Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Scuttle fitting

With the lessons learned from forming the back panel, now almost forgotten, it is time to take on the scuttle. On the surface this doesn't look as daunting as the rear panel as you do have datum points to work to namely the firewall panel and the dashboard panel. Both have the correct final shape of the scuttle as an integral part of their construction.
But first you need to carefully bend back each of the tabs on the firewall and dashboard panel so that each tab lies flat. If you leave the tabs protruding then the scuttle will take on this irregular profile. I used a vice, my fingers to bend the tab, and a hammer to ensure that the profile was smooth and consistent.
The chassis needs three rivnuts each side to accept the lower edges of the scuttle. Having secured them in place, I fixed one end of the scuttle and formed the scuttle panel over the firewall using the tabs to clamp as I went. The shape was not too difficult to create by hand using the firewall and dashboard panel as templates. I hope the bonnet lines up.
With the rough shape now formed in the scuttle panel, the riveting of the front edge can be done without the need to have the scuttle secured to the car. The objective here is to rivet the scuttle and dash panel together in a manner that will not look too ugly from the driving seat. The way most do it (me no exception here) is to use countersunk rivets very close to the front lip of the panel which are then covered by a black plastic trim.
As you can see from the photo, I drilled and clecoed from the centre outward. Then countersunk with an old 9mm drill bit on either side before riveting. In order to get the trim in place and to have the trim look half decent, I ground the backs off each rivet flush with the panel. Before I fixed the final position and shape of the scuttle I wanted to check the fit of the dash in situ. This required a small amount of reshaping with the Dremel around the steering column, but other than that it went in without fuss and with a reasonably good fit.

At GBS they have a jig to form the scuttle, but I am using the car itself. The final step is to bond the joint between the scuttle and the firewall with black glue. A heavy application from the inside, and then clamp everything in position while it cures. I do hope the bonnet fits !!!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Battery Tray and Firewall

If I am stuck with a nose cone that needs fettling to fit, then I am going to need some datum points to align it properly. The most visible is obviously the bonnet. To put the bonnet in place correctly it needs to be aligned with something. That something has to be the scuttle, which in turn needs the battery tray and firewall in place from which to take it's shape. So I will start with the battery tray.
I have decided to use rivnuts on the back chassis member and bond on the front. This is because the rear chassis mounting points are shared with the firewall which I want removable. 
Having marked up the right position and installed the rivnuts I drilled out the mounting holes in the battery tray to 12mm to fit around the rivnut. That way the battery tray is absolutely flat on the chassis rails (others use flush fitting rivnuts).
The peddle box then needed careful positioning, and the pedal box lid bent to the correct shape. While I was at it, I also bent down the alignment tabs on the firewall ready for the scuttle. 
Note: I may change my mind about the bonding of the battery tray - with all of that wiring and fuel lines passing under here I may want it easily removable.

Nose Cone - part 1

Both headlights now in place and the nose cone balanced to check the overall effect. It's starting to look like a car. But that's as far as I got with the nose cone.

 These photos show the lack of clearance on both sides around the top wishbone. I had to pull the fibreglass apart to get the cone on this far and it physically rubs against the wishbone. I bought this kit after the mods to the nose cone were in production. GBS must have slipped me old stock because I believe (from RHoCAR posts) that this is the problem with the older cones. I need to check with GBS.

 The top of the cone lines up parallel with the chassis and in reasonable position for drilling a fixing hole, but the lower panel is not over the chassis cross bar and the sides snag on the wishbones. Disappointment. I would have likes to have completed fitting with the indicators today.