a gzillion questions...

sunbeamsam

Active Member
Just bough ‘the Snail’ – John Russell’s 1966 Autosleeper.

Did 100 odd miles on Saturday and about another 150 yesterday – my poor ears! She is urgently in need of alloys, suspension drop, stereo and an overdrive. When these important things are done I can then tend to the little jobs such as the fuel leak / fumes in the cab / iffy brakes.

I’ve got a few questions for the wiser of you (please start new threads if you think it would help future reference).

1. Wheels: The Commer PCD is pretty common: http://www.bikerlifestyle.co.uk/tech/pcd/pcd.html but what wheels are people out there using (ie what can I search for on ebay – I’m after revolution 5-spokes to colour code to the body) – I believe some people have had the ‘bore’ opened up – what wheels require this? Rover SD1?

2. Tyres: Has anyone had any clearance issues? – say with something like 15x6 on 195s?

3. Suspension: The front looks like a quick kiss from mr angry the angle grinder will help it loose and inch or two. The back looks a bit harder – how much lower has taking out a couple of leaves had on peoples vans? Body roll is significant – has anyone out there played with thicker / extra (rear) anti roll bars / stiffer shocks?

4. Engine: I’ll be putting a Holbayish motor (induction tbc…bike carbs…tbs…) in with OD gearbox – are there and clearance / linkage issues? Does the engine fit canted over or does it need to go in ‘vertical’?

5. Brakes: I’ve got drums all round and no servo – is this the standard configuration or did the later vans have discs up front? Those with servos are they straight forward to pumb in or have people just got them working on the front wheels?

Many thanks
 

commeracer

Well-Known Member
hi sam :) nice new purchase [^] wheels can be rover sd1,p5 or early jeep cherokee (127mm pcd). dozer fitted sd1 alloys by boring the centre and stud holes for sleeve nuts.
dave and will both have modded brakes/suspension , remote servo or bigger bore m/cylinder are easy mods.
i think the motor has to be vertical to get the gear linkage right.
all commers are drum braked
hope this helps, sounds like the snail is in for some treatment [^]:p:D

"you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off no.3"
 

Panky

Administrator
Staff member
Lots of chat about lowering has gone on around here. Will took a couple of leaves off the rear, some are springy some are for height I can't remember which is which but if you search 'lowering' I'm sure you'll find the thread. I know Tim (commeracer) in particular isn't a fan of chopping the front springs as it creates uneven stresses in the coils by loosing the flat end of the spring. I seem to remember someone mentioning shorter springs can be found out there. This also brings on the problem of ride height, Will added some reinforcing to the front suspension just in case of grounding. Not trying to put you off or anything done properly it will be an improvement (fancy having a go myself ;)). Going the Rapier engine O/D box myself but don't hold your breath, I'll let everyone else make the mistakes first :I

'Harvey the RV'
 

sunbeamsam

Active Member
Just lifted the following from a SD1 forum on wheels...

"Rover sd1 wheels will fit the following: Rover P5, Rover P6 (Four cylinder and V, Rover SD1, Jeep Grand Cherokee to 99/2000, Jensen interceptor, Jensen CV8, they also have the same stud pattern as the following, but I cannot guarantee that they will have the correct offset: Jeep Cherokee Austin 1800, Austin-Healy 3000, Buick - LeSabre, Centurion, Riviera, Electra 1935 to 1987, Cadillac - DeVille and Fleetwood, 1939 to 1989, - SeVille 1977 to 1979, Chevrolet -3/4 ton vans, Chevrolet - Bel Air, Biscayne, Impala, Caprice, Kingswood 1971 to 1976 - above with HD package wagons 1977 to 1989 - Blazer 2WD 1971 to 1983, Chrysler Imperial 1967 to 1971, Ford LTD 1973 to 1975, Ford - Thunderbird 1972 to 1976 - Galaxie, LTD, Custom 1973 to 1978, Lincoln, all except Versailles, 1960 to 1967 and 1973 to 1979, Mercury - all 1955 to 1960 - Cougar, XR7 1973 to 1977, Oldsmobile - all fullsize RWD, 1940 to 1997, Packard - all 1951 to 1955, Pontiac - all fullsize RWD from 1940 to 1986"

time for some ebaying...
 

commerchris

Moderator
Staff member
Excellent choice of van [^]what a beauty [8D]hope you enjoy her & get to some of the meets this year.Go steady with the mods [:0]only joking go for it :pGood luck with the wheels :D[}:)]:D

"RAN"the van & N0.1
 

commerjules

Active Member
quote:
Originally posted by Panky

Going the Rapier engine O/D box myself but don't hold your breath, I'll let everyone else make the mistakes first :I

'Harvey the RV'



Thats me making those mistakes. New one every day. Now its the Holbay exhaust and stromberg manifold dont mate as different thinknesses.

Cheers
Jules

RatSport www.ratsport.co.uk
 

commerjules

Active Member
I machined a spacer & fitted minilites. Hassly but nice period look IMHO

Servos here;)
http://shop1.actinicexpress.co.uk/shops/Rat_Sport/index.php?cat=Brake_Servo__Remote_&ActinicSID=67d069ca509c5505ff6c5597f8ebe920



Cheers
Jules

RatSport www.ratsport.co.uk
 

Panky

Administrator
Staff member
Oh no [:0] But I'm sure you'll battle on showing that pioneering spirit that made this country Great. And then post a shed load of pictures so the amateurs like me can copy :I

'Harvey the RV'
 

Panky

Administrator
Staff member
quote:
Originally posted by commerjules

Servos here;)


RatSport www.ratsport.co.uk



Definitely on the wish list :p

'Harvey the RV'
 

sunbeamsam

Active Member
I took the drums off yesterday to have a look at the condition of the brakes - and much to my pleasant surprize all looks pretty brand new and not even worn in.

Good excuse to try and notch up a few more miles this weekend to bed them in!

Don't worry I'm not planning to savagely modify 'the snail' too much. Wheels are reversable and I think a mildly warmer 1725 and overdrive are acceptable 'period' mods.

Have now got my mits on a spare alloy headed 1725 (needing rebuild) and few other keys parts. Got to drive to South Wales on Sunday to pick up a few more random purchases (OD box). Will then probably start pricing up a rebuilt and get the ball rolling. Want have the new engine ready to go before I take the old one out so she's not off the road too long.

Has anyone (Jules?) tried fitting the H120 hunter type gearbox? the overdrive is bigger than on the minx type, and there are more spines on the prop. Interested to know if there are any linkage issues.

Photos to follow - honest!

Thanks for the servo details
 

commerjules

Active Member
Yes the box & O/D is in place. That was relatively easy compared with fitting the Holbay extractor. [B)]


DSC03673.jpg




Cheers
Jules

RatSport www.ratsport.co.uk
 

commerjules

Active Member
Sorry just realised you cant see much from that pic. I'll try to take one from underneath if anyone interested.

Cheers
Jules

RatSport www.ratsport.co.uk
 

sunbeamsam

Active Member
Please do Jules - as many as poss! particularly of gearbox / OD area / carb clearance / horse fanny mould area

Will order one of you servos - have you got one on your van? could you include a picture of how you've got it mounted - save me some head scratching.

Found and alloy sump last night... mmm
 

commeracer

Well-Known Member
looking good jules [8D] keep it coming :p is it a big clearance issue with the pipe [?]

"you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off no.3"
 
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