Tuesday, 25 March 2008

The end of the bank holiday....

And four days in the freezing cold garage! On the Monday, I tried my hand at arc welding (rubbish, but after reading a tutorial today I know what I was doing wrong), installing the throttle linkage whadjamacallits to the throttle bodies, and making the bodywork fit better at the front.

My experiments with welding didn't go especially well. I kept sticking the arc rod to the piece, but I've read up on it today, and I was striking it but then not moving th tip away! I didn't have the workspace set up well either, so I may have another go this weekend.

The throttle bodies were much easier, with Ron having bent some small pieces of steel to fit betwen the throttle linkages. I had to shorten them by a couple of mm, but easy enough. Ron had bent them at just the right angle, with me having to just pack them out with a single washer to get them perfect. Now all four throttle bodies move together again, all completely close, all we need to do is the fuel rail (a card through th door this morning tells me that it was delivered while I was out), and the inlet manifold. I'm getting quite excited about being able to get the engine running again! We should be able to do that around the first bank holiday weekend in May, if everything turns up on time (and if I haven't forgotten anything!)

Next, the attention turned to the bodywork again. We'd had some replies from other guys on locostbuilders, including from Marc Nordon, indicating that we needed to pack up the front end. So, off to B & Q, along with half of Swindon - lucky we live close to it! - for some Ali angle. After some deliberation, we worked out how far up we needed to lift the body (we did this by measuring the side that naturaly sat further down, and basically filling that gap). With this support further up than the chassis was, we can now comfortably hold the bodywork in at the sides with tape, and squeeze the drivers' side bodywork down to it. There is still some stress there, but nothing like it was. We also took a bit more out of the bottom of the fibreglass, and this helped too.You can see the four new brackets in the photo, for once I fabricated something that Claire was entirely hapy with! Maybe I'm getting better at this after all..... :)

Like I said, we're aiming to get the engine running over the May bank holiday weekend. In between now and then, we're going to try and get the bodywork finished, it needs to come off again so we can fill back in any areas we've had to take out, and touch up those areas where we've had to take off the gelcoat. We also need to hoick the engine out again (last time this time) to do a couple of jobs around the engine bay - refitting the brake t-piece for one. Then the engine can go back in, and the body can go on, and we can get it on its wheels. I think we have everything we need up until that point - then we need some seats, harnesses, gauges, and lots more hard work!

On a final note, Ron sent me a link to JAW, a DIY wideband O2 controller kit, which works out quite a bit cheaper than buying an innovate LC-1. I'd welcome any comments from anyone who's used this, especially with megasquirt!

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