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Helpful ReplyHot!Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto

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PartTimeMK2
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2023/12/08 12:36:57 (permalink)
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Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto

I edited my last post and it disappeared into the nether so trying again!


Hi All, been lurking for a long time and finally decided to post and share my project.

I've owned this car since I was 16, it was given to me by my father who was the second owner of the car - He bought it in the early 90's and it was my mum's daily driver for nearly my whole childhood, the car is basically a family heirloom. I'm a mechanic by trade and this was the first car I ever worked on but as a apprentice mechanic I never had the cash to give it the love it deserved. Fast forward 22 years after being burnt out on the auto industry, changing careers and the car sitting in a garage for the better part of 18 years it's time to restore it. 
 
Over the last two months I have started stripping the car, labelling everything, listing out what needs replacing, what can be saved and what needs to be done. The car came with lots of dealer add-ons like a tow bar, an alarm, a sunroof... so there are some sins from the past that need to be rectified on it's path back to being the car it deserves to be. 

So while I work my way through the car from front to back I'll document my progress for you all. The only mods she will be getting is suspension, brakes, light engine work with 45 webers, exhaust, LSD and a 5 speed trans (W50 Celica box which I already had). My aim is to keep it so everything can be easily put back to complete stock condition. Let's be real though, I'm never going to sell it .

Here are some photos of where it's at now - it's booked for the panel shop early next year so there are a few things I need to do to the shell before it goes for rust repairs and paint.
 
Engine will be out before Xmas - just took the transmission out today and sized up the tunnel for the 5 speed - looks like to do the conversion i'll need to remove the old mounts and widen the tunnel through the rear section where it narrows to the shifter. Keen for advice from anyone who has done this to a manual tunnel before!
 
 

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    PartTimeMK2
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/08 12:50:22 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Here is the section in question - I have the gearbox in bits at the moment and the steel case section fits with plenty of room and there seems to be plenty of clearance for the bell housing but here is where it will need some persuasion.
     
    Best to cut and patch or should I try my luck with heat and hammer? I'm leaning towards cut as the original mounts need to come out anyway and that way I can save them from too much damage.


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    martymexico
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/08 13:08:03 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Yeah mate I just cut mine along the floor and stretched it out about 60mm each side and re welded, then I cut the top and lifted it about 50mm at the stick hole...
    Or you could copy this method I did on my van 12yrs ago




    post edited by martymexico - 2023/12/08 13:22:09

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    martymexico
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/08 13:26:18 (permalink)
    +1 (1)


    Once I know where the stick hole was going to be, I used the original escort gearstick hole panel and used nutserts to screw it down, when the rubber cover is on it looks nearly factory original
    post edited by martymexico - 2023/12/08 13:29:36

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    PartTimeMK2
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/08 13:33:38 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Hi Marty! I was actually checking out your photos earlier and from looking at them it was making me lean toward cutting, looks like it can be done neatly enough with some time and patience.

    Did you weld new metal in when you went up 50mm or just stretch? If I'm not mistaken that was for your Zetec build and the pinto sits a bit lower already so that may not be needed?
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    martymexico
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/08 14:29:36 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby PartTimeMK2 2023/12/08 15:27:58
    +1 (1)
    Hey Mark
    I did find it easier to unspotweld the side of tunnel where it meets the top and then cut along the flat of the floor, this makes it easier to either stretch it out and then adjust floor to tunnel angles or build a new side panel which is what I did here. I did use new metal where I raised the stick area.

    On the mk1 coup I just threw out the old tunnel and built a brand new one higher and wider
    #6
    Drewdog
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/08 21:11:18 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Hello and welcome.
    Great car a story, similar to mine, the yellow one was my first car too although it doesn't have the family connection prior.
    Looks like a great base to start with, have always liked them in midnight blue, will be looking forward to seeing its progress. Theres lots of good brains on here so yell out if you need any advice or help finding any bits you may need.
    The forum can be a bit glitchy, I usually copy my posts, especially longer ones in case I loose them and have to paste them back in afterwards. 

    GT Cortina Project "The Ugly Duckling"
    #7
    PartTimeMK2
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/09 00:07:10 (permalink)
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    Hi Drew, Thanks for the welcome! I love hearing peoples car stories, it's what makes the hobby great. I had a gent from the panel shop that will be doing the body out today to look over the shell. He's pretty happy with it's condition and thinks it should go pretty smoothly.

    The biggest challenge with everything will be the roof, I'm on the hunt for a roof skin for it to get rid of the sunroof.
    #8
    martymexico
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/09 14:27:35 (permalink)
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    Sunroof lol, the body shop should be able to fabricate a sheet on the English wheel and joggle the roof cut edge to do a professional job plug welding it in. Like I done to my mk1 but in reverse..
    A mate of mine has a red RS which has a 80s sunroof, as it's a project like yours he likes the idea of using a factory sunroof from a Mazda 6 or bmw etc , think now he's got the whole roof with electric sunroof from a late model barina to splice in.
    My mk1 Escort has one from a Nissan Silvia , still a job in progress !
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/09 14:37:23 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Ahh yes the 1980s and putting sunroofs in everything.. name a more iconic duo .

    Yah the panel shop said there were plenty of options for getting rid of it but said the most straight forward is the donor roof skin so will try for that first. There is actually a completely stripped MK2 2 door shell in a vacant lot near me and has been sitting there for as long as I remember but he doesn't want to part with it unfortunately so the hunt continues.
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/09 14:45:43 (permalink)
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    Spend a few hours today sorting this lot - the engine bay side is done its just the interior side left to do. I've re-wrapped the engine bay side as the tape was getting super crusty, fixed up a few wires that were a bit dodgy and neatened it up. 
     
    Need to replace a few connectors and wire sections that have been hacked with scotch plugs but its mostly good. That can be tomorrows job though.
     
     
     

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    martymexico
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/09 15:52:38 (permalink)
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    Wiring, my favorite hate, give me a engine build or welding job any day !

    With the roof, a 4dr roof can be stitched in, it's only the C pillar that's different.. Depends on how the body shop would do it, properly from in the gutters or cut n shut all pillars hotrod style . Finding a 2dr for body panels will be good fun, it's gotta be beyond salvation these days before they chop up a shell
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    PartTimeMK2
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/09 17:36:13 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    I'm more confident with wiring than I am with welding that's for sure. Working on later model Volkswagens for years had me stitching wiring looms constantly. Rats love the wires in VWs cause of something in the wire sleeves, they will just go up inside the engine bay and munch away. 
     
    Nah they wont be cut and shutting just stitching in a skin once we find one. Good to know about the 4 door though, that will hopefully make things easier.
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/10 16:53:17 (permalink)
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    Wiring loom done - wires that had scotch plugs repaired, checked for resistance then re-wrapped with felt for interior side and engine loom tape for the exterior side. Its super interesting to pull apart one of these looms, they're actually pretty basic once you get into them. 

    The only thing I'm suspect on is the ignition switch loom, it had been butchered by the scotch plugs and there wasn't much left of the main yellow wire to repair. I would honestly prefer to replace it with another one but they're hard to come by.
     


     
    Here is the section I'm worried about long term, black wire is a little frayed at the connection and the yellow wires repair is super close to the connection at the switch. 
     

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    martymexico
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    Re: Marks Midnight 2dr 79 Mk2 RS2000 resto 2023/12/11 11:10:19 (permalink)
    +1 (1)
    Might want to throw a dob of sodder on that black wire and use some non conformant (?) paste to prevent future power outages on the loom.
    My yellow van a few years back kept clicking on ignition start and a spark came from battery lead, scratching my head for a while I extracted the complete loom and sat it on a table with dash, lights, fan, everything Inc starter motor which I needed to test for the problem... After finding nothing bad except a few wires needed a re sodder, I found out that it was the battery terminal that was made of some Chinese junk causing the sparks, quickly swapped it for a new brass one and all good
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