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DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

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  • DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

    I purchased DRL152K last year and am part way into the rebuild. I have already posted and had answered so I thought I would share progress here for those that are interested.
    This my 5th kit car build and 3rd Marlin having built an early Triumph based roadster (LUR191H) and a BMW E30 Sportster (now owned by Steve Pritchard).

    As purchased.

    blank_canvas by Robin Martin, on Flickr

    The intention is to rebuild with cycle wings something like this...
    11898940 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

  • #2
    Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

    1 like the cycle wings


    • #3
      Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

      To cut a long story short here is the progress so far. The plan is not only to rebuild but to make it easier to live with and update it to (almost) the standard required by a modern IVA test.

      Stripped back to the bare chassis and in the man shed.
      in_man-shed1 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

      Modification for larger doors possible because of the intended use of cycle wings. the door is only a mock up to see how well it will work. Actual doors will be made in plywood skinned in aluminium as original only bigger!
      door_with_latch1 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

      Components for dual circuit servo assisted brakes.
      new_pedal_box by Robin Martin, on Flickr

      Proper seat belts. Similar to the later chassis have. DRL152K originally only had static belts bolted to the aluminium skin with little or no re-inforcement. Oo-err....
      seatbelt_mount1 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

      And difficult to see from the picture but I have refurbished the rear tub. It was fairly poorly made in the first place and had many holes that my plans meant were in the wrong place. I have filled all the holes and re-inforced the top lip so it is now a fairly consistant 5mm thick. Before it varied between about 2mm and 5mm. A combination of a less than perfect moulding in the first place and the repairs I have made meant the inside was a bit lumpy and bumpy to say the least so I have lined it using a fibreglass tissue. You can now pass your hand over it without getting spiked!
      tub1 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

      Cheers, Robin


      • #4
        Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

        I don't suppose everyone will like this but I never found the strong but rather utilitarian rear bumper very attractive. Particularly if using cycle wings. So I have taken a hacksaw to it and shortened it so it's almost flush with the chassis. I welded in new ends so it looks like the original (only shorter). I will probably do something similar to the front when the time comes to turn the chassis round and work on the other end. Not a lot of room in my shed!

        rear_bumper1 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

        Cheers, Robin


        • #5
          Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

          Some more progress....
          I have re-made the rear tub support plate. The original was pretty ugly with oversized holes. The new one is a tad lower so I should be able to get some tite-n-fast trim arround the top edge of the tub. The original went right to the top which would have made that impossible.
          tub_support by Robin Martin, on Flickr
          tub_support2 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
          I have also made some new floor pan sides from 1.2mm zintec steel. The originals were alluminium -a bit scary as the seatbelt lower mount is bolted to them. My home made bender was just about up to the job but I may have to think again for the next step which is to remake the rear bulkhead. This was also ally but again I would like to make it from steel but I think my home made bender will struggle with that as it is nearly a metre wide.
          floorpan_side by Robin Martin, on Flickr
          And finally - bought these of Ebay. Ex Austin Healey 3000 - 15x4.5J - just what I was after. I didn't want spanky new ones as they are:
          A - Expensive
          B - I am going for the well used classic rather than show car look.
          You may spot there is actually 7! One guy had 4 for sale and someone else 3. Of course I wanted 5 so I bought both lots. They are all made by MWS - 4 seem to be original British made and the others later Indian manufacture. All 7 cost less than 1 new one.
          wheels by Robin Martin, on Flickr
          Cheers for now, Robin


          • #6
            Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

            Made some good progress in the last couple of weeks. After a lot of fitting and refitting the rear body tub now fits square. It had been originally fitted (by Marlin) not very well and I had to fill all the original mounting holes and redrill them. Also, as it had not been square for some 40 years, the moulding had become a bit distorted and it resisted my efforts to sort it out. Fits fine now though!
            tub_fitted1 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
            Originally countersunk head screws were used for the fixings but these were perilously close to the edge so I have replaced them with conventional allen screws and large washers. Hopefully the wheel should hide most of them.

            I was going to get some new leaf springs made but this was starting to look expensive so I thought I would check the originals a bit more closely. They turned out to be far better than I expected with little or no age related sag. Not bad seeing they are nigh on 50 years old. Picture shows them compared to a NOS original spring.
            rear_springs by Robin Martin, on Flickr

            I was also able, to my suprise, to obtain new metalastic bushes. I suspect this is because they may be the same size as used in 1970's Fords. There isn't a lot of Marina bits out there. Burnt the old bushes out and the new ones pressed in suprisingly easily.
            Rear_spring_bush by Robin Martin, on Flickr
            That's all for now and probably for a while. New kitchen fitting starts in ernest soon...
            Cheers, Robin


            • #7
              Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

              The fuel tank, made by CompBrake, arrived and is exactly as my fag packet sketch so thumbs up to them. It fits almost perfectly (see below!) between the chassis rails as planned. The original tank was suspended much lower which made it rather vulnerable IMHO. The new tank is made from 3mm aluminium and so should be tough as old boots. It's also baffled and sumped so there shouldn't be any problems with fuel surge.

              So - it fitted perfectly - almost... I discovered after a trial fit that the original tank mounting flanges on the chassis are positioned in such a way the the back of the tank is angled downwards by about an inch. Doh! No idea why but as the fuel take off on my tank is at the front this could prove to be a problem. Also I planned to use the tank top face as a level for the boot floor. Had I realised I could have had the flanges on the tank mounted at an angle to compensate but too late now. So i am going to have to grind off the flanges on the chassis and remake them so the tank is level. Grrrrrrrr......
              Cheers, Robin

              tank1 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

              tank3 by Robin Martin, on Flickr


              • #8
                Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

                Today I bit the bullet and chopped the old, very rusty, spring pads off the axle and replaced them with new shiny ones.
                My main concern was getting the new ones back in exactly the right place. To position them laterally I marked the axle with the ends of original spring pads with a centre punch. I then cut of the first mount. The axle was extremly rusty due to the design of the spring pads allowing water to collect - I hope the strength hasn't been compromised.
                axle1 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
                I then levelled up the new pad by axle using a spirit level on the remaining pad and then again on the new pad.
                axle2 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
                And then welded the new pad in place. The process was repeated for the other pad.
                axle4 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
                Ok - so my welding won't win any prizes but its strong enough...
                And finally, cleaned up the brake back plates which were in suprisingly good condition considering they are 50 years old! The shiny bits in the picture are good clean bare metal.
                axle6 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
                Just needs a coat or two of paint now....

                Cheers, Robin


                • #9
                  Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

                  Not too many comments on the thread so just let me say I love rebuild diaries like this and admire the work you are doing on this project. Please keep posting as it's an inspiration for others aiming to return Marlins to the road!


                  • #10
                    Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

                    +1 from me too, keep it up Robin.


                    • #11
                      Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

                      Robin , I think your welding is plenty good enough , the key is getting enough heat and therefore penetration into the joint.

                      Overall though your axle casing looks very corroded. I restored mine and found a twisted knot attachment from Toolstation or Screwfix fitted to my 4" angle grinder, but stay away from the brake pipe retaining clips on the axle with that tool. I found
                      worked well at removing the rust quickly . I then painted it with Red oxide primer and finally gloss black (Both were flag paints ).

                      There has been no reoccurrence of any rust after 6 years. I only used that make paint ,as that is what Toolstation stocked at the time. I researched Flag paints and they make many marine application paints . So perhaps you may wish to check if purchasing Flag online compares with alternatives such as Rustoleum(Excellent) or Hammerite.
                      Last edited by Ye Ol Ripper; 20-11-21, 10:40 AM.


                      • #12
                        Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

                        Thanks for the kind words and advice guys.
                        I have been over the axle a couple of times with various rust removers now, both physical and chemical, and probably the next step will be a high zinc primer - I have been using the Upol 182 stuff elsewhere. It's funny the brake pipe retaining tabs were mentioned. Mine were non-existant and I have had to weld on some new ones. Quite tricky welding thin stuff to thick stuff but in the end I successfully used what I think they call a plug weld.

                        Another small update....

                        A little bit of progress mainly due to the fact that IKEA seem to be out of stock of some of the components for our new kitchen! Which seems to prevent you ordering any of it....

                        So - I trial fitted the rear springs and all the bits that the axle hangs on. Bit of a milestone this as it means I am actually starting to assemble the car rather than dismantle!
                        Not quite as simple as it would first appear as the original U-Bolts and lowering block were shot so I had to get some replacements. Of course Marina ones are simply not available so in the end I used some Grayston lowering blocks and U-bolts intended for the Ford Escort. Actually better quality than I expected. I had to squish the u-bolts slightly as they were a few mm wider than the original ones. But they are made properly from HT steel, it seems, so I had to heat up the U bit to cherry red before they would move. They are also 1/16" greater in diameter so had to fettle the spring plates.
                        The other good game was the rubber spring pads. Again originals unavailable. You can get them from one of the polybush companies but they are over £100 for the 4! In the end I modified some intended for an MGB. Cost me all of £6.
                        axle5 by Robin Martin, on Flickr
                        Cheers, Robin
                        PS - The block of wood is the axle simulator...


                        • #13
                          Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

                          Excellent work Robin - good to see the progress. Paul


                          • #14
                            Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

                            I trial fitted the refurbished axle. It is very heavy! I have been pontificating about what dampers to use but Ebay had a special offer on Spax adjustables (20% off) so I spashed the cash and bought both rears and fronts (which are actually Herald rears).

                            axle trial fit by Robin Martin, on Flickr

                            The only real issue I had, prior to fitting, was the handbrake compensator lever which mounted using some long ago perished rubber top hat bushes. I managed to find an oilite bush of almost the correct size which was a tight press fit and used that instead. Probably better than the original.

                            hand brake compensator by Robin Martin, on Flickr

                            The only snag, and yet to be resolvled, is the proximity of the handbrake cables to the damper. I think it could well touch when the car is moving. Which probably wouldnt really matter but I guess it would be an MOT failure....

                            hand brake cable by Robin Martin, on Flickr

                            Next job is to remake the rear bulkhead - which I am going to make in steel rather than the original ally. That's going to be fun - folding 1.2mm zintec. Watch this space...


                            • #15
                              Re: DRL152K Marina based roadster rebuild

                              After a lot of delays the zintec steel for my front and rear bulkheads arrived. I am making them from steel as opposed to the original alluminium for strength. The front bulkhead tends to crack arround the pedal box and the rear bulkhead has the seatbelts mounted to it. I was able to use my newly beefed up bender for the first time. As expected the folds are fairly soft but fine for the purpose.

                              on_a_bender by Robin Martin, on Flickr

                              rear_bulkhead2 by Robin Martin, on Flickr

                              It fits considerably better than the original factory made effort - even if I do say so myself!