Saturday, 29 March 2008

Bleeding Brakes!

Fitted the brake pressure hoses to the chassis bulkhead fitting and with some pedal pumping help from my wife the braking system was filled and bled. Rolling the chassis backwards and forwards 6 inches it only takes slight finger pressure to stop it dead. The pedal can only be pushed about 1/4 of it's travel before it becomes immovable. The pedal is not spongy, rather very firm but not hard. The feel of the pedal will improve as the pads are bedded in to the discs.

But most importantly - after sitting for 10 minutes with the pedal pushed as hard as I could manage - I could find no leaks anywhere.

So I can fit the body in the comfort that I won't have to take it off again to tighten leaking unions on either the clutch or brakes.

I'll have to bleed everything again as I'll have to disconnect the pressure hoses to fit the body - but that's no big deal.

Result!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

We Have a Clutch!!

Collared my neighbour tonight - a litre of fluid later - a working clutch! (The clutch action is actually very smooth - in the video my neighbour appears to have developed a wobbly leg - probably due to all the pedal pumping I made him do!)

video

The remote bleed nipple worked a treat. No Leaks. Just over 40mm travel at the slave. Clutch fully releases 2/3 of the way down (when pushing the chassis with it in gear).

The pedal is heavier than my tin top but not too heavy. In fact it was lighter than I was expecting. It will probably feel even lighter when sat in a proper seat and not sat on two bits of wood!

I'll have to bleed the clutch again as I'll have to undo the pressure hose to fit the body - no big deal and I reckon it was still better doing it this way with the body off.

Fingers crossed for a similar success with the brakes at the weekend

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Main Body Loom - 2 & Hydraulics

Round 2 with the body loom! After some more contortion, effing and blinding, the relays and fusible link were fitted into place: Flushed with this success I then fitted the fusebox and started to tidy up the loom:

Having been working in the engine bay I thought I might as well fit the fluid reservoirs and washer bottle - I'll be needing the reservoirs shortly to fill, bleed and test the hydraulic circuits:
Continuing with the hydraulic theme the next thing was to sort out the pedal box hoses:Now at first sight you may well think that the reservoir feed hoses should be shorter..... however they need to be long enough to allow the pedal box to adjust to the fully forward position (for my other half). The snag is when the pedals are set fully back there's a bit of slack to take up!! I'll have a look at what can be done to tidy it up later.

I'm quite pleased with this next bit - a bit of forethought that worked. I had always been a bit worried about the brake and clutch circuits leaking when first tested. I didn't want to put the body on - connect everything up - find it leaks - and then have to take the body off to tighten up those inaccessible unions. So the plan had always been to put the body on a trestle that was low enough to allow the pedal box to fitted and connected to the union block on the chassis by routing the hoses straight down (instead of around the inside of the engine bay - the final route when the body is on).

The plan worked: Just need some brake fluid now..... soon I'll find out how many leaks I have!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Main Body Loom - 1

Time for some more dreaded electrics!!

First step was to incorporate the amendments needed to the main body loom due to the changes I made in the engine bay loom:
I mocked up the loom first (hence the masking tape) before feeding the wires trough the required conduit. Step by step - checking everything twice with a multimeter:
After a lot of fiddling around it was eventually completed - the red cable ties are temporary - and are red to me remind me of this!: The next step was to start fitting the loom to the body. Hmmmmm.... this is where things took a turn for the worse. There is not a lot of room to work inside the body (even with nothing in it) and it was a bit like trying to wrestle with an elephant's trunk whilst upside down in the footwell!Things are roughly in place but I had had enough for one night! Tomorrow I'll fix the relays in place (more gymnastics required) and also the fusebox (need to file out the opening a bit first).

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Pedal Box - Second Fit

With the pedal box put back together it was time to fit it properly. Space is very tight and it took a while to get all the bolts tightened up due to there being limited room to get hands and spanners in. Eventually it was in:

The next stage will involve connecting up the hydraulics in the wheelarch compartment:The pedals seem to OK for height and the spacing is about the best it can be:

So hopefully that's the pedal box done? Although it may have to come out when fitting the carpet - I'm not sure.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Pedal Box - First Fit

No more avoiding it - time to chop some holes in the body! It is much easier to cut from the wheelarch compartment side:

The next step was to drill the five fixing holes for the pedal box. I had decided to fit a spreader plate to the compartment side of the bulkhead and this was made up as an exact match to the pedal box:
Having marked the first hole position I could then use the plate as a template for drilling the other holes:
You can see from this photo that I've temporarily fitted the steering column support frame - using washers to pack out where the windscreen frame would go. The steering column support frame also supports the front end of the pedal box as you can see below:
The steering column support frame needs to be drilled for Rivnuts so the pedal box support can be bolted to it. I'm not going to do this until the windscreen has been fitted and the support frame is in exactly the right place. The pedal box was then bolted up and checked for clearances:
I then removed the pedal box in order to put it all back together. First thing to do was to drill and slot the end of the accellerator pedal to take the nipple on the end of the accelerator cable:
Next job was to fit the brake light switch - which means drilling holes in your nice pedal box!
Finally I re-fitted the master cylinders and checked the operation of the brake light switch.
And there you go.... before you know it.... a whole day gone by!! Definitely a case of measure 10 times cut once!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Pedal Box - Measuring Up

Today I thought I would try and measure up for fitting the pedal box. To do this I stripped off the brake and clutch master cylinders - but it was still pretty damn heavy!!: After much struggling - heavy & not a lot of room for manoeuvre I eventually got it roughly into position: The back of the pedal box has bits at different angles and some protruding bolts. This makes it impossible for it to lie flat against the bulkhead - without cutting the opening in the bulkhead first. All a bit chicken and egg! Nevertheless I climbed aboard and tried them for size. After a bit of fettling I got them the best I could without them being fixed to the bulkhead and without a proper seat!! I may still have to bend the pedals across a bit more - I'll have to see when I've fitted the pedals properly.

I took some more measurements - did some more working out - and then marked up the cutout and centreline of fixing bolts on the compartment side of the bulkhead - it's a bit easier to get to from this side!
Now it's time for some courage! First thing I'll do is remove the cutout. I will then be able to offer up the pedal box properly so I can double check before drilling for the fixing bolts.

Fingers crossed for tomorrow then eh?

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Fitting the Heater

The heater was always an awkward item to fit in the MKIII's and became a bit more awkward in the MKIV's. To make life a bit easier a different approach is called for. The first step is to dismantle the heater - remove the fan, take off the end plates and remove the matrix:
On each of the end plates the mounting flanges were cut off, the plates dressed and then the affected area resprayed:

The empty shell of the heater was then drilled to accept four M6 Rivnuts:It is important to position the lowest Rivnuts no lower than half way down the face and to check the length of bolts to be used. otherwise you may end up puncturing the heater matrix:

The next step was to make a cardboard template of the front of the heater and mark out the Rivnut positions. I then fitted the empty heater box into place (the large holes in the bulkhead for the heater outlets having been cut already by GD) and placed the template over the outlet pipes marking the position of the required holes on masking tape stuck to the bulkhead: Having drilled the holes I re-assembled the heater - you need to fit the elbow piping now - you can't get access to the hose clip later on:The heater was then offered up into position and bolted into place: Note the hole (20mm) and Grommet at the top right of the bulkhead. This is for parts of the wiring loom to run through. I drilled this before fitting the heater for final time.

This shows the heater installation from the wheelarch access panel. At the bottom of this compartment will fit the battery carrier - when I have painted it that is.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

More Bits

Had a trip down to GD this morning and picked up some more parts - The body loom:
There's rather a lot of it and it needs modifying to incorporate the additions I've made in the engine bay loom!

Next is the adjustable pedal box - this really is a masterful piece of engineering - I might just put it on the coffee table and stare at it!:
Also I picked up some of the flexible hose for the pedal box and the clutch reservoir - the brake reservoir and the bulkhead hoses are on back order: And finally the heater and de-mister kit:I also collected a battery tray, washer botttle and brake light switch and bracket.

I was the planning the first job to be the mocking up of the pedal box and testing the hydraulic circuits. However I can't do this without the missing flexible bulkhead hoses. So I think the first job will be modifying the heater box (it wont fit in a MKIV body as it is) and fitting that followed by modifying the body loom and installing that.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Accusump Pressure Test

4 Days on and still at just 0ver 80psi....... Job Done.

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Battery Main Positive

I really have very little to do until the next batch of parts is ready - hopefully that will be later this week.

So I thought I would finish fitting the battery main positive. Having sorted out the starter end at the weekend I now discovered that the other end wouldn't reach the engine bay stud!... bugger.... should have measured it first! So I had to revise the starter end and separate the battery main positive from the loom starter leg:
I then discovered that the bracket for the hard fuel line I had made earlier got in the way of making a neat run.... I could have just passed the cable below the bracket...... but that wouldn't have been straight! So I made a different bracket...... please don't ask me why!!
Hmmmmm.

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Accusump Ammendments

If you remember this post then you'll remember that from some preliminary measurements it appeared that the Accusump pressure gauge was going to foul the bonnet.

Now as the "jobs to do list" was getting smaller it was time to tackle this problem. The first thing I did was to make up a mock inner wing section from thick cardboard:
The mock wing was bolted to the inner wing inside the engine bay and a template was produced to match the underside of the bonnet. This template was then used to produce a "negative" template.

The mock inner wing was then bolted to the chassis:
The negative template was then placed into position and the extent of the problem became clear:

There is not enough clearance between the bottom of the Accusump and the chassis cross member to move the Accusump down so that the pressure gauge would clear the underside of the bonnet.

So the only option was to move the pressure gauge.... another thinly disguised excuse to use some more shiny fittings and stainless hose!

So the Accusump was de-pressurised, removed, the stainless mounting plate was modified, the extra plumbing added and the whole lot replaced:

This is as neat as I could get, it gets complicated having to change from NPTF to JIC and back again.

The proof of the pudding though would be seen from placing the bonnet template back in position:

Success! The whole system was then re-pressurised and I'll check for any leakage tomorrow:

Starter

The last remaining electrical job was to connect the starter to the engine bay loom:

A common problem with cobra replicas is hot starting issues caused by the proximity of the starter to the exhaust headers. In many cases this can be cured by the use of a smaller Hi-Torque starter which gives a greater clearance to the exhaust. I have such a smaller starter giving clearance from the headers, but with the GD the exhaust then runs directly under the starter.

During trial runs of the engine I had noticed that hot starting was a little sluggish and was wondering if it was due to the effects of heat on the starter and adjacent battery cable. So seeing as the body was not on yet I thought there was no harm in wrapping the starter and battery cable with heat insulation. The battery main and harness starter leg were wrapped in an insulated tube of material......

...... and the starter and solenoid were wrapped in flat sheet and the whole lot secured with stainless steel lock ties:Looks a bit like something destined for outer space on the space shuttle..... but will do the job.