Monday 31 October 2011

Fitting the Alternator

Now the engine is in, I can move on to the ancillaries.  I am waiting on some bolts to fit the starter motor so I thought I would tackle the alternator.

Here is a picture of all the things you get in the alternator kit.

It all looks very good and very complete, but there are no instructions to tell you where things go, what bolts are for what, where the washers go etc.  As with a lot of things, you have to work it all out for yourself.    First thing to do was to paint the brackets as these had not been powder coated, which is a shame considering the cost of the kit.  Anyway, I had a look at all the photos I had taken at the factory of various cars and was able to work out where the first bracket went.  1 bolt at the front and 2 at the side.  I used 2 washers as spacers but I now think that the 2 hole bracket is probably meant to be a spacer.

The upper bracket on the off side then fits with a ..... missing bolt!  All those bolts and washers in the kit, but not this one!  Good job I had the right size in one of my selection boxes.

The alternator then fits with a bolt and washers to make up a spacer on the bottom bracket.  A simple bolt then secures it through the upper bracket.  It is important at this stage to make sure the alternator wheel is square to the other wheels the belt will go around.  At first, mine was slightly out of alignment.  A couple of tweaks on both brackets and it sat square.

Here is the view from the back.

On the near side the bracket mounts to the front of the block using an existing bolt and then with a couple of washers and a spacer tube.

Here it is from the front.

Next thing to add is the adjuster wheel

And finally, the belt can be added.

I also had a bit of spare time so cut the hole out for the gear lever.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Sump and Engine Fitting

Today was the day to finally get the new sump and the engine fitted.  My son-in-law, Stuart,  had agreed to come and help me and believe me, this is not a one man job!

First job of the day, put the kettle on!  Whilst drinking said cuppa, read through the Raceline sump fitting instructions.  It all seems straight forward until they start talking about cutting bearing cap retaining bolts.  I didn't like the sound of that but, as it happens, this particular engine didn't need it to happen.  I suspect that the instruction sheets have to cover several different variations of Zetec engine and these bits related to a different model.  Although my engine is 'new' it was built in 2004!  Ford intended to use them in the Focus but changed plans to use the Duratec instead, resulting in a few thousand 'spare' engines.  Many of these have found their way in to kit cars.

Anyway, first job of the day was to drain the oil out of the old sump to prevent any mess later.

Next, put together the Raceline sump.  This really is a nice bit of kit.  The instructions are simple to follow.  The oil pick up pipe will need quite a bit of pursuasion to fit but it does go.  In no time you will find you have fitted the pick up pipe and fitted the tray before you remembered to take a photo.  Oh well, never mind.  I also forgot to take one with the windage tray fitted but it is not very exciting to be honest.

Next job was to remove the old sump.  Now you can't simply undo the bolts to the aluminium part of the sump and expect it to come off.  You have the remove the black tin part first.  The reason for this is the oil pick up pipe is bolted on and it has to be removed before the cast aluminium part can come off.  We spent quite a while trying to figure this part out.  This is the fixing point with the pick up pipe now removed.

The next job was to place the gasket in place and apply a bead of silicone all around the outside edge of the new sump.  This will help the whole thing seal against oil leaks (I hope!!).  The new sump can then be offered up to the engine and bolted in place, making sure the rear of the sump lines up with the rear or the engine block, which it appeared to do do automatically.  Also making sure the sealing washer and O rings stay in place.  I watch carefully and I am prtty sure they stayed where they should.  Too late now!!

Edit: 3rd December.  A fellow forumite on RHOCaR, Martin Smith, who is also building a Zero, asked me if I had fitted a spigot bearing to the engine.  I had, but forgot to add it to the blog.  This seems the most appropriate place to add the pictures and details.

The spigot bearing is required when you are fitting a rear wheel drive gearbox like the Type 9 or the MT75 to a normally transverse mounted, front wheel drive engine, like the Zetec.

You will need to remove the clutch to be able to fit the bearing.

You have to tap the bearing in place with a hammer and some form of drift, preferably wood, so the bearing doesn't deform.  You are also advised to fit it the right way round, with the bearing ends pointing inwards.  You will see what I mean when you look at the bearing.

Here it is, bearing fitted and clutch back in place.

Now back to the engine fitting.

Once the sump was fitted and tightened down, it is time to mate the gearbox to the engine.  First problem we encountered was that the clutch plate wasn't aligned correctly.  A quick alignment and this time the gearbox fitted in place.  A couple of the supplied bolts had to be cut down a little but other than that it was uneventful.  The clutch actuating arm seemed very loose until I realised I was pulling it the wrong way.  When pulled the right way, there was the full pressure I would expect.

The engine mounts can be fitted next, or so I thought.  You can't fit both parts or the whole assembly will be too wide to fit in the engine bay due to the chassis members.  It would possibly have been just as easy to fit the engine mounts once the engine was in the car.

Hear is the nearside, which needs packing out with a large number of washers, due to a lug on the engine block.  I think the factory now provides some proper spacers.  You can certainly get the dimensions to cut your own if you want.  I had to use washers, I didn't have a choice.

This is the off side, no issues fitting this side.

This it was time to hoist the engine high and start the gentle process of making it fit.  It is a case of forward and lower a bit at a time with one person pushing and the other guiding the quick shift under the chassis rails. You just have to take your time here.

Here it is a bit further in.

And finally lowered in place.

Next step is to line up the engine in to the centre of the chassis.  I measured and drew a centre line on one of the cross members and then used a square to find the centre point on the pulley.  Although not shown in this picture, I also put a piece of tape across the pulley and found the centre point to line up against.  The final line up is spot on.

Here it is from the rear.

Final thing to do is to bolt the engine mounts to the chassis plates.  We drilled the 8 holes and tried to fit the nuts to the bolts by feeding them in from the sides.  I could tell that this wasn't going to work.  To be able to easily access all of this, the engine must be fitted before the side panels are fitted.  Again, in a proper manual, the build order could be established and I would say to anyone that fitting hte engine and gearbox would be a lot easier without the side panels fitted.  Just my 2 penny's worth.

Anyway, back to fitting hte engine mounts, we ended up drilling through the aluminium underneath and then enlarging the holes so the bolt and a socket could pass up through them.  I then held a socket on the bolt, whilst Stuart did up the bolt.  Again, this is something that I couldn't have easily done on my own.  I will need to cover these holes with an aluminium plate of some sort, but that will be easy enough to do.

All I can say is that I am glad it is all in now, but I ache in places that I didn't know I had places!!

Sunday 23 October 2011

More Pottering in the Garage

Been a sort of 'bitty' day today.  I have done a few little things but nothing major.

First job was to fit the cooling fan to the radiator.  No instructions in the box, but it seems pretty straightforward.  Here it is fitted, but not wired up yet.

And here it is with the nose cone fitted.  There is clearance all round but it is measured in millimetres!! 

Next I moved on to fitting the seat runners to the seats.  Once you have figured out where the mounting points are, this is a nice simple job.

Next thing to do is to mark out where the sear runners are going to fit to the chassis.  I figured that the furthest point back has the runners as far forward as they can go.  I put the seat in and marked the front holes.  The using the spare runner from the other seat, I was able to mark the rear holes as well.  With the holes drilled, I made sure that the seat runners would fit.  It was all OK so I went ahead and repeated the process for the other side.  I haven't fitted the seats in yet as I need to fit the carpet first.

Next I moved on to the dashboard and the 'T' shaped warning light module I bought from the Exeter show.  Guess what, it comes without fitting instructions or a wiring diagram!!

Fitting is straightforward.  You need to drill 8mm holes for the lights to shine through and 3.2mm holes for the screws to go through to hold it to the front panel, which need to be counter sunk. 

It then looks like this from the back.  This needs to pass through the fibreglass dash panel so a similar T shaped hole has to be cut in the fibre glass.  To be honest, the hole I cut isn't the prettiest, but it does the job and will be hidden by the stainless instrument surround.

Whilst I was working with the dashboard, I decided to see if the instruments would fit.  After a bit of tidying up with the jigsaw, I was able to fit the gauges in place.  I think it is looking pretty smart.  Remember that the dash won't be that colour when finished, although it doesn't look that bad in white!

Speedo and tacho.

And the view from the back.

I have purchased the correct plug and play loom from GBS for the instruments, but I need to get hold of a wiring diagram so I know what to plug where.  I am hoping it won't be too complicated to sort out.

So there is another weekend gone by.  Next weekend ..... the engine!!

Saturday 22 October 2011

Exeter - 12 months On and Some Small Jobs

I went to the Exeter kit car show today.  It is 12 months ago I visited the same show to start looking at the different options of kit car I could build.  Some of the same manufacturers were there again, some were not and there were a couple of different ones there too.  If I had been looking to start building a kit today, would I have chosen any differently?  No, I don't think I would.  I am still very happy with the choice I made.  I took the opportunity to pick up some parts including the Emerald ECU and also some instrument wiring looms.

Earlier in the week, I took delivery of the ETB gauges I had chosen for the car.  I have gone for the standard 7 type layout of speedo, rev counter, oil pressure, fuel gauge, water temperature and volt meter.  I have chosen a chrome bezel and magnolia faces.

This is a close up of the speedo.

I must just add that ETB were very easy to deal with.  They build the gauges to order and they were delivered when they said they would be and the quality is excellent.  6 gauges, all the required senders and delivery and all for under £400.

The inspiration for these gauges wasn't mine, but from a car I saw on the GBS stand at Stoneleigh, back in May.  With the dark blue dashboard and chrome instrument surround, I thought it looked just right.  Anyway, decision made, too late to go back on it now!!  Well I could, but it would cost me more money either for more dials or for ETB to rebuild the gauges with different faces.  This is the dash of the car in question.

Anyway, I didn't stay that long at the show and was back home mid afternoon.  This meant I could spend a bit of time in the garage.  First job of the day, fit the radiator.   I tried clamping the radiator to the mounting brackets with the mounting points on the rear, only to find that when I tried to fit the nose cone back on, it wouldn't fit.  After a bit of head scratching, I realised that you have to use the mountings at the front and the rear mountings have to be bent out of the way.  In reality, the top ones can be left as they sit higher than the mounting brackets and I think I will bend them back as they were on mine.

Here it is fitted.  It will be removed again when the engine is fitted.

An here it is from the rear, just to show how the rear tabs could be left as they are.  As I said, I think I will bend these back in as they were.

One of my purchases today, was the Emerald K6 ECU and I couldn't resist fitting it in place.

The ECU has a standard 'map' on it that will get the engine running and is perfect for emission for the IVA.  GBS also have a 'performance' map which when running the 2 litre Zetec with the GBS plenum chamber, is capable of in excess of 165bhp.  I think this will be plenty for me!

One other thing I forgot to mention, the car is now insured.  I was looking at my spreadsheet of costs and realised there was rather a lot of money tied up in it.  I got Comprehensive build up cover from Frank Pickles for £124 for the year.  It will cost me about another 25% to add the road risk cover when the time comes, so I was very pleased with that.   

Sunday 2 October 2011

Tunnel Panels and Screen Saver.

Not a lot to report this week but I did want to at least do something.  I decided to have a quick look at fitting the front mudguards.  Looking at various photos of other cars, there doesn't seem to be a particular place or way to fit them.  Some people cut parts of the fibreglass around the mounting brackets out, others don't.  Here they are just laid in place.  The nose cone has also been properly fixed on place.

Now the criteria from the IVA manual states that the front of the mudguard must be at least 30 degrees from the vertical from the centre of the wheel and the rear must be at least 50 degrees from the vertical.  The rear edge must also not be more that 150mm above a centre line.  I drew myself a reference guide (below) and it is no problem to fall within the guidelines.  The only issue is how to fix them.  I need to ask some advice on this before I go any further.

With the mudguards put to one side, and wanting to do something productive, I decided to cover some of the centre tunnel panels using the leatherette supplied.    First thing is to cut out the material allowing about 2 to 2.5 inches of overlap.  Then coat both panels with spray adhesive.  Allow it to dry for a couple of minutes and then lay the leatherette on to the panel, smoothing it out as you go.  It really does stick well, well it did today as it was very warm, so you don't have too much time to adjust it.

Once the main surface is stuck, turn the piece over and apply some more adhesive to the underside and then you can move on to the sides and over laps.  This is where the extra material is required.  You will just need to trim it as required.  Here is the finished item from the top

And here it is from underneath.

I then put the 2 pieces together to see what the finished article looks like.  This is from the front.

This is from the back.

And finally, I couldn't resist firing the Sat Nav up using an auxiliary socket in my main car.  I am really pleased with the finished item.  I even managed to get a Caterham 7 screen saver.  Shame the car is adorned by a young lady .... not!!!  Sod the directions, I'll just keep the screen saver!!