February 2005

Date Event



Body - Front Dumb Irons

I was going to finish fitting front dumb irons and wing stays today. I found that I could not fully tighten the chrome mountings. the reason was that  the plain nut behind the wing tightened against the chrome fitting before it was tight against the wing. I needed an extra 25mm washer behind the wing as a distance piece this would slide over the chrome fitting and limit it's protrusion through the back of the wing and thus give me sufficient adjustment on the securing nut.  I thought I had some spares but could not find them, so I abandoned further attempts at fitting the dumb irons until I can get some more washers tomorrow.    I turned my attention to the boot bridge stays. As I had feared I should have measured and made the stays before I fitted the fuel tank.  After a certain amount of soul searching to see if I could manage to make and fit the stays in situ I decided it was impossible.  Nothing for it but to remove the boot lid and the  fuel tank. With the boot lid removed the tank came our fairly easily.   I found a some 2mm x 25mm drawn steel to use for  the stays. The manual says 3mm steel but I think  2mm steel  will be OK.   I made a prototype for the LHS which has turned out to be slightly too short.  I'll get some more steel tomorrow and make another.



Boot Bridge Stays

I finished making the boot lid stays apart from painting them. The stays need to be tailor made to the car to allow for the wing bolts being in slightly different places. It took two attempts to get them right.  The two prototypes I made were about " too short. The main reason being that it is difficult to get an accurate measurement in situ and I decided to to bend the the end of the stay that attached to the boot bridge to get the angle right.  For guidance my stays were 12"  long on the LHS and 13" long on the RHS.  The mounting holes in each end were slotted to allow for variations in angle and length.  The ends were  also radiused to a 1" semicircle to get the best possible fit, particularly at the wing bolts where the body  contour can be a little tight  The end connecting to the boot bridge was bent 25mm from the end to create the correct angle between the boot bridge and the chosen wing mounting bolt. To orientate the stay, a 90 degree twist is needed. Using 2mm steel it is easy enough. Measure the straight portion of the stay and mark the centre.  Protect the stay with masking tape, placed and centred on approx 30mm either side of the centre mark. Mark a distance of 30mm from the centre mark  on the masking tape.  Place the stay vertically in a vice with the lower mark  square and level with the jaws and tighten.  Grip the the upper mark squarely with a set of mole grips such that the lower edge of the mole grips is on  30 mm mark and square across the stay.  Turn the mole grips to put a 90 degree twist in the stay.   2mm steel strip is easy to twist cold, thicker material may require some heat to assist the twisting.  If you thought  2mm  material was a bit flimsy it is surprising how much stiffer it becomes when the twist is out in it. The end which attaches to the wing bolt should now be flat and orientated correctly. Trial fit the stay  to the upper outboard hinge bolt and place over or near to the chosen wing bolt mark where the wing bolt touches the stay.  Using this as an approximate centre mark, mark drill and slot two 7mm holes. Radius the end of the stay about 4mm beyond the slot. This last operation will need to be done carefully, by trial and error to ensure the stay fits comfortably inside the interior contour of the body and the exact measurement will depend on the position of the wing bolt.  They are finished and a satisfactory fit, I'll paint them overnight and fit them tomorrow.



Body - Fuel Tank Sender




Boot Bridge Stays

Yesterday I finished painting the boot bridge stays.  With the fuel tank out of the way it will be easier to mark and cut the access hole in the LHS inner rear  wing for access to the tank sender. I measured the position of the tank sender relative to the edges of the tank and transferred these to the inside of the rear wing next to where the tank will fit.  Today I rechecked the measurements, placed masking tape in position  and marked a rectangle  5" x 3" .  I checked the measurements again to make sure the hole was going to big enough to get my hand in and in the right position.  Using a stepped drill I drilled out the corners of the rectangle to a radius of " then cut out the hole with a pad saw and finishing off with a file.  I the cut a plate 6" x 4" to act as a cover.  I drilled M6 holes in each corner. Placed the plate inside the wheel arch. Aligning the plate over the hole I marked where the holes came. Drilled the holes out to 9mm and inserted 4 M6 rivnuts.  I trial  fitted the plate then removed it for painting.  The cover plate is not strictly necessary since that area will be exposed to road dirt and grime but neatens up the job.

I then turned my attention to the boot bridge and the stays. I adjusted the boot bridge and hinges again because I was dissatisfied with the fitting of the boot lid.  When the fuel tank was in position I could not easily reach and adjust the body support bracket. I decided to fit 2 x M6 rivnuts to the boot bridge so that I could easily adjust the bracket from the boot aperture when the fuel tank was in place.   I experimented with the bracket to see if I could get a flush fit with the rivnut heads by opening up the slots in the bracket but I'm not pleased with the end result in terms of security of attachment so I will make a new bracket tomorrow



Boot Bridge Body support Bracket & Stays

I made the new bracket today out of 25mm x 25mm x 4mm angle iron.  I slotted two fixing holes at 2" centres to agree with the fixing holes in the  boot bridge. I drilled out the holes in the boot bridge to 9mm and  fitted 2 x M6 rivnuts. I trial fitted the bracket and removed it again for painting.  I continued painting the blanking plate ,I made yesterday,   for the access hole to the fuel tank sender.

I got Greg to give me a hand fitting the boot bridge stays.  It is much easier with two people because the contour of the body restricts the space above the securing bolt making it awkward to fit  and start the nut whilst, at the same time, trying to reach around the body work to screw up the bolt. 



Collected the parts I had ordered for part 3 of the build from Nostalgia. Great day out, fantastic weather.  5 vehicles undergoing finishing at the workshop. The prototype "C" type was there clothed in it's aluminium body and a Hawk Cobra being finished for a customer.  The News of the day was that wire wheels are definitely not compliant for SVA.  Cars submitted for SVA testing from now on will have to be submitted with steel or Alloy wheels.

Body support Bracket

Just two simple jobs today, fitting the new body support bracket to the boot bridge and the blanking plate to the rear wheel arch to cover the access hole to the fuel tank sender.  This did not take very long. the rest of the time was spent checking the parts I got from Nostalgia for shortages .



Body  GRP in General

Bonnet & doors

Earlier in the week, it was good to see the standard of bodywork of cars being finished by Nostalgia at the factory. One of the problems I had with the bodywork was the quality of  fit of various parts . GRP is notorious  for variations in fitting parts together, particularly  when their shape is as complex as the "120"  On the other hand much can be done once the parts are assembled to correct contours, shut lines, and blemishes to produce a high quality finish.  If you have never seen a part finished Classic 120 then you do not have a standard for comparison and thus you are unsure whether the parts you have fitted are a poor fit because of moulding variations or bad workmanship.   I had managed to improve the fit of my bonnet  by talking ot Nostalgia but there was nothing like seeing the actual thing to realise you could improve the fit of any part.  I had been dissatisfied with the fit on my doors in relation to the front and rear body shell.  The bottom front of the passenger door was proud of the front body shell contour.   I removed the door today to slot the holes for the hinges.



Body - Doors

I slotted the holes for the hinges today, a little at a time, trial fitting after each adjustment of the holes. At each trial fitting I was able to push the bottom of the door further in until finally it followed the contour of ht font shell.  In  adjusting the front of the door inevitably affected the height of the rear of the door, the shut line and contour in relation to the rear body shell.  The height I adjusted by removing shims from the lower hinge finally ending up with a 3 mm shim in place.



Body - doors

I continued adjusting the passenger door today. Whilst much improved I decided to reduce the shim down to 2mm to improve the alignment with the rear body shell.  The door also catching the bottom of the rear wing and "B" Post.  The problem appeared to be the fit of the "B" post to the rear wing. I slackened the nuts securing the "B" post to the wing. the "B" post to the mounting bracket and  rear wing stay. Using a combination of fine saw and flat file I trimmed the front of the wing to remove some surplus material.  Refitted it but It still caught, nothing for it but try again. a further trial fit accompanied by a slight trimming of the back bottom edge of the door fixed it.   I had similar problems with the rear of the drivers door. I had taken measurements of the height of both doors and they were almost identical.  The shoulder of the rear of the drivers door was slightly above the rear wing. I determined that the solution was to raise the "B" past and with it the rear wing.  I slackened of the mounting bracket bolts and the 1st of the rear body shell mounting bolts, then using a bottle jack raised the "B" post slightly until the alignment was correct.  Keeping the bottle jack in place I tightened all the bolts, The result much improved alignment.  However it still sticks slightly but I should be able to improve that by adjusting the "B" post backwards tomorrow.


Body  - Doors

I adjusted the position passenger door in relation to the  rear body shell again today by raising the rear body shell slightly using the bottle jack method I had used on the drivers side.  Having done this I found the rear edge of the door needed trimming at the bottom. Using a 2mm strip of aluminium as a guide I marked how much I needed to trim from the door.  Using a combination of a sanding drum in the Dremel and a Black and Decker sanding mouse I trimmed the door down.  I had got it to a  reasonable state of fit when the B&D Mouse blew up.  At 30 for a new one it is not worth repairing.   I continued with the adjustment of the drivers door. It matched the contour  of the rear wing and body shell but needed slight adjustment.  I slackened the rear wing to give me more and easier movement to adjust the rear wing stay. Moving rear wing inward to match the body . door  line pulls the front of the wing backwards and increaser the gap between the wing and the rear edge of the door.  I had adjusted the stay which had improved  the situation when I noticed that I could improve the alignment of the front edge of the door.  I decided to leave it for now.

Refitted the fuel tank


Total Hours this Month = 33


Total hours to date =   979