August 1st

Finished fitting the left hand bonnet catch cum key thingy. This means that you now need two keys to open the bonnet, assuming that you don't want to twist it about the place too much. As is usual, the second such catch was much easier to fit than the first. I would be really good at this if I did another one!

In fact, I think I'm going to try and refit the one on the right somehow to make it work better.

August 2nd

Started riveting the bottom of the bodywork to the chassis. The whole thing is getting much stiffer and less floppier as a result. After I've done this I should be able to fit the weirdly shaped panels mentioned earlier. The problem is, after all the faffing about with the bodywork I'm a bit short of the large head rivets that Westfield supply for attaching the bodywork. I will have to get by with other rivets and washers.

August 5th

Finished riveting the bottom of the body to the chassis and started on the windscreen. The windscreen mountings were the one thing not available from Westfield when we picked up the last stuff. They arrived in the post last week. The first thing to do with them is to mount the rear view mirrors. These need to be hacked around a fair bit to make them fit the mountings properly. Many other people have commented about the difficulty of fitting these mirrors. It seems odd that Westfield don't get the castings for the windscreen pillars made the right size.

Went out and bought some sheet aluminium to make a heat shield for the washer bottle, which as I have mentioned before, is going to be rather close to the exhaust system for comfort.

August 6th

Started fitting the windscreen. This seems to be a rather horrible job involving lots of measurements and praying. As far as I can see it really needs three people: one to hold the pillar and windscreen against the side of the car, one to measure the distance from the screen to the chassis and one to mark the design hole position when it's in the right place. The measurements are, as usual, bizarre in that the right and left sides of the screen are supposed to be 1008 and 1012 mm respectively from the rear chassis member. Why the difference of 4 mm between left and right?

Eventually we got it in and it looks like the photo here, at first sight OK.

Then the problems became apparent. The first one is that the left hand pillar seems to be slightly lower than the right hand one. This is made apparent by the position of the screen itself. It is probably the case that this is an illusion caused by the bad fitting of the screen against the scuttle anyway. There is a rather large gap, in places, between the bottom of the screen and the scuttle itself. What's more, this gap is not constant being much more in the middle than the sides, although slightly displaced to the driver's side. It is possible to put up the scuttle to contact the screen but there is no obvious way to maintain this pressure and it would probably cause problems in the long run.

As an indication of the size of the problem, if that is what it is, this photo is taken from inside the car-you can see the steering column.

You can clearly see the place in the scuttle where one of the windscreen wipers will exit, which is of course on the outside of the screen.

To be fair, the build manual does say there will be a gap here and says to fill it with, yet more, silicone sealant. However, it seems to me that a 1 cm gap is a rather large hole to fill. Everyone else seems to have the same problem though, so perhaps I'm worrying unnecessarily.

What does improve things is the fitting of the windscreen "fillet". This is a piece of non-structural GRP that covers up the mess at the bottom of the screen. It actually clips fairly neatly into the windscreen pillars at either side of the screen and looks like this:Presumably the large gap under the middle of this will be removed by the wiper connections, which pass through here.

The problem with this fillet is that the inside of it is rather obvious from inside the car. For example, each of the bits of GRP from Westfield has a paper tag just under that last layer of resin telling you who made it and the particular gelcoat used. This tag on the filler is clearly visible, at the moment, from inside the car.

Tomorrow I will try and see if there is anything that I can do to improve the fitting of all this.

I always knew that this was going to be the most difficult bit of the car, from the amount of text in the manual and the amount of discussion that there seems to be in the other Westfield build diaries that are on the web.

Still seems naff though...

August 7th

After much messing around, it's clear that the windscreen is staying where it is, so the issue is how to fill in the gaping hole at the bottom. The manual says that it should be filled with silicone sealant but it seems to me that filling a 10 mm gap with sealant is just too much.

So, we go off on a search and eventually end up back at MacKay's again where they have some high-density, sticky-backed foam. Presumably it's intended as a sort of draught excluder but it looks as though it will fill the gap well. We then took off the screen and stuck some of the foam to the bottom of the screen, across most of the width of the body. (The screen is really resting on the edges. If nothing else, this will at least make more of the screen carry its own weight.) Luckily the foam is exactly the same width as the screen itself, so it fits rather neatly. and when the screen it put back it looks much better, especially from the inside.

The next thing is to seal the bottom of the screen, underneath where the windscreen fillet is going to be. So, I masked the area with masking tape, put prodigious quantities of sealant in the right general area, and then scraped most of it off so that there was a reasonable seal.

It's not clear why the bottom of the screen has to be sealed so well. It seems likely that the slots that the screen goes into on the screen pillars are going to leak like crazy, as there is no real sealing at all. (My experience with soft-top cars. largely confined to an MGB back in the 70s, leads me to believe that if there is any chance that water will come in somewhere then it will do so in large quantities.

The next thing to do is to fit the windscreen fillet, but as the sealant really needs 24 hours to dry, I decided to start fitting the radiator to the nose cone. In our case this must be fitted in a a duct that takes coolant air from the intake and exhausts it at the top of the nose cone, just in front of the bonnet. Things went swimmingly at first in that the radiator fan was mounted to the rear half of the ducting, the radiator put in place and the front half of the duct "sandwich" offered up to the back half. At this point it became obvious that there was a gap between the front and rear halves of the duct that air would leak out of, although that might well not be the end of the world. It also means that the two halves couldn't be bolted together cleanly without some washers. I bolted it like this for now, but it's going to need some bits of neoprene foam between the two halves, methinks.

I'm a bit concerned that the only thing that is holding the actual radiator is the clamping effect of the these bolts holding the two pieces of ducting together and against the radiator that is between them.

After bolting it all together it looks like this:

However, there's still a couple of problems. The build manual is completely vacant on the issue of how these ducts are attached to the nose cone itself. Another build page says that the nose cone was "attached with three dome-headed bolts at the top", but I'm not exactly sure what this means.

The connection for the radiator fan will have to go through the duct, and as far as I can see the wire's not going to be long enough. Presumably, this is another piece of the pre-installed wiring that will have to be lengthened.

After doing this I realised that the foam that we had purchased for the bottom of the windscreen would do admirably for the gap between the two halves of the ducting. So, I took it apart again and put it back together again. It looks rather better now, although I still have to sort out how to attach it to the nosecone itself, although it does just sit there OK:

I finished the day by lengthening the cable that has to go to the fan switch inserted in the radiator, as mentioned before. Unfortunately, I overestimated and I've got rather a lot of cable there. I'll have to coil it up somewhere.

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