Saturday, 30 March 2013

You told us to meet you ear.

Yes, yes - I did rather expect to return to the last post and fill in the gaps but, well, I have a bit of a work-work balance problem at present.  Anyway, here we are.  Better late than never.  

The panels at the rear of the driver/passenger compartment (inclusive of the the Micky Mouse auricle-ish bits) are fairy clever in that they are riveted on both the inward and outward facing planes.  It's not rocket science by any means but it is another area where the Gemini is more complicated to panel than a Westfield, MK, Striker etc.
Now, the ears aren't normal or usual as far as I can tell.  The manual doesn't show them. However, I've deemed them a good idea as they provide me with a useful means of attaching the inner arch to the rest of the car.  The position of my 'inverted-L' shaped fuel tank robs me of much of the opportunity to utilise the manufacturer's method of attaching the main tub at the rear of the car, that is, bolting through an internal flange on the bodywork behind the main bulkhead.  I should still be able to do this in a small area, but the majority of the width of the car cannot be supported as proposed by Autotune. Hence, the wheel arch attachments should help in keeping the tub in the right place. These panels are essentially finished, aside from a clean.  However they cannot be riveted in-place until the body goes on.  The driver's side panel is required in order to make the seat so the chassis holes on this side have been drilled to 3.6mm and a selection tapped to 4mm so they can be temporarily held in place by screws.  They can then quickly be drilled to 4mm for the rivets at a later date.

I'm sure that several weeks ago I wrote that the panelling was almost finished for now. That was clearly piffle as I've not really done anything else yet.  The main scuttle panel is now in place.  This will be home for most of the electrical wizardry on the one side and the fire extinguisher on the other.
While I've been messing about with this and in-between making the new semi-rose-jointed radius rods, Dave has completed the panel to go beneath the engine.
This panel is held in place by eight Dzus 1/4 turn fasteners.  We've designed it so that the leading edge clips over the fastener tabs and chassis tube.  This should hopefully mean that even if the clips come undone the panel cannot fall and be forced backwards underneath the car by the rushing air.  I'll also rivet a p-clip to the panel somewhere and then run a zip-tie to an appropriate spot on the engine as a second fail-safe.

One final job completed yesterday was to manufacture an appropriate means of carrying the fuel and brake pipes to the front-end of the transmission tunnel.  I'd ordered some aluminium angle from eBay to help with the job but it would have been massive overkill and lots of unnecessary weight.  Fortunately, Dave had something far more suitable and I spent far too long fashioning this into a tray for the clever clips that I bought (I have lots of these available at 10 for £10 delivered incidentally - leave me a comment on here and I'll be in touch.)  
This was all going swimmingly until I came to rivet it on.  Not quite parallel faces, very limited space to work in and a bit of drill-spacing 'tolerance' made it one hell of a job.   It's only down to the cleaning powers of acetone that it looks so tidy - I had PU adhesive everywhere at one stage.
So, that's the work up-to-date.  I'm now at the stage where I can begin bolting/clipping/otherwise attaching some parts.  It should start to feel exciting again soon.  I've really got to crack-on if I'm going to make the May/June races.  One advantage is that the opening rounds at Donington, due to be held last weekend, were cancelled due to snow.  They've been rescheduled for the last weekend in June and hence even if I miss the slog to Snetterton, I'll still be available for the same number of races.  Bonus.  With time ticking by Dave and I have pretty much agreed that we won't be at Stoneleigh.  I've also farmed-out the engine prep (clutch, baffle plate, breather mods etc.) to Rich at RK Performance.  I found Rich by accident - he'd just moved to a road-side unit in the next village so he's very convenient.  He also clearly knows his stuff and his labour rate is excellent.  

The other major components away for some work at present are the wheels.  It took me a few hours to split them down to their component pieces and I did have a go at polishing the rim portion.  "To hell with that."  I don't have 15 hours to put into it.  Each wheel back, centre and front portion is therefore getting powdercoated by Steve at,  This meant that I had to confirm the colour scheme.  After a brief ask the audience moment, which showed support for Plan A, the wheels will soon be a heady mix of silver and chocolate brown.  Steve's also got the engine mounts and brake drum back-plates to tart up.

I need to do some more online shopping for parts now.


Monday, 18 March 2013

Ear we go.

More to follow...

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Very pleasing.

The tunnel-top is done.  The rear and the front are 'quick release' the central portion is not.  
A quirk of the Gemini chassis is that to create a race-ready 'firewall' you need to sandwich an inch thick area of space between two panels.  No big deal but takes a little time.  This panel will bolt to the 'scuttle panel.'
This small panel here (on the left) is essentially part of the same scuttle panel.  It will house a couple of bulkhead fittings to take the brake fluid from the passenger compartment to the engine bay.
And this is broadly the view that I'll get from the driver's seat.  Everything from the fuse box to the brake master cylinders will be accessible (and easily seen) from here.
I must say, now that my plans are becoming reality, I'm very pleased with it.