15th March 2009
I have fitted 1.5 mm
aluminium plate in the front of the engine bay and
have mounted the coil and expansion tank on
that. This makes up for the lack of wing space
normally found on the Sierra where such items would be
fitted. The top of the expansion tank is just
under that of the bonnet contour. I have now
wired up the radiator fan, the horn needs an extra
relay as the horn only requires a positive feed and my
wiring loom is for a switched negative! Started
to chop down the instrument cluster so it can be
fitted in the dash.
I am still working on
the car, honest! I have welded some 25 mm by 2
mm hot rolled strip into the transmission tunnel and
fastened two fuel lines to this, hopefully a good idea
but need to centralise the gearbox as it is slightly
over the the right. I need to check gearbox
movement will not damage the pipes. Then fit the
brake line and fasten the wiring loom. Also
working on the handbrake cable and rear brakes at the
moment. I bought a fitted a Pipercross air
filter to replace the old pan housing, the air temp
sensor has been fitted to the base plate, but the oil
vapour valve is not an easy job so will take the
rocker breather into a catch tank. The
vacuum feed to the valve has been blocked and the idle
jet adjusted using an old Gunson Gastester.
I have also sliced
the front off the speedo or instrument cluster to make
it flat. Bought and glued on some 2 mm Perspex
so that can be fitted into a dash when I make
that. All getting there slowly. Will add
pictures when I remember to take them!
25th March 2009
One step forward and
two back! Finished fitting the rear brake shoes,
adjusters and handbrake cables. But later
realised the metal strip carrying the fuel lines is in
the way of gearbox movement, so pulling it all back
out and starting again. Could do with finding
what the perforated strip was used in the book, may
save me some time. Must remember to get a fuel
sender, some rubber or neoprene strip for the fuel
tank and some antifreeze!, would be my luck we have a
cold snap and damage the engine.
Still not replaced the
fuel pipes yet, but have done some work on the pedal
box. Have fitted the clutch and accelerator
cables to the pedals and included some springs to stop
the pedals falling forward. These are secured
via the stop bars on the bulkhead. Fitted a 6mm
threaded bar for the bake system and the floor mounted
stop for this. Now need to fit the pipe work and
get the brakes working.
Trying to do one job
at least when ever I can in the evening. Tonight
the tank was fitted, rubber strip from Ebay and 30 mm
wide by 3 mm aluminium strip used to fasten it
down. Now awaiting a fuel sender and that will
mean drilling and tapping the tank to fit that.
The fuel sender
arrived, cut down the float arm to suit the tank,
drilled 6 off 4.2 mm holes and tapped 5 mm
thread. The tank is double skinned around the
sender hole for this purpose. Fitted the sender
and added the earth wire ready for completion of the
wiring. Also prepared two aluminium strips of 25
x 3 mm with holes every 100 mm to have another go at
running fuel pipes down the tunnel. Job for
another night perhaps.
A few days since last
update, have just about finished the fuel and brake
lines down the tunnel and fastened the wiring in there
as well. Started to fit the brake pipes to the
rest of the car but need some more bits such as 3 way
adapter, brake switch and the flexible hoses.
Fitted the front callipers and re-did the rear brake
shoes as I have put them on the wrong sides!!
The fuel lines are
fastened every 100 mm. Using 4 mm screws and
Ny-locks rather then rivets on them. On the
brake line I have done 200 mm centres and a mixture of
4 mm screws and rivets. Hand brake cables are
fitted and now need to get some clamps or come up with
a different way of fastening them to the
handbrake. The car will move under it's own
power but only as much as forward and reverse will get
me down and up the drive to the garage. No
brakes working yet!
I have recently
changed operating system from Suse to LinuxMint.
So updates a bit slow as I try to do the same things
as before the change.
Work has comprised of
completing the braking system and making hard work of
it as I go. Hitting a few problems such as
wanting a hydraulic brake switch in metric 10 but
buying 1/8" NPT, still to be resolved. The last
issue is the rear up-rights get in the way of the
flexible brake pipe and the pipe will just not fit,
and this is with quite thin braided pipe when compared
to rubber alone.
The picture on the
left shows the problem where I can not get the
threaded section to enter the hole because there is no
clearance. So thinking of adding a small rigid
pipe to a new bracket on the rear of the round section
of tube on the hub carrier, as in the mock-up.
The front flexible
lines are in, have used 470 mm from tip to tip on
these, and I am hoping that the two 420 mm pipes I
also ordered can be used for the rears when I fit the
extra rigid pipework. (I should have asked for
I welded small
brackets for the extra pipework on the rear hubs, also
added a few more brackets on the rear chassis a bit
closer to the wheels and fitted the solid and flexible
brake lines. Should be OK now at the back end!
I got a brake switch
with a 10 x 1.0 mm taper thread and put that into a T
piece, when tightening up to try and get a seal, I
ended up cracking the T piece, when I tried a new T,
even with PTFE I could not get it to seal, pressure on
the pedal would always lead to fluid dripping out of
the threads. So plans to use the 1/8" NPT switch
(Classic Mini). Searching for an adapter starts.
I have done the brakes
at last, a session on the lathe to turn up a brass
bar, drill it out both ends and tap for 10 x 1.0mm one
end and 1/8" NPT at the other. Then a small
piece of copper tube and two male connectors and job
Yes I will replace the tie rap soon with a proper
bracket or clamp.
Do the handbrake
The handbrake is
done, not that happy with it and will continue to look
for better ways to clamp the cables, might just make a
better balance bar for the cable adjustment, or
preferably find a crimping unit for 2 x 2.5 mm2
Cut and formed the
this evening and trial fitted that, will pre-drill the
unit, get some more sealed rivets and glue gunk and
fasten that in. I will work on the transmission
tunnel pieces but will have to wait unit seats are
fitted before completing the panels. I may well
fit floor stiffeners out of 19 x 19 mm box section,
these to fasten the drivers seat runners to.
I am very undecided
what to use for seats at the present time, basically
because they are a major outlay and range from
£180 for Cobra copies to £250 for wide fibre glass
seats. I want to find someone local using both
types before I decide.
Fastened the behind
the seat panel in tonight, just realised before I
glued and riveted the panel, that I needed holes for
the diff bracket bolts, so you will notice some extra
holes in the panel. DUH, yes I could have had
the nuts on that side but if I wanted to use a socket
set on the heads/ nuts I would have to remove the
panel. I am sure I can find blanks to cover!
Next quick job should
be the battery tray purchased from the bay.
Battery tray fitted. Simple, but will need new
clamp for battery or could foul bonnet, dam!
25th and 26th April 2009
Well I feel like these have been good days! Solved
a seat issue, such as which type do I buy?
Fibreglass bucket seat, Cobra style seat that I had been
following on the bay or some other. well it ended
up being some other. I only have one at the moment
but another is on it's way to me, a Renault Scenic rear
centre seat, as put forward by a member on the Haynes
web site, good on ya!
I removed the existing clamps from the bottom slide
rails and a bit of plastic and I am left with two
runners that will either bolt to the floor or onto two
braces welded to the chassis. Approximate price of
£30 each, yes I will have to sort out matching covers,
but at least both the wife and myself could drive the
I have also been working on the dash panel, starting
with a cardboard cut out then transferring to aluminium
and the rolling a tube at the bottom to add the safe
edge and adds a lot to rigidity.
Bit more on the dash, cut out a rectangular hole and
fabricated a bracket to hold the bottom edge of the
instrument cluster. Stuck on carpet underlay foam
to the front of the panel to provide cushioning.
Need to buy some 5 mm round head screws and if possible
wing nuts to hold the dash in place, the plan is to glue
the screws onto the plate, cover and then fasten the
dash onto the scuttle.
Initial mock up in just under-lay foam shown here: -
I have bought an exhaust silencer from the bay, this is
one of the "Great British Sports car" style ones, it is
a stainless steel one so should look OK when
fitted. Need to get the manifold adapter plate
Covered the dash in leatherette, fitted back the
steering column fittings and wheel to get an idea, very
basic, and yes pod is over to left to see the
instruments from the drivers seat without being
obstructed by the wheel. Should be good for
test. I like it.
Have removed the covers off my second Scenic seat, the
idea now is to get them copied in the same leatherette
and re-cover the seats the second seat I purchased was
Roll bar started, bought some un-used plates for it from
a forum member. Used the band saw to get the
correct angle at the base of the roll bar, couple of
magnetic clamps, tack welds. Then welded around
the bar on both ends, good start!
Need to get some 32 mm CDS tube to do the seatbelt
fastenings and support tubes.
2nd May 2009
Small amount of time in the garage today, bought and
fitted some 40 x 5 mm flat bar to act as seat supports,
cut, drilled and welded to the chassis between the
transmission tunnel and outer chassis rails, as below: -
3rd May 2009
Had a long day in the workshop, running the milling
machine and cutting steel for the exhaust adapter plate,
this started off 3/4 inch (19 mm) plate reduced to 17.25
mm after removing all the rust, had done a cad drawing
weeks earlier taking measurements from the Escort
manifold with a set of callipers, then transferring them
into the drawing software. When the cutting had
been done and I had de burred the metal I tried it
against the engine block.
All eight, 8 mm bolts fit into the
block through the 8 mm holes, satisfying showing
everything was accurate.
I took pictures down at port height to show what further
work I need to do, not as bad as first thought needing
only metal on the lower edges cutting away, the exhaust
gasket is higher then the ports by a good 4.5 mm.
This simple paper profile
will be used to determine how much metal needs removing.
4th May 2009
I have milled several mm from the top of the plate so it
will now sit flush against the exhaust mating
surface. I have also attacked it with a electric
power drill and a burr. It will now match one side
with the escort turbo manifold and on the other with the
1.8 Ports, I am sure I could be
neater! But it will not be a problem with exhaust
flow into the manifold. Next stage is to make a
flange to fit the single header pipe flange and make up
a section of tubing to go to my newly acquired silencer.
7th May 2009
OK a few days since update. Have trimmed a corner
or two from the above adapter plate, not much reduction,
but could always do more if wanted. i have done
the plate to go from the end of the manifold branch into
the downpipe as such. Just a piece of 5 or 6 mm
steel drilled to match the T3 Gasket. The hole
should take an OD exhaust tube of 2.5 inch dia, this
will be welded in place, and from there get
reduced to the 2 inch OD dia of the exhaust system.
Have also been sourcing some 1 -1/4 inch OD 1/8 inch
wall CDS tube to finish the roll bar, should be able to
pick up weekend if lucky. Prices quoted ranged
from £50 to £150 plus VAT, Wow!
9th May 2009
The better half is working to convert the cloth seat
cover to letherette, that is going well. I could
not get the steel to complete the roll bar, as I found
they are not open Saturday!
Still working on the exhaust system, have changed plans
several times during the day, and in the end have used a
piece of flexible exhaust, a reducer and a 90 degree
bend to come up with this simple approach.
The plan was always to use exhaust wrap in the engine
bay to reduce heat in that area, now it will also serve
as a cover and better finish for my welding
skills. Next step is to make fastenings to support
the exhaust system front and back, some rubber mounts
and mark another job done?
Made bracket up for exhaust system, and bent part out of
the way in case I need it! The wife finished the
first seat today, so fitted the metal supports for the
runners and fitted the seat. I like it a lot and
just need the other seat doing to match. the two
seat belt buckles have been removed from the base of the
seat, you may be able to see this from the pictures.
The exhaust system Must admit not sure if that
can is IVA friendly? But it sounds nice.
Nothing to show for an update, but I am working on the
roll bar. I have fitted and welded up the crossbar
and harness mounts. Tonight I cut and formed the
stays ready for welding. Hope to have it finished
by weekend if I do not run out of Argoshield. Have
on bought from the bay, exhaust wrap and a type 9 gear
stick. The stick will be shortened by about 3
inches, should make changes easier and keep it away from
the steering wheel.
OK! done the welding on the roll bar, had fun with
shrinkage, but thankfully only 2 mm overall as the end
plates moved in due to the heat in the cross bar.
The stays were initially tack welded in plate then the
assembly removed and fully welded up. Movement on
them was very minimal and everything fitted again after,
here are a few pictures. If Saturday is sunny then
the car will move out of the garage to enable me to
clean up around it and I might get chance to take some
overall shots with out all the clutter. I can sit
in it and go brumm brumm!
Work has started on the
second seat, found the frame suffering from surface
rust. So use of the wire brush on the angle
grinder and soon removed all loose rust and back to bare
metal. The strange thing was this frame was never
painted unlike the other seat, can only assume it was a
cost cutting exercise. Anyway cleaned and sprayed
with zinc paint to stop it rusting as easily.
Whilst the seat is out of the drivers position I started
on the aluminium panels for the transmission
tunnel. I need some more pieces so only managed
the drivers side and the top around the handbrake and
gear stick. I will have to fit edging trim
to give it smooth edges but it still looks reasonable at
the moment just placed in position.
18th to 21st May
Purchased a 2 by 1 metre sheet of 1.2 mm aluminium to do
the rear panel, Used a roll of paper from a craft shop
to make a template for the back end of the car and added
1 inch all the way around for cut and bend
tolerance. This was the result
The shape was then cut
out of the panel and the work started to fix it to the
rear of the car.
To say the panel was perfect would be wrong, but I am
very please with it, the first corner I did could have
been better on the inside turn overs, but did improve as
I did the rest, It is quite difficult to do on
your own so suggest you get assistance when doing this.
The following evening, still light and without the green
paper, we have.
The second seat is finished and both fitted, the
transmission cover is finished, barring the gear stick
and handbrake gaiters. It has been a nice warm
Time for a bit of a break from the build for a few
days. May start again next weekend, I have front
and rear wings/arches to fit. A passenger foot
rest to make and fit and the passenger foot well
firewall to cut and fit, might see if I have enough 1.6
mm steel floor plate left for that. Make brackets
for the front headlights, buy and fit rear lights, the
list still goes on, and on, and on, and on!
Roadster 4th Page