This article is all about the metalwork. i.e. Iron and brightwork
Door Ironwork: Nothing much to say about this except that I decided to Hammerite all the ironwork as I had a pot sitting in the garage that was more than enough to do everything with a couple of coats. Hung everything up in the garage and just painted away.
Bonnet Handles: Fitting the bonnet handles and latches was a bit fiddly (what isn't) but nothing too intricate that taking time and tea wouldn't resolve.
The first thing I did was to verify the bonnet drill markings made by GD. This I did by making a paper template (not a cardboard one.) And not having any "golden" specific reference points that I could rely on as being good for both sides, I creased the paper around the curve of one corner of the bonnet and marked where the factory mark was. Then I used the same template (but flipped over) to see how far the other side's mark was 'off' with respect to the first mark... Spot on!
I could have faffed around measuring from the centre of the bonnet when lined up with the centre of the car but that would have been complicated and fiddly. For this job I essentially just needed to check the two handles were in the same relative positions, the paper template marking method being foolproof for this type of measuring.
Masked up around the marker hole and marked the shape of the fibre gasket. Then I simply routed out the shape with the Dremel and finished it off with some hand filing.
Bonnet & Boot Hinges: These are a work of engineering art. Couldn't resist them. Quite a straightforward fitting; just trim the spacing flange to size, adjust the hinge spacing with packing washers, bolt the hinge in place, attach hood and boot and adjust as necessary... Job done.
Underdash' Ironwork: This consists of the steering/wiper motor cross-member, dash' support cross-member and three trays.
The steering/wiper cross-member was the main piece to be concerned with and this had to be fixed in place utilising the windscreen stanchion brackets and bolts. So it was quite critical to get the packing right so as to not create stress on the windscreen uprights and the windscreen fixing screws.
The centre tray is drilled and metal tabs are in place to fix it in place. The outer driver and passenger side trays did not have any tabs to rest on. And a method of attaching these is to rivnut into the tubing. However, I decided to follow the theme of the centre tray and I welded some steel tabs onto the tubing and tapped for one M5 bolt in each. Am happy with this as it means I can remove the trays easily, and I haven't weakened the tubing with unnecessary drilling and rivnutting.
The front of the trays just slots under the lip of the dashboard. And I will also be putting a couple of tie-wraps through and around the tubing to provide a more solid a fixing.
The first job was to compare the bolt hole centre positioning of the legends of the two hoops. And there is was a couple of mm discrepancy with one of the rear legs. So, as I only have two hoops I didn't know was the more correct. Not concerned with this as the error vertically diminishes. I.e. at the point where the rear leg slots through the bodywork and dog-legs forward, at this point the two legs relative positions are identical so there is no discrepancy at the upper bodywork level.
I also made an 'internal' style plywood template for the roll-hoop legs. It was easier to see and judge things using a compact plywood template. And finaly, I removed the boot lid. I really didn't need to mess up my shiny body shell surface -and it made sense for ease of access
Rear Leg Mounting Bracket: Took off the rear wheel to access the upper suspension wishbone bolt, and I was pleased that access was really quite good. A couple of spanners and a gentle tap with a hammer later, the bolt popped out nicely. Pushed the rear leg bracket over the wishbone mounting position ensuring the vertical fixing hole was on the outermost side of the car; a bit more grease on the wishbone bolt and reassembled.
I decided not to tighten the wishbone bolt up completely because there was some vertical 'see-saw' movement in the bracket. I.e. ~ +- 1-2mm. This is not an issue as the metal mount is held in position just by the wishbone bolt, and when I fix the hoop in place and then tighten the wishbone bolt up properly everything will sit square and flush and solid.
Roll Hoop - Positioning: Working from the underside and to the innermost chassis fixing hole, made a small hole in the body shell directly above the innermost fixing point. This was my starting reference point. The roll hoop leg diameters are 51 mm (the main 180o curve) and 38 mm (the rear dogleg) so I will [eventually] need to drill holes of about 60 mm and 43 mm to allow for the rubber gaiters. Plenty of room for manoeuvre here and the plan is to route-out three small ~15 mm centre positioning holes then centre everything up before going crazy with the Dremel.
I routed out the ~15mm pilot holes, and this was enough to get my finger in to locate the chassis fixing points. Then I whittled away until I could drop an M12 bolt into each chassis fixing hole. This ensured [for me as I control the Dremel] the absolute dead-centre points were always visible above the floor of the boot. I also made cardboard templates of the circular profile of the hoop legs and used those on the reference bolts to provide a precise circular position for my hole marking - remembering the rear leg is 38 mm Ø NOT 51 mm... So far so good!
I levelled the chassis by adjusting the tyre pressures. Far easier -and safer- than faffing around with axle stands and pieces of packing on an uneven surface (on my "flat" driveway nothing is really flat so it would have been a pointless exercise.)
The next job was to define and drill the three top holes - the seriously scary bit. I put some masking tape on the underside for marking-up the top centre-points and used a plumb bob to find the vertically aligned corresponding centre positions. As I don't have a proper plum-bob I used a key on a key ring connected to the end of a screwdriver with cotton. Marked the centre points on the M12's and, in my humble opinion, this was good enough to align the top to within gnats hair of bottom-dead-centre.
Drilled six 2 mm holes in the top of the shell (the scariest and most traumatic bit of the whole operation) and threaded the plumb bob through to check alignment and adjusted where necessary.
Roll Hoops - Hole Cutting & Fitting: At this point in the proceedings I needed to ensure the hoops fitted properly. To do this I cut the hex' heads off a couple of M12 bolts and attached the threaded shafts to the hoops. Note... the hoop threads are 1/2" UNF but an M12 goes in a thread or two. These 'pegs' functioned as temporary positioning posts and were perfect as I could locate the chassis fixing holes without having to get under the car and faff around with proper bolts.
Problem..! I measured the main hoop and chassis holes for alignment and there was a discrepancy of 0.5 cm on both sides... 'Not a lot' I hear you say. But when you're dealing with bolts and holes that are just about identical in diameter (and they don't locate,) it is a lot. Finally, after a couple of hours or so, I discovered the discrepancy was in the hoops. The spring-back was too severe inasmuch as the legs were not quite parallel. The top of the hoop (just before the 180O turn) spacing was 30.5 cm, the bottom (at the ends of the legs) spacing was 30.0 cm, and the chassis hole spacing was 30.5 cm.
This all came to light when I was about to drill the top holes. I knew I wasn't happy with the positioning of one of them and I delayed and delayed until I finally downed-tools to work out what was going on. So I decided to manufacture a roll hoop wooden template to simulate smaller diameter legs. Having this meant I could drill the top holes without any risk of getting it too wrong. i.e. I could locate the top-to-bottom with the error margin of the diameter of a broom handle. Drilled the two larger leg holes and inserted my 'Trojan' hoop, and all aligned up nicely with the 30.5 cm spacing. So now it was time go crazy with the Dremel.
Masked up and marked out the larger holes and Dremelled them to 53 mm. Then I dropped the roll bar in [backwards of course] to check the fit and the alignment. Then with the roll hoop sitting on the top of the bottom of the boot, i.e. with the M12 pegs in place and located snugly into the chassis fixing points, I scribed around the posts to accurately define the bottom drilling positions. Ten minutes later, all was drilled out and I was using the Dremel sanding wheel to finish and round off. The sound of the hoops dropping in with a metal-on-metal clunk was music to my ears... Excellent.
With the hoop still in place [backwards] I drew a centre line, 90O mid' 'U' bend to check the centre position for the rear leg hole. The rear [top] hole is the awkward one as it needed to be more of an ellipse; and, as it is of a smaller diameter, the margin for error was less... If I messed this one up it would have been an awful lot of work to repair.
Finishing: I marked up for the 'proper' hole diameters, this being to allow for the rubber gaiters. To size the holes accurately, I scribed around the edge of the circumferences of the legs using a washer as a spacer. Removed everything and tidied things up with the sanding wheel. Also, I had to take into account the alignment of the two hoops with respect to each other. I did this by putting a straight edge on the front of them to make sure they were both perfectly aligned laterally.
Gaiter Trimming: I placed the gaiter over the end of the roll-hoop end to normalise the rubber around the diameter of the hoop. Then I re-defined the diameter of the hole. This to [eventually] makes the gaiter fit snugly around the post. Then it was a straightforward task of carefully snipping away the surplus with sharp scissors until I achieved a snug fitting diameter i.e. for a not too tight or too loose a fit...
Filling the Hoops with Expanding Foam: - Not done this yet.
Fitting the Escuteons: - Not not ready for that either.
All-in-all I'm generally pleased with how everything looks, it's not perfect, but not far off; and this activity was a very rewarding part of my build - but a very very stressful one. Drilling holes in my shiny polished and the very visible surface was not a thing I was looking forward to.
Loads of pictures in the gallery