30th May 2009
Had a length of time away from
the build, only for the stay in the tin tent to end
early due to rain! So came home and did a bit
more on the car, and had much better weather to
boot! Hard to see any difference to previous
pictures, but have done the passenger foot well
bulkhead, wired the horn, spent money at an
electrical wholesalers on bags of electrical
terminals and P Clips so tided the wiring in the
engine bay. Fitted the exhaust rap and finally
made a big metal P clip to hold the brake switch
Yes I know a lot larger pictures,
but indulge me. I have two 4 point harnesses and
the rear wheel arches on order. Next job I think
has to be the front wings, so need to make the stays.
31st May 2009
What a glorious day for the last one
in May. Well I set about working on the wing
stays and it took all day for me. Did not work
from the book on these as I could bend the 19 mm
tube in one go, this meant less welding and
distortion and because of less welding should
perhaps be a bit stronger.
The first picture is the offside stay on the garage
floor, if it looks peculiar it is just that I
removed the shadows from the picture so it stood out
For now I have just rested the wings
on top of the stays for the next two pictures, still
undecided how I will fasten them on.
7th June 2009
A very slow week, with several one step forward and
two back periods as the jobs have been
completed. On a positive note, I am now a lot
happier with the handbrake. I replaced the
standard Ford crescent shaped cable linkage with a
straight bar, machine to have two adjusters one for
each cable. It is allows much better
setting of tension in the handbrake which now
starts to be applied from 3 clicks.
On one step backward, the wing stays, were removed and
a section on both sides ground out of the way of the
front brake callipers. This after the
realisation that as the pads wear, the calliper moves
inward! Now both back on and the wings bolted
The second step backward. Made a lighting bar to
hold the headlamps and indicators, goes just behind
the top of the front frame. I dea was to use the
indicators to cover the sharp edges of the headlamp
mount. Could only get square ones at the time.
but OK try them and fitted well.
Only to be told they would not pass IVA/SVA because
the viewing angle is not good enough.
So after consulting the manual, I found that each
front indicator as well as meeting set minimum and
maximum heights and distances from sides, must also be
viewed 80 degrees outward and 45 degrees inward from
the front. So much for just using the Westfield
site as reference.
The picture below give an idea of what I mean.
This really means the indicators
will have to be mounted on the front nose cone on
stalks to the sides, which is something I did not want
to do, or make stalks and bring the indicators forward
on the existing bracket. Ho hum!
11th June 2009
A few days since update, it is amazing how a small
setback can mean you do not feel like working on the
car for a couple of days.
I decided to look forward, so stuck some paper
together and set it over the engine to form a
bonnet. Once in place and taped down, I pressed
down over the edges leaving an indent showing the
required shape for the bonnet.
I also bought a set of lights for the back end of
the car, one of the to do jobs soon.
13th June 2009
Picked up a 1.6 CVH rocker cover
to replace the standard one, it gives a bit more
clearance under the bonnet line. Now on hold as
I need to get fasteners to keep the bonnet in place
and rubber strip to lift it about 10mm from the
scuttle lip to bring the aluminium level with the
scuttle and nose cone.
The front indicators have been
moved forward by fitting modified table legs! A
test run of the engine on idle does not cause them any
vibration so there should be no issues. The
indicators should now be visible from the required
The last picture is looking down
on the engine area, I could do with some form of
graphic on top of that engine cover!
Tomorrows plan is to make the radiator grill, then may
consider fitting the lights to the rear panel, still
not sure if it looks better with lights on there or
the rear wings.
16th June 2009
Text only update tonight, very little done over the
weekend, called in at an auto jumble in Garstang and
bought some edging trim for the cycle wings and for
the bonnet, some closed cell foam strip, 1/2"
square, again for the bonnet to hold it away from the
fibreglass and a fun rear number plate, nothing fancy
just has BOF 3 on it! Made the front grill out
of 8 mm aluminium tube, but not sure if I will use it.
Tonight I have been cutting down the light pods to
hold rear fog and reversing lights. These are
cut at an angle of 9 degrees to keep them vertical
when bolted to the rear panel. Anyone watching
me do this on my milling machine, using bits of wood,
my hands and a few wood screws, would have entered me
for the Darwin Awards. Luckily I left the garage
with all fingers attached.
Came to a major decision! I can not fit, the
rear wheel arches or bonnet without the side panels
being fitted. Without the wheel arches the rear
light clusters can not be fitted, with out lights
fitted I can not finish wiring. So must put
thought into side panels.
18th June 2009
Made mind up, bought a 2.5 x 1.25 metres by 1.2 mm
thick aluminium panel this evening, had it chopped in
two length ways and brought it home in the car,
just! The scuttle has been taken off tonight
ready to offer up the panel, mark it out and cut to
shape with over lap for folds top and bottom. It
is covered one side in black plastic to help prevent
scratches. Cost £64 plus VAT which I did not
think was that bad, it will not do the full length of
the side, but will be jointed just behind the front
wishbones, allowing for a removable piece to be fitted
in and around the wishbones.
Last picture below is of my home
made radiator grill made over the weekend, I have been
given some steel mesh, so will make a comparison and
decide which one to use.
19th June 2009
OK, started by cutting the aluminium panel down to 224
cm to get from top of rear wheel arch to just behind
front wishbones, cut a small triangular piece out to
get it to fit around the rear wishbones then clamped
to the side of the car.
Pushed in against panel to keep it close to the
chassis and used a permanent marker to draw lines
along the chassis edge top and bottom, ended up as
shown below. Next stage was to use 25 mm masking
tape from inside edge of line outwards.
Using the masking tape means I now
have approx 25 mm to fold over the edges. Next
use air shears to cut of the excess metal to leave a
Tomorrow I will use this to make the other side panel,
making sure I do it the correct way round of course to
keep the plastic cover on the outside.
I hope it works, I know it is not as per book method
as it goes all the way to the top join with the rear
panel and folding on the arc may be a bit of an issue,
but I still have an option to trim that edge back.
22nd June 2009
It has been a weekend of hard work and some more this
evening. The panels are on the car, still in
black coat and have put the scuttle back on the car
with wheel and dash. A lot of bashing with
rubber mallets, drilling for rivets, de burring then
refit and fasten up. Tonight put a pear shaped
(sort of ) hole in the side panel for the exhaust to
pass through and will refit the exhaust when I
can. I will work on the final pieces of the
sides to cover the front suspension area. The
plan is to make one out of cardboard then duplicate it
twice in aluminium and fit. Will need to remove
a damper and spring to allow free movement of a front
23rd June 2009
A bit further each night is the aim. Spent most
of the evening trying to slice down a length of 8 mm
diameter copper pipe to form the edge protection
around the exhaust. There must be a better way
then an air powered disk grinder with a 1 mm thick
disk. Anyway managed to achieve some sort of
result, this is another piece to go on the list that
may be improved later. Took the protective
plastic off, probably a bad idea!
Also working on a new front grill, using diamond shape
24th June 2009
Just an update now the adhesive on the grill has
set. The side fill panels are also underway.
25th June 2009
Have taken the front suspension off, disconnected the
steering arm, remove the brake pipe, just removed the
lot so I could make the small side panel, this is the
nearside undergoing the work, offside still to be
done. Hope to have the side panels all done over
the weekend and get it back together again.
Down side, the wings stays are
fowling the steering arms, especially when the
suspension is at the end of its downward travel.
This means rework to the bottom sections of the stays.
28th June 2009
Re made the bottom ends of the
wing stays, so they no longer hit against the steering
arms. I spent a bit of time with the exhaust
clamp, grinding the upturned edges to remove them and
end up with a flatter finish. Re fit the brake
pipes and bled the system of air, removed all the
plastic trim left on the side panels and it looks like
we are getting there!
29th June 2009
Started on the bonnet, placed the paper template on
the aluminium sheet, marked out and cut with air
shear. Note the two bending jigs. This is
quite difficult and really could do with being higher
off the ground and a few more hands, but you get the
Now it is just a case of bending
the panel over the jigs in the correct place, doing a
test fit, bend it again, another test fit, bend
again, test fit and repeat until you are happy.
I will get back to it tomorrow night! This one
will need all the marks polishing out.
I have put masking tape on the
edges of the nose cone and scuttle to help stop
scratches from the aluminium sheet.
1st July 2009
IVA/SVA Compliant catches arrived for the bonnet, so
fitted them this evening. It is not a perfect
job, but looks good and I will improve the bonnet when
as I fit a few extra braces for the bonnet edges to
hold against. Still have to cut out the hole for
the air filter. Two pictures below:
4th July 2009
Mounted 'U' Channel to the inner edges of the bonnet,
put in the hole for the air filter and fitted a bit of
trim. Also finished the cut down type 9 gear
stick and fitted that with it's trim.
12th July 2009
Time for an update. The gear stick now has a
home made cover and trim ring, the speedo drive
arrived earlier, so has been fitted, getting the cir
clip to fit was a real pain, had to clean out the slot
before it would lock in place.
Have also been working on the rear
boot lid. Cut this out of a sheet of ply and
then covered with leatherette. Have sprayed the
roll bar in black and fitted all together. The
normal bolt heads seen here will be replaced by black
cap head screws soon. I managed to get some
Gates, 2 inch (51 mm) internal diameter fuel filler
hose, lots of edging trim and adhesive trim to cover
sharp edges. such as holes for the wishbones, back of
seat belt mounts, wing stays etc.
The fog, reversing and numberplate
lights are also on the back of the car ready for the
The small jam jar fuel supply has now gone and the
tank piped up to supply the engine.
Fingers crossed, no leaks so far. Next to do is
the lid of the boot, I have wing mirrors on order and
my paperwork has been sent to DVLA to start the
process for VIN number.
26th July 2009
I have not done much but little bits here and
there. The boot has a lid but needs a lock and
there is no storage area yet! I have the date
for the DVLA inspection and hopefully all goes well
that will be Tuesday the 28th July 2009. This is
just an inspection to obtain the chassis or VIN
number. Hope to do a few more things with the
car when out such as weigh it on front and back axles,
get the steering checked and camber front and back
wheels and also if time permits get the breaks and
I have tried to learn a bit of metal spinning to
assist with the IVA test standard. This is for
the exhaust. Below are pictures of the leading
edge of the exhaust system, which certainly would not
pass, so having made a former I spun an aluminium disk
over it and trimmed to size and fitted it. It is
not perfect but a lot better then original and if I
can improve on the technique will do one for the
The exhaust bracket has also been
redone bringing the silencer out around 15 mm from the
28th July 2009
The inspection by DVLA went OK today, took the car up
the VOSA site at at Kirkham a few minutes later I was
ready to leave, this was a check for donor parts in
the build such as engine, gearbox, back axle etc. and
that the engine number matches that of the donor
V5. All seemed to be well and should indicate an
age related plate.
Managed a few other things while out. Had the
brakes tested and all OK with rear brakes and
handbrake, front brake individually will ramp up and
lock the wheels, but when done together the nearside
is down 32% on the offside. So I read that as
the nearside is lacking braking effect and would tend
to make the car pull to the right under heavy
breaking. That is something I will have to look
at, as all parts are new, I will need a bit of head
scratching first. Last to be checked at the
garage was the exhaust emissions, and that was clocked
at 1.8% Co, so a smile for that.
Near home I went to a weighbridge, the car is 640 Kg
on its own and 740 Kg with me in it, (FB). With
me still in it, I asked them to give me front and rear
axle weights and had 340 Kg front and 380 Kg
rear. Yes that only adds up to 720 kg. It
turns out the weighbridge, meant for heavy goods
wagons has a resolution of 20 Kg. So
estimate the car is around 630 Kg has a balance of
around 47% front 53% rear.
The weather was less then kind, I made it to VOSA dry
but as I left the heavens opened and continued
to rain through the brake testing and weighing, I gave
up trying to keep the car covered.
It has been suggested that the VIN
number should take around a week to arrive and to ring
if I have not heard anything by then.
29th July 2009
I used an afternoon in the workshop making jigs to
test the camber of the rear wheels.
They are basically just T pieces
with a stand for vertical laser lines made as accurate
as my digital calliper would allow. They fit on
to the rim of the 15 inch wheels and allow me to
project a line and compare it to a vertical plum
line. The rear camber is set as close as I could
get it to 1 degree negative on both sides and I will
do the front wheels when I can. Then the amount
of toe in can be set and the front sections covered up
ready for IVA.
30th July 2009
Letter from DVLA in the post this morning with the VIN
number, starts off with SABTVR then numbers. I
cut the number into a flat length of steel and welded
this to the chassis on the right hand side as
requested. Still have to get a VIN plate made up
for under the bonnet.
This was then sealed all around
with Sikaflex and finally sprayed black
Did the front wheel camber as well this evening here
are a couple of pictures showing the basic set-up:
The stick is there keeping the
indicator pressed tight against the wheel allowing me
to go to the garage door and take measurements.
For general interest, over a height of 1145 mm, 20 mm
offset is very close to 1 degree.
So the next thing will be to set up the amount of
Toe-in on the steering, lock it all up and cover the
5th August 2009
Did the front wheel Toe-in today and have covered the
parts with bright yellow heat shrink, Ugh! There
is self centring on the steering so that is
good. I have replaced the front disk pads in an
effort to sort out the imbalance on the brakes but
will not know if cured until back on rollers.
Have added side repeaters, a lock to the boot
lid. Still no boot though! Last few things
to do awaiting the wings are:
Get some mirrors on it, simple covers for the
adjustable spring rings and the mushroom second
6th August 2009
Did the second fixing on the mushrooms today,
something I had been putting off for some time.
As the mushrooms are only held in by pinch force, it
is considered normal to have a second method of
securing them. Many will drill a hole through
the steel casting and tap the mushroom for a M6
bolt. I did not like this idea, to me, it puts a
hole in a highly stressed part and may lead to
fractures in the future. So I came up with an
alternative clamp arrangement that I hope meets
In the front hub there is a squarish void, as seen in
This gave me an idea of making a
hook style clamp arrangement, that would lock into
here and bolt into the mushroom, the next picture
gives a better explanation of what I mean.
The small hole will let any water
drip out (was really there from the lathe work), the
larger hole is clearance for an M8 bolt.
This view shows the bottom clamp,
turned to fit inside the mushroom!
These are handed so two made up and more welding to
beef-up the clamp. The top of the mushroom has
two holes, both off centre. One is tapered to
match the Transit drop link, the other threaded m8.
The m8 bolt pulls the mushroom and
clamp together against the upright collar and stops
the mushroom from coming out of the upright should the
pinch bolt come loose.
Of course, the idea is it never comes loose, so use of
split washers and thread lock on the m8 and m12 bolts
4th September 2009
The rear arches arrived this week, but up to now due
to the weather I have not had chance to fit
them. But at least I tried a mock up with some 3
inch spacers on top of the tyres.
During the wait, and still to
complete, is a car trailer to tow the roadster behind
the normal family car, it is getting there slowly.
6th September 2009
A break in the rain has given me a chance to do a bit
more. The trailer now has the sections
complete in between the wheels and mudguards are
fitted, just a bit of paint to finish the car deck,
service the breaks, new tyres and then it will be
ready for use.
The rear arches have been fastened on, six bolts on
each side should hold them both in place. I need
to purchase some 'P' trim to finish the edge between
the arch and bodywork, but it's looking OK to me.
Rear light clusters and reflectors are next.
13th September 2009
The rear lights are on and finally wired, will
eventually get some form of wedge shaped spacer to
align them vertically. The mirrors are on and I
truly think that the build is now coming to an
end. I will fit the decal for the brake master
cylinder, edge trim the bottom of the front suspension
springs and locking rings and ask a few friends to
have a look over the car for their advice prior to
14th September 2009
'Pushed' the car out of the garage swept up, and I
took a few pictures. The forms will now be sent
to apply for the IVA test. I am not saying the
car is finished, will it ever be finished? But
at is at a stage of close to it! The lights all
work, the horn bip's, I am generally happy with it.