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FAQs: Cabrio and Hunter

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  • FAQs: Cabrio and Hunter

    Cabrio FAQs

    •Dimensions. The LWB is 4”/10cm longer than the SWB, 2” in the doors and 2” just behind. Visually this shows itself in that the rear door line on the LWB lines up with the end of the running board, whereas there is a 2” difference on the SWB. Useful gain in luggage space in LWB, and tall drivers gain headroom with seat further back and more rake.

    · Height 4’0”/1.22m
    · Length 12’9”/3.88m (LWB) or 12’5”/3.78m (SWB)
    · Width 5’6”/1.66m
    · Wheelbase 8’9”/2.67m (LWB) or 8’5”/2.57m (SWB)
    · Weight 16cwt/850kg

    •Exhaust fumes in car. Usually caused by the exhaust pipes exiting centrally at the rear. Taking them to the corners should cure it.
    •A rear wind deflector, as found on a modern MGTF, fitted close behind the seats helps, but close off the gap between the seats to stop a draught.

    •Rear disc brakes and LSD. Can be fitted but loss of traction from ordinary diff not a problem, and a better upgrade to the brakes is to fit a dual servo, especially if you want a decent handbrake.

    •Seats. Those supplied by Marlin were not easy to adjust. Aftermarket suppliers do narrow seats, but production cars are usually too wide. Try Bedford Rascal or Suzuki Wagon R, or the best if you can find them are Suzuki Cappoccino seats. The latter may seem expensive, but it will cost far more to recover them anyway (they only come in black vinyl). They are lower than the others so a bit of headroom is gained.

    •Engines. In essence any that fits the engine bay can be used, but the common fitments are Ford 4-pot or V6, BMW straight 6, or Rover V8. If swapping between these, then the engine and gearbox mounts need changing. More importantly, the Fords use the Ford pedal box (cable clutch), but the BMW/Rover fitments used a bespoke pedal box for a hydraulic clutch.

    •Hardtop. Only a handful ever made by Marlin and only for the SWB. Anything else you may see is a one-off. The hood works well enough anyway.

    •Cooling. Not usually a problem on Ford or BMW cars, but some Rover engines can be a problem. Possible solutions include multi-core radiator, louvres top and side of bonnet, lagged exhausts, oil cooler, ducted cold air to air filters, increased coolant capacity (may only delay the inevitable!), and ultimately extra radiators.

    •Wheels/tyres. Standard fitment is 15”x6.5J, PCD 108mm, offset 35mm, fitted with 195/65R tyres. Any variation should be carefully assessed for clearance, especially on full lock. Also, for IVA, the wings need to cover the tyres, and this is already difficult at the front as the inner wings are too shallow. Forcing them out changes the angle and the headlamp bar then does not sit correctly.
    Start pressures at 22psi all round, and front toe-in set to the Sierra setting; rear toe-in may also need attention, but only possible by shimming to somewhere near the front value.

    •Boot. Weight of wheel will straighten lid provided the corners of the tub are supported. Hard cover will only go over a space-saver wheel, so an extension to the bolt is needed to put a full size wheel on there, even temporarily.

    •Cabrio badge. Shortened ‘Cabriolet’ from a Peugeot 306, or a smaller version was available in Motor World amongst their stick-on badges. VW Golf also had a ‘Cabriolet’ badge at one time.
    Last edited by dave_kitson; 30-07-14, 03:59 PM. Reason: Add tyre pressures and toe-in.