What my car should look like when finished - Stoneleigh 2015

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Power Steering Column Brace Fitted

I received my power steering column brace back from being hot metal sprayed and so I decided to fit it.  I had pre-fitted it prior to painting and so it was just a case of bolting it in place.

Once fitted, I then mounted the windscreen with the 930mm distance from the top of the screen to the rear bulkhead.  I then measured each side of the screen to the rear door opening to ensure it wasn't twisted.  The mounting bolts were then fully tightened up.  The screen was then removed and stored in a safe place.

I used some black sealant to seal around the windscreen stanchion and I will add some more when I fit the stainless escutcheon to ensure no water runs down into the footwells.

I drilled and tapped M4 threads into the body to hold the escutcheons in place.

I bought a new polishing machine to polish up the brightwork some more.  The provided finish is pretty good, however there are still a few machining marks remaining.  I plan to use some P1200 wet & dry on the edges and then polish to a high sheen.

Bonnet Fitted

I fitted the hinges to the bonnet after I had trimmed down the bronze bush that mounts them to the front of the car.  The bonnet was set on, and required a little bit of wiggling to get the line gaps even.  I had to file out one of the mount holes a little to sort out the twist.

I think I have managed to get the gap pretty good and may be tweaked once I install the handles and rubber.

GD had marked the holes for the handles, so I proceeded to drill these at 20mm with a cone cutter.  I then used my proxxon with a router bit to open out the parts for the handle.  I then bolted the handles in place.

Fuel System - Fuel Tank & Pumps

I received my modified fuel tank back from the welder, so I decided to get the fuel pumps installed.  As I mentioned earlier on my blog, I have gone for an Aeromotive Phantom Stealth twin pump setup.  This was the reason the my standard tank had to be modified.  An Aeromotive install guide can be seen here on Youtube:  here

The tank is now wide enough to accept the foam baffle for the Phantom system.

I lined up the baffle alongside the tank, and marked out where the centre will be before drilling.

I then drilled the hole in the tank to accept the bolting down ring for the pump assembly.

The twin pumps were assembled onto the mount and it was modified to be the correct length to ensure the pump suction was as low as possible.

I dry fitted the pump assembly to ensure that the pump filters touched the bottom of the tank. (Photo taken in through the fuel sender hole)

I then looked at what fittings I require to connect up the hoses for the neatest installation. This layout may change once I start putting the hoses in...  I have bought 2x valves so I can isolate the tank for filter changeout etc.

Once all dry fitted, I installed the foam baffle unit with rubber bladder, ready to bolt in place.  I am going to use some fuel proof sealant to seal around the bolt threads before finally installing.  I bought a 310mm VDO dip tube for fuel level, since a normal float sender would foul in the baffle.  I lifted the tank into the boot, and so now just need the straps made to hold the tank in place.  I will take the tank out again to finish off mounting the boot lid catch.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Lambda Sensors

After reading up on the Innovate Lambda sensors Wideband Controller, I decided to add some length to the exhaust bung to make it the 1" as instructed.

As supplied by GD, the bungs were approx 10mm deep.  I found some stainless steel ones on eBay that were 21mm long.  I put them in the lathe and turned them down to 15mm to give me the overall required 25mm length.  A friend then TIG welded them onto the top of the existing bung.

I had to remove the exhaust to be able to do this, and once welded, the exhaust was replaced.

Wiring - Continued

Since trial fitting the cross brace, and running the wires for the power steering, I managed to position the rear wiring loom and fix it into place.

I also had to run both fuel pump wires along side which makes it a little bulkier.  I fixed the loom up under the passenger footwell using a P-Clip and then proceeded to duct tape the rest of the cable in place as it runs to the boot area.  This now enables me to wire the rear lights and properly dress in the wires.

I also wired in some of my additional wires into a new 9 way round plug, and I had to colour code them to ensure they don't get mixed up.


I found some time in the garage so I managed to fix the boot handle and number plate light onto the boot lid.  This involved measuring lots of times and lining the parts up prior to drilling.  GD had already pre-installed a wire in between the boot lid skins and I managed to cut a hole behind the number plate light to enable fishing out the wire.  I will fabricate a bracket to hold the number plate later.

I also drilled out the hole to accept the Aston Martin style fuel filler.  I will properly fit it in the coming months.

Footwell Extensions - Update

If you can recall I cut out a section for my right foot: here

After trying the accelerator pedal in it's motions, I decided to reinforce the footwell extension that I created which removed the inner skin.  I used some carbon fibre matting with resin to create a strong patch.

I cut the matting to shape, and then had to find bits of wood for props and also make a clamp frame to evenly spread the pressure.  This looks like a true "Crofter" style of set-up, but it did the job perfectly.

I applied just resin around the area first and let that set.  I then applied resin to the matting, both sides, before putting it in place with my clamp system.  The blue plastic was used to cover the clamps so that they didn't stick to the resin.

I think all in all a good job!

Power Steering - Continued

Mark T kindly provided me with the bracing for the Corsa power steering column.  He had already Engineered one for his car which can be seen on his blog.

I fitted the bracing to the car, and trial fitted the column.  This then identified where the ECU could and couldn't go.  Trying to avoid having to lengthen the sensor wires, and keep the ECU above the dash tray, I opted to mount the ECU to the motor itself.  This involved cutting the mounting lugs off the ECU and opening out the radius to keep it closer to the motor.

I then used a length of stainless to form a clamp that bolts to the ECU mount.  I place a piece of rubber under the mount which holds the ECU very tightly.

Once I trial fitted the column and everything fitted, I ran the wires for the following:

1mm² wire from the ECU round plug for the speed control from the CANEMS ecu
1mm² wire from the fuse box (5A) to supply the ECU
1mm² wire from dashboard multiplug E for RPM signal
6mm² wire from new 50A fuse
6mm² wire from -ve battery connection

I cut them to length, then crimped on new connectors bought from SimtekUK.

I have since removed the column and new bracing, and it is now being hot metal sprayed and painted prior to final fitting.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Boot Lid Trial Fit

I thought that I would fit trial fit the boot lid since I wanted to see where the number plate light cable ends up so I can finalise the positioning of the rear wiring loom.

I bought the aluminium hinges from GD which I temporarily fitted and adjusted using some washers as spacers in place of the rubbers which I don't have yet.  I crawled into the boot and tightened the hinges up from there.  I just need to feed the wire into the boot skin to see where it lies.

I have started looking at the trim for the boot so may move onto that in the near future.....

Power Steering

I have deiced to install a power steering column from a Corsa including automatic speed control from the VSS.  I bought an adjustable column model from eBay and I have started to modify it ready to be installed into the body.

It requires the ECU to be removed and it has to be mounted remotely from the column.  I will only work out where exactly to put it once the column is in place.  One of the mounting ligs for the ECU requires to be cut off where it will pass through the bulkhead.  I polished the removed mount using a small power file.

I have been speaking with Mark T in regards to how he has installed his and he has kindly given me a good few pointers for how I can get mine to work.

I hope to get some metalwork from him to enable mine to mount securely instead of using the GD supplied cross brace which will require a lot of modification since it is designed for the Vectra column.

Side Repeaters

I finally fitted the side repeaters by drilling a 20mm hole.  I used the front line of the side vents to project a line up to the front edge of the repeater and 15mm up for the bottom edge.  These were pushed in through the hole and wired up with a 2-way superseal connector.  I will remove them and seal them with some sealant for a permanent fix.

Wiring, Wiring, and more Wiring

I started to put some of the wiring together for the body.  GD provided the harness for the body in two parts - front and rear.  I have thought long and hard about extra wires to put in, how to run the loom and where it can all fit.

I started by laying it all out and using the provided wiring diagrams and notes, tried to understand where it all goes and what additional items I would like.  In addition to the already added to engine loom (here), The list seems endless...............

  • The Aeromotive fuel pumps came with their own wiring looms which contains a 50A fuse and a relay along with all the supply / feed and trigger cabling.  These just needed a mounting location and the wires trimmed to length.
  • The Innovate Motorsports Wideband Lambda sensors require some additional fuses (5A per controller) and a relay(s) along with wiring.
  • Since the GD provided heater fan comes with 3 speeds, I wanted to have that availability so needed to add an extra wire.
  • The GD supplied fuse box comes as an 8-way unit which is already used up.  I bought a 16-way unit so all the fuses will need transferred to the new box and additional fuse wiring added.
  • In the GD build notes, it mentions about removing the green wire from the washer pump plug and replacing with an earth & the horn relay requires the purple wire removing and replacing with an earth on pin 85. 
  • I prefer a minimalistic look in the engine bay, so have decided to run all the engine loom plugs & earth in through the bulkhead along with the ECU wires / connector which will run behind the fuel pressure regulator.  Wires need extending to permit plugs to enter cockpit from engine bay, and the mating plugs re-routing back into passenger footwell.
  • Original holes for Engine loom connectors / fuse box requires filling and gel coat applied prior to sanding and polishing.
  • Additional ignition & permanent 12V supply wires run to the additional fuse box for future connections.
  • Earth & supply wires run from new relay for lambda sensors to fuse box and to controllers.
  • Additional 50A fuse supply inside cockpit - just one single 25mm² 12V hi-flex cable from the battery along with earth connection - require to solder all the 1mm² cores into a 25mm² through crimp and crimped on a 25mm² hi-flex cable to go to the battery.
  • Additional earth bar located inside the cockpit for future earth connections fed with 25mm² hi-flex cable.
  • Superseal connectors for all connections and convoluted conduit for protecting the cabling under the wings.
  • Additional wires for Coolant level switch which is located in the radiator feed hose, and for the heater control valve.
  • Spare wires for a switch mounted to the clutch pedal - to be wired up to the starting circuit so the clutch pedal has to be depressed to start.
  • The GD fuel pump wire will not be used, so will be a spare going to the rear of the car.  The CANEMS ECU will trigger the Aeromotive pumps - 1 master pump and a switch will control the 2nd pump.
  • 6mm² wires need to be installed for the Corsa Power Steering column from the 2nd 50A fuse.  VSS signals and others require to be run up to the power steering ECU.

The amount of times I have had the loom in, out, taped up, tape off, tape on, in, out is ridiculous!  It isn't far away now, so I will post what I have done so far.  I am waiting on some more convoluted conduit for the front indicators to finish them off.

Original GD Relay panel (7of)

Slot cut above heater to allow cabling to pass through

Wiring loom pulled in temporarily to check lengths prior to fitting superseal connectors

Loom near bonnet hinge

All front wiring passes through the bulkhead outside of the engine bay

Stainless battery tray supplied by GD - modified to allow fitment of slightly longer battery......

Relay holders and fuel pump relays / fuses mounted

Original 8-Way GD supplied fuse box

Additional relay (Twin) added for Innovate Lambda sensors

Additional 50A fuse holder added (with aluminium mount)

Earth bar mounted

Superseal connectors used and convoluted conduit used for protection

Wiring for O/S repeater