November 18th

Back together againA miracle! It's only a week later and I've made it back into the garage.

I finished off putting the engine back together: putting the plumbing back in place, putting the alternator back and putting the spark plugs and leads back. Actually, I'm a bit concerned that those leads are going to stick up too far from the distributor. I've been looking for some that fit onto the distributor with 90° connectors.

Huge overlap at back of right hand panelAfter that it was back to the dreaded sides of the bodywork. It's so long since I started the left side that all the advantage that I would usually get on the second time I had did something has disappeared!

Still, I clamped the side onto the chassis to see what it looked like. As the other one was, this one is way too long (although I don't remember it being this much) to the tune of about 200mm.

However, before I can look at this I need to make it fit properly at the front. The holes for the front suspension mountings need to be enlarged before the Sierra mountings will fit. I find it hard to see why Dax can't make these holes the right side but still.

Masked up front suspension mountingsSo, I masked up the panel, scribbled on the masking tape and dremelled out some bigger holes.

After that, it fitted a bit better and on the next foray into a cold and unwelcoming garage it'll be time to cut the rear down. This will mean that I'll find out if I have the same problem with the fitting at the rear as I had on the other side.

November 25/26th

I spent a short time getting on with fitting the right body side. After a bit of fiddling about it was obvious that I was going to have the same problems with this one as I did with the one on the other side. So, I just cut the top off it, like I did the other side and then tried to make things fit. This one doesn't fit quite so well up against the rear tub as the other one did, but I think I'll be able to hide the nasty bits.

Currently, I'm in the process of fitting a bunch of rivnuts to the chassis to bolt all this in. It's becoming increasingly clear that without something to make taking the side off easy getting at some of the things inside the engine compartment will be just about impossible.

November 27th

Finished side panelsI've finally finished fitting the body sides to the chassis, after what seems like ages. Looking back through this diary, I started looking at this aspect back on April 28th, which means I've been looking at this, amongst other problems, for almost exactly seven months. Of course, having taken off parts of the side panels I will at some point have to work out how to attach the kick strips properly, but I've got several ideas of how to do that.

At least I've got something new to start on now, hopefully this will get me going again. There's two things I want to look at: panelling the inside of the chassis sides and fitting the scuttle. Although I'll assemble the scuttle off the car, like I did with the Westfield, I'll make sure that I've got it fitting decently first.

I also need to get these wheels and tyres sorted, as I could put the front suspension on quite easily whenever I want.

 next page

in case you've got to this frame directly and can't get out, go here.