Thursday, October 12, 2017
Over the last year, I have been beset by a variety of electrical gremlins. Having had the car running, I set about removing any extra wires from the loom - carefully labelling all of the earth wires beforehand. Some (many) months later when I got round to some more work, I connected the battery......and nothing! A frustrating few months ensued - I never seemed to find the time to have a good go at sorting it - not helped by a bathroom renovation at home! Finally I got to the point where the only solution seemed to be to sell it, or set fire to it...!!! Fortunately common sense ensued and I finally found the time for a systematic and thorough review of what the issue was. Eventually I traced it to nothing more complicated than a dodgy connection on one of the relays!!! Grrrr!!! So now on to something resembling progress! A quiet period at work has allowed me a run on the electrics. I purchased a load of waterproof connectors from ebay (where else!) and have spent a couple of weeks rewiring the dashboard. All the required lights work, although I had to ditch the Ford Fog light switch - I just couldn't make it work, even with a replacement switch! Instead I got a cheap aftermarket one from a local autofactors that includes a build in tell tale light. A bit of carbon vinyl for good measure and hey presto!!! Other progress amounts to buying and installing a new horn (loud!), recalibrating the fuel gauge by bending the float arm - it now reads 100% until the tank is about 2/3rds full, then rushes down to read zero when empty. Not ideal but far simpler than the electronic correction boxes you can buy! I also removed a hefty chunk from the engine loom be shortening the loom to the fuel injectors - more waterproof connectors used!!
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Monday, March 23, 2015
So, since the last post, what has been going on? My plan had been to paint the car by hand, using flag silver paint from tools direct. I began by prepping the chassis, which took ages, mainly because of the large amount of light surface rust that had accumulated over the years. In some places, the only thing to do was to apply Jenolite as it was impossible to get into some of the angles with sandpaper. I began painting the engine bay and quickly discovered that the finish using the silver paint I had bought was disappointing to say the least. After a lot of angst, I eventually reverted to rattle cans to spray the chassis. I used the Wickes equivalent of Smoothrite and initially I was really pleased with the results. However, after a while, I noticed that when I touched the chassis, I was finding a silver residue on my fingers. Whether this was a result of the temperature whilst I sprayed, I don't know. Fortunately I had an old can of clear lacquer in the garage. First tests were not encouraging, but I eventually found that if I applied it in very light coats, the results were good. However, by this time, I had run out of lacquer......Parallel to this activity, I was quite busy at work and also managed to bring back a decent dose of 'air conditioning flu' which wiped me out whenever I had a day free! However, with the paint nearing completion, my mind was turning to the final build up. The brake master cylinder that I had been using was donated by a kind locostbuilder and was of unknown condition. When I went to strip it, I found that it was completely seized and rusted up. A new one was bought from Huddersfield Mini Spares for the princely sum of £39.99! Also of concern at the front of the car was the steering link. The Sierra link that I had used a rubber disc as a vibration damper. When I designed the rack geometry, I incorporated some offsets to allow impact resistance, however, this meant that the rubber disc was rotating at an angle, acting like a universal joint. I wasn't happy with this and so looked at the options. To buy a new triangular link UJ, splined shaft and 'Group 4' UJ was going to cost the best part of £100! The Sierra downlink that I had was a '2 piece' version and I discovered that there was also a single piece variant. Also, in my stock of useful bits, I had a TR7 steering shaft with the correct splined UJ on the end. The shaft itself was slightly bent, so no real use. I also had some offcuts of CDS tube left over from making the rear wishbones. Having bought a single piece down link, I cut it down to length, along with the TR7 link and made a sleeve from the CDS tube. I welded this at the ends, but also drilled to to allow me to plug weld alone the shaft for extra safety. Whilst doing this, I was very conscious of the heat damaging the UJs. As I welded, the UJ was resting on a water soaked sponge and wrapped in water soaked blue roll. Clearly mixing water and electricity is not ideal, so if you choose to copy me, BEWARE!!!!!!! However, I survived and, most importantly, so did the UJs! All they need now is a clean up and a coat of paint!!
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
So, no updates for months, then 2 in a day! I wanted to break the blog down into subject areas to make it easier to read, rather than 1 enormous post. Thats my excuse and I'm sticking to it!! Once I had made the front brake hose brackets, I then turned my attention to the raft of the small jobs that needed fixing. I started at the front and worked backwards attaching various brackets, the catches for the fuel tank cover and the tubes for the brake cables where they travel through the rear bulkhead. I then stripped the chassis entirely and raised it to a good working height in the garage.
So, months have passed once more between posts. However, aside from the inevitable break over christians, for once it is not due to a lack of activity, merely inattentiveness on my part. Note to self, must try harder. Following the progress made on the rear of the car, I wanted to finish the bracketry at the front, particularly the bracket for the flexible brake pipes. The pipes themselves were another bargain, this time courtesy of a fellow Locostbuilder, and were brand new (supplied by Russ Bosst of Furore Cars originally). I had assembled the driver side upright, hub and caliper many months previously but had never got around to the passenger side. The components were supplied by a company called Ellistons, who have long since disappeared, and were fully reconditioned. The problem arose when I came to fit the caliber to the upright - it wouldn't! It was impossible to get the caliper mounts onto the lugs as the pad holders fouled on the disk.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
One of the disadvantages of using the VW rear calliper is that the port for the flexi-hose points rearwards.As this would clash with the driveshaft, and leave a convoluted path for the brake lines to follow, I set about solving this today. Eventually the solution was quite simple, inspired by the cortina brake bracket! I made a small aluminium bracket from some parts salvaged from a scrap bin.
How did so much time pass between posts? The answer is that whilst progress has been made, it's been a little bit here and there. At the time it didn't seem enough to report, but looking back now, progress has been significant! So, starting at the front! I have made brackets for the brake pipes, the nose cone and number plate. Installed hinges and a catch on the petrol compartment. I expended a lot of effort trying to extend my indicators in order to meet the IVA requirement for distance from the edge of the car, not helped by the fact that the rear track is slightly greater than the front. In the end, I had to conclude that indicators mounted on the top of the wings is the only way ahead. IVA was causing me some concerns regarding the handbrake - having copied the Ariel Atom location on the outside chassis rail, it became vulnerable to the exterior projections test!! I have now installed a rail to prevent the dreaded sphere getting too close!!! I have also re made the brackets that hold the lower support frame in place - they were never neat enough or strong enough! Finally, I have been dabbling with bodywork. I had long made some small parts from sheet aluminium that gave shape to the car - single curvature panels, not hand beaten!!! These would always be considered lethal by the man from the ministry so I planned to reproduce them in fibreglass. I chanced upon an Internet posting where casting tape was used as a lo cost alternative to fibreglass. A quick search on e bay landed me 20 rolls for about £20! Initial attempts were less than successful, but I discovered that if, after the initial water based set, I coated the parts in fibreglass resin, the results were quite good. However, a fair amount of filling and sanding was needed to get a decent finish. Then, in a Wal Mart in the US, I found some woven fibreglass cloth. Much less messy than CSM and a smoother top finish. As a trial, I coated one of the aluminium parts in resin and then laid the cloth up on it. The results were very pleasing with a near perfect finish! The next step was to mould the bike screen that I bought ages ago. Getting a clean release was going to be a problem as I thought it likely that the resin would bond well to the polycarbonate. As a result, I coated the inside with brown packing tape as a release agent. The results were fantastic - some high build primer and a bit of sanding will be needed to finish it, but that is all!!