Friday 23 September 2011

Another Week Off Work

Monday 19th Sept 2011

Today was spent on appointments to get things done.  The tin top needed taking in for some warranty work and I had an appointment with the optician to have my eyes checked.  All good news, I still have 2 and I can see ... well sort of, but that is another story!!

Once home from both of these appointments, there wasn't a huge amount of time left in the day.  What I did do was fit the centre consul to the tunnel top.  A simple job with 4 rivnuts so it can easily be removed if required.

Here it is from the front, still missing the horn button:

And here it is from the rear.  The power supply is a marine 12v socket simply bolted in place. I will wire it in series from the other 12v socket which probably won't get used anyway as access to it will not be as good as I had hoped.

Tuesday 20th

Took a trip to the GBS factory today to pick up a load of parts.  I also wanted to get the factory to do the gearbox modification for me.  Now for those of you not in the know on this, when you mate a Ford Zetec engine to either a Type 9 or an MT75 gearbox, the clutch actuation arm is too far away from the clutch plates so no contact is made.  There are 2 solutions to this.  The first is to buy a modified clutch thrust bearing from Westfield Sportscars for about £75 or the second is to fit a longer pivot pin.  The old method for this would be to knock out the old pin, tap the hole out to fit an M12 bolt, round the head off on the bolt and then adjust it for length using a slot in the bolt.  All works, but not pretty.

Well, GBS have just machined some new pivot pins to do the job.  Knock out the old short pin and tap in the new longer one and away you go.  They have only just machined these and I was the first customer to take one.  In fact they let me have the prototype for free, once they had taken the measurements off it.  They will now start machining new ones and get them nicely adonised and they will sell for somewhere around £15 (price yet to be set) which is much better than the modified thrust bearing at £75.

Anyway, the guys at GBS were great as usual.  They were all interested to see how I was getting on and Ben was shocked that I only had 1 question for him on the fitting of the nose cone.   I did question Simon on fitting the Raceline sump I had just bought, but other than that is was a look around at other cars either being build or waiting for IVA, load the car up and then head for home.  This was the boot of the car!!

Wednesday 21st

After unloading the car I started to realise I have a lot of stuff in the garage.  The big white box (seen in the picture above) contains the seats, so the first thing was to get them out of the box so it could be disposed of.  I put one of the seats in to see what it would look like.  It is not fitted yet and won't be for a while as I am still waiting on the seat runners.  Not GBS's fault, their supplier has let them down.  The other went up in to the flat out of the way.

I obviously sat in the car and made the obligatory 'brum brum' noises, which I had resisted doing before.  Luckily none of my neighbours were any where near to hear me!!  They already think I am a bit nuts so this would just have confirmed it!!

I had not got round to doing the interior carpeting as I had been waiting for GBS to get the laser cut carpet sets ready.  For this I needed some extra interior panels that weren't included in my kit from last year, but may well be in the latest version of the kit.  Here are the panels dry fitted.

It is a simple case then to fit them the same way all the panels are fitted.  Lots of rivets and Sikaflex.  Below is the finished job with clamps to hold the top edge, as that is not riveted.

This is the other side completed.

Next thing was to start to plan where the gauges are going to go.  I bought an instrument surround and had a go at fitting it.  It was all a bit tight but fitted in the end.  I still haven't decided 100% on the gauges as that depends on the colour scheme.  If I go with Ford Imperial Blue, then the gauges will either be white faced or magnolia.  GBS are getting some white faced Smiths gauges in shortly, so I will probably go for those as I can get a proper loom to wire them all up. Anyway, here is the scuttle back on, with the gauge surround in place.

Here is a view from in the car.  It is really starting to take shape, until you realise I still haven't fitted the engine yet!!

Thursday 22nd

This morning I decided to finish fitting the nose cone.  Following the advice I had from the factory, I knew that the bottom lip is fastened to the lower chassis rail and that the back edge of the nose cone should sit flush to the back edge of the chassis rail.  I fitted a rivnut to the chassis rail and drilled a corresponding hole in the nose.  Next job was to see how it fitted around the headlamp mounts.  I was told I would probably need to trim round these to make it fit.  I was looking to get the edge of the nose to sit flush against the chassis rail.

After a lot of putting on and taking off and a lot of cutting and fettling, the nose is fitted.  Anyone buying a new kit will get the new nose that has been re-designed to fit first time so you shouldn't have any of this messing around to do.

Here it is.

Next I moved on to the Plenum Chamber.  I have chosen this option over throttle bodies as it is a lot cheaper and according to figures GBS have had on a rolling road, still gives 165bhp.  The throttle bodies would only be 175bhp.  Well, 165bhp in a car that weighs about the same as a well fed Jack Russell will still mean about 300bhp per tonne, and that is plenty enough for me!

First job is to remove the throttle assembly and the injector rail from the original Zetec unit.  Here is a before shot:

This is the injector rail along side the cut down manifold.  Now I didn't cut this.  GBS have a special jig for doing this and will do them on an exchange basis.

Here is final assembly.  All I needed to do was remove the green rubber seals from the original unit and put them on to this unit.  They fit around the injection ports.

Below is the very natty Plenum Chamber with the throttle body attached to the end.  Notice I am keeping the cap on and have taped over the holes to prevent dust or insects getting in before I am ready to finally fit it.

I mentioned earlier about the gearbox modification required to mate the MT75 gearbox to the Zetec engine.  Well this is the new pivot pin.

This is it tapped in to place

An here is the final assembly with the thrust bearing and arm all fitted.  It should now happily make contact with the fingers of the clutch plates to make it all work.  Well, it worked in the factory!!!

Not much time left in the day due to a prior engagement, but I started to work out where I was going to fit the engine start button.  I don't really need one, but I think they look cool and pressing a button to start the engine is, well, cool!!

Friday 23rd

Spent the morning at the opticians again so ended up being a bit of a 'bit' day today.  First thing was to fit the electric horn.  Now in the absence of any form or build manual, I wasn't sure where to fit this.  I have literally hundreds of pictures of factory and customer cars and not one shows where the horn goes.  Based on the wiring loom, it has to go somewhere on the front nearside.  I chose to fix it to the upper front cross member which will be behind the radiator.  Seems as good a place as any.

On Wednesday, I started to look at the dashboard layout.  Below you can see the dashboard out and marked up with lines to establish the centre point of each of the holes.  The layout includes the positions for warning lights in case I go down the ETB route, but I will probably stay with the Smiths gauges which have the warning lights all built in to them.

First hole I cut was for the Engine Start button.  First mistake.  I cut the hole too large!!! Bugger!  I rescued the situation by Superglueing the plug back in and then re-cutting it smaller.  The dashboard is going to be painted anyway so this can all be tidied up as part of that process.  Anyway, here is the Engine Start button in place.

Next I moved on to cutting out the smaller holes.  The smaller gauges are 52mm and holes need to be 53-54mm width.  I had a 50mm hole cutter and with the fact it is not very accurate, they have worked out at about 51mm so will just need a bit of fine tuning with a file.  The largest cutter I had was 60mm so the speedo and tacho holes were cut to that size and then finished off with a jigsaw.

NB. Word of warning.  Fibre glass is nasty stuff and goes everywhere so make sure you wear a mask and eye protection and cut it in a well ventilated space.  End of Public Service Announcement!

This is the finished panel.

This is the dash with the instrument surround roughly in place.  It will probably get swapped for one without the warning light holes and I might go for a standard aluminium one so I can spray it black.  This one is stainless steel, although it is still covered at the moment.

Last job of the day was to fit the battery tray.  A simple task to rivet the battery tray to the battery panel, fixing the battery strap underneath.  There are 2 rivets left to do but they will probably go through in to the chassis rail underneath and as the battery panel needs to come off to give more access to fit the engine, I will wait before finishing that off.

Here it is with battery fitted.

So there I am, a few steps closer to the end of the tunnel, but I still can't see the light yet!