March 24th

Marking up the side panelIt seems that it has to be about time to attack the exhausts again. I was still unsure about the alignment of them after the debacle with them not fitting a while ago. The big problem though, was how to decide where to cut holes in the side panel. I didn't want to take the panel off as it would involve just about taking the car back to pieces again.

So, I put a large wodge of masking tape on the side of the car and started scribbling. To make things more difficult, absolutely nothing is square. The side panel is not parallel with the engine, the engine isn't quite horizontal (that might be because the chassis isn't quite horizontal to be honest)and as the side panels don't fit properly they aren't quite snug with the top chassis rail.

Lots of marking up on side panelConsequently I spent ages marking up, measuring a re-measuring. There was also a considerable amount of trigonometry working out how the measurements translated from one side of triangle to the other.

The other problem was how big a hole was needed for each branch of the exhaust. The problem here is that as the exhaust is all welded together you need enough room to get all four headers through at once, which is much harder than just one of them at a time. I made up some templates using old bits of GRP cut off from other places until I was sure. I ended up with the side panel looking like this. For the record, these holes are 75mm in diameter.

Holes for exhaust headersSo, after even more re-measuring and wondering what happened if it all went wrong, I cut some large holes like this photo.

Then, with Tom's help we manoeuvred the exhaust system around until it was near the head and bolted it in. That sounds simple, but in fact it wasn't due to the difficulty in accessing the bolts. (For some reason I had started on the left which has rather less room than on the right of the car.)

Exhaust bolted inIt ended up looking like this, pretty good really. You may notice that the individual pipes are not in the middle of the holes. This is because the holes are central on the cylinder head ports, whereas the pipes are twisted so as to fit into the collector, eventually. (At least, that's how I'm justifying it.) I decided that it would look horrible if the holes were irregular so that's the way it is for now.

Side of carAnyway, the whole side of the car now looks like this. For now the rear end of the exhaust is not supported (although it's pretty firm anyway) as I need to make a bracket to support the rear. However, I want to get the other side of the car into the same state as this one to compare the two before I do that.)

Side view repeater installedTo finish off for the day, I made a 24mm hole for the side repeater light and installed that. After wiring it up I could try out the indicators for the first time. They seem to work fine, including the hazards which have a rather attractive flashing pattern with the hazard switch on the steering wheel shroud and the indicator warning lights flashing out of phase with each other.

Hopefully fitting the other exhaust won't take so much time.

March 25th

The right side of the carThis evening, I did exactly the same set of things to the other side of the car, except now I know what I'm doing it only took 2 hours instead of the whole day!

The only issue now is that the exhaust supports don't quite line up with the rear mounting on the exhausts. However, as I have to fabricate some mountings anyway that isn't a real issue. I'll have to get on with that soon.

Header actually behind steering columnAlthough there's a bit more room on the right hand side of the engine, fitting the exhaust is made rather more difficult by the steering column. In particular, the lowest, rearmost, exhaust mounting bolt is essentially behind the steering rack. I had to do it up 1/12 of a turn at a time, very slowly.

I was wondering whether the header could hit the steering column as the engine moved. I suppose I'll just have to wait and see about that.

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