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Ke26 restomod project


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So I have finally started on the restoration project for an 1974 Corolla ke26 wagon. He is affectionately called Kevin.


Anyone please feel free to ask questions and I'll try to answer then as best I can. 


But I have started stripping the basic panels from the car. They have been acid dipped and coated in kephos to keep the rust at bay for now. 

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The first panel to be restored was the passenger side fender, it was rusted and filled will big from an previous accident. But after a few minutes with the rubber mallet she was mostly straight20220613_065113.thumb.jpg.b6b90583a96bc1fd267ebf1c9c0f7d07.jpg


But taking it further I matched the contour from the drivers side fender which required heat shrinks to bring it back into line. It is now file finished on the damaged section



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The fender then needed the sheet metal work. the old aerial hole got welded up, it was a pretty nasty hole but it got welded up and once again file finished.



The bottom off the fender behind the wheel was completely rusted out, I tried to get the fender patch panel from rare spares but they weren't in stock. So with some CAD (cardboard aided design) I cut a new peice from 0.8mm steel. Put it through the English wheel, the slip roller to get the right curve, then the swager to get the fold lips started.

Once the old panel was cut off there was a lot of rust between the panel and the brace. So I sandblasted it and then applied some rust converter and weld through primer. 20221122_194619.thumb.jpg.fb3d8a7f01cd997c8f0b578e756f423d.jpg




And then tacked in place whilst I test fitted it back to the car.


And obviously file finished


I need to fix the panel gap, a line of weld should fix it at the point of the door. 

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The tail gate is in a sad shape, there is much rust to be repaired and then a serious accident had seen the left have caved in and filled with bog.



Following the bread crumbs I can see that the rear passenger fender had been replaced, and the internal panels are... Questionable as there were also covered in bog. So I have started on the tail gate and will post pictures soon. 

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I have also removed most of the steering and suspension. 

The bushes for the suspension where so shot that they literally crumbled and fell out when I jacked the car up. 



But following the labor of love I spent time with the wire brushes, a jug of degreaser and a few cans of wurths rust converter, primer and then Eastwood's top coat in satin black. A sneak peak of the suspension arms with superpro bushes20230213_183910.thumb.jpg.9ffec32400547921a56d4a4a390c5734.jpg



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Hi Geoff,

               Fabulous start to your project thread.  I take my hat off to You.  That is such a daunting project, when what you have to start with; requires so much love/care, & work.   Enjoy, & keep this thread updated.





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From the original photo the rear shocks were completely gone as the car was sagging in the rear. So I have replaced the rear shocks with some kyb shocks for now... I'll post up a bit later with my adventure down suspension lane



The rear shocks were stuck in their compressed state, but once the kyb shocks went in the car went back to a neutral stance with a little weight assistance. 



So I marked the new shocks and started on the new shock brake combo. That's a mission but I think it will work out

Edited by wenisman
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I also spent some time with the idler arm, the thread on it says enough, but the old one was seized on. I stripped the bolt getting it off... But the rubber bush was pretty much torn through which is not ideal.



But I have a new 555 idler arm, it's once again rust converted, primed and painted in satin black.

Whilst I was at it, the old locks were... I don't know how to describe it except to say some one has put a screw driver through all of them. So I tried the ace auto parts locks but the ignition barrel was wrong. However auto parts complex had the right locks for the job! I'll post up soon how they look, but they fitted... I am not happy with the look of the petrol cap but I'll fab something up

Edited by wenisman
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So the completed set of steering and suspension for the front is looking ok. I feel like I should have painted the lock nuts on the tie rods so I'll go back and fix that.20230217_104814.thumb.jpg.a7d3e371b5f7006a1977f74399ac1541.jpg


And now the new petrol cap is in place I'll start thinking how I can fab something to make it look better.... Suggestions welcome 🤗


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Hi Geoff,

              Hmmm !   I see your problem.  Modern cars do not display the fuel cap lid, & have a little spring release body cover, that hides the fuel cap altogether.  If you wanted to go that way, you could cut such a cover from a later model car, & with your acquired body working skills, you could blend it into your waggons body work. However, I suspect your fuel cap sits just proud of the existing body work profile line, & that may not be possible.


An alternative, is to measure the diameter of your existing new fuel cap, & see if you can find a period fuel cap surround, from a car of that vintage, that could cover what is exposed in your picture.




You might like to check out this website, that seems to have a few fuel cap & surround products.




Sorry I can't be more help than that.


Cheers Banjo

Edited by Banjo
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Thanks banjo, I will have a look around. I thought about the flap, but you're spot on as the caps suit just proud. 

I was thinking something like the old Holden fuel caps that covered the space completely. 




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i think thats a landcruiser cap. They have some quite nice non locking caps in the US (if you are game) that were offered possibly from factory.

The second and third are the ones I'm referring to.  But there are a couple of decent looking locking ones there too.


Plus I'm sure there is meant to be a chrome trim surround

Edited by parrot
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