Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 86 - Windscreen Doh!

The plumber came round during the week to do a bit of work under the floor to stop the pipes from freezing again over the fast approaching winter. Unfortunately with his head and shoulders under the floor his feet were swaying about and kicked over the windscreen cracking it into a dozen pieces. Doh!

I managed to contact the supplier and it turns out that the windscreen is from a Citroen AX which is not a problem to get hold of if it wasn’t heated. But heated is a custom option and there are none available.  He suggested I try Arden Automotive to see if they have any on stock as in the past they had bought a couple at a time.  But he never came back to me.  I have managed to contact the manufacturer of the custom windscreen But it is likely he wouldn’t have a screen in place until January/February next year.

Now the IVA test requires that there be a form of heater/blower to clear the screen which leaves me with a dilemma.  Do I order the heated screen and hope it comes in time or do fit a dedicated screen blower into the dash board which means cutting holes.

Day 85 - Exhausting

This morning I decided to mount the headlights in the bonnet. The mounts are aluminium plates that stick to the bonnet with PU adhesive.  It took a while to clean up the headlight mounting faces and headlight recesses on the bonnet so that the plates sat flat and the headlights didn’t foul when in place. Then I drilled the holes in the plate through so that the headlight mounting stud fixings sat cleanly in the mounting plate.  Then applied just enough of the black sticky stuff to the plate and pressed it down.  This stuff takes a couple of hours to dry and a few more hours to cure fully.  I placed a brick on top of each plate to ensure each plate is in full contact with the face and wiped away any excess that was squeezed out the sides.

Leaving the bonnet alone for the adhesive to cure I started to make up the looms for the rear lights.  I

Stewart’s email came back with a few photos of his knuckle and a ruler up against it. The knuckle centres were about 177mm apart.  I put a ruler on mine and it measured about 189mm so I wasn’t far wrong when I said it was 12 mm out.

Kim came round to assist. Originally I was going to do some earth continuity checks with her around the cable harnessing but I hadn’t progressed as far as I’d hoped with the wiring and there was another problem I wanted to deal with.  The Exhaust - I figured I would have to work the exhaust backwards e.g. from the tail pipe to the mid section where I would have to get some custom welding done to make the exhaust fit.

This is the situation the two cat system I bought off EBay has a 2.5” pipe to a flange at the back end. At the other end of the exhaust I have the custom exhaust pipe which is a 3”  2 bolt flange so I will need a coupling adaptor piece in order to fit the two pieces together.  From what I have seen on line the pieces are anywhere between 6 and 8 inches in length, So I will have to get a 3 inch 2 bolt flange to mate with the adaptor.  Weld the wide end of the adaptor to it and then get the 2.5 inch flange cut off and suitably mark up and weld the other end in place however far up the pipe is necessary.  This however cannot be done unless I know the tail pipes are exactly in place then I can see what I will have to work with hence I decided to fit the rear bumper unit. 

There is also a exhaust hanger bracket that will support the exhaust from the diff nose bracket looking through the photos of other builds.  I had to cut the old one on the sub-frame off to get the sub-frame to fit flush to the body so another support bracket will have to be sourced at the same time.

Ignition wire – Looking at connecting the ignition stud in the bulkhead to the ignition cable I decided the joints at the steering column were legacy and messy and repeatedly modified there were supplies to the window closers (which I had now removed) and supplies to the immobiliser.  In general it looked a mess.  So I tried removing the old soldered joints but my soldering iron simply wasn’t generating enough heat to liquefy the solder and allow me to pull the redundant cables free.  In the end I chopped the mess out and laid another piece, the correct length, and with the addition of heat shrink neatened the whole job up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 84 - Oh Knuckles!!

Back onto the wiring hoping to get the core of it fixed in place and then get on with connecting all the bits and pieces.  First of all I slacked off the steering column off to connect it to the knuckle for the steering rack. Then I finally started getting the main cable harness in place and was about to look at a position to mount the internal fuse board when I noticed some daylight whilst laid on my back in the drivers footwell. The steering shaft was out of position. The white bush that sits in the hole in the bulkhead is now out of its hole and looks about 12 mm out of place. I tried putting it back in place but no matter what I did it just didn’t want to go.  I tried reversing the steering knuckle.  But that didn’t work. After half an hour manipulating the column and knuckle I was getting nowhere and from what I can see the knuckle, which was extended by MSC some months ago, is now too long. 

My mind went back over the past build thinking where I might have gone wrong.  I had 2 other friends confirm the measurements I made for the location of the hole.  The only other fixings were where the steering rack bracket fixed to the cross beam under the windscreen.  That had been “guesswork” on my part as Grahams advice was “put it where it feels comfortable”.  I figured that the end of the steering column should be in the middle of the drivers foot/seat well. That way the steering wheel would be in the middle of the seat position.  It also lined up reasonably with the brake and clutch pedal fixing mounts. Even though the column looks askew compared to the line of the car it all seemed right.  My frustration was getting the better of me and I really needed a second pair of hands to assist.  I rang Kim and arrange for her to come over and assist next week.  In the mean time I looked of other solutions like the grommet I took out of the donor car that the white bush sat in to protect it from the metal bulk head.  I took me a while to find it but even when I did it still didn’t make a difference of offsetting the white bush at all.
  My only conclusion I came to was that the steering knuckle has been extended too much and now I would have to work out how much I would have to reduce it by.  If I can get it done.  I  will have to contact graham to confirm what grade of metal tube he used to extend the knuckle because if I can’t grind the weld off I will have to find a new knuckle and manufacture the part myself.

After taking the rest of the day off as my frustration was not the right attitude to attempt the wiring I went back the next day to and went through the connectors I would need for the front and back lights.  A bit of retail therapy always good for the soul, or so they say. The headlights and the back lights I decided I would create separate looms and connect them to the main harnesses with superseal connectors.  I could use bullet connectors and heat shrink just as well but If I ever need to take the bonnet off they would be a nightmare to split and there would always be that nagging doubt that they weren’t completely water tight. The super seal connectors are water tight, IP67 if I recall correctly, and would make bonnet removal a lot easier.  They were expensive in the catalogues but cheap enough on EBay. I also ordered some lengths of split flex pipe for cabling protection and a new pair of horns because the old ones were nasty and corroded (an indulgence I know).

Now its back to the wiring.  As I’d left it I had a pretty good idea that the loom was now almost in the right position and recalled photos of the fuse board being fixed in place with tyraps (although this might have been temporary).  Not on my watch.  I found a couple of M6 bolts and some washers I could use as spacers and figured I could side mount the fuseboards bracket to the car.

Day 83 – DIY flaring

Or will I? I came back to it at the weekend and after a few other little jobs like provisionally mounted the donor fuel filter after modifying the bracket so that it would sit upright.
  Then spent a bit of time of looking at the doors and working out how I am going to pour extra resin into the door without filling the Rivnuts full of resin to strengthen the hinge plate before trying to fit the bear claw to the door.  I also stripped back the door cable harnesses because I want to use the electric adjuster system for the wing mirrors. With those wires aside there are a number of other wires that can now be used to connect the window motor assembly and door release solenoid.

That done it was back to the main wiring loom.  Getting it in the right position is crucial.  If it is wrong by an inch I could end up spending a lot of time extending cables un-necessarily.  Also after browsing various folders of wiring diagrams from different cars (Ibis white, Burnt orange, Kawasaki green) I came to the conclusion that the wiring harnesses vary so much that there wasn’t an ideal solution, basic position or standard routes to start from and so I made my own up.  Following Ben’s instruction I fitted the tyrap fixing points along the underside of the dashboard beam and then realised the what ever I did the Windscreen wiper assembly was likely to foul the wiring.

So I dug out the Wiper assembly and following the measurements shown in one of the build manual photos.  I measured and cut the hole for the wiper arm spindle, measured off the amount of metal tube required between the spindle and the motor.  Looking at the assembly instructions it says to use a pipe flaring tool to create the flared end required to clamp in the spindle assembly, which I don’t own, or alternatively a pair of round nose pliers.
I don’t own any of those either so I looked around for an alternative.  A friend at work had suggested a round punch of some sort which I had so I gave it a try but the taper was too narrow and wouldn’t flare the pipe end enough.  I searched again and came up with an alternative my spring loaded centre pop and a mallet.
The punch tip was obviously way too small but the metal body had a taper that looked like it would do the job with some gentle persuasion of a mallet.  It worked a treat and I tested the position in place.
Now there was something I didn’t like about the wiper motor mounting. I’d seen it on the Orange demo car.  The wiper motor mounting bracket fastens to the car through the apron between the bottom of the windscreen and the bulkhead. There were two stainless steel round head allen bolts and when the bonnet is down they can’t be seen.  But I don’t like the idea so looked to try another solution.  I thought about making a bracket but a bracket didn’t look like it would work.  I thought about mounting it vertically on the side wall which would mean cutting the leftover pipe to suit (there is enough left of the pipe to make a second attempt after the first cut in case you screw it up) You can’t mount it horizontally because of the corner webbing.  I decided it was a possibility but I know the engine management unit mounts around there so decided to leave it with the pipe and spindle in place and went back to the wiring.

I stripped the wiper connection off the harness and pulled the cabling back up the loom so that it remained inside the car when the loom is in place.  I then looked at the wiring diagram provided with the wiper motor kit and promptly became confused.  So, I labelled the wires and it was back to the main wiring harness.
I decided the critical point is where the loom branches both backwards e.g. up the steering column and clocks and forwards e.g. to the engine bay.  I therefore decided the most obvious starting point was the brake light switch on the brake pedal. I found the connector and positioned the harness accordingly. Then Fitted the steering column mounting bracket underneath the harness and mounted the steering column. Now all I have to do is fix it all in place and connect it all together… hmm! Think I’ll have a beer instead and call it a night.


Day 82 – Air in

Crimping done and the new air filter turned up.  I put some heat shrink on the back ends of the lugs to make it look a neater job. Fitting all the cables was easy although I didn’t tyrap them in just yet because until I have the loom hung properly in place and all the fuel lines in the exact locations.  I might need to un-twist them so it all fits neatly.

The Air filter has arrived.  But unfortunately it wasn’t as straight forward a job as I first thought.  The pack came with one too many jubilee clips and not enough washers – not a major problem in itself. If you followed the instructions however there was no way the custom aluminium piece between the intake under the inlet manifold and the Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor was actually going to fit.  Granted from the photos provided in the assembly instructions my MAF was a different model to the one shown and I didn’t have the breather pipe that was also in the kit.  So the answer was to fit the cone filter to the MAF and use the original pipe from the other side of the MAF to the Intake.  I will swap the original jubilee clips for the new ones so it looks all shiny.  I’m happy that the seals are all good and that it will work fine the only issue now is I need to make a bracket to hold the cone.  One is provided with the Kit but it was expecting and inner wing and the original mounting points from an Impreza which I no longer have - obviously.  So I will have to work out a fixing either modifying the bracket in the kit or make a bespoke one.

Now here comes a problem I had been dreading. I’ve lost a wire.  Somewhere in amongst the rats net of cables is the lead that connects to the ignition key to the starter motor.  But could I find it? Could I hell.  When I was laying up all the heavy current cabling there was a niggle in the back of my mind that I hadn’t seen it in the wiring harness (since it came out).  So now all the heavy stuff was in I wanted to get to a point where I could turn the engine over because it hasn’t run for over a year.  Yes, I know I could just get a piece of cable off the live terminal and touch the connector on the starter motor but I want to get it right and, as the wiring loom is next, it seemed right to do a “proper job”.  Each time I was in the garage I found myself digging in to the wiring diagram section of the Scooby service manuals and back into the harness chasing wire colours and relays that didn’t exist.  The immobiliser wiring wasn’t helping matters either. It took ages, to the point where I thought I was missing a piece of harness and started searching round the garage in the end I stripped a bit of the loom tape off the main cable loom and traced the cable to the point where I could see which branch of the main harness it was running down. To be fair I seemed to recall it being a white connector but it was black and the coloured cable was sheathed in black plastic and on the same branch as the electrics for the windscreen wiper (which will have to come back inside the car) and the loom which goes to the other side of the engine with the MAF sensor etc. So I will have to extend it.

Day 81 - 101 jobs to do

I took some time off to get some progress done on the car but with the best of intentions it didn’t go quite as according to plan.  A mate took me Karting in York – So it wasn’t all bad. I tried to get my bike tided up as the brakes and gears and crank needed adjusting after a trip to Bridlington last weekend. Then I noticed a damp patch on the wall and discovered the bath was leaking and so was the toilet.  Several trips to B&Q and plumb centre later and I could finally get on with the car.

Where to start?  I decided I would try the back bumper first as I would be prepping for the rear lights and once they are in I would be focusing on the harnessing.  I cut the template holes out for the number plate lights.  There is no back housing on these lights and I figure I will have to fashion some form of rear protection later as they protrude into the boot space.  I noticed from my photos the orange demo car had back covers fitted.

I held the bumper up in position and with a rope tied it in place roughly.  A few seam areas needed the treatment with a piece of wet and dry paper but the fit looked reasonable with a little flexing however I could flex it into position or drill it but I couldn’t do both.  Eventually figuring a second pair of hands would be required and moved on to the lights.
 Looking at the photos there were connectors on the backs of the lights I searched the packs and there were none to be found. I knew where MSC had got them from so I gave car builder solutions a call. Apparently there are connectors, or rather were, but they were no longer available. The best advice they could offer was to use female mini blade crimp connectors and silicon sealant fix the connectors in place.
Orange demo car connectors - no longer available
So I popped out and picked up some mini connectors as well as the bush and conduit coupler for the accelerator cable fixing, split pins, a blow torch and a box of assorted nyloc nuts (because I know I’m going to be short of a few from the Kit e.g. the grills (3xfront 1xback) need M5 nuts which were also not supplied.  I was right about the bush and coupler. It worked a treat after some gentle filing on the accelerator bracket.

One of the outstanding jobs was the two brackets on the underside of the driver’s seat that hold the seat adjuster cable. With the narrowing of the rails I did months ago. I needed to bend the end of each of the brackets the other way (180degrees) to fit in the revised locations.  The metal seemed quite thick I didn’t think I would be able to bend it with the vice and hammer, hence the blowtorch to soften the metal enough to bend.  It worked a treat and the seat slid back and forth on the rails just as it had prior to the modifications. 

Distraction completed, I returned to the car and decided to have a go at the bonnet. And came to the conclusion that as long as the bonnet sat in line with the wheel arches the bonnet would be in line and the height would need to be adjusted.  I kept trying but again no matter what I tried one side was fine and the other went out.  I did some sanding back on the rear edge under the windscreen to the partial line that was scratched into the bonnet. It was Graham’s recommendation that I cut another 15 mm deeper into the bonnet following a front on crash on a track with an out of control Ultima which pushed the bonnet into the windscreen and damaged the windscreen but the bonnet was fine.  So I figured I could cut to the line without any risk of causing irreparable damage.  I manage to get it fitting better, but it would still need some more work and more hands than I had available.  Also the rose joints supplied with the kit were of a different type to ones used on other cars.  These seem a stronger design but fouled the brackets and there is no way the bonnet would lift properly so I had to cut slot wider to accommodate the rose joint and made a mental note to make spacers for either side of the rose joint to steady it.

With no progress being made on the bonnet with out assistance I moved on to something completely different - Air intake.  A quick check online and I found the Piper Cross Impreza Induction kit and placed an order.  From the photos online it would be a simple swap out unit that should arrive next week.

Next! I cut 3x70mm lengths of stud bar and with some rough measurements on the photos drilled 3x8mm holes in the bulkhead 50mm apart between the engine bay fuse box and the pitch roll bracket and labelled them +VE, IGN+ and GND.  I don’t have the crimpers to crimp the ends on the 10mm and 16mm cables so I moved on to another job.

Next! Stuart had pointed out that for the IVA I had to remove the air bag from the steering wheel and use the original steering wheel for the IVA only I had to remove the “airbag” labelling on the centre of the steering wheel.  The air bags are actually explosive devices it is illegal to sell on and they have to be disposed off safely. Now there are dubious methods to disposal I won’t go into and in this case I am fortunate to know a man who can dispose of them safely and I passed them on to him.  After removing the steering wheel air bag I removed the passenger airbag then heated up the soldering iron and melted off the airbag embossed text on the centre of the steering wheel. It doesn’t look great but it is only for the IVA test.

Next! I thought about doing some work on the doors but decided the wiring needed my attention more. First problem is I need to position the loom in such a way that I don’t have to extend the looms further and only have add the ground cables and any extra features i.e. heated windscreen etc.  However the “Extra” items on the donor vehicle only added to the harnesses complexity. The modules, like the Window auto closers, were under the seat and dashboard and are surplus to requirements but which seem to link the major cable harnesses together creating the biggest rats nest that after several attempts I have failed to sort out into a semblance of order.  So it was out with the snips, soldering iron and heat shrink and 2 hours later I am able to see a bit more wood from the trees.

Then I decided to measure up the 10 & 16mm cables so I can take them into work and use the crimper to fasten the lugs on the ends.

Day 80 – all sorts ...no penalty

Good news – no penalty notice.  It has been a couple of weeks since I was down in Exeter and what with a holiday, a testing coast to coast bike ride, a christening, a couple of birthdays, work and the Olympics, obviously, getting any real time in the garage has be a problem. But I finally manage this weekend to get some time in -But what to start with?  I decided to lay the fuel lines in and fasten the “Hockey stick” so I could see where the fuel lines go in comparison with the wiring.  Then I made a final decision on the accelerator cable. This has been a question Stuart and I had pondered over.  We know the cable will come out in the wheel arch which is not something we really want but with no apparent option.  I marked up and drilled a pilot hole and mounted the inner wing to see how far it stuck out in the wheel arch. It wasn’t as bad as I thought I might even be able to rework the inner wing to act as a protection guard.

  The plan was to cut a 16mm hole and feed the cable through it then I reckoned and 25mm brass bush and 25mm conduit coupler with a couple of locking screws would secure the pedal end securely. I cut the hole but the bit caught as it broke through. Whoops! I finished the hole of with the dremel and a sanding bit.

I started looking at other jobs to be done and went back to the images from MSC and my own photos to assess to the positions for the studs in the bulkhead that I am going to use for the Main +12v supply and Ground from the battery and IGN+.  Being a plastic car you can get away with things like this. I was flicking through the photos when I saw something I recognised.  It was a hole in the inner wing of another Murtaya with the accelerator cable running through it. Exactly like the one I had done earlier.  I’ll be honest being a novice builder and not having a manual to go from there are times when you start second, third and fourth guessing yourself.  Every hole and cable you cut you find yourself debating whether you will need it later or is it in the right place. I had spent hours debating what to do with the accelerator cable and that picture showed me what to do.  My frustration got the better of me and I spent the next 5 hours pouring over the photos gleaning as much information as possible. I figure the more I am aware of what is coming up the easier it would be to make decisions, cuts and holes.

Day79 - Destination... Exeter

I took a couple of days off and drove down to the Murtaya Sportscars Workshop.  I picked Stuart up on the way and met up with Andy at the workshop.  Andy was great and couldn’t do enough to help.  We searched around the workshop and found a few items I was outstanding. Andy also explained the current situation with MSC which was the Ben and Graham had been forced to find other jobs.  Whilst they have made massive improvements to the Adrenalin Roadster, having started a new budget car project and built a demonstrator there was not enough business to sustain the development work being done on the cars.  This is the situation facing all kit manufacturers at the moment.  So although the business wasn’t bust it was basically being put up for sale - with a couple of interested parties negotiations were continuing.  It is a shame that all the work and effort these guys have put in raising the level of quality that this kit has evolved into has come to this. I hope the new owners can continue the development.

Stuart and I went through the photos and details on MSC’s PC and found the folder Ben had been using to build the manual up.  We took copies of all these then went to where the Orange demo car was being housed.  Andy said it just needed a Simtec ECU for the high customised engine.  However after closer inspection some of the parts I was hoping to photograph weren’t actually complete. One of the things I wanted a picture of was the fuel pipe route after they come out of the “hockey stick” slot under the car.  Part of the problem is that I have an inline fuel filter to replace the large donor unit for, which I can’t see any room for and the simplest route is to bring it up and round under the fuse box.  This in itself is not a problem. However, I am concerned that the IVA assessment might have an issue though.  There were a number of other minor issues which I hope the photos from Nick, another Murtaya owner, will point me in the right direction.

I took a number of photos under the dashboard and in the engine bay.  I noted some of the pipe changes which I had already worked out and cable routes which were different to mine but this was originally a non-ABS donor car.  I looked at the arrangement of the rear lighting again confirming my own thoughts and the cutting out I had done which I thought had been excessive. But it turns out that they had done the same.


We went for a drink in the local pub and met up with Ben where I put a a number of questions to him about structural PU, wiper blade, wiring, door glass seals, neutral issues and how to avoid problems and a host of other queries.  We went back to the workshop and went back through the data to see if he had anything else we might have missed.  So with all the parts outstanding accounted for by either what we had found with Andy or to be credited as required and I’ll order them from CBS online or other supplier.

The windscreen wiper had apparently been ordered but not supplied nor the payment taken by the supplier.  The suspicion was the company had gone bust so when asked what was the alternative, Ben suggested I take the one on the Orange Demo car. 

We were just about to call it a night when Graham popped his head round the door to say hello.  We chatted briefly about what we had been agreed with Andy and Ben and called it a night.
Stuart and I left feeling more positive about what we have to do and assured that the Murtaya story will continue, if in the guise of new owners, and with support assured and a wealth of build photos we met up with Stuart’s wife at a local restaurant.  Pity about the copper on the bridge over the M5, guess I’ll have to wait for the fixed penalty notice.

Day 78: Murtaya Stolen...

It wasn’t mine I’m relieved to say.  I noticed a link was down so I did some updating on the blog and discovered that Bart’s Murtaya was stolen in April.  Bart must be heartbroken.  It was registered as No.30 so any European track day fanatics out there be aware there are only 43 of these excellent vehicles in the world 2 in the USA and the UK and NZ ones are all right hand drive.  That doesn’t leave many out there and Bart’s was the only left hand drive I know of in Europe.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Day 77: Newark Show and contact at last

A mate of mine has been thinking about a kit car.  And with the Newark show on the horizon I ask if he want to join me.  It was looking like it was going to be a great show Ronart were going to be there, some new vehicles were being launched/displayed for the first time and from last year’s experience there was a pretty good club scene.  It was all gearing up for a great show.

However we can’t plan the weather which was atrocious with high winds and lashing rain.  Hence the majority of the club cars stayed away and those that did turned up it wasn’t a nice environment to peruse the cars and chat to the owners.  I did manage to talk to Arthur Wolstenholme the creator and director of Ronart Cars.  There was a V12 W152 which looked awesome especially for a 10 year old car.  Arthur showed me an article in the June edition of Jaguar World magazine. The W152 uses a Jaguar XJ series as its donor for engine, transmission, suspension etc. I recall reading ages ago that Jaguar had an issue with their name being used on the Ronart cars as it wasn’t a “proper” Jaguar.  Could be Jaguar World think a little different.

I decided that seeing as I hadn’t heard from the lads I tracked down a fellow Murtaya owner who had a completed car (IBIS White) and asked him if he could take a few pictures of his car for me.  He happily agreed to help though when he told me the car was in storage and soon heading to Scoobyprojects I felt a little guilty for putting him out and curious about what he was having done.

I also decided another email to Andy was in order asking if I could come down and meet him and if he had access to the workshop, a car, drawings etc, and most important my outstanding Kit.   To my surprise I got a response the same day agreeing and offering access to cars and the workshop.  I got in touch with Stuart and we quickly agreed to fix a date.  Fingers crossed I will get the miriad of questions buzzing around my head answered.  The cars they have available, I’m guessing slightly, are the red race car and the Avendator Orange RT2 which according to andy was still waiting a custom ECU for that highly modified engine.

Day 76: Gong deep with the wiring

After much discussion with myself I have decided the front engine bay wiring loom will have to be split. The first half follows the existing route and contains the wiring for the lights, fans and horns.  The second half of the cabling links the internal fuse board to the engine bay relay box and will route back to the location of the internal fuse box using the same hole in the bulkhead the wiring harness used from the engine control unit (ECU) in the car to the engine harness connectors.

The other benefit of doing this is I can remove the huge connector that was connected to the ABS unit.  I don’t know whether I will need to keep it in the harness but by doing it this way I can bring the all the cabling inside the car under the dash.

It took a while to unwrap but after an hour or so I was left with a mass of cables on the garage floor and I’d had enough already of working on the garage floor.  I set up the wallpaper pasting table and the workmate, laid cardboard sheet over the two and laid the cabling out on the cardboard and began separating the cables into four groups common, ABS, front end connections(lights, horns, fans etc) and internal wiring.  Thank god I labelled every connector well.  2 connectors were dedicated to ABS.  There were over half a dozen other cables for the ABS connector one was power from the fuse board so that was quickly cut and pulled back. There were actually 4 separate commons, 2 were on a separate connector (I assume for fault finding) and two others wired into the common cable. These I cut also.

Next were the lights, the main cabling was fine from the fuse board and easily segregated but there was a loop back into the car which I would have to chop and extend. There was a mass of offside indicators wiring as the side indicator and main indicator were combined. I coiled up and cut to extend.  The side lights were next to get the same treatment.  The only outstanding problems were a pair of connectors that were unused in the donor car I suspect they are either day running lights or possibly the fog lights.  I will have to check the wiring manual. 

Now it was the time to check the other connectors.  The Fans were okay although I had to run a new common back to the main common connector.  There are also a pair of commons that previously connected to the metal body work on the donor car.  I kept them on for know and will extend them to the metal sub-frame if necessary.

The only other pair of cables was the air intake temperature sensor which I will extend I’m just not sure how far to extend it though.

With regards extending cables, I have a bunch of crimps but chose to extend the cables by soldering the joints and covering the joint with heat shrink tubes.  I specifically chose cut points that I should be able to get to once the loom is back in place in the car should I suffer and problems later.  I know the headlights will need the connectors cutting off but not until the headlights are in place and then I will create a loom and use the crimped bullet connectors.

Day 75: Silence is not Golden

I have been trying to get in touch with Ben and Graham without success.  I don’t have much in equipment outstanding but I could do with as much data as possible.  If as they have stated previously they have gone silent.

I recently went to the Stoneleigh kit car show hoping to find a fellow Murtaya owner so I could get some photos of a completed model to help with the build. But all I found was Arden Automotives, for want of a better description, rough build.  It was complete, but unpainted and in its roughest form to pass IVA and it was for sale.  It looked like an earlier version of the tub from looking at the condition of the GRP components, there was no carpeting, the dash wasn’t the same, the internal door release were manual levers from the donor car, it had no door windows and in all it was bare to say the least.  It looked like it had been thrown together - literally. So much so I didn’t take any photos.

The show itself was a little subdued compared to the previous shows I’d been to highlighting the struggling self build and custom build industry.  However there were some new ideas and some interesting developments including a couple of MX5 shell switchovers. One from Tribute Automotive converts a series 1 mx5 into what looks like a Ferrari 250 GTO without requiring an IVA test.  This makes for a low cost alternative for car builder wannabes and MEV showed its alternative skin option by actually doing it in the show in about 20 minutes (pre-work had already been done e.g. disconnection of headlights and etc).

The clubs made up for the somewhat subdued manufacturers halls, and the weather held off to bring out a fascinating range of cars. I managed to find the Single Ronart W152 which is another one of my favourites.

Day 74 Exhausting trip to Horncastle

I haven’t been able to do much since before Christmas.  But now things have warmed up again (above freezing) I decided to make another start.  Having worked with cables in my job I know messing about with cables when it is freezing below 1 deg C is a bad idea as the insulation can crack – Granted I’m talking about Steel Wired Armoured cable the thickness of my forearm but with a 14 year old wiring harness and the fact I’m freezing my butt off I decided not to risk it.

So my primary concern is the hole for this wiring harness from the engine bay.  The problem being to keep it away from the turbo catalytic convertor and down pipe, but not such that it will be exposed in the wheel arch.  I have to do the same with the throttle cable but that is protected by its metal and plastic sheath.  After mulling this over I decided I would need to put the downpipe in place to see what space I have to play with.  The HKS down pipe (marked competition use only) was not going to be any good as the downpipe I would be using would have a catalytic convertor round about the area I want to put the cabling harness.  So I put a few questions together for the lads at MSC one being where can I get a downpipe with a cat.  Last night, having not heard anything from the lads for a week I went hunting on Ebay. 

I have been looking round the internet on several occasions over the last few months the costs to be honest depressed me with figures of £400 - £500 for a full system.  With all the cars around that have had the cats removed and downpipes increased in bore you would have thought there must be somewhere I can get a second hand unit.  The cat is important the reason being the IVA test on emissions.

Emissions levels on the IVA is one of the more “political issues” on the test.  The levels are, I believe, the same as any MOT test.  However, most of the replacement cats available online that say they will pass MOT will only actually pass when they are Hot full operating temperature.  On the IVA test they put a temperature probe in the oil dip pipe and take the emissions reading from when the oil reaches 80 Deg C at which point the cat is not fully up to normal operating temperature hence it can fail on emissions.  This is what I am trying to avoid, obviously.

So back to the internet. After trying a few more new websites which told me nothing I didn’t already know I gave Ebay one last try.  Jackpot! There it was a Full classic STI exhaust system original downpipe, 2 Catalytic convertors and a Subaru back box.  It still had 6 days to run but with no bidders.  My own paranoia made me decide not to bid but to pay the asking price.   I got a call from the seller half an hour later and this morning with the sun shining I drove across the bridge en route to Horncastle.

The seller wasn’t there it was his father in law who ran a small garage.  The unit had been his son in laws who had used it to get his Subaru through its MOT each year until he crashed it a couple of years ago and was now driving a 2.5litre model.  Closer inspection showed it in good condition with nothing from my limited understanding to indicate there was anything wrong with it.  So money paid we put it in the back of my car. This leaves me with a small issue for later on the pipe ID is 57mm whilst the tail pipe unit in the kit is 72mm.  This I will solve later.  It is not a difficult problem.

Other questions I put to the lads @ MSC  were the structural PU adhesive nobody local or internet could offer me anything that they would describe as structural PU this had been really frustrating. I chatted with a mate at work and he directed me to a the U-Pol site.  After some browsing I found U-Pol Stronghold panel adhesive.  A fast curing adhesive designed to stick GRP panels together and GRP to Aluminium which U-pol describes as semi-flexible.  It is as close as I can find to what Graham had described in previous discussions.  It’s not cheap @ £27.00 for a 200ml tube but at least I can make progress.

My other question which I need a response to is this cable hole was if they knew of another owner that I could ask for some photos of the cable routing in the engine bay round the turbo.

Day 73: Winter is coming and the goose is getting fat... well me actually

The winter solstice tomorrow, at last the nights will start getting shorter. It is bloody freezing in the garage.  Work is not progressing at any rate of knots.  Every time I reach a point where I have to think what to do next or work out what needs to go where I start to freeze.
Note to self: Next time you build a garage fit under floor heating.

I tried laying out the wiring loom about the garage floor on cardboard and identified which plugs I would need and which I wouldn’t.  Those that I wouldn’t need I taped up to the loom.  Once I was reasonably satisfied I laid it in the car.  I pulled the loom for the rear of the car as well as the boot release. I figured to use the bottom boot catch as a grounding point for the rear lights. So I removed the boot lid latch and mounted the bottom release (the last thing I need to do was lock the boot with no method of release).

Then I came across a problem the connector for the fuel pump and sender harness was halfway down in the sill of the car and there was no way the fuel pump loom would reach.  This would be the start of the harness modifications.  I had recently bought a couple of reels of cable red, black, brown and blue. At least I can keep warm with the soldering iron.
I pressed on with the other legs of the loom passing them through the forward bulkhead into the engine bay working out the other changes I would have to make.  The windscreen wiper motor would now be mounted inside the car instead of the in the engine bay as it was on the donor car.  It is a new mono wiper blade system. And I’m assuming the screen wash “bladder bag” and pump will also go in the inside but will have to confirm with the lads at MSC before stripping back the loom so the cables.  There was something wrong and it was bugging me.  The internal fuse board. The board was originally mounted above and to the right of the accelerator.  The board links to both the internal loom and to the engine bay loom. So getting the position right is going to be critical.  And so far the harness isn’t in the right place to mount the board.  Now because the distance between the wheel is actually shorter (hence the prop shaft had to be shortened) in theory I should have a bit more loom spare. But I still have the problem of cutting a hole for the engine bay loom.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day72 - A fellow builder

I received a call on Saturday evening from Stuart a fellow Murtaya builder who was coming up to see his in-laws and was I available to meet and go over the car build for a couple of hours. I said I’d love to, sent him my address and at 1:30 Sunday afternoon Stuart put his head over the fence.
Stuart wasn’t as far in with his build due to his relocation from Ireland to Bristol. But as he was going to face the same problems I’m facing shortly with wiring etc. we both had questions and solutions we could talk through.  One of the things he couldn’t work out was the steering knuckle.  The modified shaft which was supposed to be extended 90mm but Stuart’s appeared to be longer from the photo’s he had taken.  We compared the photo’s against my steering link and the appeared to be about 50 mm difference.  No wonder he was struggling.  A minor problem the guys at MSC will soon correct I’m sure.
The next question was the rear brake pipes.  I went through Grahams suggestion of mounting the pipe on the inner wing behind the shock and spring and then clipping it back to the Diff nose mount. However my preference was to run the pipe along the trailing arm of the suspension from the diff nose bracket to the shock which has a brake pipe mounting point on the back of the shock and then to the brake calliper.  This keeps the pipe away from the wheel and minimises the range of flex movement in the pipe.  Stuart agreed with my idea.  Both options are viable and secure.  In fact looking at the donor car the brake flexes were in a similar configuration to Graham’s suggestion.  But they were removable flexes on to hard pipes.

We went on to discuss the engine bay wiring loom. The problem with the wiring looms that I had discovered.  I had spoken to Ben at MSC about mating the engine bay connections to the rest of the loom (there are 4 multi-pole plugs to connect) It would appear because I had an ABS variety Donor car the wiring loom in the engine bay was different to anything they had worked on in the shop.  So Stuart and I looked into options.  My original thought of routing it to an existing hole which took it above the exhaust down pipe has a problem the connections on the interior loom were on the other side of the steering column. I thought about extending the rear loom but that would mean the internal fuse board would have to be moved above the heater.  I pulled the inner wings out of the garage loft and clamped them in place to see what space was available.
We decided that a hole would be possible.  The exact location will depend on how the loom is worked around the engine sub-frame and how much spare there is to play with.
A second hole that would need cutting was the accelerator cable now because of the location of the wheel arch and the go faster pedal the cable looks like it would have to go through the inner wing.  Stuart had an idea of mounting and angled plate in a hole in the bulkhead to allow the cable an easier path.

I pointed out a number of things which will be extras that I need to buy.  Because the engine bay fuse board is now in the location where the fuel filer used to be on the donor car I couldn’t find a suitable new location for the filter unit as it is a substantial piece.  A quick check of the CBS catalogue revealed a simpler in line replacement would cost about £12 and make a much neater job.  Other items included pipe reducers for the cabin heater, as the existing pipes are larger than the fittings on the heater matrix.  The relays I was going to use for the hazard warning switch. Trimming the front windscreen frame to allow the screen to fit because the top corner radi needed to be shorter.
All in all we had about 3 hours picking up points from each other, swapping stories and discussing options – I thoroughly enjoyed it.  But by the time Stuart left I was freezing cold and with work tomorrow I tided up and put all the toys away.

Day71 - all coming together

I have a few days off and decided to get some progress made on the car.  The last evenings effort with Dan had wound me up and I was keen to make some more progress, so this entry covers a number of days.

First thing that had bugged me was the steering rack track rod ends. The hub fastening nut was a castllated nut with a split pin hole in the shaft.  Even though I had cleared up the thread the nuts were seizing after one or two turns. With the greased up bearing I wasn’t able to get purchase on the thread to wind the nut on with a spanner.  I even knocked the track rod end, which has a tapered fit, into the hub. But it was breaking free when I put the spanner on the nut.  Now the taper fit should have been secure but it kept breaking free.  Further investigation revealed some excess paint from when I had painted the hubs had dripped into the tapered hole.  I cleared the paint away and knocked the rod ends in.   This time they lock fast and with the aid of some copper slip I worked the nuts onto the thread.  This time everything was fast and solid.

I decided to mount the front anti-roll bar I had previously cleaned the brackets and links up and gave them a lick or three of paint and mounted the bar. It didn’t seem to fit quite right and after looking at the original photos, taken during donor disassembly, I realised the links were upside down.  Quickly remedied, I then decided to lower the on to its wheels.

After lowering the car off the axle stands I cleared the area front and back of the car and moved the car back and forth to help clean the brakes up a bit.  The disks are binding on the pads but a decent run would clean them up.  My rolling the car back and forth wouldn’t do the job properly but it did become easier as the pads cleaned up the surface rust.  There’s not much room in the garage but there was enough for one full rotation of the wheels.

I then decided to put some of the pipes and sensors back on the engine.  I plan to start the wiring soon and putting all the sensors in place would make identifying the wiring routes easier. I had a number of the brackets that I need to clean up and paint.  The temperature has dropped and I have now resorted to painting the brackets and parts in the kitchen and the living room because the paint is like treacle.

One of my biggest worries about this project is putting all the sensors back together correctly.  A colleague at work had an STI and blew the turbo then after laying out a grand to have a new turbo fitted which after 100miles running in the turbo blew because it had been incorrectly plumbed in.  I remember as I took them off that each on made sense and I labelled it as best I could. But as I was taking the Inlet manifold off I had one sensor that was totally free of any connection electrical or pipe. I now had absolutely no idea where this sensor connected. I had realised this when the engine went in that this sensor was lose and it had always been a worry at the back of my mind.  Now the sensor can go back in place and I piped up one side to the inlet manifold but I couldn’t for the life of me find where the other side of the sensor pipes to.  I looked everywhere including trying to mount the intercooler.  The pipe isn’t that long so it has to be somewhere in that area.

It took me a while, but eventually, I found it there was a small pipe underneath the inlet manifold which is part of the fuel vent system.
 I continued adding the sensors and equipment that had been mounted on the inner wings of the car.  The bracketry would need to be cleaned and painted.

Now with all the pipes now connected bar one, the vacuum pipe for the brake servo unit.  The end on the brake servo was not a problem and fitted straight on but the other end was short by an inch -1 bleeding inch! The metal pipe that runs across the bulkhead from the servo to the other side of the engine has 2 mountings and I guess the bulkhead on the doner car was designed not to be flat across.  Mounting the pipe off the bulkhead would not look good so for the sake of 1 inch I need a metre of vacuum pipe.

With the exception of the intercooler and its piping, which will be one of the lasts things to go on, I can move on to the wiring.  But first I fitted the pitch stop the bracket had a 8 mm hole but the kit has a 10mm bolt.  So out with the step cutter to widen the hole.  Then there was another problem the bracket was about 1 mm narrower than the actual pitch stop.  A flat file soon trimmed the proud bush face on each side and it slipped in no problem.

 I opened the red trunk I had stored the wiring harnesses in and heaved out the mass of wires and plugs.  I went through each wiring loom identifying the sockets I would be reusing and taping up the bits of harness and plugs that wouldn’t be used e.g rear door switches and harnesses.

The biggest problem at the moment is actually the modifications/additions that have been made to the car. In my case the Speedo (Kmh to Mph)conversion, Auto Window closers and the Alarm/immobiliser system.  The problem being that the installers chose the easiest points to make the connections. And why not – I can’t blame them. I managed to disconnect the window closers.  I might still use them.  Regarding the speedo conversion I need to think about the dial still reads KM/H for the IVA I need it to say MPH. The cheap answer would be to stick a dymo “MPH” label over the KM/H. Intermediate answer would be to find an MPH dial card and replace the old card (this should have been done when the convertor was installed but I figure it was a home job and the previous owner chickened out taking the dials to pieces. The full price job would be to replace the clocks with a UK set but this has its issues as apparently there are numerous clocks available and the wiring looms vary which could turn into a major headache.  I might also think about swapping the indicator/wiper stalk unit for one that has the UK standard indicators on left wipers on right.  This might have similar wiring issues.  But these are issues for further down the line.

Once I was reasonably happy with the wiring I put the loom for the engine bay around the engine and immediately think I’ve got a problem.  The bulkhead has three holes pre cut for the wiring looms to pass through I found myself thinking I would need a fourth – and not a small one.

So, where to start.  From the photos of the orange demo car I took at the Shropshire show I saw that the fuse has been moved back a few inches on to the subframe.  This looks as if it will work but I was a bracket short and the existing bracket needed cleaning and painting.  I plugged the engine bay loom into the fuse board and laid it loosely round the engine bay to see how much cabling I had to play with.  It looked like I could get the end with 4 connectors through one of the existing holes but it would mean going close to and above the turbo and exhaust down pipe which I felt was undesirable. But I continued to fit the other looms in the car. My first struggle was getting the main loom over the steering column until I realised that 5 bolts would remove the steering column from the equation and make life a lot easier.

Now it may sound strange but as I worked the looms through the holes into the engine bay and round to the back of the car it started feeling strangely familiar and everything was falling into place and making sense.

I had noted that the hazard warning lights switch was something a little peculiar in that it had 8 cables connected to it.  I knew I needed a couple of relays for the heated windscreen so I popped down to a local auto electric shop and asked them.  There was much sucking teeth and “well its not that straight forward”.  Hmm to be fair they gave me an auto electric catalogue which will come in useful. I came back home and opened my Data file with all the wiring diagrams in and found the wiring for the hazard switch. There were basically three circuits into the switch unit, two triggered simultaneously on pressing the switch and the third was the back light illumination on the switch.

The first of the two circuits was a supply switchover and a left/right circuit short.  The hazard circuit is fused separately to the normal indicator circuit (which is on the ignition circuit) so a standard changeover relay is required there (Durite part no. 0-728-12).  The second switch circuit links the left and right indicator circuits together with the flasher circuit so both sides flash in unison. I thought about using two relays for this job. But going through the catalogue found a double make and break relay (Durite part no. 0-727-22) which according to the diagram was exactly what I was looking for.  I rang the suppliers back and added the relays to my order. I can then use a fuse on the ancillary fuse board to trigger the relays from the new hazard pushbutton.  This solution looks simpler than the description of a solution Ben described over the phone which if I’m honest he lost me when talking it through. But it seemed to involve running cables to each indicator.