Monday, 3 October 2011

Latest Blog entry.....

    Hi to all, and welcome to latest of my blitherings following
the build of my GBS Zero. Firstly, as many of you will know, in the real
world my Zero is now on the road and being driven around by yours truly.
All i can say is, no matter how many or how high the hurdles you overcome
during your build are, the feeling, the grin and the sheer satisfaction of
driving your very own creation on the road, the sun shining down, the wind rushing by.... it is worth it!  Keep at it, you will win the ultimate battle.
     Well then, the last thing i was busy doing in the last part of my build was deciding on a better way of fitting the rear panel where it is designed to overlap the side panel. I simply couldn't bring myself to overlap one over the other, especially with the rear arches fitting in this area also, so a plan was hatched....

I had decided the best way was to go for a 'butt' joint type arrangement
to leave the two panels sat flush with each other. To simply cut off the
overlap to match the sidepanel would be the easiest option, but unfortunately the chassis rail is fully occupied by the side panel and there would be no where to fasten to.  MMMhhhhh, cogs are frantically
turning in the old grey matter as i have a light bulb on moment.....
Lets form a fold in the rear panel so i can let it in above the side panel which would also allow it to be rivetted to the same top chassis rail.
I quickly realised this could look really neat if i managed to mark out for the folds accurately enough so i set too, masking tape in hand.
Now then, why is it both my daughters have more crayons and felt tips than the Crayola warehouse between them but still feel the need to rob poor old Dad of his measily collection of black finepoint markers??

MEGAN!!!   PARIS!!!   Where are my black pens?.....  Silence.....
the trampoline was empty, they had took too hiding.
Good old SWMBO appeared, marker in one hand, a cup of tea in the other
one, a welcome sight.

OK then, tea slowly vanishing and my duly returned marker in hand i set too on marking out for the folds. A great deal of care is required here if you so choose to follow my method as it's not a straight fold, but passes an angular change of direction on the side panel.
I made a cardboard template first to try it and once happy with the fit etc i set too on the panel itself.


As you can see from the pics above, once the folds are in place it is necessary to produce 2 small cutouts. These are to provide clearance
around the vertical chassis rails, but be careful not to cut into the radius
off the fold otherwise it will be seen once finished.

               Before i actually finally fit the rear panel i thought it prudent
to ensure any jobs that require doing in the rear of the car where complete, where possible,  as ease of access would be somewhat limited once it was.
The biggest task that i chose to do first was the handbrake cable  due to me thinking it would be a simplistic task involving no more than feeding  it through the tunnel, through the factory pre fitted mounts and out to each rear brake.....
I was right, it was a doddle, mere minutes passed and all was in place...
but it looked utter sh!te.  i just wasn't happy with how the cable was routed or seemed under stress due to the said route, so what to do?
As seems to be becoming the norm just lately with my build, a fresh mug of motion potion was soon being brewed whilst yours truly reached for the thinking cap and plonked his ar5e in 'old comfy.

As i sat sipping the fresh brew i spied the alloy offcut pile down the side of a cupboard and another light bulb moment was born. So, removing the cable from its mounts i set about putting my plan into action.
Basically, i made some heavy duty P-clip style brackets,  but bent and formed to suit the cables natural route from the tunnel to the rear hubs.


Once happy with the handbrake cables new freeflowing route and fixings
i permantly fixed the Facet solid state fuel pump and pre filter in place and earthed it to the chassis.  (i had previously drilled and tapped the chassis for the pump).
The next pre rear panel tasks where to P clip the rear flexi to the upper wishbone leg, and fit the fuel guage sender unit into the tank.
The tank was made by a good mate of mine, (made to order, plug, plug) so i knew the hole was already the correct size for the sender, so i just had to drill the holes for the actual fixings. 
(You also really ought to check the travel of the float arm at this stage also or your guage will be VERY inaccurate, as i found out whilst doing 70mph (honest officer) down a dual carraigeway)
I knocked up a catch cup to stop / limit the amount of swarf entering the tank and once it was marked out and centre popped, i drilled the holes for the self tappers. Once drilled i made a sticky stick to clean out any swarf
that had managed to avoid captivity from my catch cup. (patent pending).

So then my fellow hoodies and partners in crime, it's time to recount my
time spent fitting the rear panel.
If i'm being honest, with all the previous trial fitting and setting up of the rear stays etc, the actual act of fitting the panel was very simple. Just a case of being careful so as not to damage the panel or scratch the chassis / roll hoop whilst placing it into position.
With a couple of small g-clamps holding the top capping strip to the feet of the roll hoop stays i stood back for a look. A smiling chap i was, another productive day going well..... Nick!........ the washer is leaking!
Bang goes the rest of my afternoon in the garage then, Doh!

Work had been chaos of late with it being the start of the new F1 season, so a fair few days had passed since my last garage token had been cashed in with wifey and the memory of the leaking washing machine was a distant one.

Right then...  overalls on, kettle on & radio on, let battle commence.
I had already decided on the main governing factor with regard to the final positioning of the rear panel so the main task for today would be marking out and trial fitting.
Okey dokey then, my main reason explained....
I wanted to ensure that when it came to fitting the rear arches, i could get them perfectly centralised over the wheels, but also ensure they looked right with how they sat against the rear panel.
(I must apologise for not having any pictures to support my technique, as my good lady had the camera with her on a day trip whilst i was doing this, but I'll do my best to explain).

With the rear panel safely stored away from the car, i marked a vertical line onto the side panel to create a datum point. Next i made a cardboard template of the outer radius of the rear arch and marked onto it both a vertical and horizontal line. The vertical line was to mark the centre of the radius and the horizontal one to aid in postioning the template onto the car.
I measured the distance on the car from the hub centre to the datum line i drew and then positioned the template onto the car at this measurement. ( cut a small U shape in it to clear the driveshaft).
I fitted a wheel and tyre onto the hub and nipped up a couple of wheel nuts, then with a black marker pen held flat onto the tread of the tyre and against the template i drew a radius by simply turning the wheel.
You following?  lol.... where's my camera?

I then drew around the template onto the side panel to make refitting it a simple task then removed it and placed on the floor.
Next bit was to measure the distance between the line representing the wheel arch and the line i had just drawn using the tyre, to ensure that they where central to each other. Obviously there won't be a nominal value for the gap as the arch isn't a true radius, but as long as you measure parallel to the horizontal line each time and the dimensions match you'll be in the right ball park.

Right then, i'm a happy bunny with my checks so its back on with the rear panel and once it's clamped to the rear stays i position the template back onto the side and align it with the profile i drew prior to removing it.
Once this was done it soon became evident that if i had simply fitted the rear panel to the chassis etc the arch would of been forced forward massively off centre and i'd of been a very angry little man. Either that or the arch would of stuck past the rear corner!  Eeek!! Either would of looked a pigs ear.

Trusty old quick clamps to hand, i pulled the bottom of the rear panel (at the rear) until i was happy that the template sat nicely on the flat portion of the area the arch would fit too.
With my OCD giving even me an headache by now, i eventually convinced myself that all was well and set about actually riveting the bloody thing on!
Word of caution.... when drilling the underneath area, only spot the chassis for the rivet holes, then remove the rear panel to drill thro'.
If you miscalculate and drill the fuel tank by accident.... well, i needn't say anymore.

              Standing back from the car, with a fresh brew in hand i could feel that all familiar grin of the Chesire Feline variety making an appearance....
Another milestone, Nick my old mate.... another milestone.

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