Sunday, October 21, 2007

New Blakely Owner found - 3

I recall that this Bantam was sold and shipped to Oklahoma. A couple months or so after those pictures were taken, a Bantam shows up on ebay, located in Oklahoma, with the same exterior color, but a completely different and new looking dash and upholstery. Then looking closely at the engine compartment, I began to notice too many similarities to be simple coincidences. Looking even closer and comparing the pictures I had taken with the one on the ebay site, I found markings that simply are unlikely to be coincidences. There was enough evidence to indicate that this was extremely likely to be that very same car, but nicely redone. Unfortunately I did not record any text from the ebay site, so today I have no data.
And that is where I thought the story ended, until recently.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

New Blakely Owner found - 2

Indeed so. I saw this as an ebay offering, located in the San Diego area, and lost my bid. Very shortly after that I had the opportunity to go to San Diego, and asked if I could see the car before it was shipped to the winning bidder. No problem. Here are some of the pics I took.

Friday, October 19, 2007

New Blakely Owner found

A couple days ago a Blakely owner left a comment on one of the post: Peter Kunedt. Peter does not own a Batam, I will let him tell more about his car himself He was kind enough today to send a couple of great pictures of a Bantam last seen on ebay in 2005:

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Camera mount

After seeing for the first time my car on Video (see previous post) I wanted to see how it would look driving in the car on video. So I made a simple camera mount for my digicam using a 1/4 bolt a piece of iron and some duc tape. Here are the results it looks good but the sound is crap:

Some video

Here is a video of my oldest son and me (Philippe) taking off for a Sunday afternoon ride. This was my first long ride just a week after fixing the clutch cable. YOu will notice that we speak French at home. After this ride approx 90 minutes I noticedthat the cltuch would pick up lower might be due to the new cable stretching.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Clutch cable broke

Last friday I took my oldest son to school who just started kindergarden. The car was very popular and all the kids where around asking questions what a show! Unfortunately on the way back to work at a light the clutch went soft and I could not release it! After pushing the car to the side at 8:00 AM in the morning at a very busy time (how imbaracing), I found that the cable broke. Two hours later the towing finally arrived to get the Bantam back home, the towing company actually charged me 25$ extra because they said the car was too low nonsense since I helped te fellow out puttting the car on the truck and it took no longer than 5 minutes!

After I got home here is what I found:

I took the cable out of the car, again the longest part was jacking the car off the ground to get under! I started going around town looking for a Pinto/Mustang clutch cable. Again no parts are listed for Pinto's in my local part stores and dealer. Spent almost 3 hours looking for a cable and realized I will have to make my own. I bought a mustang II clutch cable which was way too long and lacked covering on the whole cable but at least it fit my throw out bearing arm:

The mustang cable must be using a puley system to route the cable. Also notice the custom cable from the Bantam.

What I did to make my cable was to cut one of the end and slide out all the cable protective/guide coverving and reslide the two longest sections on the cable and spliced the protective covers using a 1/2 copper pipe which fit nicely on the firewall penetration fitting on the cable covering. I then crimped the copper pipe using my vise and then used electrical tape to make it look good, I wish I had shrink tubing but the stores where closed:

Clutch cable covering showing bracket/firewall fittings with copper pipe cut to length.

Cooper pipped crimped with vise on clutch cable covering. The coper pipe is used to give rigidity to the splice so the inside cable would not kinked.

Final assembly with electrical tape tightly rapped around the splice.

Here in this picture you can see the new clutch cable. Not shown is how I have attached the cable to the pedal sinced I did cut the crimped end of the cable which contained the required ferule. I used a two steel cable clamped from a hardware store and basically tore my skin off trying to get it on in the clutch cable holder on the pedal.

Final assembly/fit of cable. Testing proved out pretty well except the new spring on the cable seems a little weak and sometimes the pedal will note come back to its position. From the previous picture you will notice that the clutch pedal dose not have a return spring which is weird. Next weekend or this week when part stores are open I will try to find a spring and install one attached to the fire wall to the top of the pedal dowel pin.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

New steering wheel

My birthday was a few weeks back so I bought myself off ebay a new steering (almost) wheel, 100$ including shippiong. It is one of the best mod I have made so far driving wise. I went from an 8 inch wheel to 13. This helps alot fight the bump steer that would rip my hands from the steering. On a negative note it does make it harder to get in the car.

New steering wheel in looks better!

Friday, August 17, 2007

New oil pan (sump)

Two weeks ago I have killed the oil pan hitting a man hole cover at around 100 km /h an hour. The original oil pan sticks out approximately 3/4 of an inch under the frame making it an easy kill. It took me several days to source an oil pan locally for a Pinto 2.0 L engine, got it delivered for 100$. Taking the old oil pan out was not a trivial thing than most cars. I had to actually lift the engines 4 inches to get it out. The following things where done:

0)Lift car up on jack stand and drain oil. This was my first time lifting the car up had to be creative because of the height. Used a low profile cheap jack stand out of my Ford escape to lift it up a couple inches than my hydraulic jack.
1)Remove engine mounts bolts
2)Remove transmission mount
3)Remove turbo exhaust flange
4)Remove starter to get access to bolt of the sump
5)Move out of the way wiring between transmission tunnel a bell crank cover (in the way of the lift)
6)Take oil pan off by removing the 10000 10 mm bolts. (For my engine had to remove turbo oil return)
7)Jack the engine/transmission using a 2X4 a floor jack.*
*Caution the gaz line a brake lines can hit the transmission make sure it does not happen by limiting lift height .
8)Remove oil pan by jiggling it out of the way of the sump pick (rotation was required)
9)Reinstall pan in reverse order and than find out the pan shipped was from a 2.3 liter see picture bellow!

After finding out the oil pan that was delivered was not the correct one and making a few phone calls to find out it would take weeks to get another one I decided to modify/repair the old one by shortening it by 3/4 of an inch to make it dwell under the frame rail.

To do this it was simple and I was inspired by except I felt I did not need the extra oil capacity tank since when doing the math I was losing only 1/4 of a liter or (1/2 us pint) all I have to do is to watch for oil level more often. Instead of re brazing the oil pick up I cut and rewelded (MIG) the oil pipe since I did not have access to brazing equipement.


Damaged oil pan out of the car. You can actually see the shape of the sump pick at the bottom of the pan, the pan took a real beating!

Lifting the engine up a couple inches. Distributing the load between the bell crank cover and the transmission using a 2x4. I don't think this is the propoer way to do it because you can damge the bell housing but I was too lazy to lift the engine using shop crane (I did not have one in my garage)

New oil pan from 2.3 liter engine and the old one. Difference is noticeable after trying to fit new one in ! I was very happy:).

New oil pan with flat bottom shortened by 3/4 of an inch. I repainted it to hide the excellent welding job.

Shortened oil sump pickup. Removing the top bolt actually takes a very short 10 mm wrench and I actually grinded off one of the wrench end to fit in the tight space.

New oil pan in the car barely clearing the frame cross member. The oil on the floor is not from the oil pan but from the valve cover breather which seems to spit out a lot of oil when I use turbo extensively. I am going to have to install a catch can!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Phil's Specification

It seems the previous owner had limited knowledge about the technical specifications for the car here is what I know so far and this information will certainly change has I tinker with the car:

  • Engine is a Ford 2.0 L EAO Pinto engine which has been modified with a custom turbo. According to the previous owner(s) this engine would develop approximately 265 bhp. I personally think with the current tune state of the engine that 200 bhp is more a conservative figure, but I. After breaking open the oil pan (more to come) I did find that the crank shaft was balanced so hope of a high reving engine is possible.

  • The Bantam's powertrain and frontend was borrowed by the 70'S Pinto and Mustang II. My car runs an 8 inch differential with very high ratio what seems to be above 4.11:1 and some type of LSD mated to 4 speed manual transmission. According to a pinto site the ratios are 1st = 3.65, 2nd = 1.97, 3rd = 1.37, 4th = 1.00, Reverse = 3.66 (Do we need the reverseratio?, this car is made to go forward).
  • Ignition seems to be a Ford Dura Spark with a mechanical and vacumm advance distributor. A Carter knock control sensor was fitted to the car but removed by the previous owner for an unknown reason. I am still investigating if I need this back on the car with the boost pressure I am running (a very low 8 PSIG).
  • More to come

FIrst Post Introduction

This is the first post for the Blakely Bantam car blog. Hopefully this blog will grow with content , information and user comments on their experience of owning this incredible American made Super Seven replica.

Carey and myself Philippe will try to add as much information possible about this car, the modifications we have made, the problems we've had... Carey has been a 30 year lover of this car and has collected considerable amount of information on the car. Myself have been an onwer of a Bantam since July 2007 and have already felt in love with it.