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January 2003

Chassis has arrived, and looks like new. Chesil have blasted, primed, seam sealed, and sprayed it with smooth hammerite. However, there are already some chips out of the paint on the underside from transporting it to me. Want to be sure its going to last another 30 years so i've held back from the excitement of wanting to bolt everything on to it, and inverted it to underseal it. I bought some rubbercoat from Carlife at the Donnington kitcar show last year, primarily to coat the underside of the GRP wings to reduce the risk of crazing from stones being thown up by the wheels. After trying on a trial piece, i've decided to give the entire underside a thick coat. This is a thick goo that sets like flexible rubber.

Chassis is now rubbercoated on the underside and on the topside of the framehead and gearbox forks too. I've also waxoiled inside the framehead, central tunnel, rear torsion tubes, and gearbox forks.

Built up the front suspension onto the chassis. Need to find some different tie rods though as the ones I bought appear to be for a LHD vehicle as the long one is too short and the short one is too long! Here the steering is on left lock!

Setup the rear swing arms to 20 degrees at maximum height (recommendation is 20 degrees at mid range). This should give me plenty of adjustment to lower the height later. The sway-away arms came with spacers for the torsion covers (about 8mm) - not sure why because my covers already have a 10mm spacer built into them; perhaps this is for a different application??? Infact it looks like I need to grind down the spacers on my current covers to match the thickness of the ones supplied to get a tight fit when the cover is fixed. Anyone done this themselves?

February 2003

Successful shopping trips to Beetlelink and VWHeritage/SSP. Mystery of torsion covers is solved too. The aftermarket chrome covers have a 10mm spacer that the stock covers do not have. As the after market covers needed clearancing for the sway-away arms anyway I bought a stock pair. Also managed to get a used RHD pair of tie rods from Beetlelink, and an old steering column with steering lock and housing. Need to get all this powder coated before fitting.

Been busy fitting brake, fuel, and servo lines. Have also 'metal mask' painted the master cylinder, fitted the front anti-roll bar and shocks. As I'm fitting a remote servo, I need to re-route the brake lines somewhat (Hence the T-piece on the frame head). I used 5/16 kunifer for the servo, 1/4 for the fuel, and of course 3/16 for brake. I routed the servo pipe down the passenger side of the car. (picture updated 24th Feb with new location further from central tunnel)

Powder coating completed so able to crack on fitting rear suspension, correct front tie rods, and gear linkage. Here you can see the fitted (correct) standard torsion covers with spacer provided in the sway-away kit (adjustable torsion arms).

P-clipped in the brake and servo lines after trial fitting pedals; realized that the servo line needed moving away from the centre tunnel in order not to make changing clutch cable impossible in the future. Pedals now fitted too (as is the gear linkage rod).

March 2003

Fitted hard brake lines to the rear suspension and also fitted hand brake cables. Together with torquing the bearing housing and slave cylinder bolts, this meant that the rear drums could be permanently fitted. Added handbrake and adjusted. The Chesil supplied handbrake cables were near the end of their adjustment (being too long, this before the cable stretches with age) so I added some spacer washers where the cable meets the chassis at the rear suspension. Tightening the hub nuts allowed me to draw the stub axles completely through the rear carrier, to their correct position; Both had refused to be driven right through when fitting the bearings. Right hand heater control was polished and kept to control heater exchangers (Left hand control not needed).

Peter At CogBox is currently building a transmission for me. As I want the car to cruise well and am not too concerned about burning people off at traffic lights, I finally chose a 3.44 final drive with a 0.93 forth gear. Cost was very close to having a 3.88/0.89 box built.

Fitted the EMPI (Hurst) shifter I bought at the Volksworld show last weekend, and the heat exchanger cable. Would have the chassis on its wheels by now but am having difficulty locating suitable front wheel nuts for the CSP hubs. The studs are 30mm long which is too long for the chrome M12x1.5 R14 closed end nuts that everyone sells (they accept about 24mm). Ended up ordering from CSP directly in Germany..... postage paid for by the huge saving on floor pan gasket I ordered with them.

Moved the front brake line junction now that I know where servo will be situated (ahead of the front beam, not over it) which entailed making new brake lines. Also fitted the master cylinder, set pedal stop position, set linkage rod length, and fitted accelerator cable.

April 2003

Trial fitted the wooden floorboards on the chassis and modified the passenger side one to account for the servo pipe. Worked out as cheap to buy them ready cut from Chesil as buy the wood myself.

Wheel nuts and bolts from CSP fit, so they are off being Yellow Zinc Passivated along with all the chassis-to-body fixings.

Batch of YZP is due back next week which should see the chassis rolling for the first time and the engine fitted....

Collected the gearbox from Cog Box and fitted it to the chassis. Also built up and fitted the drive shafts with new CVs and gaiters. Discovered that Chesil had given me back the wrong gear linkage rod with my shortened chassis as it was 40mm too short. With the correct length rod (thanks Mikey) I'm still having problems with the angle of the linkage - its too rotated to the right (3rd and 4th require the reverse interlock to be engaged). An attempted fix was to drill an alternative mounting hole in the coupling, with about 10 degrees rotation, but this resulted in the linkage being rotated too far left (reverse is where 4th should be). Another attempt with a new coupling and 5 degrees rotation will hopefully result in the correct angle....

Replacing the urethane gearbox coupling with a new standard one solved the alignment problem.... not sure why, but it did!

Fitted the Engine onto the gearbox today which is a major milestone! Now I can fit the heat exchangers, lower tin, balance hose ,fuel hose, and various other parts.

Click for work done on the chassis after May 2003