Flash

Flash's 1965 Ford Thames

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It's been so long since I put up a build thread that I can't remember how to link the build thread to the discussion thread and vice versa. Anyone able to help me out ?

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Just copy and past the url - the forum software will do the rest.

 

Also, I flipping love shitty old commercials, especially vans*, and looking forward what you do with this.  

(*im working some irons myself on one in my preferred flavour at the mo)

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cool! I saw this advertised on the interwebs last year! Kinda quirky, and not a Kombi, I like it! :) 

 

Will follow your thread.

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On 30/01/2019 at 05:19, browndog said:

cool! I saw this advertised on the interwebs last year! Kinda quirky, and not a Kombi, I like it! :) 

 

Will follow your thread.

Hey Browndog, thanks for the feedback. I figured it might appeal to you as it is the predecessor to the Transit. I didn't really want to do another Bedford so this kinda appealed to me. Always been garaged so no rust which was an added bonus. Current paint is 7 years old and still looks pretty mint so nothing really to do body wise. It's mechanically unmolested right down to the oil bath air filter so I know I've got a really good starting point.

Yep it was quite bizarre as I saw the van listed on TM, but I noticed it had Aus rego plates. Turns out it was sitting in Brisbane which suited me as we now live on this side of the ditch. PO was desperate to get it out of his shed, so he did a really good deal. I've got to finish our house reno first, but I'm looking forward to cracking into this later in the year.

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On ‎02‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 10:56, Flash said:

Hey Browndog, thanks for the feedback. I figured it might appeal to you as it is the predecessor to the Transit. I didn't really want to do another Bedford so this kinda appealed to me. Always been garaged so no rust which was an added bonus. Current paint is 7 years old and still looks pretty mint so nothing really to do body wise. It's mechanically unmolested right down to the oil bath air filter so I know I've got a really good starting point.

Yep it was quite bizarre as I saw the van listed on TM, but I noticed it had Aus rego plates. Turns out it was sitting in Brisbane which suited me as we now live on this side of the ditch. PO was desperate to get it out of his shed, so he did a really good deal. I've got to finish our house reno first, but I'm looking forward to cracking into this later in the year.

Oh Gordon, didn't realise it was you! How you going over there? We (or rather my dad) had one of these when I was a little boy, I really loved it! Was a pale green colour going off my memory of it which was about 45 years ago! Any mods planned? Coyote V8 perhaps? :)   

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Interesting update Gordon, and new garden Gnomes! Would have preferred a Ford engine, but anything will be better than the old 1700 Consul engine you currently have! On a complete tangent have you seen the MCM Bedford/Barra Turbo that Skid factory built?  Much more "patina" shall we say, than your CF, but hilarious all the same!

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Thanks Conrad, I'm also not entirely happy that I couldn't stick to Ford mechanicals, but I couldn't bring myself to cut the floor on such a pristine example so a compromise had to be made. Yep, that Barra Bedford is a beast of note. Talking about patina I came across some images on the net of my Thames in its original paintwork back in 2010. I'll post them into my build thread later today, but here is a taster. Gave it heaps of character. 

 

Front view.jpg

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Oh man I dig these little thames vans, there used to be a 289ci one in my town, man that thing motorvated!!!

Good to see you messing around with vans good sir

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Hi Gordon, wow, it looks like it was a really tidy one to begin with! Funny how some of these old commercial vehicles survive so well, when there are so few of them left!

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9 hours ago, browndog said:

Hi Gordon, wow, it looks like it was a really tidy one to begin with! Funny how some of these old commercial vehicles survive so well, when there are so few of them left!

Yep, the van has had a pretty easy life thus far. Original owner purchased the van in panel van format brand new in Brisbane in 1965 and immediately handed it over to Athol Hedges a well known Brisbane based bus and coach building company back in the day. The Athol Hedges team installed the side windows as well as installing a basic camper van setup. It was then exclusively used for holidays. I haven't yet been able to ascertain when the first owner sold the van, or when the second owner sold the van to it's third owner, but I do know that the third owner used the van as a daily driver to drive between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. During his ownership he did quite a bit on the mechanical side (new ball joints, rod ends, re-cored radiator, rebuilt carbie and fuel pump, brakes, belts and the usual service items). The third owner sold the van in 2010 with just under 69,000 miles on the clock. The fourth owner was the one that poured money into the bare metal restoration which was undertaken by Norm Clarke Restorations in Brisbane East. The van was meant to be a delivery van and mobile marketing tool for his wife's new florist shop, but the shop never happened and the project stalled. In the last 9 years the van has only done around 250 miles. I'm the fifth owner, so not too bad for a 54 year old vehicle.

Here is a pic of the basic camper setup that was done by Athol Hedges. Sadly the fourth owner binned the camper setup and all that is left is the Athol Hedges decal that must have been affixed to one of the interior bits and is now lying in the box of spares.

 

Original interior.jpg

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Love the project. I think your choice of the Hiace drive-train is a great way of adding some life to the old girl without needing extensive suspension, rear end and braking mods. It also keeps the option of converting back to standard when we're all dead and gone, everything's electric and the old Thames ends up in a museum!

I ran a few 80's Hiaces some years back, the running gear was virtually indestructible and they had great pulling power for their day. 

 

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Thanks for supporting my HiAce drive-train direction sr2. Nirvana for me would be using the Thames as my daily driver whilst retaining the minimalist interior look and I can only achieve that goal if I stick to a column shift gearbox and a narrow enough engine to fit in the existing engine box. My HiAce donor has a 5 speed column shift which I am hoping to use as well as the Toyota rear axle. Engine wise I'm thinking of giving the 4Y a go. Sure it was originally designed as a forklift motor, so is unlikely to win any races, but like you say they go forever and parts are cheap and plentiful. The existing Consul derived motor runs okay for what it is, but parts are getting hard to find. Shot of the interior to show how minimalist it is.

 

20190209_174517.jpg

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4Y engine looks like it will be a good upgrade over the 1700 original. I was going to suggest a 2.6 Zephyr 6, as it is basically the same engine, but wit 2 cylinders added. But you still have the fact it is a VERY old engine, versus just an older engine! (Toyota) And 4Y makes about same hp/torque as the Zephyr 6 anyway, so there is that. Yep, I think you have a winner there! A lot of the Corolla's with the (3Y?) engine had twin carbs, so maybe find a set of those and bolt them on for extra go :)  

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Thanks for the feedback Browndog. Yep, a number of van's in the UK were fitted with Zephyr 6 engines back in the day, but it meant lengthening the engine box and cover towards the back of the van as depicted in the pic below. The standard engine box ends in line with the step behind the seats so you can see in the image below the extent to which the box needs to be extended. And as you say those engines are getting pretty long in the tooth now. Still its a much better option than trying to widen the box which then causes seating issues. You can't believe how tight the original engine box is. Even replacing the bespoke Thames intake manifold with one from a Consul car meant putting a bulge in the left hand side of the engine cover which then meant moving the passenger's seat left till it is right up against the B pillar. Squeezing in an exhaust manifold entailed facing it towards the front of the van and then "tromboning" it towards the rear. Really crazy.

I did consider a few straight six options, but again I am limited to non cross flow engines and finding a 5 speed column shift that would mate to the engine without major modification proved to be the challenge. The Japs seem to be the only manufacturers who continued with the non cross flow setups way up until 2007 with the Toyota 7K engine being the last non crossflow engine produced as far as I know.

Zephyr 6.jpg

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Nice van!

I've just finished certing my commer van with a lexus 6 speed, rapier engine and chev diff. Massive PITA now it is all said and done. 

If doing again I would go for a holden 6 and auto box and change the diff/ratio to something taller. The biggest pain was getting the linkages right for the lexus shifter. It took a LOT of fine tuning but now it is done, it can run off the clock. Only thing that needs work is the cooling system. Over 55mph it starts warming up as the air passes below it rather than up into the radiator in the dog box. Probably because I lowered it too much. I'll work on a scoop and aux radiator etc shortly. At 55mph it is sweet though. 

Good luck! 

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Thanks dmulally. Your's sounds like quite an interesting conversion. Good on you for persevering with the manual gearbox conversion. I fitted an auto box when I did the V8 conversion in my Bedford van and always wished that I had gone with a manual. My plan is to take the Toyota 5 speed complete with column shifter and linkages out of my donor van and graft them into the Thames. This assumes that the Toyota linkages will clear my engine and front suspension cross members as they are. If I have to modify them I will but that could result in adjustment issues. I'll cross that bridge when I get there. I'm also going to move the entire HiAce rear axle across, so hopefully should get the same gearing as the donor van. 

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LVV had me reset my leaf springs in the rear which had it sitting high. So to get it down low I then had to change the tyre profile to rubber bands. Which then needed a diff ratio change to get it comfortable again. I still think it is too tall but good thing about the chev is that there are loads of ratios. 

My old commer van was V8 and 5 speed. Loved it. 

As an aside, I looked at the Nissan Vanette as it had cable linkages. 

Is your radiator in the dog box? If so youre welcome to ping me offline so I can tell you how I go with my various upgrades and scoops etc. If it is up front like the beddy then youre in luck! 

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