November 2004

Date Event



I didn't have a 1/2" UNF Tap set, so  I took the Boot / Bonnet keep plates to John Hopkins to drill and tap.  John, an experienced engineer and restorer of classic Lotus cars , drilled and tapped them in a couple of hours.  All that was left for met to do was to paint them.



During the week I  painted the keep plates. A couple of coats of etching primer and a couple of coats of  Black Hammerite Smooth I also  marked the boot aperture to give rim of 15mm. With the paint dry I cut the boot aperture with a pad saw , rounding the corner at the top of the boot opening with a sanding drum, fitted to the Dremel.  A trial fit of the boot lid showed I needed to trim some more off. The build manual gives 12mm - 15mm. I found a hacksaw blade exactly 12mm wide. The blade being flexible meant that I could use it to mark the width of  the rim by laying it against boot lid recess, following the contour of the rim and marking the edge with a pencil to get exactly 12mm.  This time, because I only had a small amount of material to take off I used a cutting wheel fitted to the Dremel. changing over to the sanding drum to shape the corners. The boot lid still does not fit properly at ht bottom but I will wait until I have the hinges and the wing support stays fitted before I trim any more off the rim.



There are two 100mm x 25mm access holes to be cut in to the boot lid for the keep plates.  At first glance, my boot lid was not deep enough to accommodate 25mm wide holes. 20 mm at the most.  I marked the approximate position on masking tape stuck to the boot lid. I drilled through the corners of the access holes taking care not to damage the outer or inner skin of the boot lid.  I did this carefully well inside the line I had marked because I was not sure of how much space or what I was going to find between the skins.  I cut out the access hoes with a cutting wheel fitted to the Dremel. Once I could see inside, I  could see how to trim and shape the hole. I opted for 10mm x 20mm as giving sufficient access to fit the keep plates.

I had realised I had a problem with the front wing stays early last week. I would need to bend them slightly to get the best fit between the edge of the wing and the chassis. Yesterday I realised most of my problem was caused because I had used a piece of 6mm steel strip, instead of 3mm steel strip as recommended.  I did not have any 3mm strip but found a piece of 4mm strip which should do.  Today I made 2 new stays and with some gentle heat from a blow lamp managed to bend them to shape. I it is not much of a bend just enough to get good alignment between the inside edge of the wing and the under edge of the chassis



I heated and bent the drivers side front, rear wing stay. Since the bend is quite small it is fairly easy to heat them with a blow lamp and whack them in to shape with a  lump hammer.  I marked the underside of the chassis  about 30 mm in front of the chassis bung and on the centre line of the chassis rail.  I drilled a 6.5mm hole and loosely secured the wing stay with a 3/4" x 1/4 UNF bolt nyloc nut and two penny washers,  I next positioned the wing stay on to the inside of the lower edge of the rear wing, as far to the rear as I could.  This places the wing stay at an angle to the chassis but makes sure you get maximum adjustment and best alignment when the bracket is tightened up. I secured the wing stay to the wing with a 3/4" x 1/4" UNF bolt, nyloc nut and 2 penny washers.  I tightened the bolt in the chassis so that it was just pinching the bracket and the same on the other end that is bolted to the wing.  Pushing inwards  until the wing followed the line of the door I tightened the chassis bolt to hold the wing in that position  and then tightened up the wing  / stay bolt. The procedure  was repeated for the drivers side. To assist with the alignment I had loosened the securing bolts attaching the wing to the "B" post.. these were tightened up again, once the stays were secure and the wing aligned. It is surprising how much the front edge of the wing is pulled back at the bottom, increasing the gap behind the door once the stays are fitted and aligned. I think I'm OK, as far as the final finished gap is concerned.  But as an after thought it would be wise to make the doors a tighter fit when initially trimming the doors after securing the wings to the "B" post To make sure the finished gap is not too large.



Last Sunday I got back to working on fitting the boot lid.  I made the bodywork support bracket that fits to the boot hinge bridge.  I used a piece of  80mm x 4mm x 25mm angle iron, slotting the securing holes to give the required adjustment. I also repainted the boot hinge bridge where I had accidentally marked it during the trimming of the lip of the boot aperture.    Today with paintwork dry and hardened I refitted the boor hinge bridge so that I could measure where the support bracket should be fixed to give me maximum adjustment. I took the bridge off to finalise the position of the support plate more accurately. Then drilled 2 x 6.5mm holes to secure it  with " X " UNF bolts and nyloc nuts.  I refitted the boot lid hinge bridge the bodywork so that it was touching the underside of the bodywork but not forcing the natural shape of the body work. .  I fitted the boot lid hinges.  It took a little time to work out that the hinge brackets fit to the rear of the bridge and the arms of the hinges pass through the bridge. The hinges are secured with M6 set screws spring and plain washers.   The boot lid was still a tight fit but I did not want to trim any more off because I think that when the drives side rear wing is pulled outwards in to position then it will open up the gap and that will be the best time to do any final trimming. So I spaced the rear of the bodywork away from the chassis with some penny washers. This provided a ball park fit.  I held the boot lid in place with duck tape. From underneath I pushed the hinges up to the boo lid and marked the holes with a pencil.  I removed the  boot lid and drilled the securing holes.  I fitted the keep plates to the boot lid. This is a bit fiddly but not difficult to do.  They have to be fitted through the slots cut in the boot lid earlier. I had used 8mm steel which was a tightish fit, but gentle persuasion with a drift and a hammer eased the plates in place. It also meant that they did not move when offering the hinges up to the boot lid to secure them.  I  trial fitted the securing bolts to align the keep plates. I refitted the boot lid and this time I tightened up the hinge securing bolts.  Despite being careful, during the tightening of one of the rear bolts the bolt must have touched the underside of the fibreglass resulting in a small star crack in the outer skin.  Annoying, and a pain but it can be fixed during the finishing process.  With the boot lid in place I took stack of the fit. The top of ht boot lid is too low and the longitudinal  profile of the boot and the body on the RHS is not good. The hinges are as high as they will go so I decided to call the factory to check I had not done anything wrong.  I spoke to Chris Bowyer and It seems I had got everything fitted correctly but the factory fit some shims under the hinges to lift the boot lid to match the contour of the body. I had overlooked these in the parts to be made list in section 2 of the build manual. This explains a lot . It is why the securing bolts are too long and caused the star mark in the bodywork. and why the boot lid is below the line of the boot recess in the rear body.  I'll make some shims tomorrow.


5 hrs

In between doing software installations at work, yesterday and today, I managed to fit some time in on the car. I removed the boot lid and one of the hinge arms. Using the arm as a template I made 2 x  3mm aluminium shims. I refitted the boot lid this time with the shims in place. The boot lid was still below the level of the body but better. Using s steel rule against the top of the boor lid I measured the difference between the top of the boot lid and the top of the body to be about 2mm. I removed the boot lid again and made 2 x 2mm aluminium shims. I refitted the boot lid with the additional shims in place ( a total of 5mm between each hinge and the boot lid). This time the boot lid was a pretty good fit. Close enough to be left for the time being and looked at again when finishing the bodywork.  I started to look at the fitting the bonnet just to get the process and procedure clear.  While I was doing that I made 2 x 3mm aluminium shims to pack up the bonnet hinges.



Over the last 2 days I have been working on fitting the bonnet. To find out where the cut-out for the clutch master cylinder was needed to be made. I put masking tape on the inside of the bonnet and some engineer's blue on the banjo connection on top of the cylinder. I carefully fitted the bonnet and removed it again. the transfer of the engineer's blue marked the position.  I worked out by measuring the cylinder relative to the banjo connection to get the approximate dimensions of the cut-out. I checked these measurements by calling Chris bowyer at the factory to get the approximate dimensions off a fished car.  120mm wide x 100mm deep was close to the measure I had marked on the underside of the bonnet.   I drilled the corners with a 10mm drill to radius them,  I cut the hole out of the underside of the bonnet using a cutting wheel in the Dremmel, well inside the dimensions preferring ot be on the small side and opening it out, than too large to start with.  Opening the hole out was a process of trial and error and fitting and removing the bonnet. I finally settled on a "D" shape approx 120mm x 110 mm to get the best clearance fitted the bonnet hinges to the bulkhead.  I refitted the bonnet to check the position of the hinges.  with the bonnet pushed as far back as it would go and centralized I was concerned about the gap between the back of the bonnet and the scuttle also the position of the hinges relative to the back of the bonnet.  I called Chris to check I had got the bonnet positioned correctly.  During the discussion Chris advised that it might be necessary to trim the back of the bonnet at an angle to match the scuttle, also the shims I had made were not necessary, to slot the hinge holes in the bonnet length ways  ( opposite direction to the slots in the hinges. finally too drill and self tap the keep plates to hold them in place during fixing.  Armed with this knowledge I put masking tape on the underside of the bonnet, where the hinges will fit and refitted the bonnet.  Making sure the bonnet  was in the correct position and symmetrical I marked the position of the hinges and the mounting holes. This is a bit tricky but can be done by reaching through the gap between the scuttle and the bulkhead. I removed the bonnet again and one of the hinges and using it as a template, aligned with the marks I had made under the bonnet finally positioned the hinges in the bonnet.




There are an extra set of holes in the centre of the bonnet hinges which are marked  optional use in the build manual. The holes are useful as easily accessible retaining points for the bonnet keep plates.  I transferred the position of the holes to the keep plates and  drilled them with a 5mm drill. I then inserted two self tapping screws  to cut a thread to secure the keep plates once they were in position.  Using the hinge as a template I transferred the holes to the underside of the bonnet. During fitting and refitting of the bonnet to test the hinge positioning I marked and modified the clutch master cylinder cut out so that the pipe work did not foul the bonnet.  This was a matter of marking the position of the pipe with a pencil and then shaping the cut out until there was sufficient clearance.  



The holes for the hinge positions had already been marked on the bonnet. I drilled the centre of each hole with a 6mm drill and slotted the holes with a file I carefully marked the centres of the central holes and drilled them out. I slid the keep plates in position and secured them through the central holes with self tapping screws. Make sure the heads of the screws will pass through the holes in the hinges.  The holes in the keep plates did not line up exactly with the slots in the bonnet. So I took the keep plates out and modified the slots slightly so that when I refitted the keep plates the holes lined up.  I fitted the bonnet to the car and immediately ran in a problem that working single handed it was almost impossible to align the bonnet and secure the hinges. I made several attempts including fitting the hinges to the bulkhead first, and when that did not work fitting the hinges to the bonnet first. I ended up the day with the bonnet half on and secured but the alignment looking bad. I stopped to ponder the problem and determine if the bonnet and hinges were in the right position.  Once I have decided what to do I'll make the necessary adjustments and get some help fitting the bonnet.



There is not much to write home about today, just time consuming. I removed the bonnet and the hinges again.  I repositioned the hinges to give me more fore and aft adjustment Using the hinges as a template I marked the extreme position to move the bonnet rearwards. then slotted the holes to give me that much adjustment.  I also bevelled the rear under edge of the bonnet to match the angel of the scuttle. So the the bonnet would sit closer to the scuttle and also lower to reduce the gap at the rear of the bonnet.  All this with repeated trial fittings just took time but the end product is a better fit but it will still need to be checked with the hinges refitted and adjusted again during the final fitting stage.



Finally the bonnet is fitted. I still have some work to do to see if I can improve the fit.  It showed what a rest from a task can do. I struggled on Sunday evening to get the bolts to screw in to the keep plates in the bonnet lid, but following the work I did with the slots yesterday It was much easier to engage the top two bolts by reaching through the scuttle space. once these bolts were secure I raised the bonnet, propping it open so that I could screw up the remaining bolts. I removed the self tapping screw that were securing the keep plates because these were restricting the adjustment. I tightened the bolts securing the hinges to the bulkhead. The bonnet is central but there is still a gap at the rear outer edges next to the scuttle.  I'll take another look at this tomorrow

Total hours this month = 40hrs  

Total hours to date =885 hrs.