Saturday, 26 July 2008

36 days until RAF Valley...

Decent progress. Unfortunately, I can’t find the battery charger for the camera to prove it. ‘Lenny the Lathe’ has been a huge help again; this time fabricating new brackets to mount the radiator and to support the front of the tub – if you remember, the old steel ones clashed with the suspension rockers. No such problem anymore and everything is aluminium so I must have saved at least 100 grams (Woop!)

Among my biggest worries was the cooling system because I couldn’t route the bottom hose with the radiator mounted as it was. The new brackets make this possible and I’ve forked out more cash for more silicon hoses to get the job done. Next on the worry list was/is the exhaust. I’ve got to be honest; the MNR exhaust is one of the least impressive parts of the kit. The tailpipe is nominally clamped to the silencer with the same U-clamp which supports the exhaust at the outlet end. It always struck me that this is a bit agricultural looking and has the potential to let the rest of the car down. I’ve already had the tip welded to the silencer and, having messed about with bike-style straps for longer than I care to think about, I’ve made arrangements to have a bracket welded-on by Charlie at . He’s got a great reputation with the guys on the Pistonheads South Wales forum and has been very helpful.

I’ve bought plenty of odds-and-sods to do various small jobs on the car. The contents of a small envelope from Demon Tweeks came to £50 - A bit upsetting but needs must. I’m just glad I stopped counting costs long ago! I need to tidy-up some of the holes in the GRP where they haven’t quite been big enough and moving parts have chipped the edge. Removing the scuttle has allowed me to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ and extend the hole for the steering column at the same time as cleaning up the aluminium. The perfectionist in me has also reared its head and I’ve replaced a switch cover that was tarnished with a new one before the car has even turned a wheel. Don’t even get me started on the way that one of those unturned wheels is already losing its lacquer…

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Rear arches back on...

Just a couple of pics.

Looking good:
And even:


P.s. Earache still bad but better.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Post holiday progress; or not…

I was planning on having a really good run at the car this week after a week away. Unfortunately I seem to have ‘swimmers ear’ or similar which is absolute bloody agony. Hence, I’ve only pottered about really as I’ve messed-up the only thing requiring any level of concentration. This was a 2nd attempt at an inspection cover (in a better aluminium which matched the scuttle) so I’ll now have to make a third.

I have done one of the jobs that I was dreading though. The rear arch protectors are a flexible carbon polymer. They aren’t self adhesive and I’d been wondering how to attach them. The supplier, Carbonmods, suggested double-sided tape and a mate suggested Velcro. Neither of these were a satisfactory solution for me. Instead I went onto eBay and bought some strong spray glue. After washing and drying both the arches and the protectors, I marked how I wanted to position them and covered the entire back of the protector. I then lined them up and stuck them on. I’m as relieved with the result as I am pleased. Once I’m happy that the glue has gone off I just need to remove any excess with nail polish remover.

Excuse the mess in the background - the skip is due Thursday!

This job was made easier by the fact that I’d already removed the arches to trim back the tub where it was fouling the springs. I didn’t want to take too much material off as the tub is a bit ‘wavy’ but I think I’ve cleared it enough now.
A final piece of exciting news is that the boot cover has arrived. I need to spend some time fixing this in place once my brain isn’t warped by pain killers. In the meantime, here’s a picture of it lying in situ. I’m very pleased with it – the orange piping is just enough to pick-up the Gulf theme.
I’ve booked my first trackday in the car – the 31st of August at RAF Valley on Anglesey. That gives me two months to complete everything. It should be a ‘doddle’ but I still need to sort out some problems like the radiator mounting so it will naturally be too close for comfort – that’s just the way the build has gone.

Anyway, I’m off to wince some more from the ear-related pain!