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

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

Post by yoeddynz »

Well after the last novel length wall of text I'll try to keep this update shorter otherwise I'll never finish the thing. Lots of little jobs starting to pop up on my 'to do' list.

Driveshafts. Connecting the scooby shafts to the imp axles.

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A job I wasn't sure which direction I'd take as there's so many different ideas out there on the nerdnet showing 'the best' way to join shafts.

First thing I did was to double check the suspension travel allowed by the stock shock absorbers and then use those datum points to work out if there was any growth in the length of shaft required as the wheel moves through it path up and down. There was minimal amount, like maybe 5mm at the very most. I guessed as much because the stock Imp driveshaft doughnuts don't allow for much sideways travel.

I then cut one of my 22mm scooby shafts down in length so I could work out the lengths required with the CV joint in place. This move I soon regretted.

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I was allowing for plenty of plunge into the CV joints to make sure the whole joint could be removed from the box stub axle with the box pushed sideways when removing the transmission. I was happy with the length and then decided to go visit a local hotrod builder friend for some advise. He's well known about for his many many full scratch builds and has done heaps of driveshafts in his time (a fellow machinist by trade too)

I showed him the two ways I was considering doing the join. He showed me a better way.

Shrink some bored out yokes cut off from some spare axles. Plenty of meat, will never let go and even if they somehow did loosen and spin they cant come out because there's not enough travel in the CV joint to allow them to. No welding needed. He's run axles done in the same way with some serious big block power and they never let go. Just has to be accurate and luckily its the sort of machining/fitting job I like.

But i needed to start with almost full length scooby shafts to do it, of which I was now down on.. Roll eyes and back to the wreckers to see this beauty get pulled from the hedge...

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Hannah helped me remove the shafts. It was her birthday too so wow, what a treat. She got visit the wreckers and get oily.

Got home and the shafts didn't fit my CVs. Bigger diameter end. Really weird because I checked online... ha. It lies. Turns out some late 4wd Leones had even bigger axle ends than the Imprezzas. Also odd is that one shaft is 22mm and the other side 24mm, although both the same length.

Back to the wreckers.

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This time I got larger 25mm shafts with the smaller ends from front wheel drive Imprezzas. I grabbed two pairs. Same again, 22mm on one side and 25 on the other. Now I had two of each. Got home and spent some time cleaning them up, outside because petrol fumes.

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Cleaned up the spare pair of axles in the lathe to make sure I had an accurate clamping spot for the later boring.

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Good quality steel! I turned them down to less than the 23mm bore size and chopped the yokes off.

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Made lots of swarf

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Bored out to bang on 23mm with nice radius.

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Double checked and triple checked I had my lengths required correct. Chopped the two 25mm scooby shafts down to length and turned a step down on one end of each, a radiused step to stop any stress risers.

I went for .0015"~.002" interference. Go online and see the debates between all the barries about what a good shrink fit should be :grin: There's many variables as well. I consulted my old faithful machinery's handbook.

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I wanted it tight, but not stressed. Luckily the axle is of good steel.

I also made a sample first, using one of the cut off bits of scooby shaft and some 4340 I machined to the same outer dimensions as the yoke.

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This way I was able to test how hot I needed to get it to expand enough to drop in place. I'll take this to a local engineers who have a press with a pressure gauge and see how much force it takes to wreck this thing :)

Here's about a one hundredth of a millimetre (iirc) getting removed..

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Then things got hot.. photos taken after it was done because I had to move bloody quick! Hannah would grab the torch off me and I would drop the yokes in place. It was a tense bit of time. If the yokes teetered and grab they'd pull the heat so quick and shrink in place before getting to the shoulder. No removing them without damage and I only had the one pair of spare axles.

It went well. I was happy and relieved.

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The light rust flashing off on one is simply due to that one having been left nearer the front of the workshop to cool down and it was a chilly damp start to the morning. They wired brushed up neat as, got painted with black epoxy and when that was set they had new universal joints fitted. I cant try them on the car until I remove the existing axles from the hubs but it should be fine.

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Next up was to sort the fuel tank out to suit fuel injection. I brought the blue imp in and checked a few ideas out on what I could do.

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I don't really have room for a surge tank and I never liked the noise on my Viva from the external fuel pump anyway. Nor did I like the way the fuel in the surge tank heats up.

Enter the humble Nissan Micra k11 intank fuel pump and surge container...

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It actually looked like it was just going to fit into the pressed depression at the bottom of the imp fuel tank..

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With enough room to run the imp fuel float sender next to it.

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Cut a hole..

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It fits. I'll cut the bracket off the side at bottom of pic and it'll move sideways a bit more..

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Made some metal brackets

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Welded them in and now I have a cradle that takes two cable ties across the top to secure.

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I needed a flange....

Made this. Its designed to recess the lid about 10mm below the tank top. I want to keep the tank top as flat as possible. It'll have the usual layer of foam over top but I don't want things sticking up proud when the 'frunk' is being used (cant be tearing those bags of concrete now eh....)

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Many holes drilled and tapped..

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Carefully welded in place. Was a tricky job. Thin steel on the tank that had some sort of (probably poisonous) coating. But happy with result.

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I made another hole...

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That takes the sender. Drilled and tapped more holes to suit. Now I needed to get fuel from the outside in and from the inside out. I machined up these in stainless..

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Thought of a neat way to hold the little bits together for tacking. Blue tack. Or blue tack tack?

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welded up..

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I made an angled recess into the hatch cover so the fuel hose goes even further below the tank line.

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Visible in that photo are the cable connections. Again - I needed to get power in. I machined some shouldered fittings in plastic..

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Luckily the micra pump so handily just uses a simple connector with 6.3 spade terminals.

Under the lid...

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Tank hard work done. I'll paint bits and cut some gaskets.

Speaking of gaskets. One of mine between my oil filter pedestal and the block is weeping oil. Plus one of the bolt heads weeps. Typical. Put a Japanese engine in a British car and turn your back for a minute...

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I've already drained the oil cleaned it up and ran a smear of paintable sikaflex along it and around the bolt head. I didn't take photos because not really exciting. I'll paint it silver and no one will know.

Except you the reader.
Last edited by yoeddynz on Sun Mar 17, 2024 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PeterK
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by PeterK »

yoeddynz wrote: Sun Mar 17, 2024 8:11 am I consulted my old faithful machinery's handbook.

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Great update.

Clearly, I'm even more old school - my Machinery's Handbook is the Twentieth Edition :lol:
'79 Targa - restoration now mainly complete & being driven
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yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

It's a great book eh. Very handy!!!
yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

As per the title this next stage of building the exhaust silencer/muffler/back box/ take your pick has taken much more time and effort than I had always expected.

I started by taking the blue imp apart. To Woolf valley garage I went....

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..where I removed (rusty mild steel) exhaust, bumper and rear valance..

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Popped it onto rusty imp shell...

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Now I knew exactly how much room I have to play with.

Whatever I was going to build had to work with several things.

I wanted the box to be mounted higher than the existing one behind the Datsun engine as I was sick of scraping it on steep driveway exits.

It had to be built completely of stainless steel, no exceptions. No more corrosion.

It had to look tidy and fit within the bumper line, tailpipes excluded.

The tailpipes were to be twin centre exit. I had a very specific look in mind and they have to be just right.

It had to be quiet enough and yet still sound sporty. This last one is tricky and will most likely need modifications to get right hence the last design point...

It has to be modular, easy enough to disassemble and repack with sound deadening (most likely glass fibre)

Now I knew the size I could build it to I started by making some flanges. This so I can unbolt the flexible sections between the V clamps and the box. Made to suit the 44mm tube as per the tube off the V clamps.

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Lifted the big folder we'd made onto the bench top and folded up some 1.2mm stainless. Although heftier than I could have used I've gone with this thickness to helped avoid the tinny sound thin stainless boxes can make.

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I wanted perforated stainless tube but couldn't find any within NZ. Got some perforated sheet instead - again 1.2...

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Which I cut strips from and formed up into tubes as such...

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Welded...

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Now I had the start of a box and some tube. I could sit down and nut out a design. I have had some basic ideas for ages on how it might look inside but it was really good to sit down and see how it might work. Drew some ideas up..

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Nutted out something I think would work well and be easy enough to change if need be. Time to commit. I had to cut some blue steel. First actual act of modification to the imp in my quest to plonk a flat six in it.

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Now I could double check box sizing and weld the flanges in place.

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Folded up the second box side..

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Complete with captive nuts to suit a lid..

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Tail pipe time. I almost went with twin 2" exits but they were just a tad too big. Settled on twin 45mm.

Tacked them to yet another stainless pair of flanges to work with the modular design aspect. Happy with the look I then fully welded them on the inside. The flanges will be sealed with a soft copper gasket.

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Happy I had the look right I cut the centre top from the box, created a recessed bit and carefully welded in the second threaded flange.

So now I have inlets and outlets where I want them and just have to connect the dots.

Ideally a nice long a route to dampen sound while keeping it as smooth flowing as possible.

Plus, as per original brief, it has to allow for easy disassembly and re-packing.

There was quite a bit of head scratching with this bit of the build but eventually I sorted a design out.

I cut various bit of sheet and put big holes in them with a nice brand new holesaw set.

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Made little boxes with more big holes...

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Shaped bits like a heart...(#putmyheartandsoulintoit.....)

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Welded the ends onto the main box, curved in bit to help with flow and also hide the external bobbin mounts from view a little.

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Now I had a collection of parts that would come together and form a london underground of tubeways for the exhaust gases to follow.

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I was pretty happy with the layout for its potential silencing effect. However I now wondered if it might just end up being a touch too quiet and restrictive.

Luckily I had come up with an idea early on where I could add some valves. Quite a little bit of extra work involved but the more I'd thought about it the more I was convinced it could work well. With this in mind I had built the middle chamber width to allow for some valves and made sure they could be removed to fit said valves in place.

I cut some 44mm holes in the middle chamber lids and made some to valves to suit...

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Whipped up a little press form to create brackets..

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Valves mounted.

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Underside of lids have the heart halves which help direct flow from one tube back too the next, or up and out through the open valves..

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Valve shafts stick out through back of box. Sealing will be by a combination of spring loaded fibre and silicone washers.

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Now for an exciting point in life that every shed 'Barry' looks forward to. Emptying out those boxes of little random fittings that have been stashed away 'just in case you might need them'...

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Such fun! I selected my (stainless!!!) treats and scribbled on some alloy.

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Made lots of alloy swarf..

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Ended up with these levers. Pinch bolted to the shafts along with added grub screws. The short length of threaded rod will be changed for a long length of stainless rod, actuation method from within the car yet undecided. Possibly a 12volt door lock motor etc or maybe mechanically with a bicycle cable.

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Recessed the backs to allow for seals..

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So yeah. Lots of parts! Compulsory photo of thing exploded into many bits...

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All together now with some arrows. Remember each side is just a mirror of the other side (there is a small cross over hole in the centre plate that separates the sides)

Valve closed...

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Valve open...

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I think it'll be quite a difference in sound and look forward to hearing it.

The valves can be seen in action in this very exciting video....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrc-HKKRgb8

So It's pretty much complete except for the mount points which I'll do once I've got some bobbins from engineering shop along with seals. The lid will be sealed by running a bead of silicone which I'll let set before clamping the lid down.

Oh I weighed it too. I was worried it might end up quite hefty but it will be only about 6.4 kg once all the bolts are in/packed with fibreglass..

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The box will be painted satin/matt black leaving the tailpipes shiny. Silencer mounted in place...

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View from above showing plenty of room for the valve linkages in place.

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I ended up cutting a tiny bit more of the valance away so there's room for a stainless heatshield.

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I then covered the valance with some masking tape to help prevent it getting too scratched while I put back in some internal strengthening and capping it all off. I'll also be adding mount areas for the bobbins.

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I'll remove the engine next and add in the big multi-pin connector to the engine loom.

Then I'll be seriously very close to removing the Datsun engine and cutting out the under seat area just as I have on this rusty shell. Wow!!
Lightweight_911
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by Lightweight_911 »

.

I don't think I've seen another thread with more impressive fabrication skills - fantastic workmanship !


.
Andy

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- subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”
911hillclimber
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by 911hillclimber »

Indeed.
To my view is all the engine mount/silencer a bit low in the shell? That is too close to the road?
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yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

I've actually got about 60mm more clearance now compared to the existing setup that's behind the datsun engine (which has really only been an issue on steep drive exits with deep gutters.

Pics showing current setup for reference...
IMG_20221003_111122_643.jpg
sladey
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by sladey »

Brilliant work again - thanks for sharing


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The simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young but I'm just backdated yeah
yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

No probs :)
yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

Getting closer!!!

Next job was to strengthen and close up the rear valance.

Pics..

Added internal bracing. I probably didn't need to. Its not really under much stress now without an engine hanging on it as per on an original imp setup. Just closes off the back end, gives something to hang an exhaust on and something for the fiberglass engine cover to latch onto. But hey, I'm only adding a little bit of extra weight...

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Gave the inside an extra layer of zinc rich paint ..Image

Closed it up..

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Flap disc on the welds and trial fitted it. I won't yet fit any exhaust mounts. i want to weld those on when the engine is sat in the blue Imp so its all done to suit its home as no two imps are exactly the same. It looks neat in place though.

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Speaking of exhausts. I needed a bit of rod for a customers job and went searching through the steel rack...

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..and I found this bit of stainless rod with an eye pressed in at one end. Its perfect for the valve actuation rod that'll run along the exhaust box..

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I've been having a little browse at various actuators on Ali express and I think one of these could do the job well...

https://vi.aliexpress.com/item/10050037 ... pt=glo2vnm

With the valance sorted and covered in some epoxy paint ready for a skim of filler I could now remove the engine from rusty green imp. That's the last time it'll be sat in there.

Not sure what will become of that shell. Maybe garden art? Maybe just chop it up and keep any useful repair panels in case I have a whoopsie with Blue imp? Its not too rusty and could be saved but it would take another fella like me to do such a silly thing to a car where you can buy better shells, rego on hold, for not much money. British imp fans would probably save it though as its a good solid base compared to what I have seen on offer in the UK.

Green imp was then pushed outside into the cold and I sat in front of the wood burner, warm and cosy. I cut the main engine loom in half and let in a big multi plug. I'd been contemplating whether I'd be bothered to do this for some time now and I'm really glad I did for it didn't actually take very long to do. It'll make removing the engine even easier with no need to disturb the ecu wiring under the rear seat.

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I then removed the gearbox and made a cover plate for the gap located below the flywheel. The bellhousing opening it covers faces forwards and I don't want to fill it with stones, dirt, dead possums etc.

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Removed the flywheel and carefully ground a lead onto each tooth on the Subaru ring gear. Its designed for a different rotation on the starter and in use the starter would sometimes not mesh properly and make a horrible loud 'gnashing of metallic teeth' sound. Not keen on that. I'd also given the pinion a similar grind so hopefully they'll slide in nicer. Time will tell.

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I then machined up a basic clutch disc alignment tool..

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I refitted the valance and exhaust to the blue imp, drove it into the workshop and then removed the lovely comfy, but not exactly period correct (like as if that's an issue with me....) Tomei steering wheel which will now be fitted into our Nissan Micra.

I then cleaned up the lovely Moto-lita steering wheel that has been hanging on the wall for years since I sold my Viva HB. My Uncle in the UK worked for a short time at Moto-lita many moons ago and got this wheel then. He'd fitted it in several cars including a few Morris Minors. When he died my cousins gave it to me after his funeral.

I'm very happy to be fitting it in the Imp. It's more in keeping and looks great. I was also happy to discover that Imps and Vivas share the same spline pattern so I was able to use the original nicely made boss.

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I also removed the stereo, speakers and parcel shelves. The speakers were always in the way and getting knocked by my feet when I entered the car so they won't be going back.

Then all the blankets and other stuff that's accumulated in the imp. Lol at the several British airways blankets that had found their way into the imp...

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Next up were the Recaro seats. Out they came. Definitely going back in though. Might not be period correct but they are lovely. In the future, once I've won lotto I'll get them recovered in a more suitable style. Looking quite bare inside now..

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I do love the two tone red/black colour scheme on the door cards and the red rear seat.

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But I don't love the super sticky flashing tape I'd used to hold down the loom under the rear seat. This stuff is great if you don't want things to move or you desire tired hands trying to remove it.

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Now it was finally time to remove the Datsun engine.

Actually now it was time to make a 'Datsun 1200 wheely stand 2000'. I want to have an easier system to remove/refit the Datsun lump without having to use a top mounted engine cradle and sling - a setup that was due to the centre mounted engine cross member. So I made this..

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Yes, a bit over built, but it'll find other handy workshop carting uses in the future if the flat six proves itself and the Datsun setup gets sold on.

Fitted sturdy wheels, painted it workshop grey and whipped up a plywood engine cradle with room in the centre to drop the cross member down into.

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Now in action. Much easier and way faster!!!

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Engine out...

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Still a neat little engine. If I was to keep it in the Imp (like said above, the flat six has to prove itself) I'd rebuild it, balanced properly, fit my oval port head, sporty cam, itbs and full engine management. Then promptly destroy the Imp transmission...

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Arty shot...

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I stripped out the remaining bits from the engine bay, the rear suspension and cross member. Drained the fuel tank, luckily only 5 litres to bother with, removed it and stashed it away in the garage which is now filling up with imp parts.

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Brought the green imp back in from the chill so I use it to take measurements from.

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Measured and marked out the cut lines where I need to chop out under the rear seat base for the taller Subaru transmission.

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Covered the inside glass surfaces with paper. I'll get Hannah to block grinding sparks when I'm doing any cutting from under the car.

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So that's where I'm at now. Next job is cutty cutty time.
911hillclimber
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by 911hillclimber »

Most excellent progress, oh so close now!
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yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

Yeah it's getting exciting.
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

Flat six in :)

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Cut away under the seat base and the tunnel as per on the green imp.

The air saw was so perfect for much of this job which means much less grinding dust everywhere.

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I've marked out where I'll cut away a little bit more. I'd rather give it extra clearance now than ending up with it potentially knocking against the steel on a bumpy road etc later.

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Cut off a couple of superfluous tabs sticking up on the transmission for the same reasons as above.

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Oh I also couldn't resist a photo of the two power plants next to each other. It's hard to gauge sizes from the pic though as the Datsuns wheely stand 2000 is much lower.

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

Post by sladey »

Great progress
The simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young but I'm just backdated yeah
yoeddynz
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Re: 1965 Hillman Imp soon with flat six from a Honda

Post by yoeddynz »

Sealing up the cut out tunnel top and under the rear seat was to be the next stage but first I decided to make some new beefed up engine mounts. The originals I had made from a mixture of 3 and 4mm steel were probably fine but i wanted to move the crossmember backwards away from the engine for a little bit more clearance. So while I was at it I thought it best to use thicker steel.

To start with I made a jig based off the original mounts. Now there were datum points to build to, allowing for extra clearance while I was at it.

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I popped into G3 engineering where I get a lot of my steel offcuts from and grabbed some 4mm plate. I had 5mm at home for the main backing plates.

Used the hefty steel bender..

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Tigged the majority of the welds except the inside ones I couldn't reach which got mig welded. Plenty of heat. These wont fail.

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Added gussets just to be sure...

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The new mounts now set the crossmember further back by about 5mm. I could now drill the holes through the chassis rails. I made up a new pair of backing plates with extra holes and captive nuts. The plates extend further forwards to line up with the holes that Datsun crossmember bolts through. I can now easily bolt in either crossmember.

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I was super happy to discover that due to the flat six being only 3 cylinders long I have enough room to pull the engine back so its gearbox bobbins are clear of the gearbox crossmember. I can then raise the car up and away from the engine, all without having to remove the rear bumper and valance.

Now the engine was in its final position I could replace the lid on the tunnel, now 50mm higher. I started with this bit and had to cut out a section to allow for access to the toyota spec gearbox speedo sensor plug...

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Making sure there was ample clearance all round so the box cant knock the tinwork on rough roads I proceeded to box the tunnel back in...

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Kneeling down on folded up bits of foam and towels was my home for the next few hours...

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Cardboard trials, then steel, cut, trim, tack, check, weld...

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Finally boxed in. Another access hole let in so I can get to the top universal joint and lube the gearbox selector shaft if needed.

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It was a very good part of the build to finish. Seeing it all sealed up, strong again. I have yet to check the rear seat squab but I feel confident it'll fit with some modifications to the wire frame within.

Underneath looked neat...

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Hannah has now painted the tunnel inside and out with Epoxy paint.

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After I have finished any other little fabrication bits or hole filling/drilling in the engine bay I'll give it a flick of blue paint (hopefully not making everything else in the workshop blue like the first time)

Now it was onto the rear suspension arms. I am using the set that came on the green imp 2. Surface rust needed wire brushing off outside...

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Painted with KBS rust seal (Aussie por 15 clone)..

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Another bit I could have got away without doing but I thought best to make while I'm under the car was this brace...

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Pulling up tight to the floor via spreader plates under the seat base...

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I have added it to brace the floor halves inline to help keep the suspension mounts inline during hard corning. Like said, I'm not sure if its essential but it might just help avoid any weird effects like rear steering. I know its a bit ugly but hey, at least its hidden under the car.

On the subject of bracing I also made this little brace...

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To help stiffen the top of the tunnel near the shifter so it doesn't flex. again, not really needed but I do want a really positive shift action without an excess movement.

So now my next job is to run out the brake/clutch/fuel pipes back along the tunnel and then reassemble the rear suspension so I can setup the handbrake cables. I'll have to paint some bits too. The crossmember, mounts, fuel tank etc. The work area looks like this with bits everywhere...

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In other news we had these treats turn up in the mail, a surprise present from my brother in Wales...

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He had gone to a big collectables/toy and model show local to him where he then spent a good amount of time asking at the various collectors stalls for any Hillman Imp models and found what is quite a rare and sought after Dinky toy car...

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Plus a cool little Imp police car ..

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They turned up in the post yesterday as a surprise and made our evening. Very cool. Thanks bro! :)
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