Saturday, 29 November 2008

Aaaarrrgh! Me Bloomin' Arms Ache

Early Start and 8 hours hard graft gets you this:

Nuff Said!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Wiper Spindles

Having fitted the windscreen yesterday, today it was time to remove it! - But not before marking the holes for the centre stay bracket:

Having marked out the positions for the wiper spindles yesterday it was now time to cut them. Having drilled a hole, this needed to be opened out to fit the inclined wiper spindle. Using one of the spindle spacers I measured the angle - cut a piece of MDF to suit and taped the Dremel onto it:
The Dremel with a small sanding drum made light work of opening out the hole and the first spindle was easily fitted (you will need to cut the spacers down to suit):
And then repeat for the other side:
Whilst I remembered I made a template for the screen stanchion fixings and drilled some new holes in the column support bar:
The final job of the day was to do three gel-coat repairs on the scuttle roll and one on the bonnet reveal - these should be cured for finishing tomorrow (Heater in garage now after last time!)
Now the forecast looks dry for Saturday do that's the day I'm planning to finish compounding and polishing the body. I going to do it outside this time after the mess in the garage after the last time!
So jobs to do are to sand down the gel-coat repairs I've just done, remove the front lights, put the wheels back on and jack the car down off the axles stands and cover up the engine bay.
The garage could also do with a clean out when the car is not in it!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Windsceen - 2

What a difference that makes!.... Looking like a car now (if you ignore the lack of wheels and wooden prop!):The screen is not fixed in place yet as this is just a first fix to enable the wiper spindles to be marked out. I found it easy enough to do single handedly - although things were made easier by my prop - cobbled up out of the scrap bin:The important dimension here is 930mm from the rear scuttle roll to the top of the screen. The other important dimension is 6mm - this is the thickness of this pack of washers wrapped in tape and placed under the bottom of the screen:Just the top bolts were fitted at this stage - enough to keep the screen in place and stable:The screen fits nicely - the rubber at the bottom of the screen is a good fit to the scuttle and the screen was only 2mm out of square - measured from the back of the door openings to the screen corners at both sides. This will be rectified at the final fit - If I decide that it is not close enough!

Now the real reason for needing the screen was to do this: .... Marking out for the washer spindles. The centres are 415mm from the edges of the screen pillars and the edge of the mounting rubber is 5mm from the edge of the windscreen rubber. So tomorrows job will be to remove the screen and put is somewhere safe - probably in the spare bedroom with the seats, carpets etc.... lets hope we don't have any visitors that want to stay! Then the spindle holes can be cut out and the final cleaning up of the body started as there will be no more drilling and filing of fibreglass (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Windscreen - 1

Well here it is at last!And immediately we hit problem No. 1. Part of the problem with the delay in the supply of windscreens was the supplier changing the length of the stanchions. This presents a problem for GD as the threaded inserts are pre-glassed into the tub. Despite GD's best efforts, shorter stanchions have remained firmly on the menu. Below is what we end up with:As you can see the stanchion is not long enough to reach the bottom fixing - this will be addressed on future bodies but for those of us with our bodies already a fix is required - It also made my method of marking the holes somewhat redundant - although overall it will probably be easier to fit this way as the stanchions do not need drilling as the adjustment will be in the positioning of the fixing in the body.. Whilst I was at the factory Paul explained what needs to be done.

A new fixing is obviously required. The screen needs to be set in place at the correct rake, height above the scuttle and square - this can be done with the top fixings in place to help hold the screen. When everything is bob on the bottom fixing can be marked and a hole drilled into the supporting glassfibre. However you then need to get some sort of fixing in. What Paul does is to cut a slot below the hole so a ring spanner, nut and washer can be inserted:

Perhaps easier said than done - but after a bit of drilling and some vigorous filing it was done. The mounting surface is some 5-6mm thick which explains why the slot is the distance it is from the surface.

Just got the other one to do now!

Fast forward........


Sunday, 23 November 2008

Preparing for the Windscreen - Another Cunning Plan?

With the arrival of the windscreen only days away it was time to start thinking about how to install it. The problem lies in the fact that the GD body has threaded inserts moulded into the body and the centres of these inserts need to be transferred onto the "legs" of the screen when it is in the right place. However the "legs" of the screen will cover the inserts so some method of transferring the centres is needed???

I came up with the idea of taking some lengths of steel flat - drilling them for the screen fixing bolts, screwing them to some blocks of wood and bonding the blocks of wood to the inside of the body with Sikaflex:
When the Sikaflex has cured the bolts can be removed - the windscreen slid into place - and the holes marked directly. The gubbins can then be easily removed by unscrewing the flats from the blocks and cutting through the Sikalfex with a sharp blade. Well that's the theory and it should enable all four holes to be marked and drilled in one go. Below shows the arrangement on the drivers side:
On the passenger side the relays get in the way so a slightly different arrangement is needed:

Once the screen has been fitted, the wiper spindles can be marked out and cut. This then represents the end of cutting / drilling the body. So after compounding & polishing the front of the car it will be time for a big clean up!

All that then remains is to fit the wipers, heating / demist gubbins, dash, connect the electrics and a bit of trimming.

Did I really say "all"!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Cutting out the Dashboard

Time to cut the holes in the dashboard. Now there are some moulded marks on the dash for the instruments but I found them to be off centre relative to the centreline of the car and also not spaced exactly correct. So I drew the ensemble out on CAD and used the plot to line up the gauges relative to the centreline of the car and then marked through the paper for the centres of the gauges and lights:With the centres marked the holes for the gauges were scribed allowing 1.5mm (on the diameter) for the leather:

The bulk of the material was then removed with a hole cutter:
The remaining material was removed with a sanding drum on the Dremel until the scribed line was removed:
The dashboard is to be fixed as per the GD method - drill some 3.3mm holes and screw some M4 button head bolts in. I added some Araldite on the threads just before they were screwed fully in. On the back will be an M4 penny washer, spring washer & wing nut.

The button head will not show through the foam padding (I've already checked this on a couple of factory cars when I was last at GD).

You could use countersunk bolts but as the holes are very close to the edge of the dash there will be a danger of the dash splitting. I used six bolts and when in place you will have to trim a little off the areas of the body that encroach into the top of the holes. When determining the dash fixing holes in the body you will have to make an allowance for the dash leather and piping:

Job Done..........for now.

Friday, 21 November 2008


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Christmas Comes Early!

I had two phone calls today:

  1. From Speedy Cables to say my gauges were ready and would be delivered tomorrow.
  2. From GD to say they had a windscreen for me.

What more could you want?

Off to GD on Tuesday to get the screen - then I should be able to crack on! SVA in Feb / Mar is looking realistic once again.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Starting the Dashboard

Today I started on the dashboard, after a bit of trimming width wise and some careful marking out I cut the holes for all the switches (which I now have):

I've started marking out for the gauges but I'm not going any further until I get my hands on them - hopefully later next week.

In the meantime it was time for another odd job - this time it was fitting the footwell extension. The extension panel was prepared quite a while ago (See Here) but could not be fitted until after the body was fitted as it would foul the chassis when trying to fit the body. Obviously therefore the panel needs to be removable to permit removal of the body. The closed cell neoprene foam bonded to the panel should be enough to weatherproof it, but just in case it isn't, a bead of sikaflex was run round the inside edge and smoothed out after fitting:

Hmmmm, this should make the carpeting interesting!

Monday, 10 November 2008

Re-assembling my rear end !

The local sweatshop hasn't finished altering the last piece of carpet yet!!! so I set about putting back the things I had taken off previously:

I took the opportunity to add reflectors - these are needed to pass the SVA test but as I am not fitting the rear nudge bars there is nowhere handy to fit them. Instead I fitted them to small aluminium plates that slip between indicator and brake light housings and the mounting rubbers. Neat enough for SVA and easily removable later - for show purposes only obviously.
I also finally fitted the tailpipes - these slip into the rear silencers (sealed with High Temp Silicone) and fixed with a stainless steel self tapping screw:Drilling through stainless steel upside down is definitely not in my top ten list of favourite pastimes!
When finished out came the tape measure and I decide the exhausts were not central (again!) - it is really obvious against the reversing and fog lights. It is simple enough to adjust by slackening off the six mounting bolts on the rear rubber hanger - it is just difficult to get in there to reach them easily. In hindsight the axle stands should have been higher but I would have needed a bigger jack to get the car up there in the first place. No matter, it's done now.
I just need to finish off the carpet and fit the boot rubber and I think that will be the back done - time to move onto the cockpit?

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Dashboard Decisions

I have finally made my mind up regarding which instruments to use - Smiths Cobra Mechanical ones. A quick hash up with PowerPoint gives an idea of what the centre of the dash will look like:

I much prefer the look of the 270 degree sweep mechanical gauges as opposed to the short sweep electrical - although this means having to chew on fitting the sender bulbs and associated capillary tubing but the end effect is worth it. Also, after a lot of false starts I have opted for the GD pyramid arrangement - I couldn't find another aesthetically pleasing arrangement where you could see all the gauges. The oil, charge & brake warning lights will be over by the steering column in line of sight.

Just need to order these tomorrow.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Boot Carpeting Nearly done

After a bit of deft work by my wife the fuel pump and filter box out is now carpeted and fits a treat - just needs the top piece glued on:

Whilst I was in there a quick flash around with a scalpel tidied up the carpet around the fuel filler:
I just have to fit the valance piece that fits under the boot lip and over the lights - needs a bit of alteration to do it the way I want. And finally - before I forgot - I fixed the flexible fuel line with a p-clip: