Build Diary of a Roadster (Kit Car)


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15th March 2009

I have fitted 1.5 mm aluminium plate in the front of the engine bay and have mounted the coil and expansion tank on that.  This makes up for the lack of wing space normally found on the Sierra where such items would be fitted.  The top of the expansion tank is just under that of the bonnet contour.  I have now wired up the radiator fan, the horn needs an extra relay as the horn only requires a positive feed and my wiring loom is for a switched negative!  Started to chop down the instrument cluster so it can be fitted in the dash.

coilandtank1.jpg coilandtank2.jpg coilandtank3.jpg

24th March 2009

I am still working on the car, honest!  I have welded some 25 mm by 2 mm hot rolled strip into the transmission tunnel and fastened two fuel lines to this, hopefully a good idea but need to centralise the gearbox as it is slightly over the the right.  I need to check gearbox movement will not damage the pipes.  Then fit the brake line and fasten the wiring loom.  Also working on the handbrake cable and rear brakes at the moment.  I bought a fitted a Pipercross air filter to replace the old pan housing, the air temp sensor has been fitted to the Pipercross base plate, but the oil vapour valve is not an easy job so will take the rocker  breather into a catch tank.  The vacuum feed to the valve has been blocked and the idle jet adjusted using my old Gunson Gastester.

piperx.jpg

I have also sliced the front off the speedo or instrument cluster to make it flat.  Bought and glued on some 2 mm Perspex so that can be fitted into a dash when I make that.  All getting there slowly.  Will add pictures when I remember to take them!

25th March  2009

One step forward and two back!  Finished fitting the rear brake shoes, adjusters and handbrake cables.  But later realised the metal strip carrying the fuel lines is in the way of gearbox movement, so pulling it all back out and starting again.  Could do with finding what the perforated strip was used in the book, may save me some time.  Must remember to get a fuel sender, some rubber or neoprene strip for the fuel tank and some antifreeze!, would be my luck we have a cold snap and damage the engine.

29th March 2009

Still not replaced the fuel pipes yet, but have done some work on the pedal box.  Have fitted the clutch and accelerator cables to the pedals and included some springs to stop the pedals falling forward.  These are secured via the stop bars on the bulkhead.  Fitted a 6mm threaded bar for the bake system and the floor mounted stop for this.  Now need to fit the pipe work and get the brakes working.

footpedals1.jpg footpedals2.jpg

30th March 2009

Trying to do one job at least when ever I can in the evening.  Tonight the tank was fitted, rubber strip from Ebay and 30 mm wide by 3 mm aluminium strip used to fasten it down.  Now awaiting a fuel sender and that will mean drilling and tapping the tank to fit that.

tank3.jpg tank4.jpg

31st March 2009

The fuel sender arrived, cut down the float arm to suit the tank, drilled 6 off 4.2 mm holes and tapped 5 mm thread.  The tank is double skinned around the sender hole for this purpose.  Fitted the sender and added the earth wire ready for completion of the wiring.  Also prepared two aluminium strips of 25 x 3 mm with holes every 100 mm to have another go at running fuel pipes down the tunnel.  Job for another night perhaps.

fuelsender.jpg metalstrips.jpg


5th April 2009

A few days since last update, have just about finished the fuel and brake lines down the tunnel and fastened the wiring in there as well.  Started to fit the brake pipes to the rest of the car but need some more bits such as 3 way adapter, brake switch and the flexible hoses.  Fitted the front callipers and re-did the rear brake shoes as I have put them on the wrong sides!!

fuellines1.jpg fuellines2.jpg brakelines1.jpg brakecaliper1.jpg

The fuel lines are fastened every 100 mm.  Using 4 mm screws and Ny-locks rather then rivets on them.  On the brake line I have done 200 mm centres and a mixture of 4 mm screws and rivets.  Hand brake cables are fitted and now need to get some clamps or come up with a different way of fastening them to the handbrake.  The car will move under it's own power but only as much as forward and reverse will get me down and up the drive to the garage.  No brakes working yet!


11th April 2009

I have recently changed operating system from Suse to LinuxMint.  So updates a bit slow as I try to do the same things as before the change.

Work has comprised of completing the braking system and making hard work of it as I go.  Hitting a few problems such as wanting a hydraulic brake switch in metric 10 but buying 1/8" NPT, still to be resolved.  The last issue is the rear up-rights get in the way of the flexible brake pipe and the pipe will just not fit, and this is with quite thin braided pipe when compared to rubber alone.


brakeprob1.jpg brakeprob2.jpg

The picture on the left shows the problem where I can not get the threaded section to enter the hole because there is no clearance.  So thinking of adding a small rigid pipe to a new bracket on the rear of the round section of tube on the hub carrier, as in the mock-up.

The front flexible lines are in, have used 470 mm from tip to tip on these, and I am hoping that the two 420 mm pipes I also ordered can be used for the rears when I fit the extra rigid pipework.  (I should have asked for 520 mm).

12th April 2009

I welded small brackets for the extra pipework on the rear hubs, also added a few more brackets on the rear chassis a bit closer to the wheels and fitted the solid and flexible brake lines.  Should be OK now at the back end!

brakeans1.jpg brakeans2.jpg


13th April 2009

I got a brake switch with a 10 x 1.0 mm taper thread and put that into a T piece, when tightening up to try and get a seal, I ended up cracking the T piece, when I tried a new T, even with PTFE I could not get it to seal, pressure on the pedal would always lead to fluid dripping out of the threads.  So plans to use the 1/8" NPT switch (Classic Mini).  Searching for an adapter starts.
 

17th April 2009

I have done the brakes at last, a session on the lathe to turn up a brass bar, drill it out both ends and tap for 10 x 1.0mm one end and 1/8" NPT at the other.  Then a small piece of copper tube and two male connectors and job done.

brakeswitch.jpg  Yes I will replace the tie rap soon with a proper bracket or clamp.

Do the handbrake next.


21st April 2009

The handbrake is done, not that happy with it and will continue to look for better ways to clamp the cables, might just make a better balance bar for the cable adjustment, or preferably find a crimping unit for  2 x 2.5 mm2 steel cable.

Cut and formed the rear
cockpit aluminium panel this evening and trial fitted that, will pre-drill the unit, get some more sealed rivets and glue gunk and fasten that in.  I will work on the transmission tunnel pieces but will have to wait unit seats are fitted before completing the panels.  I may well fit floor stiffeners out of 19 x 19 mm box section, these to fasten the drivers seat runners to.

I am very undecided what to use for seats at the present time, basically because they are a major outlay  and range from £180 for Cobra copies to £250 for wide fibre glass seats.  I want to find someone local using both types before I decide.

22nd April 2009

Fastened the behind the seat panel in tonight, just realised before I glued and riveted the panel, that I needed holes for the diff bracket bolts, so you will notice some extra holes in the panel.  DUH, yes I could have had the nuts on that side but if I wanted to use a socket set on the heads/ nuts I would have to remove the panel.  I am sure I can find blanks to cover!

backpanel.jpg

Next quick job should be the battery tray purchased from the bay.

23rd April 2009

Battery tray fitted.  Simple, but will need new clamp for battery or could foul bonnet, dam!


25th and 26th April 2009

Well I feel like these have been good days!  Solved a seat issue, such as which type do I buy?  Fibreglass bucket seat, Cobra style seat that I had been following on the bay or some other.  well it ended up being some other.  I only have one at the moment but another is on it's way to me, a Renault Scenic rear centre seat, as put forward by a member on the Haynes web site, good on ya!

I removed the existing clamps from the bottom slide rails and a bit of plastic and I am left with two runners that will either bolt to the floor or onto two braces welded to the chassis.  Approximate price of £30 each, yes I will have to sort out matching covers, but at least both the wife and myself could drive the car.

seatbitsremoved.jpg seat1.jpg seat2.jpg

I have also been working on the dash panel, starting with a cardboard cut out then transferring to aluminium and the rolling a tube at the bottom to add the safe edge and adds a lot to rigidity.

predash.jpg dashroll.jpg dashroll2.jpg dash1.jpg


27th April 2009

Bit more on the dash, cut out a rectangular hole and fabricated a bracket to hold the bottom edge of the instrument cluster.  Stuck on carpet underlay foam to the front of the panel to provide cushioning.  Need to buy some 5 mm round head screws and if possible wing nuts to hold the dash in place, the plan is to glue the screws onto the plate, cover and then fasten the dash onto the scuttle. 

Initial mock up in just under-lay foam shown here: -

dash2.jpg

I have bought an exhaust silencer from the bay, this is one of the "Great British Sports car" style ones, it is a stainless steel one so should look OK when fitted.  Need to get the manifold adapter plate done.

29th April 2009

Covered the dash in leatherette, fitted back the steering column fittings and wheel to get an idea, very basic, and yes pod is over to left to see the instruments from the drivers seat without being obstructed by the wheel.  Should be good for test.  I like it.

dash4.jpg dash3.jpg

Have removed the covers off my second Scenic seat, the idea now is to get them copied in the same leatherette and re-cover the seats the second seat I purchased was all fabric.

30th May 2009

Roll bar started, bought some un-used plates for it from a forum member.  Used the band saw to get the correct angle at the base of the roll bar, couple of magnetic clamps, tack welds.  Then welded around the bar on both ends, good start!

rollbar1.jpg

Need to get some 32 mm CDS tube to do the seatbelt fastenings and support tubes.


2nd May 2009

Small amount of time in the garage today, bought and fitted some 40 x 5 mm flat bar to act as seat supports, cut, drilled and welded to the chassis between the transmission tunnel and outer chassis rails, as below: -

seatsupports.jpg


3rd May 2009

Had a long day in the workshop, running the milling machine and cutting steel for the exhaust adapter plate, this started off 3/4 inch (19 mm) plate reduced to 17.25 mm after removing all the rust, had done a cad drawing weeks earlier taking measurements from the Escort manifold with a set of callipers, then transferring them into the drawing software.  When the cutting had been done and I had de burred the metal I tried it against the engine block.

exhaustadapt1.jpg All eight, 8 mm bolts fit into the block through the 8 mm holes, satisfying showing everything was accurate.

ports3.jpg ports2.jpg ports1.jpgs 

I took pictures down at port height to show what further work I need to do, not as bad as first thought needing only metal on the lower edges cutting away, the exhaust gasket is higher then the ports by a good 4.5 mm.

paperprofile.jpgs This simple paper profile will be used to determine how much metal needs removing.


4th May 2009

I have milled several mm from the top of the plate so it will now sit flush against the exhaust mating surface.  I have also attacked it with a electric power drill and a burr.  It will now match one side with the escort turbo manifold and on the other with the 1.8 Ports,   I am sure I could be neater!  But it will not be a problem with exhaust flow into the manifold.  Next stage is to make a flange to fit the single header pipe flange and make up a section of tubing to go to my newly acquired silencer.

exhaustadapt2.jpg


7th May 2009

OK a few days since update.  Have trimmed a corner or two from the above adapter plate, not much reduction, but could always do more if wanted.  i have done the plate to go from the end of the manifold branch into the downpipe as such.  Just a piece of 5 or 6 mm steel drilled to match the T3 Gasket.  The hole should take an OD exhaust tube of 2.5 inch dia, this will be welded in place,  and from there get reduced to the 2 inch OD dia of the exhaust system.

manifold1.jpg

Have also been sourcing some 1 -1/4 inch OD 1/8 inch wall CDS tube to finish the roll bar, should be able to pick up weekend if lucky.  Prices quoted ranged from £50 to £150 plus VAT, Wow!

9th May 2009

The better half is working to convert the cloth seat cover to letherette, that is going well.  I could not get the steel to complete the roll bar, as I found they are not open Saturday!

Still working on the exhaust system, have changed plans several times during the day, and in the end have used a piece of flexible exhaust, a reducer and a 90 degree bend to come up with this simple approach.

exhaustdownpipe2.jpg exhaust3.jpg

The plan was always to use exhaust wrap in the engine bay to reduce heat in that area, now it will also serve as a cover and better finish for my welding skills.  Next step is to make fastenings to support the exhaust system front and back, some rubber mounts and mark another job done?


10th May 2009

Made bracket up for exhaust system, and bent part out of the way in case I need it!  The wife finished the first seat today, so fitted the metal supports for the runners and fitted the seat.  I like it a lot and just need the other seat doing to match.  the two seat belt buckles have been removed from the base of the seat, you may be able to see this from the pictures.

seat3.jpg seat4.jpg seat5.jpg Last picture as it appeared on Ebay!

The exhaust system exhaust4.jpg Must admit not sure if that can is IVA friendly?  But it sounds nice.


13th May 2009

Nothing to show for an update, but I am working on the roll bar.  I have fitted and welded up the crossbar and harness mounts.  Tonight I cut and formed the stays ready for welding.  Hope to have it finished by weekend if I do not run out of Argoshield.  Have on bought from the bay, exhaust wrap and a type 9 gear stick.  The stick will be shortened by about 3 inches, should make changes easier and keep it away from the steering wheel.


14th May 2009

OK! done the welding on the roll bar, had fun with shrinkage, but thankfully only 2 mm overall as the end plates moved in due to the heat in the cross bar.  The stays were initially tack welded in plate then the assembly removed and fully welded up.  Movement on them was very minimal and everything fitted again after, here are a few pictures.  If Saturday is sunny then the car will move out of the garage to enable me to clean up around it and I might get chance to take some overall shots with out all the clutter.  I can sit in it and go brumm brumm!

rollbar3.jpg rollbar2.jpg


17th May 2009

seat6.jpgWork has started on the second seat, found the frame suffering from surface rust.  So use of the wire brush on the angle grinder and soon removed all loose rust and back to bare metal.  The strange thing was this frame was never painted unlike the other seat, can only assume it was a cost cutting exercise.  Anyway cleaned and sprayed with zinc paint to stop it rusting as easily.

Whilst the seat is out of the drivers position I started on the aluminium panels for the transmission tunnel.  I need some more pieces so only managed the drivers side and the top around the handbrake and gear stick.  I will have to  fit edging trim to give it smooth edges but it still looks reasonable at the moment just placed in position.
 
tunnel2.jpg tunnel1.jpg


18th to 21st May 2009

Purchased a 2 by 1 metre sheet of 1.2 mm aluminium to do the rear panel, Used a roll of paper from a craft shop to make a template for the back end of the car and added 1 inch all the way around for cut and bend tolerance.  This was the result

rearpanel1.jpg The shape was then cut out of the panel and the work started to fix it to the rear of the car.

rearpanel3.jpg rearpanel2.jpg rearpanel4.jpg



To say the panel was perfect would be wrong, but I am very please with it, the first corner I did could have been better on the inside turn overs, but did improve as I did the rest,  It is quite difficult to do on your own so suggest you get assistance when doing this.

The following evening, still light and without the green paper, we have.

rearpanel5.jpg


24th May 2009

The second seat is finished and both fitted, the transmission cover is finished, barring the gear stick and handbrake gaiters.  It has been a nice warm sunny day.

general5.jpg general1.jpg general3.jpg general2.jpg

general4.jpg

Time for a bit of a break from the build for a few days.  May start again next weekend, I have front and rear wings/arches to fit.  A passenger foot rest to make and fit and the passenger foot well firewall to cut and fit, might see if I have enough 1.6 mm steel floor plate left for that.  Make brackets for the front headlights, buy and fit rear lights, the list still goes on, and on, and on, and on!


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© A Hodgson