1974 D-Special Restoration.
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Thread: 1974 D-Special Restoration.

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! ScotFrog's Avatar
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    Default 1974 D-Special Restoration.

    Hi Froggers,
    This promises to be a long drawn out restoration affair so apologies before I start but I think these records are useful. I'm not aiming for an individual nuts and bolts restoration but an honest preservation which keeps the car alive with no shadows for another few decades.
    The excellent threads posted here by mnm, Greenblood, mberry and le parisien amongst others are inspirational and I realised that the fact that they took the effort to record their individual challenges has given me a head start and a lot of clues so I should attempt to return the favour.
    The subject car is a 1974 D-Special bought from Aussiefrogger Dogboy earlier last year and so far has languished in a comfy shed.
    I have progressively bought various necessary parts like a complete exhaust system, reconditioned steering rack and the interior upholstery. Nothing as yet has been fitted.

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    1974 D-Special Restoration.-boot.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-frontquarter.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-frontseats.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-sideview.jpg

    The photos indicate the present condition.
    In essence the car is straight and true with remarkably little rust. The only rust issues are per the boot interior photo showing bright original paintwork with surface rust where it has been scratched over the years. I believe that with one exception, all these rust points will succumb to stripping, linishing and deoxidine treatment.
    The exception is the front left hand guard area which may reveal evidence of an early bingle but I'm not convinced of this. It might just be historical lack of protection in this quarter. It's not bad and may not even require metal replacement but I'm prepared to accept that if need be. The chassis is really clean, bright original paintwork and no pockets of damage at any structural point.

    The engine is sound and quiet with few oil leaks as is the hydraulic system although the HP pump and regulator will require work. No hydraulic leaks at any quarter but front spheres need to be replaced or re-gassed. The car rises promptly (45 seconds) from cold and the only real fluid use is the leaking steering rack.
    The gearbox is sound and doesn't require any overhauling. I think the clutch plate has been replaced relatively recently but I'll check when I get the engine out.

    With the exception of the FLH guard the panels are not too bad and should restore well. The FLH guard may in fact be good if there is no bog covered cancer.

    The roof has been out and badly replaced so will need to come out again for preparation, painting, lining and resealing with new seals.

    The car came with a lot of mechanical extras and 9 good road wheels. I don't think I need any fiddly bits but I'll replace all lights to give her a fresh start.

    The car has locally fitted air conditioning which I at first was inclined to remove but on investigation can tidy up and resuscitate.

    The interior is a shambles and the saddest aspect of the car. I've now got all new (Citro-Classique) upholstery in black Targa and this in fact may be the first serious chapter in the vehicle's restoration. Arse about I know but I find if I do things when everything is at hand they get done, if I leave it, I lose critical bits.

    After humming and hahing about paint finish I'm going down the acrylic clear coat over acrylic option which, like Matthew, (mnm) means I can do it myself. I hope I can achieve his quality but he sets a high bar. I've decided on Bleu Lagune with the Black targa interior. I'm departing a little from tradition with a metallic silver roof since I think it visually lowers the line of the car a little compared to a white roof. I'm not going to add any Pallas bling but I have acquired the formed aluminium scuttle panels for heat protection.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-bleu-lagune-ac-639.jpg

    SF.
    Last edited by ScotFrog; 13th August 2015 at 01:15 PM.

  2. #2
    mnm
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    Awesome... looking forward to your posts. Great colour choice... if I wasn't obsessed with having a red interior it would have been on my short list.

    Some inspiration for you.



    Matthew
    Last edited by mnm; 12th August 2015 at 08:58 PM.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! ScotFrog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnm View Post
    Awesome... looking forward to your posts. Great colour choice... if I wasn't obsessed with having a red interior it would have been on my short list.

    Some inspiration for you.



    Matthew
    I'm suitably inspired.
    The waist line bling is something I have agonised over. I don't particularly want to add the strips (although I do like them) but I am worried if I am making a rod for my own back in terms of fairing the panels and achieving flawless alignment. Any comments?

    I meant to add to my first post that I was advised by an AF member to look at getting the seat trims from Citro-Classique. I have to say their service was nothing short of impressive.
    I enquired about the interior options Monday 27th July and decided to import the parts I needed in 2 lots to avoid the GST quotient. I ordered Lot 1 and paid on the Wednesday 29th. First pack arrived on Friday 7th Aug but blow me down Lot 2 arrives yesterday Wednesday 12th and I hadn't ordered it or even paid for it! I transferred the balance this morning.
    The quality looks excellent at this stage and according to other AFers they fit well. I'll post the results.
    I went on line on Tuesday per your PM re. hog pliers and found what I was looking for, paid Tuesday afternoon and they arrived by courier the following morning. Am I on a roll or what?
    Also if you look at the photos in my first post you will see the door mirrors. They look after market but fit impeccably. I'm planning to source the stalk type mirrors only for the sake of originality but again, comments sought.

    SF

  4. #4
    mnm
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    The strips are a personal choice for sure... some like the clean lines. I added mine to break up the red a bit but also because I love the styling of the rear reflectors that join the strips. The crease lines on my car were fine however the driver's door had been in a bungle so had lots of filler and a "fake"crease line as a result. I had to replicate this when I refilled the door ready for primer. Silly me forgot to measure the height of the crease at the rear end of the door so it is a tad lower now. When I affixed the strips, which fit above the crease line, it hides the fault. My point is if there is some slight variation you can disguise it somewhat with the placement of the strips.

    Regarding the mirrors, my car had a bolt on driver's side mirror only when I inherited it. I drilled holes to mount the CIPA 54s which you can see in my pic above. I know they are not period for your model D but I much prefer them the the later larger style.

    After 3 yrs the plastic surround on these mirrors has started to crack... I have ordered a Mirror Cool set to replace them from Retrospec Parts. The kit comes with the silicon? longer lasting surrounds and also convex replacement mirrors. The CIPA mirrors are reproduction but seem good quality otherwise. The stalks looked a bit weathered when I was painting the car so before I reinstalled them I buffed them up on my polishing wheel and they have come up all smooth and shiny again.

    Do you still want me to post the hog rings?

    Cheers
    Matthew

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! ScotFrog's Avatar
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    Thanks for comments Matthew. The pliers came with some hog rings but not enough to finish all seats. If you could post them I'd be grateful and can return what I don't use if need be.

    SF

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    mnm
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    OK shall do. No need to return any.

    Matthew

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    Fellow Frogger! ScotFrog's Avatar
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    Suitably enthused with my Citro-Classique packages, my hog-ring plier kit and a trawl through the AF upholstery links I spent Saturday preparing the operating theatre.
    First build the operating table. This was complicated somewhat by the fact that I limited myself to1200 x 1800 x 25mm chipboard sheets and a few dozen 1200x75x59 pine scantlings for structure and the necessity for the bench to act as a temporary housing for the car's various panels. It took a few hours but the result is solid and a good working surface.1974 D-Special Restoration.-bench1.jpg

    The dowels seen below act as spacers for the car's panels and the faraway section houses the two wedge shaped front guards. At 1200mm wide the panels sit snug out of harm's way. The top of the bench is partly clad with underfelt and partly with 3mm rubber.
    Total outlay 1 box of Tek screws and a small bottle of PVA glue.

    So far it's been great and the first part of the restoration started which was the rear seat and squab.

    Photographs seem to be the best way to record this with comments where applicable.
    Of course they upload in reverse order but that means you can wince at the finished result first then ignore the process.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats19.jpg Trial fit.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats18.jpg
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats17.jpg The hardest area of all. Filling these pockets.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats16.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats15.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats14.jpg

    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats13.jpgInside out and peel on. as opposed to.....
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats12.jpgPutting a condom on a rhinoceros.1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats11.jpg
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats10.jpgFinished seat
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats9.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats8.jpgSquaring up.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-hogrings.jpgHog-rings and hog-ring pliers.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats7.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats6.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats5.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats4.jpgFit.

    The starting point.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats3.jpg1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats2.jpg
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-seats1.jpg

    I was pleasantly surprised by how easy this whole exercise was. The quality of the Citro-Classique covers is excellent and although no clues or instructions come with them, it all makes sense particularly if you take heaps of progress photos to remind you where things go. The hog-ring approach makes this trimming, not upholstery. I didn't add any sheet foam nor felt I needed to but a couple of box- corners needed some judicious stuffing to fill them. There are a couple of creases where the covers leave evidence of having been folded for packing but I think one good hot day will take care of that.
    The finished result was very satisfying and in fact sitting in the back seat feels like sitting in a new car.

    Front seats next weekend if Matthews spare hog rings arrive in time.

    One very smug ScotFrog

  8. #8
    mnm
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    That looks great Iain... yes my covers did the same thing at the two corners next to the armrest... I haven't packed them out yet... probably never will...haha. The covers are quite ample so don't be precious with them, if that's the right word. Mold them into place so to speak.

    Pacing yourself over weekends is a good idea too... I did mine on a time budget..my hands ached for a week afterwards.

    Oh, your work table looks awesome... what a great idea. Certainly save your back.

    Matthew

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Peter Chisholm's Avatar
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    What a great result and well worth the trouble and effort. It's stating the obvious but renewed upholstery makes a massive difference.

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! ScotFrog's Avatar
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    And it was all going so well too.
    I got at the job on Saturday morning and thought... "An hour and a half per seat, no worries ... finished by lunchtime."

    4 hours later I've got the seat portion of the passenger's side done and not looking too shabby but no way will the squab sit right. I finally decided that I need to pack up the cushioning to fill the covers properly and compensate for several decades' of foam collapse. I put it aside and stripped the driver's side seat and called it a day.

    I also discovered that Citro-Classique had sent a left hand drive front carpet instead of right hand drive. I emailed him and got a prompt response apologising for error and informing me he would post off the replacement as soon as possible. I said I'd post a statement here in case by chance anyone has a LHD car looking for new grey front carpeting. Proceeds to be sent to Citro-Classique. Any takers?

    Talking about takers my Dee had the extended headrests and the replacements came with new frames. lovely stainless ones but I've decided to use the originals since they are slightly different. I have therefore spare frames, carriers and the padded covers to use as patterns in case anyone wishes to fit them to their car. No cost, just courier charges.

    No photos this time, too ashamed. I'll post photos when I'm happy with the result. I thought Matthew was being a bit wimpish when he said he suffered after doing all his upholstery in one hit. What a hero! No way could I have done that.

    SF
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  11. #11
    mnm
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    LOL... no just getting older!

    Matthew

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! ScotFrog's Avatar
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    Default Headlights

    Finally another weekend which I could devote to 'Sue'.
    Per my work habits I have focussed on tackling a task manageable 'go to woah' within the continuous time-frame allotted to that task. This, for me avoids the embarrassment of dismantling one month then trying to remember what goes back a month later. Or worse, trying to find that all too irreplaceable part which you know you put somewhere safe.

    Headlights.

    Sue came with one right hand assembly and three left hand assemblies. one left hand glass, two right hand glasses.
    The best left and right buckets were intact but shabby and someone had tried to clean them up with a spray can .... over dirt, crap and greasy finger prints. Dismantling is simple but results in upwards of 20 parts per side. (compare that with a car bought today). Most plastic parts were showing evidence of UV degradation which responded well to Steve's (Forumnorreason) technique of immersion in boiling water for a minute. A couple of the plastic adjustment buttons were split but with 3 left hand assemblies to scavenge there were no issues.1974 D-Special Restoration.-lights-before_after.jpg

    The plated metal parts were not shiny and bling looking but the plating was completely uncompromised so I elected to clean and re-install, leaving re-plating (and losing) for a later refurbishment.
    Stripping the light buckets was tedious since I wanted to avoid scoring or damaging the surfaces but getting the flaking paint off meant scraping (I did not want to risk paint strippers) and sanding. The rubber sealing strips were a pain since the glue had baked over the years to a residue harder than the plastic so I had to be very careful not to gouge. About three hours per side was required to get to this stage.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-lightbucketstripped.jpg

    Wet and dry (400 grit) for about another hour then etch prime, high build primer, more wet and dry (800-1200 grit), two coats of primer then satin finish top coat with 'Dune' which is the Bunnings very close equivalent of the original paint colour. I found that if I let the paint flash off to touch dry then spray a light mist from about 500mm away it was possible to get a very credible similar to original look.

    Assembly of the cleaned, painted parts took about an hour per side.
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-lightsassembled.jpg
    Two questions remain for the gurus.
    1. The glasses came up well but the lettering codes for left and right are different. Is it legal to register a vehicle with this problem?
    2. Both glasses are very lightly pitted (stone chips) about one chip per 100mm square. Not visible unless you look close. Is this roadworthy?
    1974 D-Special Restoration.-lights-glass.jpg

    SF.

  13. #13
    Administrator GreenBlood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScotFrog View Post
    Two questions remain for the gurus.
    1. The glasses came up well but the lettering codes for left and right are different. Is it legal to register a vehicle with this problem?
    2. Both glasses are very lightly pitted (stone chips) about one chip per 100mm square. Not visible unless you look close. Is this roadworthy?


    SF.
    Hard to tell from the pictures but it looks like you may have a mixed pair of headlight glasses, one being a Cibie and one being a Marshall? Not a problem for roadworthy and likewise with the small stonechips.

    You could apply a clear self adhesive stoneguard to the glass, this will disguise the stone chips and offer future protection, if you are so inclined this is the time to do it - before they are refitted to the guards.

    Cheers
    Chris
    74 D(very Special) >>Rejuvenation Thread<<
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    "Déesse" Roland Barthes, 'Mythologies', 1957

    The Déesse has all the characteristics of one of those objects fallen from another universe that fed the mania for novelty in the eighteenth century and a similar mania expressed by modern science fiction: the Déesse is first and foremost the new Nautilus.

    (Umberto Eco [Ed], The History of Beauty, Rizzoli, NY, 2004)

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! ScotFrog's Avatar
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    Yes Chris, they are SEV and Cibie glasses. I'll definitely look at that stoneguard option before re-assembly. It may save me a bit of angst in the future (we live on a gravel road).

    SF

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