Sunday 30 October 2011

A week off work

With it being half term I thought I'd take some time off work to spend time with Lydia, however with it being Lydia's half term she had decided to meet up with various teacher friends so it meant I had plenty of time to devote to the car!

Since the last post I have fitted both side panels, the car apparently now looks like a fancy boat. Both panels have gone on with quite a bit of ease, Sikaflex used in great quantities and a few rivets which I expect will be hidden once the car is complete.

I took a trip up to GBS as I needed a few more parts. Not sure if this is due to the build order I've gone with but I was kind of hoping the kit I had originally purchased would have lasted me until nearer Christmas before I had to buy lots more parts. Despite Monday being the day they had returned from the Exeter show they were happy to answer a few questions I had about the brake pipes, although I was more or less happy with my original routing they were able to show me a better route that would retain some kind of neatness. I was also given some tips on fitting the required IVA trim in relation to the front suspension. So in addition the advice I obtained and the parts I collected it was a worthwhile journey, be it just over 7 hours of driving!

A tip to anyone planning a Zero build, think about your build order ahead of ordering the kit as it may save you some journeys or delivery costs! Like many other builders have mentioned, GBS need a build guide.

I got started on the car later than I had planned to, probably due to the journey the day before! The first job of the day was to reroute the nearside front brake based on the advice from GBS, this now goes directly to the tunnel and around the passenger footwell instead of going across the engine bay. The offside front follows a similar route, under the steering column towards the tunnel then into the engine bay down towards the flexihose join. Hopefully the picture explains a little better.

The next job on the list was to start fitting the front wishbones and suspension. This included fitting another set of bushes, I won't go into the detail on these again as it's a dull job and one that requires a certain degree of attention to ensure everything is straight. I decided to start from the bottom up and focus on one side at a time, I'm pleased to say that everything went in place with a certain amount of ease (better than the rear!).

At this stage the steering rack was just placed in the car for storage, fixing this was a job for Thursday. The suspension and wishbones had just been loosely bolted in, I needed to pad out the upper wishbone and upper bracket of the suspension with washers before I could tighten. Again this would a job for Thursday.

Final task for the day was to finish cleaning the front hubs, this job doesn't deserve a photo!

Today was a day off the car, except for a first coat of paint on the hubs and get the front brake calipers in soak ready for cleaning on Thursday.

Thursday was always going to be a car day as I had arranged some help from Dave. Before I was joined I managed to get a second coat on the hubs and I cleaned the front calipers. Once the calipers had dried I applied the first coat paint, gone for a matt black which will hopefully look nice against the gunmetal alloys I plan to get.

When Dave arrived we set to work on securing the front end, wasn't a huge task but needed to be done right (and tight). After just over an hour everything was tight, I've included a photo of the suspension to show how it was padded out with washers.
We then set about fixing up the steering rack arms with the lovely IVA covers, these are easier to apply when slightly warmed up. As the photo demonstrates, it may be worth me adding some paint to the end sections of the arms but for now they are done. I also couldn't stop myself from adding a hub unit to the set up.
To finish the day off we secured the steering rack in place, on second thoughts this may need to be adjusted slightly but I'm saving that for another day. Once the steering rack was secured we then fitted the steering shaft from GBS.

I was on my own again so managed to get to work as soon as I was ready for the day. Started the day by finishing off the brake calipers, these would be ready by the end of the day. After getting some advice from Mike and the Internet I thought I'd tackle the rear shoes. It took just under a couple of hours but I finally got the better of the offside rear, I was mega pleased with myself! So much so that I have to include a photo (admittedly with the drum on). 
With the first drum brake complete I wanted to continue with the good progress but something potentially quicker. I started on attaching the front upper ball joints, only temporarily though as I need the lock nuts. Not letting this stop me I managed to secure everything and ease in the wing bracket with some copper grease - got loads left so I should use it wherever I need it.
Soon after this I managed to replace the front brake pads, took delivery of my new discs (great timing by Parcelforce) and then fitted the whole brake set up.

I finished up on Friday by refitting the other rear drum. The car is really taking shape now and I felt like I had completed some significant tasks. Only downside from the whole week though - the garage (and car) really does need a clean.

I cleaned both the garage and car, needed doing and I can now see the floor of the car again. Forgot how smart it all looked.

I had a decision to make, start on the scuttle or the rear panel? Both tasks had a high chance of going wrong so I had to take things slowly. All I did on Saturday was fold in all the tabs courtesy of the garden table.

All in all a good week, according to my original plan I should be in December now.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Fuel Pipes

I only had a couple of hours spare today so I thought I'd focus on fixing in the fuel pipes as far forward as is sensible at the moment. Along with this I also managed to fix up some of the wiring loom and the rear brake pipe (hadn't been properly attached).  To make life easier I made up some brackets from some left over metal.

I'm all set to start drilling and fixing up the side panels ready in time for half term when I can concentrate on the front suspension & steering. Will be planning a trip up to GBS to collect a few parts and take a look at the part builds to see if I can take any inspiration.

Only a short blog as I didn't really do much else on the car. I might need to stick the Dyson round the car soon, it looks a bit of a mess!

Sunday 9 October 2011

Fuel Tank

This weekend I was joined by Mike to specifically tackle the fuel tank, most of the preordered supplies arrived within an hour of Mike arriving and we were then good to go. Starting with the fuel sender, Mike got stuck in and applied the Hylomar Blue Gasket Sealer. After a couple of self tapping screws issues the send unit was in and will hopefully be sealed.

Once we were happy with this join we moved onto the actual placement of the fuel tank, it was also decided that a couple of metal (and sponge) straps would also help with keeping the tank in place. GBS tend to just bond the tank but with a couple of straps then the tank really won't budge! So the straps were made, sponge cut and the Sikaflex laid down. Once the tank was on the car, the straps were finally attached, M8 bolts at the top and two rivets at the bottom as I'm not sure how close the rear panel will be.

Following this it was decided to look at the final placement of all the rear braking lines, Mike made a couple of adjustments but nothing major. Quite pleased that I hadn't got it all completely wrong!! We also laid out the wiring loom, few bits cable tied in for a trial fit but nothing is final by a long way. Mike marked up the nearside body panel for drilling, this will just be screwed in for now. Final task of the day was to fix in the nearside front brake line, riveted and p-clipped in it now looks smart. Once the offside is in I'll add some photos.

After Mike had gone I decided I wanted to play around with my dashboard ideas:
Not doubt I'll revisit this many times over the next few months. Might just build the scuttle and fit the dash so I can view the whole lot!

Thanks for all the help this weekend Mike, fuel tank looks great and you passed on lots of valuable advice. Ta!

Sunday 2 October 2011

Drive shafts & rear brake work

With the October Indian Summer hitting hard this weekend I thought I'd lock myself in the garage and crack on with the build. Saturday started with a messy job, I had to clean the drive shafts ready for painting, joy! In actual fact the back of the rear drums and the drive shafts cleaned up really easily, so out came the paint and they were then done for the day. The engine below looks much cleaner than it really is!
Next task was to finish mounting the master cylinder so I could start connecting up the brake lines. The master cylinder is now in along with the reservoir, I've connected up the rear brake line but it looks a bit messy. May revisit once the other brake lines are in, as a collective they may look good.

Following this task I set about fixing in the passenger foot well, clamped in with a bit of sikaflex I left them to stick overnight. On Sunday I then stuck in the rivets and removed the classy protective film. It's amazing the difference a couple of panels can make to the overall appearance.

Final task on Saturday was to fit the handbrake & cable, this was a relatively easy job and is another tick on the overall plan. I was a bit disappointed my original Sierra handbrake didn't fit the mounts but £60 later for the full GBS kit I was well on my way. It fitted 1st time with no issues, another well built part from GBS.
That was it for Saturday, a good 4 hours in the heat but it felt like good progress. Sunday came about and I was keen to get the painted drive shafts in, I had been advised that a bit of grease would be required so I gloved up ready! Grease on, drums lined up, I was quite surprised that both drive shafts reattached to the diff quite easily. Bolts went in and the job was done, took about an hour but I thought I was going to have more problems. The end result looks great..............
You can also just about see the rear end of the handbrake cable.

After riveting the foot well in place (as above) I then start playing around with some of the scuttle panels, wanted to get a feel of how they will all fit together. It's really a job for another day but its good to plan ahead. Also looked at the steering rack, need to speak to GBS for advice of this as I don't think the Sierra steering rack is quite right, don't seem to fit on the mounts. I decided that I'll give them a ring, also need to ask them about the deceleration valve as used on the Sierra.

To ensure I finished on a high I decided to test fit one of the side panels, fits like a glove, the clamps are there just to make sure it doesn't fall and to help it take some of the shape of the car. Can't really properly fit these until the front brake line p-clips have been drilled but it'll give me an idea of where to aim!

Roll on next weekend when the main job will be the fuel tank, sender and pipes.