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Mark (smokey mow)

Spot the Difference – Bodywork

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How to tell the difference between a Narrow Body and a Wide Body

If you don’t have a tape measure to hand then the two most visual differences between a narrow and wide body car are around the rear lights and also the shoulder panel next to the seat.

Starting with the shoulder panel, a narrow car will have a flat, vertical internal panel next to your shoulder. On a wide body car the GRP tub is extended into the cockpit to create a scalloped or chamfered panel to give more shoulder room.

These first two pictures show an example of the shoulder panel on a narrow bodied car.

Narrow-Tub2.jpg

Narrow-Tub1.jpg

Whilst on a Wide body car, the first of these pictures shows the chamfered tub used with ZK bodywork, whist the second shows the scallop of the earlier “kit” wide bodywork.

Wide-Tub-ZK.jpgWide-Tub-Kit2.jpg

The second method of telling the difference between a wide an narrow is the shape of the bdy tub around the rear lights.

The wide body chassis was available with either fixed or detachable rear arches; whist the narrow was only available with fixed rear aches. Therefore if the car has detachable arches, which can be seen with a join line between the tub and arch as in the picture below then it will be a wide body car.

Wide-Arch-Detachable.jpg

If the car has fixed arches then it could be either a wide or a narrow. These first two pictures show examples of wide body Westfield’s. Note how the rear lights are partially recessed into the tub on their inside edge in a square recess.

Wide-Arch-Fixed-Kit2.jpg

Wide-Arch-Fixed-Kit.jpg

On a narrow however the arches are slightly wider and the arch has a smooth contour into the main body with no recess for the lamp.

Narrow-Arch2.jpg

Narrow-Arch1.jpg

Note: I am aware that there is also some wide body tubs they may have rear arches similar to the narrow and therefore it is wise to also check the shape of the shoulder panel also to help with identification.

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Narrow Low-Line or Hi-Line?

The term Low-Line and High-Line typically refers to the height of the bonnet and nose with a Low-Line being approximately 2” lower than a High-Line.

The low-line is quite identifiable when viewed side on and looking at the angle of the bonnet relative to the nose.

Narrow-Bonnet-Lowline.jpg

In comparison the High-Line has a much more collinear profile curve from the bonnet to the nose.

Narrow-Bonnet-Highline.jpg

All narrows have a flat flange on the nose to accept the bonnet.

Narrow-Nose1.jpg

Wide ZK or “Kit” Bodywork?

The ZK bodywork, also referred to as “big lug” due to the size of the locating lugs for the arches, scuttle and bonnet has a number of visual differences compared to the earlier “kit” bodywork which has smaller locating lugs.

The bodywork lugs on the ZK bodywork are very pronounced, having a square sided profile. With the bonnet off these lugs can be found on the top of the main tub in front of the scuttle. Similar sized lugs are also used for locating the rear arches and also the scuttle. The following two pictures show examples of the arch and bonnet lugs on a ZK body tub.

Wide-Arch-ZK-Lug.jpgWide-ZK-Bonnet-Lug.jpg

On the earlier “kit” bodywork the lugs are much less pronounced. Their profile is shallower and triangular in shape. The pictures below show examples of these for the arches and bonnet location. There are also examples of the “kit” tub which have no location lugs for the bonnet.

Wide-Arch-Kit-Lug.jpg

Wide-Bonnet-Kit-Lug2.jpg

The ZK body also has a different nose to that of the “kit” bodywork. The ZK nose has a large return flange, into which the bonnet is then secured by a pair of locating pins, the “kit nose” much more closely resembles that of the narrow body and has a flat flange. The “kit” nose doesn’t have locating pins and instead uses a second pair of bonnet catches to secure the front of the bonnet.

The first picture shows the deep return flange on the nose of a ZK bodied car whilst the second shows the flat nose flange of the “kit” bodywork.

Wide-ZK-Nose.jpgWide-Nose-Kit.jpg

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The tub shoulder panel is also a good indication of body type. The ZK in the first picture having a flat chamfered design, whist the kit in the second and third pictures is more scalloped.

Wide-Tub-ZK.jpg Wide-Tub-Kit2.jpg Wide-Tub-Kit.jpg

Finally the design of the crash pad on the scuttle differs between the two types. The “kit” crash pad extends the full depth of the scuttle and fills the space from the dashboard right up to the bottom edge of the windscreen. The sides of the crash pad then extend roughly halfway down the side of the scuttle.

Wide-Scutte-Kit.jpg

The ZK crash pad is much narrower, only extending approximately half way toward the windscreen but it’s sides cover the full height of the scuttles sides.

Wide-Scuttle-ZK.jpg

 

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Very useful post Smokey  :t-up:

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Very useful post Smokey  :t-up:

  

Smokey, many many thanks for putting this together - top job!!

Thanks guys, hopefully people will find it useful and there's still more to follow :):oops:
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The force is strong in you smokey wan kenobi - very good article !

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As above Mark an excellent guide, just one point though, I had a very early SEiW (registered in 1990 and one of the few with the Westfield logo'd diff case) and the bonnet to tub/nosecone faces had no lugs at all...

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As above Mark an excellent guide, just one point though, I had a very early SEiW (registered in 1990 and one of the few with the Westfield logo'd diff case) and the bonnet to tub/nosecone faces had no lugs at all...

 

Thanks Peter :t-up: yes I'm aware there's a few tubs without any locating lugs for the bonnet, I had one very similar to your hence my comment in my second post :)

 

"There are also examples of the “kit” tub which have no location lugs for the bonnet"

 

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Mark, would it help if the chassis numbers indicating "wide body" were added to the thread?

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Mark, would it help if the chassis numbers indicating "wide body" were added to the thread?

The chassis number doesn't always tell you if it's a wide or narrow :)

Edit: see this thread on decoding the vin

http://forum.wscc.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic/104300-decoding-the-chassis-number/?p=1084407

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A very interesting read and really useful to those buying their next westie.  :yes:

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