July 11th

Today we went to fit the roll bar and, as mentioned earlier, found that the bodywork would have to be slackened off again. This done it was still quite tricky to fit. Strangely enough, Westfield do not drill the roll bar mounting plate. At least, they don't drill it in the right place. So it was off to MacKay's again to get a 12.5 mm drill and, after a lot of careful measuring, re-measuring and cross checking we drilled two large holes and bolted the roll bar in place.

I must admit, bolting a roll bar seems a bit odd. I think the race spec bars are welded into the chassis which would seem to make rather more sense, although it's less flexible.

After that we re-attached the bodywork and, in order to have something vaguely impressive, attached the rear lights to the car. The lights have a feeling of being really intended for a caravan, which is not a compliment. However, they went on all right, except that the leads on the nearside lights will need to be lengthened in order for them to reach the connector on the loom.

(You can just about see the reflection of me taking the photo here.)

After protecting the leather, I fitted the steering wheel. The steering doesn't feel so stiff with this (instead of a Mole grip) so perhaps it will be all right after all. It makes a curious noise while turning though. It seems to be some sort of vibration from within the column itself. Perhaps this will go as the bushes wear slightly?

July 12th

Phoned up Westfield again. This time they admit to there being two sorts of reversing light switch, which is at least progress. They recommend just cutting off the existing connector and adding a couple of bullet connectors to the ends of the small "loom" that comes out of the gearbox. As this was what I was intending on doing this seems fine. The only issue is that I have to do this with the gearbox in situ. I think it will be possible but we'll have to see.

They also had a view on where the ECU should go, which is directly in the middle of the car underneath the scuttle. I thought it would foul the heater unit here so I'll have to do some careful measuring.

July 17/18th/31st

The next things were all to do with the scuttle, the bit of bodywork immediately in front of the steering wheel. This is actually the mounting place for lots of things, such as the windscreen, wipers and heater. However, before that I had to fit the demister ducting and before that I had to cut out the demister slots in the scuttle itself. (There's a bit of confusion here in the manual, but it's definitely the case that you have to do it yourself. What's more, the manual defines the process (such as it is) in at least two places, as well telling you that it will already be done.

Anyway and set to with drill and file and got somewhere. I can't say that I'm too happy with the result (I should have started with a much smaller drill) but it should work OK.

As for fitting the actual ducting, the build manual is completely vacant on the issue, as it says it is done by the factory. There seemed to be an obvious way to fit it, but what wasn't clear was how to attach it. However, I came across a comment on another build diary to the effect that silicone sealant would do the job, and would have the benefit of being able to remove it if something went horribly wrong. So, I squirted lots of sealant around and strategically places a few weights--masquerading as old paint tins--all over the place. 24 hours later, on removing the weights, it seemed to have taken rather well.

After that, the scuttle was fitted to the main body. This is aided by two blocks moulded into the body itself, with corresponding holes in the bottom of the scuttle. (You can just about see them in the photo.) There is a lot of stuff in the build manual about the measurements to be made between the bottom of the scuttle and the main chassis member just to the rear of the seats. The aforesaid blocks seem to make these irrelevant as the scuttle will only really fit on in one place anyway. What's more, in this position the required measurement seems to come out right.

The rest of the body, the bonnet and the nose cone were then trial-fitted; held on by masking tape as recommended in the book. The problem with all this was that although everything fitted OK in a "natural" position, this left the nose cone displaced to the left of the car by about 2.5 mm. Not much but it offends me rather. These two pictures show the top sides of the main bodywork as they fit with respect to the chassis itself.

However, after fitting the bodywork several times, including riveting and un-riveting the top parts of the bodywork (you can see one of the rivets in these photos) I decided that a slight displacement of the nose was preferable to the modifications that would be required elsewhere to move the body away from the position in which it seemed to want to sit naturally.

It has to be said that the small displacement is very hard to see, and is rather smaller than the asymmetries that exist elsewhere, for example in the footwells and, for some reason, in the fitting of the windscreen.

The nose cone, by the way, is fitted onto three rivnuts. Two of these can be seen on the pair of photos above. That is, they are on the top chassis rails. The third is centrally positioned under the nose cone. At least I think it is as the manual does not mention it in the slightest. However, it seems to work OK in that it tensions the nose cone upwards in the same manner as the under-body rivets do at the back of the car.

Next, a couple of pins are fitted to the front of the bonnet. These locate in grommets that must be fitted to the back of the nose cone.

The final job here is to fit the bonnet catches. These are exceptionally stupid in that they are key operated and there is one on each side. However, when the catch is open, the key is retained in the catch, meaning that you really need both keys to open the bonnet squarely, while pulling the pins mentioned above out of the rubber mountings in the back of the nose.

Even worse, the shape of the catches is such that a million measurements have to be taken and checked and double checked just in case you and up with a strange hole in a useless place in the bonnet. The catch itself has to have the lugs on the side filed down in order to fit the retaining clip. I think this clip is really intended for attaching the catch in an 18 gauge panel rather than a thick piece of GRP. However, it was finally done even though it can hardly be said to work smoothly.

The other clip will have to wait until we get back from holiday next month.

Things seem to be going very slowly at the moment. This is because we spend most of out time measuring, re-measuring and double checking. After that hacking out the GRP is not exactly quick.

However, it is starting to look more like a car now:

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