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Greetings from England - new S4 owner


PhilS4
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Thank you for allowing me to join your forum. As the title suggests I have just found a S4 project which I have started work on.

 

The chassis has been restored, as has the 1600GT crossflow and 2000e gearbox. I have a pair of Dellorto DHLA 40s in the post to me which should get the crossflow above the 100bhp mark, with the assistance of the tubular manifold. Maybe a hotter cam will be required too.

 

The bodywork is sound but the bonnet has been repaired and retissued meaning that it was not as smooth as I would like. So I have a selection of fillers, blocks and a DA sander and I’m teaching myself how to fill and fair the grp. It’s certainly getting much flatte and smoother, but there is a lot to do.

 

Weird puzzles are the missing holes for the handbrake mechanism and a home-altered right side engine mount - I don’t know why the mod was necessary?!?!

 

colour-wise, I’m thinking British Racing Green, perhaps with the Lotus racing yellow stripe. It’s presently yellow but was red and white when sold 52 years ago. In my view the relative unpopularity of the shape is partially related to the bold 70’s colours. In the right colour, I think they look classic and aggressive, i.e more ‘7’ and less ‘beach buggy’.

 

I attach some photos for interest. The first was as found. You can see the mess I’m making of that bonnet!

 

kind regards,

 

Phil

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Welcome!  Sounds like a fun (and dusty) project.  If you are planning to update this thread with your progress -- something I think we'd all like to see -- I can move this to the Build Threads forum.

 

Cheers,

John

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Welcome Phil!  Looks like you have plenty to keep you out of mischief.

 

I have always thought the S4 works best in darker colors.  Your observation about the overly loud 1970s vintage colors is spot on - I am sure that contributed to the lack of affection at the time.  The BRG with maybe a yellow nose band?  You could have variations of that - maybe 1960s BRM F1 cars which had the very dark metallic green with a dark orange nose band.  Or maybe the same era Reg Parnell team colors of dark blue-ish green with a dark maroon noseband?   

 

One thing I have seen on some NZ Steel Brothers versions of the S4 which I think works well is to paint the inset areas of the dash a matte black with the non-inset pieces of the dash then being body color.  The dials then look good mounted on that.  

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30 minutes ago, Croc said:

paint the inset areas of the dash a matte black with the non-inset pieces of the dash then being body color

 

I like that idea. To me, the beach buggy vibe is predominantly driven by the fact the dash and body have no aesthetic distinction -- it looks like one giant piece of fiberglass. It's easy to experiment with contact paper to see the effect of different dash coverage to decide what you like best.

 

-John

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Welcome, and looking forward to following this project along - I'm a fan of the S4s.  The last one I looked at had the inset areas of the dash in black as Croc described, and it looked great.

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Thanks all. It’s really helpful to hear that we all have similar views about the aesthetic problem areas. I was playing with the idea of doing the dash inserts in sheet aluminium or crackle black paint to make the distinction between dash and scuttle. Even the red leather of some earlier cars might work with a green body. I also thought that covering the dash top in leather might improve things, but I expect that will cost proper money to have done well.

 

Thanks for all the encouragement. And if anyone has any photos of any areas of the S4, please post them here as I only have the photos in books, and a few on the Internet, as reference points! For example, it took me about a day of searching to work out where to drill the holes for the handbrake mechanism!

 

many thanks,

 

Phil

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2 hours ago, PhilS4 said:

I also thought that covering the dash top in leather might improve things, but I expect that will cost proper money to have done well.

 

 

A cheaper variation of that idea would be to do the dash insets in leather that matches the seat upholstery.  They are square shaped so easy to cut, edge with piping and then glue on.  

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The Dellortos are here so I spent 10 mins taking off the 32 DGV and putting them loosely in place.

 

The Dellortos are set up with 32mm chokes, 50 idle jet, 132 Main, 33 pump and 200 air correction tubes. The emulsion tubes are 7772.5. Looking at Des Hammill’s book and various posts online, that seems like a recipe that might work for a 1600gt engine. Probably a bit rich across the range, but I don’t know what internals my engine has. I think it is fairly standard as the rebuild receipts just list bearings etc.

 

I just need to fit the handbrake mechanism and buy a new inlet manifold gasket and side entry dizzy cap before I can bolt them up tight.

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