Sunday, 31 March 2013

Fluids & Wires

Whilst the car is still open and accessible, I will put the fluids in. If there are any leaks then they should be easier to resolve without the firewall and scuttle in place.

First the gearbox oil - funnel and flexible tube from above once I had found the correct plug. It is the one below the reversing switch and toward the front of the car. The capacity is 1.2L and it will start seeming out of the fill plug once it's full.

Then the engine oil - 5L of synthetic. Then the anti-freeze. Mixed 50:50 it took about 3.5L, but I expect to have to top up once all the air is expelled.

 Working from the front I then tidied and tie-wrapped the wiring harness right up to the bulk head. So the wiring is now firmly in place to the base of the firewall just below where the fusebox will be. So the next job is to sort out the wiring for the starter switch and ignition. I have chosen a savage type switch as a starter switch to match with the others - and because I quite like them. They are however, low current switches and won't cope with starter current. A relay is needed. Here is the circuit diagram I have used. I mocked it up with some spare wires to make sure the light came on in the switch when the ignition is on and that the relay fired when the button was pressed.

Here is the mess of wiring for the final starter circuit. 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Front Indicators and Bonnet

The winter is still here !!
Another 6 to 8 inches in the last 48 hours, drifting to 2 feet deep around the garden. I spend yesterday morning digging out to the main road and aiding the neighbours to do the same. It's all now freezing solid so I am glad I did.

A bit cold in the garage, so I haven't managed much. I started by adding some 4mm neoprene strip to the bonnet. Should help the fit. Along with some trim around the manifold opening.

Then the front indicators. A 10mm hole on each side and on they went. Sounds simple but I did spend quite some time making sure that the hole was in the same place on either side, and that it was between 350mm and 500mm from the ground for IVA.

In order to make sure I had the indicators the correct distance above the groound I also spent some time setting the ride height: front and rear.
Front as measured to the base of the chassis behind the rear wishbone - 130mm.
Back as measured to the base of the chassis in front of the wheel - 120mm.
Then I took it all apart so I can complete the wiring, and fill with fluids before I close up all the panels

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Rather than work on the car yesterday I decided to drive my youngest daughter and her friends to Manchester in order to see a One Direction concert. 3 hours of listening to 1D in the car; 1 hour of chaperoning them into and out of the MEN Arena in the company of many thousands of very excited, squealing teenage girls; 5 hours of hanging around Arndale shopping centre..... but she enjoyed it - and that's what matters.

So today a few hours in the garage. The first task was to position the bonnet correctly and mount the bonnet catches. The mounting of the catches was straight forward (although the 4mm rivets are quite difficult to pop with a standard rivet gun). The difficulty I had was getting the bonnet to fit properly over the scuttle and nose. I eventually managed to get it straight and square but there is a gap between bonnet and body panels on both sides. I will source some neoprene and bonnet locating studs to finish the installation (see future post).

With the bonnet located, I could work out where the hole for the manifold needed to be and it's shape. The photo on the right shows a paper template I created to find a suitable size and shape. This one is the third or forth I made before I was happy. 

I then transferred the template to the bonnet and got to work with the dremel. I must admit to a moment of dread half way through the cutting process when I wondered if I had the template the right way around. But not to worry.

I was amazed once the bonnet was replaced, just how aggressive the car looks now with the manifold emerging from the side. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Nose Cone - Part 2

Whilst I was disappointed with GBS for pushing old stock my way, I don't want to halt the build whilst I argue with them over a replacement. 
Positioning the lower front lip of the base of the nose along the chassis rail shows that the cut-outs for the upper wishbone (either side) are not deep enough to allow the nose to sit properly on the upper mounting brackets. I approximated the amount of clearance I needed and drew up a template. After cutting and shaping the dash yesterday, removing some of the nose to extend the cut-outs for the upper wishbones didn't take long.
Holding the weight of the nose on my trolley jack I then marked and drilled the lower mounting points along the chassis rail and installed some rivnuts. I used low profile M6 bolts and some large penny washers to finish the fix. Then I made sure that both sides were level before drilling the mounting holes for the upper mounting brackets.
The above sounds  quite straight forward but it has taken all afternoon. I still need to add IVA trim around the nose edge and also the upper wishbone chassis brackets as they are now exposed - but that's for another day.

Saturday, 2 March 2013


I've had a good day today. A long walk on Cannock Chase with the dog first thing. Lovely clear sky, a herd of deer and two noisy hot air balloons. Then spent some time with my daughter at the hospital and afterwards an afternoon in the garage. 

Last weekend I formed and bonded the scuttle. This afternoon I mounted the dash on the dash panel and installed the instruments.

I started by removing the scuttle, masking up the dash and checking the fit. Not perfect, but the scuttle is bonded and the dash won't flex so I will have to live with it.  
As I am using the standard Smiths gauges and GBS loom, the instruments are constrained to particular positions. I considered other layouts, but I quite like this one and it saves having to de-construct the loom. 
The last time I was at GBS I asked Richard@GBS for a miss-cut gauge surround, which he gave me without charge. I had no intention of using on the vehicle. I wanted it to act as a template to position the gauges and cut the GRP.
Once I had the dash in the right place I used the gauge surround to mark-out the potential position of the gauges and to form an even profile to cut away the GRP around the steering column.
Now I had the dash in right position I double, and then triple, checked the gauge positions before getting the dremel out and starting the cutting. The router and barrel sander made easy work of the GRP, cutting precisely and cleanly much to my relief.
Before the dash finally went in, I covered the return edge with vinyl to hide the tabs, and put the gauges in place in the correct order: From the left Volts Gauge, Fuel Gauge, Water Gauge, Oil Gauge, Speedo Gauge, Rev Counter Gauge.

I am really happy with the final look.