I actually started working on the mechanicals of the Capri back in 2012 when I had the opportunity of moving her into the warmth of my nice new factory just a few miles away from my home. With the objective to get her up and running and back on the road by Christmas I set to work on her in spare time after a days work or at the weekend. Ignoring the bodywork for the time being I set to on the following jobs:
1) The braking system
This had to be completely overhauled as various things had seized up over the years of standstill. The front callipers were removed and cleaned and new pads were fitted together with the kits containing back shims and springs. The pistons themselves seemed fine and just needed a clean up.
The rear brakes were a bit more problematical as both cylinders had begun to leak brake fluid. So the rear drums and shoes were removed and cleaned and new brake pistons sourced off E-bay. I actually found it cheaper to go direct to the retailers and stick to known brands such as Quinton Hazel etc. Brakes were re-bled (I really recommend getting an automatic pressure bleed kit as I found it brilliant - mine is a Gunsons and uses the spare tyre for pressure). After testing all seemed well again - although later in the year I had serious problems with the vacuum servo which I’ll save for later!
2) The Cooling System
If I think about it now what partly stopped me driving the Capri was the fact that she always ran hot and often nearly overheated. So I decided to flush out all the cooling system and in the end I replaced all the hoses as well because they were starting to show their age. I spent quite a while thinking about how to improve the cooling and most obviously was to install an electric fan. But then I discovered a chap on E-bay selling remanufactured Cortina radiators suitable for Capris. Turns out they had twice as many cooling veins as a Capri radiator and therefore improved cooling. So I bought and fitted one of these (same size and shape). When I removed the old one it literally fell apart in my fingers. It was about as strong as a Crunchie bar and had probably been like that for a long time. Hmm no wonder I had overheating problems! Anyway now she is back on the road the temperature never goes above ¼ on the dial and she will tick over permanently without getting hot.
The other thing was to replace and fit a new water pump as the old one had quite a lot of white powder stuff all over it. These are not expensive but a bit of a nightmare to fit. It was a lot easier this time with the rad out and everything. Big problem was that one of the bolts seized and sheared off in the block which caused come serious headaches. In the end I got a mate at a local engineering company to drill and tap it out very carefully. I can still see him shaking and sweating as he was doing it!
The thermostat was replaced with a new one as a matter of course. The thermostat housing had suffered from a bit of corrosion but was cleaned and polished up and just about rescued.
3) The Engine
The engine itself would actually turn over and fire up. So all I did was do a full service on her including fitting a new Cam belt, Cam pulley, spark plugs, oil and filter. The cam belt required a puller on the lower pulley to get it off and the usual headache of getting the timing right afterwards, but actually it wasn’t too difficult. A new battery was purchased and she was ready to go.
After many years of standing still the tyres had taken on a square shape so I found some new Firestone ones on the Internet and had them delivered to the factory. Then the local ATS garage fitted them for me for £12.00 a corner. This worked out very economical and I got all five tyres sorted out for just over £200.00.
And then it was time to roll her out and try and get her MOT’d…….