We trial fitted the rear tub, did some filing to the tub and the backrest, then fixed it in place with just a couple of self-tappers for now. It's not clear how the joint between the rear tub and the side panels is achieved and the stainless kick-plates, that cover the top of the side panels where the doors aren't, are too short by 1.5 inches. Another question for Dax.
I went to B&Q to get two extra ignition keys cut, as I only had one original (which said 'Ford' on it). Spotty Apprentice #1 promptly cut two keys from the wrong blanks and damaged the original by putting it in the wrong (grinding) side of the machine! After doing my indignant customer act, Managerial Trainee #2 re-cut two keys from the undamaged side of the original, using correct blanks, and gave them to me free of charge :-)
Jim made some Kenlowe fan brackets from angle ali and we fixed the fan to the radiator surround with BD and rivets. He fitted the horns in front of the radiator and we tested the left one. Must extend the wires to reach the right one!
I cut the oval holes in the side panels to pass the exhaust downpipes. This was the scariest part of the whole build so far as they have to be millimeter-perfect to look good. A bit of careful marking out and cutting with a jigsaw had them finally correct. Whew!
We completed the fitting of the rear tub moulding with large-head rivets and BD. Once on, the fuel filler cap and its pipes were added, as was the number plate lamp. The filler cap is a sturdy aero-style flush cap from Dax. The convoluted rubber filler hose visible inside its neck resembles a medical photograph quite a lot! Jim made a start on shaping the boot box moulding (the miniature 'pond liner' as he calls it).
Started to fit the left-hand side panel in its final position by filing its rear edge to butt up against the rear tub. Drilled some 5mm holes and temporarily bolted it to the chassis. There's a neat little ali angle piece just inside the bonnet side which locates the bonnet edge. To find out where this needs to be fastened, I had to sit the bonnet in place (after cutting a 12" hole in it, just above the carburettor). The bonnet hole will be opened out to its full 14" later, to clear the air filter. At one point, I had the side-panel, bonnet and nose-cone in place. Wow! It looks like a car!
Installed the washer jet nozzle in the scuttle top, as it may be hard to get in once the under-scuttle area starts to be more populated. Bolted the heater into place, using pretty cap-head bolts where they are visible under the bonnet. Drilled the driver's footwell end panel and passed a nut and bolt through to act as a throttle pedal stop. Made a battery clamp out of ali angle section bolted through the battery shelf. Two wing nuts will allow the battery to be removed.
Fixed the right-hand side panel on. While its silicone was drying, I drilled both side panels and fitted the front flexy brake hoses through and attached the open ends of the front copper brake pipes to them.
Trial fitted all the front left-hand suspension, just to be sure there are no surprises waiting. With it on, the car's too wide to comfortably squeeze around in the garage. It'll all have to come off again :-( I did find that three small threaded holes in the Cortina upright (that had held the brake backplate on) were quite rusted up at the end of the holes which weren't used on the Cortina. Guess which ends of which holes the Rush's cycle wing stays bolt to? Damn right! I recut the threads using the old trick of working a bolt through, which had a slot cut along its threads to act as a makeshift tap. That took a couple of hours, but the assembled suspension looked good!
I got confirmation of my SVA test date. It's on the 20th July, which I wanted, and at Yeading (London), which I wanted but at 8:00am in the morning which I didn't! I'll have to set off from Cambridge beforet 6:00 :-( At least I can call in at Dax on the way back to get them to give the Rush a once-over. Gareth has offered to accopany me in another car, with tools on board and mobile phone all charged up.
After it had been on and off a dozen times (at least), the scuttle was finally bolted down. The wing piping and ali strips that locate the sides of the bonnet were fastened to the tops of the side panels. Trial fitted the bonnet. Its front and rear edges are a bit wavy and will need trimming.
Visited Dax to retrieve some remaining parts. Picked up:
They couldn't find a water temperature sender, compatible with my gauge, which fits into the manifold. They say they'll chase one up for me. My wheels still aren't ready either. To save time, I asked them to be delivered from Image Wheels straight to my workplace, instead of via Dax. These are the last undelivered bits.
With more self-tappers in hand, Friend Rob fastened the lower edges of the side panels to the floor. We laid the carpets in place, just to see the effect. It'll look great! We connected the heater box, via an in-line valve, to the engine. The exhaust systems were bolted back on with lots of exhaust putty 'toothpaste' to seal the joints. The cooling / heating system was now complete, so we filled the engine with antifreeze and water in order to run it. Hmmm ... what's this blue stuff dripping on the floor? Antifreeze! One hose connection to the T-piece was dripping. Dodgy hose connection made inside the confines of the chassis without the aid of rose-jointed elbows. We did what I should have done originally and took the whole bottom hose out, re-made the joint properly on the bench and re-installed it. No leaks second time and the engine still runs :-) We let it get quite hot to prove that the water is circulating properly. It's a bit quieter with the exhaust joints made and an insulating water jacket. Still sounds fantastic though :-)
I powered up the heater fans and felt a reassuring waft of hot air come out of the scuttle vents. Not quite a tornado of power, but as good as my MG's heater ever was. It should do the job of clearing a windscreen the size of a postage stamp OK.
Carved a bit out of the dashboard moulding where it fouled the ignition key. After some careful marking and filing, I replaced the missing bit with a 'scalloped' bit of ali to make a nice indented section where your knuckles must go. When trimmed, it should look like it was meant to be there all along!
Using my cardboard instrument simulators as a guide, I cut the five round holes in the dash for the instruments.
Fastened the battery negative cable inside the scuttle. I passed all the pipes and wires through the main grommet in the scuttle front. It was a bit tight, but they all go through.
Visited the Newark Kitcar show, where I met three other Rush owners, one with a V8 very much like mine! Picked up some nice indicator lights on stalks. I'll put them in my bottom drawer 'just in case they come in useful in the future' ;-)
Stuck foam and vinyl sheet onto the dash front. Cut the vinyl in the holes , pulled it through to the back and glued it there. Put the instruments in place - it looks very good :-) Draped the under-scuttle part of the loom in place, to see where it could be fastened. Fitted the plastic plug connectors to the terminals on the wire ends and plugged all three parts of the loom together. Connected the wipers, washers, heater, stalks and ignition key. Found that the Sierra key switch disconnects all ignition circuits when cranking the engine, so I had to run an extra wire from the starter solenoid to the coil to feed it 12V when starting the engine. This took a bit of squeezing in as the side-panel is now on and prevents easy access to the wire runs.
Fitted the fusebox through the front of the scuttle, for easy access. Glued (with BD) the block of relays inside the scuttle. Siliconed in the heater pipes. Trial fitted the completed dash and plugged in the switches and instruments. For the first time, I sat in the seat, turned the key and the engine started without having to hold bits of wire on the battery! All the electrics, except the lights (which aren't fitted yet), checked out OK.
1 month to SVA!
Bolted the nose cone to the chassis top rails, just to hold it firm while I fitted the bonnet. I intend to hinge the nose later. Trimmed the front & back edge of the bonnet with tin-snips (carefully!) until it fitted nicely. Attached its four clips.
Trial fitted the windscreen and the wipers. Tested the washer system - OK! I plugged the jets for 5 seconds (as the SVA test will do) and nothing leaked or failed :-) Tested the wipers - OK, although the sweep isn't as good as it could be. The wipers go only just past vertical. Maybe I'll get a new gear for the wiper motor with a wider angle of sweep. Fitted the front lower right-hand wishbone and damper. The front bolt is a right bitch to get in, as it's inside the side panel, behind a chassis rail, under the steering column, next to the oil pipes. I fiddled it in, but don't know yet how I'm going to torque it up properly when it's on its wheels ...
Still no wheels, although both Dax and Image (the wheel makers) promise them "this week". Unconvinced, I still thought I'd get ready for them and started fitting the suspension. Rear suspension and brakes went on first.
With the rear driveshafts held in their hubs instead of drooping inside the chassis, I could start and run the engine with the gearbox in gear (still no clutch fluid, remember) and watch the shafts turn! Since the speedo was now registering something, I could check the speedo against the tacho readings and, knowing the 'box and diff ratios, calculate whether the speedo was reading right. Unfortunately, my figures put it at 11% high, where the SVA limit is 10% high. I'll have to get it calibrated after all.
I rebuilt the wiper motor with a new gear wheel, which gives a 125 degree sweep, instead of only 110 degrees. It's much better now.
Friend John started fitting the reversing lamp and fog lamp to the rear body tub.
Fitted the rest of the front right-hand suspension and the left-hand caliper. With the braking system now sealed, I could fill the reservoir with fluid and start the process of bleeding the clutch and brakes. A few joints wept (or pissed) brake fluid until I nipped them up a turn. Bleeding will take a few sessions to get the air worked out of the system, but by the end of the first session I had a brake pedal that would stop a freely-spinning front hub and a clutch pedal that sometimes didn't go all the way to the floor :-)
Time now is getting very tight before the SVA. Less than 3 weeks to go!
Go on to July's progress.