July 10th

Our last trip up to Westfield! This time we took the family MPV (a Toyota Picnic) on the drive up to Kingswinford. We decided that as this was probably the last trip there, we would have to drop in and see my sister whose house we practically have to drive past on the way. However, when we decided this all of a sudden the entire family decided to go on the trip. This meant that space was going to be tight, perhaps too tight.

However, I decided that if the worst came to the worst, we could just leave the wheels and tyres there until another trip, after that it would definitely fit. Anthea even admits to waking up in the morning worrying about it.

All the same we set of bright and early and got to Westfield, again without getting lost. While Anthea and Jo were supervising the loading of the car (I have a bad habit of letting the process of packing cars get on top of me) Tom and I went for a quick spin around the block in a Westfield. Actually, I asked them if my son could have a drive, before clarifying it to say that he was having a ride in a car driven by me. The Westfield person I was talking to looked very worried for a few moments.

When we got back Anthea and Jo had got the entire car packed, although we were all a bit cramped. The stores chap said that the missing reversing light switch cable was in one of the bags. We set off back to Cambridge--via a visit to my sister's for the entire day.

When we got back we had a garage full of stuff again, even the shelves were stuffed again. There are also a huge number of fasteners which are obviously going to take a long time to sort out.

While I was at Westfield I asked a couple of questions, some about unidentified components and some about disagreements between the build manual and reality. These yielded the following answers:

  1. I have this black, glass fibre box. (Well, at least it's the bottom half of a box.) This is apparently a shield that goes over the diff on inertial reel seatbelt cars. (Ours is going to have a 4-point harnesses.)
  2. The four mysteriously shaped pieces of Aluminium are there to stop the gap between the bodywork and the chassis filling up with gunk. They will need to be riveted in position.
  3. Although the build manual says that the scuttle will have the heater ducting installed this is not the case.
  4. Although the build manual says that there should be pre-fitted clips on the scuttle for the toneau cover, this it not the case.

All in all, I got the feeling that there is a bit of niggle between the parts and technical departments at Westfield.

After unpacking everything it looks like a good job, although there are a couple of obviously missing bits: we do not have the windscreen pillars--although they did tell me about them--and the special bolts for the seatbelts are not present. Worst of all though, is the observation that the newly supplied reversing light connector is the same as the last attempt. So, I now have two leads that are useless. I'm beginning to think that I'm going to have to do something myself, I've established that I could just about get at the connector with some cutters to remove the existing connector. This would provide enough room to be able to fix something different, such as a pair of bullet connectors, to the existing lead.

Westfield supplies tyres that are "handed". That is they have a preferred direction of rotation meaning that they have to go onto the wheels the right way round. This is all very well but as there are five of them it means the spare is only set up for one side of the car, in this case the left. It makes the space-saver type that my Fiat, and the earlier MR2, make rather more sense. The difference with the Westfield is that the spare is continuously in view and a naff steel wheel and narrow tyre on the back of the car would look pretty horrid.

The seats look good, and are very comfy sitting in them on the ground. It's always been my plan to remove the runners and bolt them straight into the chassis so as to get a bit more height. It looks as though taking off the runners will involve drilling out some huge rivets, but will probably have to be done.

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