June 18th

So, with the help of Cambridge's only available van, I set off to Westfield again. This time the van was a rather smaller Renault Kangoo (who picks these names?) which was much sprightlier on the road. What's more, I got to Westfield without getting lost and got everything loaded. Loading the engine was a bit of fiddle in that although easy to get in, it turned out to be a bit difficult to persuade to stay in one place. All the same, we managed it, I paid off and off we went.

As well as the engine and gearbox, the load included the carburettors and ECU, propshaft and various bits such as a washer bottle, radiator and expansion tank.

When I got back a similar struggle ensued to get the engine out of the van and into the garage. I had hired a hoist from HSS, but they were unwilling to rent me a sling too. Apparently something to do with insurance. (This is the case even though they have them in their catalogue.) This meant that I had to use rope to lift the engine, not something that I'm too comfortable with. Mind you, it always seems to work all right, but I would prefer slings or some nice chunky chains.

Later on, I spent a while looking over the engine. The Webers are, as they usually are, poetry in alloy. (You can see the nasty rope here.)

There's this odd plug in the side of the block. Perhaps it's for the oil pressure sender?

The oil filter looks as though it's seen better days.

More worrying, the build manual talks about various modifications that have to be done to the standard MT75 gearbox to fit. Most of these have been done but some casting lugs that are supposed to be removed have not been and the reversing light connector is clearly not going to fit onto the Westfield loom.

June 20th

In order to save a bit of money on the hoist hire, we decided to go straight onto fitting the engine. There are various bits earlier in the build manual that have not been done but there seems to be no reason why we shouldn't press on. Before doing so, I removed the casting lugs using a small hacksaw,

To cut a long story short, it was a pig of a job, mainly because the hoist we had could not lift the engine high enough to get the correct angle inserting it into the chassis. In order to get it in the right position we ended up having to lower the chassis using a combination of axle stands, jacks and my workmate. I was rather worried about all this but at the end of the day we managed it. In retrospect, it would have been easier if I had taken off the inlet manifold/carbs and the alternator before we started, as that would have made the engine rather narrower.

I noted that the build manual says that the reversing light switch should not fit, but requires a small "loom". (I think it means a couple of wires.) I don't seem to have these wires. (Again!)

Still, when it was done it somehow made the chassis look more like a car. Even Jo, my daughter, commented on this which is more than she has said about the Westfield so far. I can't say I like the look of the ground clearance though, it all looks very tight underneath.

What's more, it even has a gearstick now:

I finished the day by installing the steering rack, which was one of the jobs that should really have been done before. I got all confused at one point and thought I had the front uprights the wrong way round. However, if I had read the manual properly and noted that the steering ball joints pointed upwards I would have realised my problem. Eventually, I got it together and you can see the ball joints are correct in that the steering tie rod is parallel to the lower wishbone, which should minimise bump steer.

June 21st

Just to keep my hand in, I re-installed the alternator. (I had tried to do this yesterday but I mis-read the torque settings in the Mondeo manual and ended up shearing one of the mounting bolts.

After yet another trip to MacKay's (I must be funding them at the moment) I fixed it back together.

Also while at MacKay's I bought a deep socket which was needed to torque up the propshaft to gearbox bolts. You seem to pay a ridiculous price for single sockets. If all goes well I will probably only ever use this socket for just three nuts.

Finished off the day by applying myself to bending the rear brake pipe tails, after a suitably deep breath. It well well and looks OK:

You can see the handbrake cable here. This has to be the most Heath-Robinson bit of the car so far, and I think kit-cars are bound to tend somewhat in this direction. However, the cable snaking around and tie-wrapped to the wishbones leaves rather a lot to be desired.

I phoned Westfield, again, and asked about the missing reversing switch "loom". They say they would put it in the post.

June 23rd

The aforesaid loom arrived. It's a small connector attached to two pieces of wire with bullet connectors on the other end.

The connector bears absolutely no relationship to anything on the loom or the gearbox. What's more there isn't another bullet connector in sight. Clearly another phone call is in order tomorrow. Watch this space.

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