Friday, 27 February 2009

Filler cap

Drilled out the filler neck 4.2mm and fitted M4 Button heads. The lid came with some gasket spacers to adjust the height and position when tightened down.With the lid in its set position, it was set in the body and marked at the correct angle for it to open. and then holes drilled through the body.I'm awaiting a tap for the filler breather fitting which is a tapered pipe thread and fits below the key locked cap.
1/8 NPTF tap and Q size drill. I worked this out to be 8.6mm drill.

I'm quickly running out of things I can do now. I haven't ordered the chassis or anything as work has been dead this year so I can't risk a big order just yet. Gutted. :(

Maybe some little DIY niggles can be crossed off the list...... hmm maybe not... lol

Few tips on Polishing

A couple of people have asked about polishing.
It took me a while to find out what to do so I will try and help with what info I found and learnt.

My local supplier:
Unit E
Ash Road Industrial Estate
151 Ash Road
GU12 4DB

Tel: 01252 313141

A couple of good links:

Farecla's Site.

Farecla Polishing how to.
Getting my head round polishing.

(This is what I did. It may not be correct or the proper way, but it worked for me.)
There are other compound manufacturers out there and Farecla do other stuff apart from the G3 and G10 I used.
I found 2 bottles of G3 and 2 Compounding mops enough. With the mop wet, a circle of compound around the hear should give you about a 1 to 2 square foot working area I found.
The mops will catch on edges and holes and wear away in a shower of foam dust.
Spoke to the Farecla bods about this and they stated "As long as the mop is kept wet and the yellow foam/plastic part of the mop doesn't contact the body it will still work fine."
Goes without saying, Keep em clean from dust and filings.
New mop left, used mop in the middle and Polishing mop right.Once a nice shine is achieved you will probably find some bits you missed after you clean it all down. So back to covering everything in white spray again.
Once happy, break out the G10 with the correct mop. no water is needed (Apparently but I used a little) just don't let it friction burn. These mops are quite soft and don't need much pressure. the weight of the machine should be enough. I used half a G10 bottle and 1 head but have not completed an all over G10 polish yet.

Now be prepared to get covered.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Steering wiring

Many thanks to Simon and others on the CRC for all the help de-cyphering the stalk wiring and the help to include non standard mods.

Like Simon, I opted to go for the 3 wipe on jets that required a relay in-line. Having only basic knowledge on normal electronic board relays I was a little lost on what did what and how to wire it in. A friend suggested google wiki, never heard of it but its pretty good and full of all sorts of info.
Once the correct spade connectors came from eBay I set about getting the closest coloured wires I could to help final connecting. Wires were thicker than the ones on the loom so they should be suitable.

The steering unit had a couple of brackets either side that are hot used, but the relay fits perfectly into.Just awaiting some more spades to complete.

Now as standard the Horn is a switched +V. This needed to be swapped to a switched earth on the relay side when using the Vectra stalks for the horn.

Guess where the relays are and what did I recently fit right next to them...?
Bo**ox! LOL
Yep, On my back upside down in the footwell. I managed to do the mod without removing anything luckily as the relays are fixed with drill encouraged screws! There was JUST enough room for the crimpers! A right fiddle.

Must rename my blog to "Building arse about face"

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Front lights wiring

Now that the wheel arches are dry, final fitment was made of the front lights. I opted for some waterproof connectors, Superseal for the indicators and "Circularseal Power Connector" for the headlights bought from They are a little fiddly to fit but worth it.
Secured with 24mm and 6mm "P clips"Next is the wiper/indicator and horn stalk wiring to get my head round.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Rear Lights

While wielding the wire cutters, I decided to fit the rear lights. They had to be wired up internally before fitting. There are 3 fixing holes in the rubber and light unit, and there is only one way theses will line up, no idea why. Using masking tape, the holes can be marked and then drilled 2.2mm to take 3mm self tappers.Using some left over metal rod from the fuel sender, the rubber sleeve was fed over the lens and the chrome cover. I greased the inside of the cover to help protect against water corrosion that is sometimes seen. Well it wont hurt.Cabling is pretty straight forward. I'm waiting to get the fog/reverse light mounts to enable fitting them.
Also siliconed some tie holders to the body to tidy the cable run to the lights. The self adhesive ones wont be accepted as the can be easily pulled off so a more permanent solution is needed without drilling through the outside skin.

Side Repeaters

After my looking into the IVA reg's required, it stated that side repeaters are mandatory. Bugger!
I wasn't keen on fitting them initially, but hey...they don't look too bad.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Screen Fitted

Thought it best and safest to fit the screen again to avoid it getting damaged.
A light smear of fairy liquid on the rubber helps it slide into place. (ooh er....)Centre screen stay bracket needed a little adjustment as once all was tight, it was 2mm off the body. Screen off again to elongate some holes and reduce bend a little. Cut down an allen key to hold it while nylocks were fitted underneath.Reason the plates had to be fitted first.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

SVA changing to IVA homework

Basically the government run SVA (single Vehicle Approval) has been updated to bring in some new criteria.
As I'm at the stage of fitting electrics I'm trying to find out if any of the criteria have changed for the new IVA. (Individual Vehicle Approval)
Most things will stay the same. Brief details here
The full draft can be read here if you are that bored

Think of it an an MOT but where every nut n bolt, cable, fuel & brake system and electrical system is checked for being sufficient for its job and safe. Enough thread past nylock nuts, no sharp edges can be exposed to a small head and fist sized metal sphere that they use for the outside and cockpit area and must have a minimum radius of curvature of 2.5mm. Lights are of the right ratings and heights from the road.
Exhaust noise has been reduced from the SVA 101dB to IVA 99dB this is quite a lot when you realise that a 3dB step is in effect twice the volume/power of the last volume/power. (if that makes sense)
All cables, fuel and brake lines must be secured to in a way to avoid chafing and wear, spaced no more than 300mm intervals. I wont go into the rest as there is so much to comply with, its a mine field. And I'm nodding off typing this.... Yep sorry.

However, all this is to keep people from wiring their cars up with speaker cable and copper plumbing and driving around catching fire in death traps.
Its about standards and allowing us build our own cars that are still safe to us and others. The dam EU is trying to make it harder for us though as they try to force stricter regs on us. They would love the UK to shut the door to kit cars.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Wiper Motor & Vents

Now that the bars are fitted, I can fit the wiper mechanism. It will all probably have to come out when the carpets are to be fitted but that's a long way off.
This area is normally straight forward to fit. but I opted for the glove box potion. This means that the screen demister is right in the way of the glove box and needs modifying but only to foul the wiper drive route. I had to bend the tubing to clear the vent and still allow free movement of the drive cable.
I cut about an 8-10mm strip out to allow me to bend it. Tack welded and then sealed with sealant.

Using the vent splitters I made a while ago, I fed the ducting to the 4 vents and left lose as this may need some adjusting later.
Dash now fits snugly in there. While there I also secured the main loom along the floor with P clips, SVA/IVA require secure fixing no more that 300mm apart. I went with 200mm to be on the safe side. These will be checked even if a carpet is fixed down! All wiring is thoroughly checked.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Wheel arch underseal

While the silicone fumes are fresh.....
This stuff is nasty, but don't notice it after an hour when your head is spinning. 2 coats/2 days. Open the doors!
One Tub is enough for all 4 arches, nose area and a 2nd coat on the under side of upper body.
Can be found in B&Q in the roofing section.
Idea is that this applied to the underside of the arches helps prevent stones from impacting hard enough to cause crazing/cracking in the gel coat finish.

I had tried some proper car underseal but it was awful to apply and didn't coat well.
This however still needs to be warmed up and stirred well but has a consistency of thick treacle and can even go on with a roller if you want but covers thicker with a brush.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Screen centre stay

Now is a good time to fit the centre stay. This not only holds the rear view mirror, but also gives added screen support at higher speeds. But there is very little room to get to it when the screen is in place.

Screen support

Now that the dash bars are welded and painted, I can fit the screen stays as these are secured along with the bars.
As the holes are quite big, they need to be sealed, what better than silicone sealant. Back to the loft and the dreaded DIY boxes... noooooo.

Before sealing, I had to fit the screen again to finalise the position, Climbing into the car on a stand carrying a £500 bit of glass and trying to fit it on my own is not a good idea so help from the wife or friends is a good idea. Wife was at work and I couldn't wait. There are 3 critical measurement to get set. the centre of screen to middle of rear cockpit edge has to be 930mm and the screen corners to door edge return must be the same as one another. This set, the pillar fixing bolts were tightened and the screen removed.As they were drying I fitted the escutcheons. These I felt needed a bit of a curve to follow the body shape. Not easy to bend 2mm stainless evenly. But got it close.
Silicone..... I always have a battle with this stuff, and I end up being covered it it. God knows why.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dash support bars

I have been a bit confused about the fitting of the under dash ally plates. Basically, the forward bar can be tapped to allow screw fixings. However, I'm lead to believe the bar supporting the dash just sandwiches the plate between the bar and the dash. I wanted to be able to screw everything down. So I asked a friends dad to stamp me out some brackets, Waited 3 weeks for a place I work for to tell me that they still don't have a replacement part for their welder...
Got in touch with Chedz / Graham from the cobra club who is close by to help me out with his welder. Hey presto. Perfect.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Bonnet scoop

Messing about with the fitting, I thought I should put some thin foam between the two surfaces so I ordered some 2mm x 15mm Neoprene adhesive strip.
It came a few days later once the near Arctic chaos causing snow flake melted a bit so that the post could get back to delivering mail.It was fairly easy to apply and went round the curve well, but once fitted I wasn't happy.I thought it would compress more and easier. As I was fixing the screws it was causing a ripple, wave along the line and that was without trying to squash it down. Also I wasn't keen on the gap. Probably only be noticed by some deaf old person running out in front of me and may get commented on as they slide across the bonnet... but hey. So I decided to get rid...... 3 hours later I'm wishing I left it on. This stuff was a mare to get off. Break cleaner eventually got rid of the glue but left me with nuts n screw drivers stuck to my finger tips..And why pay extra for polished stainless screws? Dremel and polishing wheel will do.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Bonnet locks

Left the wiring for the moment, I need a few bits sorted first. Dash bars and underseal arches.

Fitted the locks, this involved a bit of contortionist ability to crawl under body, through frame and into the engine bay from underneath. This was more successful on the frame than my first attempt when the body was on the floor. Admittedly it was easy to just step into the engine bay while originally marking out the latch holes in the bulkhead. However when it came to testing the latches with the bonnet in the newly cut holes one of them jammed shut as I hadn't cut enough... As you may have seen in the "Body here" (during this attempt) and "Made frame" pics, there aint much room for escape through the wheel arch....Ever seen a Cobra giving birth? not a pretty sight. lol.
Anyway, The latches needed a little more fettling to fit correctly, then fit the escutcheon plates.
Also, both locks were with different keys, an issue GD couldn't get around unless they ordered hundreds of them so you get a key with each lock. I took both down to a local locksmith who made them both the same key for £5, bargain!

Monday, 2 February 2009


Thought it was time to start on the wiring. I Trial fitted the front lights again today, they do start to bring it to life a little.

But its been snowing and it doesn't matter how old you are, 9" of snow is fun!