KCC Restoration

#2
Hi Simon. Welcome on board! I enjoyed reading your blog and we hope we can be of any assistance during your rebuild. It looks like you've got a very nice start on your project.

Please update your information so that your actual name appears in the postings (per #2 of the FAQ).

Take care,

Terry
 
#3
Thanks Terry. I updated my profile. Thanks for that. I'll start posting my blog updates here to keep the forum up to date. I'd appreciate any feedback you guys might have.

The Beginning...
A work mate came up to me and said "Richard has an old Ford GT40 replica that he needs to send to a good home". I was at Richard's desk within 10 seconds and the rest is history...

After breaking the news to my Brother, Tim and my Dad, Gary; they insisted that they had to be in on this project. So here's where we begin... A joint three way project to restore this GT40 replica.



The Car
Our particular car has an interesting history. The kit was produced by the Kit Car Company (KCC) in South Africa. The previous owner (Richard) saw these cars in the mid 90s and had to have one. He stumbled across one for sale that was half built and snapped it up. After spending thousands of hours on it, he had it on the road and used it as a daily runabout to work (on a mine site!). Originally it had a 4.2L V8 Ford engine. He said it was not enough power, so he upgraded to a freshly rebuilt 350ci (5.7L) Chev. He said the car was an absolute blast to drive (I can't wait to find out). Apparently this motor has a few thousand kilometres on it. In 2001 Richard moved to Australia with work and imported the car as a personal import. Since then he has been moved all around Australia with work and has not had a chance to get this beast running and back on the road.

The history of the KCC kit is also interesting. Apparently, a guy called Ken Atwell at the Ford museum in the UK was asked to take moulds of a genuine Mk III GT40. Ken then formed KVA who produced the first GT40 replicas. This same kit also ended up in South Africa and was produced by KCC who adjusted it slightly to match the Mk I GT40 (well that's how I understand it). Apparently most of these KCC kits used a Ford V8, Audi gearbox, Ford Cortina front suspension and Ford Grenada rear suspension. So that's exactly what we have (with the exception of the Ford V8).

The Plan
So now this beast is parked in my garage, what's the plan? First of all, this engine hasn't run in ten years, so we plan to get the engine running first. The brake master cylinder, discs and callipers are rusted so we will recondition them.



Once the engine and brakes are sorted we will start to focus on getting this thing on the road.

We've spent a fair bit of time checking into import rules and registration. This car was imported as a personal import so should be relatively simple to get compliance (fingers crossed). It still looks like it's gonna need a new windscreen, side glass (plastic), seatbelts, etc. After that we'll need to attack roadworthy issues such as suspension bushes, etc.

Once it's on the road we'll enjoy it for a short while and then most likely start to recondition it. It's gonna be a fun ride, stay tuned....
 
#5
Moving Home

On Saturday (25th of June) we moved the car to my garage. The previous owner, Richard, is an absolute top guy and even offered to tow the trailer for us. Unfortunately the keys have been misplaced in the last week, so this made getting the car onto the car trailer pretty hard work. Fortunately my Father-in-law was down for the weekend and had the idea of disconnecting the steering column so we can steer it by directing the front wheels. This made it a bit easier to get off the trailer.



After getting it off the trailer a few celebratory beers were called for (this is a pic of the three happy owners, Simon on the left, Gary in the middle, Tim on the right). Notice the door makes a good bar. Not many cars can boast that quality now, can they? :)



Within hours we started to pull it apart. The fuel tanks are in a weird place (each side)



This is how you gain access to the front of the engine.



That's all from me for a while. Gotta go away with work for a few weeks :(
 
#6
Crème Brûlée in a cylinder?

Hey All,

Sorry it's been a while since the last post. I've been away with work and camping for the last 2 weekends. Blah blah blah, on with the updates...

So I was back in Australia for all of 2 hours and Dad gave me a call "Do you wanna work on the car tonight?" Is the Pope Catholic? Of course I do. The supervisor also came along (Bomba the dog)..



We removed the heads and were unfortunately greeted with a horrid site. As much as I like Crème Brûlée, I'm not such a fan to see it inside an engine cylinder....



The cylinder was full of water with a thick crust of rust. It even cracked nicely like a good Crème Brûlée. It turns out that the inlet valve on this cylinder was open, so it is most likely that water came down through carburettor and through the intake manifold. Not sure how, since the car was under a thick cover for the past few years. I guess Brisbane has had horrendous rain in the past year, so anything is possible. Oh well, that's life. We expected to find some challenges along the way.

The cylinder head doesn't look too good either.



After giving the cylinder a light clean-up, the bore still looks quite corroded. You can see the 'tide mark'.



So we've had a fair bit of discussion lately as to the future for the engine. We've thrown around options of replacing the engine with a modern GM LS1/2 engine. These engines obviously have many advantages such as being light weight, having electronic fuel injection, huge aftermarket parts range and also capable of bolting up to the same gearbox adapter plate (bar 1 hole). The other alternative is to rebuild the 350. We've decided to go with the rebuild option to keep the costs down. As tempting as it is to drop an LS1 in, there would be many hidden costs and further delays. If we decide to upgrade the engine in the future we can always sell off the 350 Chev.

The car is now pretty much ready for the engine to come out this weekend. I'll be getting hold of an engine stand and borrowing an engine crane off a mate.

Oh yeah, this project was a perfect excuse to buy an air compressor and air tools... Loving the rattle gun. It makes easy work of rusty bolts :)

Here's how the car is looking at the moment. I love working on this thing. It's so easy. The entire rear clip section was held on by two bolts and the air strut. I lowered it on to my garage creeper and wheeled it out of the way. Too easy!





Update coming soon..
 
#7
Looks like you guys have fallen into a great opportunity with what appears to be a somewhat intact car that just allows you to pretty much do just as much work as you want (update, improve, or leave as is, sans the engine :( ).

It needed a Ford engine in it anyway :)

Ox
 
#8
Yep, it's a very good opportunity. The previous owner has really done all the hard work and nailed most of the bugs. He drove it to work on a mine site for several years!

From now on, we have the opportunity to improve it, customise it and make it ours.

The engine is still up for debate. At the moment, the easiest and cheapest option is going to be to rebuild the chev 350 since the adapter plate, clutch, engine mounts, etc are all sorted. We can always update the engine in the future. It actually had a Ford engine originally. I think he said it was 4.3L or something like that. He said it was lacking power and he prefers Chev, so in went the Chev motor.
 

Doc Watson

Lifetime Premier Supporter
#9
it was probably a ford 4.7L which is the original 289 cubic inches. Looks like a nice car, I notice the shifter is in the correct place is it a rod linkage to the gearbox?.

Im a bit of a purist so dont ask me what engine should go in it ;-)

I might be wrong but I think you can get a complete rear end (GTD design) which can be welded onto the KVA chassis. There are also numerous builds of KVA's on this site and I'm sure you have had a look around.

The fuel tanks are in the same place as the originals, although I would expect there to be a steel skin covering them under the sills.

Good luck with the build and keep posting.

Andy
 

Professor Plumpe

School for Scandal
#10
No wonder the motor is in that state!

Somebody bolted the flaming distributor on the wrong end of the motor mate!

I dunno, you just can't find good help these days...:shrug:
 
#12
Just a quick Q - All the early KVA's I have seen seem to have some strange kind of swing arm rear end as opposed to the semi-trailing arm granada setup on this car. Does anyone know if this is a KCC specific change?

Something like that article would be a much better solution one day though :) I think we still have a little bit too much work ahead of us and not enough time to do it at the moment.
 

Professor Plumpe

School for Scandal
#13
it was probably a ford 4.7L which is the original 289 cubic inches. Looks like a nice car, I notice the shifter is in the correct place is it a rod linkage to the gearbox?.

Im a bit of a purist so dont ask me what engine should go in it ;-)



Andy
Orginal 4.2 Fairlane Engine prior to 4.7? As used in the early GT40s and Sunbeam Tigers?
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Premier Supporter
#14
Early KVA had the strange arrangement - like Derricks on a dockside! (and about the same weight - rather overengineered)

But the later version (c type) had a more accurate to the original suspension.

I am fairly sure that KCC also ran the modifications onto their cars as and when they were developed by Ken Attwell

Ian
 

Professor Plumpe

School for Scandal
#15
Early KVA had the strange arrangement - like Derricks on a dockside! (and about the same weight - rather overengineered)

But the later version (c type) had a more accurate to the original suspension.

I am fairly sure that KCC also ran the modifications onto their cars as and when they were developed by Ken Attwell

Ian
Wasn't the original KVA essentially a swing axle as per Volkswagen Beetle and Triumph Herald?

Dockside derricks! I like that... :laugh:
 
#17
The fuel tanks are in the same place as the originals, although I would expect there to be a steel skin covering them under the sills.

Good luck with the build and keep posting.

Andy
That's good to know. We thought it was a bit strange (and dangerous) that there is nothing to protect the fuel tanks.
 
#18
Looks like a nice car, I notice the shifter is in the correct place is it a rod linkage to the gearbox?.
Sorry. I forgot to reply. Yep, it's a rod linkage. The bushes are all worn out (as expected), but it still doesn't feel too bad. The previous owner said he designed this himself and spent a lot of time to make sure it was right.
 
#19
Latest blog update Ford GT40 Restoration Project

Engine Out
Yesterday Dad, me and my mate Adrian got stuck into it. We borrowed an engine crane off my mate Danny and pulled the engine out in no time at all. This car is so easy to work on. I'd previously removed the rear clip and a few lines, so there wasn't much left to clear the motor. Unfortunately, I suck at remembering to take photos, so didn't take any of the engine on the crane. Anyway, here's the after pic. I'm looking forward to cleaning up and repainting that chassis.



We did notice a bit of rust on the chassis, but on closer inspection, it's just surface rust. Score!



Dad and I picked up an engine crane for $55+GST (who quotes prices ex GST these days?) at a place called Radum around the corner. Absolutely bargain price. It took a bit of messing around to get the engine mounted on the stand, since we didn't have any long enough bolts. I did a trip to Repco, but took the wrong bolt (IDIOT!), so had to do a second dash. Got it mounted up in the end and got stuck into stripping it down.



The bottom end doesn't look too bad. A bit of grime in there, but it doesn't look like too much water got down into the sump. Unfortunately it only has 2-bolt main caps. Some small block chevs have 4 bolt mains. We thought this one did, going by the engine number and what the interweb revealed. Oh well...





Pistons out. They all look quite good.





We couldn't take the crank out, because we need a pulley puller to get the harmonic balancer off. Dad has one at home to use next time. The crank journals look OK. Someone has machined it in the past.





Next we started to try and clean up the dodgy cylinder (previously full of water). We started to rub down the bore to get to the bottom of the pitting. Then we can measure it and decide if a full bore is required or if we can get away with a hone only. This is how far we got... It's looking like a bore out will be required. Thankfully parts are amazingly cheap for these Chev motors. Not like the Jap parts I'm used to.



We're starting to build up a collection of parts here there and everywhere in the garage. I need more storage shelves and a nice work bench. Oh well, things can only improve from here.



Check out this crazy flywheel. Made up to suit Audi gearbox and adapter plate....



So all in all, we're quite happy with the engine. With the exception of the dodgy cylinder, everything else is in quite good nick. The previous owner said that the engine had been rebuilt and only had roughly 2000km on it (10 years ago) and it seems reasonable. Dad gave the dodgy cylinder head a quick clean up and it came up pretty good, too.

I'm off again with work for a few weeks. This is my last trip to New Caledonia (for the foreseeable future). I've got a new job that I'll be starting in a few weeks. Horray!

The missing book...
Tim came over a few weeks back with a book that his Girlfriend Renee had bought him "How to Rebuild a Small Block Chevy". I thought great, that will be handy. My mate Jim also gave me a Chev magazine from 1974. Also good reading. Anyway, yesterday I thought I'd dig up Tim's book, but then realised I hadn't seen it for a while. I figured he must have taken it with him. After sending him a text he said "Last time I saw it, I put it on the roof of the Mini". Doh! Not a wise move. That was a crazy day: I had a job interview, I had mates over and I had to go into the city that night. Needless to say, I most likely drove off with the book on the roof. Being a short-arse, I wouldn't have noticed it sat on the roof. Oh well, I just ordered a new copy to give Tim....
 
#20
I'm back in Aus and have next week off before I start my new job. That means it's GT40 time! :)

While I was away Dad finished stripping down the engine.

We've also been talking a little bit about the firewall. Ours is fibreglass. Not very good for fire protection, so we're wondering if we should try and fit a steel panel. It will also give better heat insulation. Has anyone on here done similar? We're thinking we might be able to bolt it to the existing frame (see first pic on last post). The hump for the front of engine might make it a bit tricky.

Oh yeah, I've just ordered a small backyard shed. It should arrive next week. This means I can move the bikes and mower out of the garage to give me more space for GT40 stuff :)
 
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