After over 18 months, things have started to happen again. I have tinkered with little bits (electrics routing, fuel components fitting and brake connections) but have been in contact with Healy, resulting in delivery deadline for the bodywork. After 2 cancelled delivery dates the body has arrived and was forced into the small space of my single garage. Now I need to move everything around to be able to work under, and on, the car. From the 2 sides of A4 build instructions I need to work out what goes where and, more importantly, how everything is fixes together. It certainly is not a Haynes manual.
This means I should now have some impetus to progress the project and join up all these new bits to look like a car, not just the sudo car that it looks like now. Tetris is more relaxing but not necessarily as rewarding!
I haven’t been ignoring the build, but have been concentrating on lots of little bits. I have spent a week designing a new cage for the expansion bottle, only to find, after building it, that a simple metal strip would have sufficed to mount it to the chassis. I need to stop over complicating things. A simple strip on the front has provided somewhere to secure the horns, the steering oil cooler and other sundry bits that needed to be tidied away. I also need to work out how to secure the radiator at the top so that I can buy a new one to replace the tired and knackered one that I still have from the donor.
I have also managed to clear some space in the garage by selling the hoist and engine stand, so have contacted Malcolm about taking delivery of the doors. This means getting serious as I am starting on the outside panels. It also means considering taking delivery of the shell (might have something that resembles a car soon)! I really do need to get on with it more regularly and with better purpose.
Have spent the last two weeks doing the odd jobs that have been building up. The most important one was to find out why the steering was not working. The double safety joint of the new inset piece had failed as I had removed too much of the weld when cleaning it prior to the original build. This meant the rivets were the only thing holding the column together and they failed with my heavy steering adjustments to align the front wheels at their fitment. So removal and repair has cured this problem.
The soundproofing and passenger floor has been fitted and the front light wiring looms have been made and laid in. Just need to finalise the position/routing of both, along with lining up with the new headlights and their BMW connecters, which I have yet to source.
The fuel lines are positioned and fitted, as are most of the brake lines. Just need to make up some brackets for the front flexible pipe connecters and something for the horns, bonnet looms and other front end wiring.
Amongst all that a new 2 year old apprentice has been introduced who is eager to get on but not very helpful with ideas! Might be ready for the shell, seats and cockpit trim soon, who knows.
from this…… to this……..
A day of evaluation and careful consideration has resulted in the two new rear light clusters being ready for fitment to the body shell when I get it delivered. All lights even seem to work in the correct order. I have also begun to rewire the front light runs, but have yet to locate the headlight connecters to be able to plug the mini lights into the MX5 loom. During my playing I noticed that the steering column, although fitted, is not connected to the rack so this will have to come out and be connected properly before moving the car.
Hopefully the cold snap has gone so more work can be done in the near future.
Another day in the garage has got the front suspension completed but not set up. I think this will need to be re-evaluated later and completed by a professional. That will get it set properly and not with string and guess work from various manuals.
Even the old wheels now have a home for the moment as the chassis is nearly ready for some daylight. One draw back is that the new exhaust does not fit in the tunnel and will need cutting and rewelding or bending to fit over the rear axle. Again, this will need to be done by a professional and Infinite Exhausts near Bristol have already said they could do this. Just need a trailer and towing vehicle to move the car from place to place but that will have to wait until the back box has somewhere to hang.
Having been away on a touring adventure and had personal things to get my head round, I managed a morning on the front suspension over the Easter weekend. As a result, the front left is ready for a wheel and setting up, when the right is fixed and fitted.
Now I still need to change the bushes on the new righthand upper wishbone, fit the right suspension and then try to set it all up and align everything. That will give me the rolling chassis to get out in the summer sun, if we get any! I’ll try to post more often, but need to do some work to do this and keep this going. Time will tell.
During a health enforced work sabbatical I am continuing to tinker with the front end. The new steering cooler arrived from MX5 Parts but doesn’t yet line up with the reservoir, so some rearranging and new pipework will be necessary. They also provided the missing centre section for the exhaust, so I now have the complete stainless steel system ready for fitting. All the cooling pipes have also been adjusted to fit the new radiator position, now I just need to work out how to secure the top mounts to the chassis and secure the cooler itself.
Having done some further investigation and bought some more samples, I seem to have also settled on the overall colour for the car. The current Renault range of flame red.
Next will be the floor, honest! But then again I do have at least a few days extra playtime coming, Chief Medical officer and co-driver allowing, so I may go off on a tangent again. I am also on a clear out so am trying to sell off the unwanted bits I keep tripping over from the garage. Therefore I keep getting waylaid with thoughts of how to present each bit, or whether to bother at all. Then the internet goes off piste in the garage and advertising is temporarily halted…again.
I can only raise a new shopping list as we are off for a Far Eastern tour soon and so can use up some of the spares dotted around in the mean-time. Soneleigh list is also beginning to formulate itself.
And so the drivers side is completed, ready for carpets and seats. That will be much later on, when I stop making a mess. I just need to copy this on the otherside and finish wiring in the tracker, just need to find the fuel pump power cable for that! Oh and realign the gearstick. More welding fun.