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An Anglia Allardette for the New Millennium? 

Introduction 

This Article was written in mid 1998 and chronicled the progress I had made on the Anglia, and my future intentions. I ended up selling it off as parts before I completed it due to more pressing commitments at the time, however it is a project I would like to complete one day. We shall see! Note all costs are in $ NZ.

This article explains how someone with no money and practically no idea of what they are doing, can successfully progress building a car that will be very much a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I started out not being able to weld, and having only a very basic knowledge of suspension geometry. I knew nothing about modifying Fords, only anecdotal tales.

It has been a hell of a journey of discovery, and it ain’t over yet! However, I firmly believe you can build very capable cars, on an absolute shoestring, if you take your time, do lots of research, and spend your money wisely. Doing it yourself s a big money saver, and it is far cheaper to learn new skills than pay someone to do it for you.

Hopefully the Anglia will prove my point - I aim to spend less than $3000 in real terms on it.

Background 

I have wanted to build a club car for a number of years, for several different reasons:
 
The Leitch is a road car and I can’t afford to break it 
I have wanted to build another car for some time - helping out on others is OK, but not the same as doing your own car 
A Seven is too light for grass/gravel etc - I wanted an all event, all surface vehicle 
I wanted a car that was also relatively practical for dual use as a hack - ie more space for luggage/shopping/car parts etc than the Leitch 

Unfortunately I was also about to embark on the new house thing, and was additionally paying rent, so money was exceptionally tight. Never mind, I decided to do it anyway - as they say, Allah will provide!

Options 

First question was what sort of car? I seriously considered Ford Escorts, for the following reasons:
 
readily available 
great history 
lots of information on the right things to do to them 
look good 
cheap 
Unfortunately they also were:
 
tending to rust like bastards 
expensive for rust free ones 
typically owned by young hoons - not the image I wanted 
liable for theft 
done before and common 
expensive to get decent horsepower and reliability from (in my terms) 
not that economical 

Decision 

I had been thinking about ‘doing up’ a 105E Anglia for years - they have always appealed to me. This was an attractive option because they are:
 
cheap 
not as prone to rust as the Escort 
compatible with lots of Ford parts - so Escort principles should apply 
light 
small 
cute (a friend once defined cute as ugly but interesting) 
And I had always wanted one - teenage fantasy!

Above all the car had to be easy to re-shell, as I figured I would total it at least once, working on the theory that the only way you find your driving limits is to go beyond them…

So, it was settled - 105E Anglia. I had looked at some about 3 years ago, and found that the main difference between Anglias advertised for $300 and $1500 was what the owner thought they were worth. This seemed a promising start. I had considered all sorts of cars - HB Vivas, Avengers, Starlets, Marinas, Chevettes etc etc - but I wanted something ‘classic’, and preferably Ford as I had a heap of mags that were Ford stud pattern. Although I really wanted an Anglia based purely on ‘like it, want it, need it’ grounds, it still made the most sense on an economic and finished product basis too.

We will find that out when it is finished.

One day.

Planning 

I am a firm believer that if you are going to modify a car then the best thing to do is plan the whole thing first, and know exactly what you are going to do. Well, I tried!

In the first instance the car would need more grunt. I firmly believe in putting in as much horsepower as possible and then learning to drive it! It may be at odds with the technique that really good driver’s swear by, ie learning how to handle a car, and then add more horsepower, but I know I am not a really good driver! In reality I wanted to build the car with the right amount of power in the first instance, and so not have to re-power it later.

I did not want to use a Ford engine - I have only ever had bad experiences with them, and they seemed pretty expensive to modify and get reliability from. I was not intending to race Pre-65, so I had a blank sheet of paper to begin with.

I am a huge fan of Toyota motors, having had 2 in the Leitch (what was that about unreliability?). EFI was the only way to go in my book, as was 5 speed. I figured it really only left me with the 1600 cc 4AGE - I considered a 3SGE (2 litre) but discounted it on grounds of cost, and the likelihood of having to modify the firewall, which I hoped to avoid.

The 4AGE has 3 main sub types - the standard 16 valve (in varying amounts of horsepower, ranging from 118 to 135), a couple of supercharged versions (145 to165 horsepower, and loads of torque, known as a 4AGZE) and the variable cam timing 20 valve I have in the Leitch (165 to 170 horsepower, but less torque than the 4AGZE).

The Engine 

I am an avid fan of the trade and Exchange - and there I found, late in 1996, the following ad:

"Toyota Trueno ’89 super charger, extensive panel damage but mtr & int Ok, suit pts, $1500."

Remember I had no money? My total bag of gold was $1000, but I went and had a look anyway. After a bit of negotiating I got the entire car for $1100. So, what did I buy? I got the car (technically it is an AE 92 model) with 88,000 km on the clock, alarm, CD stereo, excellent interior, and every exterior panel aside from the boot lid and bonnet scoop mangled. Every window (except one) was broken - even the sunroof… The taillights and headlights were OK, and although twisted, the car still drove.

So, what the hell, I drove it home - it was about a 35 k journey. It literally looked like we had just crashed it. The young clown I bought it off said he spun out trying to avoid an old lady and went through a pile of trees - but swore it never rolled. Given the damage, he must have been doing well over the speed limit, and if it didn’t roll then how did it get the dirt in the rain channels? Maybe that’s why his insurance had not paid out…

Never the less, I had the entire car - mechanically it was perfect, and the motor alone was worth close to $2000. To put it in perspective, at the time un-crashed versions were selling for about $11,000.

Reinventing the Wheel 

So, it was going to be a supercharged Anglia! There is a saying that everything has been done before - well from my perspective it certainly appears to be true. The engine was the 145 horse, 140 lb.ft version. Only trouble was, the car was FWD - no problem - all 4AGEs can be turned into RWD - just that hardly anyone had done 4AGZEs before.

I had no idea if the engine would fit - hell, I did not even have an Anglia! However, I knew that the 4AGE fitted in a Lotus Seven type car, and the Seven also fitted Crossflows and Twin Cams. I also knew that Lotus used an Anglia as the development mule for the Twin Cam, so it was a reasonable bet the 4AGE would fit.

As I now know, in the late ‘60s a company in the UK made an ’Anglia Allardette’ by adding a supercharger to a standard Anglia - of course they weren’t Twin cams, but they did do 115 mph… Also a friend sent me a magazine article on some guys in Aussie who put a 4AGZE into an Anglia - I was unaware of this until some time later. And I thought I was doing something new!

Have Engine - Need Gearbox 

I was now the proud owner of a wrecked car with a nice engine, and no money. This was NOT going to help me build an Anglia.

So, over a weekend a couple of friends helped me strip the Toyota down to the bare shell. A local recycler took away the shell and broken bits for $35, and I advertised the remains in the Trade and Exchange. Over the next few months I made $1800 on the bits I sold - yes, effectively my motor, seats, alarm and stereo have been free, and I have made $700 on the deal. Please don’t tell the tax man…

Next step was getting a RWD gearbox. I was spending the money from the wrecked car parts as it came available, and looking for bits as I went. The easy gearbox choice was a Toyota T-50 alloy case 5 speed - the right model bolts directly to the FWD 4AGE engines, giving you a RWD set up.

But I wanted to be different. I always liked the Datsun 180B SSS 5 speed - mainly because it has the Ferrari gear change pattern - with reverse above first, and 2-3 and 4-5 in the same plane. I figured this was worth having - on tight circuits like Taupo I am predominantly in 2nd and 3rd. For motor-kanas where you have to manoeuvre into garages etc you do a lot of reverse-first, and on the open road you do a lot of changing down to 4th from 5th to overtake - so this made sense to me. I got a gearbox for $80, but the bell housing was integral with the gearbox and too large a diameter for the block. It is now sitting under my bench, waiting serious modifications (one day) for use.

So, I decided to buy a T-50. Now, these boxes are becoming harder to get, and more expensive - most wreckers and importers charge between $400-450 for one. I did not want to spend that much, so, I did a bit of research and ended up buying a 1982 TE 71 Toyota Trueno for $400. The car was complete, but very rusty. It had a 1600 cc 2TG EFI 8 valve twin cam (good engine - 4AGE fore-runner, but incredibly heavy) with a T-50 and the 6.7" live rear axle - complete with 4 wheel disc brakes.

I had used the same type of disc brakes on the back of the Leitch (Escort axle) - so I knew with slight modification they would fit the Anglia rear end I was planning to run. With a bit of luck I will use the van rear end a friend gave me, which is slightly wider (to match the increased front track explained later) and has stronger axles. All I needed now was the right bell housing to adapt the T-50 to the 4AGZE, as the 2TG has a different bolt pattern.

Or so I thought. I then discovered that there are 2 models of T-50 - the difference is that one is stronger than the other. The easy way to tell them apart is the number of splines in the output shaft - the early one has 20, the later 22. I wanted the 22 as the 4AGZE is fairly torquey. Oh well, so I stripped the car (it was terminal with rust) and sold the motor and gearbox to a friend, and gradually sold off the other parts. Body Snatchers carted away another body shell. Ultimately I made about $400 over purchase price on that one.

The Gearbox Search Continues 

It was now about 2 months since I got the motor, and I was getting a bit frustrated at the lack of progress. Sure, I had an engine and rear discs, plus seats etc, but nothing more than a large pile of unnecessary car parts I was slowly selling. A friend of mine had been in a similar gearbox situation, and had bought a complete RWD 4AGE with gearbox, and sold the motor off - as the package was worth less than the components. Seemed like a good idea, so I ended up with a complete 4AGE engine, gearbox, loom and computer for $1000 cash from a wrecker.

Took off the bits I wanted from the RWD engine, such as the cam belt covers that are slightly different, factory oil cooler set up (rare but around), gearbox braces and flywheel cover plate. Then found I could not sell the bloody engine! The market dropped and suddenly 4AGEs were two a penny. Eventually I sold it after 6 months for $550, so I may as well have bought a gearbox from the wrecker and saved the hassle!

Valuable lesson - if you are going to be ‘horse trading’ with wrecked cars etc, do not count the money before the parts are sold. Whenever I bought a car or parts, I did it in the knowledge that if I could not sell it, I would end up with it. This tempered things a little, however overall I am still way out on top.

Have Drive Train - Need Car 

I was now at the stage of having the engine, gearbox, drive shaft, rear discs, seats, stereo, alarm, wiring loom (complete one from the AE 92) and a host of mags from earlier days. About now an Anglia would be handy! It was about 3 months since start date.

I scanned the Trade and Exchange again, and ended up with a ‘partially restored’ (read painted in primer and partially stripped - all badly) Anglia for $150. I figured it was repairable, but basically decided I would use this one as the engineering mule, and get a better one later. I sold off the engine, gearbox and seats (someone had put Escort seats in it) and recovered the purchase price. This then led to a fairly brutal attack on the car to get the Toyota motor etc to fit. The purist may wince as the Anglia had only 88,000 miles on it and about 3 owners - but the clown I got it off had stuffed it.

The Shoehorning Begins 

At this stage I still had no idea if it would all fit. First step was removing all the stuff that was of no use to me - hence I stripped out the engine bay completely. I knew the master cylinders would not clear the engine - the original Lotus mule was a LHD Anglia as the master cylinders in a RHD one would not clear the carbs. I wanted to go to an internal balance bar pedal box anyway, so this was not a real problem.

Then I lowered the engine and gearbox into place. It was not even close - the Anglia subframe engine mount plates were in the way - so out with the cut off wheel. A bit of butchery later had the engine lower in the car, but now the battery tray was in the way. Chopped that off too - the battery will live in the boot. The engine was now sitting on the sump, on top of the crossmember (fortunately the 4AGE and Anglia both have the sump bowl at the front of the engine) on a piece of wood, however the gearbox was hitting the top of the transmission tunnel, and still needed to go up more. Also the gearlever was about 150 mm behind the standard hole in the tunnel. Angle grinder came to the rescue once again, and I chopped out the top of the tunnel.

At last the engine and gearbox were in place. Well, in the engine bay at least. I had never undertaken this sort of exercise before, so it was all a bit of trial and error. I used various pieces of wood to wedge the engine in position. I wanted it as low as possible, as far back as possible, and as far to the left as possible to offset the weight of the driver, however I did not want to cut the firewall.

The degree of offset to the left was limited by having the space to put an exhaust header in. It became apparent that no factory manifold would fit. I considered using standard Anglia/Mk 1Cortina extractors and modifying them to fit the Toyota exhaust ports, however some measuring showed they would not fit, they were 4-1 and I wanted 4-2-1, and the primary lengths were not even remotely the same. So, I had to leave sufficient room for me to fabricate exhaust headers.

The Plot Thickens 

It was at this point the project got harder. For one thing I got side tracked into installing the 2TG and T-50 from the TE 71 into a friend’s Starlet - however it was good practice. I had also moved, which was a major exercise in itself! But the main problem was the front suspension.

The Anglia was fitted with 4 wheel drums. The beauty about the 4AGZE is that it develops 145 horse on only 7 PSI of boost - and there is a bolt on bigger blower drive pulley that gives 11 PSI - you almost instantly go to 180+ horsepower. This seemed like a good long term plan. The engine has a steel crank and oil cooled, forged pistons - it is almost indestructible.

I wanted 4 wheel discs - I personally do not care what the minimum requirement for certification is - I am building a car theoretically capable of somewhere near 130 mph, and going from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds (according to a software simulation package I have that is actually fairly accurate). The car will be raced, and I want it not just to be safe, but also competitive. Therefore I figure it will easily exceed any requirements for certification.

So, I wanted vented front discs - I figured it would be wise. I also wanted rack and pinion steering - not the poxy steering box that was fitted. I figured if I was going to be changing the struts and steering rack, I may as well set up the suspension geometry as best I could. I wanted to get the Ackerman angle right and reduce bump steer as much as possible, as well as reducing the scrub radius.

All this had to be figured out first, because the choice of front struts, steering rack and lower arms may well result in the use of a different front cross member. And I could not fabricate the engine mounts until I settled on the cross member.

Front Suspension 

My first choice was for Mk 1 Capri front struts - big brakes, Ford stud pattern, bolt off steering arms. So, I bought a pair, complete with subframe and lower arms etc. I also got an Escort subframe - the plan was to put the Escort rack and subframe into the Anglia, then hang the Capri struts off it. The early Capri struts are actually what was used on the Lotus Escorts, and so I knew it could all be done.

Nice theory.

First off, the Escort crossmember was too wide - the Anglia is physically about 4 inches narrower than an Escort - so it needed surgery. But also the rack was in front of the cross member - right where the sump was. OK - go to a rack behind the subframe. Herald racks are the best source of quick steering - and apparently the later ones are even quicker than the early ones. Trouble is, they locate in front of the crossmember - I wanted one to go behind. Apparently Mini racks are the same (although different ratio) but go behind the crossmember, so my plan was to use a Herald inner in a Mini outer. (If you put a rack designed to go in front of the crossmember behind it the wheels move the opposite direction when you turn the wheel).

My intention was to shorten the rack inner to get the inner tie rod pivots co-incident with the lower track control arm pivots, and make up steering arms on the struts to get the outer tie rod pivot in line with the ball joint, minimising bump steer as much as possible, and also getting the ackerman angle right to minimise the scrub angle. Careful swapping of hubs and rims would reduce the scrub radius as much as possible, so I should end up with excellent steering. The physical limit of lock would be achieved by cutting the rack outer to the correct length.

Unfortunately it all turned to custard when I put the Capri struts on the car. First hassle was that the springs were too large a diameter to clear the strut towers. Adjustable platforms and race coils were the obvious answer, but I could not afford it. Having said that, people have used threaded water pipe and flanges to great success, and some spring manufacturers will wind springs for as little as $60 each. Shop around!

Then there was the camber problem.

How I Am My Own Worst Enemy 

I did not want to flare the guards on the Anglia. All along my vision has been of an Anglia painted in white with the green Lotus stripe - just like a Mk 1 Cortina. Other than having mags and being a little lower, I did not want it to have any external scoops, flares or wings etc.

Everyone I talked to on the Internet (some interesting mailing lists out there) that was into Autocross (kinda like motor-kanas, but more extreme) advised on 1.5 - 2 degrees of camber at the wheel. Trouble is, the strut itself also has camber. What it boiled down to was if I got the Capri strut mounted into the tower, then by the time I got the correct camber at the wheel, the tyre would be an inch outside the guard… I wanted to increase the front track by about 3 inches, but not 6!

Going to adjustable strut tops would not really help, as the tower would not allow this much movement. Time for plan B. I advertised for some Consul 315 struts - an old favourite for Anglias, I was led to believe. But without removable steering arms.

To cut a long story short, I met up with a guy who is an Anglia Guru. He sold me some struts, and also advised me to fit Mk2 Cortina lower arms. These are basically the same as Anglia, but an inch longer between the outer ball joint and the sway bar mounting boss - which results in more camber and increased track. For what it is worth, the Anglia has very long lower control arms (like most Fords of the same vintage). I wanted to keep this feature as it minimised camber change on droop or bounce.

So, I bought two brand new Cortina lower track control arms, and trial mounted the whole assembly. It looked OK - but I did not want to use the standard Consul discs. A useless bit of information is that early 323 ie RWD front hubs - that have integral discs - will fit drum brake Anglia stub axles with some bearing mixing. Wagons have bigger discs.

I found out from another friend that late 80’s Mazda 323/Laser front vented discs (which are probably the same as 626/Telstar) are almost a direct bolt on fit for Cortina/Capri/Escort/Consul etc hubs, so I got a good pair for about $25 from the wrecker’s yard. Did a little bit of machining and popped them onto the hubs. Great. Except they now fouled the lower control arm at extremes of travel. Damn.

The bad news was I couldn’t use vented discs. The good news was I did not have to worry about finding a good, cheap 4 spot caliper that worked, or making a spacer for the standard calipers. I ended up with Consul struts and hubs fitted with Capri discs and calipers. At least, at this stage. A bit of info on the side - apparently a McPherson strut should run about 70% of the total camber angle (strut plus tyre) as the castor angle. IE I have about 9 degrees total camber between the vertical and the strut - so castor should be about 6-7 degrees. I plan to tweak this too.

Time at Last for Engine mounts 

The decision to go with the Consul struts and Cortina arms dictated the length between inner ball joints of the steering rack, to minimise the bump steer. Unfortunately this meant the actual column would have to pass thru’ the engine block, so I ended up with the poxy Anglia steering box. Oh well, at least it is only about 2 ¾ turns lock to lock. The good news was it meant I was going to use the standard Anglia subframe.

Well, it did not remain standard for long. Main problem was the 4AGZE engine mounts in a RWD set up bolt onto the block about 4 inches in front of where they mount on an Anglia engine. So, on the 4AGZE they actually want to sit out in space, in front of the subframe. There was no way I could even remotely use any of the standard Toyota parts, so it was a fabricate from scratch job.

In simple terms I made up some ¼ inch plates that bolted along each side of the engine block, extending backwards from the normal engine mount bolts to over the Anglia subframe. I then welded some heavy gauge angle iron at 90 degrees to the plates, roughly parallel to the crossmember. These pieces of angle iron are almost as wide as the engine bay, and sit directly above the crossmember. I used Triumph 2500 engine mounts as they are small, stiff and cheap new. These sit horizontally on top of the cross member, and below the angle iron. Add a few gussets and a bit of doubling on the crossmember and hey presto - a tidy (if I say so myself) and compact pair of mounts.

The gearbox mount was an easier exercise - it basically entailed modifying the Anglia gearbox cross member to take the Toyota gearbox mount, then packing it 25 mm lower to get the gearbox top to clear what was left of the tunnel. The crossmember also needed to sit about 100 mm further back than stock, so the packing pieces did this too, by bolting to the original mounts holes in the floor pan, and having tags that allow bolts to go horizontally through the side of the ‘chassis rails’. On the good shell these will have crush tubes welded inside.

I have about 10 mm clearance between the engine and the car in the horizontal plane, and 15 mm vertically. The exhaust will be a pretty wild set of 4-2-1 headers that I have designed on paper to just fit. They will have 15 inch long 1 ½ inch primaries, 28 inch long 1 ¾ inch secondaries, and a 2 ¼ inch tail pipe. This was the best combination I could come up with that kept the pipes the same lengths, and as close as I could make fit to ideal lengths.

The Ride Height Dilemma 

The satisfaction I got from making the engine and gearbox mounts, and designing the exhaust system evaporated when the ride height question came to mind. I wanted it as low as possible - mainly to reduce airflow under the car. But I did not want it to look stupid. After much deliberation, I settled on where I wanted it to sit at normal ride height.

Another problem now emerged - at full droop the Consul struts bound on the Cortina lower track control arms. I had to limit the droop. A friend who races does not have any droop in his race car - his thoughts are that as soon as you get droop the wheel is unloaded anyway, so it is not contributing to grip in a corner.

This made reasonable sense, but I figured the testing station may not understand at warrant time. Well, from my normal ride height position (or at least, my desired one) I had about 50 mm of droop before the struts bound. My virtual friends on the Internet reckoned this was OK.

As for bounce, I wanted as much as possible, however I did not want the steering to bind at full lock, or the tyres to rub. The droop would be limited by having a short stroke on the front shocks. I had acquired some good condition Bilsteins from one of the Toyotas I wrecked, so it was going to have Toyota roller bearing strut tops. I machined down some Celica ones to fit the towers.

The Bilsteins were overall very short and needed some packing to stop them slopping up and down in the consul strut - no drama there - by adding packing either above or below the shock insert I could limit the droop to exactly where I wanted it. These shocks had about 125 mm total travel, so 3 inches bounce, 2 inches droop seemed reasonable.

Next problem was that the top of the strut hit the bottom of the roller top before I had achieved my 3 inches of bounce. No problem - shorten the strut. Now, the thread in the top of the strut is very fine, and short of getting a tap custom made ($250), there was no way I could re-thread it if I cut the top off.

If I did it again I would just cut the top off and weld it back on, but I did it the hard way - sweated the stub axle castings off the bottom of the tube (they were brazed on), shortened the tubes, and brazed them back on. This gave me the limits of travel I needed. So, I now have about 2 inches of droop, and 3 inches of bounce, the top inch of which is in contact with the bump stop.

Springs were the next question. The cheap approach was cutting Mk 3 Cortina springs almost in half, which end up being the right sort of rate for competition work. This was appealing if a little crude, until I managed to get some proper threaded collars that were factory seconds via a contact, and a really cheap deal on the threaded tubes. I unfortunately made my top collars to suit 2¼ inch springs, only to find I had 2½ inch bottom collars (the perils of making the tops before the bottoms arrive, and having my friend make a simple mistake!) The next ones will be the right size…

I am planning on running about 300 pound springs on the front - they will compress about 1¾ inches from full droop under the weight of the car (well, best guesstimate) and I can always adjust the height slightly on the collars. They should be stiff enuff to make my limited travel possible too. I got the poundage from talking to the Pre-65 guys, most of whom are in the 300-350 front category.

This sounds about right - a friend put 250s in his Lotus Escort and reckoned it was not stiff enuff - he too is used to a Seven, which is very stiff compared to normal road cars.

Death of the Anglia (December 1998) 

Much to my chagrin I have decided to give up on the Anglia. It has not been an easy decision, but one that I feel comfortable with. Basically I really have not touched the car since early February this year. The predominant reasons have been:
 
The rebuild of the turbo Celica (that killed of 6 month’s worth of my spare time, although the end result has been worth it), 
Lack of money (the Anglia needs a lot of new/reconditioned components such as brakes etc), 
The time and money the house build has taken (wave goodbye to the remainder of the year), and finally 
The fact that I am going to be spending the majority of the next 2 years at sea/away from Auckland - accordingly I cannot see me making much more progress - although money will not be a problem (it is hard not to save money when there is no where to spend it!) 

It has been made slightly easier by rationalising that the Anglia was only ever going to be a short term project and that other than a toy, it had no real purpose, so was always a bit of an indulgence. Also I have been made a really good offer for the engine/gearbox/wiring loom etc (like double what the entire written off Trueno cost 2 years ago…. But still a fair price to the buyer when the present market is considered though). Then there is another guy up here building a supercharged Anglia, who can make good use of all the modified components (engine mounts etc).

Finally, in some ways I have not actually achieved that much with the car - although I have a very good blueprint for making one in the future - something I would still like to do. Time will tell.

Next: Current Project - AE 86 Corolla GT 

 
 


Copyright © 2000 SpeedTECH Last modified: January 23, 2000