Monday, 27 August 2007

The best possible news...

The engine is a runner! I haven't got a means of capturing it on video unfortunately so you'll just have to trust me! Considering the toil and worry that have gone into the wiring koom, it's possibly my biggest achievement on the whole car.

I've also fixed the leaky diff (I think) and I've painted my calipers:

They're not exactly light and the orange paint is a bit red but they look tidy enough. Masking them off was no fun at all.

This week should see the steering rack and main body tub go on!

All downhill from here?


Sunday, 19 August 2007

Success snatched from the jaws of defeat...

Okay, let’s get the bad bit out of the way: I nearly set the garage on fire! A dopey mistake when wiring my FIA Master Switch meant that the resistor attached to the switch caught fire. Because this was underneath the scuttle, I couldn’t see how bad the fire was and could only see smoke. As a result, I saw no other option than to give the whole area a thorough covering with the fire extinguisher. In 20/20 hinesight this may have been an over reaction. The loom tape that I’ve used is ‘self extinguishing’ and must have done a good job of preventing the fire from spreading. The net result of the incident was a very messy garage covered in blue-white powder and the need for a new resistor and (being cautious) a new FIA Switch. With this in place and correctly wired I now have a fully operable loom – at least as far as I can tell. All that’s left to test is the ECU when I try to start the thing – yes I know that I’ve talked about it for ages but I would have done it this weekend if it weren’t for the set-back!

Another problem that I’ve had was with prop-shaft and the alignment of the centre bearing. For some reason when the bearing was mounted directly to the chassis as designed it twisted the flexible part of the assembly into a most unnatural position. The bearing would not have lasted at all long in the position so a solution had to be found. This solution came from a mate of mine, Lyn (Lenny.) He fabricated some angled shims to position the bearing at a favourable angle and it seems to be a job well done.
In the picture above, as well as the shims, you can see a couple of other parts that Lyn has fabricated for me. These are a stainless steel vent pipe for the differential and a plug to take the place of the unused oil-level sensor in the sump. Each of the parts is incredibly useful and I’m as grateful as I’m impressed.

Once I’ve started the engine (please start!) I can finally start bolting-on big bits like the body and suspension; not before time. Unfortunately I also need to find a remedy for my leaky differential back plate. It's anothet job likely to get messy!


Sunday, 12 August 2007

The BIG update...

What can I say? It’s been a while eh?

I’ve actually got some stuff done and I’m very close to being able to start the motor! So what’s been done? Well, I finally got the footwell panels back from the world’s slowest powdercoaters – I can only assume that the guy used to make Scotch for a living and works to the same timescales. Anyway, with the help of Lyn (Fesycresy to all you Locostbuilders out there) they were fitted and I honestly think that they were worth the wait!
The engine is in for what is hopefully the last time. The airfilter is on thanks to a custom base-plate from Mr MNR himself. The fuel line is connected up too. Oh yeah and the wiring is FINISHED! WOOOOOO HOOOOOO! I’m just a little bit pleased! I hope you agreed that the under-scuttle wiring looks pretty tidy – I am so anal about this stuff. I’m still not truly happy. The Odyssey battery and it's little tray are in - Alloy Racing Fabrications did the work. They're reasonable but I'd send them the battery rather than dimensios in future! The dash is also more-or-less finished.
The main dash unit still needs to be fixed but I can’t do this until the steering column is in to check sight lines – I’ve held it in place to give you an idea of what it looks like. The fuel tank is in – more powdercoating ‘a la’ Scotland’s biggest export. Again, I think it was worth the wait.
So (with the help of very pleasant Italian lager and music from The Bucketheads) I’m struggling to be negative. However there have been a few expensive issues. I’ve had to replace the looms for both the Veypor digidash and the SPA dual gauge. I’ve also had to buy another thermostat. Silicon hoses from weren’t cheap either but you should expect to pay for that sort of quality and service.

'Til next time - Cheers!