JL Engineering Le Mans Restoration

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JL Engineering Le Mans Restoration

Postby John Law » Tue May 07, 2013 11:35 pm

This particular Le Mans has changed hands a few times over the years but is now in destined for hotter climates as it is going to live in Australia with its new owner, Tom.

Before it sets off on its journey the car is being treated to a restoration and mechanical overhaul.

So here is the Le Mans in question.

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The car has been worked on quite recently and the rear of the vehicle was pretty solid with only a few small holes in the subframe. It has a new pair of adjustable rear shocks from Spax and a few other extras. The main concerns were the front subframe corrosion, brakes, fuel lines, and general heavy corrosion on the suspension assembly.

Crushed/collapsed braided fuel hose with very heavily corroded hardline that runs to the pressure regulator. This is a no brainer to remove from the equasion.
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The ABS pump and solid brake lines have all seen better days. The aluminium pump body has very deep oxidisation almost down to the brake line ports. Image

This kind of corrosion was found throughout the suspension.
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Hub carriers were bad and the ABS rings looked in terrible shape along with most of the associated brackets.
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So the rear subframe and all the suspension components were removed front and rear. Anything worth keeping was disassembled and boxed up to be media blasted otherwise would be replaced.
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Once the parts were media blasted they were then checked, any repairs made then rust stabiliser applied. One last blast session with a finer medium then straight to the powdercoated for a gloss black topcoat with epoxy undercoat. Photos to follow...
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Postby Alpineandy » Fri May 10, 2013 12:36 pm

Had it spent it's life parked on a beach?
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Postby turbodog » Fri May 10, 2013 4:58 pm

Not this one but there is one that spent 10 years off the road parked on the seafront. When the owner decided to reuse it and have it recommissioned the corrosion was a hundred times worse. The car has had to have all its metalwork replaced, chassis, suspension, uprights, wishbones etc. I won't say which car it is just in case he/she needs to sell it!! :wink:
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Postby chrism » Fri May 10, 2013 9:02 pm

Its good to see my old car getting the TLC it deserves !!

Please continue with the restoration pics, I'd love to see it back to how I always wanted it to be.
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Postby John Law » Wed May 15, 2013 10:31 pm

Although the car did have some heavy corrosion, especially the drivers side suspension components, I think we have caught it just in time. If it had been left another year or two things would have really gone downhill. Now all the structural repairs are finished, every box section and also the central spine has been injected with rust inhibitors and waxoil it should last indefinitely.
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Postby John Law » Wed May 15, 2013 11:29 pm

We are still waiting on parts from the Dieppe trip to arrive but have got the front end up to scratch. The subframe was stripped back to reveal any hidden corrosion any repairs were then taken care of. All surface corrosion was taken back to bare metal with a flapwheel then coated with corrosion stabiliser. Next the front subframe was coated with the por15 system and left to cure. Lastly all brackets, electrical conduit and fittings were masked and the full front end and wheel arches were coated in 3M underseal for lasting protection.
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We've trial fitted the 3 new stainless water pipes/heater pipe and made the necessary modifications to get them to fit correctly. Great products from Simon Autos. Excuse the ropey engine bay, this is prior to its overhaul.
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Parts arrived to start making the new hard fuel lines.
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Best of all though are the powdercoated items have turned up looking great.

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Postby Trevor Skedge » Thu May 16, 2013 7:13 am

Looking very good indeed.

Trevor.
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Postby PaulC1959 » Thu May 16, 2013 10:17 pm

Trevor Skedge wrote:Looking very good indeed.

Trevor.


Ditto, I wish I could have afforded to have had it all done but hey ho! I'm sure Tom will be very pleased with the work as it progresses. :wink:
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Postby MFaulks » Fri May 17, 2013 8:29 pm

Does look very nice indeed. I got the ecu ok thanks John, I'll post up about that properly as soon as I can.

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Postby John Law » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:15 pm

So a few more updates are due and now the parts have finally turned up from Dieppe its time to crack on with the rebuild.
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As the original spline drive, high tensile bolts that secure the wheel bearing to the hub carrier are now unavailable from Renault/Alpine I have chosen to use 12 point, high tensile aero fasteners. These have small enough heads that enable you to get a socket to them through the access hole in the hub, are a higher tensile rating than the standard items, are plated so will not deteriorate plus they look great.
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Since completing the front of the car we have stripped the rear in search of any hidden corrosion. The usual troublesome areas were solid due to having recently been repaired but had started to corrode and were on the verge of getting much worse due to the poor quality paint and underseal which was used. Only the jacking points required any real attention.
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The rear was stripped back and corrosion inhibitors applied, including the engine bay and inner and outer turrets. POR15 system was applied and Dinitrol wax injected in cavities. Lastly the underside, inner turrets and arches were coated with 3M's flexible underseal.
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The engine hatch was looking tatty so it was removed, the rivets drilled out and it was sanded down, degreased and treated to 4 coats of high temp satin black. The stainless was polished and stand painted then all riveted back in place. I detailed the hinges too.
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Postby John Law » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:21 pm

Front shocks have turned up and the new springs and topmounts are underway. This will allow a much wider choice of poundage and length as the standard spring size doesn't offer much scope. The Le Mans already has Spax dampers on the rear so we are bringing the fronts up to scratch.
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A small selection of the parts that have been zinc clear coated before being reused. If anything is corroded or damaged they have been replaced.
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New Cupronickle brake lines front and rear due to the old steel lines corroding. I have done away with the knackered old plastic clips and used stainless p-clips and hardware.
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As this Le mans, like many GTA turbos, has a very corroded exhaust heat shield we needed to replace it as it is spoiling the overall look of the engine bay as well as beginning to vibrate due to spot welds breaking. They are unavailable through Renault/Alpine so we have remanufactured it in 304L brushed stainless steel. They are an exact replica as the original Le Mans heat shield with the correct pressings etc but obviously wont corrode and look excellent.
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Fuel lines have been modified to accept -6an fittings. Swirl pot was removed cleaned and flushed, amazing the amount of junk in there. Refitted with stainless fixings and fuel lines have been renewed.
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Postby phildini » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:34 pm

This is Alpine Porn!!

John the Artist :wink: 8)
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Postby PaulC1959 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:16 pm

Oh dear I've just had a gentleman’s moment!!!!

Seriously though it really looks like top quality work, keep the photos coming. Tom I am sure is very pleased with what he sees.

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Postby clee » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Fantastic work 8)
It must be in the genes :wink:

Now then .....These there heatshields and Spax coilovers ..I could do with a few of each as I'm sure a lot will want them .
Do you have a price/delivery on the shields ? Also I have a few guys that want the Spax units fitted so any joy with the tops etc .
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Postby MFaulks » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:56 pm

.
John,

Brilliant work, very nice indeed sir 8) I'm sure Tom will be very happy indeed.

Fuel lines; look good, these are the twin-reg fuel line setup correct? Can you get more made up? Do these marry to the OE installed lines, or do those end fittings need to be changed as well and I presume that's new fuel line on the flexible section?

Thanks,
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