Thursday, February 08, 2007

Measure twice, cut once !

The end of the world is nigh. Oops, I meant the end of the welding is nigh !

For a couple of weeks I have been saying that the only welding left is to 'just' move the gearstick and handbrake. It not that simple !

Firstly there was the conduits for the handbrake cables to free up, then cut shorter and reposition to line up with the new handbrake hole.

The handbrake bracket was re-used and relocated further down the tunnel.

This wasn't welded until cables had been fitted to both guide conduits/tunes to ensure they hadn't been crimped.

Then the gearstick and selector rod. The stick is the easy bit - cut out a section, cut a new section the right size and re-weld.

The tricky bit was cutting the selector rod to size and ensuring it was accurate. In the end I used a plumbing tube cutter and then a piece of 22mm copper pipe inside the rod (the rod is hollow) to give some strength and keep it straight while welding. The cut edges were also chamfered so the weld could be inside the overall diameter of the rod once it was ground off.

A temporary fit was tested with a tack welded rod and riveted gearstick mount to ensure all of the gears could be selected before final welds were made.

Also I liberally painted (poured !) anti rust products into the tunnel as I will never see the inside again !

A new gear rod coupler and guide bush were also fitted whilst in the area.

Give it all a lick of paint and who would know !

Soon the pedals will go in, then the seat mounts will be finalised - I am getting there, I am ! Jim

Sunday, February 04, 2007

In the driving seat, nearly !

Now to you, and the rest of the world this may seem like a mad man playing with his toy. To me this is progress. Sarah and I spent a productive few hours in the garage today! Yes really ! The garage is now very tidy, and the seating position has been worked out. The bedford rascal seats fit snugly into my dropped floorpans, and the second hand dash fits ok too.
I have now decided where the gearstick and handbrake need moving to, and hope to get the tunnel welded up soon.

On the road again !

Body on, its go go go !

Progress !

At last, the drive is free because the body is where it belongs - on the chassis.
A lack of drive space combined with a dislike of the cold meant that I had to get the body mounted up.
I hope to really start getting the bodywork prepped for paint now. There isn't much damage, but the previous owner really liked his pop rivets !
Most of the chassis work is completed now, and I cannot fix the pedals and hydraulics (clutch and twin circuit brakes) until the body is in place, as the pedal box is a hanging version - bulkhead mounted.
The chassis has been painted liberally in smoothrite, though I know it will get knocked and marked during the build, so I will repaint nearer the end.
Mounting the shell up didn't take too long - about 3 hours for two people - cheers Dad.
Of course stainless bolts and washers were used. The VW chassis washers were painted with clear lacquer, and nylock nuts held them in place.
A new mounting gasket was sourced from VW heritage and to save it slipping around while we mounted up I had prefitted it the day before with some black rubber sealant.
The body lined up really well with the mounting holes - which was a good sign, and overall seems pretty well sealed. The only area where some work is needed is the rear corners and over the gear linkage coupling.
The rear body lip covers the original cover plate so for now I have removed this and will make a new cover to fit.
Now I aim to dummy up the dash and seats to help decide where to move the gearstick and handbrake to - then the welding can be completed.
That will be a good feeling, as everything is then under my control.
One positive is that Nigel, my friendly local welder has left his gear in the garage - so he can pop back anytime to complete it !
More pictures soon - enjoy the sunshine , Jim