Initial Evaluation

Obviously AndyMcC and I have only really examined the bodywork in detail, for the mechanicals we have been guided only by the visual clues available to us. I like to give vans a name and they are a bit flowerpotish hence Bill and Ben, Bill being the red one we got first. There is a lot of bodywork to do, and fair to say that if these were 2wd panels we wouldn’t even think of doing it. I wouldn’t do a splitty this poor even though the finished product might be ‘worth a mint’.

I think that Bill is the one to get going first, as the running gear is evidently better maintained and the body is slightly the better of the two. And it will make a 6 seater. They are both AHF gearboxes thankfully so we can use the gearbox from Ben. I would suggest dropping the engine and gearbox together from Ben and seperating on the bench and also drop the engine from Bill and check it over on the bench before mating with gearbox. I’m not familiar enough with these engines to suggest more. We can then decide on which engine and gearbox mounts are in the best condition for reuse if possible, same with clutches and slave cyls ( I think Bill’s has siezed).

With the engine and gearbox out we can address any issues at the rear of Ben and it will be a lot easier to cut and replace the panels without these big bits in the way. The drive shafts should be stripped and overhauled, and the brakes inspected and fettled if necessary. For the bodywork I think we should liase with McGill, Marcus, CJ and AndyVan and look for one or more scrapping single cabs or dokas for cutting panels from, it’s mostly pickup specific panels that need replacing. The single cab I traded to McGill earlier this summer was loads better than these and would yield a lot for example. I’d like the finished truck to be solid, not too ugly and one colour so that we can use it to advertise the Syncronauts and ourselves with some pride, but not so smart we can’t really use it to it’s ability. I would suggest that there is a few magazine article’s and a good website’s worth of work in this project and we should capitalise on that.

We also need to fabricate a rear seat base and fit some seats and belts in the rear. Marks ‘velle seat set will fit, but would leave no knee room for adults, so maybe a genuine rear seat set would be best, especially if we could find a tristar set, or we could find some other solution. AndyS has experience of this so will be able to advise.

I would suggest a limit of £2k (ie £670 max spends) for getting Bill safe and legal and fully working, using any bits we need off Ben in the first instance and from our own spares sets before we buy in anything. I’m sure that we will be able to secure a lot of bits with some cadging and cheek too. Once that’s sorted we can review the logistics and the corpse and decide what to do with Ben – a lot will depend on what it needs and what resources we then have and what people want to commit to. It would be great to rescue it too, make it a luxury 5 seater with a chipped TDi and mega rubber, but that might not be realistic. Or a nice cheap doka might come along and we could syncrofy it – I really can’t say for sure at this stage, we will just have to see.

Initial Evaluation September 2004 by Aidan Talbot