 911hillclimber »

Way back in the early 70s my best mate had 2 Imps, 2nd one was a 998 Sport, revved to 10,000 rpm indicated.
Stock brakes with Ferrodo pads, worked well 4 up.
Lowered all round with silly negative camber on the front, I think you could buy a kit for that.
Koni dampers, adjustable.
He regrets selling that car to this day.

Another mate named his bitofeverything dog Ferrodo….his skids on wood floors was something to see.

70s were great in the UK :)

This is a great thread!
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yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

911hillclimber wrote: Mon May 20, 2024 8:41 am
He regrets selling that car to this day.
They are still pretty cheap cars to buy and play with (especially compared to porsche stuff)

So many little jobs that add up to suck time. But its a fun time to be at and there's no point in rushing it.

The rear seat base was next up because I needed to work out where I could run the engine loom through. I tried the base in place, got an idea of how its steel rod framework needed to be adjusted and set to it.

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As you might spot in the above pic I also gave myself a decent cut from something sharp in there.

Seat base now fits in neatly although it wont be a luxurious softly sprung seat for a middle passenger when 5 up. Highly unlikely scenario that is an Imp though.

Megasquirt and associated fuses/relays etc are tucked away under the seat.

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I made some mounts for the exhaust box..

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Welded the mounts in place and I was then able to tack, then weld the secondaries to their flanges.

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I painted the crossmember after having added some handbrake cable guides. Then it and the rear suspension was all bolted up in place. The new driveshafts fitted and hubs pulled on, wheels bolted up and it was rolling again. So it got rolled out the back to join green imp so I could use the hoist to do a customers van job.

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As soon as the van was fixed and out of the shop I put Impy back up on the hoist. I then worked out the final section of pipework for the clutch's concentric slave cylinder (CSC). I wanted the bleed nipple to be easier to access and not have any spillage running down into the bellhousing. I made some pipework and fittings to suit.

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Bench was covered in brake fitting stuff and I pieced together a system.

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I made one setup, tested the clutch and while it worked fine I wasn't happy with the pipes sticking up in the way so I changed a it again leading to the final iteration..

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The csc itself was a unit I'd scored from a Ford Mundano engine and gearbox I had well over 6 years ago. Intended to fit the duratec into my Viva wagon. Sold the engine and kept the release bearing just because I thought it might be handy. So six years I've had it laying about and before that it was residing in a wreckers yard. It must surely be a bit cruddy inside?

They are not designed to be serviceable but they are also stupidly priced here in NZ - like triple what they cost in the UK. So I decided it was going to be serviceable and I took it apart. Sure enough it had some mild corrosion marks on luckily what is a stainless guide tube but otherwise actually pretty good.

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It cleaned up well in the lathe..

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Its a very nicely made thing and quite simple but has to be mounted correctly. This guide tube seals on the mounting plate with a thin square section seal.

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I made a new bigger mount to support the base because the original machined support I'd made wasn't broad enough. I was then able to add two more bolts to sandwich the lot together so that square seal remains squished evenly at all times, as it would in a OEM situation.

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We trial fitted it all with the new base plate and pipework. I was not sure whether my stock Imp 5/8" bore master cylinder was going to move enough fluid to get the release bearing travel I needed and I was prepared that I might have had to fit a 3/4" M/C. However it all seems fine with a light pedal and the bite point is about midway. Very smooth motion too!

While this lot was being done Hannah finished prepping the rear valance for paint. Luckily the weather has been amazing for what is now officially winter here (18-19 degrees and generally clear skies) so on a warm morning I set up the paint frame outside and sprayed some blue about..

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I did my best not to paint the cat blue..

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It turned out fine..

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Another little fun job was cleaning up the gearstick shaft in the lathe..

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...and discovering that universal steering rack boots make for neat gearstick boots...

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I'd bought some muffler packing sheet and then played with scissors...

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I then painted it with stove paint and sat it on the burner to help it harden. It looks much better in black. I've used silicone to seal the lid. Ran some beads, let them set for a couple of hours till at the point where it squishes flat without smearing. Stainless bolts carefully pulled up evenly. Seems all good but only time will tell on how the seal lasts. Like a few things on this build its a bit experimental.

Gaskets for the inlets and tailpipes are copper. I have quite a bit of decent thick walled copper pipe from the Imp racecar cooling system. Chopped some bits, flattened out, heated and quenched with the oxycet and now nice and soft.

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Exhaust all mounted and engine now ready to go in for the final time (he says..)

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I just had to get a few more pics of this stage because its a point I've been looking forward to :)

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Positioning the power plant under the car...

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Yep. Getting very close now!!!
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by stevenery »

Excellent as ever! Well done Alex!
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

Cheers Steven. How's it going over there. Your dad getting much done on the 914?
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by stevenery »

We did the 914 International meeting a few weeks ago. Was in Belgium, so likely under 800 miles all in. Enjoyed many strong ales, though dad knackered after the last night so the return drive left to me. Last year was San Tropez and a few more miles but the wine and lager didn’t go down well. Hoping to do next years in Austria! Shall build a bigger and better engine beforehand. Have a lot of bits ready to go for the 912E. That should be a nice car for other long journeys. After my stints in nice places abroad these European trips are becoming great ones to look forward to!
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

Cool. Are you going to get more involved in working on the cars or just leave it up to your dad?
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

I will try to keep updates coming along a bit closer now as I tick off many of those little jobs.

The useful alloy scooter handle bar thing I'd picked up at the dump ages ago is getting shorter and shorter. It happens to be 32mm OD and ideal for many jobs such as extending the sensor housing so I could add a 16mm tee for my header tank..

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Another bunch of little bits to do was the air filter mount and associated points to feed the IACV, the catch can and a place for the air temp sensor. I made an alloy mount which bolts to the firewall in about the only place left that would fit it. It connects to the throttle body by flexible ducting.

The Goldwing engine just has a simple breather system. The crankcase is under a constant light vacuum and any blowby fumes are drawn straight into the air box before the carbs. I decided ages ago I would just replicate it. I machined up a Ventura...

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Oh. Hang on. That's not right.

I mean Venturi...

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with some other bits..

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Looks like this inside...

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I made a little stainless catch can with shelves and stainless scrubbers - for scrubbing out any oil mist. It has a drain plug which is easy to get to.

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Painted it black so it hides better (not exactly a pretty thing)

It, along with the filter and filter mount plus associated tubing all resides at the back of the engine bay, luckily out of sight because its all a bit messy. I tried my best without getting too carried away. Its tight in there!..

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The two main plugs plus the wideband plug are tucked up nearby..

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Also nicked the oil pressure sensor from the Datsun engine and fitted it in place...

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Lifted the big folder into place and bent some steel sheet ...

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...to cover the hole that normally has a Datsun cylinder head poking through it...

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Used rivnuts so now it simply bolts down in place.

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I'll glue foam on top so it'll match the rest of the parcel shelf. I'll eventually cover that with an easily removable carpet mat. Its super handy having this access hatch. As for the underside - that will get painted blue for now and I'll be looking into some sort of cover that simply screws in place, possibly with a covering like vinyl or something. Maybe use pop studs to hold it in place. Just something neat and uniform that will hide the hole.I'm still thinking on this one.

While I had the folder out I cut out a bit of 0.7mm stainless sheet, curved the edges and hey presto - a heat shield for the exhaust silencer...

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That's about where I'm at as of today. I've just started looking into fitting the fuel tank but I need to get some more hose. We also wheeled the green imp into the shed and this evening started making it smaller. Eventually it'll be so small it'll fit into the van and can go to the scrap steel man, less the roof and some tricky shaped sections I'm keeping just in case of whoopsies in the future. It's also handy to have another spare set of suspension arm, hubs and axles etc.

This shell really is too rotten to rescue considering the sensible values imps still seem to be at so I didn't cry too much at first cut. Bye bye little green Imp. You served me well and will not be forgotten...

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KS
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by KS »

Such a great project. Envious of your skills and working space!
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

Thanks man. Yeah I love the workshop house we built. It's what we always wanted. A great place to live and work in.
911hillclimber
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by 911hillclimber »

That space is fabulous. I have about 15% of that room, 2 cars close inside and every just about squeezed in around the walls.
Typically spaces in England or worse.

When i quickly saw the pics of the Imp with no roof on i thought you were going to chop the roof down on the shell next!
Not a good look, saw a few in the UK in the 70's done, ugly as hell.

Looking forward to the smaller jobs that soak up sooo much time being tackled.

Must be getting cold where you are?
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

Chopping up the Imp shell took longer than expected. I'm pleasantly surprised at how solid they are for what is just a budget small car. It was also even rustier than expected and I'm glad I was not tempted to try and make something of it.

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I had to get this shot...

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...and this shot.

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All chopped up...

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I rescued these bits. I have no idea where I'll stash them. Maybe hang the nose cone from high up on the workshop wall, led lights fitted into the headlamps. I've now got a full spare set of suspension arms too. These could come in handy as bench top jigs if I look into mounting disc brakes on the back etc.

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We took the remains to the scrap man the following day and he gave us $78 in return. I had paid $200 for the complete Imp so it now owes me only $122.

Or I prefer to look back at the pies, cakes and coffee we both had in town after seeing Mr scrappy.

Back to the Impy project. I now really only had a bit of wiring to do plus some other little jobs. Wiring first. A bit of work in the 'frunk' to clean up the fuel pump wire routing..

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Drained the last of the coolant out while I was there.. glad for the handy drain plug I had added when building the radiator in.

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Work where the car needed to be on the hoist was over with but before I lowered the car onto its wheels I grabbed these shots which I really like..

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Onto its wheels and rolled away for the first time since fitting the flat six. Wow. Pretty neat occasion in itself. Happy to see it still sat at the same height. Looking forward to weighing it in the future and seeing how much lard/muscle/festive season insulation its put on. I was now able to climb in and out of the doors easily and sort out the final wiring.

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Stuff to be done was running the power and ignition wires to the ecu, water pump wires and some sensor wires forward then make it look all serviceable and neat enough. I had to extend the water pump temp sensor wire so the controller could be mounted in a sensible place. Take note of this last bit as I'll be coming back to it...

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With the wiring now sorted I could move onto finishing of some other loose ends so to speak. But first I had to start the engine up in the car and check it worked. Which it did after I swapped the two fuel lines in the frunk about so the feed did actually feed the correct line etc - only discovered when I was under the car with a container to clear the lines out of any debris and it came out the other pipe. Whoops.

So yeah. The engine just started up with no fuss on first turn of the key. Simples. Sounded great. The was no water in the system so I just ran it for 30 seconds, gave it a rev and let out a little giggle.

I then painted the parcel shelf cover thing that I'd made in the last update...

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While that was drying I made a little lever for the exhaust valves. I started with an old pulley that I'd originally made for my V6 Viva..

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Ran a long length of bicycle brake cable through from the engine bay into the interior via the routing that one of the original Imp heater hoses took. Connected the dots with a tandem brake cable inner..

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Out with the rivnut tool and put a couple into the inner sill.

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Lever mounted...

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Sound levels turned up to 11, small kids scarper, nuns faint and dogs howl in the distance* when lever is turned as such.

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*Hopefully.

Next up was filling the cooling system with water.

Not coolant.

I've learned from that mistake and I'm sure I'll be having to remedy some sort of issue which might involve emptying it out again. Turned the electric pump controller on and noticed it telling me the water was a balmy 54 degrees. It definitely wasn't. Its winter here (apparently) and the water was 15 degrees according to my volt meter temp probe. That bloody sensor wire! When I lengthened it by about 800mm I used 12/0.15mm gauge wire. The original sensor wires were 17/0.15. I didn't think 5 strands @ 0.15mm were going to make enough difference to change the reading but how I was wrong.

So this was where I was working early evening yesterday...

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I rummaged through my extensive supply of cables, picked out a few that might be ideal and started with some beefier speaker cable that had many more strands. I didn't count them as tiny. I just connected it up and tried it out. Bang on! Both meters read exactly the same. I tidied it all up and we started the engine. Ran it up to temp which took ages because by now it was only about 11 degrees. No leaks and the pump seemed to bleed of air easily. Hannah took a vid of me giving it a cheeky rev. Such fun. You'll see that in the next vid. Interestingly and annoying is that the exhaust valves don't seem to do anything to the engine note at idle. Maybe they will make a difference when asking more of the exhaust?

It was by then too late to go out for a hoon. I still had to fit the belts, all of the seats, the nice blue parcel shelf engine hole cover and also the actual engine bay lid. So I spent the evening finishing these tasks off. I'd love to have driven it because it was a clear, albeit cool, day. Lots of heavy rain expected the following few days. Oh well. It was great to see the interior back in. Although the recaros don't match the interior colours I just love seeing them. I like this pic. Old and new. 'West German' seats, old imp interior, sneaky megasquirt and usb cable.

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So this morning it was finally time for the big occasion. There were so many things to go wrong, not work, be noisy etc. We just popped a tool box in the front, plugged the laptop in and went for a drive...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebzPyQu ... 29B4AaABAg


Wow. It works! The clutch pickup point was spot on, gear change seems fine in a mechanical way. The gearbox was quiet. No whines. The engine was completely out of tune and we couldn't really tune it properly on this short drive. We did about 12km but a combination of the very cold morning and a very efficient cooling system meant the engine wouldn't get above about 80 when on the move so for much of the drive it was still on warmup enrichment. I now realise that I should have upped the temp setting on the pump controller. I think the default is 85 degrees so it pretty much had the pump running full time. I want this engine to be running at 95 degrees C. But hey - great to know the cooling system works well at cooling.

The exhaust is more than loud enough. There's no insulation above the engine cover so that will refine the interior when cruising and how cool it is to pop into a 5th gear!!! Again, due to lack of tune I couldn't really note what the gearing is like. I never really gave it the full welly because my dash rev counter wasn't working (I have a sneaky suspicion I plugged in the wrong signal wire that currently goes no where)

I just drove the car and enjoyed the fact that this moment was finally happening. Hell - it was March 4 years ago that this engine first arrived on a pallet.

The things that were not so good..

The clutch bite point got lower and lower until it was tricky to get into gear. Either failing slave or master cylinder. I suspect (and hope) its the MC.

Its a bit fumy. Granted it was running pretty rich and the rear cover I've made is not sealed properly.

The gear lever knob moves back and forth with the engine/transmission movement. Not annoying and only noticeable if you keep your hand on the knob (chuckle) while accelerating. I had figured it would because its a very slop free mechanical connection. Maybe stiffer engine/box mounts might help but then I could expect to have more noise in the cabin.

The weather was a bit shite so we went home, had coffee and cake and I looked over the car.

It leaks oil. Typical. It was weeping/dripping from the point between the heads and case sides where the oil drains back into the sump then running back with the airstream and spitting onto the muffler. So there's some of the fumes then. Only happens when the engine is running but its enough to be an issue I want to sort out asap.

The leaks are here. This side where it leaks straight onto the cooling pipe and runs back...

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The other side.. Nothing to leak onto but its still getting flicked back by the airstream onto the muffler...

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Here's a head gasket.

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You can spot the drain hole. Its only pinched up at the bottom by one 6mm bolt. If I knew then what I know now I'd have added a thin smear of threebond sealant on each side of the loop to be sure. Oh well.

The mess it made on the muffler.

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So that's where I'm at. We checked the clutch. It works fine on the hoist. Bite point still at halfway?. No obvious leaks or traces of fluid from a leaking slave cylinder. Fluid level was fine. I'll check the m/c tomorrow. We bled the system again just to be sure. Only other thing I could suspect would be a dragging spigot bearing but I cant imagine that being the case. Its a new sealed bearing.

As for the oil leaks. I'm going to try removing the lower water pipe in situ and get enough room to apply marine sikaflex 291 or similar. Its under no pressure so hopefully should seal ok so long as I get it super clean beforehand.

We will test it all again, leaks or no leaks, when the rain stops (rain warning for our district this weekend) but for now I am simply chillin' and relaxin' and celebrating the first drive in a flat six powered imp that sounds pretty glorious.
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp with Honda Goldwing flat six. First drive!!!

Post by Nine One One »

:cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

Fantastic! Really enjoying this thread and all the work that has been put into it. Well done.
911hillclimber
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp with Honda Goldwing flat six. First drive!!!

Post by 911hillclimber »

^^^ Says it all from me too^^^
Loved this from the very start, and your silly young grin in the video says it all and I think all watching this adventure feel the very same.

Good stuff. What's next?
73T 911 Coupe, road/hillclimber 3.2L
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