A new year, and a new look for my car.
As regulars to this site might know, when the K was fitted the twin headlights had to go.
Recently though I have had the urge to get them back
Obviously the standard 7" units were never going to fit so I turned my attention to
the 5.75" units that are available. At one time I was pondering some nice little 90mm
Hella projector lamps, but it was decided that they were just too small, and at £200 for
a set of 4, not exactly a budget mod.
In order to try some things out I scoured ebay for something suitable and settled on the
setup from a 1984 E30 BMW. Cheap at £30 inc P&P, although on arrival they proved to
be somewhat less than the "Good Condition" they were described as. Oh well, they
would do for testing purposes
These lights came as complete units of 2 lights mounted on a panel, with rear facing
adjusters. The first obvious thing was that the inner lights were much further forward
than the outer ones. The E30 BMW must be a lot more pointed than it looks. My solution to
this was to cut the mounting panels in half and re-weld them, so that the inner light was
nearly level with the outer. Only 'nearly', because the Clubman front is pointed, just a
The brackets were also modified as they would have made the lights stick out like a
"strangled frogs eyes". The original light panels on the car were cut away to
suit, and mounting bolts and some strengthening added. The larger plastic adjuster knobs
that stick out the back needed cutting down on the drivers side, inner light, due to their
proximity to the engine. Once all this was done its interesting to note that there is now
more clearance between engine and lights than there was with the 7" units.
There was just one other small problem with fitting these lights and that was the
radiator. Basically it was completely in the way! I think I've said before that a more
square radiator would fit in the front better, but that I used the Metro item for speed.
Now the hunt was on for a suitable squarer item, and once again Ebay came to the rescue. I
bought a Clio item (I don't know exactly which model), which was much squarer, but whose
area was actually greater than the Metro one. The core thickness is the same, and it has
both hose connections at the same end. It was brand new, alloy, and came with thermostatic
switch, all for another £31 inc P&P
The radiator drivers side mount is in the same place as the old mount only lower, and due
to being narrower, the other side needed a new mount. As you can see from the pics the new
rad is much taller than the old one, but due to the outlets being on the same side, there
is no need for the pipe that used to run above the old rad to its inlet. Only time will
tell whether this radiator will be up to the job, but given its capacity is larger, it
Also on the cards were some other purely visual changes. I have had some quarter bumpers
off the back of a Clubman estate, knocking around the garage for years, (and I do mean
years), with the intention of converting the car to quarter bumpers at the front. These,
allied to some slightly modified under riders, fitted the bill perfectly, although they
were very old a scabby. No matter, as I plan on painting them black anyway. I have sourced
a black Clubman rear bumper already, which will be given a fresh coat of paint to match
Another mod was the open centre section of the valence. I was wanting to do something like
this anyway, and with the new radiator, it became a necessity.
I am undecided at the moment as to what will happen with the under bumper spot lights,
although I have made another Ebay purchase recently ;-)
Lots of time spent wondering what to do under the bumpers. I planned on moving the
indicators, and doing away with the side mounted motorbike ones. My purchase from Ebay
(mentioned earlier) was a set of small spot lights, and I was contemplating fitting them
alongside round mini style indicators.
Couldn't get that to look right, and sourcing a suitable sized tube to mount them in, was
proving difficult. More rectangular indicators, would probably suit better, but I did not
want to use the standard Clubman item. Partly because the sidelights are now in the
headlights and as such lower ones were not needed, and partly 'cos I don't like them ;-)
A visit to a scrap yard got me two sets of indicators to try. VW polo, and Mazda 121.
Due to the shape of my valence panel, some fabrication was required so that the lights
were at the same angle as the bumpers. When just fitted to the panel they looked odd. So I
made up some angled boxes to mount them on.
Below the indicators, rather than just a flat panel, I wanted something to break it up a
bit. I eventually decided, after playing with my Ebay spotlights again, just to make and
weld in some shaped vent panels. Time will tell whether they look right or not.