November 2006

2 November 2006
I haven’t done that much to the R1ot over the last few days as I’m now waiting for parts. I’m in the process of obtaining a pair of drive shafts which are at the moment really holding things up and a new steering wheel, the boss is on order why it should take 5 days I don’t know. I was planning to remake the dash out of fibre glass but I’ve decided against that for now. It’ll take at least 2 to 3 weeks to make one and it’s just far too cold in my garage to make one properly so it’s back to making another aluminium dash panel. I was looking at some pictures of a finished r1ot and noticed that the builder had made the bend on the panel at least 50mm higher than I had which makes sense really as I would have bashed my knuckles on my dash every time I changed gear! I’m going to see about having a panel properly folded this time. I still don’t like the idea of having the digidash mounted flat on the dashboard so I’m going to look at making a spacer to turn it towards the driver.

So far I’ve been placing or getting ready to place orders for the trim and the electrics which should start arriving in the next week or so. I’ve also been trying to draw up a circuit diagram to wire up the car from. I thought this would be the easiest part for me since I do it for a living, but at work I either follow someone else’s diagram or make it up in my head as I go along. Instead I’ve been drawing separate diagrams for each system starting with the basic ignition switch, battery, starter and fuse box and then drawing a diagram on a separate piece of paper for the headlights and side lights, hazards and indicators etc etc and tying them back to the first diagram. This lets me decide on wire colours and ratings but not lengths which is going to be a guess. The orders for the remaining electrical parts will be going in early next week including the ETB digidash lite.

(nb. I’ve found my card reader so photo’s will be resuming soon.)

3 November 2006
I won a pair of Mk2 XR2 drive shafts on Ebay last night for the princely sum of £30. Very pleased should be getting them in the next few days. Things are starting to roll on now.

I also ordered some bits from Rally Design as well. I’ll place the remaining order for the electrical parts early next week as well. However I’ve got a friend turning up on Wednesday for a few days so I think I’ll be in no state to do any kit car work!!

Below is a photo of the fitted radiator fan, now I’ve found my card reader!!

6 November 2006
Some of the stuff that I had ordered started to come through the post today. I got some of the trim I had ordered from Woolies and a parcel came through from Rally Design. I decided against ordering any electrical parts for the time being as I still don’t know what I’m going to need just yet so that will be ordered for next week.

Out of the parts I got from Rally Design I has ordered some new steering rack gaiters as the original ones I found out had split which would definitely been an MOT fail let alone a SVA so they were replaced and I also got a pair of locking nuts for the track rod ands so I can finally get around to fit the nut covers. I had a go at setting the tracking by using lengths of wood clamped to the discs and trying to make sure that they were parallel, so I’ve got the tracking set, to a degree anyway.

I also replaced the clutch master cylinder reservoir with a larger item which also has a float switch built in which should keep the SVA man happy. I’ll get some proper hose to connect it as well as the hose I had used before had managed to split so some proper rubber brake pipe will be obtained.

The front brake lines that had been supplied by Sylva also seemed too short and after reading some topics on the forum had found that the SVA had been failed by some builders on this part as well so a flexible brake pipe kit for a Mk4 Cortina was ordered as well and those were fitted which gives a lot more play when at full lock.

I have also been looking at remaking the dash panel as mine was too large and I hit it with my knuckles every time I changed gear! so I’m making a new one. One of the problems I had was getting the dash to fit at the bottom edge so I made up a plate that I have riveted in place which will hold the dash in place and also allow the new dash panel to locate easier as getting it to clear the side bars is a bit of a pain. Plus I’ll be able to see where the screw holes are a bit easier without having to crane my head into the tunnel which usual ends up with a bad back!

I also made up a panel to cover up the steering column.It’s just a simple box cover but it makes the view under the bonnet a lot better and maybe a bit more professional(?).


14 November 2006
After a hectic weekend entertaining, I’m back on it, to a degree. About 10 days ago I won, on Ebay a pair of XR2 driveshafts which were apparently despatched by courier last Friday so they should have been here either today or tomorrow at the absolute latest. It’s these pair of driveshafts are completely screwing me up because I know that the moment I leave the house for five minutes I’ll come back to the “sorry, you weren’t home” card and I’ll have to drive 2 billion miles to some shed in the middle of nowhere to pick up my parcel. It’s been bugging me…

The steering wheel boss that I ordered finally turned up and went to pick it up last Sunday, guess what, it was the wrong type I asked for the collapsible deforming type and instead got the solid cast variety. Never order anything from anybody with a small head. A new one is on order from a different supplier and should be with me in about a week.

I turned my attention to fitting the battery. On Sunday I bought a new battery which was the largest I dared get that would fit in the space between the engine and the bulkhead. Then yesterday I proceeded to make a frame to hold the battery in place out of some angle iron and then welded it together. The whole lot was dressed and painted. The finished result is shown below.

The battery is secured by means of two threaded bars that are fitted either side of the battery and then a strip of angle iron is them bolted down on top of the battery holding it securely in place. The next image shows the frame in place on the chassis legs the white compound is sealant which I applied around the holes before securing the frame to prevent water from seeping into the holes and thus into the chassis.

The final image shows the battery in place and clamped down. It isn’t going to be moving around that is for sure!


16 November 2006
Drive shafts have finally turned up!! They are are pretty good condition too, I stripped off the old CV joints and got covered in that awful CV grease too, yuck. I gave them a quick clean and masked the ends off as I’m going to take them to the powder coaters tomorrow for a coat of bright yellow. I should get them back by next Friday.

I also managed to get out as well today and bought a drive belt for the engine. I’ve put together a guide here on how to select the right drive belt for your engine and hopefully save you many trips back and forward to the local motor factors. Now the belt is on and the tension has been set correctly I can start to put the over rear engine wing, rear wheel arch carrier and the wheel arch.

I went to my local engineering supplier and got some hose clips for the cooling system and also managed to get some black rivets. I think they are for securing car number plates and should be perfect for riveting on the trim plates on the side of the cockpit and won’t show up against the black vinyl.


17 November 2006
First things first I went over to Glenrothes to IPF to get the drive shafts powder coated. He reckons it’ll take about a week so I’ll pick them up next week. When I got back home I’d only been there when within the space of about 5 minutes 2 courier vans turned up bringing more parts that I had ordered, god know what the neighbours must think I’m up to!

Back on the car I got busy on the front end. I started to fit all of the radiator hoses. They are mainly made up from right angle 32mm hoses joined together with sections of the alloy pipe left over from the tubes that run through centre tunnel. I bought 20 jubilee clips the other day and used over half of them on the front end alone. There’s even more joint at the aft end (sorry rear, going all nautical) so I think another 20 will be required. I started on the lower pipe first getting that in place. The marks on the aluminium pipe show the mid point so when I push on the rubber hose I can get sufficient rubber hose over the pipe to get a good grip. A spot of washing up liquid also helped ease the hoses on and under the jubilee clip helped the clip “slip” and allowed me to get in sufficiently tight.

Then I fitted the top hoses in the same manner as the bottom hoses. After which I did a second check to make sure all the hose clips were tight and hopefully they wont pop off on the first time I run up the system.

I got on with getting the fuel tank fitted. I have already mounted the fuel pump and checked to see if the level gauge float has unimpeded travel to the top of the tank. I also made sure that the tank had also been thoroughly emptied of swarf and cleaned out with hot soapy water, I still need to get some M5 nyloc nuts to secure the rest of the locking ring. The tank is held in place with a single strap which is connected at one end to the fwd bulkhead over the top of the tank and to the floor using two M5 bolts in case I ever want to get the tank out again.

I made up a strap out of ally strip to hold the fuel filter in place, in this case to one of the fuel pump mounting bolts. I then proceeded to connect all the pieces together make well sure that I had got my feeds and returns the right way around. I’ll need to get a fuel tank breather at some point soon another order to Rally Design methinks.

I finished off the day by starting to see if I could get the bonnet to fit properly and started to file off the edges to lower it on the drivers side slightly. Its still not quite right so I’ll have to finish it off tomorrow. It was quite handy having a force 6 gale blowing outside as all I had to do was open the garage door and the back door and let the wind get all the glass fibre dust out of the garage for me!!

Icing on the cake… Found a message on the answering machine, the powder coater managed to slip my drive shafts in for me. I can pick them up tomorrow morning. Sweet.

18 November 2006
Picked up my drive shafts first thing this morning a job well done. I wasn’t counting on them being ready for a week so I haven’t ordered the CV joints just yet but will do early next week.

I bought some aerocatches for securing the bonnet and now I’ve got the bonnet to shut right by fining about 5mm off the drivers side of the bonnet edge it now sits flush. I decided I wanted to fit the catches on the side of the bonnet so I first worked out where I wanted them by drawing a cross hair on the body panel and used the enclosed template to achieve the shape of the cut out.

The cross-hair also allow me to set the position of the locking bar. Then it was time to drill loadsa holes around the inside edge of the cut out shape.

Then it was time to join all the holes up using a smaller drill as a rotary saw before filing out the shape. The lock was not yet fitted permanently just yet firstly the catches were modified to accept being used from the side as per the instructions. The locking pins were fitted next by copying the vertical cross hair over to the chassis and drilling a hole through to accept the locking bar.

When I had the locking bars in place I could close the bonnet and mark the holes for securing the locks in place. Since the panel is not quite flat in that area I had to fair the lock in with sealant to fill in the gap.

I then spent what must have been over an hour setting up the pins for the right height on both sides. I couldn’t use the bump stops as they would foul on the fibreglass when I tried to close the bonnet so I had to set them up so the pin in the lock would got through the upper end of the locking bar and then tighten the nuts up without the bar moving thus screwing up the locking action. I got it in the end and was able to fit some of the nut covers I had bought over the ends of the nuts and studs


19 November 2006
I had bought an angle section and some neoprene sealing rubber as to give somewhere for the bonnet to close down on to. A section of ally L section was cut and riveted to dash bulkhead this also serves to secure the over dash panel to the chassis as I hadn’t done it yet because of this. Then the neoprene sealing rubber was stuck onto the L section.

A similar piece of sealing rubber was stuck to the underside of the bonnet. Also the rubber trim on the edge of the bonnet was stuck on with glue.

Now the bonnet closes onto the seal and then the catches hold it in place and it doesn’t wobble about. I had also bought some steel mesh to make the grill for the nose cone. Wearing gloves a piece was cut to shape slightly larger then the opening before being bent around internal lip.

I then spray painted it black and left it to dry overnight and I’ll fit it tomorrow.

20 November 2006
Fitted the grill this morning. I used the black rivets that I had bought the other day. The rivets are the peel back type so that they create a large “spiders web” when they are popped. I drilled 4 holes around the inside edge of the opening and then I was able to feed the rivets through the mesh and pop them holding the mesh in place. Then blobs of sealant were applied over the grill where the rivets were popped for extra security and on the sides of the grill where there are no rivets.

I needed to get some thicker (3mm) aluminium to make up the head lamp brackets. I quick visit to a local metal suppliers had secured me a sheet of 3mm aluminium about 500mm by 1200mm for about £30. Only when I was cutting and trying to bend did I realise I’ve bought a sheet of Duraluminium. It should have cost 3 times what I paid for it! and it will be strong enough to make the exhaust securing brackets as well, if I can bend the damn stuff.

22 November 2006
It’s fair to say that everything yesterday went completely sideways. I made a huge cock up with mounting the head lights. After consulting my build manual (4 page magazine article) I guessed the best location to mount the headlights and made up my first bracket which I mounted on the 3 holes which I drilled into the bonnet. The ally I’m using for this is really hard to bend and if you bend it too much it will break, quite spectacularly. So if figured that it’ll be strong enough to mount the headlights without flapping around.

When I had mounted the headlight I realised I couldn’t turn the wheel as the wheel arch badly fouled the headlight. After I had got over the mild hysteria of drill the hole in the wrong place I decided my best course of action was to remake the bracket with the hole for the headlight further backwards, hence MkII.

It turned out that this bracket still didn’t move the head lamp back far enough either so a third bracket was made. I made the area that the head lamp base sits on larger so that it would support the head lamp better. This bracket did finally work and allows the steering to turn lock to lock without hitting the head lamp bowl. I also made up a spreader plate to go on the underside of the bonnet to avoid too much load being placed on the 3 holes that I drilled for the mounting of the bracket. Happy I had got it right I repeated the bracket for the other side of the bonnet as well. I may have to remove them again at some point to bend the brackets slightly so that the head lamps are more to the vertical.

Now that the front end of the car is complete, I’m working my way to the rear. I decided that where the panel over the dash meats the side panel I would like to do something there to make it look better. After drilling out the rivets that holds the panel on I used some of the wing piping I had and mounted it between the two panels before riveting it back on this time with larger rivets. It now looks better and also removes a potential sharp edge that may have caused an SVA fail.

Finally I have got the drive shaft issue figured out. If have MkII Ford Fiesta XR2 drive shafts and you need new CV joints, on the outer joints ie wheel side standard XR2 CV joints are fine. On the inner side you will need to note that there are two kinds of CV joints available. This one is used on cars from 1986 onwards and where the boot fits it will foul the block.

This CV joint was used on pre 1986 cars and has a longer body which will also allow a greater “plunge” to take up any slack and give a greater range of movement its AMK number is TDL3602 and it’s onlysuitable for use with XR2 drive shafts. The drive shafts for the smaller engine cars have a smaller diameter on the splines and will require different CV joints (obviously).

I’m going to try to fit them tomorrow as well as starting to sort out the body work on the back end.

23 November 2006
I fitted the near side drive shaft this morning the drive shaft itself went in okay but the suspension put up a bit of a fight when I went to bolt it back together, however I won and at least that’s one drive shaft in.

I will pick the other CV joint up later today and fit the other drive shaft tomorrow. I turned my attention to the glass fibre body work on the rear end. Unfortunately the drivers side wing fouls on the cam belt cover. I’m not removing the cam belt cover as one stone flicked up could snap the belt and write off the engine, so I’m going to try and remove a little bit of fibre glass to see if that will clear the engine. Also the oil filler neck sits a bit too high and may also foul on the engine cover so I might have to fit a maxpower style scoop to try and give me a bit more engine clearance although I might be lucky, might not.


26 November 2006
I decided to have a few days off the r1ot so I got on with some other jobs that needed doing. I managed to fit the other drive shaft today it only seemed to take ten minutes after the ordeal of fitting the shorter drive shaft last Thursday. Now the car is back on its wheels I decided to see if the clutch works and guess what it doesn’t. I put the car in gear and tried to move the car with the pedal pressed down and the clutch plate wouldn’t disengage. I’m going to try it tomorrow by lifting the car off the ground, then stopping the wheels from rotating using the hand brake and then with the pedal depressed and the car in gear using the starter motor to see if I can’t get the clutch to disengage. Failing that I might have to take the gearbox out and do it the hard way, blast!

:SUNDAY EVENING: I remembered that I had a Ford Technical Manual CD-ROM that I had bought off E-bay. Apparently if your slave cylinder has a grey plastic fitting on it this is called a “pre-load” valve. It’s purpose is to keep a constant pressure in the slave cylinder but not in the line to master cylinder so no vibrations are transmitted back to the pedal, as a result bleeding the system is different to normal. Firstly make sure you have sufficient fluid in the reservoir and top up as required. Then push the clutch pedal down and hold it there. Take a piece of tubing plug it onto the bleed screw and open the nipple until no more bubbles come out and close the nipple. Then pump the pedal 10 times, the system will automatically bleed any air out of the lines. Now when the clutch pedal is depressed it disengages, thank god I didn’t have to remove the gearbox. Remember if in doubt RTFM (Read The F&*king Manual)!!

27 November 2006
With the minor/major issue with the clutch resolved I started on with the fitting of the engine cover. I had a sneaky suspicion that engine was too high and would hit the fibre glass. I had to cut out a small part of the wing to clear the cambelt cover and then file away the underside so that it would clear the cover.

Once I had modified the wing to clear the cambelt cover and I could then bolt it back down into the position that it was in before the engine was fitted it was time to fit the cover itself. I removed the exhaust manifold for the time being as all I’m concerned with is getting the engine cover to fit, I’ll make the cut out to clear the tubes tomorrow. I t was soon obvious that the oil filler neck and the cambelt advance socket were going to foul on the underside of the cover. I drilled holes in the fibreglass to clear the protrusions, I’m going to try and obtain an engine scoop but until I know the exact size of it it’ll be foolish to cut a larger opening. The holes I have drilled will be okay for the time being and can always cut out a larger hole later.

I made a bracket to secure the forward edge of the cover against the bulkhead with a piece of aluminium which is riveted to the bulkhead and allows the engine cover to slide under it. I made small retaining brackets out of some L section that fit on the bottom edge of the cover. When the cover is on it almost holds itself in place however I will still need to make a retaining clip to hold it properly as knowing my luck it’ll ping off when I’m hoofing down the road.

I finished it off with a strip of rubber trim along the top edge of the bulkhead and glued it in place.

28 November 2006
I bought a new tool on ebay, it’s a DeWalt mains powered reversible 1/2″ impact wrench. I paid £100 for it on ebay and it’s money well spent it’s virtually new and would normally retail for about £250. It develops about 450NM of torque roughly double what an air impact wrench would develop, I wish I had bought one sooner as it would have made getting some of the parts I had bought undone a hell of a lot easier. Well worth the money.

Now the engine cover is fitted I made the cut out to clear the exhaust manifold. I made a template out of correx, it took about three attempts to get something I was happy with.

The template was then transposed onto the engine cover and then the engine cover was cut out. Unfortunately it didn’t clear as well as I hoped and a few modifications had to be made before it fitted properly and there was enough clearance around the manifold to prevent scorching the fibre glass when the engine is running.

I have ordered some Bilt-Hamber autoclay and polish so I’m going to avoid re-fitting the trim plates around the roll bar and making anymore hole in the fibreglass for now. I’ve still got to source a suitable bonnet scoop to disguise the hole I had to make for the oil filler neck and the camshaft advance connector. Personally I feel like a prat asking in car shops about bonnet scoops especially when they see my knackered chavalier outside and even though I say it is for a kit car they look at me like I’m some wannabe max power nut. Online purchase methinks!!

29 November 2006
Last thing last night I filled up the gearbox with oil. I came in the garage only to find a huge oil slick under the car. First of all I thought it may have come from the drive shaft oil seals but with further investigation it seemed to be coming from the pressed steel cover at the end of the gear box. I had a look and found that the flange had been bent over. It must have been like that when I bought it as it would take some force to bend it. I ordered a new cover from Ford and gaskets for a whopping £47 plus £35 of synthetic oil that has to be drained before I can take the cover off and replace it which I’ll do tomorrow. Scream? Yup.

With that PITA in the back of my mind I carried on with what I was doing before. I got on with mounting the exhaust silencer. I had obtained some heavy duty rubber mounts from Partco and mounted them on short lengths of angle iron which I bolted to the lower wishbone mounts and then into the lugs already attached to the silencer. I was then able to tighten up the exhaust clamps holding the system together.

Then I made up a small bracket to fit the fog light on. I made it so the securing nut is inside the boundary of the chassis so there are no sharp protrusions and also because it looks better.

I started to make up the rear number plate mounting plate but ran out of time to complete it today, so I’ll do that tomorrow as well after I’ve changed the gearbox and cover and (grr) refilled it with oil.

30 November 2006
Picked the replacements parts up from Ford this morning aaaannndddd they are the wrong ones. I don’t know why Ford feel compelled to change the designs of the parts quite so much. Anyhow not wanting to make the same mistake I removed the old cover and took it with me to get a replacement. So I got my money back and the new cover has cost me the princely sum of £5, figure that one out. I decided not to replace the part attached to the engine as it necessitate the removal of a couple of gear cogs and the reverse gear selector and I managed to straighten out the housing the bulk of the damage was on the cover anyway hopefully I’ll be able to fit the new cover tomorrow.

I decided to keep away from the rear end as now the gear box was exposed albeit covered with a plastic bag and didn’t want to risk anything that shouldn’t be in the gear box getting in there. I moved onto refitting the dash panel. The original panel I had made extended down too far and every time I wanted to change gear I would smash my knuckles into it and I wouldn’t be able to release the hand brake. I flattened out the original panel and used it as template for making a new panel. After I was happy and had made my new panel I needed to fold it. I screwed a broom handle to a piece of 4×2 and clamped the panel between that and another piece of 4×2 and put it in the workmate.

With a bit of gentle persuasion I was able to bend the new panel over the broom handle and get a nice smooth radius bend. Once the new dash panel was fitted I was shocked at the lack of space on the panel to fit any instruments. I was toying with the idea of using ETB dials but there was no way I could mount all the dials and switches on the available space. I’ve now reverted to back to my original plan of using the digi-dash. Even mounted slightly off the line sight I’d still be able to read the lights anyway. I was going to fit an ECU fed shift light in front of the steering wheel which I’d only be interested in anyway (ahem).