Engine’s out, and a plan is coming together.
The thing that was holding up the plan was the front brakes- we want something more up to date than drums all round. Luckily I’ve found a conversion kit that should work, which has saved a load of hassle. Before that I’d looked at swapping axles from an LDV pilot, as thanks to the wonders of the British motor industry they were using an almost identical setup until about 2005. That would give other issues as the steering setup would be on the wrong side and other hassle with the rear.
Getting the front drum off was a challenge- the drum is well seized to the hub so I ended up pulling the whole hub off. We’re going to be renewing bearings anyway, so some heat should sort that out.
Wierd tools are required. Also LH threaded wheel nuts, which is something I remember briefly reading about online.
Measuring up it looks like the Mazda drivetrain will be a good fit, the front grill is almost perfectly sized for a NA radiator. Not actually got the drivetrain yet, just a case of waiting for the right car to come up for sale at the right price and not too far away.
I mined nearly 60 years of oiled road crud off the steering box- there’s a reasonably large amount of play in it, but it looks like rebuilt or rebuild kits are available.
The driver’s side shock mount has snapped off, but easily repaired and reinforced. The shocks are sad- I think they are a ford part, but need to do a bit more digging.
The next phase should be finding a way to fit the engine/ transmission and lowering the floor. Also cleaning and treating the underside, so far this thing has less rusted on fixings than my Ignis, so it needs to stay that way!