As much as I don’t want to rush the creation of our car, sometimes the enormity of the construction work is over whelming. Fabrication of components takes absolutely ages as does the making decisions on where things would be best placed for aesthetics and function. Of course there is also no manual advising on which parts to fit first so sometimes you can fabricate something then realise that once it is done, you cant fit it because something else has to be fitted first.
I had pretty much made my mind up that i was going to get the engine running in stages. I.e. connect the minimum amount of fuel and ignition components as possible to check they worked before expanding down the line. Fuel wise, the pump is fitted but not connected to the fuel tank, the pump can suck petrol out of a temporary can. The starter motor doesn’t need the battery to be in its final position, it can simply be connected via an old cable etc. If when connecting the battery to the starter motor, it turns the engine over, then I will know that part works. If when connecting 12v to the petrol pump it pushes petrol to the carburetors, then I will know that part works. \
The problem is that life is not as easy as that – the temperature gauge that i fitted I now remember has to be inserted through the front of the instrument panel so I had to remove that and work out where the sensor tube will run through the engine bay, through both firewalls to the instrument panel. Skip on a few hours and that is mostly done – except I then remember that the instrument panel isn’t anywhere close to being finished yet so I can the gauge yet.
The oil pressure gauge likewise – work out where the copper capillary tube needs to go, fabricate a complex series of bends into it (get it wrong and start again) until likewise you realise that this gauge too is inserted through the front of the instrument panel. Skip on a few hours and the pipe work is now complete.
The Ignition coil needs to be kept cool so I want to keep that out of the hot engine bay and mount it behind the first firewall. Easy enough, except that the main high tension cable now has to go through, over or round that firewall. Skip on a few hours and the coil is fitted with suitable cutouts made and (forward thinking), some protective covering so the cable cant short out to earth on the bodywork. Fabricate the rest of the ignition leads. Skip on a few hours and this is now done.
Ah but if I fit the instrument panel, it is going to be really hard to mount the two tiny windscreens which need bolting down *behind* the instrument panel. Think about how to make the windscreen mounts. I think some 12mm aluminum rod, welded to a plate specifically contoured to match the bodywork and at the top weld it to a machined 25mm spacer with a 20mm hole through the middle that the main windscreen mounting bar can slide into. Yuh that should work. Problem, the machining I can do but i dont know how to weld aluminium. Skip on a few hours and I have taught myself aluminium brazing which it appears is plenty strong enough. Below is my first successful attempt at ‘brazing’ 12mm bar to some 3mm thick plate. This is just a test piece and it is unfinished. Once cool i put the bar piece in the vice and tried to hammer off the plate, it didnt move. I then tried to lever off the plate with some very large pliers and the 3mm plate bent. The joint was completely fine! Bingo. I can now fabricate aluminium components and add a new skill to the portfolio.
Next onto the machining of the 25mm spacer which needs a 20mm hole through the middle. The lathe can drill up to a 10mm hole through the 27mm round bar, that means I have to machine out the inside of the hole until it is 20mm. I have never done this before and it took some time reading up and then getting the hang of ‘how’ to do that. Skip on several hours and I am still doing that… it is taking ages because you can only machine off a tiny amount at a time. Funny thing is I might not actually use the solution if it doesn’t look nice and I may change mind as I have another idea that would be easier.
We shall see… did I mention all this is time consuming? Fun though.