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Last page update was 05 Dec 2006

Fisher Fury Build Progress - November 2006

4th November

Completed the last few jobs prior to putting the main tub on and fitting it. Tomorrow it goes on.

5th November

First attempts at fitting the bodywork end largely in frustration .

Main Tub

The main tub sits fine, though it does appear to be a fraction (<5mm max.) lower at the rear left corner. As it is, it can't really move forward or backward easily. There are some fair gaps along the front edge but this needs to be rivetted in place and sealed. As it is currently positioned it also sits with a nice 10mm overhang on each rear wheel and there are equaly spacings from the inside edge to the roll bar. There is also a nice even gap around the rear wheels. In short, it fits about as well as can be expected. It even lines up along the front edge with the bulkhead.

The main problem I have with the main tub is that there is no obvious place to drill or bolt it, to temporarily hold it in place. I'm going to have to do this even if the overall alignment is not right yet because, until it is fixed, it is impossible to get a good bonnet shut line and it moves backwards if the bonnet puts any weight on it.

Side Pods

These slide into position nicely and have been cut around the side impact bars to align along the front of then rear wheel arch. In this position, they do not foul the front wheels in full lock. They are going to need stretching vertically slightly but this will happen as part of the fixing process. I'm planning to make both removeable, using steel rivnuts through the GRP and a backing washer (and some Araldite for good luck). The fixings will also force exact alignment with the main tub along the outer edges. As I see it, I'm going to have to bolt down through the shelf within the main tub into the side pods to hold it firmly in alignment.

Bonnet

This is where the problems start. The rear edge of the bonnet is not really shaped to sit nicely on the main tub. I'm going to have to do some work on this bit. It would be nice to bolt the two things together to achieve a very tight shutline but there is no access to do this.

The biggest problem I have with the bonnet though is that it has to sit far enough forward to not foul the leading part of the front wheels, whilst also being at the right height. It looks achievable on the right side but for some reason the left side appears shorter and the bonnet is too close to the tyre. I know I a going to have to trim the bits in front of the tyres to get full lock to lock but the asymetry is making the whole process much harder. As previously stated, the main tub is not that easy to shift from its current position to correct this. Anything I can do to move the main tub forward is going to help.

This is also made harder by the fact that the front 'skirt' of the bonnet has to be below (and also behind) the level of the bonnet support pivot/hinge. It is clear that the bonnet will not be able to open, without removing some fibreglass but then I had already been told this.

6th November

After a bit more thinking time, my plan is to start form a fixed reference point and to try and quantify the problem more accurately. I need to start with some fixed points of reference, which means attaching the main tub in a couple of places to hold it in place.

As noted yesterday, one of the first things to do to make things easier, is going to be to move the main tub forward. Having looked at it more closely, I found several places where it fouled on the chassis. The first is on the front bottom corners, where it protrudes in front of the bulkhead. In my case it was catching on the upper fillet plates. I also removed some GRP near the dash uprights and under the scuttle. It is clear that the GRP scuttle is now too long and will need trimming back.

With a few bits of GRP removed, I can now shift the main tub about 20mm further forward. This is going to help a lot. The main impact of this move is that the side pods have to move further forward also. I checked that the back edges of the front tyres don't make contact with the front of them on full lock.

A side effect of moving the main tub forward is that the hole of the steering column has moved up slightly, relative to the column itself. I need to enlarge his whole though as I can't get the column back together without out pushing it through from the engine side and it won't quite go through the hole I've cut.

I've also noticed that the main tub also doesn't sit quite as low as it should on one side. I'm now in a much better position to fix it temporarily though and define what else needs to be done on the bonnet. I'm much more confident that it will sit and not foul the tyres now. Time will tell!

Seats

I'm starting to think that I should fabricate something for the SVA test. I'm still struggling to find anything suitable that will fit the car and me. This job will be a lot easier after the SVA test, when I can drive the car to places and try them for size, on both me and the car.

Air Box

I thought I needed to finish my air box before the SVA test but it's looking like my car is quiet enough to get through without it.

11th November

That's more like it! Having tried the new main tub position, I drilled a few rivet holes to temporarily hold it in place, whilst I experimented with the bonnet position.

With the main tub shifted forward about 15-20mm I can sit the bonnet on the car with a reasonable shut line at the rear edge. I used some wood to prop up the front at the position I want the bonnet hinge brackets to hold it in place at and the alignment along the sides seems correct.

There are a few checks to make on the main tub:

Then there also are a few checks to make on the bonnet:

I propped the front of the bonnet up with pieces of wood to get the right position and height.

It is quite a close shave to get both the front wheels fully within plan. There is no 'spare' bonnet width to play with and I'm hoping the SVA tester isn't going to be too strict in his measurements.

Looking at this aspect of the car, also makes me think my front wheel alignment is not quite perfect. The front wheels are closer together then the rears so if you try to get a straight line down one side, the other front wheel will be pointing in the wrong direction. Wheel alignment has all been done by eye and a ruler so far.

As it sits, there is plenty of room around the front wheel. Remarkably, the front tyres doesn't hit the bodywork at all, even on full lock, though it does get within about 3mm at the front edge.

This picture doesn't show the side pod quite in the right place yet but, I tested with it further forward.

There doesn't seem a huge amount of space for the wheel/tyre to move vertically but with all the bodywork on, my car seems to sit a bit low at the front. I will wind the front shocks up a bit anyway for SVA, to ensure the lights are high enough.

The bonnet just clears the air filter. Adding an air box is going to be a bit of a challenge.

No real reason to include this picture but, I just like this view of the car .

Next job is to trim the front of the main tub back to align with the front of the bulkhead and to then start fixing it all in place.

12th November

A few final positioning checks today before fixing the bodywork in place. I did a bit more work on the side pods to make sure they can fit in the right position and don't foul the wheels. I've asked Martin Bell and Tim Hoverd  to give this months efforts a once over, to make sure I've not missed anything obvious.

Everything seems to sit in the right place with clearance and good panel gaps, so I then bolted the bonnet in place on the bonnet hinges. This confirmed my view that things are located correctly. I can get full lock on the front wheels, without them fouling the sidepods on bonnet.

Front left view. Just behind the front wheel you can see that the side pod comes out slightly further than the bonnet. This will be corrected by the bonnet fixings.

Low front view. I need to cut a bit of fibreglass away around the hinges before the bonnet will lift cleanly. I can then sort of the front wiring connector and add the front grill.

Front right view.

Rear 3/4 view.

Side view. The side pod looks like it needs to be a fraction further forward.

Kind of brings home just how low down you sit when compared to the Rover 200vi behind the Fury.

That's enough of taking pictures. The next question is how best to fix it all in place. There are basically three options:

1. Fully Removeable

Martin Bell sent me these pictures to give me an idea of what is done on race cars. This looks a very tidy solution but it will not be very water tight and involves a fair bit of work to make a new bulkhead, having cut the one of the main tub.

This is one very nice looking car though! This is a bit more work than I want to undertake.

2. Permanent & Rivets

This is the most common way to proceed on a road car. The main tub is bonded and rivetted to the chassis and bonded to the boot floor using fibreglass. This is the quickest and most waterproof approach. The side pods are fixed to the main tub and chassis using rivnuts. The bonnet bolts to the hinges and is held down by some fixings along the back edge.

3. Permanent & Rivnuts

This is going to take longer than the above solution as you have to set the rivnuts but it does give you a slightly easier time, should you ever need to remove the main tub.

13th November

One implication of the bodywork alignment is that the dash and scuttle are not so well aligned. This picture shows the temporary dash aligned with the chassis dash mounts. A large part of the difference is due to the scuttle depth being unequal from left to right by about 10mm. This is not a problem though and can be masked by allow the dash to flex a little.

Created a template for a piece of GRP to fill the gap where the main tub joins the chassis and boot floor.

18th November

Made cut-outs in underside of bonnet, to allow me to open it fully.

First attempt at some graphics for the bodywork. These are paper graphics produced using MS Powerpoint. The side stripes are going to need to be deeper.

20th November

No time to do anything for the rest of this month. Weather has been a severe handicap.

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