Monday, 21 July 2014

Weeks Little jobs...

Well this week has mostly been about tweaking parts already done.

So again I refitted the throttle pedal and again i took it out for more tweaking, its getting there now and should be done soon.

As well as this I fitted the new wheels the reason for this was to get the ride height right so the front headlights are over 500mm high. This has now been completed.

The rears were fitted but i am waiting on some spacers to arrive. Whilst fitting the rears I fitted the split pins and caps for safety.

I also made and fitted a chassis VIN Plate.

I also fitted the door handles and installed the brackets to pull the catches. Although it works Im not happy with the way the handles are fitted as it doesnt feel strong enough so will need to make some brackets for them to spread the load across the fibreglass. The below picture shows the brackets used to hold cable ends so the catch can be released.

The passenger door now also has the strut installed and works as intended with the door unlocked and releasing up by itself and pushing down is relatively easy. The catch is pretty tight so unlocking does require more force then id like but ill work on that.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Front Bumper, Wheels and etching

First of all, If any followers are planning on heading to the Silverstone classic, then a kind Mclaren F1 owner is raffling off the chance to ride in his car at the event. Proceeds go to Charity so its for a good cause as well.
Check out the story on the below link

Mclaren F1 ride at Silverstone Classic

This week i put the throttle pedal back in and test fitted wit hthe multiplyer and it works perfectly in terms of opening the throttle fully and has a good feel. the pedal wobbles a bit too much for my just need to fix that last bit now!

A few weeks back I had requested a VIN number from the DVLA as I was told we are no longer allowed to assign what we want.(meeting the number requirements) true or not I don't know so I requested it so there was less potential for complications. The IVA manual states the requirements of the number (height, location, methods of attaching etc...) I went for the right hand drivers pillar and etched it in, once etched I put some clear gloss nail varnish over the top of it. The Pic below has all the numbers blocked out as after all it is the cars VIN and those letters are around 7 - 8mm tall, with the IVA stating minimum is 3mm.

Following that I got my wheels back as i had had them hydro dipped by a company called wicked coatings.

link --->

And they came back looking great, I can tell they are really going to suit the car and cant wait to fit the wheels properly to get a good look! I've gone for a good size tyre wall and not rubber band thin, the car will be rigid enough so a little give in the tyre will be good.

the new wheels although still 19" have raised the car a bit because of the higher sidewall especially with the wider rear tyre and hence side wall.So when setting up the car I will need to that into account but it should mean ground clearance is not too bad after all without looking its on stilts!

After checking the wheels I first fitted the mesh to the roof scoop, this is required for the IVA and I don't plan on having mesh on this scoop when the car is completed as it restricts air flow for no reason as this scoop is just functional for getting cooler air into the engine bay and not directly into a feed.

I then fitted the front bumper as I was happy I wont need to access anything else via the hole at the front as I hadn't for some time.

I also tidied up the car, cleaning it and removing the dust. I have loads of little jobs currently on going which I will continue with this week, this includes;
* fitting the door catches to the handles so they operate
* Door cards to cover the holes
* Missing Dash Panels
* Gaitors for handbrake and gear selector
* Speedo calibration

Its a case of working through the little jobs now and keeping it moving. There is not a lot to get ready for the test to be honest its just getting them done now so it passes the test and then doing it again afterwards on some to how I want it.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Securing cables, exhaust, bodywork & throttle pedal

Ive started this week by making a list of the jobs to do. The list is getting smaller and I wanted to concentrate on some tasks to move them forwards the first was to finish the securing of fuel pipes and the extra cabling in the compartment between the engine and passenger compartment, so P clips and cable ties were used to secure to the extra brackets and flooring.. This has now been completed with everything neat and secure.

Next was the throttle pedal...well... it was 'beef'd' up after the last time it twisted and soon after the last original piece of it (made in plastic) broke. so its now all metal and thicker metal throughout. Basically its completely replaced! The last part I'm waiting on to source is a stronger return spring then it will be complete and can be refitted.

Next I worked on the exhaust area, this area had been concerning me. The IVA test requires that the Db level be less than 98Db at 2/3rds RPM of Peak power, so for my engine that is 4000RPM. So I added a 2nd box to bring the noise down but also have put what is often referred to as a DB killer. And this appears to of worked with it idling at about 45Db and at 4000rpm around 83Db...this was measured on my iphone so doubt its that accurate, but should be under the 98Db...afterwards the DB killer will be removed because not only does it kill noise but also kills power as well. I have managed to hopefully plumb the pipework for the exhaust to where I want it. at the moment its not welded or clamped and I need to make some exhaust brackets.

As well as that I worked on the front bonnet, to get a good fitment when shutting. I used quick catch mini, simply click in and push centre to unclip, they work perfectly! Also I used house door rubbers to keep the bonnet at the right height along the line of it.

Following this I had had a problem id been working on, the IVA states as I've put before all wiring must be securely attached every 300mm. well when the rear clam shell opened up the wire would need to be well over 300mm. So in the end I made some wire mount extending bars, this takes the mounting point to within 2cm of the fibreglass shell when closed but to just under 300 mm when open as shown below. (they are the 3x silver poles)

By securely mounting the cables to the fibreglass and then on the poles it should meet the requirements. Next is to carry on with this work as well as fit the door catch mechanisms so I can open the doors properly.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Current work - bodywork, studs and wiper

The work I'm doing now is a selection of small jobs and unfortunately some jobs that take a long time.

I've spent close to around 10 hours lining up the door the best I can, I think it will need some work at a bodyshop to get the door to sit perfectly but I've done the best I can, shaving bits off where I need to and adjusting fittings. It will do for the test and then when the bodywork is done it will be fully sorted at that point.

The wheels were sent off to have the finish applied to them last week so in the mean time ive now fitted the longer studs and spacers. Normally its better to have bolt on spacers but if your spacers are only 10mm you have to use extended studs instead. I would also say hub centric spacers are a must, universal ones can give a wobble if not seated properly. If they are hubcentric, those worries don't exist.

The best way to fit longer studs is;

* Place an unwanted wheel nut on the stud and hit hard several times with a hammer and the old stud should fall out
* WD40 the hole for the new stud and the new stud itself
* place washers over the stud and use the wheel nut again to pull the stud through by tightening the nut

Although a standard torque wrench method is possible, its much better to do it with an impact gun (I used a battery one) Although it didnt pull the stud all the way through the hammering action meant it was pulled in quite freely, I then used a breaker bar to do the last bit by hand. On the 1st stud I didn't use a impact gun and I was having to use much more force to pull through the last bit of the stud.

I also had to do more work on the wiper over the last week, because of the angles the wiper arm (lower half) was fowling on the glass itself, luckily I checked this before running it, so the wiper arm was raised slightly to clear the window. I also had to lower the angle of movement from 90 degrees to around 78 degrees. At 90 degrees the wiper was going off the screen and because I didn't want to make the wiper blade shorter (so it would clear as must of the drivers view as possible) I had to lower the sweep angle.

As well as this the wiper motor was causing the bracket to move and twist due to the force. To resolve this I used a P clip on the front triangulation of the chassis to the end of the motor bracket and this has stopped the twisting. The video below shows the working wiper and the twist of the bracket before fixing it.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Doors, rear shell, lights and windscreen

Following on from the other week I have fitted the door handles into position, as of yet i have not connected them to the lock itself although will work on that soon. the handles wont be seen easily when just looking at the car as they will be hidden underneath the shape of the door.

Next was to work on the rear shell's fixing points. The issue was the aero catches included were flush mount ones and the fibreglass was too thick for flush mount ones. So I bought normal aero catches and fitted them. 

I also then worked on the front lights installing the indicators so they would be above the required height and should meet the angles of visibility requirements.

I also worked on the layout to complete the rear with exhaust exit, there's alot more to be done, but cant be done till after the IVA test.Way to much block of white going on at the moment feels like a giant slab!

Whilst I had everything together as this point I took a photo from the side to get an idea of the profile of the car. There is a lot of work to be done on the bodywork but it gives an idea of the shape at least.

The final piece of work has been the windscreen so I had Chris from national windscreens come and fit the windscreen for me. this is the first one from the mould that was made.

Next will be to get the wheels off to be done and then ill fit them so I can put the front bumper on. (front bumper is the access to jack the car up). Also i'll continue working on the rear light wiring and other areas that need tidying up.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Rear lights, Problems and wheels

The update is a bit late this week as the weekend was nice so I did some work on the car and then Sunday went for a time i was back it was F1 time and then I'd run out of time.

So following on from last week I also test fitted the doors and front bumper to get an idea of the amount of work.

So the good news;
Front bumper little work to get looking good.

bad news;

The doors I'm not sure how much work yet but mounting point need to be opened up a bit and go from there really! I think I can get them to sit well enough but will be fair bit of work, in all honesty the doors I don't think should of been shipped how they are especially the passenger side which has been sanded just to allow it to close on one click of the latch, sad but it is a fact none the less and I said id write the good and the bad and this is the worst thing so far....lets see how bad it actually turns out to be!

You can see in the pic the wider gap where the door wants to sit up slightly, hopefully by modifying the hinge brackets a bit I can get this to be a better fit, I'm sure I can do something.

The trim id put around the door had to come off, there isn't the space for that size trim in some areas of the door fit so I will have to go for slimmer trim, again the gaps around the door differ a bit so might need some work (if only you could bend fibreglass).

I moved on from the door as that work is for another day and I just wanted to understand the scale of the work. So I moved back to the bumper, now for the IVA test all gaps / grills are radius tested by filling it with a mesh with gaps less then 10mm the edges just have to be blunted. So i used some diamond shape 9mm - 6mm. Worked really well and easy to work.

Its only bent in place at this time, id ideally like to know a secure way to attach but be able to remove...silicone?!?!

At this point I wanted to work on the last mechanical pieces...throttle pedal linkage but something didn't feel right, so I removed the pedal...I had had to modify the pedal to get a god pedal fit in the footwell removing some bracing and I ended up with this...

You can see the arm has twisted on the pivot....its now being made out of much stronger steal, it wont fail on me again!

so with the pedal shipped off it was time to do the rear lights, now the IVA test does specify that a fog light cannot be within 100mm of a stop the standard 3 big circle design was out, so I've kept the 2 circles and gone for a matching pair of fog and reverse light. After the test this will allow me to do some nice cut outs and more mesh which I think will look good. I also fitted the rear number plate light.

And finally I choose my wheels, they are 19" and I got them from I've really pushed the size limits with 8.5J at the front and 10.5J at the rare, but i love the look of the wheel. I've just got to decide on the colour of the wheel to go with the final car colour.

So the next weeks work will be extending the rear wiring for the lights, fitting front indicators, getting some tyres on to the new wheels and having the windscreen fitted.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Shell fitting, Interior, Brackets and Video

So following on from all the previous work I fitted the main shell to the chassis permanently.(well I hope). It has a total of 9 bolts either side attaching it and 6 on the roof (where the door hinges are)

Uunlike most fibreglass shells and panels, you can lean on the front arches without even hearing a creak or crack and it does not move so that's good.

Once that was done I got on to completing the wiring to the front headlights now the RHD ones were fitted. This was simple enough just ensuring wires were secured a maximum of every 300mm. I also had to decide where to install the sidelights. I had two choices.

1. some small LED style lights

2. buy some Hella mainbeam headlights which also did sidelight function as well.

I went for the LED option as the hella's are £90 a light! And at this rate ill have more lights then ill know what to do with. So I drilled the hole for the sidelight which fitted perfectly and turned them on.

I'll be investing in some Philips white bulbs at some point to go with the white of the LED's!

Next was to fit some brackets for the rear, one was around the ECU which is a very busy area in terms of wiring and being from the MR2 and being in certain positions for over 20yrs I didn't want to bend and fiddle to much, so I moved them slightly and made the brackets to fit around the wires and secure them. The advantage of this bracket as well is that it can help keep water away from the electronics as it goes under the ECU as well.

The next bracket was again partly to meet a requirement and secondly to make the car look like effort has been made in terms of going beyond what's required, so the next bracket allows me to get cables up a height of 350mm whist still securing every 300mm (max) as well as this I used it to secure fuel lines as well when bridging a gap. this was they weren't left dangling.
Ive actually ran out of the required P clips so need to finish that!

Next was back to the leaking reservoirs, by this point I really was considering just ripping them out and swapping over! Tthe reservoirs are low pressure so the fact they are leaking makes it even worse! I managed to get a replacement reservoir as the 1st one I bought was too big and fowling on the wiper arm mechanism shown in the pic. So I managed to put it all back together and no leaks...good! However the caps were different, I was using a 2 prong one 3 prong! so I had to take them apart to build a working fluid float with only 2 wire prong. (The UK IVA test requires brake fluid reservoirs have a fluid warning system)

The interior is turning into more of the thing I dislike then anything else, purely because its not to the quality I want. Simply put I don't have the tools and the skills. However I just have to remind myself it needs to look and be good enough to pass the test then I can do what I want and have it professionally covered at a later date. So I created the surround for the gear knob gator. It does look better in real life however still not to what I expect...this colour was sold as DARK GREY!! More like Purple brown...or something else brown.

At this stage with the shell fitted and everything moving on it was time to check the wiring to make sure everything was running fired her up....well would of but had run out of petrol! 4 trips later and we are at just under half a tank and £25 lighter as well.

So I got her really is hard to get the temperature up high enough to get the fans to kick in, they should kick in at 87c, so safe to say cooling wont a problem on this car! I had to run the car at 3000rpm for about 4mins to get the temperature up.

Once this was all done, I test fitted the rear shell to get an idea of the work involved, the last time the shell was fitted was when the car arrived and then it was just placed in position since then I had changed the locating pieces for new ones etc...

The wheels are just 'rolling' wheels and the new ones although same size are much wider although will still require spacers at the back :(

Overall its not too bad, some work but not massive and there are ways to adjust and move the rear body around so shouldn't be too much of an issue. The biggest issue is that the top of the engine touches the top of the body work. Even after I lowered the mounting point of the throttle cable (the highest point).

However the rear is adjustable and I can bring the back up around 3cm, so I think I can get round the problem.

Finally I've done a walk around video with the car running. Unfortunately I had some plastic film over the ipad's microphone so the car's running noise is quite low!