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28th February 2005

I've finished fitting the seat heating pads (for cushion and back) to my seats. This wasn't as difficult as feared; the plastic covers on the seat frames unscrew and then the back and seat cushion detach from the seat mechanism via some Torx fixings. I needed, of course, to peel back the leather covers from the foam to insert the heating pads.

Base Cushion: Once the two rear corner screws are undone, the cover can be unclipped at the rear, and lifted enough to reach the rear-most hog rings (that hold the central region of the cover tightly to the frame). You can work forward, pair of rings at a time, unclipping the sides of the cover as you go with the slack gained from removing the hog rings. Once all the rings were removed, I glued in the heating pad, and reversed the process using cable-ties in the place of hog-rings for reassembly.

Back Cushion: The cover unclips from the base of the rear cushion, towards the rear, and the back can then be unpeeled from the sides, starting at the bottom. This gives slack for the front cover to then be unclipped from the base, and then, like the seat cushion, you can work a hog-ring at a time.

The cables to each pad neatly run under the covers into the corner of the seat frame and will plug into their loom under the seat.


I've also removed the gearbox, drained the oil, and given it a good external degreasing. One of the CV boots was perished so I replaced them all with new (OEM) parts. Whilst the gearbox was out I removed the clutch actuating arm, bracket, and spring washer, and had these powder coated (along with the cradle and kafer brace brackets). I sprayed the gearbox and starter with 4 coats of Eastwood chassis black (bought from frost) as they had suffered at the hands of remnants of fire extinguisher powder from the year before. On reassembly I fitted new heavy duty OEM rear mounts and an OEM front mount. I've also fitted an EMPI intermediate mount, though will likely  replace this with a GB643 when the car can be driven to Beetlelink to have this welding done on it.

In the photos you can also see the blue fuel line running from the rear of the passenger compartment (where it connects to a hard-line that runs through the interior) to a Y-block with pressure gauge which will be mounted on the firewall. I've now hooked with the fuel filter and pump at the front with similar hose and AN fittings (sourced from Speedflow).

March 2005

Filled the old holes in the Chesil provided front sealing GRP, from where I had previously mounted the ancillaries, and painted it and the bottom sealing GRP with the Eastwood Chassis black i'd used for the gearbox.

Remounting the front sealing GRP allowed me to refit the battery cut-off switch, fuse holder for the mallory CDI, and new CSP breather box. Almost ready to slot the engine in now :)

Then switched my attention to the engine. Replaced the alternator backing plate with a cast aluminium version I bought from Jakes Type4store. Also fitted the carrera air filter top plates - which i'll need to drill a hole in for the breather fittings :(

Then I fitted the six pieces of sealing carbon fibre around the DTM. I decided to use metric M6 rivinuts to locate them in place rather than the threaded plates that need two rivets to hold them that Jake provided.

Mothers day then intervened so it will be next weekend before the engine goes into its final resting place!

Its in! And it went in relatively easily - just needed to remove the boot latch to make room for the alternator before the engine was pushed forwards onto the gearbox. Needed to block the rear wheels up by 30cm to make room to slide the engine under without removing the shroud.

Inlet manifolds are off to have a vacuum port added to power the brake servo; I've made a hose up to connect to these, with a one-way servo valve to each of the manifolds.I've also added ports to the rocker covers and to the air filters for their breather hoses.

I had a trial fit of the exhaust and on first inspection the header (BAS 21152E) was about 15mm too narrow for the engine. So I ground out the spot welds holding the two width adjustable manifolds. Three of the four cylinders fit well; the forth fits on easily its own but will need a fight to fit with the others in place. So i'll get the o2 sender bung welded in and drill the holes for the EGT sensors before fitting so it doesn't need to come off again.....

Up front i've drilled an initial hole for the filler cap but then decided it was too large in diameter. So, I'm having an aluminium ring machined to reduce its diameter and whilst i'm at it to reduce the visual thickness of the bonnet (30mm between the skins), and to ensure the weather seal to the spill ring is good.

The top fits into the 152mm diameter hole i've already drilled in the bonnet and will sit flush with the outer skin. The bottom accepts the spill rubber and has a drip groove to stop the rain. The spill rubber will be compressed about 5mm by the ring to seal out the rain. I'll need to increase the diameter of the hole on the inner bonnet skin. Visually the bonnet will look 8mm thick at the filler, rather than the actual 30mm.

Next job is fitting the bonnet straps, and sorting out the fuel tank mounting - the tank has gone back to the company that made it to have the flange re-fitted in the correct position for the fuel cap to be flush with the bonnet.

And yes, I know the car is filthy - hopefully will be able to roll it outside and give it a good wash soon.

Clearanced the inside of the engine lid cover to clear the engine - Will make a GRP dome to cover the hole later. Also need to take 1/2" out of the right hand hinge bracket to clear the oil cooler air hose.

Started working on the housing for my stereo, 3 air vents, additional switches (webasto, seat heaters, power socket) and 4 extra gauges (dual CHT, dual EGT, oil T/P, air/fuel mix). This is going to be an IM type under-dash panel covered in the leather left over from doing the dash top. I'm making a plug/buck from MDF and filler before splashing a mould and making a final GRP moulding for the car. It bolts to the steering column mounting bar.

Its still work in progress but I thought i'd share a few photos. I've curved the panel to follow the inward and upwards curves of the dashboard. By making a mould i'll be able to supply these to anyone who wants one.

I'm doing this now as its the last messy job before replacing the car interior :)

Collected my inlet manifolds and exhaust from Beetlelink; Grant had welded two tubes to the manifolds to connect hoses to power my brake servo, and welded a oxygen sensor bung into the exhaust collector.

Set about completing the engine install now I have the manifolds back. Finished running the fuel lines, added the breather lines, and ran the servo lines. This took ages, as I had to work out how all the hoses would interact. Fitted the carbs and linkage, and then tried fitting the CHT (Cylinder Head Temperature) sensors on #1 and #3. I quickly discovered that the pre-drilled holes in the shroud, whilst allowing HT leads to fit on the spark plug, wouldn't allow me to get a spark plug socket on any of the plugs. Marvellous! An hour of so with a file later, this was resolved but I still struggled to set what I was doing when fitting the CHT ring under plugs #1 and #3. In the end I opted to run them on #2 and #4 instead as there is much better visibility as to what is going on. I'll run the EGT sensors on #1 and #3 to compensate.

Then I shortened my existing HT leads to suit the shroud, and rewired my Hyfire CDi box as I'd needed to move it to make room for the breather box. Decided to leave the existing oil pressure tell tail sender be and fit the oil pressure gauge sender and temperature sendor on the oil filter bracket which is tapped for an M14 sender thread.

Finally I fitted the Chesil GRP lower tin that seals to the engine tin. This pretty much leaves me just the exhaust to install.

Moving to the interior, I finished off the sound deadening inside the front wheel arches and on the bulkheads. I also added the looms for the heated seats which pop up under the seats, and for interior lighting. Finally I replaced the two LED tell tail lights with larger versions and patched into the oil pressure warning light circuit to control the electronic fuel pump. Then I removed the speedo cable to allow me to fit the bulkhead carpet without having to slash it.

Up front the tank manufacturer has had a second attempt at the height and angle of the filler neck funnel on the tank, and they've got it right this time. So, I've fitted the cap, gauge sender, and breather, and capped off the returns.

Then a few more hours were spent fitting my new carpet set, trimming where required for a good fit. Really like the colour.

Click for "phase 2" details after March 2005