As expected, Moose didn't make it home for Christmas, but our thoughts were with him. With the rear wood and body section removed as one piece and layers of sticky, rubbery underseal scraped off the rest of the car by hand, the remaining shell was taken away to the local sandpit and blasted. The lacey metalwork then returned to the workshop for a light undercoat and a bit more welding. The sandblasting had revealed more rust around the rear bumpstops and in the cab rain gutters.
With the last of the welding done, Jonathon then turned his attentions to the new suspension setup. At the front he is fitting a set of adjustable coil-over gas shocks. This will allow us to alter both the firmness of the ride and the ride height with just a turn of a screwdriver or spanner. At the moment it looks like we'll be using 400 pound springs, but this may have to change by the time the car is up to its full rolling weight. Also at the front is the vented disc brakes setup from a Ford Sierra. I could have the discs cross-drilled for even better braking but I think these should pull the car to a stop fairly well as it is, don't you think?
At the rear, Jonathon has built the telescopic shock turrets. These allow the shocks to be mounted vertically, which allows them to work much better than if they are mounted diagonally. The tops of the turrets are braced by a square section bar that is welded across the floor of the car (you can just see the bar welded to the top of the axle hump in the second photo below). The tops of the turrets only protrude through the floor by about 2 inches so they will be completely hidden by the boot floor.
Yet to be added is pair of bars which will act as both axle locators and anti-tramp bars. These are mounted below and parallel with the springs which means that they act on the same arc of rotation as the axle when it rises and falls, again working better than diagonally mounted anti-tramp bars. The bars prevent the axle from twisting under hard acceleration. This helps to put the power down on the road instead of into twisting the axle. It also means that the suspension is kept upright and able to do its job properly - telescopic shocks work under compression not shear action.
So, the jigsaw puzzle that once was our beloved Traveller is starting to come back together. The engine bay will be sprayed this week (18-22 January, 1999), and will then be sent off to the engine experts to have the K-Series engine and Ford Sierra 'box fitted up and wired for noise. That should take 2-3 weeks, then it's back to JLH for final respray and reassembly. Jonathon will then fit new carpets and a few other nice little bits and pieces we've picked up along the way. All going well it looks like we'll have a brand new Moose back in our hands by mid to late March '99 . I can't wait ...