August 26 2007 - First bits
The goal of today is to do some bodywork, but that's more than a one man job. I decided to start on the seats and take the 'drilling' plunge. The bolts go right through the seat! I got these sorted, and the seats were ready to fit. I laid down the carpet and fitted the seats.
Harnesses are then fairly straight forward - hooks above and bolts below, all fixings welded in place.
The pedal box has needed sorting for ages, and now that i can sit in the car i can confidently do it. I had to chop 15mm off the brake master cylinder pushrod - scary! Once done, things are looking much better. I also adjusted the clutch to be lined up. Pedals now feel great, shame there's no fluid in the brake!
With about 5 people around, time to do the body! Today we get help from Marcus, the genius who welded the ally sump tank. Like a duck to water, he got cutting fibreglass and started fitting body sections.
Meanwhile, my scary job was to cut the exhaust hole. We made up cardboard templates, and marked the position using insulating tape on the chassis. We then masked the body, drew the hole, and started cutting. I cut it a little undersize and then trial fitted the exhausts - once happy smoothed it off. Its not perfect, but im pretty pleased.
Its been a long day, 30 degree temperatures and we're all knackered! Time to put everything away and get cracking again tomorrow.
Todays Build: 3 people, 9, 8, 3. Total build time so far: 99 hours, 154 man-hours.
August 27 2007 - Body on!
Its been such a long day, i cant even remember what we've done!
James went to see Marcus and came back with a stunning machined stainless tapped rod for the gearshift. We bent this (took huge effort!) and it works a treat - we've tested the clutch and had it in 1st and 2nd gears no problem.
I then rivetted the front top of the bodywork into place and started to trial-fit all the other body panels.
We fitted the scuttle - quite challenging as we needed to mark the holes for the chassis rivnuts. Once this was in place - which took a few attempts, including slotting the holes, we fitted the bonnet. This then gave us a good fitment for the front nosecone.
The nosecone was a similar effort- working out where the rivnuts were and fixing it. The bottom one was particularly tricky. We then realised we'd forgotten the front grill... so off it came again. We couldn't see any obvious way of mounting the grill so came up with using some pipe. We were a little embarassed and almost didn't photograph it! The cable ties will come off tomorrow when the glue has set. I think we need some matching mesh for the lower hole and the three bonnet holes.
I made up two aluminium brackets and plates for the rear body mounting and bolted these to the chassis and body - much more stable now. These take all the weight of the boot so are quite important.
I connected up the headlights and tested - James assembled the indicator pod... the other one is a bit lost at the moment. We taped the side and marked it up. it seems very far forward, i'll verify that position later.
Next was the wheel arches - i drilled through from the outside and fitted 5 bolts to each. We then put the wheels back on and lowered the car off the axel stands.
Finally we wheeled the car out. Quite a moment, its a real car! Still lots to do, but its there. Lots of photos needed! And we ran the engine too. The throttle cable had popped off which messed things up a bit, i'll need to keep an eye on that. The exhaust is seriously dangerous, its so hot.
With the car out, we tidied the garage and found all the missing parts!
Todays Build: 2 people, 9 and 8 hours. Total build time so far: 108 hours, 173 man-hours.
August 28 2007 - Odds & Sods
Only a few Odds and sods today, just keep the body moving along.
First I decided to tinker with the engine to work out why its a bit lumpy. I believe it is running a bit lean which is why i'm seeing flames and coughing from the intakes. Throttle body adjustment needed i think. The other problem is my nonsense MAP reading. I pulled out the wires from the map and tried every combination until one made sense - it reads 0.007 which is close enough to zero to have some logic. I was expecting around 1.000 bar, but perhaps its relative? Either way, when i blow or suck it changes so its doing something. I reconnected the wires and tried another run.... seems the same really. I'll do some throttle body calibration tomorrow.
Next we decided to fit the front indicators. Lots of deliberating and measuring, off with the nose, out with the drill. I made some rubber gaskets to sandwich as i didn't fancy the plastic-on-gelcoat. Once fitted the wires were very tight, but we got it seated.
Next we fitted the rollbar, which involved hacking large squares off the bootbox. Once the rollbar was bolted tightly we started to try and work out how the RAC crossbraces will fit. These involve hacking enormous holes in the sides of the bootbox. I set up a piece of string from the two mounts, and marked a line with a pen.... then started hacking. I'm deliberately going oversize, and i'll try and work out a way of sealing the holes later. Perhaps rubber, silicone... or maybe fibreglass. Im feeling a bit stressed, so we'll finish that job tomorrow ... half of one hole cut.
Rear lights next - we templated and marked out the holes for the two light pods, drilled and fitted. For some reason they seem a bit wonky, so we might have to take one off and trim it. Lights work anyway... except the left is too bright, probably misconnected the brake light with the normal light, but they came ready wired so i'm surprised.
Finally we refitted the scuttle and the bonnet - including sticking some foam for the bonnet to sit on to stop it rattling. Quick headlamp test & adjustment while its dark too.
Every day a little more like a car... but progress is definitely feeling a bit slower than usual.
My hands hurt, itchy bits of glass in between all the fingers. Ouch!
Todays Build: 2 people, 5 and 4 hours. Total build time so far: 113 hours, 182 man-hours.
August 29 2007 - A few fiddles
On my own this evening, dreading more fibreglass cutting!
First thing to finish is the bootbox holes for the RAC rollbar supports and rollbar itself. I set to work cutting, using a dremel cutting disk and sanding drum. Eventually got it to fit nicely. Can't fit it finally yet, as i need to fit the brake light and harness mount points.
I started next on the High level brake light. I drilled a hole in the bottom mount of the rollbar and the chassis that it fits to, i fitted a small tube into this hole. I then drilled three holes for the light itself - two to fix it with self tapping screws and a third for the wire. I then threaded the wire through the tube... this took a bit of fishing... and fixed it all in place. Lots of sealant applied to keep the water out. Finally threaded it all together, fitted the rollbar, and wired it into the left hand brake light. Quick test... it looks great!
I decided to fit the fuel filler cap next... using a rather unconventional method. I drilled a 10mm hole from the inside of the bootbox area, then started gnawing away the fibreglass with a grinding bit. Slowly enlarging, aiming for the perfect location. Finally a dremel sanding disk and its a perfect hole, that lines up perfectly. In goes the tube. Can't finish this as I have no countersunk M5 bolts.
I set to work making a hole for the first of the harness mounts in the bootbox, and got this fitted with a rubber grommet. Three more to do, and its getting a little late for this sort of noise... so i'll finish this tomorrow.
Checking the to-do-list, i finished screwing on the footwell panel on the driver side, and chilled out for 5 minutes painting the tyre with my white tyre pen... you might laugh, but look at my face, bothered?
Next i decided to fit the bonnet catches. Masked the area, rivetted the hook on, pulled it tight, marked the catch, rivetted that too. A bit of sticky foam tape here and there and it fits like a glove.
Todays Build: 1 person, 3 hours.. Total build time so far: 116 hours, 185 man-hours.
August 30 2007 - News of the day...
I'm not going to the garage today, we're out on an office BBQ & Get Drunk.
News of the day is that Westfield phoned me - the brake caliper company will be delivering them directly to me, so i will have them monday at the latest. Thank god for that.
I also went shopping and bought various nuts & bolts & screws , a neutral indicator lamp, and a nipple & hose for the oil breather tank. Oh, and the wheel middles turned up too.
Meanwhile the exhaust mount has been posted to us, so that should arrive tomorrow morning.
August 31 2007 - Hungover!
Hungover badly... so not going to attempt anything too challenging!
The new exhaust bracket has turned up from westfield, so I need to figure that out. There's no obvious way to fit it, so after some messing about, i decided to drill all the way through the body and the chassis, sandwich an alloy block in the middle, and tighten it all up. Seems to work... so i bolted on the can using a rubber block. Finally, fitted the heatshield.
Next, i refitted the left rear arch, this time using the recommended 10 bolts. Feels much better. Refitted lights, tied up the wires, refitted wheels, and its back together.
I decided to make a throttle body adjustment to make the engine a little richer at tickover to stop the ignition in the intakes. I adjusted the star screw on the throttle pot, and wound down the idle screw. Its running beautifully now, and much quieter!
Next, I fitted the green bulb for the neutral light and tested it - that will be essential for the sequential box.
Final quick job to screw down the pedal inspection cover. The drill slipped and i took a huge gouge out of the black - bugger. At least its only in the engine bay.
I unwrapped and trial fitted the front cycle wings. They strike me as too small, might have to modify those to stop them rubbing on the tyres.
Todays Build: 1 person, 3 hours.. Total build time so far: 119 hours, 188 man-hours.
September 1 2007 - Front finished
I'm off out to get drunk again, so this is gonna be quick.... Just a few bits and bobs today...
Fitted the front cycle wings
Put a big clip around the exhaust heat shield
Fitted the aeroscreen
Screwed on the dash
Fixed the front ARB - it was hitting the headlamps!
That's the front finished now... back tomorrow, then brakes monday, and we're off for a drive!!
Todays Build: 1 & 2 people, 6 hours.. Total build time so far: 125 hours, 196 man-hours.
September 2 2007 - All Finished!
... well, almost, still no rear brakes but i'm assured i'll get those tomorrow!
Started the day at lunchtime (hangover again!) and decided to get the rear and the bootbox fitted. I cut out the four holes for the harnesses large enough to take a rubber grommet, through which the spacer threads.
With these in place, i fitted the bootbox down with five stainless socket screws, which look quite nice. Finally, wheels off so i can fit the RAC rollbar supports.
I cleared the garage, and set the chocks up a couple of metres apart. Then i drove the car slowly back and forth checking everything is OK. The reverse box is a bit of a dog to get in and out of gear, maybe there's a knack! The clutch isn't working too well, so we got adjusting it. A fiddle here and there and its great, i'm amazed at how short the travel is though!
Next is the indicator side repeaters. I drilled a large round hole, and dremelled it to the right shape. The guide in the book is totally wrong, thank god i ignored it... i just did it by eye instead.
Next comes the fog-light... this didn't fit too well so needed some small modifications, but went into place without too much drama. Total nightmare getting the nuts on the back!
Next the numberplate light.. its a horrid big think that will get scrapped after the SVA, so instead of bolting it on, i stuck it - leaving only a small hole for the electrics.
I couldn't resist sticking the megabusa lettering on the back, just to finish it off. I love the way it looks :) Then 1300 goes on the side of the bonnet.
Mirrors next, the central one stuck on (looks stupid) and the drivers side. Unfortunately i chose to mount them on an angle which doesn't work for the passenger side. We clamped it in a vice and tried to bend it... SNAP! Bugger, stupid monkey metal. Ended up sawing it down at an angle, drilling holes, tapping the hole and putting a bolt through. Finally to stop it looking like the botch of the century it got covered in tape. Now it only looks like the botch of the month. Think i need a new mirror, but after the SVA.
James turned up, and we got to start rivetting the tub to the chassis. This involved jacking the car to a ridiculous sideways angle so we could get the drill under! Both sides, and a few trapped thumbs in the rivet gun, and its all in place.
Interior panels next, i had to get inside the car upside down for this one... and got stuck. ha ha... thanks for standing there laughing James!
While the car was up on stands, i chopped off a couple of bolts that were sticking out too far, trimmed down the engine breather. Also, i fitted the flexihose for the rear brake caliper tomorrow.
Now... to get rid of the dust and tidy up. Car out into the road and hosed down. Shame we had to push it there really, i'm gagging to drive It! Had to drill a couple of quick holes to let the water out of the boot!
After cleaning out the insides, we had a quick poke about the SVA box, lots of rubber bits we don't understand! Hopefully WSCC forum will help with that.
Not sure why all my photos are blurred today, stupid camera!
Todays Build: 1 & 2 people, 9 hours.. Total build time so far: 134 hours, 208 man-hours.
September 2 2007 - SVA Stuff
Tigger from the WSCC forum sent me these pictures to help with SVA stupidities