View Full Version : 1962 Sunbeam Alpine

09-28-2004, 12:54 PM
Now that I'm on the verge of retiring, I hope to find some time to restore my '62 Sunbeam Alpine. I bought it in 1970 and its been sitting in my garage for 34 years. It probably needs some work to get it going again ! It ran just fine when I put it into the garage tho.

Where do I start? Please...don't use any technical language since I don't know a brake drum from a bonnet.

09-28-2004, 01:28 PM
Please feel free to ask me anything you want. I've been a Sunbeam owner for 30 years now and have redone a couple and torn down for parts several others. Another good source of Sunbeam Alpine specific information is www.sunbeamalpine.org (https://www.sunbeamalpine.org), (soryy for plugging someone else Basil), which can put you in touch with Sunbeam owners all over the world.

09-28-2004, 01:34 PM
Thanks Mike: So....where do I start? with the engine? the brakes? We tried to crank the engine with the hand crank and it seems frozen. Do I add oil and see if I can un-freeze it? What then?

09-28-2004, 02:12 PM
If you feel strongly that a numbers-matching car is important, then you'll want to do whatever you can to save the engine you've got (assuming it's original). However, if you are more interesting in building a car for your own enjoyment(or if your seized engine cannot be practically repaired), you might try to buy a Rootes engine that is in good running condition (these are often available from those wanting to change to a modern powerplant). Once you get an operable engine installed, clean and seal your gas tank(s) and replace all the rubber hoses. Replace all the wheel bearings and make sure your brake system is functioning properly before you test drive it. Replace the tires, even if they still have tread (they will have detriorated from age). If you intend to keep the wiring that's in there, check it over thoroughly to prevent the car from going up in smoke. I encourage you to dive into this project, just please make sure that these safety issues are addressed before taking that much-anticipated first drive. I suggest that you get the functional aspects addressed first, then drive it for a couple weeks to make sure the bugs are worked out before doing the paint&body, then the interior. That way any fluids that find their way onto your paint&interior won't ruin what you just redid. If you have wire wheels, make sure your splines are in good condition (note that one side has reverse threads, I believe it's the passengers side). Best wishes on your project.

09-28-2004, 02:44 PM
Thanks for your input. I'd like to keep the original engine if possible. I'd imagine somwhow that it can be un-seized. I'm not about to spend thousands of dollars to buy engines, transmissions, etc. I don't believe social security payments would cover that !.

09-29-2004, 12:41 PM
I think at this point I'd pull the head to get an idea what I was dealing with. You can use penetrating oil to try to free up the pistons but I personally would be hesitant to try to run it since the borea and rings may be damaged by it. If you find you can get it going, be very carefule driving it. You probably won't have complete brakes or a reliable clutch. And the seals in the transmission and rear end will soon start leaking. But if you do want to drive,
1 Clean and regrease the front wheel bearings.
2 Drain and refill and bleed the brakes.
3 Pull the rear drums and make sure theres no loos junk in them, dirt and such.
4 Drain and refill the clutch master.
5 Drain and refill the transmission and rear end.
6 Check that the brake lights work, unless all you want to do is circle the yard.
7 Drain and refill the engine oil and the coolant.

I myself would probably start tearing it apart to go through the mechanicals instead of doing the above stuff. Id start with pulling the engine and transmission. If you've never dealt with an Alpine before take plenty of photos before, during and after, write notes, and bag and label anything you're absolutely not sure about. I tend not to do these things, but that's what 30 years of ownership and tinkering does to you...

You'll need a good workshop type manual as well, Sunbeam Specialties or Classic Sunbeam Auto Parts can help there.

And don't be suprised when it turns into a larger job and costs more money than you expect.

11-13-2004, 02:19 AM
And, if you don't own a decent digital camera, now is the time to get one. Take those pix and print them out, don't rely on the picture files. Make a photo album. In most cases B&W will be fine.

Guinn Hudon, retired photog and studio owner.

11-13-2004, 02:10 PM
Hi Brian
Welcome.That 62 sure sounds nice.As Mike has said a
there is the sunbeam alpine site which will help immensly.
As to the engine youcan remove the plugs and spray WD 40 into the cylinders.Use the little plastic rod and try to spray 360 degrees.Use a socket on the crank pully and try moving a minute amount forward and backwards after spraying WD40 a few days.at this point you only want to move it a tiny touch in either direction.If it starts to move you can gradually increase the movement till it frees up.spray more WD 40 into the cylinders to facilatate the movement.If it become free replace the plugs with new ones.Check that the points are working and the contacts are clean.A bit of 600 wet and dry will polish them up nicely.You will need to prime the carbs should be downdraft zeniths.Use 2 cycle oil for this as it will lubricate the cylinder walls a bit as well as the valves. I would also pour some oil over the valve train.I assume you would change the oil.Oh yes you might want to make a small gas can to fuel the carbs>you can use gravity on this.disconnect the line from the pump and block it.You won't want the old gas to contaminate the carbs.The tanks are pretty well needing cleaning.
If the engine doesn't free up you can remove the head and fill up the cylinders with coke a cola.Keep tapping the pistons with a wooden rod or wooden handle.Believe it or not it works.
as to the other advice it is good.Good Luck

01-19-2005, 06:51 PM
I don't mean to poo in your cornflakes, but if you "aren't about to spend thousands of dollars" you may want to re-consider this project. I bought a Spitfire in similar condition years ago, did all the work and have over $7,000 in it. I needed everything. If your car has been sitting for 34 years, it likely needs everything too. You just need to be realistic. Good luck. I hate to see any LBC not restored.


Bob Claffie
01-28-2005, 01:04 AM
billspit has it right!. My experiences rebuilding/restoring has been that it will 1. either take twice as much $$ as planned and 3X the time or 2. 3X as much $$$ and 2X the time. Best of luck, Bob

01-30-2005, 10:25 PM
When I got my 61 Alpine it was frozen up. I put the equivolent of two t spoons of Marvels Mystery Oil in each cylinder. I let it sit a couple of days and then I tried to turn the crank. Within a few days it would turn over all the way.
Check points and plugs. Changed Oil. Checked wiring.
Started it up. It started right up.
Didn't drive right away because I hadn't worked on the breaks.
Remember going fast is over rated if you can't stop.