Doesn't seem like a month since collection day..
First job today, fitted the tunnel top. No problems here just followed
the video. There was about 14" or so left off from the large
end of the tunnel top which it turned out I need to make up the
shortfall in the section for the front tunnel top. (the one you
cut out of the floor to fit the gearbox/engine). It looks a bit
like one of grandmothers patchwork quilts, but the carpet will hid
this and I am sure several other messy bits.
A mate came round and bought all 5 of my alloy wheels and tyres,
(195x65x14), and left me with the wheels off his ford van until
I have tyres for my RHE alloys. Looks a bit different with the 165's
from the van and bags of clearance, around the sliding pillar/spring.
I will wait until I have fitted the alloys before ordering spacers
as I am not sure how the offset of the RHE alloys affects the clearance.
Started trial fitting the pedal box in order to fit the firewall
panels. Talk about the Krypton factor !, there are a lot of variables
to take into account when fitting the pedal box, ie clearance of
pedals to tunnel side, clearance of pedals to footwell end, clearance
of pedals to steering shaft, position of steering bush bracket.
You constantly need to adjust then get in the car, try everything
for size, get out adjust , get in etc
I finally decided on a suitable position and clamped the servo
plate into position. I then used the offside fire wall panel fitted
to the servo plate as a guide for the remaining fire wall panels.
This is where I made a cockup because the nearside panel ended up
just over an 1" to far over, the little 'v' was offcentre and
more importantly the battery tray now ended up 1" to narrow
and the battery wouldn't fit !.
At this point I packed up for the day and went off to B&Q,
picked up some more self tappers and some mastic tape which will
supplement the silicon sealer for filling large gaps. The tape is
on a 2" roll and cuts nicely into smaller strips, it's self-adhesive
and moulds well.
Having clamped up the servo plate I now bit the bullet and bolted
the plate into place. I noticed that because the steering bush bracket
is under the servo plate, spacers are need under the other edge
of the servo plate so that it tightens up nice and square. Fitted
the steering bush kit and cut the steering join from the sierra
shaft to make up the difference between the end of the steering
wheel shaft and the RHE shaft. I had the same problem other people
have had in that the 'pinch' bolt on the RHE shaft would not tighten
up on the sierra shaft, so I fitted copper shims, (15mm central
heating pipe), inside the pinch bolt, now it tightens up fine.
The shaft fouled on the 4 into 1 manifold, after adjusting the
steering column as much as possible the solution was to rotate the
steering rack upwards slightly, this gave me about 10mm clearance
past the manifold.
Fitted the pedal box next no real problems except that the accelerator
pedal looks like it will need a spacer to bring it in line with
the other pedals, (can't remember it being offset forward on the
sierra). Fitted the clutch cable and servo/master cylinder. As expected
the pedals are a bit on the high side for my dinky size 8 feet,
I will have a raised floor in this area. The seat / pedal arrangement
seems okay although I would have thought that with the steering
wheel nearly in your lap, it must be a bit difficult for 'larger'
people to get in and out.
Now I decided to fix my cockup with the fire wall panels. This
time I made sure the little 'v' was in the centre of the car then
cut/bent and formed the other panels to suit. All fits now except
that the battery tray now has 1" missing from the nearside.
Pop riveted in an offcut to make up the difference and the battery
About time I had some working brakes, so I ordered 25ft of brake
pipe to supplement the meagre amount included in the kit. I also
borrowed a brake pipe flaring tool to make my new 'ends'.
Before fitting the hydraulic brakes I fitted the handbrake. This
is mounted on top of the tunnel between the seats, unlike the video
which suggests fitting on the floor beside the passenger side of
the tunnel. A length of 1 ½" angle was then fitted to
the top of the rear chassis tubes just behind the back panel. The
angle was slotted to allow for the handbrake cable adjusting mechanism,
and bolted to the chassis.
Next I shortened the handbrake cable and fitted a new nipple by
drilling an 8mm bolt , sliding onto the cable and hitting with a
large lump hammer, seemed to do the job fine. Fitting new brake
shoes and the handbrake cable was a bit of a pain, getting all the
springs etc all assembled and not loosing any fingers in the processes.
Once the wheels were back on, the cable adjusted nicely to give
a firm handbrake.
The 3 way union for the rear brake pipes was also mounted on the
same piece of angle.
Now time to make up the hydraulic brake pipes..
I located the deceleration valve inside the tunnel beside the gearbox
at the recommended angle of 30 degrees. I then ran the main length
of pipe included in the kit, back down the tunnel to the 1"
flat at the rear and fitted to the 3 way union. Next I ran a length
of pipe outwards from the union at the rear to each wheel, connecting
to the flexible hoses bridging the gap between the axel and wheel
back plate. I used the supplied pipe first to avoid making up to
many ends. The front 'little' end of the deceleration valve goes
to the rear and the rear of the valve outlet goes to the rearmost,
(closest to the servo), connection on the master cylinder.
I now ran a length from the deceleration valve out of the front
tunnel, up around the firewall and into the master cylinder. Next
two lengths were run from the master cylinder to the front wheels,(by
now I had used up the supplied pipe). The nearside pipe runs back
across the firewall then down the inside side tubing. All pipes
were 'P' clipped in place.
All the pipe were now fitted so time to bleed the brakes, I purchased
a one man self brake bleed kit from Halfords, they lied, you need
two people, one to hold the pipe in the bottle to catch the fluid,
and tell you if anything is happening. It took ages to pump all
the air out before any fluid started to appear, then hey presto
I re-adjusted the handbrake and stood back to admire my completed
Had a look at mounting the radiator, because I am using the Injection
engine with the large yellow viscous fan , there is not enough room
for the radiator in the suggest position. ie on the cross member
in front of the fan. A couple of 38mm exhaust clamps later and the
radiator is mounted on the very front cross member in the nosecone.
I will also fit an electric fan on the back to aid cooling and ensure
the in-fill panels drive all air-intake through the radiator.
Radiator hose shouldn't be a problem as I have seen a selection
of ribbed flexible radiator hose in Halfords up to 690mm long.
Long before this stage other builders have normally fitted some
of the exterior panels. I am leaving the panels until after the
engine has been started, mainly because it is much easier to get
at everything and not worry about putting a dint in the panel. I
am sure by now I would have slipped with the drill and dinted a
panel or two.
Next weekend I will have a go at connecting fuel pipe, filter,
pump and tank.
Before attempting to fit the fuel lines, I first decided to fit
and mount the tank. I have purchased a plastic tank with internal
baffles for the injection engine, so it was not possible to 'weld'
fixings to the tank. The simplest solution was to make up a frame
for the tank to sit in whilst also provide fixing points for the
fuel pump. I am using the donor gravity fuel pump and needed to
fit the pump under the tank as per the donor.
As you can see by the picture is was a simple matter to re-use
the original mount for the fuel pump, and then just bend the fixing
hole tabs flat and screw to the tank frame. (I have yet to clean
and paint the frame and pump). The fuel return pipe comes back to
the pump 15mm inlet. To mount the tank I got hold of some 5mm threaded
rod from B&Q , then used a piece of 1" angle and clamped
the whole lot up just like the fixing I have seen for some batteries.
Now for the fuel lines. As I am using the injection system both
my flow and return pipes need to be 8mm OD . I bought a reel of
copper pipe and 4 meters of flexible for the end connections. The
copper pipe I ran along the passenger side of the tunnel, both flow
and return clipped with P clips. At the engine end the pipe terminate
just inside the end of the tunnel, then the flexible runs to the
filter, fuel rail and pressure regulator. At the other end the copper
pipe terminates on top of the axle, with flexible then running down
to the fuel pump.
The sender unit fits nicely in the supplied thick plastic pad,
all I have to do is use self tappers and pull down onto the original
Fitted a few items on the engine today. The coil mounted nicely
with a 'P Clamp' onto on of the supports for the EFI Plenum Chamber,
the fuel filter was simply clamped to the chassis with a big jubilee
clip. Next the alternator, I had read about a few problems fitting
the alternator, the video tells you to turn the mounting upside
down. However mine is the cast solid type so that won't work. Instead
I found that if you leave everything as is it all fits but you don't
have much room for belt adjustment. To give more adjustment I ground
away a large section of the mounting where the top right fixing
hole is, this then allows the alternator to pivot another 15mm or
so. You are now only left with two fixing bolts unless you use a
countersunk bolt for the fixing point. You can even still use the
same steady bar and it's fixing points.
Preliminarily fitted the seat belts, mainly to work out where the
inside fixing point needs to be. It looks like my best option is
to weld an upright plate on the 2" angle used under the car
for fixing the seat. The plate will then poke up through the floor
complete with welded , ie captivated 3/8 UNF nut for the seat belt.
Blast, just dropped my welding mask an broke the glass, I tried
welding with one eye shut and a piece of broken welding glass over
the other. Admitted defeat and stopped for the day.
I am very close to starting the engine now so it looks likes like
next week I will have to sort out the wiring loom, (nightmare!).
Not much done this weekend, spent Saturday at the pantomime with
the girls and Sunday with a hangover. I was going to have a go at
the loom this weekend, but felt that in my present condition I would
attempt something a bit simpler.
Still I did manage to get the valve seals replaced on the engine.
I borrowed a nice little compression tool from Jim Stott. This little
too allows you to replace the seal without removing the cylinder
head. I used a short length of 15mm copper pipe as a drift for fitting
the new seals. My Pinto engine did not seems to have the classis
signs of valve seal wear, ie smoking on start-up, but I thought
it prudent to replace them anyway.
Here's a link to Jims Instructions for replacing the valve stem
seals on the rhocar
I also got hold of some angled wheel spacers from Jim for the rear
wheels. This is basically to overcome the negative camber induced
by the Sierra independent suspension. The effect is to make the
car look like it is 'squatting' when viewed from the back, ie the
tops of the wheels tilt in towards the body. Whilst this is not
a problem, I felt it does not look aesthetically nice and reduces
the tyre to body clearance at the top of the wheel.
Unfortunately I had a slight problem with the spacers, (which fit
between the brake back plate and the axle face), the spacer have
been made with a 77mm dia for clearance over the half shaft. However
on my car the 'can' on the C.V joint is 80mm, so I was unable to
slide the spacers over the half shaft. I contacted Jim who said
he had not come across this before, but offered to open out the
ID for me.
Not wanting to trouble Jim, a very nice chap at work opened out
the ID for me, the spacers then went on no problem and made a marked
difference to the wheel alignment. Other builders have commented
this solution also seems to help handling.
A mate got hold of a mini heater and wiper system for me, all for
a tener !
With the spacers fitted I positioned my newly acquired Mini heater
and gave up for the day..
Next week I must have a go at the loom