The revised targets are:
The washers for my front rocker arms arrived from Fisher Sportscars so I've put them on the car.
Fixed the Goodridge hoses to the front calipers and chassis. These could go in at various angles so I used the one that seemed to make the most sense. Will check this later. The hoses have banjo connectors at the caliper ends to make reduce the bending required but I'm concerned that these seem to go too far into the caliper.
Having looked at my fuel tank mounting brackets, I'm not convinced aluminium is strong enough to hold up a tank full of fuel so I've got some steel to fabricate some stronger ones. I think I'm also going to need some stops to stop lateral movement. If the tank can move to the left by 1" or more under cornering it will allow the return and vent fixings to hit the chassis and snap.
Finished fabricating the radiator top mounts.
Drilled a hole for a rivnut to hold the T-piece midway between the front wheels. The ideal route for the brake pipes seems to be one that involves one smooth gradient, to avoid air locks. Cut and bent brake pipes from T-pieces to Goodridge hoses. Not sure about the route from the cylinder to the t-piece as it goes past an engine mount. Need to check this.
Also cut brake pipe along car and started to bend and drill the rivet holes for the rubber lined p-clips. Also started to rivet fuel lines into place. Can't rivet any brake pipes until I've put the nuts on and the flares on the pipes.
No more pictures for now as I've run out of hosting space :-(
Picked up my powder coated panels and put them out of the way for now. No point in fitting them until the brake and fuel pipes are fixed in place.
|As I have to be quiet in the evening, I took the chance to get my mock dash fitted to the car and out of the way. This piece of MDF is simply to allow me to position the switches and DigiDash correctly and to relate the position of the switch gear to the rest of the wiring and the paddle shift. It's fitted via four M5 bolts and rivnuts along the bottom edge. I had to modify my original design slightly as the dash is narrower than I predicted.|
Spent the evening putting the rear suspension and uprights on. Hit upon a problem though, in that the bushes on end of the upper swing arm are slightly too big (~1.5mm) to fit into the gaps on the rear uprights. I think the best way to proceed is to file down both sides of the bushes. Trying to bend the upper upright mount outwards looks impossible as it is very thick metal and this will damage the powder coat finish. I will check with The Kit Car Workshop before I attempt to fix this.
The uprights are handed! The face of the rear upright faces forward and the kinked face towards the rear. If you don't get this right, the brake calipers will end up behind the rear wheels.
|Got the bolts for my paddle shift machined to a point, so I can now mount it properly. These clamp onto the column but because this is a fairly soft metal, I have two brass bushes fixed to the column surround. This works exactly as I'd expected.|
I started with the rear and it was immediately obvious that, whatever way up they go, the chassis mount is going to hit the shoulder of the damper. I used an angle grinder to round off the corners of the mounts slightly. The other thing I found is that the powder coating within the bolt holes, makes it very difficult to get the bolts in. I needed a couple of washers to get a snug fit within the mounts.
Borrowed some hex sockets from Richard so that I can get the engine sprocket off and try the adaptor for size. Also borrowed one to do up the rear hubs.
Spent the evening lowering the car closer to the ground so that I can think about getting the engine in and the wheels on. It's heavier than I expected. It also looks smaller nearer the ground. I'm now on holiday so hopefully I can make some better progress.
Started to look at the engine mounts because I want to see where the engine sits, to make sure the fuel pipes terminate at the right point in the engine bay and also to make sure that the brake pipes don't get in the way. Until the brake pipes are in at the front, I can't put the front springs/dampers in place.
The first engine mount goes on easily enough but I had to spread the lower bars by a fraction to get it to fit.
I've got the original engine mounting bolts and spent some time finding suitable nuts (10mm fine thread), as mine were missing. It was time wasted though, as they are too long. I need an M10 x 180mm bolt at the top and an M10 x 200mm at the bottom.
|The second mount is going to need a 40mm spacer or a lot of washers to fit because the mounting faces on the engine are offset. The top bolt is going to need to be M10 x 40mm and the bottom one M10 x 80mm.|
The third engine mount bolts to the chassis rail at the end of the footwell. I'm not sure if this will interfere with the bodywork though.
The main problem with this mount though is that the hole spacing does not match that of the engine as shown in the large image. The difference is about 5mm.
|Using some 25mm x 3mm steel flat I fabricated my fuel tank straps. I bent them to shape using a vice and a hammer. I'm going to get these powder coated as they will be quite exposed. I can then stick the foam to them.|
The position of this is crucial as it has to fit inside the GRP side pod, which I don't have yet. The guidance from Martin was to mount it ½" below the side impact rails as close as the mount allows to the chassis.
Discussed the poorly fitting engine mount with Martin via e-mail and although I could return it for one that is a perfect fit, time is against me and it is going to be much quicker to just elongate the hole to fit. Another time consuming job I could have done without.
|My drive-shafts arrived looking very shiny and new. These will have to wait until tomorrow but I checked that the drive-shafts and hubs all went together as expected. This means that a rolling chassis by Christmas is looking possible.|
First job was to put the studs in the rear hubs. These are 'interference fit' and just hammer into place. Sounds easy but, it took ages to get them to go in all the way. It was hardly worth painting my hubs. I tried a large vice but this simply was not going to do the job, so I resorted to the engineers tool of choice, a large hammer. Even this failed to do the trick until I found something suitably solid to rest the hub on (a very large piece of metal with a hole in the right place), whilst I hit the stud. Discovering this sooner could have saved me over an hour.
I checked the studs against a wheel and the layer of Hammerite on the hub means the wheel won't quite go on so I had to sand off the paint where it goes into the wheel. Even with the brake disks on, the rear studs are going to be too long for my CXR wheels too :-(
It's been a while since I took these apart so I referred to the Sierra Haynes manual for guidance. First you have to remove the old bearing outer races with a punch, being careful not to damage the hub carrier faces. Then I gently tapped in the new ones with a punch, making sure they went in square and seated nicely. Using lots of grease I then put the new bearing inner races in.
The seals are very delicate and a pain to fit but I noticed that the old outer bearing races sit perfectly over the rubber part of the oil seal and can be used to push them home, using a vice.
I pushed the drive shafts in to the diff and then put the spacer and hub carrier over the end of the driveshafts. I then bolted the hub carrier to the upright, noticing that the drive shafts compressed by about 15mm in doing this.
|The last bit is to slide on the hubs, which are held in place with a washer and a large nut. I will leave the torqueing up of the shaft nuts till later, I have the hex socket to fit them but, nothing with a 3/4" square drive. The nuts are handed so that turning both of them in the direction of the wheels, whilst moving forward, will tighten them.|
The distance between the rear hubs is about 10cm more than that between the front hubs, so I clamped a 2.4mm length of aluminium angle along the face of the front hubs and angled them until it pointed 3cm in from the face of the rear hubs (my toe in). This should also mean the car will drive in a straight line when the steering wheel is centred. I then adjusted the rod ends to match this front hub position.
With the suspension all done I decided to fit the rear disks and wheels, to see how the car sits on them. This then allowed me to apply some decent torque to the rear hub nuts. I'm still not sure they are tight enough though.
Having got this far, I couldn't resist having a sit in my car :-) The steering is deliciously direct and responsive.
A quick check of the ride height shows the front at 130mm and the rear at 150mm (without driver). This is pretty much spot on the recommended road settings (127mm/5" and 152mm/6"). Without the engine in, I can easily pick up the front of the car and move it around.
You need to put the Goodridge hose into the caliper before you fix it to the chassis, as it needs to rotate to go into the caliper. You can then rotate the hose in the chassis hole to make it twist itself away from the tyre. Even so, it seems a bit close to me. At this point I realised I haven't bought any rear brake pads :-(
Popped over to my local friendly motor shop (Eastern Auto Spares) and they will have some Sierra pads in for me later this afternoon. They gave me a union to try in my master cylinders but it is metric and far too big.
I popped a long to the sales in my local cooking shop to pick up a large plastic measuring jug, a sieve (to catch the sump bolt) and some funnels. Just what I need to drain the engine and fit the adaptor plate.
|Fitted the adaptor plate for the oil temperature and pressure sensors. The pressure sensor needs to be remote from vibrations hence the flexible hose (temporarily tie-wrapped to the engine mount). This sensor has a proper earth connection which is handy (missing on earlier versions).|
Picked up my brake pads and the chap had also found some suitable 3/8" UNF unions. Completed the front braking system on my car this afternoon. All I need to do now is to clean the disks and pop in the Elise brake pads. I've got all the bits needed to complete the rear brakes now but, I've run out of time to complete all of my goals for this month. I got very close though and have also done a few jobs that were not on my list.