Well now the garage is fit to bursting, so first job
is to try and sort out all the stuff we 'dumped' in the garage after
getting back from collection day
yesterday. I put the Recardo seats upstairs in the spare room, (with
the bosses permission of course). The glass under the bed and then
hung everything I could on the walls , (the garage walls that is
!), then put the rest up in the storage space above my garage door.
The 5 Alloy wheels seem to take up a lot of space,
as does the carpet supplied by RHE.
Now I seem to have enough room to work and the chassis
is on axle stands waiting to be painted.
That's used up most of Sunday, so now it's off to
watch the video's..
Finally finished painting the chassis, it's amazing who long it
takes to paint all the chassis tubes. The paint has covered well
and the finish is very good, shame none of the tubes are seen once
the 2B is completed, (apart from the Roll-Bar).
My plastic petrol tank arrived today from Chris Gibbons . Very
nice job and complete with baffle and bottom exit for my Injection
system. I can thoroughly recommend Chris for his excellent work
and it cost me £80 including postage and packaging.
I feel a lot more confident now after watching the video's, so
I decided to fit the back axles assembly. I used the same technique
as I the video and balanced the chassis on house bricks, (covered
in cardboard, 3 bricks high), the chassis now rocks gently with
the centre of balance such that the back end is heavy. I put a weight
in the front to lift the backend then slid the axle assembly under
the chassis. Although two people helped in the video I managed okay
on my own. Once the axle assembly was lined up under the hole in
the chassis mounting plate, I took the weight off the front and
lowered the backend down onto the axle assembly.
It was a bit of a pain 'guessing' where the two holes for the diff
mount have to be drilled, I ended up with one of the holes elongated
to get It to line up, but a nice big washer hides the hole. Everything
basically went as the video, I used the big cup washer from the
front suspension under the rubber mounting and the cup washer from
the front roll bar. Rather than chisel out a large hole under the
axle sub frame mount I drilled several larger holes enabling me
to get a nut and washer up into the void in the subframe. I did
not lean the chassis up against the wall on it's side as in the
video, I managed to jack the whole lot up enough to get underneath.
I bought the rear coil-over shocks from RHE, these were simple
to fit, just a matter of cutting off enough of the roll bar bottoms
to allow the back end to sit low enough. Apparently the bolts in
the top and bottom coil-over shocks should be parallel with the
half shafts when all the car is fully loaded. Mine sits a bit high
at the moment as I did not want to cut off too much of the roll
Now it's starting to look better, we have rear suspension and wheels!.
At the moment I am using the wheels and tyres from the donor , but
will eventually fit my nice RHE alloy's. It was at this point that
I decided to get some of the bits ready for the front sliding pillar
suspension. The first strut from the donor came apart no problem,
then disaster hit. Just as Richard say's in the video 'be careful
as it is very easy to shear off the pinch bolt for the bottom swivel
joint', mine sheared off, blast now I will have to try and drill
out the bolt and replace it with a high tensile nut and bolt. After
several attempts and two broken drills I decided to take the bottom
swivel into work to see if they could drill it out for me.
Had another look at the rear suspension, mine is definitely sitting
too high. I decided to take some more off the bottom of the roll
bar tubes. I was amazed just how much I had to take off, almost
as much as it is possible. The coil-over shocks were re-fitted and
now the back end sits just right, with the drive shafts parallel
with the top and bottom coil-over shock bolts when fully loaded.
Assembled the engine/gearbox back together with a new clutch. Had
another look at the video to see how RHE squeezed the engine in
. RHE stress this is a difficult operation and requires two people.
I had no problems on my own just gently lowering and moving forward
just a little at a time. At about halfway I lifted up the gearbox
end with a rope, then slid my trolley jack underneath the end of
the gearbox. There was no need to grind off the gearbox web as instructed
in the video or cut down the gearbox mounting plate on the chassis.
Basically no problems at all, engine went in fine, the EFI unit
on the engine has to be lowered yet. I have elft the old exhaust
manifold on at the moment Next weekend the bit I have not been looking
forward to.. Assembly of the dreaded sliding pillar suspension.
This weekend I decided to tackle the sliding pillar suspension
and get a rolling chassis. I know people will say, 'why on earth
did you go for the sliding pillar option and not buy the wishbone
pack ?'. Well I decided to spend the money one alloy wheels, Recardo
seats, etc as included in the £1835 kit. I also thought that
as there had been so many problems with the S.P plenty of advice
and solutions will be available. In any event if I am not happy
with the S.P I could change at a later date by purchasing the wishbone
add on kit from Sid's workshop, and have kept the original steering
rack for that reason.
Right first job was to cut up the sierra strut and get the chrome
shaft out. No problems there, lot's of hot messy oil over the ground
!. Good news both my chrome shafts have the correct 9mm nut/thread
at the bottom. I filed off the sleeve rather than drill as tricky
suggests. When offered up to the chassis the chrome shaft appears
to fit okay but once the chrome shaft locator , (top hat to me and
you), is slid on it does not sit flat on the bottom wishbone arm.
There is a 2 mm gap at the front with the back edge of the top hat
on the wishbone seat. I made up an angled spacer to sit under the
top hat to compensate. The same for the other side.
Right, now to assemble the swivel joint, blimey ! what a lot of
bits to assemble correctly. One of my swivel joints has had the
pinch bolt drilled out at work, (it sheared off !), so I also fitted
a nice new nut/bolt in the other swivel. The chrome shaft was a
very very tight fit in the bronze bushes, so as 'Tricky Dicky' says,
I filed the bushes out with emery paper. The rest of the assembly
went okay but as normal I had to grind down my spring compressors
to get them out, they had to be 'thinned' out quite a lot. I also
managed to lever apart the wishbones with a sprag of wood as Tricky
say's to get a nice tight fit. I also drilled the chrome shaft locator
and bolted them to the lower wishbone arm with 2BA screws.
As expected I had the same problem as most people seem to have
with the Spring/Wheel clearance, or lack of it. I am using the donor
195/65/14 and Ghia alloy wheels, I measured the RHE alloys and noticed
the offset is better and will give me a bit of clearance, but to
make sure I have ordered spacers and studs . I do however have plenty
of clearance between the lower end of the chrome shaft, and the
inside of the wheel rim, and will have even more with the 15"
Well now I have a rolling chassis, and can at least push it up
and down the garage..
Now that I have a rolling chassis it would be a good idea if I
could connect the wheels together, time to put the steering rack
I followed the video but instead of using the spacers provided,
(bits of flat steel), I engineered my own and will weld then to
the chassis . I am having a bit of a problem getting the taper to
bite, as the nyloc starts to tightens up before the taper has locked.
I will get a normal nut , tighten that up then put the nyloc nut
on after. I have had to use a spacer washer as the taper pulls through
the fixing point a bit. Unlike Tricky suggests I have not 'waggled'
a drill around in the top of the track rod end fixing hole, but
fitted mine from the bottom as Mr Ford intended.
At the moment I have guessed the camber by eye, and the toe-in.
There does seem to be negative castor , so the steering self centre
should be okay. If there is a problem with not enough negative camber
or castor I will alter the slot in the top wishbone arm to suite.
I know some people have filed out the slot another ½"
to get enough negative camber.
Steering rack in, looks like there is just enough room for the
connecting rod to just miss the 4-into-one manifold.
Next thing is to fit some interia panels and the steering wheel.
So on to fitting the floor, the 3.3 high-nox drills seem to be just
the job for drilling the stainless sheet, and the floor is finished
in no time. I will pop rivet later.
Had a nice Christmas and managed to stay away from the 2B until
today, (went to the pictures yesterday to see Lord of The Rings,
Now was time to attempt my first bit of panel bending, the rear
seat panel. I watched the video which mad it seem quite easy, so
I then set aside a large area of cardboard on the garage floor.
To my surprise the panel bent as expected, although the stainless
does seem a bit harder to bend than the mild steel Richard uses
in the video. The panel fitted quite well into the chassis with
the bottom 'clipping' in behind the head of the floor/rear subframe
bolts as in the video.
At this point I decided to strip off the protective coating for
the stainless, as it is a pain to get off once screwed/riveted together
if you forget to peel back the fixing area, (as I seem to !). It
doesn't matter if I scratch the interior panels anyway, as they
will all be carpeted in time. There seem to be a lot of gaps, which
will need filling to stop the water getting in.
The tunnel sides were next, no problems here just simple 1"
bends along the bottom of each panel and a couple of mouse holes
cut into each side to allow for the chassis tubes and access to
the Speedo cable. I am using No 8 ½ "pan head self tappers
at the moment, with a view to replacing with pop rivets and 6mm
bolts for the floor at a later date when I am sure everything fits
as it should. It is surprising how much everything stiffens up when
screwed together and seems quite strong. Even so I have also fitted
additional floor strengthening across the bottom of the chassis
at the point of the rear sub mounting plate, and about 15cm away
from the chassis rube where the foot-well starts. I have used 40mm
by 3mm angle , (1 ½" x 1/8" ), this also provides
fixing points and support for the seats. The inside seat belt fixing
points will also use this strengthening bar.
Note:- a small tip, use gloves when panelling, I have numerous
cuts on my hands/fingers and lots of blood stains on the stainless
So time to put the seats in and see if they fit!. I have bought
the Recardo seats from RHE, these are very nice fancy seats and
are narrower than the sierra seats. However to my surprise I still
had to remove stuff from the sides of the seats to get them in.
There is a little forward and backward movement, but not the full
travel. It must be a very tight fit for the sierra seats !. At least
I did not have to take a hammer to my nice new Recardo seats as
Richard does to the sierra ones in the video. I can use the height
adjustment but will have to make up an extension for the operating
The seats are only provisionally in place and the tunnels sides
are only held with self tappers at the moment, this means I can
keep removing both items to get access to the inside of the tunnel
for routing the wires, brakes pipes and fuel lines.
My next job now that the seats are in position is to fit the steering
wheel. I have bought the RHE supplied Mountney Wheel and decided
to fit it before the SVA but covered with thick padding and hope
it passes. The Mountney comes with very little instructions and
it took me a while to figure out how it came apart, you just lever
off the boss. I had been trying to undo the screws in the back.
The sierra wheel came apart no problem and the Mountney went on
without any fuss. Note, make sure you can find the ignition keys
from the donor car, I had trouble getting the sierra boss off as
the steering lock was on and I could not find the keys !.
There is a note inside the Mountney boss kit which states you made
need the enclosed washer, err I could not find any use for it or
decide where it would go
answers on a postcard please..