8th February 2024

So it finally happened. I bought a Ford Capri (1978 Mk.II 1.6). I have some family history surrounding a Capri; my parents had one when I was born and while it may be a dream, I have a memory of being in it. So I always wanted one but prices had become silly even though, looking into it, they're not all that rare they're just an iconic style; plenty are still registered but most owners, it seems, keep them in the garage, only driving them for the occasional car show. Mine won't be like that.

These pages will serve as a repository for my Capri-related stuff, namely the list of repairs to be carried out and hopefully completed. While the ebay auction listing where I got it from had numerous nice photos and it was stated as being in good condition, I knew there would be things to iron out. Hopefully it doesn't turn out to be too much of a crazy purchase hiding a multitude of sins.


February 2024:
- Introduction
- The drive home
- Indicators, Hazard Lights and Instruments
 - The Checkup

March 2024:


The drive home
8th February 2024

Meeting the car for the first time (because I hadn't been able to view it in the flesh before bidding on it) revealed a few blemishes:
  • The rear spoiler is a little mis-shaped and I will need to seal between it and the boot lid.
  • There are some cracks to the paint in the engine bay. I suspect this hides some body filler.
  • Getting in the car to drive it home revealed the wing mirrors are problematic; the left one is just limp, the right one seems okay, but perhaps folded in a little during the drive home.
  • The indicators weren't working and later when I tried to use the hazards to indicate to a driver behind that I was turning off, I couldn't turn the hazards off.
  • In the ebay listing it stated the speedometer, fuel gauge and temperature gauge weren't working.
  • The front tyres need balancing (I assume that will correct the wobble I felt at speed).
  • I'm not sure if the brakes are operating well enough but the car has been hardly driven for a while it seems.


Indicators, Hazard Lights and Instruments
9th February 2024

I'd had to wedge a piece of plastic in the hazard light button to make it stay in and the hazards stay off for my drive home the previous day.

The internet suggested that the instrument panel's fuel and temperature gauges were likely due to a faulty voltage regulator - this converts the ~12V to a stable 5v required for the gauges [I found this out here].

Some dismantling of the dashboard was required; pretty straightforward really.

I discovered that the voltage regulator module on my car had already been tampered with (plus my instrument cluster is different to the one via the link, mainly because my version doesn't have a rev counter); the regulator had been made separate from the instrument cluster at some point, probably when the regulator failed last time. I ordered a bunch of regulators but then realised that the ground wire had come loose on my module and so I resoldered it and hoped that would resolve the issue.

The speedometer, the seller suggested, could just require a replacement cable. But as I pulled the instrument cluster out it seemed possible that the speedo cable just wasn't seated properly against the gauge. As far as I could determine I need to reach round behind the instrument cluster and guide the cable into place, and then withdraw my hand as the cluster sat in place; it's a tight squeeze to do this, even with my slim wrists. Only with everything reassembled and taking the car out for another drive would I know if I had been successful.

I came to determine that the indicators and hazard lights all run through the hazard light switch in that the feed runs through the steering controls and through that switch, with one current having a permanent live for the hazard function, and the indicators having a live only when the ignition is on. After some fettling about, and dismantling the switch and gluing the broken plastic that I found, the indicators now work but the hazards no long will because basically the switch is knackered. The solution is to replace the switch, or do without hazards, and I can envisage I will regret the latter because when you need them you need them. I found a few used switched on ebay but I could see from some that they also suffered from cracked plastic and would likely soon fail the same way. Maybe some new old stock can be found; this and other parts can be common to other Ford models of the same era, such as Escorts and Granadas, but it's a case of figuring this out. For now I have ordered a used replacement that looks ok from the pictures.

----- Update: The fuel gauge works; I can only hope it's accurate. The temperature gauge also displays a reading but I don't know how accurate this is. The speedo, however, now has a wandering needle; it waves up and down but from where it hovers seems to give a good enough indication of speed; I think the cable is still not quite seated in place [more on this below].



The Checkup
14th February 2024

I had the car booked in to a local garage for a checkover; I wanted the brakes tested, the front wheels balanced, and the opportunity to look over things underneath.

The brake test revealed just a slight imbalance and sticking across the rear brakes; the mechanic suggested this could be the wheel cylinder.

I hadn't noticed any play anywhere or knocking noises while driving but he did detect some slight play in an inner joint of the steering rack; not enough that would fail an MOT, but perhaps sufficient to receive an advisory and I'm happy to leave that as it is for now, I just wonder if it's possible/practical to recondition the rack... My previous previous car had a reconditioned rack fitted and it only lasted a year before having play in it again.

Things look pretty good underneath; for the age of the car the mechanic said it's in good nick and I don't think I could have expected much better, there are just some areas I want to address in the summer, namely where the front and rear wheel arches come down and meet the sill, and along the edges where the inner and outer sills meet, just some rust treatment and underseal required.

The middle and rear sections of the exhaust are pretty new, there's just a lot of exhaust paste where the downpipe joins that I'll want to keep an eye on.

The tyre lad said one of the front wheels did indeed need balancing and it also has a slight buckle in it, although he's done his best with the weights to counteract that, so hopefully that's improved things above 50mph.







 Home | Contact