Monday, 26 May 2008

She looks like a car!!

Well, almost! We've made a fair bit of visible progress today, trial mounting the scuttle, the bonnet, and the nosecone. This is more straightforward that it sounds...

The scuttle goes on first. It's quite easy to do - the pointy bits at the back of the scuttle meet with the crease line in the bodywork. There are just a couple of notches to make underneath the scuttle so it clears the bar holding the steering column mounts. This was then taped in place. Then the bonnet went on, with the shut lines to the scuttle nice and tight, and taped to the bodywork as well. This was difficult as our bonnet has sagged a fair bit in storage. A tip - store the bonnet upright on its end, not flat, so it doesn't sag under its own weight.

Next, there's a fair bit of excess GRP at the front of the main tub - we had to take off about 4 inches or so. To measure this out, we offered up the nosecone and looked to see how much was left to go. The nose went on and off about 20 times, to trim it gently without taking too much off it. It's not quite perfect, but for our first go fixing bodywork, it's not bad! We did find that the brackets we mounted at the front of the engine bay to support the bodywork were a bit too narrow (we used 35x20mm ali angle, with the 20mm side on top), and there's not enough overlap on the nosecone lip to drill a hole for a bolt. We need to change the bracket for some 35x35 angle to make sure we've got the room. With the nosecone in place, we can take off the bonnet and put it back whenever - we've taped it in for now to try and persuade it back to shape.

How long since we posted?

About two months!!

Well, in the last post I was confident that we'd have the engine ready to run by the May bank holiday. Doh! The silicon hoses we ordered (Red is a special order colour) actually didn't get ordered when we expected, so they only arrived last week. The good news is that with some trimming they all fit nicely, so my angle measuring must have been right!

So, what have we been up to since last time? We've bought and fitted an Odyssey battery, Claire making a great little braket to keep it in place at the back of the engine bay, making a start on cutting loads of holes in the bodywork (these are all cut now, I just need to tidy them up and make sure they're the same on both sides). We had to take off the brackets we made in last month's installment, as they were holding the body up too high, so we've just got the fronts on for now. These are actually bolted in place too - exciting!

We went for a track day at Llandow with Ron in his Spire GT-R - we bumped into TimC there, watching his mate in a Mk2 Escort spending most of a lap sideways was great! More problems with the gearchange on the Spire (I think this time we might have bent it) meant we were done by lunchtime. A nice little circuit though, and I've never seen so many 911 GT3 RSs in one place - someone turned up in a Carrera GT as well, mmmmmmmmm :)

Back into the garage, and we lifted the engine out so Ron could borrow the crane. We had to refit the front brake pipes as with it in the old position, the trigger wheel for the VR sensor would hit it. So, that was moved back along the chassis rail and the pipes out to the bodywork re-made. Lucky I made them slightly longer than I needed, as I kept forgetting to put the union on the pipe before I flared it!! Doh!

We also measured up where we wanted the throttle bodies to go and one of the guys at Ron's work welded them up for us (thanks Taff), they had a job getting them held at the right angle, but they look pretty good now. Just some work with the dremel and some paint and it's good to go. We also got some fuel tank filler tube the right size to mount the throttle bodies to the manifold.

Some trial fitting of the silicon hoses followed - some needed trimming (the bends were longer than I expected them to be), but the angles were all right, and it all fits in, even if it is a bit tight (but what hasn't been so far??). Claire made a bracket to hold in the brake fluid reservoir and we've got some flexi pipe to connect up the reservoir and the MCs.

Finally, we started to fit the bodywork. Claire painted the inside of all the panels (except the tub, as it's still mounted), in gloss black, and it transforms them I think. The scuttle went on without *too* much trouble, but the bonnet has sagged quite a lot where it's been sat for a long time. We've taped it in place for now, and it looks like it will fit eventually. Last night I started hacking lumps off the front of the tub to make the nose fit, so finishing that slightly more delicately is the first job for today.....