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.
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.
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!
|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.|
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:
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|