May 2005

Date Event



Rear Dumb Irons

The holiday to Los Angeles and Hawaii has come and gone.  I must admit to not thinking too much about the car whilst I was away.   Since my return, over a week ago, I have not been able to do any work on the car until today. A combination of jet lag, family commitments and work is my excuse.   Today I fitted the RHS rear grommet for the rear dumb iron.  I have to say this is the most tedious and time consuming job.  With a combination of slow careful work coupled with frequent trial fits I managed it.  The whole problem with this job is that  you are fitting a circular grommet at an angle, over the chrome distance piece. This created on oval hole in the bodywork. The grommet then has to be stretched in to place and fitted. I've left the grommets in place in the hope they will stretch in to place and become easier to fit.



Rear Dumb Irons

Now that I have fitted the grommets and the distance pieces it was time to work out the length of the distance pieces required.  When the dumb irons are assembled on the cat the upright part is supposed  to be vertical.  I removed the grommets an the distance pieces  followed by the brackets. I decided the the distance pieces would be better fitted if they butted up against a plain nut rather than the weld joining the round bar and the flat plate.  I threaded a nut (A) as far down the bar as it would go. This will act as the butt stop.   I measured from the end of the bar to the plain nut (1)  (to determine the overall usable length of the bar (L)).  I refitted the bracket to the chassis. I then threaded a plain nut and washer on to the bar (2) far enough down the bar that it would not interfere with adjusting the dumb iron vertical position.  I  hung the dumb iron on to the bar whilst I did up the chassis securing bolts.  Finally fitting another plain nut and washer (3) to the bar to secure the dumb iron.  The garage floor slopes, so to gauge the true vertical of the dumb iron I jacked up the font of the car until the chassis was level as measured on a spirit level.  Holding the spirit level against the upright I tightened the outer plain nut (3) until it was vertical. Then I tightened the inner nut (2) against the dumb iron to clamp it in position.  The distance between the face of the dumb iron and the face of the first nut (1) is the length of the spacer required.  The trick is to remove the dumb iron by undoing nut (3) without disturbing nut (2) and the plain washer. Once this is done measure from the end of the threaded rod to the face of the washer (X)  The length of the distance piece required will be (D) = (L-X) . The actual figure will depend on the positioning of the brackets and is like to vary from car to car and from side to side  I tried different ways of determining the length of the distance piece and came up with a figure +/- 1 mm of (D).  Repeat for the other side Dumb Iron and bracket.



Rear Bumper Spacers


I had arranged with John Hopkins to take the spacers up to his workshop, cut them to length and true them up on the lathe.  Following on from my decision to to butt the  spaces up to nuts as above. I assembled the dumb irons and distance pieces and rechecked the measurements, before going up to see him. The morning was spent with me cutting the spacers slightly oversize and John trimming them down to size and boring the oversize holes to accept the nuts. on the lathe.  The result was very accurately sized distance pieces. Another advantage of butting the distance pieces against the nuts is the the nuts can be used to adjust the position of the distance pieces if necessary.  This afternoon I refitted the distance pieces, grommets and dumb irons,. On final assembly the dumb irons are secured to the threaded bar with a chrome domed nut.  It was obvious that I would need to shorten the threaded bar to tighten the dumb iron in place.  I had about 50mm of bar protruding from the distance piece. I measured the depth of the domed nut, the thickness of the washer and the dumb iron. It came to about 25 mm.  Two plain nuts and a washer threaded on the bar and just over finger tight against the distance piece, provided a suitable guide to saw the end off the bar.  Dressing the end of the screw thread with a file ensured that the domed nut would thread on easily. I refitted the dumb iron tightened up the domed nut and checked it's position. All very satisfactory. However I had a slight gap in the join between the grommet and the body work (at about the 7 0'Clock position).  It would need filling. I removed the dumb iron, grommet and distance piece, mixed some body filler, applied it and left it overnight to dry.


4 hrs

Rear Dumb Irons

I returned to fitting he dumb irons, grommets and distance pieces.  I reworked the the body filler and refitted the LH grommet, distance piece and dumb iron. the result better but not good.  I left it while I worked on the R.H side. I removed the dumb iron and measure the length of the thread protruding from the distance piece. I shortened it to approx 25 mm as described above.  I refitted the dumb iron.   Tightening the securing nuts and bolts of the dumb iron and the bracket placed the dumb iron and bracket under tension. This  pulled the grommet out of shape and position on both sides,  It was clear that although I had taken care and many attempts to fit the grommets the holes in the bodywork were not only misaligned but too big.  All of this stems back to the fact that the grommets are round and being stretched to an oval to fit the slope of the body work which in turn compresses the inside of the grommet at the  top and the outside of the grommet at the bottom.  I considered  fitting edge beading instead of the grommets, this would mould itself to the shape and contour of the bodywork.  Whatever the solution, I would need to fill the holes and start again.  This time I would use completely assembled and tightened dumb iron to determine the position of the holes.  I removed the dumb irons and distance pieces and grommets.  I wrapped each dumb iron in cardboard to form a tube, securing it with masking tape I refitted the distance pieces, dumb iron and tighten all the securing bolts. This pulled the dumb iron and mounting bracket into its final position. I then masked up to the edge of the cardboard tube to bridge the gap between the tube and the bodywork on the exterior of the body. The masking tape follows the contour of the body so that when the body filler is applied from the inside a correctly contoured surface is presented on the outside, once the tape is removed. I mixed up the body filler and applied  it from the inside of the body. It was left to cure overnight.  These grommets and dumb irons are proving to be a major stumbling block.



Rear Body
Bumper Mounting

The body filler had dried overnight. I know the holes are going to be too small for the grommets but will be the correct shape.  I also know that the hole required for the grommets needs to be 3mm lager than the distance piece all round. I marked a distance of 3mm from the distance pieces, in small increments around the circumference, on the masking tape. Joining these marks replicated the shape but 3mm larger, giving me a good guide on how much to open out the holes. I removed the distance pieces and transition brackets and suing the Dremel sanding drum carefully opened out the holes to just inside the 3mm line. Frequent trial fitting of the grommet, distance pieces and transition brackets I gradually opened out the holes until the grommet fitted and the whole assembly fitted.  It is not easy fitting the distance pieces through the grommet on to the transition brackets because the distance pieces must pass through the grommets at an angle, but with care making sure the holes are not opened out too far it eventually fits.  I resembled the dumb irons and checked the vertical position and the position of the grommets.  At last I seem to have and acceptable fit of all the components.



Rear Dumb Irons

Relieved that I had finally got an acceptable fit I had to remove the dumb irons today for a number of reasons. I painted the bare metal in the bottom mounting holes to prevent rust at a later date.  I mixed up some body filler to touch up the edge of the hole for the grommet in the RHS. This was cosmetic really  I broke a small piece of the edge when I removed the masking tape, which didn't show but I felt it needed replacing.  I drilled the RHS dumb iron to accept the fog lamp.  I trial fitted the LHS over-rider. It looks like I've got to make a slightly longer fixing stud for the top mount.



Rear Bumper


I found some long set screws to fit the over-riders. I cut the heads off and these to make some studs of just the right length.  I reassembled the LH dumb iron securing it with bolts, plain & spring washers to the chassis bracket. I secured the dumb iron to the distance piece with domed nut, plain and spring washer. I checked the vertical position with a spirit level and all was OK.   I fitted the over-rider using domed nuts, plain and spring washers.  I evened up the hole for the RHS distance piece and rechecked this for size by fitting the dumb iron without the grommet. Satisfied, I fitted the transition bracket distance piece and grommet. I refitted the dumb iron the same as the LH side. When I cam to fit he over-rider I discovered the fitting kit contained 2 longer studs, the same as I had made earlier. Clearly the kit should have contained 1 long and one short. and had been mixed up in packaging to supply 2 short in one package and 2 long in the other. So my stud making had really been a waste of time. Finally I have dumb irons and over-riders fitted.  I will need to make some slight adjustment to the boot lid because it slightly rubs against the over-riders when it is being closed. Also the RHS dumb iron and over-rider is closer to the body work than the LHS. I know they are equidistant from the chassis so the discrepancy must be in the shape of the body.  This can be sorted at finishing time, before painting.



Fuel Tank

Rechecked the markings for the fuel tank and the filler neck hole. I covered the hole in the fuel tank with masking tape . I Drilled a pilot hole to determine the centre of the proposed cut out was over the tank neck.  Drilled a 2" hole in the body to accommodate the filler neck. the hole is slightly too far forward but can be adjusted to the correct position


Fuel Tank Filler

 I tested the position of the hole with a steel rule held vertically against the edge of the bodywork . The 2" hole I drilled for the filler neck / adapter was, at its front edge directly over the fuel tank neck  and central. I cut a 2¼" diameter circle as a pattern out of cardboard.  Positioned it over the hole centralized with the fuel tank aperture and drew around it.  I opened out the hole, using the Dremel, to just inside the line, making sure the hole was still centralized on the fuel tank. I trial fitted the fuel cap neck to ensure the hole was perfectly round.  The neck of the tank is graduated and it could now be inserted up to half way,  I measured the final diameter if the neck and made another template. The template was once again placed on the bodywork and drawn around checking the final position was symmetrical  with the hole. Using the Dremel I opened out the hole until the filler neck /  adapter could be fully fitted.  with the filler neck in place I measure the length of hose required (75 mm) to connect it to the filler tank. I cut the hose to length with a hack saw.  I cleaned up all the body filler / GRP dust with a vacuum cleaner finishing off with a damp cloth, before trial fitting the hose.  I trial fitted the filler cap to position the neck and marking the securing holes.  However I decided to hold off from drilling the holes until I have made the Monza filler cap SVA compliant.  When this has been done, I will recheck the fitting and alignment of the cap before finally drilling the securing holes.



Fuel Tank Cap

I removed the Monza filler cap. SVA regulations state that the edges of  all projections greater than 5mm from the bodywork must be  radiused  to 2½mm. The Monza cap will fail this as supplied in the areas of the hinge and hinge mounting, the ridge across the cap and the rear of the cap that projects forward of the hinge. Choosing the polished aluminium cap it is possible to round the offending edges with an equalizing file. Then finish off with a combination of Dremel accessories to remove any lacquer, scratches and finally polish. It is necessary to remove the lacquer protecting the cap to obtain and evenly polished finish.  There is not much to say about this except work carefully and slowly and lots of elbow grease with emery paper, wet and dry paper to achieve the finish you want.  You will lose the brushed aluminium effect but the brighter finish is more n keeping with the rest of the bright work.

Total hours this month = 33


Total hours to date = 1069