March 2006

1 March 2006
I got on with modifying the rear brake caliper mounts and chopped of the most of the mounting so that it would bolt to the fiesta hub. I fear I may have removed a bit too much on one of the brackets, no more than 1mm but it maybe too much, I’ll get some brass shim and will be able to pack it out if necessary. They will now go off to be also powder coated.

I’ve ordered my alloys from Ford and they reckon they should take a few days to arrive. I also had to order two washers that are used in the front hubs between the bearing and the nut, I can’t find the ones I took off. But I did pick up my bolts for securing the discs to the hubs. I couldn’t get any off the lock tabs that were fitted originally to the hubs that locked the discs on so I used Loctite Stud Lock to hold the discs on the hubs and then torqued to bolts up. Stud Lock should be just as strong as the locking tabs and Loctite doesn’t rust, unlike the locking tabs.

I then rebuilt the hubs with the new bearings and plenty of grease and fitted them back on the stub axles. I will tighten them properly when I get the washers. I then de-greased one of the discs and fitted one of my calipers, with the pads. I’ve only got one set of the caliper bolts and need another, if anybody has got any let me know.

During the day my steering rack clamps and track rod ends arrived, so I got on with fitting the rack and ends.Fitting the rack was relatively easy and bolted on with no real problems. Before I put it on I also centred it wrt the input shaft. From there its was easy enough to see how the track rod ends are bolted on.

I used Loctite to secure the track rod ends to the extension pieces. I then noticed that to allow adjustment of the toe I would need to cut about 12mm off the ends of the steering arms.

By doing this I could then refit the track rod ends and get my toe right and still have enough room to fit a locking nut. I’m going to leave setting the toe until I have fitted the wheels, it should make it a bit easier.

2 March 2006
Popped down Fords this morning to pick up my washers and was told the alloys were in too. Excellent. Decided to finish the front hubs first. I fitted the washers and packed the hub cover with grease before hammering it back on, finished. The alloys are perfect and fit perfectly there isn’t a lot of clearance between the rim and the chassis components but it is enough, just. I’ve also had to remove some of the powder coating on the hubs where the alloy sits otherwise it wont go on. The hubs are, surprisingly, machined to quite tight tolerances so the thick powder coating is enough to stop the alloys from fitting properly. I think you’ll agree they look the mutts, need to order the tyres now.

Noticed some thing else which alarmed me. The off side front suspension rocker is sitting hard up against the brake master cylinder.

It when I push the suspension down it takes the load off the brake master cylinder. But if the tyre left the road when I’m driving it the recoil could snap the brake master cylinder off leaving me with no brakes. Obviously when there is load in the car the suspension rocker will not be anywhere near the brake master cylinder but I’ll have to keep an eye on it.

3 March 2006
Today has been possibly the worst day I’ve had since I started this build. To fit the radiator I needed to fit the bonnet. That was the easy part. I fastened the hinges I had bought to the chassis with rivets and then drilled holes through the bonnet and made up some ally plates to spread the load on the other side of the bonnet. Job done now the bonnet swings like it should and allows me to fit the radiator.

I then decided to fit the rear wings and this is where the nightmare started. I made some templates for cutting the glass fibre away to fit around the roll bar and supports. I thought I had got it right, but I hadn’t. Since the panel is on a curve and you can’t really align the wings as there is too much metal work in the way. I had to file so much fibreglass off to make it fit there is now some really ugly big holes and I itch all over from the fibreglass. I’m going to have to make some serious trim plates to hide the holes I have cut. I think really Sylva should supply 3 rear wings not 2. To allow you to make a real pigs ear getting it to fit properly and then do it better on the other 2.

After getting it to fit the best I could I used angle aluminium to make up brackets to hold it in place and used M6 rivnuts and bolts to hold the wing in place.

The finished result isn’t too bad and I’ll have to get some button headed screws instead to sockets headed screw otherwise I won’t pass the SVA on projections. I’ll have to figure out how to make some trim plates tomorrow.

4 March 2006
After the disaster that was yesterday I decided to make good the holes I had created. The problem is that the roll bar support passes through the panel at an angle, thus it’s no longer a circle but an ellipse. I’m crap at drawing an ellipse that has to be 53mm long and 34mm wide. I tried using some French curves, that didn’t work. Then I stumbled on an idea, what draws a perfect ellipse? A computer!! I used Microsoft Draw to make an ellipse for me with the above dimensions, then made another ellipse 20mm larger around that. The finished trim plate was then printed onto self adhesive paper which I could stick on a sheet of aluminium.

The I cut it out with a jigsaw and filed the edges to match the pattern. I had to split it so I could get it around the roll bar support and then bolted it in place with button screws. It was the I realised that the bar doesn’t pass through the wing parallel to the side of the panel, but at an angle. This explains why I made such a mess of cutting the hole out.

Then I made a trim plate to cover the hole made for the roll bar. The same process was used again, making the template on the computer and then printing it out on a sticker and cutting around. One of the advantages to doing this way is that the template is always the same and the trim plates on the other side will be the same. However I think I over did the screws methinks!

Finally a trim plate was made to cover the join where I cut out the panel to allow the wing to fit around the roll bar support and held in place with more screws. I think I will replace the screws with rivets as the screws are fiddly to fit and I can’t do them up too tight or I will split the fibreglass. I have some rivets that are suitable for use with fibreglass and pop early so the fitting is tight but not excessive and nothing can come undone with vibration.

It’s back to work on Monday for another 4 weeks. I’m only down at the dockyard so build time will be limited to evenings and half days at the weekend, so I wont be able to crack on at the pace I have been able to sustain over the last 4 weeks. During February I think I have been able to devote about 110 hours to the build, not bad, but I’m not counting!

11 March 2006
Hi, I’m a tool, yes a tool, tool, tool. Martin from R1ot-act has informed me that I have indeed put the shock on the wrong way around. I didn’t notice that they were different lengths, the front ones being about 25mm shorter than the rear ones. That is why the front suspension rocker pushed up against the brake master cylinder. I’ve changed them around and retorqued the bolts. It looks a lot better now and the front rockers are now level. At least I got the springs the right way around 200’s on the front and 400’s on the rear. I’m a tool!

I’ve been back at work this week and the first half of the week was at a Rolls Royce seminar down in Manchester so I’ve got very little done on the Riot. Yesterday afternoon However I managed to get the car on all 4 wheels!! I was surprised to see how low the car rides when it’s on it’s wheels. But before I could get the wheels on I had to use a bit of force to get the wheels to clear the mud guard carriers. The front ones needed bending back by a few degrees to clear the wall of the tyre and the mud guard supports needed to be totally reshaped to clear the tread. The two front wheels are now ready to accept the mud guards. I think I’m going to bond them on with some automotive glue/sealant.

The rear mud guard carriers ended up being rather more difficult. I just couldn’t be them enough to clear the tyre wall and when I did manage to bend them enough I managed to crack one of the welds, (gorilla). I’ve decided to re-fabricate the rear mud guard carriers totally from scratch and incorporate bends in the fabrication to clear the tyre wall. I don’t need to do that at the moment anyway and plenty more can be done to the car before they need to be fitted. I’ll be looking at doing that in one to two months time.

Just a few more pictures to show the car from the front and rear riding at the right heights.

Next jobs on the list are to mount the other rear wing, mount the radiator and run in the brake lines to the flexible hoses. That is probably all I’m going to do this week.

12 March 2006
Couldn’t quite figure out why it was so quiet this morning while I was lying in my pit. Got up looked out the window and saw this…

We’ve had almost 20cm’s today but it didn’t stop me getting into the garage and on with the R1ot. Heater was handy though!

I started on fitting the other rear wing. After the fitting disaster I had with the first wing I decided to take careful measurements and double checked them before any cutting took place. I was surprised to see that I had got the holes spot on and didn’t require a lot of filing to get the wing to fit in place. Unlike the first attempt.

Since I already had the templates on the computer for making the trim plates it was an easy task to print the trim plates into a sheet of self adhesive paper stick it on the aluminium and cut it out. I decided that I would rivet these trim plates on instead of using the screws like I did on the other wing. I went through on the first wing and replaced all of the screws with rivets and it looks ok. If I ever need to take the wings off I can always just drill out the rivets and fit new ones. Also I don’t ever have to worry about them vibrating loose.

I then started work on the trim plate that goes around the roll bar. I had made it and drilled it and was in the process of fitting it when I realised I needed to trim a bit off to make it fit properly. Unfortunately I trimmed too much off and balls’d it up. I now have one scrap aluminium trim plate. I’ll need to make a new one, but not today it’s too cold and I’m hungry.

13 March 2006
I have not done anything on the R1ot today as I’ve been at work, but I did get something for the car.

This start switch came from one of the ships’ group starter boards and was originally used to start the General Service Air Compressor it’s probably as old as the ship so that makes it about 30 years old. Some people fit classic car parts to their kit cars, I’m fitting classic ship parts!!!

18 March 2006
Finally got back on the car today, what with work and it being absolutely freezing cold I haven’t felt like doing anything to the car. Even with the heater on at max chat it couldn’t make a difference.

I made a list of jobs to do as it seemed the easiest way to tackle things. I decided that I should finish off some of the panelling. I made up a template for the panel that sits on top of the foot wells and cut out a aluminium panel for riveting in place. I’ve got to be a bit careful now as I have all my off cuts but need to choose them carefully as I still need longer pieces for the tunnel top and across the top of the dash. SO I wrote on the pieces that I had left as not to accidently use them for something else!!

I made sure the I fitted the short panel on the tunnel top first as getting to it once the foot well top panel is fitted access would be impossible, I had made that panel up ages ago and had never got round to fitting it. However once fitted with rivets at 30mm centres, a bit of an overkill I must admit, but that is how I fitted the side panels. Fitting the top panel was a doddle and has allowed me to fit the steering column in the right position.

19 March 2006
The next job on the list was to sort out the brake lines. Starting at the front I made up the short pipe that connects the master cylinder to the T piece before securing both the pipe and T piece to the chassis. I made sure that I had bent the tube well out of the way of the N/S rocker in case I ever have to remove it. The 2 pipes that connect to the flexible hoses have been made but not yet secured in place as they will need to be modified to fit the flexible hoses when I get them.

Moving onto the rear I had already fitted the T piece when I fitted the central brake line so I was an easy enough task to fit the lines that run down to the rear flexible hoses. I’ve run them along the upper chassis rails and bent them roughly into position, again they will have to be modified to fit the hoses.

Whilst I was at it I tidied up the rest of the lines as they came out of the tunnel. I tidied up the clutch line I still don’t know the final position of the where the clutch hose will go but have left plenty of excess tube for any eventuality. I made up a small mounting plate and P clipped the two fuel lines to it and cut the tube down ready to accept fuel hose, to connect to the fuel rail on the engine. Finally I covered all the exposed ends of the lines to prevent any crud from getting inside.

A call will need to be made this week to order some parts from Sylva and also to source some caliper mounting bolts, which I still haven’t got around to ordering. Hopefully the weather will start to significantly warm up soon so I’ll feel more like working in the evening.

25 March 2006
During last week I ordered some parts from Sylva. I got a set of flexible brake hoses, the hand brake cable kit and the steering link piece. When I was last down at the factory I handed in my right hand engine mount which needed to be modified to suit the 1.7L engine. So that was also going to be included in the order. I’ll let y’all know if it fits so if anybody else is thinking of using the 1.7L engine the engine mount will fit.

I decided to get on with fitting the radiator. I decided I would make up some brackets using the 16G aluminium and bend the using my sheet metal bender (For the first time:). Ended up making 4 brackets in total as the first pair sat the radiator too low and it fouled on the nose cone. Off they came and two new brackets were made, this time moving the radiator upwards by 20mm.

I fastened the radiator to the brackets my tapping the holes on the side of the radiator out to M6 and when secured with Allen bolts did up nice and tight without the threads stripping. I think the plastic must be reinforced with glass or something. My little pot of cash for the build is slowly diminishing so I think I’m going to have to wait for the until I get paid at the end of the month before I can get the fan and hose fittings.

I decided that I would also re-fit the bonnet as taking it on and off all the time is beginning the damage it besides with the front end up on axle stands I can swing it right out of the way if I need to work on the front end. Once the radiator pipes, the fuel ancillaries and the horn (twin air horn!!) is fitted there isn’t going to be a lot of room up there!

Although with the bonnet fitted and it’s big gaping mouth filled with a radiator it’s looking good

31 March 2006
During the week I bought a Mountney steering wheel and Boss on ebay. Picked it up after work this afternoon, it’s a 10″ diameter leather steering wheel and it’s tiny! The only problem I can see is that the boss diameter is quite large and the space around the boss on the dashboard is limited and I won’t be able to mount the rev counter and speedo directly behind the steering wheel so I’m going to have to play with layouts.

I also picked up my air horn from Halfords. I can testify that it is extremely loud and my ears are still ringing after setting it off, perfect for small loud coloured car, a loud horn to go with it. It’s starting to get pretty tight for space up front and will get tighter as I fit the rest of the parts for the cooling system and the fuel system.

I ordered a rear brake fluid reservoir for a motor bike to use for the clutch. It’s a bit smaller that I thought it would be but I’ll see how I get on with it. Fitting it was simple just a simple bracket on the side of the pedal box, I just made sure that the base of the reservoir was higher than the clutch master cylinder so I will always have a head of fluid in the system.

I also started the last of the major panels, the dashboard and scuttle. All I had time to do today was fit the panel that is fitted at the rear of the dashboard. I put a bend along the bottom edge and riveted that to the foot well top panel, I’ll fit the rivets along the top edge when I get the dashboard top fitted, which I intend to do tomorrow.

In the photo you can also just see the panel that covers the aft end of the pedal box, I re-made the panel and made it so it now have a edge the I have riveted to the foot well top panel. I did this as I have a bracket attached to it that has the return spring for the clutch pedal attached to it and the original panel used to flex when the pedal was depressed. There was also a gap that water could get into the foot well. I’m going to have to go around all the excessive panel holes that were cut to clear the tube with sealant, I’ll do this before they become too inaccessible.