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mid-July 2003

Fitted rear lights, number plate, reflector, carrera badge. Wired up the coil, ballast resistor, and alternator. Rear of the just needs the exhaust fitting to be finished. Also fitted headlights and bonnet handle.

Reassembled the wind-up window and lock mechanisms into the doors... very fiddly...

Started fitting the door 'cards' and rear seat panels. Main difficulty with the door cards is that you can't fit the windup windows after fitting the door cards; the door cards need to go on before the door cappings as they fit up underneath them; but you can't fit the door cappings after the windup windows. argh!!!

Fitted battery tray and battery, windscreen wiper motor, washer jets, washer bottle, pedal covers, speedo cable, stereo and speaker pods; the horn grills, indicators, driving lights, and number plate.

August 2003

Swapped the 195/60R15 tyres for 175/65R15 tyres to gain more wheel arch clearance (a few mm). 175/65R15 tyres are standard fit for a Mini One, so are readily available. Fitted the drumskinz below to get that authentic no hubcap look....

Whilst the front wheels were off fitted a fuel tank breather pipe up under the passenger side wheel arch. Curves are designed to decelerate petrol vapours, as per Chesil's recommendation.

Started fitting the carpet set. Chose black rather than beige as I thought it would be easier to keep clean but was wondering if I should have gone for beige after all. Now that they're fitted I think I made the right decision as carpet disappears into "background" rather than standing out. Worked more or less in the recommended order:-
Front bulkhead
Front inner arch
Sill carpets 
Rear bulkhead
Centre tunnel

Also fitted handbrake gaiter, glued gearsitck gaiter to EPI base moulding, rivetted the heater slides in place, and fitted the indertia reel seatbelts. Laid the floor carpets in for the photo, but they'll go in with the seats later...

Next job was the one i'd been dreading - gluing on the dashtop leather fabric. actually it wasn't so bad. I masked the body and dash and then worked from the passenger side across to the instrument hump. I made sure that the leather was aligned such I could curve it around the hump rather than trying to stretch it over straight. Once glued I could fit the demister vents, eyebrow, dash pads, grab handle, and windscreen.

Fitted the instruments. I made a mini-loom for them earlier in the build so it was a simple matter of plugging them into the wiring.

Fitted the Chesil stainless steel exhaust system. This is a 4-into-1 manifold (non equal length) with a backbox that sits across the car tightly behind the valence with two tailpipes. To fit it I had to hold the backbox up position whilst maneuvering the manifold in place. I could then bolt the box to the manifold. (You can't fit the exhaust with the two parts pre-assembled, or get the backbox into place once the manifold is fitted - i tried!)

Fitted steering column, steering lock, indicator stalk, and steering wheel. Also fitted stereo and rear view mirror. (Seat is just resting in car to allow me to drive it out of garage)

Now the steering column was in, fitted fuel tank and sender unit.

Checked all the electrics. Everything working fine except the indicators. Traced this to the hazard warning light switch and the need to add a link wire - A call to Chesil confirmed my diagnosis. Adding the link fixed the problem but the indicators were flashing at twice the rate as the hazards (and too fast to pass an Mot  which requires 60-120 fpm I believe). This was caused by 10W rear bulbs rather than the required 21W, so was easily fixed.

Finally solved a long term problem with bleeding the brakes, after several hours debugging, by changing the rear wheel cylinders from those recommended by a well known beetle tuning book to standard. I made a jig to enable me to bleed and test the master cylinder on it own, then the master cylinder and servo, the master cylinder servo and front brakes, leaving the rear brakes as the clear culprits.

Decided to add the 3/4" spacer that Chesil sell to the steering wheel boss to bring it away from the indicator switch and give me fractionally more knee room.

Tidied up the foot well carpet around the accelerator pedal - needed glueing to the inside of the wheel arch so that it didn't interfere with the pedal movement. Fitted the pedal cover and also cut a slot in the floor carpet for the pedal to fit through. Bolted in the seats over the floor carpet. Outer runners bolted through the sub-chassis and chassis; Inner runners bolted through the wooden floorboards and chassis floor.

Fitted the roof fabric and glued front section to header rail. Very pleased with fit to the side windows. Just need to add a tenax fastener to each side to support the fabric just behind the side window.

Fitted roof frame in preparation for fitting roof material. Photo below shows the fabric laid over - actual fitting of the fabric is my next job.

Booked car in for MoT on Saturday (23rd August). Its just about ready and, whilst it may not pass at least i'll have a better idea from it what is left to do. A discrete test drive shows that the servo brakes are a *massive* improvement over the Chesil demonstrator without.

It passed its MoT! :) Advisory on front wheel bearing play (though the CSP hubs are tightened as per their instructions), horn (electric shock from metal horn button), and lights (which were way out and they adjusted for me for, a not particularly reasonable, 12).

Adjusted the mixture and idle settings to improve the engine running to get me to and from the MoT - set too lean, and fastened down various cables that rattled.

September 2003

Chesil helped with the re-registration, for which they needed the car present. After one cancelled pickup and a business trip, the car eventually went down on a low loader with the plan being to drive it the 100 miles home. This did give me time to prepare the car for its first proper journey, for which I:-

    Adjusted the valve clearances
    Tightened the front shock mountings (which had been causing a knocking noise with suspension travel)
    Pumped more grease into the front beam
    Stiffened the rear shocks (hardest setting) and softened the fronts (softest setting)
    Adjusted tyre pressures (18 front, 26 rear)
    Fitted the wing mirror

Drove the car home on the 27th without any disasters.

Job done!

That is the completion of the build section.