September 17th

First fill-in panel attachedThe next thing was to start work on the chassis itself. There seem to be several possible build orders for the Rush, but I shall probably follow the one described by Duncan on his web page. This has the particular feature of leaving off the side panels until the engine is installed, which has the advantage that the engine mounts should remain easy to get to. It does mean, however, that the front suspension must also be left off for a while, as it goes through holes in the side panels.

The first thing to do, on Duncan's advice, was to clear out any residual powder coating from the seat belt mountings. I did this by cutting a couple of slots in a 7/16" UNF bolt to make a thread chasers and running it in and out of the bushes.

Next we turned the chassis over, taking some care to protect it from the floor, and started real work by attaching the first of the chassis panels. This was one of a pair of long thin triangular panels and essentially straighten up the sides of the chassis where it goes past the front suspension. As recommended in the Dax manual, this is attached both by rivets but also by being bonded with the adhesive they provide, as produced by Wurth. Something that Duncan calls BD, for Black Death...

One thing that I don't think I understand yet is that the LWB chassis has a lowered floor, made by using a chunk of very stout GRP instead of the usual aluminium plate. I'm not entirely sure how to attach this to the bottom of the chassis. I think I'll phone Dax and ask them tomorrow.

After that microscopic move forward, we retired for the evening.

September 18th

I phoned Dax and spoke to Simon there. He was somewhat reluctant to believe that he had left out the missing reservoir but agreed to replace it anyway. I spoke to Duncan about it, and he agrees that it was not in the place that Simon recalls putting it. I guess it got taken out of the bag somehow before it got to the van.

I also considered getting Dax's loom, but decided against it, again. The reason is I want to fit some different instruments, and probably some different lights. After all that the connections would end up being rather different anyway. I discovered a company, Lightning Looms, who claim to do a generic se7ens loom which could easily be modifiable into what I want.

In the evening I spent a little time putting another aluminium panel on the bottom of the chassis, in this case under the passenger's footwell. That's about all I can manage as the effort involved in squeezing the riveter just gets too much after a while.

September 19th

All the bottom panels on the passenger side of the carHaving asked about a little about the GRP floor panels, it seems that I attach them in the same manner as the ally panels. So, I drilled and stuck and rivetted one of these in place. In the process I acquired a million invisible, but irritating, buts of glass fibre stuck in my hands. I remember now that I bought some gloves last time for doing this.

The seat panel is actually a bit too wide, but it can easily be cut down. However, it might not be worth it as all it does is "box in" the bottom of the transmission tunnel slightly.

I've been thinking about build orders and one of the things about this that Duncan has mentioned to me is to test out how the engine/gearbox fit very early in the process. This seems sensible and got me thinking about what remained to be done to the engine. As far as I can see the current engine/gearbox to do list is:

  1. Fix flywheel cover plate so that clutch slave cylinder will fit. I think I'll be able to do this just by hacking a hole in it.
  2. Fit engine and gearbox together.
  3. Sort out a gear lever.
  4. Sort out a carburation system of some sort. There are really just two possibilities here: buy a Weber 500 and manifold or stick with the SUs, albeit with some manifold that keeps the height of the engine down. To be honest, I'll probably do the first of these, which implies a lot of expense any moment now...
  5. Sort out the oil filter. This needs to be mounted off the engine, so I need the adaptor and hoses, etc. However, I've been hearing about a small filter that fits the standard setting. I need to check this.
  6. Sort out the alternator. With luck the current one will work OK, but I need to check it.
  7. Arrange for a gearbox mounting, which Duncan has reminded me I haven't got.
  8. Sort out the water pump, although that can wait until I get the engine installed.

September 22nd

I received a catalogue that I ordered from Premier Wiring. This includes a couple of interesting things. First of all they do a generic Sierra based loom which includes relay driven headlights, which I want, for £110. They also have some rear lights listed that look quite nice, although it's difficult to tell in the rather poor presentation in the caralogue. Apparently they're from a Land Rover Defender, but look very similar to the ones on the back of a Land Rover Freelander.

September 23rd

I started this Saturday with a trip to Dax to retrieve the missing hydraulic fluid reservoir. When I got there Simon admitted to having located it, which is good as it means that we hadn't lost it somehow. While I was there I bought a couple if items that I realised I might as well buy from them: a radiator and a battery shelf. I decided to buy their flash aluminium radiator to ensure that everything stays cool. There has been some discussion recently about the importance of keeping Rover V8s quite cool, relatively speaking. The radiator is an exquisite piece of aluminium welding, done by some company at Silverstone.

See, the floor doesn't fall out.When I got home I was joined by Duncan, who came round to calibrate his new tachometer using my oscilloscope. (The old one expired.) I was very impressed by the absence of timing jitter from his distributor, which is the same as mine.

After that he helped me add the last two lower body panels and, with Tom's help, we put the car up on the stands. Here's Duncan demonstrating that the GRP floor doesn't fall out, at least with his svelte form on it anyway.

Should I have fitted the shelf?Later on I fitted the passenger side footwell panel, which was a real pain, as the strengthening braces in the engine compartment make it very difficult to get the panel in position. I eventually gave in to it not fitting well and filling up the gaps with Wurth. Finally I fitted the battery shelf, the chunk of aluminium that's above the passenger's feet. The problem is, having done it, I'm not sure I should have done, as it's going to make access to the brakes pipes, for example, rather more tricky.

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