Matt's Rotary Anglia

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Hey, thought I would post up some pics of my project/tale of woe...

It started a few years back when I foolishly thought that a rotary would go good in an Anglia, plus the motors are quite small so how hard could it be.

So I bought this for the princely sum of $400


Then bought this intending to ditch the turbo and run it N/A


Over the next couple of years I slowly chipped away at it until it got to this stage



So it was about ready for panel and paint, however as I had been working on it I had found a bit of damage at the front end and it was only as I dug deeper that I realized how bad it was basically the front of the car had taken a massive hit and it had pushed both strut towers over towards the passenger side, as near as I could tell the drivers side had gone 30mm in and the passenger side about 20mm out. Combine this with the front panel being stuffed and the drivers guard also stuffed and the whole thing kind of ground to a halt.

You can almost make out the difference in strut tower positions in this photo


So I started trying to fix it but soon realized that it was a bit beyond my abilities, plus there was some other damage on the car that I was also going to have to fix, end result I started looking for another shell. Now somewhere along the lines people lost their minds and started asking ridiculous money for Anglias but after a fairly long search I picked this one up for $350


has a bit of rust but is straight and while I hate fixing rust at least I can deal with it.

So this is how it sits today



So in theory it is just a case now of swapping over all the good bits from the other car. So the specs are: front suspension is mk2 Cortina, converted to coilovers, Escort front brakes, modified bottom arms and a double sway bar. Rear suspension is reset and retensioned leaves with disc brakes (escort discs and Silvia calipers). 15 x 6.5 rims (trade me specials) with 195 45 tyres


Engine is a 13b bridgeport, carbon seals, weber carb, gilmer belt drive, blah blah blah, s4 turbo gearbox custom 3" driveshaft all running through the standard diff

I have some more pics I just need to get them off my work computer.......

Discuss here //

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At first I inteded to use the standard fuel tank so I added a surge tank to the bottom of it


Then I started on the exhaust and anyone who knows Anglias they will know that the tank sits under the boot floor which doesn't leave much room for mufflers. This concerned me as I have a feeling that the car is going to be quite loud. About this time I did a Tig welding course at Polytech and we had some stainless lying around work so I made this



Oh yeah and I had a custom oil cooler made by Race Radiators here in Chch, they did an awesome job I would reccomend them to anyone thinking of getting one made. Here it is mounted in the front


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Over the last few lunchtimes at work I made a bracket to mount my fuel pump


and have spent my evenings trying to sort out some stupid telescopic shocks but having some issues fitting them inside the wheel tubs as there is bugger all clearance. When I did my disc brakes I mounted the calipers to the back of the car, if I was doing it again I would face them to the front as the wheel tubs are wider at the back of the car. No pics sorry but I will fight it over the weekend and see how it ends up.

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Got a bit more stuff done, got my rear shocks sorted I was going to mount them on top of the diff but that left no clearance with the wheels so I kind of hung them off the back of the diff where there is more room in the wheel tubs. If anyone is planning a rear disc conversion on their Anglia I would reccomend mounting the calipers on the front of the diff as there is a lot more spaceat the back for shocks

Sorry this pic is a bit shit cause the car is pretty low even on stands and couldn't get under it but it is a decent view of the brakes.


I also got the radiator mounted, there is just enough room to get a couple of 10" fans in between the gilmer drive and the radiator, only about 20mm but clear is clear.



and I put my seats in and got the handbrake mounted, the seats are batman Rx7 which fit pretty good, the mounts I made are not flash but will do for now. I will need to add some clamps for the handbrake cables but eventually I will get it up on the rotisserie to sort some repairs to the bottom of the car and will weld it up then. Welding upside down sucks ass.


this pic shows the new tunnel I put in


The next job is the driveshaft loop and the exhaust, I saw a vid on you-tube of someone filling exhaust tube with sand then using a regular pipe bender to get pretty nice bends so I thought I would raid my daughters sandpit and have a go.....

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Hey, some more progress

To mount the engine I changed to front cover on the motor over to an early 12a one so I could front mount it then made a new crossmember, then I cut the engine mounts off the anglia crossmember and boxed it up to replace any strength that may have been removed. So I figured when I changed shells that this would bolt straight up, unfortunately it didn't....awesome.... that shell must have taken a massive hit so it's probably just as well that I decided to go with this new one. Anyways I did the same thing to the new shells crossmember and ended up with this


I had hoped to get onto the exhaust but found a problem with my modified TCA's, here they are


All nicely welded, and now crack tested and painted, unfortunately they have been Mig welded which is a no no on suspension components so after talking to the certifier I am going to have to re-do them. Anyone out there got a spare set of mk2 Cortina TCA's?

After this I kind of lost enthusiasm for building a new exhaust so I have decided to use one that I built a while back, it is ugly as sin and I hate looking at it, I made it out of stainless before I learned to Tig weld so Mig welded it, and the welds are awful, but it will do for now.



I had started to make a mild steel set out of steam pipe bends but can't get enough clearance on the steering box, stupid thing so I will just pretend it isn't there or put a heat shield or something over it.

And lastly I bought this to go with my oil cooler, it's a thermostat as the cooler I had made doesn't have one. Just need to get some fittings out of the US and I will get it all plumbed up.


Oh yeah and I added some gussets to my dodgy axle stands, thanks to Nigel Wade for the heads up on that

Not sure what is next, we will see how much garage time I get this week

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Some more progress, bought some hose and fittings off Summit Racing in the US and got the oil cooler and thermostat plumbed in.




Felixx was after some pics of a rear telescopic shock conversion, so here is mine, first pic shows the bracket on the diff, second is how the shock mounts at the top. Shocks are mk1 Escort, you can also wee how crowded the diff is with the brakes, shocks etc. If I was doing it again I would have put the calipers on the front of the diff



And I dug the new driveshaft out of a corner of the garage, made for me by Circle Track Engineering, put it next to the factory Anglia one as a comparison


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Been really slack at taking pictures of what I have been doing but heres a couple of small things


Needed to convert the accelerator to a cable type as the anglia one is a bar that attached directly to the carb so after a bit of measuring etc I made this up, added some holes too it to try and make it look a bit cooler then the lump of flat bar that it is.

Here it is sitting under the dash


Then got part of a motorcycle clutch cable (I think) to bring the cable out


The other small job I did was to the gearbox crossmember, as it happened the Anglia gearbox mount almost bolted straight up to the rx7 gearbox, I only had to slot the hole by about 1mm so I used the Anglia crossmember and managed to pick up on 2 of the original mounting holes as well. the front holes of the crossmember are attached to the rear holes in the body. I needed to add a couple of mounts so I cut some holes in the floor and added these bits inside the chassis rails.


shown in place


Then welded some patches in the floor and its all good

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A few more pics,

Because the engine bay is so short and because of where I mounted the motor the oil filter hit the firewall so I had this made to relocate it


I also needed a remote reservoir for my clutch master cylinder so made up a mount to suit a Wilwood reservoir


and here is a shot of how it sits, the master cylinder is quite close to the inlet manifold but once again clear is clear


Engine bay as it sits now


So I finally have the engine bay plumbed, all of the brake lines, fuel lines, oil lines etc have been finished. No wait I tell a lie I still have to mount the coils, still its getting closer......

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Bit more progress from the last couple of weeks


I have put the Holley fuel pump and regulator that I got for the rotary in, I also made up some new 3/8" lines which were a complete nightmare. I had some braided hose to finish off to the regulator but with the crossflow exhaust on it got a bit close so I made up a new hard line to run down the firewall.

A while back I also bought one of those 'one size fits all' driveshaft loops off trade-me only it didn't fit, so after chopping and changing almost every piece I ended up with this


the plate that extends along the side is to protect the brake and fuel lines that run through the tunnel, anyway to get it to fit meant unbolting the exhaust from the head and I managed to snap off one of the bolts in the process. So that was a pretty good end to the day! on the bright side it isn't a blind hole so drilling it out shouldn't be too difficult. I think I will pull the motor out to do it though.

I have finished up the mount for my pedal box now, I added some steel to it to tie in with the mount holes at the top of the firewall to give it a bit more strength and got some banjo fittings to get the hoses out, it all fits pretty good in the end.


And the last job was fitting a new accelerator pedal which is done but I didn't get any pictures of it, I used a pedal assembly that I had lying around, I have no idea what it came off, a Toyota or something I think, I got it off trade-me thinking that it might be useful and with a bit of time spent bending it to get it sitting about right it looks like it will do the trick.

The only real problem with getting it in was what I found when taking out the old one, I guess when the crossflow went in someone decided that smashing a hole in the firewall was the best way to get the cable through and this had let the water in and rusted out.


initially I had hoped to get away with a small patch but the more I cut out the more rust I found so I have ended up replacing a bit of the drip rail as well.

All the new steel is welded in now so a bit of grinding and it should be good as new. I will try and get some more pics after work today.

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Couple more pics

New accelerator pedal


And here is one of the other car when we left Chch loaded up on the transporter, it looked pretty sweet with the mismatched door and shitty body with the good wheels I thought.


and how it is sitting now looking decidedly neglected.....


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A little more progress this weekend, not as much as I would have liked but that's how it goes sometimes.

I pulled the old 4 speed gearbox out of the car and got the bellhousing off so I can drill it to suit the type 9 adaptor that I bought. As part of the kit there is a template and all the drill bits etc that you need to do it.

Here is a couple of pictures of the gearboxes side by side, looks like I will have to do a bit of cutting to get it to fit. there seems to be a few different opinions about exactly how much cutting there is to do so I won't start until I have it ready to go into the car then add clearance as required.



The last few bits that I need will hopefully arrive this week.


This is a mount for the reservoirs for my brakes and clutch, the idea is that it mounts under the dash and the turned bits poke through to the engine bay. The mounts for the reservoirs are to suit some wildwood reservoirs that have been sitting in the garage for a while.


This one shows the reservoir mount where it is going to end up but the stainless plate will sit under the bulkhead. When I made this it was for the red car that I started with and I cut the holes in the bulkhead first so everything lined up nicely. It is going to be a bit harder this time I think but nothing a bit of time and the powerfile can't sort.

And the last hing that I have working on is that years ago I got hold of a pair of weber 40 dcoes and a manifold so I figured that I might as well put them on. The carb that was on the car is a 38 dgas which is a bit big for the motor and it always ran rich and flooded a lot. It is good on song but rubbish for everything else, anyway the 40's should help get a bit more out of the motor and they look the part as well (which is important)

They are pretty scabby though and I have no idea what condition they are in but I ordered a couple of rebuild kits so I will rebuild them and throw them on.

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Progress from the weekend, got the type 9 sorted and sitting in place I had to re-drill the Anglia bellhousing to match up to the adaptor plate then assembled it with the motor, I had to change the clutch plate to a Hillman Avenger one which was kind of random but the plate is the same diameter as the Escort one but it has the same splines as the type 9 input shaft.


I pulled the motor out so that I could finish off the repairs to the drip rail plus it made fitting everything a bit easier.

Then I put the motor and box back in to see how much cutting was required




So it isn't too much, I took the top of the tunnel off between the old shifter hole and the new one to see what I was doing and the main part of the gearbox fits, just, I have about 10mm clearance around the gearbox at its worst point and I wouldn't think it would move more than that would it?

The other issue that I hadn't expected is that the gearstick kits the handbrake trying to go into 4th, so at the moment I have replaced a perfectly good 4 speed with a 5 speed that I can only use 4 of the gears in. the gearstick angles back by quite a bit so I will bend it so that it is straight and see how that works.

I will make up some sheet metal bits this week and try to get it all covered in next weekend.

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Some more progress from the last few weeks

got the tunnel all covered in


I cot a short shift for the gearbox which has a straight stick which just clears the handbrake, only just though so I bent the handbrake mount over as well to push it over a little more


The pedals are all in now and the brake lines all bent up


And I mounted the reservoirs in the engine bay, they feed under the bulkhead then run through hoses to the master cylinders.


Also made up a new clutch hose as there was no hose in the car previously, just a long length of bundy tube running to the slave cylinder that wasn't fixed to anything.


The engine bay is now looking like this



I had my carbs soda blasted, they didn't come up as nice as I was hoping but they are a massive improvement on how they looked before. I have a couple of rebuild kits for them and at the moment I am just waiting on some replacement spindle bearings before I strip and rebuild them.

And the last bit of progress was finishing off the fuel pump mounting, I used the lever arm shock mount holes and made a bracket for the Holley pump, to the right of the pump you can see the surge tank that is feeding it, It is going to be a massive overkill on this engine I reckon but when the other motor goes in it should be about right.


So the list of jobs is getting pretty short now, I have to connect the exhaust back up, get a new driveshaft made, make up a new accelerator cable, rebuild the carbs and bleed the brakes (plus all the little jobs that no doubt I have forgotten about) and then it should be all ready for cert.

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Ok so it has been a little while since I last updated this, but there is good reason when I last posted I had to sort the driveshaft accelerator cable and rebuild the carbs. So I did the driveshaft and cable but had a real battle stripping the carbs down and when I finally did I found that the throttle spindle on one of them was twisted. So not a big deal to replace but it kind of killed my enthusiasm a bit so things slowed while I decided what I wanted to do.

The plan had always been to put the rotary into this shell and I kept thinking why am I putting so much effort into this motor when it is just going to come out anyway? - I probably should have made this decision before buying all the bits for the crossflow and 5 speed but never mind.

Plus it makes the title of this build-up a bit more relevant which is important......

So I decided to bring things forward and just do the motor swap now as well. So I have had a new tunnel folded up and have put in for a weeks leave in a couple of weeks time during which time I will just knuckle down and get the motor in there.

I have been doing some other work as well though, one of the bigger jobs was to get the oil cooler mounted so I spent Sunday cutting and welding and made some space for it behind the grill.

First up grill off and mark it out


Cut a big hole


Then add some steel back in to keep things nice and strong, I was in two minds about leaving the little crank handle hump thing but figured that you will never see it so it might as well stay


Then a test fit of the oil cooler


and with the grill back on


So I just have to make up some brackets to bolt it in and it will be all sorted.

And the last thing that I have been working on is the steering arms, the ones in it at the moment are mk2 Cortina which are longer then the Anglia ones so the lock isn't great. There is a crowd in the UK who fabricate custom steering arms for this application but I couldn't get a straight answer as to whether or not they would pass cert over here, in the end I decided I would buy some anyway and see how they go and unfortunately after talking to the local cert guy came to the conclusion that they wouldn't be any good, the arm is 12mm thick instead of the 16mm that the hot rod manual states and the way it is put together if one of the welds fails then things could go bad. So instead I am going to have some machined up.

Something like this


Anyway this is now with the TAC for approval and hopefully within the next couple of weeks it will be signed off and I can get them sorted.

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Ok so I have the week off so time to get this project back on track, the job for today was to get the motors stripped out of both shells and all the other bits and pieces removed so I can start cutting, this isn't a very exciting update as that small job ended up taking me all day.

Crossflow out


Rotary Out


Old shell moved out of the way


It probably would have gone a bit quicker had I not stripped all of the suspension and diff out of the old shell, I thought about putting it all back together to move it but that was going to be quite a bit of work so I managed to get it out of the way with an old skateboard under the front and a sack barrow at the back which looked pretty funny but did the trick.

Anyway I spent the rest of the day getting everything clear so tomorrow I can start cutting

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So carrying on from yesterday, I stripped the whole front end off the car so it was completely clear of everything leaving this hole


Something that I did with the other shell that I was never really happy with was the handbrake mount so this time I decided to re-use the Anglia one, so the first thing to do was find the spots welds and drill them out.


Handbrake mount removed


then out came the grinder, and out went the old tunnel


Then in went the 13b


I was never really happy with how high up the firewall the tunnel came on the other shell so I took my time and only cut the minimum out, this will make it look a bit better to me.

Gearbox in position


So now comes the time consuming bit of piecing the tunnel back together, I had a tunnel folded up a while back in anticipation of getting the motor into this shell but it needs a fair bit of trimming etc to get it to fit, here is the start of it anyway.


The forecast isn't looking great for the next few days which is a shame as it's been nice working in the sun but most of my time will be spent welding now so it doesn't matter too much

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Ok some more progress, basically today was spent trimming and fitting and trying to figure the best way to do the firewall transition, so there isn't much in the way of pictures. I got both sides of the tunnel tacked in place and the tunnel top clamped then folded up the firewall transition (or the start of it) but I am still not sure that I am happy with it so I will sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow.

Anyway here are some pics

Tunnel Clamped


Tunnel & firewall transition


I also mentioned in an old post that I wasn't happy with the stainless headers that I made so I started making some new ones (not today) I have cut down some butt weld 90's to get them as close to the bellhousing as I can then will go to tube to get as much clearance as I can with the steering box, I had a trial fit and it looks like it will do the trick.


Unfortunately it looks like my week in the garage is going to turn into 4 days but I have a plan, I am leaving the other shell sitting in the middle of the driveway which is going to drive wifey nuts but I can't do anything with it until I get this car done so it should be enough to guarantee some more time.

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Ok more progress from today, got the sides of the tunnel fully welded to the floor and made the bits that run up the firewall and got those welded in as well, they took a lot longer then I had expected, actually everything has taken a lot longer then I was expecting, but it is starting to look pretty good I reckon




And with the tunnel top fitted (again)


I have re-thought the firewall piece but ran out of time to make up a new bit

Oh yeah and a nice surprise turned up today, some race harnesses which my wife got for me which was pretty cool, does mean more work to get them to fit though......


So I am a bit gutted that my week turned into only 4 days, I reckon another day or 2 would have had it nailed and I could start putting it back together, might need to take a mental health day or something next week and keep going with it.

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Ok, so managed to get a full day in the garage today and got a bit more done.

Made all of the little bits and pieces for the tunnel and got them all tacked in so the tunnel is now all but finished, I just need to make up a couple of small bits near where the shifter comes out then finish up the welding, it took me a fair bit of time to get this looking right and to clear everything but I am pretty happy with how it came out.



I test fit the motor again to make sure everything fit and it looks pretty good so I am happy

Then while I was under the car I found this


Buggger, ahh well that's the way it goes I guess so I will add that to the list of things to fix.

I am taking Wednesday off work this week to work on the car so hopefully I can get the tunnel all finished off and start doing more interesting jobs.

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