April 2004 Update

I've not been updating the website but I have been busy trying to finish off all the little bits and pieces which are preventing me from painting the chassis and/or getting the engine started. The main problem with starting the engine is with the exhaust silencers as it is too noisy to start it without silencers. I had been debating whether to build or buy but opted in the end to buy a pair of Jetex Turbex silencers from Demon Tweeks. These are 625mm long and 125mm diameter with a 3" pipe bore. The pipe is bigger than I wanted (3" instead of 2") but I'll just step the pipe up from 2" to 3" where it enters the silencer. Hopefully this will help by slowing the exhaust gas down and allowing the silencers to do a more effective job. No I'm not convinced either...

Click images below for high-res and description

A few other things to report:

I've ordered my bodywork kit from GTS Tuning. This will be a seven piece kit comprising the Bonnet, nosecone, scuttle, rear arches and front arches. Unfortunately I will need to cut the first three bits in half and widen them by 4 inches each to fit my chassis which is a shame as the quality of GTS fibreglass bits are said to be second to none! I must also give a mention to Darren George and Mark Bean from GTS who seem to be highly committed, very friendly and happy to give up their evenings to advise on and sell car bits. I called Darren at about 9:30pm the other night to order my GRP bits and caught him in Marks and Spencers getting his dinner! Despite my offer to call back another time he was happy to talk and emailed me later that night with the information I was needing. Top blokes!!

I've also ordered my aluminium sheeting, from Aalco in Cambuslang, which will be used to panel the sides and rear of the car as well as the seatback and tunnel sides and top.

I also received a bunch of bits from MAC#1 Motorsports including a set of 4 point seat harnesses (Sabelt Clubman) in blue with bolted mounts and pushbutton release. These are great value at £80 inc vat for a pair. A fellow builder Paul Gooderman has made me up a set of mountings which should fit through the crosstube in my rollbar and which are threaded with 7/16UNF threads to match the harness bolts. Thanks again Paul!

Other things I got from MAC#1 are a roll of brake pipe £6.99 for 25ft and various pipe clips and spiralwrap etc. I would highly recommend them as they seem very happy to give advice and you don't get the impression that they are trying to get you off the phone as quick as possible as you often do with some other retailers. Their prices are also good and delivery was prompt.

That's all for now, I'll post some more pics once my bodywork parts arrive and once the chassis painting is completed.


Roll Bar Fitting

Carried on with the fitting of the rollbar. I decided to tilt the bar forwards in a similar way to the Caterham Seven as I think this is aesthetically more pleasing and may offer better protection to the occupants in the event of a roll by being more directly overhead. It is a real pain working with round tubing as it is difficult to maintain a reference point on a round object but I got there in the end and managed to achieve a high degree of accuracy.

Fabricated the backstays for the rollbar and cut the fishmouth's to enable these to fit to the rollbar and luggage racks. Added a load spreader to the luggage rack to provide more strength and to make it easier to join the larger diameter backstays to the smaller diameter luggage rack tubing.

Here are a few pictures to illustrate the above.

You can see the rollbar in place (tack welded only at present) and with the backstays aligned with the two luggage rack uprights. As you can see I have angled the vertical sections of the rollbar slightly inboard, again for aesthetic reasons. I might add a diagonal brace later if I feel the need.

You can also see the load spreaders on the rear luggage rack. These were made from a 25mm o/d x 3mm wall tube being split in half with a hacksaw.

I have sourced some steering rack mounting brackets from Speedshack ( £ 12.17 inc vat and p&p) and some steering rack mounting rubbers (polyurethane type) from Rallynuts ( £ 7.65 inc vat and p&p). I have also sourced some 7/16" UNF S-Grade (8.8 Ton) nuts for use in the seatbelt mounts which I hope to tackle soon although I am reluctant to do this until I have bought my seats and harnesses. A fellow locost builder is going to make me up some steering rack extensions to extend the rack from escort track width to Sierra track width. Thanks Paul!

Next job will be to fit the steering rack with the extensions and mounting parts as described above. I also hope to fit the steering column around the engine at the same time which looks like a fun job...not!