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1989 SWB camper restoration.

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1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:28 am

I finally got the delivery sorted for my project van. We bought this locally for £350 with a recorded 40k miles. It’s been stripped inside as the previous owner was going to restore it. He saw rust, got frightened and left it. The interior is completely missing now so it will definitely be modernised inside.
Plenty to do and at the moment the only pictures I have are from the advert.
Here is mission possible...

https://i.loli.net/2021/03/02/tpPBGd5HwEvy3kN.jpg

https://i.loli.net/2021/03/02/wBprXGe62hob5KC.jpg

https://i.loli.net/2021/03/02/y5pOm4M3NIz8ZkS.jpg

We know very little about it, it was originally dark blue and has been painted the delightful cream colour popular of its era. We don’t know who did the original conversion. We’ve tried comparing pictures and all the popular conversions of that time have a different roof. Maybe one day to heritage will be learned!
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MinorMatt » Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:39 pm

That looks like it may be a factory high top roof...
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:35 pm

I think you're right. I have the van now, it was delivered this morning! I did the obligatory wash and inspection that revealed the roof is the same factory blue that lives underneath the cream.
Initial look around shows it has had numerous repairs and the paint matches aren't too good. I lifted the wood floor and marvelled the holes that live underneath, the wheel arch boxes are not so good but I knew there was going to be some rot under there and I'm not overly worried. shouldn't take long to stitch a few repairs in there. There is a leak on one of the leak off pipes but otherwise it runs well and there aren't any other engine issues showing up.
It's going to be a bit more than weekend job but I reckon it will be worth the effort in the end, saving another van and getting something useful to show for it!

Image

Image
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Sat Mar 06, 2021 10:00 pm

Stripped out the wooden floor today and exposed the rust that lurked below. It's not too bad, I'm unsure whether to stitch in some repairs or replace the rear floor section. I want to keep a hold of this van for a while so knowing I have an A1 floor under the interior fittings would be reassuring. Some pics of the floor and its rusty bits.

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MinorMatt » Mon Mar 08, 2021 11:07 am

That's not too bad tbh

You can get rear floor sections, but they are for the 1991 onwards vans and have a slightly different shape around the arches. I would get underneath and spend a little time investigating what other rust you can find before making a decision. If there is not much then I would patch it up, if it needs a lot it will be much easier without the floor!

Being blue underneath means it almost certainly had a life as a van before it was converted!
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Mon Mar 08, 2021 8:48 pm

Cheers for the thoughts. It was ‘Dark Blue’ from the factory, including the high roof. The cream paint looks like it was thrown at it to be honest. If it had a former life before being a camper, it has a genuine low mileage (40k) so didn’t have too much of a hard life before it was converted.
I have had a look underneath and it isn’t too bad at all. It had a few patches a while back but the top pretty much reflects the underside. There is a hole under the osf headlamp and on the os rear cross member. Beyond that it’s just surface rust dotted about the place.
Even if I get a floor repair panel (rear panel is £133 delivered), I will have to make up some repair sections for the bottom of the arches as they are rough.
I tidied up under the bonnet today. Other than a bit of ropey wiring and a lot of spares wedged in bulkhead corners it’s only the bit of rot by the headlamp. There is what looks like a ceramic ballast resistor by the headlamp, is that for the sidelight headlamp glow when the engine is on?
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby Noctule » Mon Mar 08, 2021 10:53 pm

MartNewm wrote:. There is what looks like a ceramic ballast resistor by the headlamp, is that for the sidelight headlamp glow when the engine is on?


The ballast resistor is for the blower in the cab.

Like Matt has said, it's actually not bad at all. I've had mk5s in worse condition, repaired some that have been much worse, and it's like new compared to some mk6s I've seen.

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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:32 pm

Noctule wrote:The ballast resistor is for the blower in the cab.
Like Matt has said, it's actually not bad at all. I've had mk5s in worse condition, repaired some that have been much worse, and it's like new compared to some mk6s I've seen.

Thanks for clearing that up, it looks pretty battered so I’ll give the fan a try later.
I have a bit of spare steel kicking about so I may well start patching the rust. Just need the rain and wind to pass now.
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MinorMatt » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:35 pm

There are 2 ballast resistors in mk3 - one for heater fan (4 pins, only 3 of which are used) and a headlight dip/dim resistor which (from memory) only has 2...
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Tue Mar 09, 2021 3:44 pm

In all honesty, there are two there. One that is fixed to the body and another that’s loose. The loose one has two wires and iirc the fixed one isn’t connected to any wiring. Possibly it has been shoddily replaced.
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:54 pm

Been busy, done loads and have nothing really to show for it. The floor is now solid again, that was a bit more than I imagined it would be, probably should have replaced the whole thing! Exposed a tin foil front crossmember that I have ordered a replacement for. Took out the long since dead alarm/immobiliser that was present and tidied up years of botched wiring jobs. I did have a bonus find though, some nice little Alpine component speakers in the footwell. I’ve no doubt they’re the most powerful thing about the whole van. Had a random experience of the headlight glass falling out, not broken but the reflectors are a bit manly, might replace them yet. But on the whole, getting there and reminding myself what a 80’s Ford was all about.
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby blue estate » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:03 pm

MartNewm wrote:Been busy, done loads and have nothing really to show for it. The floor is now solid again, that was a bit more than I imagined it would be, probably should have replaced the whole thing! Exposed a tin foil front crossmember that I have ordered a replacement for. Took out the long since dead alarm/immobiliser that was present and tidied up years of botched wiring jobs. I did have a bonus find though, some nice little Alpine component speakers in the footwell. I’ve no doubt they’re the most powerful thing about the whole van. Had a random experience of the headlight glass falling out, not broken but the reflectors are a bit manly, might replace them yet. But on the whole, getting there and reminding myself what a 80’s Ford was all about.
80’s Fords = rust rust rust


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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:40 pm

blue estate wrote:80’s Fords = rust rust rust

and overpriced or obsolete parts, getting to know the local motor factors quite well now.
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby roark91 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:08 am

Good to know that you were able to fix the floor. I look forward to seeing the whole restoration. You're making good progress though.
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Re: 1989 SWB camper restoration.

Postby MartNewm » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:04 pm

roark91 wrote:Good to know that you were able to fix the floor.

I am still going at it lol. I did all the inside bits and now I’m on to the outside. In fairness, it’s about as rotten as a MK5 escort I once had, constantly searching for bits of good metal to attach to.
I’ve been on the rear cross member and it is still throwing up surprises. My welding has gone from pigeon poo to just scruffy, but it is complete and mot worthy. I will probably replace the rear cross member later this year, it’s pretty much made of patches LOL.

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