Sunday, 23 March 2008

Pink dust!

Well, this weekend has seen some dremel action in the garage. As I mentioned last post, we asked Ron to come over and lend us his hands to trial fit the body work. First off was to get the chassis down off trestles and onto axle stands. No worries. Next, the difficult bit.

We'd had some excellent extra tips from Redback Racing, MNRs agents in Australia, on how to get the body fitted. First, we offered up the tub and marked out where we needed to relieve bits to get the body around chassis tubes, etc. The body was probably on and off about a dozen times as we got it right. There are pictures of the process on the Picasa album. We did find that one side of the body is under a lot of tension when fitted properly, to the extent that it's started to crack when stressed into place. Coozer and Tim both seem to have had the same problem, and have added spacers to the bodywork mounting rail to help the bodywork out a bit. The pic to the right shows where this is starting to go.

On Saturday, we trolled down to Merlin again, to get a battery and some more fuel pro-clamps. The only problem was they didn't have either! We had decided on a Varley battery, because of their small size for their power, and the ability to mount them in any orientation except upside-down. And we wouldn't have to pay postage if we got one from Merlin. Apparently though, the UK importers sent their order off, with a requested date of 11/03/08, to the manufacturers in the States, who looked at the date, and presumed it was for delivery in November! So, there are very few in the UK, and the racing season is rapidly aproaching! Ehhhhcxcellent.....

So, once we were back, it was onto Ebay to find a different thing. We found an Odyssey battery, which I strongly suspect is the exact same battery as the Varley - same size weight, power, rough cost, different badge. Postage wasn't too bad on that either. We also ordered in the last week a header tank, HT leads, a header tank cap, some fuel rail, pro clamps, filler hoses for the water system, and I now think we've got everything that we need to start the engine either here or on its way shortly - hopefully we can get all that plumbed in and the engine running by the May bank holiday. Also yesterday we started on the holes for the top front wishbones, and stopped to figure out what to do about the stressy chassis.

So, today, we went out to take another look at the twisting and cut out the v shapes at the rear, that give the rear wishbones room to move. Marc's instructions were pretty clear on this, and with a cutoff disc and sander attachment for the dremel, we got those done without too much fuss. This didn't have an effect on the twisty front, so we tried locostbuilders for some help. Tim and Coozer have both had the same problem, and fixed it by supporting the front end higher up. Looks like we need some steel box or Ali angle to lift the front end up. This would give some extra clearance for the oil filler cap, which pretty much touches the underside of the bonnet at the moment.

Also on the to-do list is to make the inlet manifold - Ron's lent me his arc welder, so I'm going to have a play with that and try to tack the tubes onto the fitting plate. Then the welder who's done a load of Ron's car so far is going to pitch in and finish it off for me. I've never done arc before (I've only done oxy-acetelene a few times, while I was at college over 10 years ago), so that's going to be fun! with some old bits of steel I'll see what I'm capable of. My practical skills have been getting much better over the last few years, so I think I'll be OK. If not, Ron will come back over and tack it on there.... :)

That's it for now, another bank holiday tomorrow, so hopefully we'll get a bit more done. Finally, a pic of the driveshafts we mentioned last week....

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