Friday 23 August 2013

Day 2 (Evening Only)

Managed to sneak a quick couple of hours out in the garage tonight to make a start. My friend Phil kindly offered to come round to help me get started with it.

Our first battle was not with the car itself but rather the reconcilliation of parts in all the various boxes against what the manual was telling us we needed to use. With the garage being as small as it is and not wishing to clutter it up any more than I had to, I wisely decided to commandeer the dinning room as my new parts store (the wife is delighted with this). I'd deduced that I'd be needing several parts from boxes, 1, 4, 6 and 7 in order to get the Steering rack in and the front suspension built, however I could not find box number 7 for love nor money. A quick check of the packing sheet that had arrived with the delivery confirmed that in fact there hadn't been a box number 7 on the truck - ahh, that will be why then. But wait, what's this? A mysterious box marked with an 'X' and yes, as luck would have it, that contained the bits that I needed.

Job 1 - Fit the steering rack

Once all the parts were located this was actually remarkably easy. Stick the steering rack through the holes in the side skins and bolt it to the bottom of the chassis through the pre-drilled holes provided. At this stage I have not done up the bolts tightly as the manual makes reference to needing some adjustability later in the build cycle. The hardest part of this whole job was trying to find the magical 'IVA sleeves' that fit over the ends of the steering rack before you add on the track rod ends. These being found in magical box 'X'

Steering Rack loosely fitted

Me looking smug before getting started

Job 2 - Upper and Lower Wishbones

I was thankful for some help from my mate phil with this one as when you fit the lower wishbones you soon hit a point where you think to yourself - 'really'? The manual is quite clear about this bit (a rarity) you are supposed to add 2 washers either side of the bush before mounting the lower rear wishbone joint to the chassis. Problem is, on first looking there really isn't the space. As luck would have it, a quick read of someone elses build diary confirmed that indeed 2 washers either side needed to be in there. For thos struggling with this job, my tools of choice became a soft faced hammer and a big flat head screwdriver. Use the hammer to get the washer to begin to sit flush with one another, then use the hammer + screwdriver to make fine adjustments to their alignment before trying to get the bolt to go through. Again, a gentle tap on the end of the bolt helped to get things fully aligned if they were slightly out. A picture of the rear mount of the lower wishbone showing these in situ is below:

Lower Wishbone Rear Mount
Unfortunately we did have a bit of an 'oh shit' moment when we realised that we'd fully assembled the lower wishbone withouth having first added copper slip to the bolts so we ended up having to take it apart and re-do it. Easy once you know how though.

Then it was on to the Upper Wishbones. These are more straightforward to mount. You do need to fit an aluminium sleeve inside one of the bushes having first added copper slip to it. Hardest part of this task is simply finding the correct sleeve to fit although I'm pleased to say that I didn't have similar problems as reported by other owners who'd complained of having what looked like sleeves for an imperial chassis rather than their metric one. Mine all look to be metric which is a relief and they slotted in very easily.

By this stage it was getting late and I wanted to hold off going any further as I wasn't all that comforatble with what the manual was telling me. The lower wishbone goes on with a fair few washers and yet the manual makes no mention of using any for the top one. A quick call out to my new friends on the Blatchat forum and a kind gentleman by the name of 'Grubster' confirmed that indeed no washers were needed.

Top wishbone rear mount
Tommorow evening I intend to get the front shocks and get the front suspension torqued up and finished off. More soon.


  1. Hi Tom,
    Great looking car, keep up the blog.

    One quick point, it's best not to torque up the suspension bush bolts until the weight of the car is on the wheels. This is due to the way the metalistic bushes flex - it's better to have their "home" position where the car is stood normally in its wheels.
    Sorry if you know this already,
    Have fun,

  2. Thanks for sharing Ben, I didn't know that. Sorry if you get this twice, I responded to your message that came through as an email but not sure you'll get it?

    Just to check, are you referring to the bolt that goes through the top and bottom of the shocks rather than anything to do with the wishbones? Manual says to tighten the bolts on the latter now due to lack of access to them later?

  3. It's cool to tighten the wishbone bolts as long as you hold them roughly parallel to the ground first (a 2nd pair of hands helps!). This ensures the metal inner of the bush is clamped in the home position, so that the outer rubber part does all the flexing from this point.

    Car looks great by the way. The start of the build is the best part for sure. It seems to take shape really quickly so every day you spend on the car makes a huge difference to how it looks. Enjoy!