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The Ford Capri Laser Page

News Archive 2017

Latest New Jan 2017

Happy New Year everyone! With winter on us the Capri has gone in to the storage garage for hibernation.  I’ve polished her up and she has got her Storm Force car cover on.  The battery is on trickle charge and that is how she will stay for the next few months until spring is in the air.

Actually I’ve just taken all the interior seats out and they have gone off to Peterborough for a full refurbishment and new leather.  Its costing over a thousand pounds so I hope they look good when they come back.  The guy said he could also do the steering wheel leather as well, but we will leave that until the seats are done.  With the seats out of the car I plan to do a few other jobs in the New Year.  I am talking to someone about getting some matching leather stitched covers for the centre console and armrest made.  These require the console to be removed which is obviously a lot easier to do with all the seats out.

The heater fan is still a bit intermittent so perhaps I'll try one last time to re-wire it.  Again all a lot easier to do without the seats in place.  Looking at the Haynes manual I see the heater switch is on the earth (-ve) side and not to the heater itself; ie it is electrically downstream of the heater fan.  So it is perhaps a problem with the earth connection point or more likely it it the bullet connector  noticed that is in the circuit.  This seems to be there to allow easy disconnection of the heater fan when removing the blower box form the car.  Last time it packed up a simple jiggle of this connector got it going again.  I suspect the wire is partly broken or something.  It is clearly something simple in the wiring loom and as a rule of thumb the connectors and switches are always the first place to look.

In the spring I need to get Quests to have a look at the roof as there are a couple of cracks in the white paint where the top coat has reacted to the filler underneath.  You have to look closely to see it but I know its there and so do they.  We agreed to leave it a while to stabilise before looking at repainting the roof one more time.

There are always jobs to be done on a Classic car!

Latest New Feb 2017

With the seats out of the car being worked on, I have done a few jobs on the interior that are much easier with the interior removed.  I removed the centre console completely and recovered it in a leather kit, including the armrest. A lighter grey leather was used for the handbrake and gear lever gaiters.  It looks amazing but I have to say it was a total labour of love.  The job requires a lot of patience, and a lot of careful cutting using very sharp knives.  Oh and a lot of Evo-stik!

During this I also removed the non-working handbrake warning light switch and found it was open circuit no matter what position it was in.  So I soaked it over night in WD40 and hey presto it works as good as new again!  This was duly refitted and tested before the centre console went back in again.  I even stripped and cleaned the clock while I was at it.

After this I have removed the dashboard.  This was not a very fun job but it does come out with a bit of patience and a lot of unbolting and screw removal.  I have a leather cover for this as well which looks like an equally difficult challenge.  Fingers crossed I don’t mess it up.

With the dash out I have also attempted to locate and fix the intermittent heater blower problem.  I soaked the switch from the front of the dash in WD40 again and this is working well.  I’ve also replaced all the bullet and spade connectors with new red crimps.  The blower works beautifully but lets hope it has fixed the temperamental behaviour once and for all.  It is a real pig pulling the dash apart on a Capri and every time I do it I swear it will be the last time!

I’ve just had a text form the upholsterer to say the seats are finished and ready to drop off.

Quest Brothers have been to have a look at the roof - there has been a paint reaction over the filler so they have agreed to repaint the roof for me, hopefully it will take two days in the next week or so.

Latest New March 2017

The dashboard has been recovered with its leather skin.  As I predicted it was a complete nightmare but it is done and looks pretty cool.  It is a very curvy shape and consequently needed a lot of adjustment cutting and trimming.  I managed to refit the dash and got the rest of the parts all back together again.  Everything (touch wood) seems to work for the time being.  Worst bit was getting the black dash front back in place without ripping my new leather cover with those horrible springs Ford used.  So I used some thin sheets of metal to protect the leather as I pushed it back into place.

One slight issue with the leather dash cover is that the ventilation holes in the top of the dash are now covered and sealed off.  This worries me a little bit because the Ford stereo gets extremely hot when in constant use.  So I fabricated a 12V fan and mounted it on the top of the radio housing.  I used a ferrite core to prevent horrible noise coming off the fan motor and wired it in using the 12V feed to the electric aerial.  This way the fan only runs when the stereo is switched on.  With this in place I could refit the radio into the dash and the fan sits nicely in the cavity between the top of the radio and the underside of the dash.  Hopefully the breeze created with disperse the heat across the dash so I finds its way out naturally.

So I finally got the call from Bob Hammond that the leather interior was completed and I drove up to Peterborough to visit his small industrial unit.  The leather seats are now fully re trimmed with brand new leather and look absolutely amazing.  I haven’t had chance to fit them yet as time was short but they will finish the car off beautifully. I’m off to the saddle shop to buy some hide food!

Latest News June 2017

So I have been enjoying driving the Capri in all this beautiful weather.  She is running well and looks amazing with her newly painted roof and newly restored leather Recaros.

After about 500 miles the alternator started making loud noises form the bearings so I decided it was time for a new one which was duly sourced from “Mick’s Garage” and fitted.  Fortunately its quite an easy job on the Capri and after a straight swap we were back in action again.

The leather dash and seats look amazing and were recently complimented with a re-covered leather steering wheel and leather covered gear knob.  All correct and period for the car.  Cost me a fortune and it nearly killed me getting the old steering wheel off.  After hours of pulling tugging bashing and watching all sorts of YouTube videos about how to do it, I was about to give up.  I squirted some WD penetrating fluid on it and left it.  In a final attempt I managed to get it off.

What was the trick you ask?  In the end the method that worked for me was to get a thin metal rod on the back plate of the wheel (you can just about get to it from the rear) and then smack it with a hammer.  By rotating the wheel a bit each time I was able to get it to budge and finally come free of the splines.  The captive nut was left partially on at all times to prevent any unpleasant injuries!  Plenty of copper grease on the new one - one of the worst nightmare jobs I’ve ever done on the car and never again I hope!

I managed to get some of the money back by selling the old leather wheel on Ebay for £65.  Result!

For once there isn’t too much else to report.  I’ve got in the habit of dry cleaning the car every few days which is an easy way to keep her clean and shiny without using any water.  There are House Martins visiting our house and it is amazing how much poo they produce!  I use proper bird dropping remover solution and get it off as quickly as possible as it can damage the paint.

Latest News December 2017

After a whole summer of fun driving the Capri round and turning lots of heads it was time for her to be prepared for winter storage.  This usually happens early November just after the clocks change for winter    So she had a minor service at Quest Brothers Classic Cars an then placed carefully in the storage garage, on trickle charge, where she will stay until the clocks change back next year in the spring.  

There has been very little to report because for once I’ve had a summer of problem free driving.  She still looks immaculate and the re-done paintwork on the roof is still looking great.

While she is in storage I have three jobs to tackle:

1) I am trying to get Bob Hammond in Peterborough to come and do the second part of the seat restoration which is to re-cloth the centre parts of the leather Recaro front seats.  I managed to buy some genuine Ford matching fabric for this job in the spring and now it is just a case of waiting for Bob to become free after Christmas.

2) I want to get the windscreen wiper arms repainted as they are old and flaking and really stand out on the rest of the immaculate car.  Quest has suggested they are spray painted rather than powder coated but we’ll see once they are off the car.

3) Did I mention I scraped the nearside font alloy wheel on  curb I the summer?  I misjudged parking her against a tall curb and there was a gut wrenching crunch as my spotless alloy got mangled.  Need to get it off the car and up to the refurbishers in Huntingdon.

Since I had the Capri restored in the winter of 2015 the value of these of Fords has risen and risen and it is quite amazing seeing how much they are going for on Ebay and places at the moment.  I’m guess I am lucky I got mine so long ago they were worth peanuts!

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