Iso Grifo (1966)

- Iso Grifo Project Commencement Date January 2015 -

Following the inspection of this iconic car and subsequent discussions with customer the decision was made to hand strip the paint from the vehicle shell to allow remedial bodywork repairs and a colour change to take place.

To allow necessary bodywork repairs and paintwork to be addressed the vehicle strip down commenced. With the majority of items removed from the exterior of the vehicle shell a start was made on removing key areas of paint to allow for inspection and assessment of bodywork to take place. Paint was carefully heated and hand stripped back to bare metal on areas such as the main body, back panel, lower rear valance and left rear panel.

At this stage a visit from customer was arranged to discuss the project moving forward and talk through the repairs required. Due to the vehicle body being in a better state than had originally been suspected the decision was made to remove the engine from vehicle and to overhaul the four corners of suspension.

With all the required components removed, the engine and gearbox were carefully removed from vehicle and the gearbox and engine split.

With the engine out, work commenced on removing the four corners of suspension: brake fluid drained, calipers removed, hubs unbolted, anti-roll bar removed, rear differential removed, drive shafts removed and stripped, front and rear shock absorbers removed and all components stripped and cleaned ready for overhaul or specialist plating and refinishing.

- Body Shop -

Throughout February work continued with specialist weld repairs to the right hand wing around the lower rear section, sill cover and around the front bumper fixing point. The rear edge of the right hand door was dressed and reshaped to align correctly with the rear quarter panel.

Further levelling work carried out to the right hand front wing, right hand rear quarter panel, bonnet, front panel and scuttle areas of the vehicle.

Nose cone and front lower panel were dressed and reshaped before levelling again to ensure correct finish would be achieved.

- Mechanical -

Exhaust manifolds were removed along with the HT leads, distributor cap, front water pump pulley, belt tensioner and the starter motor. At this stage the engine was masked off and plugged where required. The gearbox and differential were also steam cleaned and then dried before having any remaining loose paint removed.

- Body Shop -

Right and left headlamp retaining brackets were dry fitted and headlamp apertures dressed and reshaped to ensure correct clearance and gapping was achieved. Oxidation was removed from front wing and area prepped for levelling work.

Left hand door catch, door lock and hinge were extensively cleaned before fitting to the door and securing the door in position and aligning. Adjustments were made and fabrication of a spacer carried out to ensure correct operation and door gapping was achieved.

New petrol flap rubber stops were fabricated and secured in place.

Trims within the boot were removed and the left hand rear mounting panel reshaped and dressed due to these both being slightly dented and misshapen. Boot slam panel and upper rear panel were also prepped ready for levelling work to take place. The wiring loom that runs through boot floor was removed along with rear bumper irons ready to be prepped and painted.

Left hand filler flap was sanded back and split welded up. With the flap refitted levelling work was carried out and adjustments made to ensure gapping was consistent and correct around the flap.

Levelling work was also carried out to the quarter panel and rear window valence.

Boot lid locking mechanism was removed and broken pull cable components removed. A new pull cable was cut to size and the boot lock refitted to check operation slight modification and adjustment carried out to ensure easier operation.

Rear boot panel was dressed and reshaped to ensure correct shut lines were achieved before carrying out levelling work.

Aerial hole was also welded up in the right hand quarter panel before being dressed and required levelling work carried out.

- Body Shop -

During the levelling and panel fit process we have had new oversize door hinge pins made and reamed out the door hinges to fit. This eliminates the door dropping due to wear in the original pins.

Final levelling and alignment of the bonnet and boot panels to their adjoining panels. The front grill area has also been shaped and panels dry fitted. During levelling of the sill and side panel areas we found sill fitting to be poorly aligned with the door and wing panels. Subsequently we have cut, dressed and re-welded the panels as required to achieve an acceptable fit.

We have then sprayed the body with high build primer and hand blocked down with very fine 3000 grade paper. This process enables the sharpness and final body shape to be achieved. The body is then sprayed with six coats of under coat and further hand sanded.

- Mechanical -

With the engine now washed off the decision was made to remove the sump and cylinder heads to establish condition of the cylinder bores and crankshaft. It was decided that re-grinding the crankshaft and re-shelling the bottom end was not justified.

- Body Shop -

With the shell preparation nearer completion, the final flatting process was carried out to ensure any imperfections were removed from the pre coat. The doors were removed from the shell to allow preparation of all the shut panels, the boot and bonnet were also removed and the underneath was prepared. The vehicle was completely masked up and then painted in Ferrari Rubino. Upon completion of painting the shell the doors, boot and bonnet were separately painted. After the oven baking process the paint is then wet flatted back with 1500 and then 3000 abrasion discs preparing the paintwork for polishing at a later stage. The underside and engine bay have been cleaned, prepared and finished in Satin black and the wheel arches and fuel tank have had stone chip protection applied.

- Mechanical -

With the painting process now complete the vehicle was transferred to the workshop to start re-fitting. With the majority of the new suspension parts here we proceeded to fit the new bushes to the stabiliser bars and the rear axle mounts, these were then fitted to the vehicle, the rear differential and the rear springs and shock absorbers were also fitted. Moving onto the engine compartment the wiring loom was correctly routed and re-wrapped for protection and aesthetics. The engine block has been prepared, primed and painted in heat resistant black engine paint.

The dismantled front suspension was re-assembled with the new components, the shock absorbers, upper and lower arms, anti-roll bar, drop links etc. were all installed back into the vehicle, both front wheel bearing assemblies where built up and refitted.

With the engine block now prepared and painted we started to re-assemble the engine. The crankshaft, oil pump and the pistons were fitted and the sump was cleansed, prepared, repainted and fitted. The cylinder heads, the camshaft and push rods were fitted, the inlet manifold was cleaned, prepared, painted and fitted and the timing chain and cover were fitted. With the engine now ready, the flywheel, clutch and gearbox were fitted to the engine and the whole assembly was then installed back into the vehicle.

The original exhaust manifolds have been media blasted and painted in satin black with original refurbished heat shields fitted. The original exhaust system has been loosely fitted prior to a new system being made.

Following meetings with our trimmer and the owner a decision was made to re-trim the inside of the car including: seal, dash, carpets, door panels and roof lining all in original fabric.

The overhauled brake calipers have now been refitted and the brake hydraulic system fitted and bled through.

With the wheels now returned from refurbishment, the wheels could be built back up and put on the vehicle, the new rear wheel bearing bolts were fitted, the drive shafts were fitted and all the rear suspension was finalised, with the vehicle now on wheels the torque settings were re-checked on the front and rear suspension. The boot hinges and boot lid were fitted and aligned. The returned chromed items were carefully refitted to the vehicle.

To enable the replacement of the dashboard wood panelling the steering column was lowered, the steering wheel removed and all the instrumentation and switches were removed, upon completion of the replacement of the panelling the gauges and switches were refitted making adjustments as required to fit new panel.

The bonnet and boot shuts were prepared, primed and painted black and any visible fixing under bonnet brackets etc. were painted black.