Over the past three months we’ve been concentrating on getting the car completed. However, jobs appear to keep cropping up although we are picking away a them one by one.
The Coupe is really beginning to take shape now and the vision had all along is becoming a reality. Unlike many mainstream UK kits, a lot of the thinking and design has been done by the supplier and can make for a fairly easy build, provided you are not like me and waver from the norm.
The Coupe has been a challenging build at times. But I knew this was going to be the case as I’m a glutton for punishment and always push my vision through to make my cars a little different to others.
Finally, the wiring is now over the line, and everything works as it should. As discussed in previous articles this has been a real head scratcher making it all work with the FFR wiring harness. I’ve had to add extra cables for the fog/ reverse lights and plus the reverse lockout solenoid on the Tremec T56 Magnum gearbox.
Also, with me using the BMW power steering and the windscreen wiper module supplied by AK Sports cars it has taken some working out. The wiper module was never going to be just ‘plug and play’ as it is in an AK Cobra. However, with plenty of thought and restless nights thinking about it, we got there.
The wiring to the dash is now complete and has a full complement of working gauges.
Which when illuminated has met my expectations and light up like a Simply Red Concert! I’ve chosen to put the car through IVA with the dash uncovered as I intend to make some subtle changes once the car has passed and will then finalise the covering.
The carpets to the foot wells, floor and tunnel are also now finished, which was quite a task in itself due to the obscure shapes and the massive transmission tunnel. On numerous occasions Cath came in with well-earned brews to find me red faced and giggling from sniffing Evo.
The seats have also now been installed and I have to say Motor Drive seats made a fantastic job of these with the branding and I feel like a fighter pilot once I have forced my slender posterior into them and fastened the harness. It’s a bit of a giggle getting in and out of these, but I’m sure with more practice and a weight loss of about 4 stone all will be good.
The doors have also been fitted for the last time and was something that was playing on my mind since the car went to paint in June last year. I could not stop thinking “did I get all the shut lines correct as it is too late afterwards?” With me not leaving the chassis with SMS (paint shop), they couldn’t refit the doors and bonnet hence my concerns. But good news! – all is looking good and we appear to have got it right.
‘Five’ steps forward & one back
With having the dash finally fitted I could complete the steering column and steering wheel install. At this point an issue came to light which Mr IVA man would not be happy with. It became apparent when turning the steering wheel that we had a judder and it all felt a little tight. It was not an issue with the engine running and power steering pump in action, however it made a horrible sticking noise when the engine was off.
At first, I was unsure if it was a steering rack issue, or an error on my part when I had the lock stops manufactured.
I removed the rack as it is almost impossible to work on it whilst it is in the car. After close inspection it was the lock stops that was manufactured by my ‘old man’ AKA John Sharples Snr. The stop had been manufactured correctly with the tolerances required however we were let down by German engineering!
The bobbins we manufactured slid over the hydraulic output shafts on the rack and located nicely into the recesses in the steering rack body, however the hydraulic shafts are not centred accurately within the aluminium casting/ body of the rack which meant the nylon bobbins were locking against the shafts and creating the judder.
Unfortunately, these were a good press fit within the rack body so would not come out without destroying them.
The only way I could remove them was to carefully chain drill them avoiding damaging the shafts until they became loose enough to remove.
I’ve now had some new ones made with a larger hole to slide over the shafts which will avoid the issue once fitted. I take my hat off to my Dad – where can you get things like this made at 8pm on a Sunday evening these days with a minute’s notice? Thanks Dad!
YES, the IVA has been applied for and we are now patiently waiting for them to call me and relieve me of my hard -earned cash and provide me with a date. I know this has been mentioned in previous issues. I did feel we would be further on with the car by now and it would have been through the test. However other work commitments get in the way from time to time unfortunately. The good news is the car will be through the IVA test by the next issue and hopefully on the road.
That’s all from me for now folks.
Looking forward to the up-and-coming tours with many of you and discussions over a cool beer.
Take care for now.