September 2005



Fuel system


Last  month wasn't exactly productive .  A holiday in Somerset,  a Wisteria tree that decided to fall down under the weight of foliage, water and the effect of wind and a computer that refused to be upgraded to Windows XP professional, all got in the way. Not to mention gardening that had to be done before it all got out of hand and a new dishwasher that had to be installed.   Whilst all this was going on I worked and thought about the fuel system installation and produced a nice and tidy installation with just the main return pipe and supply pipe to be connected. I had some 10 mm internal diameter fuel hose that I could use, the problem was this was a good fit over the copper fuel pipes that run the length of the car, but it was slightly oversize for the pipes coming out of the top of the fuel tank. I considered using two different sizes of pipe to match the tank and the copper pipe and making an adapter to join both pipes together.  But the fewer joints there are in the system then the less chance there is of a leak.  I conducted an experiment with a piece of 8mm aluminium tube and one piece of pipe that exactly fitted the copper tube.  I covered the rubber tube with  stainless steel overbraid as it would be used on the car. Inserted a length of  8mm aluminium tube.  I used a hose finisher,  as  it would be on the car, and a second plain jubilee clip to tighten the hose in place.  So the pipe was effectively double fastened.  Is it fuel tight was the next question?  The is a simple way to test any length of pipe. It's not necessary to use liquid or but vacuum. Simply place a thumb over one end of the pipe, put the other end in your mouth and suck the air out of the pipe. Then as you finish drawing air ot of the pipe seal the end of it with  your tongue. Your tongue will stick to the end of the pipe drawn in by he vacuum. If there is any leak you will not be able to sustain the seal with  your tongue for any length of time.  A good end of test is to remove your thumb quickly from the end of the pipe and there will be a small "pop" as the air rushes in and your tongue will be released.  The double fixing of he tube was definitely air tight and therefore I could run the pipe from return line to fuel tank in one piece.  I had also discussed the routing for the pipe with Nostalgia. There is a small gap between the front fuel tank mounting bracket and the rear of the chassis cross member, just big enough fro the pipe to pass through. I had already considered using this and nostalgia confirmed that is what they do.  However on closer examination  I thought it would be necessary to protect any pipe passing through this gap because the edges of the tank mounting bracket, whilst not exactly sharp are thin by comparison and could be deemed to be an where cutting of the pipe could take place over time and with constant vibration or movement.  I didn't think the situation improved much by clamping the pipe in position with "P" clips also there was some pretty tight bends to negotiate in routing ht pipe under the cross member in in to the hole. I felt that these bends were too tight for the pipe I had and could lead to kinking or flattening of the pipe when it was in place. Another problem was that the natural routing of the pipe in this area made it a little more difficult to secure the pipe with "P" clips because they would be orientated vertical direction and there was nothing in the vicinity that they could readily be fixed to.    More gentler bends though a longer piece of pie would be needed if the pipe was routed through the hole between the rear of the fuel tan bracket between it and the Boot well.  this hole is larger and a more gentle radius  can be applied to the pipe. Any hint of contact with the fuel tank bracket can be prevented by using foam rubber over pipe and strategic placing of securing clips.  Also the pipe can now be secured to the top of the chassis rail to provide maximum support and security. Tomorrows job will be to put all of this in to practice.



Fuel Pipework


Overflow Breather

One Way Valve

Over the past week I've put the plan in to action and finally connected the fuel tank to the supply and return lines that ravel the length of the chassis. One tip I've learned when dealing with overbraid is to wrap the braid in asking tape at the point where it is to be cut and then to cut it with a sharp pair of tin shears. I usually cut it a little longer than the rubber hose and trimmed it with sharp watchmakers shears to genet a good edge that will slip in ot the hose finisher as far as possible.  Care needs to be taken not ot over tighten the hose finishers. it is easy to strip the band of the inbuilt jubilee slip.  I secured the braided hoses with  16mm  Aluminium "P" clips  where necessary, to provide maximum support.  It took several attempts. The experiment I did with the 8mm tube did not work ion the car because of very slightly different diameter pipes and it was more difficult ot get the hose finishers and jubilee clips done up tight enough.   So I had to go back to making a joint in the return pipe with a copper adapter to mate 9mm ID pipe from the chassis line to 8mm pipe to the fuel tank.  The tow pipes covered in stainless steel braid and secured by (Speedflow 150-8) red hose finishers.  I ran the breather pipe from the from the LH top of the tank  along the chassis rail and out of the hole over the fuel tank bracket and front of the boot well.  I used 8mm rubber pipe, protecting it with foam rubber at the point where it exits the hole between the fuel tank and the boot well.  I was considering whether to secure the pipe to the lower edge of the boot well or the side of the boot well.  To make sure there were no reasons not to do this I rang Nostalgia and spoke ot Simon. Just when I thought  I'd finished he informed me that Nostalgia now fit a one way valve to the breather pipe to overcome a problem of full spillage on a full tank.  Nostalgia are sending me one and I will report on fitting it when it arrives.



Overflow Breather









Boot Lid

The one way valve arrived yesterday.  a small plastic device with the inlet from the tank smaller than the outlet.  The body of the valve is marked with an arrow and the word "tank" to define which way it should be fitted.  I used a length of 6mm hose which fitted both e outlet from the tank and the inlet to the valve. The length of hose was chosen so that the valve could be secured to the inside of the wheel arch. This  is long enough  enough to provide a safe and secure position for the valve and short enough so that in the event of a fuel overspill or surge splash only a small amount of fuel is contained in the pipe above he non return valve.  The outlet of the valve will take an 8mm hose this was fed out of the area as above. the hoses were secured with jubilee clips and the assembly secured to the inside of the wheel arch with a 13mm "P" clip for the inlet pipe and 16mm "P" clip for the outlet pipe. The "P" clips were secured to in inside of the wheel arch next to the fuel tank using,  M6 machine screws, penny washer, 2x M6 plain nuts to act as a retainer for the machine screws and stand offs for the "P" clips. the "P" clips were finally secured with plain washers and M6 nyloc nuts.   When I spoke to Simon early last week he indicated the they sometimes use the rear wing stays to route the overflow pipe away from the tyres and exhaust.  I set about making and fitting these next, out of steel bar 374mm x 25mm x 4mm.  Simple enough, round each end with a " radius. Chamfer the outer end to match the contour of the return at the bottom of the wing. Drill an M6 hole in the outer end of the stay and a corresponding hole in the wing return.   Choose a suitable boot floor mounting hole and transfer its position to the inner end of the stay.  Using this hole position as a guide drill and cut a 1" long slot in the bar to accommodate the chosen floor bolt.  mount the wing stay and push or pull the wing in to the correct position then tighten up the securing bolts.  Do the same for both sides of the car.  The boot lid could be refitted at last.  I was not surprised when the lid did not fit as it did before. The holes for the hinges did not line up and and the lid itself did not  fit the boot well aperture.  Fitting the wing stays had definitely put now stresses and strain on the rear body which will have affected it's shape. Likewise the boot slam panel. boot well having been secured together appeared to be holding  the boot lid open. I started work by undoing the screws holding the slam panel to the boot well.  This was only temporarily held in position because the boot floor was not yet fitted.  I pushed the slam panel downwards and inwards to move the seal inwards and clamped this in to position. This gave me sufficient movement to improve the fit of the boot lid in the aperture whilst I work out the hinge positions and once that is done I should then be able to fix the slam panel in it'd final position.   The change in  hinge position  is partly caused by the change in body shape but also because I have taken out the play in the hinges and made then run more smoothly and centrally in the hinge brackets.  I've positioned the boot lid and marked the position of the hinge. I will slot the holes for the mounting screws and reposition the keep plates tomorrow.






Boot Lid / Slam Panel


I knew what the problem was ,but there was little chance to do anything about it during the week, caused by jobs that had to be done at work, before going  a conference at Warwick University for the latter end of the week.   So today was the first opportunity.  I took the boot lid off and slotted the holes to match the new position of the hinges. It took a couple of attempts but the boot lid was once again in position. With the boot in the closed position forcing the slam panel inward I clamped the slam panel to the boot well.   Outside I checked the alignment of the boot lid and decided it needed pushing in a bit further. I worked from underneath the car and in behind the closed boot to pull the boot fully closed.

  Boot lid alignment in relation to the body and the boot seals is something you don't comprehend until you begin to fit the boot lid in detail.  Clearly I had made a mistake in securing the slam panel to the boot well before I had finally fitted the boot  lid with the boot well in place an secure.  At the time all seemed well because the slam panel must have moved inward when closing the boot and the flex in the boot bridge also helped mask the problem. Or I was just not thinking straight. 

Back to today, with the boot lid in place, but not in any way lined up as good as before I fitted the boot well, I found I could not open the boot.  I was catching on the top edge in the centre behind the fuel tank.  At this point the body contour was higher than boot lid and the boot lid edge was not square.   I ran engineers blue along  edge of the boot lid and put masking tape across the body work in the recess fro the boot lid.  Attempting to open the boot showed where the boot lid was coming in to contact with the body work . Nothing for it but to remove the boot lid and trim down the upper edge.  Before I did that I decided part of the problem was that the bodywork was so far proud of the boot lid and needed to be reduced.  Way back I had fitted the body support plate to the boot hinge bridge as recommended.  The idea seemed to be to push  centre of the boot bridge up to match the contour of the body. ( Fig 2-21 in the build manual).  Last month, to reduce the flex at the centre of the boot bridge I had drilled an hole in the top of the  support plate and inserted a "rivnut", drilled a corresponding hole in the boot lid aperture and secured it to the body work with a countersunk screw.  Now it was going work for me!. Loosening the securing screw through the bodywork I also loosened the bolts securing the support plate to bridge, I lowered the bracket to it lowest position and then tightened the bolts secure it again. Then I tightened the screw securing it to the chassis which had the effect of pulling the rear body work contour in to the same shape as the boot lid.  I also decide that another shim added to the hinges each side might improve the alignment further. With the boot lid removed I squared the top edge with "mouse" sanding tool and made two new shims, one fro each side.  I refitted the boot lid and it opened and closed easily.

I was still dissatisfied with the boot lid closed position of the  boot lid in relation to the slam panel and the body. with the boot lid open I pushed the slam panel in further and clamped it in to position rechecking the closed boot alignment until I was satisfied.  with the slam panel now in the correct place,  I drilled a new set of holes through the boot floor securing holes and in to the slam panel.  At last the boot alignment looked as it should .




Boot lid

"The chickens cane home to roost today"  I had decided to fit the inner  wheel arch seals to the boot aperture and the boot lock . I started by fitting the RHS seal but a Trial fit and closure of the boot lid showed that there was insufficient room for the seal and it was holding the boot id proud.  Originally I cut the blood lid aperture flange  to the 12 mm width recommended  but this looked to be too wide. however you can not make it less than 10 mm because that is the width required by the seal.  Pondering all this I decided to check the LHS.  The seal was fitted and seemed to fit reasonably  well, if a little tight in places. I measured the LHS flange and it was a little wide.  I marked it to 11mm width and trimmed it to the outside of the line so it was just over 11mm when finished. I  fitted the seal and all looked OK.   close the boot lid and I would say it was satisfactory.  I trimmed the LHS to the same width as the RHS and fitted the seal.  The boot lid closes better but is still proud of the body contour on the LHS.  

The realisation of the problem was beginning to dawn on me. I had noticed a while back that the boot lid hinges were not in the same position relative to each other across the boot lid.  The boot lid fitted the aperture with very similar shut lines and gaps.  Now I could see that the RHS flange on e boot lid was considerably wider that the LHS.  This is why the hinges were displaced and the  longitudinal  strengthening pieces against which the seals mate are also displaced.  The solution looks to be to trim the boot RHS of the boot lid and reduce the flange by  somewhere between 2- 4mm.  Effectively moving the hole of the boot lid to the left until the seals fit and the hinges are centralized.  Before doing this I will talk to Nostalgia tomorrow.  Firstly to make sure the length of the seals when fitted and eliminate any possibility that this may be causing the problem. Then to find out if this is a problem that has occurred before and what the solution is.



Boot lid

I spoke to Nostalgia about the boot lid problem.  Firstly all the boot lids are like mine with a wider flange on the LHS.  Secondly Nostalgia have sent me the wrong seals. They use stick-on rubber seals that mount on top of the flange surrounding the boot aperture, NOT the slip over the edge variety that were supplied.  So panic over  I stripped off the useless seals and once again have a boot lid that closes properly.  I spent the rest of the time measuring and calculating the position for the boot lock and handle. The drawings in the build manual are for guidance. You have to determine the slam panel with respect to the boot lid and then calculate the position of the lock to engage the hook of the lock in a slot in the slam panel.  The  lock also looks as though it needed to be spaced from the boot lid to ensure the hook misses the rear of the seal and engages in the metal part of the slam panel flange. 





Boot lock

To be honest I wasted a lot of time over the past few days measuring the slam panel the seal and the boot lid. the position of the lock. Whichever way I tried there was always the possibility of an element of error that I could not control. I called Nostalgia just ot check if there was any Factory trick to fitting the  lock. "No" it all covered in the build manual.  Nothing for it, but to but to do it the practical way. I was happy with the fit of the boot lid and the slam panel seal.  I stripped off the seal and closed the boot lid.  From inside the boot well (the floor panel is still not fitted) I marked the position of the underside of the slam panel flange against the inside of the boot lid.  I then had an "accurate" datum mark from which to start.  With the boot lid open  and the boot lock in the closed position,  I marked the position of the  the  lock and the handle. The lock was positioned about 22mm above the datum mark with the handle on the centre line of the boot lid.   I checked the position of the lock by checking that with the hook in  the closed position it would come just below the datum mark and therefore be tight against the flange when locked.    I had worked where out the centre of he handle would come and with drilled a 3mm pilot hole through the inner skin making sure it was at  right angles vertically and horizontally to the inner boot lid surface.   I continued drilling through the boot lid to emerge through the outer skin.  It emerged on the centre line marked on the boot lid  and at 70mm from the bottom edge of the boot lid.  (Nostalgia measured on at  65mm back at the factory).  On the centre line is the important criteria.  The other measurement is determined by the exact position being in line with the lock.   I opened out the inner hole to 10mm to accept the drive of the handle.  And using  the Mk 1 eyeball checked the alignment with the hole in the outer skin I opened out the hole in the outer skin to 10mm and slid the handle shaft through it.  Next I fitted the lock to the handles and marked the position of the holes for the securing bolts. I rechecked the position of the hook to ensure it was just below the datum mark pf the slam panel I drilled the securing holes to accept M6 bolts. I cut a 5.5" x 2.5" hole in the inner skin of the boot lid, 3" from the lower edge, above the lock to gain access to the securing bots for the lock and the handle. Using M6 washers In spaced the lock away from the boot lid by approx 24mm and secured the lock. The spacers are necessary to position the hook so that it is in the metal flange, clear of the slam plate seal, when operated.  I now set to open out the outer skin to accept the handle.  Some adjustment  of the hole may be necessary and can be made,  to make sure the handle is correctly aligned with the lock and operates smoothly.  With the handle in place but not secure, the slam panel seal fitted  I placed some masking tape on the metal flange of slam panel approximately where the lock would operate.  I put some engineers blue on the hook, closed he boot lid and operated the lock.   the transfer mark in the masking tape showed where I needed to slot the slam panel flange ot accommodate the hook. Using the make as a centre I drilled a 6mm hole and a further 6mm hole almost touching each side.  These holes were opened out to form a slot. with rounded ends.  Now it was a case of trial and re-trial. of closing the lid operating the lock and opening out the slot with a round file until the hook  was fully inserted and operated.  Note the handle is in the vertical position when open and horizontal when closed.  I completed fitting of the handle securing it woth 2 x M5 countersunk screw and nyloc nuts.  I checked the operation of the lock which was just catching the rear edge of the slot.  This could be adjusted using a slightly longer spacer.  Before making the spacers I determined how much to remove from the shaft of the handle  I cut 30mm off the end but this will depend on your lock, boot lid and fitting position. I  allowed a little more of the shaft  of the handle to protrude through the lock than required to allow for final positioning of the lock and the length of the spacers. I made some new 25mm long spacers from 3 steel tubes pressed one inside the other. I took the lock off removed the spacing washers and fitted the new ones. I had only just left enough of the lock shaft protruding from the lock because with the new spacers fitted it was an exact fit.  The lock  operated perfectly without catching and secured the boot lid without any play.  I spent the last part of the day making template for the boot closing panel between the boot bridge and the front of the boot well.




Boot well

I ordered the aluminium for the boot well closing panel and the dash panels from Merlin Motorsport  on Monday.  the called yesterday to say it was available for collection. So I took a trip to Castle Combe to pick it up.  To get the best value for money (it is sold in 30cmm x 30cm units) I ordered exact units, greater than I needed.   Having put the dash panel material on one side, I marked the exact size fro the boot well closing panel and took it to  BKI to get it cut on their guillotine.  With the panel cut to size I measured the cut outs for the chassis rail at the bottom and  the boot bridge  securing bolts at the top.   I cut them out with a hack saw.  I drew a line 120mm from the bottom across the width of the panel and another 60mm from the top.  These mark the points where the panel need to be bent  to accommodate the difference in vertical position between the boot bridge and the boot well combing.  I bent the panel by clamping it between a piece if 4x2 timber and the edge of the work bench and pressing down and with a little additional persuasion of a block  of wood and a nylon faced hammer.   Not much of a bend is required.  The top edge was bent in the opposite direction, using the same method.  It took a couple of trial fits with a little more bending in between to get it to an acceptable fit.   I've drilled  6mm securing holes at the top and bottom of the panel. Tomorrow I need to   fit the panel in place a drill corresponding holes in the boot hinge bridge and boot well combing. 

For obvious reasons, one of the things to be wary of is the position of the fuel tank breather pipe and the exhaust.  To ensure the pipe is ducted well away from the exhaust I  fitted a short length of aluminium tube to the end of the pipe.  The aluminium tube was fitted to the rear wing stay with aluminium "P" clips.  Working of the  boot closing panel has been surrounded by painting the rear wing stays and waiting for them to dry. .



Boot Well Closing Panels

I fitted the boot well closing panel in place and drilled through the central  securing hole at the top,  to mar k the boot hinge bridge.  Removed the panel and drilled through the bridge.  It's a good ideas to place something behind the bridge to protect the fuel tank .  I use a piece of 25mm x 4mm steel bar, holding it in place with one hand whilst i drilled with the other.  I opened out ht hole in the bridge to 7mm to accept an M5 rivnut.  I used aluminium rivnuts because they are easier to work with in a hand operated insertion tool but you could use steel if you wanted.  I refitted the panel and held it in place with an M5 machine screw.  I then drilled through the bottom central securing hole in to the GRP flange of the boot well combing top cover.  Removed the panel again and inserted an M5 rivnut in the GRP.  Put the panel in once again this time securing it top and bottom.  With the panel in place I drilled completely through the bottom securing holes in the panel and the GRP flange. At the top I only drilled sufficiently deep enough to  mark the boot hinge bridge.  I took the panel out again to drill the boot bridge, protecting the fuel tank as before.  M5 rivnuts were inserted in the boot bridge and the boot well combing top cover flange. the panel was refitted and completely secured.  Those of you who have been following these pages (There are a few) know that I am not a fan of bare aluminium,  so the final job of the day was to remove the panel again and spray it with etching primer ready for painting.

Total hours this month = 32hrs

  Total hours to date = 1224 hrs