Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Beast Awakens

One of the best days of my build so far...

The plan today was to get the wheels on,  roll the car out,  clear out the dump that is my garage and try get the engine tuned to run better. 

Firstly,  tidied up some tunnel wiring:


I had to cut-out a small piece of the dash support piece on the side where the Carling switches are,  to enable the dash to be fitted in place:


Only 3 holes line up with the rivnuts on the dash support -  I will need to fettle the others at some later point. 

With that done,  out came the wheels for the first time and simply bolted on. The next step was getting the car down off the axle jacks, which was trickier than I expected; the rear wasn't too bad as my jack could go up enough to lift the car,  removed the rear stands and lowered the car to the floor. The front was more difficult as my jack wouldn't extend up high enough to get under the front chassis rail - I had to use an extra piece of wood and,  after removing the front stands,  then I lowered the car too quickly,  trapping the jack underneath! Luckily,  a neighbour came to the rescue with his own jack,  which I used to recover mine. 

So,  the car was on its wheels for the first time! Damn,  it's low... 

Now to get out my garage which has a 2 inch lip down... my son in the driving seat to work the brakes,  my neighbour pushing from behind and me at the front checking nothing grounded. I used a couple of wood pieces as ramps and slowly,  she rolled out to meet the world - and looked amazing:

 



Absolutely love those wheels! 

My garage looked a state:


... but a bit of work and tidiness was restored:


The one bit of bad news was that I couldn't get my ECU to talk to my laptop - I recently had to overwrite Windows with Ubuntu (because of a virus) and it doesn't seem to recognise the USB port. Not sure how to fix that... 

I left the engine running for long enough for the fan to come on,  which is great to know that works and my thermostat seems to work as all the coolant pipes got hot (and didn't start leaking). Brake lines all still leak-free as well,  all my electrics seemed to still be working and all the gauges do something - wonderful!

Even the handbrake works well without any adjustment (although I should maybe do some to make it come on with less travel). 

Even the wife,  dad and dog got involved:



But best of all (after a weekend of great things) was DRIVING MY car!! OK,  2 metres forward and several back but IT MOVES! Like a real car! 

Spent a while having to adjust the clutch cable (and still needs fine-tuning) but all gears were easy to select and power goes to the wheels. 

Which is lucky because I had hoped to reverse the car back into the garage,  which I was able to do,  with some wheel spin,  lots of fumes and wonderful noise. 


I am a very,  very happy chappy. 

There are some issues to be addressed; the horn didn't work and the wheel alignment needs work and I may have done the rear suspension bolts up too tight all those months ago; there is no give in the rear at all,  even with my weight on it. 

But it has been a weekend of great import and I am,  as the kids say,  stoked! 


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