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Re: TD Restoration

To: mgs@Autox.Team.Net
Subject: Re: TD Restoration
From: "A. B. Bonds" <>
Date: 09 Oct 1997 10:20:50 -0500
In <>, Ronald Olds wrote:
>Well Iv'e done it now, I've started my TD restoration.  Yesterday I started
>to disassemble the car. I'm tagging all the parts, taking lots of pictures
>and created a database to keep track of the parts. I would appreciate any
>advise on how to precede. What is the best order to do the work on the car?
>I  willing except any one's advise on what to do or not to do. As work
>precedes I'm sure I will have more specific questions to ask.
What's your goal?  Full, nut-and-bolt, resto or get it looking good
and running well?

First, I would urge strongly that unless you are hunting down concours
points, _don't_ take the body tub off the frame!  It is hugely
difficult to get it back on, aligned, and fix it so that the doors
close.  Do you have rotty wood?  How far do you need to go on the
body?  The fenders come off fairly easily, hood lifts off, floor comes
up etc and you can reduce it to a chassis with the body tub in a days
work.  That's as far as I'd go if you want to finish in this lifetime.

I like to try to keep the clutter to a minimum, so I do work one chunk
at a time.  Start with the engine.  Pull the power unit (you can't
really do anything with it in place), split off the tranny, hang the
block from an engine stand if you are comfy with engine work, if not,
take it to the local speed shop for analysis.  You can assume that if
the engine has more than 60,000 miles on it, it will require boring
and new pistons, new valves, lifters, camshaft, bearings.  Sorry about

If your tranny works, leave it alone.  If it doesn't, have a
professional do it.  I never want to touch a TD tranny again.  The
parts available now just don't fit.

Get the powertrain done, reassemble it, stick it in a corner.  This
includes carbs, starter and generator.  Next I'd tackle the running
gear.  You don't have to take much body off for this, just the front
pan and the rear panel under the spare tire.  Drop the suspension,
clean it up, replace all the bushings and rubber, replace bearings.
Leave the differential alone.  Do the brakes (turn drums, if there is
anything left, clean out the cylinders, get them sleeved if necessary,
replace all rubber, replace shoes).  Put new u-joints in the

While all this is going on, you may want to get your instruments fixed
(they will not be correct.....)  I send mine to Nisonger Instrument,
highest quality, fair prices.

You can also tackle the upholstery while all of this is going on.

Buy a wiring harness and rewire the car, it only takes 3-4 hours.
The old wire is downright dangerous.  If you try to save money 
here, you could end up with a pile of ashes.

Paint and body as needed--DO THIS LAST since you will screw it up
doing the other work.

General points--you can't take too many pictures.  Buy lots of baggies
and magic markers.  Get every parts catalog you can (Abingdon, Moss)
to help identify stuff.  Take notes.  Above all:  The TD uses
different kinds of hardware in different places.  The engine is
metric, the body is BSF and the brakes and electric have the odd
Whitworth screw here and there.  (1)  Use the right tools.  If you
don't have BSF wrenches and sockets, get some (sold by Moss, Abingdon,
etc).  (2) Be VERY CAREFUL about what bolt goes where.  Don't just
throw them in a bucket.  That's what the baggies are for.  The 8mm
engine hardware is ALMOST the same as 5/16 BSF, but the threads will
bind if you go very far.  Don't let this happen.  (3)  Get a cheap 6"
grinder, bolt it down, put a fine wire wheel on it.  Clean
everything.  Re-using hardware is OK if bolts aren't stretched or
threads aren't boogered.  I'd also advise spending $130 or so on a
Harbor Freight parts cleaning tank.  Most of what you will be doing
is cleaning and painting.  In the end, well worth it. 

And, above all, read the book.  Good luck!

                                        A. B. Bonds

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