Assembly BLOG 2021-22

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Friday 30th April 2021

I've finally started on the car! First, the battery was shot, so I ordered a new one from Rimmers. It's a bit bigger than the previous one, and only just fits the battery box. Also it's a tad higher, and the earth lead won't stretch to the cut-off switch so I've also had to order a new longer one.


Saturday 15th May 2021

I'd previously fitted the new battery from Rimmers - it's the first I've had with the proper forward facing posts, so I had to order a new earth lead which is seen fitted above (with the old one for comparison). It certainly looks better. Toay I finally took the covers off and went for a short drive, ending up in Sainsbury's car park, as I needed to collect a prescription. Unfortunately I'd forgotten to bring a mask so after taking a photograph had to return home. Sadly the frequent showers had returned, so, as getting the car wet was unthinkable, I returned in the 'e'.


Monday 17th May 2021

Today I finally started the interior carpet fitting - I've got a set of moulded carpets from Newton Commercials, which have been sitting for months on the bed in the spare bedroom (we've had no guests during lockdown). Following their instructions the first to fit are the Dash Side Carpets:

The location of the LH one can  be seen below. The foot rest panel (black on first image) had to be removed for a trial fitting.

   

The carpet should be glued down (although it will be held in place by the foot rest and the door trim) but I've decided to try velcro, so I ordered a 25m x 16mm roll.


Saturday 17th July 2021

Unfortunately, and for several reasons, I haven't touched the GT6 since May. Also I have changed my PC from Windows to a Mac. My website program of choice, MS Expression is no longer available to me, so I have had to use Dreamweaver again and I've had to relearn it in CC form!

Recently I had an email from a friend who is going to make me a model of my GT6. He asked if I was going to refit my front bumper, as I've been driving around without one. I replied that I was, but I was going to remove the central section like the GT6 below:

This made me get the old front bumper from the garage, remove the over riders, and clean it up.

This I did on my back lawn in the incredible sunshine we're having at the moment.

    

As the over riders are very rusty I've ordered a couple of new ones from Rimmers. Then I will re-assemble it all onto the car, cut off and remove the central section, and send the two ends away for the cut off parts to be filled and then the whole rechromed.


Monday 19th July 2021

Today, having previously removed the two overriders, and cleaned up the front bumper with chrome cleaner I discovered that one of the threaded holes in the bumper had its bolt sheared off. I had to try to mount it on the pillar drill in the garage and drill the remains of the old bolt out, which I succeeded in doing. I then cleaned all six of the mounts with a 5/16" UNF tap. I now need to buy six 5/16" x 3/4 UNF set screws to refit the bumper, and two 3/8" x 7/8 UNF set screws to fit the over riders. I'll get stainless steel ones as they are not load bearing. I've also contacted ST Chroming in Bristol to see if they can rechrome the bumper ends after I have cut out the centre section. They will also need to fill in the cut ends prior to rechroming. They will be able to do this, so I can continue!


Tuesday 20th July 2021

Today I received the new over-riders from Rimmers (impressive service, as usual):

A very impressive facsimile of the original!


Wednesday 21st July 2021

I'm still waiting for the bolts to fix the front bumper in position. Meanwhile, I got the car out of the garage to photograph it for the TSSC valuation, as the insurance becomes due at the beginning of next month. I gave it a quick wash, as it was a little dirty! The heat of the sun should dry it out - otherwise I'm relectant to get it wet! Afterwards I cleaned the roof; on some parts near the sides there was a little overspray from the aerosol adhesive I used to stick the headlining, this I successfully removed with WD40. I then T-cutted a couple of scratches and polished the whole roof with a wax polish.

The carpets still need fitting, also the door cards (and rear side cards) and wing mirrors. It'll be interesting to see what valuation The TSSC give it, as values are on the up. I'd say around £12k to 15k in its unfinished state, certainly more when completed.


Saturday 24th July 2021

I had a shock a couple of days ago, when I learned that my old friend Tony Smith, who helped me install the 2.5L engine in the GT6 back in December 1980, died suddenly a couple of weeks ago of heart failure. He was a bit younger than me as well. We were best men at each others weddings. My condolences go to his poor family.


The front bumper bolts arrived, and I made an attempt to reconnect the front bumper. However after loosely attaching the right hand bumper bolt to the bonnet near the side light, I discovered that the bolt holes on the LH bonnet hinge brackets did not coincide with the holes in the bumper, they were about half an inch out (see picture below). When Southside sprayed the bonnet they had a lot of trouble fitting it, and somehow the hinge brackets must have been bent out of true in that the distance between them has increased.

The first solution I thought of was to ovalise the holes (1/4" each side). However, as it was the distance between the hinge brackets which had increased, and as I intend to remove the central section of the bonnet, the easiest solution is the cut the bumper in half! I don't want to do the final cuts until its all in position so I can judge better where to cut. Also, the experience of cutting the bumper in the middle will serve me when doing the final cuts near the over riders. Below: cutting the bumper.

On the car:

Now I'll have to take it off again, to fit the over rider (as the hole in the bumper is inaccessible from behind!). The chrome isn't great, but I'll get STChrome to rechrome it.


Thursday 29th July 2021

Good news from the TSSC, my GT6 has been valued at £18k, much more than I expected!


Friday 30th July 2021

After a persistent fuel leak I replaced the fuel pipes near the carburettors, and the clips. However this had no effect, and I came to the conclusion it was leaking from the soldered joints of the fuel pipe assembly under the carbuettors:

I therefore had to order a new one. TR Shop had one which looked like it was less reliant on soldered joints at about £30. It's a worry when supposedly "new" parts turn out to be less robust then the originals. This part was bought in 2017!

I have heard from my German friend that he is making around 140 1/43 scale GT6 models. I have ordered one for myself - it should look good on my bookshelves! As the Mk2 is 147" long (3.73m) the model should be quite small 3.42" or 87mm long! Here is an example below:


Tuesday 3rd August 2021

Received the new fuel pipe assembly from the TR Shop:

Fortunately it has fixed the leak:

Also I managed to fit the RH front bumper. The tape marks where I intend to cut the bumper.

The best way, I found is to first fit the over-rider to the bumper with the 3/8" setscrew, then fit the bumper to the car (3 bolts behind the over-rider) and finally fit the 5/16" setscrew through the bonnet. The latter didn't want to engage until I extended the hole in the bonnet with a round file. The new over-rider I bought from Rimmers wouldn't fit at all. It may have if I had enlarged the hole in the bumper, which I wasn't prepared to do.

I'll return the over-riders to Rimmers for a refund, the old ones can be rechromed. I've ordered a couple of new grinding wheels for my angle grinder to cut the bumper.


Sunday 8th August 2021

First, Rimmers were very quick, refunding the money immediately on receipt of the overriders, without question. A superb company, which should be applauded.

When I tried to fit the LH part of the front bumper I had a problem fitting the LH end to the bonnet. With the air horns occupying the space inside the bonnet, it was extremely hard to get the setscrew in my hands to go through the required hole (it was easier to photograph).

Also, the threaded hole in the bumper didn't line up, even filing a bit from the side of the hole.

The above picture makes it look as if I'd filed the wrong side!

After going away to think about it, I tried a different tactic! I found a wooden dowl the same diameter as as the setscrew, inserted it into the hole in the bumper, and offered the bumper up to the bonnet. I could see straight away that another 3-5mm needed to be removed from the side of the hole which I did with my Dremel and a side abrasive rasp.

Then, I stuck the setscrew to a 5/16 socket on a long extension with bluTack.

Using a bright light in the bonnet cavity pointing towards the hole, I was able to get the setscrew through the hole and holding the bumper in position engage it with the thread. Bingo!!

A view of the whole bumper shows that each side is differently aligned - no way would it fit in one piece!

The next job is to cut the bumper around an inch (25mm) from each overrider. Then, dismantle it all and send it away to fill in the cut ends of the bumper and rechrome.


Saturday 14th August 2021

After returning from a few days in the Lake District I got out the angle grinder, fitted a new grinding disk (a Bosch designed to cut steel) and tackled the front bumper.

  

RHS done, just dressed the edge with the Dremel. Below, both sides now done. I think it does improve the look of the car, exposing the lovely aluminium grill.

Next I fitted the front valance corner seals.


Monday 11th October 2021

A nice day presented itself, so I got the car out of the garage. and drove it around the block. Considering it hadn't been driven for a while, it ran quite sweetly.

    

I then made a start with the interior insulation (with the help of Cleo, above right), using Dynamat. I started with the rear n/s wheel arch seen below, before and after.

    



Friday 11th February 2022

Not yet started on the car (too cold) but received an amazing model from my German friend - accurate in every detail. Even the Motolita wood-rimmed steering wheel, Minilite style wheels and split front bumper are reproduced!


Sunday 15th May 2022

A nice warm afternoon, so I got the car out of the garage (not the first time this year, it had a brief 1 mile drive on 20th March - see my Instagram page). However this time I actually did some work! My friend Steve Harris (On The Air) is having his 70th Birthday party at Hawarden Castle on the 28th, and it is a "bring your classic car" event! My poor little car is nowhere near ready, as I have been devoting my time to the house and my wife who has not been too well. However if I can forget the interior trim, but just fit the passenger seat, seat belt and make sure the car is roadworthy, hopefully my wife and I can take it to Hawarden. I know the front tracking is out, and the garages I have tried so far have been unable or unwilling to set this (although Buckley Tyres have been recommended). I may try to improve this myself as Buckley is a long way to go, watch this space. I drove the car 'around the block' and it seemed to go alright, in fact it is quite lively! However it stalled at a junction, although after arriving home it ticked over nicely on the drive. Checking the brake fluid it had dropped significantly, I'm not sure why. Fortunately I still have plenty of Silicone Brake Fluid to top it up with. There is also signs of a slight oil leak from the engine, although the dipstick showed it to be still up to the normal level.

   


Tuesday 17th May 2022

Today I continued with the installation of the passenger seat and its seat belt. The mounting bolt can be seen protruding into the wheel arch below. I also refitted the wing mirror to make the car legal!

      

I contacted Foregate Garage, and they're happy to check ther car over and adjust the front tracking. I'm just waiting for some dry weather!!


Thursday 19th May 2022

Today I took the car to Foregate Garage in Chester (I have been a sort-of customer for years - the GT6 went there last in 1998) although my daily drivers tend to be main-dealer serviced. I asked them to check it over (particularly the gearbox/overdrive mounting nuts that I had difficulty in tightening from under the car). Unfortunately they couldn't do the front wheel alignment as the equipment they had wouldn't fit, so I ordered a tool to do it from Demon Tweeks in Wrexham. On the way home I was given a thumbs-up by a Mazda MX5 driver!

The car has lots of get-up-and-go but at low speeds is a bit jerky. It can stall - I suspect that there is a fuel starvation problem (it takes ages to start from cold on a new day), either the pump or filter or carburettor.


Monday 23rd May 2022

I phoned Foregate Garage as I hadn't received the promised invoice. I was told that as they had't spent a great deal of time on the car, there would be no charge. How nice is that!! One thing they did was try to tighten the steering wheel, but it still seemed loose. First, when I tightened it myself the wheel boss (Moto-Lita) touched the column. I then adjusted the clamp at the bottom of the column, which gave more clearance. Then, with the help of a M14 washer under the steering wheel nut, it tightened nicely.

The Trackace Laser Wheel Alignment Gauge arrived from Demon Tweeks.