The Donor Car - Twiggy
Once the kit was decided on I had to find a donor vehicle. I decided on my budget, £350, and set about searching for a Sierra 2ltr. I
found several likely vehicles on Ebay and bid for them, one at a time until at last I had a winning bid at £320 for a 1991 Sierra Ghia Automatic 2Ltr DOHC. We christened it Twiggy for obvious
Twiggy needed to go on a drastic diet!
For the Beauford kit I needed to remove the front beam axle, the engine and gearbox and rear axle assembly. I don't have an engine hoist,
so on studying the car decided as the engine is mounted on the front beam, I could drop the lot down, raise the body and pull the the whole assembly out complete. I couldn't find my axle stands
so borrowed some bricks from my sister (she can finish her garden wall later) and jacked the body up ready.
Twiggy was ready to begin her diet!
I disconnected the cables from the engine, undid the exhaust, speedo cable, propshaft, radiator, coolant reservoir, power steering reservoir, brake pipes and gearshift inside the car. Then I loosened the bolts holding the front beam on and the front shock absorbers, gearbox support and removed anything else that got in the way. I put a jack under the engine and one under the gearbox, removed the bolts holding the gearbox support and lowered it down on to a small trolley.
I moved the jack under the beam for additional support then finished removing all the bolts and lowered it down. It all went as planned until it came to settling on its wheels - it wouldn't. With the shock absorbers free from the wings there was nothing to keep them upright! It was obvious with hindsight, how did I think it could be any other way.
Back to the drawing board. I'd made myself a crawling board to slide under the car, my wife suggested using that to support it, I told her it wasn't strong enough, but after she'd gone in I decided to give it a go. I was right, it broke! Using the now much shortened crawling board and repositioned casters, it took the weight!
The next step was to raise the body, so I could pull it out!
I raised the front slowly by putting the jack on bricks and increasing the already tower of bricks a few at a time, until it was high enough for the engine to be pulled out. That was the theory, but Twiggy didn't want to co-operate. I had tied some rope to the makeshift trolly, I did not want to get under the car in its precarious state, but as I pulled, the trolley started to come out and leave the engine behind!!! My choice of language was appropriate for the occasion.
Eventually I managed to partially clear the engine from under the car, I still had to watch the gear box didn't swing round and knock the tower of bricks and car over. The problem was the weight and floppy uprights (never a good thing) so I made a top bracing for the shocks, I figured as I didn't need them for the kit, it wouldn't matter if I damaged them. This helped to a degree and I was able to get the front beam, engine and gearbox, complete, in the garage, ready for refurbishment. With the front end sorted I lowered the car back to a safe level and went to bed.
Next it was the turn of the back end, Twiggy's diet continued.
That did go to plan, except for the rain, the bolts were released and the rear beam and diff assembly were lowered down onto the wheels and pulled from under the car.
Twiggy was looking decidedly anorexic.
Next I stripped out the wiring, the steering column, the seats and everything I thought would come in handy. I next removed the ID plates, you never know!
I thought I was going to have to pay for the scrapping of the body, but as we were going out a chap stopped and asked what I was doing with it, could he have it. I told he could take it and when we got home it was gone. Twiggy was waiting for rebirth.