The Capri Files

an ash's projects website
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07/02/2014 03:32   Lazarus   [General]

After a long hiatus, more stuff will be happening with the Capri. Stay tuned...

09/12/2008 17:58   Fibreglass Repair - UPDATE   [Body]

I bought a fibreglass patch kit and posted a query here at So far I have :

  1. Sanded the crack, font and back

  2. Used wire to hold the torn edges of the crack together

  3. applied fibreglass matting and resin to the back of the crack. I used lots of resin so it would soak through to the front (outside).

  4. sanded back excess resin drips on the outside of the bumper

  5. rinsed the sanded area and applied BOG to build out material removed by damage and sanding

  6. sanded the bog, applied more bog

It's hard to tell when the bog is sanded to the right shape. When the bumper is painted and shiny every imperfection will show. At this stage I am just running a finger over the repair to see if I can feel imperfections. When I have the first layer of primer on I will use blade putty for the final shaping.

EDIT 02/03/2009

Blade putty and first coat of plastic primer is on the bumper. The repaired areas can still be seen if you know where to look... it's like pulling a thread, it'll never be perfect!

06/10/2008 13:33   Capri Owner   [General]

Just wanted to let you know about the National Capri & Clssic Small Ford Muster. In case you have not heard of it previously this is a great weekend of events hosted by the ACT Small Ford Owners Club in Canberra and it will be held over the weekend of 31 Oct - 2 Nov for 2008.
There is variety of events including a Twilight Cruise, Observation Run, Show & Shine, Dinner & Trivia Night and an Economy Run. You can contact me at for a registration form and the schedule of events.

06/06/2008 11:00   Legit.   [General]

The Capri passed the rego check! It was a fairly comprehensive check - the car was inspected from underneath, all lights, seatbelts etc were checked, brakes, wheel bearings, all kinds of things I hadn't thought of! Now I have real number plates, registration, and all the correct VIN and engine numbers, making my engine swap 100% legit. This is quite a relief

Now I just need to apply the registration sticker and take it for a spin!

29/05/2008 12:00   Re-replacement   [Wheels, Brakes And Suspension]

I put the original suspension back in the car. It was a much quicker job now that I know what I'm doing. I also bought some 16" wheels and tyres on eBay, unfortunately the tyres were too big so I've had to buy new ones. So if anybody out there needs some nice 205/55/r16 tyres, give me a call

Now the car is back on the road with new wheels and tyres (the old ones were probably too bald to pass rego) and has heaps of ground clearance. In fact I'm worried that the inspectors will tell me the car is now too high!

I also removed the strut brace. Yes it makes the car better and stronger than it was the day it was built, but I'm a bit paranoid and am removing anything that looks shiny and "aftermarket." I just want the bloody thing registered. We will know after my inspection next Friday!

19/05/2008 12:00   Epic Fail   [General]

Today I drove the Capri to Canberra for a rego check. Because the engine has been swapped (and therefore has a different number from what is printed on the rego details) the car has to be inspected at the motor registry. Just as I was driving the car over the pit there was an almighty CLUNK and the car stopped dead. in the ACT cars have to have at least 100mm of ground clearance to qualify. To prevent any arguments the pit at the motor registry is surrounded by a rim of thick steel plate, presumably so that any part of the vehicle that drops below the regulation clearance in forcibly removed. I'm not sure which part of my car hit the barrier, most likely a front suspension component. Fortunately I was barely moving and I don't think anything was damaged.

So I drove the car back home. 600km round trip for nothing.

I did mention that my combination of suspension and wheels seemed a bit low.

06/12/2007 14:51   Strut Brace   [Wheels, Brakes And Suspension]

Contemporary tests were scathing of the Capri for its lack of rigidity. One reviewer said with his hands on the steering wheel he could feel the whole car moving around him*

When Ford designed the Capri based on their Laser hatchback they they engineered in some underfloor reinforcing to compensate for the removal of the roof but it seems this was insufficient. Personally I can hear some squeaking and movement as I go over large kerbs but it doesn't seem much worse than any other 1980s hatchback!

However I always planned to do some strengthening and to this end I ordered a front strut tower brace from Whiteline Australia. It is very pretty and fits the car nicely but doesn't look anywhere near as strong as the factory strut brace on my tx3.

I performed this addition in the worst possible way - no before and after testing, no quantification of the modification at all. I was persuaded by the reviews of the car to simply throw EVERY accessory I can find at the car to stiffen it up. Now that I think about it, the strut brace may actually make things worse by localising stress somewhere else on the chassis! I'll be sure to let you know if the car snaps in half in the future

*I will link to this review when I can find it again. in the meantime look here

28/11/2007 12:00   Thanks   [General]

A big thanks to Ash for designing this website, and very kindly continuing to host it!

27/11/2007 16:13   New Hosting   [General]

Hi All, this website has just been moved from its old address to here. Sorry if you can't find what you are looking for, but before you panic, take a look at the old address and compare it to the new.

Anything at: etc...

Will now be at: etc...

Simple, eh?

Have fun and enjoy Nick's triumph, the best topless car...ever!

02/11/2007 12:55   Brake Options...   [Wheels, Brakes And Suspension]

Apparently the brakes on the turbo Capri are bigger than on the standard model. However, the calipers are identical (they have the same number stamped on them) and the discs look the same size, and as accurately as I can measure a 3-dimensional object, they are the same size!

I also took the opportunity to measure the thickness of the discs. There will usually be a minimum thickness stamped on the hub somewhere - when the discs get more worn than this they have to be replaced. The discs on the silver Capri have about 2mm more than the donor car. This, coupled with my natural laziness, has made me decide to leave the brakes how they are.

As a general maintenance precaution I flushed the whole brake system with DOT4 fluid, and then refilled it with more of the same. Bleeding brakes is a messy bastard of a job, but much easier with a second person to help, by pumping the brake pedal while you crack the bleed nut on the caliper. Your assistant doesn't get dirty so it's a good one for non-mechanics

The fluid I flushed out looked horrible. I can't guess how long it had been in there but it was well past its prime. The brake flush has made a HUGE difference to the brake performance - previously the pedal was very spongy, but now it's much firmer and the brakes more responsive.

EDIT 01/07/08 - Bugger!

It seems the SA capri also used tapered bearings on the front wheels. This is unusual for a front-wheel-drive car and incompatible with all the other capris I've found. For now my mechanic has repacked and tidied them up as much as possible. Unfortunately I got rid of the donor car last month so I can't use its bearings. Presumably I'll have to go to a wrecker, find new steering knuckles, and use these as replacements, together with a new bearing kit...

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