Friday, December 22, 2006

Floor 2, going down

After the success of dropping the first floorpan (photos here)it was with a little trepidation that I started on the passenger side !

The original chassis, which was in a pretty poor state (Oh Dear Nena)only had the drivers side dropped, but that just seemed lazy. Whilst I am going to be driving her most of the time Sarah is going to want to get behind the wheel too, so I need to know I would fit as a passenger !! Also if I lose my bet for 1/8/07 completion date Sarah gets the first drive on the road !

Anyway, the fitting of the new panels and cutting went very well. Lot's of measuring first, as always, and it all fits together well.

And, as you can see it all lines up, and looks symmetrical. Once welded in (still just wedged and a couple of holding rivets) it should look the business. I have had a quick test with my seats (Bedford rascals £30 e-bay) and they fit nicely, and sit at the right level now. I cannot wait to get the welding done and then mount up the bodyshell.

I have limited workshop space, so to start cleaning up the shell and filling the numerous holes the last owner made I need to get the shell mounted. The only welding job remaining will be the relocation of the handbrake and gearstick, but I won't do this until the dash is fitted and I can simulate the final seating position.

This will be the last post now till after Christmas, and the last work on the car for a while. I hope to have the welding completed 3/1/07, but then go off on holiday for 3 weeks so February is the target date for mounting the shell.

Happy Christmas all, Jim

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The first cut is the scariest !

So let me get this straight in my head:

Spend time and money getting new floors welded in.

Then cut holes in them and spend more time and money lowering the floors so my 6ft 3" 'should grow up' body can fit in a low slung fibreglass 'sports car' from the 70's.

Yep, that makes perfect sense !

Well, progress has again been slow due to the Xmas run up, work commitments etc, but another step has been taken - the floor drops are happening.

After the body fitting trials a decision was made, a 3" drop was needed. Much consultation with the forums and re-reading reference material later I chose to go for the 3 cut drop, using the original pan material and having 3 pieces fabricated per side to support the lowered pan.

A local metal fabricator (if you need one in Sussex mail me for details) did the business on the steel (I don't have folding equipment) and my plans were correct !

Beware - the NOVA original plans should be treated as a guide only, although I wasn't using the original style side panels the rear should have been identical - it wasn't. I made my own cardboard templates to be sure.

I have gone for a sloping floor drop, so had large triangular sections made up. I have been told that a sloping floor drop enables the seat to tilt and in turn aids the seating position and headroom. This seems to make sense and should help with my knee/leg angle for the pedals.

I have only cut the right hand pan so far and the panels fit well. They are pretty much holding themselves in place, with the aid of just a couple of rivets. I aim to get them welded ASAP. I go on holiday for 3 weeks in Jan and want to get them welded, sealed and primered by then.

One other change I have made from the original plans is for the outside edge of the new panel to wrap over the mounting lip, and fit between the body and chassis. I know this does potentially affect the distance between body and chassis, but a couple of mm can only help headroom, and the mating gasket should mask any changes in levels. I thought by making this additional lip it would be more secure and easier to weld - we shall see !
I have put a call into the welder and am currently booked in for Jan 3rd - more pictures will follow ! Jim