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Part 9 - The Cornish Unipower GT rebuild - Ancillaries !

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

Guy writes in his latest Blog - I promised some radiator stuff at the end of Blog 7 and so it turned out to be! On close inspection the necessary elements were all there (top section being different from the rest, for the heater) but whilst the core was fine, the original mounting brackets had long been sawn/cut off/removed and two hanging brackets brazed or soldered on in a completely different place! Some work to do there then! Gerry helped with some pics of what is needed.

Don’t forget also, that I’m going for the original twin fan set up, but not surprisingly the mounting bracket is a shadow of its former self (you mean totally bent and nearly useless? Ed) and only provides clues as to what shape it should be. Here, not only Gerry, but George Williams, provided some help. The 998cc versions however, only had a single fan, but some mounting points were the same…at least I managed to find a pair of brand-new fan motors!! More on rads ‘n’ fans later…..

You’ll recall much excitement at the arrival of new copper piping for both the brakes (3/16”dia and clutch 1/4”dia)! With some help and the odd mistake (by me), the brake pipes are now swaged, bent and fitted, complete with new T unions front and rear, even a new brake light switch…. (with a parallel thread rather than the old BSP, for the anoraks out there!). They will all be permanently fitted after paint and secured with the correct factory steel ties (a forerunner to modern cable ties). Clutch and 5/16” dia petrol pipe are now done. They follow the same path as the brake pipe, to the rear of the car, down through the offside sill.

But before the clutch and petrol pipes were made up and fitted, the sill mounted gear lever mechanism including new plastic bushes, (from the Hillman Imp interestingly) must be fitted to ensure they don’t foul each other in the sill. Not unsurprisingly, the pivot hole in the gear-lever was oval, caused no doubt by a ¼” set screw (with its thread running the whole length) having been used in there!! So, a proper, reamed 5/16” hole and aircraft-grade plane shank bolt sorted that out! The gear-lever carrier fixed in place by 4 factory original GKN set screws and new lock washers

The dynamo has been removed, after alignment spacers had been machined, and sent off to be refurbed with new brushes etc, together with a nice paint job.

Now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for …my body! Where do I start? Cutting the odd shape holes and slots in the virgin bodywork for the bonnet catch release mechanism seemed a good a place as any. Templates were taken from the old front and carefully transposed using masking tape and marked onto the new one. Then, very carefully, using a Dremel, small handsaw, drills and files, the two rectangular holes and mounting holes etc were all crafted! To go with this, the bonnet release mech cable hole was drilled in the bulkhead. Now we’re really getting somewhere!

After some final fettling of the body panels as fitted from the factory moulds, the first coat of primer is starting to show the high quality to which the finished body will achieve.


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Aug 01, 2022

Excellent Guy - nice to see the progress. ROR99G was originally a 1275S from my recollection and records, so I did not quite understand the reference to the 998 only having a single fan. Seems like a lot happened to it after it left my hands. I know the original gear lever (to which the knob attached) had some poor threading near its top. I think i was able to tap some more thread on it so the knob tightened properly, but as far as I know it was original when I last saw it :)

Aug 01, 2022
Replying to

Hi Rick,

Unfortunately the factory records do not specify which engine was installed in your old car when built or indeed that the factory supplied an engine. During the very latter time of production in the PW-F period, often the records did not get updated correctly as the production was so disrupted due to the race programme impacting on the road car production. If you have some records to confirm that a 1275cc engine was installed, I would much appreciate seeing this so as to add detail to the records.

The car had a 1275cc Mini engine fitted with a turbo (I believe that David Small did this in his ownership as was the glass sunroof) when Guy bought it.…

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