Sunday, 20 October 2013

Bodywork & rear lights

Some interesting developments recently, including another slight change of plan in terms of bodywork.

Originally the plan was to go for a bright orange gel-coat body and order it in about 6 months’ time (depending on progress) and then allow for a 3 months lead time. About a year ago FSC’s fibreglass supplier had to change but unfortunately the new supplier has had some gel-coat colour match issues. 

Anyway to cut a long story short a body has come up that isn’t orange and has these colour match issues but is a standard body with doors and Le Mans bonnet. At the right price this means I can afford to have the rear lights ‘frenched in’ and the bodywork painted – and possibly even in the colour I’m really looking for plus the advantages of a painted rather than gel-coat finish (more than a co-incidence I’d say…).

So on the basis there is now a body and the rear lights are to be ‘frenched in’ the need to sort out the rear lights came to the forefront.

The main objectives for the rear lights are as follows:

·         LED technology
·         a minimalist look – including reflectors
·         fog and reverse lights incorporated as opposed to ‘stuck on’
·         minimal number of light clusters (two per side preferably)
·         close placement of light clusters to ensure styling, especially when ‘frenched in’

After a lot of rummaging around the main problem I was finding was meeting the IVA minimum spacing requirement between the O/S stop light and the O/S fog light, i.e. 100mm minimum, whilst still looking good.

All the light assemblies I could find resulted in either huge spacing between light clusters or a separate ‘stuck on’ fog light solution being needed. That was until I looked again at the Hella LED mix and match solution.

With this I realised the following arrangement was possible and gives a spacing of approx. 60mm between the cluster pairs (with a hope that a smaller spacing is possible based on seeing the physical design of the illuminated area of the lights themselves):

N/S outer cluster
N/S inner cluster
O/S inner cluster
O/S outer cluster
Outer ring
Anyway more to follow once the lights are ordered and can be checked etc.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

N4JB Engine Rebuild Complete!

Two posts in one day - 'Engine Reconditioning' page updated showing completion of the rebuild.

It's been a busy summer...

I won't even try to come up with a list of excuses in terms of what's kept me away from updating the Blog... apart from holidays, work, a change in plans etc.

Many thanks to BlatterBeast ( for posting a comment and retriggering the enthusiasm to post (and an appreciation that people are following the ‘action’).

Anyway the good news is that progress has continued in spite of a change of plans - which is probably the best place to start…

The change is to disc brakes instead of drum at the rear and a 3.62 LSD differential (along with the associated change to Lobro, bolt-on, drive-shafts) instead of the 3.62 ‘open’ diff.

I’d started out the build with the logic of using what I already had which was a drum brake and open diff Sierra rear end (originally for the Tiger). Once IVA’d I’d then source a LSD, and hopefully disc brakes, and change over. Well one day during the summer an XR4x4 rear end came up – and hence one of the distractions…

The LSD has been rebuilt to ‘as new’ standard by BGH Geartech and FSC are sorting out the ‘bolt-on’ drive-shafts on the basis of a direct swap for the original ‘push-in’ drive-shafts. Overall this means no additional cost in terms of drive-shafts which is one of the main reasons for the making the change now!

With the new diff in place the required propshaft length has been confirmed and FSC are also sorting this at the moment - in addition to the drive-shafts.

Visited Steve @ FSC, last weekend, and collected the following in addition to the diff and rear disc brake calipers:

1)      Radiator
2)      Fan
3)      Windscreen wiper motor
4)      Header tank

Saturday, 8 June 2013

HiSpec front brakes

A very nice set of HiSpec brakes came through. Vented/grooved discs and 4 pot calipers.

Very straight forward to fit on the offside:

Alignment of the caliper with the disc looks good:

Sadly not the same story on the nearside - the outer edge of the disc is rubbing on the caliper itself:

Turns out the wheel bearing on the nearside upright wasn't seated properly to the flange was too far outboard and in turn the disc. The splined washer was the problem. I happened to be visiting FSC so they kindly sorted it out very quickly.

Looks tasty all set up and with the pads fitted:

Three quarters view of the offside (bling!):

Thursday, 16 May 2013

O/S Driveshaft + Fuel tank

Apologies been a while without a post - had a few distractions...

The O/S driveshaft returned from FSC having been lengthened. All looks good now and the 'plunge' is just right. Picture of O/S all assembled:

Along with the driveshaft also came the fuel tank. This took a little bit of experimentation to be happy with where to position it laterally and fore/aft (top mounting holes then drilled):

Side shot - hopely far enough back but not too far:

Straps fitted and view of the built in sump for avoiding fuel starvation etc.:

Final view from the rear:

Next is front brakes - HiSpec...

Monday, 8 April 2013

Gearbox trial fit

As part of working on the tunnel top panelling needed to figure out where the gear lever will come so decided to temporarily fit the gearbox (including the bellhousing, clutch release arm, bearing etc.):

Side view:

Also needed to figure out where T9 oil filler plug would come - not great news but think a blanking grommet and hole in the tunnel side panel might work okay for maintenance etc.:

Monday, 18 March 2013

Front diff mount spacers

FSC supplied spacers for the front diff mounts however they did't fit - both were too short and too long... (if you see what I mean).

In preference to using a set of washers decided to source some aluminium tube (obviously thick wall):

Cut and power filed carefully for a snug fit (O/S shown):

Nice solid fit and very tidy looking (N/S shown):

Just needs some copper slip sprayed inside to protect against corrosion and then torquing up.