Please bear in mind this article is historical and was written circa year 1997. This Capri was sold around 2002 when our second white Laser was purchased.
The Bodywork Restoration
The bodywork of my Capri is in better condition than a lot of other Capris still on the road. But she has really started to go these last ten years and with it being Diamond White in colour the rust always looks terrible. So I have decided to save up my money and get her restored by someone who knows what they are doing. I plan to document the work and report it here later.
During the engine rebuild I did have time to do some of the nasty jobs beneath the car. Whilst the exhaust system was off I spent several days scrubbing away with a wire brush to remove all the mud that had collected in the various nooks and crannies. I also attacked the rear axle and differential with a stiff wire brush and got completely covered in the process. With all this completed I began painting the axle with a generous coat of black Hammerite smooth. After this I began to paint on black 'Waxoyl' under seal everywhere I could. You can imagine what a filthy and horrible job this was, but I figured that I was only going to do it once. Every time I thought "I'll skip that bit because it's too hard to reach" I reminded myself that there was not much point in bothering if the hard to reach bits were left alone.
To assist in the job I purchased several large cans of spray on under seal. These proved very helpful in getting at those difficult regions. Mind you not having an exhaust on the car helped. It is always worth planning your jobs to make sure you always make life easy for yourself!
After several days painting, the underside was finished (well not counting the front wings as I'm not too sure if they need to be replaced yet). It was quite a sight to see clean black everywhere -
There are several areas of 'worry' as far as bodywork goes and these will all be familiar to you: the sunroof has a couple of rust blisters behind it, the front wings are suffering at the front, the whole front of the car has rust spots on it, the leading edge of the bonnet has rusted in three places (but not bad), all the wheel arches are showing signs of rust penetration and last but not least the battery tray is absolutely rotten. Oh and the passenger mirror has rotted away. The good news is that the rear of the car is in good shape and everything is original. There is no corrosion whatsoever on the underside.
The battery tray area is a very common corrosion place and new battery trays are now like hens teeth. The good news is that I did manage to buy a brand new Ford battery tray from MWR Capri at the spares and projects day. The bad news was that it set me back £45!!
The other nightmare are the passenger wing mirrors. They are so famous for rotting away that nobody bothers to rescue them or old cars. Fortunately I managed to purchase a new reproduction mirror from Martin at Capri Gear. They are black plastic (paintable) copies of the originals and are guaranteed not to rust. These cost £35 each with all the fittings. Strangely enough the drivers mirror never seems to rust and these are common as muck. In fact I purchased a mint second hand mirror in the correct colour for £8 from Southern Capri.
Also from Capri Gear came a new (reproduction) front bumper as mine is currently more rust than steel. These were going for £38 each at the Spares and Projects day. Incidentally you always find people after the same things at these events: mint ash trays, wing mirrors, parcel shelves, un-
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