Sunbeam Rapier Owners Club
Sunbeam Rapier Owners Club
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Gallery
 Your Restorations
 Fastback interior restoration
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
New posts at top
New posts at bottom
Previous Page | Next Page
Author  Topic Next Topic
Page: of 3

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2021 :  19:19:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
HEATER CONTROL PANEL (AND INSTRUMENT SURROUND)

I had painted the original heater control panel years ago. This had some damage on the corner, and where one of the controls had rubbed. I had another panel amongst my spares, so started with this.



I sent the panel to the same company who had successfully refinished the vents. They offered to paint the black after refinishing the chrome sections too! After about six weeks I began to worry, so contacted the company. They said that they needed a couple more days on the part, and would then return it. When it arrived home I was very disappointed!



The chrome areas were fine, but the black areas were not! The chrome process had left several runs. These had been painted over using a semi-gloss black paint (which highlighted the problems) and the masking had not be done to an acceptable standard. I put the part to one side and carried on with other jobs.

After a few weeks, I decided to try to improve the part. I firstly bent the end of a tapered needle file slightly upwards to reduce the risk of scratching, and after masking the chrome areas, used this to remove the worst of the runs. I then used wet and dry paper with plenty of soapy water to flat the black areas. This process took the majority of an afternoon to achieve a suitable surface.

After carefully masking the chrome areas, I airbrushed the black areas using many thin coats of matt black paint, flatting as necessary until a suitable finish was achieved. For the detailing I used Humbrol model paints and a good quality code 000 brush. For the lettering I used Humbrol satin white 130, applying three coats. The S in Screen was the biggest challenge, as the definition of the moulding here had been mostly lost by the chroming process. For the red I used Humbrol 174, paying particular attention to the corners and making sure the sides of each block were parallel. For the blue, (which is a particularly distinctive shade) I found Humbrol 89 to be the closest match.







I am happy with the result! For a while, I though this would not be salvageable! I wouldn't put another heater control panel through this process. The parts are too rare to risk, especially when considering the cost of the process. I think I have (just) managed to get away with it!

I am lucky that the instrument surround on my car has the majority of its original vacuum metalising intact.



I have found a company in America who claim to be able to refinish our instrument surrounds and heater panels to at least as good as factory standards. If I can get hold of another heater control panel and an instrument surround I will send them off and see what they can do! I have had several over the years, but have given these away to other club members. Ideally I need ones which have not been overpainted, but will consider any I can get. This is because heavy previous abrasion to the surface, or the use of certain paints even when removed may make them unsuitable for the process apparently, (I don't want to pay to send the parts to America, only to have them returned). If you have any you are willing to part with, please send me a PM, I would be most grateful!


Edited by - AAA on 20 Sep 2021 07:45:14
Go to Top of Page

Panky

United Kingdom
64 Posts

Posted - 16 Sep 2021 :  20:50:50  Show Profile  Visit Panky's Homepage  Send Panky an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Even on close inspection that is superb.
Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 17 Sep 2021 :  19:21:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
CENTRE CONSOLE

When I bought the car, it still had its original centre console. The side strips were missing, (these get hit repeatedly by the seatbelt buckles every time the seat is tipped forwards) and the aluminium surrounding the gear stick was held down with rusty screws. I removed this and fitted a black plastic version from a scrapped 1969 H120. This has now been in the car for over twenty years.

I put a request out through the forum earlier this year for a replacement of the correct type. I was offered two, a green one from an automatic car with most of the aluminium trim present, and a black one from a manual car with very little aluminium trim, but the correct piece to fit around the gear stick present. I stripped both down, and used the black plastic base as a starting point.

The green console being taken apart.




I cleaned up the back plastic base, then gave this a rub over with back shoe polish. I spent some time knocking dents out of the aluminium sections and side strips, (each side trim took around an hour to get straight and remove all of the dents). Each part was then cleaned and flatted using various grades of wet and dry paper and soapy water until a suitable finish was achieved. I used matt black stripe tape, (as was done originally) on the centre of the side trims. I had one piece of aluminium missing, (the piece on the back) so this was made from new 0.8mm aluminium sheet and faced to match the rest. I made new staples for the side strips using staples from the staple gun and reshaping them. The staples were sprayed matt black and the strips fitted with the staples, bending the ends of the staples outwards on the underside. Interestingly, according to the parts book any replacement side trims bought new as service replacements came with self tapping screws!

I made a new padded base for the cubby from plywood, foam and black vinyl, (the original has a hardboard backing). I also made a new gaiter for the gear stick on the sewing machine by copying the holed remains of an original.

The aluminium surrounding the gear stick is held in place with three strips of aluminium underneath attached with epoxy resin. Over time these come adrift and the aluminium lifts upwards, (especially when selecting first and third gear). I refitted the aluminium using the original method, but I also added a long self-tapping screw through the inner edge of the black steel surround at the base of the gaiter. This runs tight under the plastic base towards the front ashtray. This should add strength and stop this problem.

I bought a new cigarette lighter socket and fitted this, adding my original cigarette lighter. I had several old sockets, but these were all corroded. There are several new illuminated ones available with a bigger diameter than ours. The illuminated ring is easily removed, giving a socket identical in size and appearance to our original ones.

I put the console to one side. This will be the last piece to fit to the interior.


Go to Top of Page

Commerlad

United Kingdom
49 Posts

Posted - 18 Sep 2021 :  21:22:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You could find the glue you have used on the vents is harder to undo than the cyan-acrylate.

Which can be easily separated by immersing in hot water.


Sometimes I think laterally, but then I have to get up!
Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2021 :  09:20:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
D-POST AND REAR ROOF TRIM

Not something I have done recently, but something I made when I first bought the car! I thought this might be worth including as it is often a problem in most Rapiers, (although not fastback Alpines as they don't have the same trim).

The padded trim above the rear seat is often in poor condition. In my car it was badly misshapen and breaking up. The original trim was made up of a hardboard backing, covered with a type of hard foam and covered in thin vinyl. I suspect these were made in a vacuum press. Very early cars had a slightly different, (but similarly problematic) rubberised version.

I used the original trim as a pattern and cut three sections of hardboard. I fitted the side pieces to the car using the original clips. I soaked the ends of the top section in boiling water and bent this roughly to shape. When I fitted this I found the hardboard had shifted slightly when being bent, so modified the paper template and tried again. Once I had the hardboard sections fitting well, I removed them from the car. I added a sheet of upholstery foam to each and stapled black vinyl over them. At the rear, (and front of the side sections) I folded the vinyl over on itself and used this overhang to tuck behind the glass seals to finish the edges.

These parts have now been in the car for well over twenty years and still look good. I might make some slight changes to the side pieces to neaten up their front edges a little, but this will be once everything else is finished.


Go to Top of Page

Commerlad

United Kingdom
49 Posts

Posted - 19 Sep 2021 :  18:18:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you do get the offer of any plastic parts that have been overpainted , then it can easily be stripped by soaking in Dettol. (In a sealed tub for 24 hrs ) then wash off and brush with a toothbrush. Will not affect the plastic and removes all traces of any type of paint.

Sometimes I think laterally, but then I have to get up!
Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2021 :  08:19:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks very much for your input, it is much appreciated!

The issue isn't so much removing the paint, more what the paint might have done to the underlying surface! I have had success removing paint from plastic just by gently scraping with a fingernail or credit card, soaking in hot water, a method similar to the one you suggest and even using chemical paint stripper under running water as a last resort. The black areas aren't a problem at all, just the chrome areas! Even with any overpainting visibly removed, there can apparently sometimes still be a problem with the final finish. I am still happy to take anything available and have a try though!
quote:
Originally posted by Commerlad

If you do get the offer of any plastic parts that have been overpainted , then it can easily be stripped by soaking in Dettol. (In a sealed tub for 24 hrs ) then wash off and brush with a toothbrush. Will not affect the plastic and removes all traces of any type of paint.

Sometimes I think laterally, but then I have to get up!

Go to Top of Page

Panky

United Kingdom
64 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2021 :  12:31:10  Show Profile  Visit Panky's Homepage  Send Panky an AOL message  Reply with Quote
I'm wondering if this product would be an alternative to the chroming process

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143950476786

Might be worth a try if you have any more little bits to do.
Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2021 :  12:37:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That's a good spot! Not come across this before. Might be worth a try!
quote:
Originally posted by Panky

I'm wondering if this product would be an alternative to the chroming process

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143950476786

Might be worth a try if you have any more little bits to do.

Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 20 Sep 2021 :  19:19:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SEAT BELTS

I fitted a pair of lap belts to the rear seats some years ago to strap a child seat in. These are a modern two point type, which can easily be tucked down out of sight behind the seat when not in use.



I sent the front belts away for re-webbing. I also had new chrome end plates and modern adjusters fitted. The adjusters are much easier to use than the originals, and aren't too obvious.





Two types of belts were available for the earlier fastbacks. A Kangol magnetic type, and a Britax latch type. The Britax version seems to have been the most common, and is the type fitted to my car. The decals on both type of buckles can get in a bit of a mess! The Britax ones especially lose most of their printing in the centre.

Replacement decals are available for the Kangol type, but I couldn't find any for the Britax belts. I sent off a few emails, eventually finding a company who were willing to make some! I sent them some dimensions and a poor quality photo of an original one from the 1971 model year brochure. Four days later, an envelope arrived...



Comparing these to the remains of my originals, they appear to be exactly right! Some time during production in 1971, the decals were changed to a simple PRESS type with no branding. I suspect my car was one of the last fitted with the original type.


Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 22 Sep 2021 :  19:46:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
FLOOR MATS

Many years ago, I salvaged some mats from a Rapier in a scrap yard. I don't think these were a genuine factory accessory, more likely Halfords or Motor Factor ones made specifically for the Hunter range. They fitted the car perfectly! They were made of a tough ribbed carpet, with a rubber heel pad on the driver's mat and all edged with a woven edge tape. After a good clean and a few repairs to the driver's side mat, these gave good service until I sold the car.

When I bought the car back, the mats had gone! I have managed for the last few years with some cheap rubber ones, but these have never fitted and always seem to be in the way.

I had some carpet left over from re-trimming the boot. This is tough and rubber-backed. I made paper patterns in the car, using what I could remember of the old mats. I edged each with some sew-on vinyl edging tape, (£1 per metre) and added a heel pad, (£2.30). I ordered some hold-down clips for the front mats from China. The bases of these are fixed into the car's carpet with a single metal spike, so only leave a small pin-hole in the carpets if removed.






Edited by - AAA on 22 Sep 2021 19:59:31
Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 25 Sep 2021 :  13:26:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
RADIO

When I first bought the car it still had the original MW/LW push button radio fitted, wired to the central dashboard speaker. There was also a tatty AM radio cassette floating in the glove box, (held in place only by its wiring) wired to a pair of speakers on the rear parcel shelf. I removed the original radio, (I still have this) and the radio cassette, (which went in the bin).

At Newark autojumble I found a Sony TC-24FA FM/AM radio cassette which looked the part and fitted using the existing surround panel and brackets. In those days cassettes were still common and easily available! I can't remember what I paid for it, but it wouldn't have been more than £5. I fitted this to the car, using the bridged-stereo method to make use of all three speakers, (the original centre speaker has a fairly high impedance, and the Sony unit can handle a load of surprisingly low impedance).

The radio has always worked perfectly, but the cassette deck has been temperamental! It always ran unsteadily initially, but cleared after fast-forwarding for a while. I put this down to worn drive belts, but never got around to attempting to fix it as it always got there eventually.

As the unit does look the part I have decided to keep it in the car, but to repair the cassette problem and smarten it up. Having removed the cover, I found a date stamp inside of 1975. I suspect this must have been a very expensive, top of the range radio when new! I don't remember having an FM radio in a new, modern car until the early 1990s!

The plate supporting the bottom flywheel bush had to be removed to replace the belts. Two of the three securing screws were missing, so someone had clearly been inside before! I struggled to get replacement screws, (an odd size, M2.8). I eventually tracked some down in a shop which sells radio controlled aircraft. I replaced the screws and belts and powered everything up - no improvement! Next, I cleaned the pinch roller, and lightly lubricated the capstan and motor bushes - still no improvement! I then focussed on the micro-switch which controls the motor when a tape is inserted, this proved to be the problem! I had to remove the AM radio tuner circuit board to get at it. I couldn't find a suitable replacement switch anywhere, so took the switch apart and refaced the contacts. Now back together, everything is working as it should. I touched a few marks in on the fascia and gave the case a fresh coat of spray paint. I used some millboard covered with vinyl between the black radio panel and the parcel shelf.

The unit is now back in the car, wired through a 14 terminal relay which in the off state connects it to the speakers.





Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 28 Sep 2021 :  17:30:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
8 TRACK PLAYER

Amongst the items I have collected over the years was an unused 8 track tape player. This was still sealed in its box, the box being date stamped 1972. It was complete with mounting brackets, fitting instructions and guarantee card.





Although badged Chrysler, it is in fact a Motorola unit, model number TM213S. It was the second type offered as an option for the Rapier, the first type is shown below, (sorry about the quality, it's the only picture I have of the early type). I think this was a Motorola TM204S with a modified fascia.




According to the instructions, it is to be fitted to the right of the steering wheel, this is because the steering lock fitted from 1971 takes up the space recommended for the earlier type unit.



...i'm not sure about the holes in the door panels for the speakers!

I followed the instructions to position the unit. The instructions require the fitting of a switch alongside the radio to switch the speakers across from the radio, but I used a relay instead! I added a wire to the player which puts out a 12v supply when a tape cartridge is inserted. This powers the 14 terminal relay which switches the speakers across from the radio to the 8 track player automatically. When the cartridge is removed, it switches the speakers back to the radio. The relay is mounted behind the dashboard just above the 8 track player. The sound quality is surprisingly good!






Edited by - AAA on 29 Sep 2021 11:00:17
Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 30 Sep 2021 :  18:18:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
SPEAKERS

The car originally had a central 8" x 5" speaker in the dashboard. There is also a pressing with cut-out under the rear parcel shelf on the off side for a rear oval speaker.

The front speaker in my car was breaking up around the edges of the cone, but still working. I removed this and looked at the options available to replace it. There are a variety of dual voice coil oval speakers available, but nothing which is a direct replacement for the one in our cars. The closest, (which may be suitable) is sold as an upgrade for the Triumph Stag. This is available from Moss, but quite expensive.

I opted for a pair of new two-way 3.5" Bassforce speakers. I have mounted these side-by-side in the original speaker hole in the dashboard. I wouldn't recommend them, as although they are advertised as being quite shallow, the central tweeters sit proud of the units. To get them to fit I had to cut the protective grilles off the tweeters.

In the rear, I still had the twin speakers which were in the car when I bought it. I removed the drivers, to find that they were very brittle and breaking up. I bought a pair of new Sony three-way speakers of the same size. I had to modify the chassis of the new speakers to get them to sit slightly higher in the old pods to enable the magnets to clear the rear shelf. I cleaned the pods and airbrushed the aluminium-finished edge, as this was getting very faint.




Considering the limitations of the space available, (I wasn't willing to cut holes in panels or add anything further to the parcel shelves) the sound quality isn't too bad, treble and mid range especially! If I can find a Stag DVC speaker at a sensible price, I may give this a try in the dashboard!
Go to Top of Page

AAA

46 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2021 :  13:07:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
ACCESSORIES AND FINISHING TOUCHES

Instruction book, 1971 authorised dealers, 1971 dealers Europe, 8 track instructions.



Key ring. Stamped Chrysler United Kingdom on the reverse. I have seen Hillman versions of these in the past too!



Spare keys. Key ring from the original supplying dealership.



Dealer sticker for the original supplying dealer, I had this made.



1971 Road atlas. 1970 Jet route planning cards.



The Jet route cards were a promotion from Jet Petrol. 4 cards were free with every 4 gallons of petrol. The whole country is covered in 36 double-sided cards. An additional 1/6d bought the two wallets and gazetteer! This set is stamped The Claregate Garage, 20th March 1970.



Pifco magnetic torch. Pifco President emergency lamp. An essential for the earlier fastback not fitted with hazard warning lights! The red lamp on top flashes, (when it has warmed up) and can be positioned to the offside rear of the car if broken down at night!






Go to Top of Page
Page: of 3  Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page | Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
New posts at top
New posts at bottom
Jump To:
Sunbeam Rapier Owners Club © 2009 Sunbeam Rapier Owners Club Go To Top Of Page
Snitz Forums 2000