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The Ford Capri Laser Page

News Archive 2016

Latest New Feb 2016

2016 is a big year for my Capri.  After endless waiting and searching I have commissioned Quest Brothers Classic Cars Ltd to fully restore the car.  I will be doing a full restoration write up in the coming months.  At the time of writing the car has been stripped and has its wings removed.  It is not a pretty sight underneath but nothing terminal.

At the start of the year she went in to the Quest Brothers for some mechanical work.  I had the engine mounts and gearbox mounts replaced.  Also the brake pipes were replaced with new copper ones as there were signs of corrosion on the rear ones.  Whist doing this work it was decided to replace the rear brake shoes as one had the friction surface half missing.  The front brake discs and pads were also replaced.

I had additional problems with the brake servo which had previously been repaired and reconditioned by J&L Spares Export Ltd in Rochdale.  I was driving home when suddenly the brake peddle went solid and I had no brakes.  I very nearly crashed the car.  Anyway the problem was traced to the vacuum servo which had failed.  As the car had only done 500 miles since it was restored at a cost of over two hundred pounds I contacted J&L Spares and it was duly returned to them for inspection.  I have to say I was distinctly unimpressed by their response.  They said it “smelled of petrol” which meant my engine had “damaged it”.  This was nonsense; the Bakelite piston had failed probably because it had been badly repaired.  They basically said it was nothing to do with them and returned it to me untouched.  It was repaired 18 months ago but had spent most of this time off the car.

So I am sorry to say based on my bad experience of dealing with J&L I can not recommend their services and would suggest that you think carefully before handing money over to them.

To finish the story we purchased a second hand servo from the Capri Club and it works perfectly.  The car has brilliant brakes once again!

Latest New March 2016

The restoration of my Capri is well under way and I’ve started a full write up of the progress.  This can be viewed here.

At the time of writing the car has been stripped and all the rusty parts have been repaired.  The genuine “new” Ford wings are welded in place and the car has undergone an extensive sanding and rub down.  So far over one hundred hours have been spent on the body work.  A considerable amount of time has been spent on doing the roof which was a serious nightmare.  The front valance and the scuttle panel were also big jobs.  I have loads of photos of the work that I’m putting together ready for a write up.

The work is being carried out by Quest Brothers Classic Cars in St Ives (Cambs).  I’ve enjoyed spending a lot of time with Dennis who is the chief panel beater.  He has years and year of experience and is attention to detail is amazing.  It has taken much longer to do than we expected and it will be slightly over budget but once you start there is no turning back!

Although Dennis admits he has seen it all before and it is not the toughest restoration he’s done I think it ranks up there at the top and many of the jobs have surprised him as to how complicated they were.  

As of the start of April the car has been rolled out of the preparation garage and made ready for the painting.  It is getting quite exciting now! Keep checking back for more updates as we go along.

Latest New May 2016

The restoration of my Capri is almost complete now and I’ve started a full write up of the progress.  This can be viewed here.

At the time of writing the car is finished and looks amazing.  The only two jobs to do are the wheel refurbishment and replace the windscreen.  The screen cracked in two whist it was being put back.  There was a large stone chip in the screen and it cracked right at this point.  Fortunately I know a man in the trade and he has managed to source me a bronze screen with a blue top tint which is a bit unusual.  It was still £250 mind which when you think the last one I bought in 2001 was only £45!

The wheels have gone off to a professional restoration company and will be ready in a few days.  They weren’t too bad really but hopefully they will made the splendour of the car itself when re-fitted.  I have bought new hub caps for the wheels (plain charcoal grey) as the old ones were aftermarket rubbish.

Quest Brothers has done an amazing job on the restoration.  The coach work is all straight, painted, polished and shining like a diamond in the May sunlight.  The car has all the new decals fitted which makes it look really cool.  We had the headlamp bezels powder coated in Diamond White and they look fantastic and hopefully won’t rust again.  And as a result of major repairs to the roof, a brand new headlining has been fitted to the interior.  Supplied by East Coast Trim in Kent.   The most pleasing part was we managed to get my brother in law to repair the side over-riders so they had new stainless steel studding fitted.  This meant we could re-fit them exactly as they were done in the Ford factory albeit using nylocs.

It is my daughter's wedding on 14th May and she has asked to use the Capri for the wedding car.  So we have a mad weekend getting her cleaned, vacuumed and polished ready for the big day.  It’s getting a bit tight…..

Latest New August 2016

The Capri has been fully restored and we have been driving her on and off all Summer including attending my Daughter’s Wedding where she was the star attraction.  All that remains now is the interior which is booked to be done over the Winter of 2016-17.

The car looks and feels amazing and gets lots of attention wherever she goes.  She managed two long trips up north in the Summer without any issues and was lots of fun to drive.  I have even got a load of new stereo cassettes recorded for those long journeys - complete with period 80’s audio cassette carry box.

As the summer draws to a close I have purchased a rather expensive stormforce cover for the winter.  As I’ve been away for most of August I haven’t had a lot of chance to finish off the restoration write up.  But bear with me and it will be done soon.  I still have loads of pictures to add showing how the restoration went.

At the time of writing I was dismayed to find that the heater blower has packed in (again).  This is a common problem on Capri’s.  I need to find a bit of time to investigate as I’m pretty certain it won’t be the actual fan motor this time as it isn’t that old and was working perfectly one minute and now it’s dead.

Latest New October 2016

The big news in September was that the clutch finally gave out on the Capri.  Fortunately I wasn’t too far away from home when I pressed the clutch and it went straight to the floor.  A broken cable was suspected but actually it had come away completely because there was so much wear on the clutch.  As it is the original clutch it has managed just over 135K miles.

Steve at Quest Brothers changed the clutch in a day.  Cost me £400 which included the clutch kit, release bearing and new cable.  All seemed to come apart easily enough and once the gearbox and clutch we out of the car it was obvious to see just how heavily worn the clutch was.  The friction plate had about 5mm of metal worn off it - I wonder where all that material ends up?

The only issue we had was that the plastic clutch pedal retaining clip was badly worn and made a loud clicking sound when the clutch was pressed.  All a bit discerning.  I managed to find a good quality S/H one on Ebay for twenty quid and Steve duly fitted it.  The clutch is now an absolute joy - easy to depress and operate.  You forget just how heavy they get as they wear away.

We also replaced the prop shaft oil seal as well as this was dripping fluid.  Especially as like most late model Capri's the gear box is full of Dextron automatic gear box fluid.

With the clutch all fixed I decided to get to the bottom of the none working fan.  After dismantling most of the dashboard I discovered that there was a loose connection on the fan blower and as soon as I cleaned it up and refitted it the fan sprang back into life again.  Lots of effort for a simple fix.

One bonus of having the clutch replaced was that we managed to get the handbrake warning light working again after many years of intermittent operation!

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