December 2005


10 December 2005
After a mammoth 620 mile round trip I’ve picked up my kit. I have no intentions of starting it just yet need to get the garage sorted first.

11 December 2005
Got all the parts safely stowed away and the chassis protected until I can see about making a start.

15 December 2005
Made a trolley out of some old 6×2″ timber and used some old deck board as supports for the chassis. I finished it off by putting some casters on it so I can wheel the chassis around on it, at least until I can get it to the rolling stage.

I have also put some pipe lagging on the side rails to stop me bumping my head (thanks Martin)and on the roll bar to protect it from scratches.

16 December 2005
During the week I had ordered the XR2 drive shafts and hubs from the the Fiesta Centre in Norfolk (since defunct) and they arrived this morning. It looked like the poor Parcel force courier was going to get a hernia humping the box about!! I stowed them with the rest of the parts and got on with building my work bench.

22 December 2005
Workbench complete and with a nice big 6 inch vice I started to go about stripping down the XR2 hubs.

I clamped the hubs in the vice and set up my hub puller to separate the hubs from the uprights. I need not bothered as I managed to withdraw the hubs with relative ease.

I then set about removing the oil seals and bearings. I used to own a Landrover so I have a healthy set of cold chisels and a big ball pein hammer! So the seals and the metal shroud that the CV joint sits in proved to be light work in removal. After that I carefully drifted out the bearing shells and cleaned up the hubs and uprights. I’ve kept the old bearing shells that I will split with an angle grinder and use to drift in the new bearings.

The hubs show evidence of overheating of the bearings so it’s just as well I’m replacing them, but they will clean up with a bit of steel wool.

Then I went on the nerve racking job of cutting off the unused steering arms, I erred on the side of caution and reckoned I could clean up any cuts I made later with a angle grinder and file

23 December 2005
I bought a sand blasting kit for my jet washer and gave it a go at cleaning up the hubs once I had masked off all the machined surfaces. I have to say the results are extremely good and gives the hubs a nice finish, perfect for painting or in my case powder coating. Which I’ll have done in the New Year. I don’t think I will do anymore sand blasting though, as the sanding grit goes absolutely bloody everywhere or I may construct a simple enclosure to try and limit it’s spread. Oh and I need more grit it doesn’t last long!!

29 December 2005
After the last few days spent sorting out tools etc I spent today actually working on the R1ot. First things first it is absolutely freezing at the moment and I’ve got so many layers on I look like the Michelin Man!!

I have decided to tackle the build starting with getting the pedal box right first. Then feeding all the services up the tunnel. Bearing in mind there are radiator tubes, fuel line, brake line, hydraulic clutch line, throttle cable, the gear linkage and a host of electrical cables I’ve decided to get that right before any panels go on. Then fit the floor panel and after that fit the tunnel sides and the bulkhead panels, front and rear. Then finally fitting the external side panels and the scuttle. From then work on getting the suspension, wishbones and hubs on and getting the chassis to the rolling stage. All that will probably take me up to the end of my leave in April and when I get back from work around mid August I can work on getting the engine and gear box fitted and getting everything working but that is a long way off!

With the build plan in mind I started on the pedal box. I’ve heard from other kit car builders that this is the hardest part to get right. First I stripped down the pedal box that I removed from a MKV Ford Fiesta removing the pivot shaft, all the pedals and the clutch master cylinder. I had to trim some of the plastic away from the clutch master cylinder’s flange where, on the Fiesta provides a seal between the engine bay and passenger compartment. Then by drilling my first holes in the chassis (scary) managed to mount the clutch master cylinder using the existing bolts.

The pivot bar was then fitted through the holes at the top on the pedal box. The pedal had to be modified to allow it to fit hard up on the left hand side of the pedal box by cutting away the spring bracket. Fortunately the pedal is made of plastic so this was quite easy to do. Then the pedal fitted in easily and the the spring was re-mounted to allow the pedal to return.

Then I came to fit the brake pedal and hit my first snag.

From the picture you can see that the brake master cylinder is not in line with the pedal. The pedal cannot be positioned in line with the brake master cylinder for two reasons. One, the clutch and brake pedal are too close together and two, the brake pedal itself covers the hole in which the steering column passes through. I need to investigate whether an extension pin can be fitted to the pedal to actuate the brake master cylinder or if the brake master cylinder needs to be re-positioned entirely and blank off the existing hole.

30 December 2005
Until I can find out more about the brake master cylinder position, I’ll leave it. The only thing I do know is that the brake pedal has to be where it is. Period. I noticed on the demonstrator that there is a box around where the accelerator pedal sits, on mine that box is missing, it was never fitted so another approach for mounting the pedal has to be found.

I cut away the bracket from the Fiesta pedal box and flattened it and then drilled some mounting holes in it. It also had to be bent so that the pivot bar remains horizontal whereas the mounting point will be on a slope.

The pedal bracket was then mounted on the pedal box using M6x12 socket headed cap screws. The pedal was fitted and secured with the little circlip (which I kept losing) to stop it falling off the shaft. A little bit of metal was filed off the aperture to allow the pedal to travel fully. I need to buy some black hammerite to apply to all the bits of metal I have filed and drilled, The bracket also needs to be painted.

From the back of the car looking into the drivers footwell the pedals look right, although heel and toe may be a bit of a problem!! But the clearance between them is good even when wearing trainers.