Project Zella

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This topic contains 113 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  secretagentcat 1 week, 3 days ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 26 through 50 (of 114 total)
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  • #268216

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    I’m going to try to keep the clutter to a minimum in this thread, so I’ll quickly answer your questions with rhetorical question.  Why does it matter so much to you whether or not I masked a license plate in a picture?

    So please, let’s keep the rest of this thread on track and get back to the car.  Thumbs Up
    I didn’t realize these came without seat belts.  So plenty to read about on that subject with a simple search.

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268217

    scubasteve
    Participant

    @scubasteve

    OH_Varmntr wrote:
     Were BCW’s delivered with a ballast box for the front?  I’ve read about the sand-filled boxes but mine doesn’t have one.

    About front end ballast; I was talking to my VW mechanic and he said he used lead shot in bags for years, then one of them broke open and he wound up with lead BB’s everywhere. Bad for steering.
    I think sand could be even worse.
    Having a background with scuba diving, I have (literally) TONS of scuba diving weights I use for ballast. Nice things about them are, they come in predetermined weight units;i.e 1,2,5,&6 lbs, they wouldn’t spring a leak, and aren’t that expensive. You WOULD need to find a scuba shop to purchase them, though.
    Just an idea…

    Amor Conquista Todo

    #268218

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    Are the ballasts used just to lower the stance of the front end or do they improve the driving performance of the car as well? If I dont need it, Id love to have the extra trunk storage space. Ill add drop spindles to lower the front end and loose the box of rocks.
    Thanks in advance for the advice!

    #268219

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Thanks for that!  I work at a steel mill and am able to source some pretty hefty steel plate pieces for scrap price.  I should be able to hide them here and there if needed.  

    But I guess I’m getting the cart before the horse, so to speak.  I haven’t even driven her to see how she handles.
    I ran through all of the receipts today.  I found the original invoice from BCW dated November 11th, 1983.  The wholesale price for the rear-engine kit was $5,495.00 since he was a Representative, plus a $150.00 crating charge.  However, my grandpa must have driven to Arnold, Pennsylvania to visit the factory after he became a Representative because he has a $119.78 credit for “Less hotel, food and gasoline expense”.  He paid a grand total of $5,525.22 for the kit.  It was shipped via Helms/Byrns freight company on November 18th, 1983.  The bill of lading states 566 pounds total shipping weight which cost him an additional $110.89.  
    I also found the $736.50 receipt for the 1969 VW Beetle chassis and engine.  Grandpa had the engine rebuilt prior to installing it in the car and the rebuild cost was included in the $736.50.
    Another interesting find was a receipt to have glass installed in the windshield frame.  I’m not sure if he broke the original out or if they came without the glass installed from BCW?  Anyways, it was Feb 18th, 1984 and it cost him $73.33.  Okay I found out that the instructions stated to have glass cut and installed.  Solves that.
    I’ve taken pictures of a lot of the documents and will upload them sometime soon.  I’m assuming it is okay to display these documents even though some are legal agreements?  I guess I’ll hold off on those until I know better.  I’ll redact any information I don’t deem necessary to show, but what do you guys think?

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268220

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    secretagentcat wrote:
    Are the ballasts used just to lower the stance of the front end or do they improve the driving performance of the car as well? If I dont need it, Id love to have the extra trunk storage space. Ill add drop spindles to lower the front end and loose the box of rocks.
    Thanks in advance for the advice!
    I’m assuming the ballast boxes were just a quick and cheap way to “soften” the front suspension.  I think we’re all aware of the correct way (torsion leaf removal) now, but back then they may not have been aware of it, or they chose not to include that information?

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268221

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    So cool, Bryce, that you have all that paperwork. I have all mine too???or most of it???we should compare notes. My car’s builder still lives at the address I found in the build package, so I won’t be putting that up here…

    Ballast: I’m against it, I think these cars can be made to handle pretty well without it, and lighter is better, in general, when making a car. This is especially true for cars pushed with a 1600cc engine.
    That said, Paul’s car has some weight up front. I think he said it was 80 or 100 pounds. And it worked pretty darn well for him for 30+ years. 
    #268222

    scubasteve
    Participant

    @scubasteve

    secretagentcat wrote:
    Are the ballasts used just to lower the stance of the front end or do they improve the driving performance of the car as well? If I dont need it, Id love to have the extra trunk storage space. Ill add drop spindles to lower the front end and loose the box of rocks.
    Thanks in advance for the advice!

    They are to keep the front end of VW powered cars from lifting at higher speed.That keeps the steering from getting squirrelly.  I don’t have any weight in my LR, and around 60~65mph the steering gets feeling lighter. Not a big problem, as I don’t go over 55mph very often. If you know it’s going to happen, you can prepare for it.

    Amor Conquista Todo

    #268223

    sabreur76
    Keymaster

    @sabreur76

    I lowered the pressure on my tires to 18 psi front and 24 psi rear and the handling and steering improved dramatically without the need for ballast.  In a couple of weeks, when I go to Ed’s Liftapalloza, I hope to remove the short torsion bars and see how that feels.

    Vicenç - (bee sense)
    Pembroke Pines, FL
    1983 FiberFab MiGi II - "Montse"

    #268224

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    Thanks again my friends! The advice, here, is the best there is. Were really blessed to have so many Wise Guys with us

    #268225

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Vicenc, if you can get Ed’s experienced advice on removing the small leaves from your torsion beam assembly, you will be amazed at the result.  Your ride will be much smoother and more comfortable and controllable.  It’s the right fix. 

    #268226

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    So gauge accuracy seem to be a hot topic with these cars.  I’ve always enjoyed the look of vintage aircraft instruments and I’ll eventually be purchasing some old instruments and will install stepper motors in them to make my own gauges for Zella’s cockpit.

    Microprocessors that are capable of this (like an Arduino for less than $30) are easily affordable nowadays and with a little learning curve, anyone can write programs to control a speedometer, tachometer, fuel pressure, oil pressure or engine temp gauges.  You get the idea.  I’m an electrician so I’m already quite familiar with programming PLCs (which these microprocessors essentially are).

    Here’s a few quick videos of a guy who did the same.  This can be done very cheaply and uniquely with a bit of imagination.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K46WlJbMqsg

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0Fx54lI9FE

    Here’s an example of an aircraft instrument that will be used. 

    OH_Varmntr2016-06-06 08:44:50

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268227

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    I love that story.

    #268228

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Here’s grandpa’s briefcase that he did the leatherwork on.  I’m finding out more and more about him and his skills.  He was a barber, a leathersmith, sold insurance, and finally a Rep for British Coach Works prior to his death. 

    And inside of it…

    Again, once we get a rainy day I’ll scan most everything I have to share with you folks.

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268229

    scubasteve
    Participant

    @scubasteve

    HOW COOL IS THAT!!!Thumbs UpThumbs Up  StarStarStarStar

    Amor Conquista Todo

    #268230

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    From what we’re reading about you, it seems that your Grand Father’s skills have been passed on to you. I’m a huge James Bond fan and I think we should nick name You Q and your garage Q Lab!

    I’m really enjoying this thread. I can’t believe the great stuff you found with your car. I wish I had half of what you’ve got! Keep the stories and pictures coming! Beer
    #268231

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Thank you guys very much!  I only wish I had a lab, and if everything goes the way I have it in mind, next year there will be at least a 40×60 building be erected in my yard.  My lovely wife agreed to it last year but then we discovered a baby would be making way into our lives so we decided to hold off a year.  

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268232

    ricrx7
    Participant

    @ricrx7

    Very nice looking car.  Those of us with front engine BCW cars have little info on how they were built.  If any of your documents have sections or info on the Chevette BCW, copies of that would be much appreciated.  And welcome to the site.  The members here are the best.

    1986 British Coach Works Type 52 (Sammy)
    1952 MGTD Volvo engine (for sale)

    #268233

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    As to how they were built…
    When a Chevette and an MG TD love eachother very very much…

    #268234

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    secretagentcat wrote:
    As to how they were built…
    When a Chevette and an MG TD love eachother very very much…

     

    Haha now that’s funny!
    ricrx7, I do have some information on the front-engined offerings of the Model 52, but it’s mostly sales brochures and information for those interested in them.  I don’t have much technical details for them.  The assembly manual I have is for the VW-based version.  I will give you all I have on them though.

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268235

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    We had a family reunion today on my mom’s side so I brought the briefcase along.  I sat it on the table and a few family members knew immediately that they had seen it before and were super happy that I was able to buy the car.

    So we spent the next hour or so looking through photo albums that my great-aunt had that had various pictures of my grandma and grandpa in the car.  I was also given approximately 30 spools of 8 and Super8 films and a projector.  As much as he loved this car, there has to be footage of it somewhere.  I learned much about my grandpa today that I didn’t know.  
    One thing was certain amongst everyone there; he loved that car and was extremely proud of it.

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268236

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Wow. You are doing it right.

    #268237

    scubasteve
    Participant

    @scubasteve

    This story gets better every day.
    It’s always great to hear about one’s family members from those those who knew them.
    It’s also cool that there are some actual movies of your Grandpa and his car.
    You should see if there is some way to post them on YouTube….We’d love to see them!

    Amor Conquista Todo

    #268238

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Love this story! Thumbs Up

    Paul Mossberg
    1982 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #268239

    oh_varmntr
    Participant

    @oh_varmntr

    Well my wife and I watched 5 or 6 rolls of 8mm the other night.  1969 Worlds Fair in Montreal, Mackinac Bridge, and a few videos from his time in the Navy in 1955.  Some really neat videos of their gunships doing weapons training in the ocean off of Japan.

    Nothing of the car at this time.  I figured since he was sort of a nostalgic type he would have taken some video of it with his 8mm just for the fun of it.  I still might find it since I have about 15 more rolls to watch.  I’m taking most of them to be digitized so if I find some rolls of the car I’ll get it up online for you guys.  The family member that gave me the rolls said that there were other boxes containing videos and rolls that were thrown away after my grandma died and their stuff was sorted through.  They had so much stuff that nobody wanted and some of it got thrown away.

    {-Zella-}
    1984 BCW Model 52 kit on a
    1969 VW 1500cc drivetrain

    #268240

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Bet the car is on video. Don’t forget: it was the early 80s by the time BCW was up and running. The time of Videos…

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