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Last page update was 09 Sep 2006

Fisher Fury Build Progress - August 2006

1st August

I'm really hoping to move things on much quicker this month. My bodywork should be ready for collection soon. With holidays and work hot-houses out of the way, things should be a lot less hectic.

3rd August

Interior Mirror

My interior mirror arrived in the post this morning. It's off an Audi TT and I picked up a mint example on eBay for £3. I chose this one simply because it looks so nice and is the perfect curvy shape to go in my Fury. It is E-marked, extremely high quality (with anti-dazzle flip) and light-weight.

It comes with a stubby mounting bracket with a 16mm ball onto which the main mirror part snaps on/off. This bit is no good to me and is a heavy lump of metal. I cut the ball part off though and it conveniently has a 7mm diameter hole though it. I'm going to Araldite this ball onto custom mount, when I've worked out the right position and length.

Powder Coating

This is yet another piece to be powder coated but fortunately my local, friendly powder coating place is doing lots of parts for me at very reasonable prices and this process provides a much better and harder wearing finish than I can achieve with paint. He puts my bits in with other jobs (introducing a few days delay) to remove the costs of starting up the oven and I've only spent £30 to get over 40 separate parts done. I'd rather pay the small sums involved, than buy cans of paint and spend ages spraying bits. He also did all the interior panels for my car for £70.

7th August

Picked up my bits and pieces from the powder coaters today ...

Speed Sensor Bracket

The speed sensor is nylon and bolts to my custom bracket, which is riveted to the chassis. The magnets are shown but need to be stuck to the propshaft with Araldite. I chose a fairly narrow part of the propshaft, working on the basis that the centripetal force on the magnets would be less.

Pedal Box Plate & Gear Shift Lever

For SVA, there needs to be a firewall between the engine and the driver. The large hole above the footwell is there to allow things to be attached and adjusted but must be covered over.

I also powder coated the lever that pivots the gear shift movement through 90°.

Propshaft Bearing Mount

The spacers and cross plate have been powder coated to support the propshaft centre bearing.

8th August

Bodywork Collection

Pick up bodywork The Kit Car Workshop  next week. Martin sent me a MS Excel spreadsheet with dimensions and weights, so I can work out the best way to transport it. A transit van will do the job or a large trailer.

Speed Sensor Magnets

Stuck the two magnets to the propshaft at 180° to each other. The speed sensor is polarised so the magnets have to be glued dimple side down. A degree of precision is required as they need to pass within 1mm of the sensor head.

15th August

More annual leave, more holidays, no progress.

16th August

Picked up my bodywork today. Hired a trailer to carry the bonnet and rear section and put the side pods and boot floor in the back of the car. My return highlighted one problem, I simply don't have room to store them so they are going to have to go on the car very soon. For now, I've got the bonnet on the double bed in our spare room and the main tub balanced above the car in the garage.

Removable Bodywork?

I need to spend a bit of time looking at whether this is possible. I want to try and make the bodywork removable. Ordinarily, the boot floor would be riveted in place but, I want to use rivnuts and bolts. I'm going to have to place them carefully, if they are to remain accessible. One issue is that the steering column and gear shift rod go through the dash and main tub.

Boot Floor

I carefully measured where the 64mm diameter hole needs to be cut, to allow the fuel tank inlet through the boot floor. Having cut the hole, this can at least sit on the car out of the way. The leading edge of the floor is a bit of a mess and I'm going to need to cover it with some right-angle beading.

17th August

Removable Bodywork

Having spoken to Martin, it looks like a very hard job to make the rear tub removable. On the Fisher build site  the pictures of the fitted boot floor show numerous rivets and there is no way I going to fix that many rivnuts. It would also be impossible to get access to them. This site  is well worth a visit, as it shows in pictures how this is achieved on a race car (and just how much work is involved!).

Boot Floor

There are plenty of other jobs to do before starting on this but, I want to see how it relates to the interior panels and I also want to be in a position to store the main tub on the car as I've got no room to move in the garage otherwise.

The first job was to tie down the position of the roll hoops as there are various cuts outs required in the boot floor for these. You could clamp through the boot floor but this will not provide as solid a mounting. I did this by drilling some 3mm pilot/locating holes and then drilling them out to 5mm. I then used old drill bits to keep it fixed in place.

Roll Hoops

This immediately highlighted one problem. The mounting plates at each end are supposed to have four 10mm bolts through to the chassis plate. Regardless of where I drill the outer two holes (circled in red), any nut on the underside would foul the chassis rail underneath. For now I'm only going to use two bolts on these plates, on the inside edge (circled in green). This should be fine as there are four other bolts on the two inner plates and a further four bolts on the stays.

Boot Floor

With the roll bar position fixed I used a scribe to mark around the roll hoops fixings and then used a jigsaw to cut out the required holes. The boot edges mean that you can't get complete access for a jigsaw but, I drilled some 1mm holes through to mark the corners and cut from the other side. I found that a fine blade cut through nice and cleanly and I then used a fine file to provide a clean and smooth edge.

The next bit was to bolt the (removable) rear top tunnel panel in place and draw around it to mark the required cut out along the front edge of the boot floor.

Finally, I needed to cut out holes to reveal the harness mounts. To locate them, I put some of those little brass top-hat things that you use to locate 10mm wooden dowels. These have a sharp point and I dropped four into into the bolt holes, which are very nearly 10mm. Using a piece of wood to protect the floor, I hammered it down onto these spikes and they left indentations in exactly the right place. I then turned the floor over and cut out some 22m diameter holes.

Rear Tub

At this point excitement got the better of me and I had to try the rear tub to see what it looks like on the car. Before I could do this, I had to remove the steering column and gear shift rod as these go though the dash and scuttle. I also had to move my mock dash slightly and have now cut it down to fit under the bodywork.

I'm going to have to remove some fibreglass because the side impact protection fouls the lower part of the main tub.

18th August

Fuel Filter

Whilst checking under the car, I noticed the first filter had accumulated a fair amount of plastic swarf. I dread to think what this would do to the inside of the fuel pump, so I'm going to leave it in place.

19th August

Roll Hoops

Drilled the required holes in the mounting plates and in the chassis (but not the stays). I had to buy some quality drill bits (£4.50 for a 10mm drill bit!), as the ones I had would not do the job.

Boot Floor

Before this can be fitted, I'm going to need to sort out the routing of the wires for the rear lights. Right now, I'm not sure if the connector for the rear lights should be above the floor or below it? I'm going to need to run wires up through the floor for the high-level brake light too.

I can also see that the vertical sides of the boot floor will quite possibly foul the rear lights. Whilst I'm happy to fit it like this, I'm going to need to see the rear lights in-situ before I can bond the rear tub to the floor.

Another thing I've seen many people do is to add a back 'side' to the boot floor to give it a bit more rigidity. I'm not convinced this is needed yet though.

I had to cut a further hole behind the petrol filler to accommodate the fuel vent pipe. I also had to trim around the roll-bar stays, as it would not seat properly, when sat on top of the fibreglass sides.

Rear Tub

Having trimmed my dash down to accommodate the rear tub properly, I've noticed a few other things. The inside shelf fouls the side impact protection bars, meaning it won't sit as low down as it should. This is going to require some cut outs to be made around the rails.

The other thing I've noticed is that it is not quite perfectly square. If I line up the front edge to the bulkhead then the left side of the dash is out by about 8-10mm. In this position, there is an equal gap around the rear wheels and the space between the roll-bar and the bodywork is also equal. This definitely means the dash will need to be slightly flexible to accommodate this. My current 9mm MDF mock dash is not flexible enough. Previous builders had suggested that the front lip was too short but it looks like the mould has been modified to extend this as mine seems to fit OK.

I've got to mention the colour. It's a little more off-white than I expected but, it is growing on me. My wife asked me if I was disappointed that I'd bought a cream car! I cleaned and polished the main tub on the car and it looks fantastic in the sunlight. It's got a few marks and pits in the gelcoat in a few places but this was expected. If I saw a single mark on my Lotus Elise I was horrified but, because this car is designed from the outset to be more functional, I not concerned by the odd mark on the bodywork. Or maybe I've just mellowed in my old age.

And finally, I managed to damage it whilst transporting it . There is a small crack and breaks in the gel coat on the rear lower edge. Fortunately, it is just about out of site. A small patch on the inside is in order though.

20th August

Lower Fillet Plates

Oh, how I wish I'd fitted these when I put the floor on! These are the little plates that support the front of the side pods and need to be riveted to the lower chassis rails. To get clearance for a drill, I had to jack the whole car up on towers of bricks. I also had axle stands and a trolley jack under the car just in case.

22nd August

Ordered my rear lights from Premier Wiring Systems .

Handbrake

Whilst testing the handbrake I noticed that the modification made by Fisher Sportscars, to provide an eye for the bolt, has bent. This is because it is pulled at an angle and it means the mechanism now fouls the chassis. I've beefed this up with an aluminium support. I also re-attached my handbrake switch so that it operates more reliably. This would be so much easier if I could drill small holes in the handbrake but it is made of something too hard to drill holes in.

The whole handbrake mechanism is one area were the Fury needs a bit more development. The angle and run of the cable from the Sierra calipers is far from ideal and I'm going to need to fabricate some brackets to keep the cables away from the suspension components. This is something that could have been added to the chassis. The location of the cable mounts and adjuster is also not ideal. These need to be in the centre of the tunnel so that the cable does not foul the chassis. I know that the handbrake is where it is because most people put a gear lever in the centre of the tunnel but, I'd liked to have the handbrake in the centre of the tunnel with a similar orientation as found in the Ford Sierra. I reckon there is probably a better solution out there, if I was to look at a few more donor cars in my local scrap yard.

23rd August

Ordered my rear license place Lite'N Boltz , via my aunt in the USA.

Handbrake Cable Guide

As previously mentioned, the handbrake cable fouls the chassis rail in the centre of the tunnel and in my car, it also fouls the fuel line slightly. To fix this, I've made a cable guide from some 25mm diameter acetal nylon rod. This stuff is slippery but easy to machine and has good wear resistance. It can be bought from local plastic shops but you can also find it on eBay.

I've used a 100mm length, with a 55mm slot machined down the middle of it. I used a router to do this. It is then bolted to the offending chassis rail. With the propshaft in the way, it is not possible to get to the inside of these rails so I will have to run a countersunk head bolt through from the outside of the chassis rail (using a normal bolt in picture).

In retrospect, I could have made this with some thinner rod (say 15mm) and saved a few ounces.

24th August

My rear lights and front indicators arrived from Premier Wiring Systems . I've now marked the position of all the lights on the bodywork using stencils produced using Microsoft Powerpoint and clear 3M tape (see design section). Don't use a pencil on fibreglass, as it is a bugger to get off.

25th August

Brake Fluid Level Sensor

Connected the switch to the loom. The switch came with no female connector but Fisher use bullet connectors on the wires. I found two ideal ones that had been cut out of the bike loom, complete with a rubber cover that provided a water tight seal.

TIP - Never throw anything away when building a kit car!
You never know when you will need it. I've got two boxes of stuff, which I will sort out once I've finished.

27th August

Main Tub And Side Impact Protection

The main tub is moulded for a chassis without side impact protection so when you have a chassis with this option, the added bars will foul the GRP inner shelf on the main tub. I marked the GRP up with the required cut line. The easiest way to do this would be with the main tub upside down and using a fine bladed jigsaw. I used a multi-tool with a cut-off blade and then a rotary file to tidy the edges. This generates much more dust and it is nasty stuff. I've been using a 3M dust mask and a full face protection visor.

Having made this cut out on both sides, the main tub can now sit down on the walls of the boot floor. This also allowed the front edge to drop slightly and I'm going to have to take another 5mm off the top of my mock dash. The whole car looks more squat to the ground and mean now. The rear tub is now just below the horizontals on my roll hoops. It's not quite there yet though, I'm going to need to trim the top of the boot floor walls, to lower the rear tub about another 10-15mm. You can flex the boot wall sides outwards to achieve the same effect but this puts them under stress.

Given that they can flex like this, I can see why people add a 'back wall' to the boot floor to make the back end a bit more rigid. I'm going to do this too.

As much as I want to fix the interior panels in place, I'm making quite a mess with all the fibreglass cutting and filing, so I still don't see the need to do this yet.

Front Indicators

I've been revisiting my front indicator design.

Seats

I've also been looking more urgently at my seat options.

28th August

Rear Light Cut Outs

I've been dreading this job as cutting large holes in an expensive piece of fibreglass is something new to me and it is also a messy job.

Having marked the centre of the lights with tape, I used a pair of compasses to scribe 93mm holes on the bodywork. I then drilled some 1mm, then 3mm, then 5mm pilot holes. I've only got an 89mm diameter hole saw so I enlarged the holes out to the marked circle with a rotary file on a multi-tool. This generated loads of nasty fibreglass dust so I did the job outside, with plenty of protection. I already knew that the bodywork is not perfectly flat as I've positioned the lights but it is good enough and they sit nicely. I'm going to have to add some reflectors for the SVA test.

30th August

Ordered front lights and few other bits and pieces. Picked up some aluminium plate to fabricate the air filter plate and the rear wall of the boot floor. Also ordered some stainless steel mesh for the front grille. My Harley Wax arrived.

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