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909 Posts
Discussion Starter #461
No Turning Back - Part 1:
All the "re-modelling" work I've done so far has taught me that sometimes drastic action is required in order to make forward progress.

I've also learnt that when faced with a big & complicated job, you have to start somewhere and just keep at it until you are done.

So it was time to get out the angle grinder and see what I could do.

Whilst I didn't have a detailed master plan, I'd seen another builder make a vaguely similar join on his hood.

I started by using some straps to gently pull the bottom edges of the body shell into place.

Some bits of yoga mat were used to lift the hood a bit higher than was actually needed.

The surface of the lip for the hood to rest on will be finished off as part of fine tuning the hood fit at a later stage.

I also used some thick cardboard to ensure I had sufficient clearance around the edge of the new radiator.

I marked up the ends of the new hood rear edge to match the Spitfire bulkhead & cut them.

Then the temporary lip was removed to help me mark up the area of the hood than needed to be cut out.

Then I proceeded to remove bits of the hood in stages so I could keep checking the fit as I went along.

Until the hood eventually looked like this.

Which gave enough room for the new edge to be joined to it.

End of Part 1...

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #462
No Turning Back - Part 2:
As previously mentioned, by now, I knew the outside "corners" of the new rear hood edge were going to cause problems.

So I decided to started the joining process in the centre of the hood, where there were just a few undulations to deal with.
( Slightly too high in the middle and slightly too low either side of it. )

I cut a number of slits along the rear edge of the existing hood.

Which gave me the flexibility I needed to get matching levels along the join at the centre of the hood.

The view from the underside shows how the screws are pulling each of the slits into line.

The next step is to bridge the gap with fibreglass matting, working around the fixing screws.

Once the fibreglass has set solid, the brackets holding the two sections together can be removed.
( Although I did add a small bracket to the edge of the driver's side for extra support. )

Then the areas around the screw holes get tidied up before more matting is added over the join on the inside.

Even at this early stage, it looks like the join already works pretty well at the centre. :cool:

Obviously there is still a lot of finishing off work to do, but at least I can work my way across the hood from there.

End of Part 2...

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #463
No Turning Back - Part 3:
The sunny side of the centre join was the next area to tackle, so I counter sunk the fixing screw holes.

Before filling both the holes and the gaps in between the slits with fibreglass filler.

Then I ground out the gap between the two sections.



So I could add three layers of fibreglass matting into the join on this side.

This whole area needs to be sanded down before another layer of matting can be added to re-enforce the join on this side.

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Whilst joining the centre section of the hood was progressing nicely, the same could not be said of the outside corners.

On the face of it, these appeared to be a complete mismatch. :sad:

The gap wasn't quite so bad when the bottom section of the hood was clamped tight to the body shell.
( Where it will eventually end up at some point. )

After spending some time thinking about how to fix this, it was pretty clear that yet more surgery was required.

So cut the new passenger corner piece into three sections.

I also extended the length of the slits on this side of the hood too.

The general idea is that I will be able to re-attached these new edge sections to the existing hood something like this.

Which is a combination of pushing one section in, and the other section out, until they meet in the middle.

Depending on how this corner works, I will do the same on the driver's side, or maybe take a slightly different approach.

Either way, the plan is to complete the rear edge join before starting on the wheel arches and the body shell extension.

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #464
Odds & Ends:
Well that brings me up to date with as far as I've got with the hood work as of yesterday.

So there are just a few minor jobs left to cover...

Driver's Seat:
With all the hassle I had with the steering column, I never actually got around to fitting the driver's seat.

So I put the steering wheel back on and work out the best position I could find to reach everything and drive the car.
( The cockpit area is actually pretty small, so there isn't a great deal of choice about where the seat can go.)

Then I taped the template to the floor and drilled the 4 fixing holes required.

Please excuse my finger appearing in this photo. :rolleyes:

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Car Cover Repairs:
One of the straps on my car cover had come apart and all the others were starting to go too.

So I added some tape either side of the straps and added some extra stitching to help.

The straps needed to be pulled pretty tight to avoid the wind really catching the cover.
( As it isn't a perfect match of the car's shape. )

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Mirror Screen Mount:
While I was cleaning up the scuttle area, I also tided up the inside edge of my wind break lip.

This was modified so that the mini deflector screen for the mirror sits at the right angle.

I just need to test fit the screen again before I can finish smoothing out this area.

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Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #465
More Of The Same - Part 1:
I previously covered how I joined the two sections of the hood together, starting at the centre.

Well, joining the two outside edges has been more of the same, just a lot messier, especially the passenger side.

I quickly realised I would not be able to reshape & re-join this section in one go.

So I added some matting to the sunny side of the arch to help it hold its shape while I started with the two outer sections.

Then I really did have the makings of Frankenstein's monster, as I held the rest of the pieces in place.

At least the underside looked a bit more presentable after I had added enough fibreglass matting to hold it all together.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the sunny side, which looked like the dog's dinner that it was. :rolleyes:

Still, I knew it would get worse, before it got better, so out came the angle grinder.

Then more layers of fibreglass matting along all of the joins.

Some fibreglass filler.

And yet more fibreglass matting.

This was all pretty straight forward work, with one exception, the weather.

I actually ended up completing one bit of fibreglass work under the tarpaulin as a heavy rain shower arrived out of nowhere.

The good news is that the work was not effected by the rain.

The bad news was that I ended up looking like a drowned rat by the time I was finally able to take shelter. :sad:

End of Part 1...

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #466
More Of The Same - Part 2:
Thankfully the driver's side was much easier, as I was able to join the two outside edges together without the need to chop up the new rear edge.

Although the assortment of brackets that held it all together for the next stage were hardly pretty.

However, working thru the same steps as before, the basic shape was getting there.
( Fibreglass matting on the under side + grinding out the sunny side & adding matting in the joins + fibreglass filler + more matting. )

Then it was time to slap on a load of normal body filler to cover the remaining 'cut & shut' scars and to improve the overall bonnet shape.

I still want to re-enforcing the edge when the other mods have been done, so there was no point in adding filler to that at this stage.
( Similarly, the lower end of the hood still needs to be cut off and attached to the body shell. )

This actually took a long time to sand down to get me into the right ball park in terms of overall shape.

Even though I know this still needs a lot of work, I just couldn't resist adding some etch primer to judge my progress.
( Thankfully, I am definitely heading in the right direction. )

By the time I've finished, this should end up being a good blend of the original hood curves & the new scuttle profile. :cool:

I know it will not be prefect, but the thankfully, the battered ex-race car look is just what I am aiming for. ;)

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Next Steps:
I really need the body shell to be bonded into position before I start the wheel arch and body shell extension work.

Therefore I need to turn my attention back to getting a working "go kart" and that means re-fitting the wiring loom.

So until next time, take care, Paul.

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #468
PowerHungry - Cheers. :cool:

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Quick Recap:
Even though there are still some body work modifications to do, at least the final shape is slowly emerging.

Although after posting the last batch of photos, I realised that I really should have included a "before" shot for comparison.

Original Kit:

Current Design:

The follow video clips are from this year's Goodwood Revival meeting and show the era of racing car I am trying to emulate.
( Note: I originally posted these in the Type 65 Coupe section of the forum. )



Chopping the original kit up was a big risk / huge leap of faith for me that created a lot of extra work.

But I must confess that I am now really happy with the unique "period" look I have managed to achieve. :cool:

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Wiring Loom - Part 1:
I laid out the wiring loom so I could start to plan the best way of fitting it.

Although the only real question was the best route for the rear wiring loom to take to/from this connection on the main loom.
( As the rest of the loom will match the original Spitfire layout. )

The wiring route was also linked to the way the gaps between the body shell and the bulkhead / internal framework will be bridged.

So it was back to cutting up various bits of cardboard to mock up the best way to make everything water tight.

There will be a vertical panel in front of the hole in the bulkhead for the rear wiring loom (see following post for details).

This will be connected to other panels to form a "cavern" around this whole area, which includes where the framework is bolted to the bulkhead.

The panels along the cockpit sides will sit in front of the framework.

With a "hollow" section to allow the wing mirrors to be fixed into position, although the final "hollow" design will look better.

This work will create a water tight space for the wiring loom between the internal cockpit sides and the external fibreglass body shell.

I just put some cable wrap in position to illustrate this.

End of Part 1...

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #469
Wiring Loom - Part 2:
Once I had a rough idea of how things were going to work, the body shell had to come off.

So the car went from vaguely looking complete...

Back to a collection of parts on my driveway.

Then I went back through the old photos of my donor car with the loom in place to double check things.

The main external part of the front loom exits from the bulkhead here:

And here:

These are all the original Spitfire parts, although neither appear very water tight to me!

Finally, there was a "Red Herring" hole next to the battery box, which turned out to have nothing to do with the wiring.

So that was blanked off with a rubber grommet instead.

Next I could drill a new hole in the side of the bulkhead for the rear wiring loom to exit.

The rear loom would originally have been routed under the carpet thru channels in the bulkhead and floor sections that no long exist.

So instead the rear loom will now emerge from here.

Which means that it has just a short distance to reach the main loom inside the bulkhead.
( Which has now been fixed to the bulkhead at this end. )

Then I spent a lot of time working out the best route for the rear loom and was initially planning to "go low", something like this.

In the end, I decided that the best route would be along the top of the framework like this.

I have still got to come back and tidy up the start of the cable wrap near the hole in the bulkhead.

I also used an extra layer of protection in some areas.

End of Part 2...

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #470
Fuel Line:
Before I could finish routing the rear wiring loom, I needed to sort out the mis-match between the hard & flexible fuel lines.

So I bolted 2 "P" clips to the rear arches & internal framework to hold the original Spitfire hard line into position.

I was able to create the bends required with my cheap flexible pipe bending tool.

Then I cut the hard line down to size, before putting the final curve in the pipe.

Then I cut the flexible pipe to size and fixed it to the framework with zip ties to create a gentle curve.

Which allowed the two pipes to be joined together here.

And to give this overall route.

I dread to thing how long it has been since the fuel tank was connected, so this was a satisfying little job to complete.

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Wiring Loom - Part 3:
With the fuel lines taken care of, I could now sort out the wires to the fuel gauge sender in the tank, which were too long.

So starting at the tank connections...

I worked my way around the framework...

Before shortening the wires & adding a new earth connector and fixing it into position on the "P" clip bolt I'd fitted earlier.

Which left the rear loom routed like this up to the branch for the fuel tank.

This just leaves sorting out the final route of the rear loom into the trunk area on my "To Do" list.

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #471
Another Small Job:
The weather has been rubbish the last few days, but I managed to do this simple task in between the rain.

While working on the wiring near the trunk area, I remembered that I still needed to fit the cover over the suspension mounting bolts.

You may remember that fitting the lowering block makes this area sit proud of where the original Spitfire cover would sit.

Well it was back in May 2014 that I turned the original Spitfire access cover...

Into Frankenlid...

Obviously, I also spent some time cleaning that mess up so that is ready to be re-fitted.

I put the screw fixings into position and added a layer of sealing compound.

Tightened the 4 screws and spread the "squeezed out" sealing compound along the edge of the join.

It just needs a final lick of paint and that will be another job off the list.

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It is funny how the little jobs like this one & connecting the fuel lines seem like big steps forward for this build.

It certainly feels good to be actually do some final building work, after spending so long fixing problems. :cool:

Until next time, take care, Paul. :)

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #473
6t8dart - Thanks. :cool:

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Recently, I have been working my way through the very long list of jobs required to reach the stage of a working Go-Kart.

So I've tried to group together the various tasks, rather than follow a strict time line, as a lot of the work overlapped....

Connecting the heater to the engine should have been straight forward, as I had previously just by-passed the old heater like so.

It started off well enough, as I cut that hose down so that I could re-use it to connect to the heater control valve.
( Having previously double checked old photos to ensure I knew which hose went where. )

But then I discovered a mis-match in pipe sizes / hoses, 13mm ID at the engine & 16mm ID at the heater.

Obviously, I did waste a lot of time desperately trying to make the small hose fit over the larger pipe, before I had to admit defeat.

So there was a slight delay while I waited for this "reducing" connector to arrive.

Even then, I wasted more time by initially using a short section of the thinner pipe like so.

As no matter what route, or length of pipe, I used, I just couldn't get a nice bend in the thick pipe.

So I switched tactics and used a short length of the thicker pipe instead.

As this allowed me to put a better bend in a longer length of the thinner pipe.

The other bit of plumbing related work was fitting the bracket for the overflow bottle and attaching it to the hose from the new radiator.

This means that the cooling system is not complete and I just need to add some water/anti-freeze.

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Gearbox Tunnel Cover:
Whilst I don't actually need to fit this for the Go-Kart stage...

I still cut out sections of self adhesive, heat reflective foil and applied them to the inside surface of the cover...

As I did want to use the "left over" foil behind the dashboard to protect the wiring loom as part of the Go-Kart construction.

More on that later.

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #474
Bulkhead Connections:
Refitted the starter motor solenoid, ignition coil & new battery.

I am using the original Spitfire battery earth cable, until I have got the engine running, which is earthed at the side of the battery box.

This will remove any uncertainty about fitting the new battery cut off switch and adding an unknown problem to restarting the engine.

The two holes in the bulkhead in the photo above are where the cut off switch cables will go and I still fitted the switch itself to the metal dash support.

I made a small funnel to help me get some oil all the way through the original throttle cable.

Then the cable fitted through the bulkhead and connected to the accelerator/gas pedal.

I was then able to fit the new pivot pin parts at the carb end to replacing the original parts that were lost/missing.

Fitted the two brand new car horns that came with my donor car.

Although I am not 100% sure if they should be facing forward, or inwards, as there were not fitted to the car when I bought it.

However, that will be an easy fix at a later date and this position is good enough to test the wiring.

By the time I'd finished some of the other jobs covered in this round of updates, the bulkhead looked like this.


909 Posts
Discussion Starter #475
Rear Lighting:
I cut holes in a piece of thick cardboard based on my rear lighting template.

Then put all my rear lighting into position, so they can be tested with the rest of the Go Kart electrics.

I also finished wrapping up the last few wires while I was at it.

Then to stiffen up the "lighting board" a bit, I added two lengths of old plastic conduit to the top & bottom edges.

Which just makes it a bit easier to carry around and then I wired this up in the trunk area.

The only thing missing from the rear was the number plate light, as I was still painting the fixing bracket for that at the time.
( Although the photos are not great. )

But at least I have now attached the number plate light to the bracket.

Now I just need to modify the rear loom which is still set up for the 3 x LED number plate lights I was planning to fit.

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There was another very small job to do in trunk area, which was fitting a rubber grommet to the "standard" hole in the floor.

If only all the jobs on my "To Do" list were that simple. :rolleyes:

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #476
Driver's Side Dashboard - Part 1:
This section had been fitted, but not connected, so that I could set the steering column up correctly.

In order to connect it up properly, it all had to come back out again, so I could get better access to the bulkhead behind.

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I fixed my new choke cable to the dash.

Before threading the cable through the heater vent panel...

And out through the bulkhead, although it will not get connected to carbs until the dash has been refitted.

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Then it was the turn of the wires for the new oil pressure gauge.

Although at this point, there is nowhere to attach the other ends of these wires to.

However, in order to get a working Go-Kart, I just need the wiring behind the dash to be sorted out, so that is fine for now.

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Initially I got confused by these two relays...

As I could only find a fixing for one of them behind the dash (excuse the poor photo).

It was only after searching in vain for a second fitting that I spotted this on the bottom of one relay.

Which would allow it to slot into this hole in the dash...

End of Part 1...

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #477
Driver's Side Dashboard - Part 2:
This hole was next to the other replay fixing, so they would sit together like this.

Although I did think this looked a little flimsy, so I drilled an extra hole in the metal dash support and zip tied this into place.

Now I knew where these were going to be fitted, I could finish wrapping up the wires, as they were left during my previous "indoor" testing.

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There was quite a lot of effort required (& the occasional scraped knuckle) to get everything connect up properly.

But eventually, it was all back in position. :cool:

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Unfortunately, the connection block on the new ignition wiring, didn't match the old connector in the loom. :sad:

I went through my various electrical "spares", but could only find "double" connectors, rather than "fours", so I simply used two "doubles".

With both ends changed, the ignition wires could be joined and tucked up out of the way with the rest of the loom.

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With the dash in place, I could attach the end of the choke cable to the carbs.

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You may remember that my new plastic brake light switch broke as soon as I fitted it. :rolleyes:

So this is the metal alternative that I bought and it is marginally thinner than the original.

But I just needed to add a washer to one side when I was fitting it and that was fine.

Although by this point I was getting pretty fed up of crawling around, upside down in the foot well, to get these little jobs done.

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #478
Passenger Side Dashboard:
This just slots over the battery cut off switch.

The wires hanging down are where the rear loom attached and these have now been properly connected and tucked out of the way.

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Centre Dashboard Section:
Marked up and drilled out the two small holes required for the fixing pins of my "1500" badge.

Eventually, the badge will go here, where the original Spitfire heater controls went.

But first I wanted to give a final coat of paint to the panel itself, as it had got smudged last time I painted it.

I just needed to mask everything else off first.

I wrapped some of the left over heat reflecting foil around the heater and the vent hoses.

I'm not convinced this is actually necessary, but at least this main section of the wiring loom will be given some protection.

There were just two dials and a headlight switch to wire up.

Whilst the 1500 badge was actually a very tight fit, I did add a couple of blobs of white glue to the fixing pins.

Fitting the panel itself turned into a bit of a pain, as the last screw just would not line up.

So I had to remove all the other screws and start again from the troublesome corner and it worked this time.
( Excuse poor photo. )

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At this point, all three sections of the dash board were in position.

So I couldn't resist pushing the steering wheel into place.

I just hope everything works as well as it looks. ;)

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #479
Heater Controls - Part 1:
I gave my home made panel for the heater controls a final coat of paint.

This was then fixed into position below the centre dash board section.

There were two control dials to be fitted, the first was the cable operated temperature control.

Which is connected to both the panel and the switch base like so.

Before the dial is pushed into place above it.

Then the other end of the cable exits through the bulkhead, above the choke cable here.

The white mark on the dial points down (see photo above) for the fully off position.

Which corresponds with the cable being attached to the control valve like so.

Then as the dial is turned to the fully on position...

The valve moves like so.

For the on & off positions to align "nicely" with the dial's red markings, the cable has to attach to the hole on control lever nearest the pivot point.

However, when I tried to do this, I could not get the cable to either line up nicely, or operate smoothly, so have left it as it is.
( Thankfully this build has killed off most of my old OCD tendencies. ;) )

The other control to be fitted was the heater fan speed switch and this required the wiring to be completed in situ.

As I needed to join up the wires from the loom, the wires from the heater and some earth wires.

Once I had shortened everything to the right size and added the appropriate connectors, it was time to fit the switch.

At which point, there was a slight mis-match between the fixing holes in the panels.
( Two small holes for locating pins and one big hole in the middle. )

After spending some time hand filing the gap to fit, I then realised I actually needed the whole hole to be slightly bigger!

End of Part 1...

909 Posts
Discussion Starter #480
Heater Controls - Part 2:
Once the hole had been enlarged slightly, the switch could then be fitted with ease.

And then wired up.

I also drilled a small hole in the metal dash board support for the three earth leads.
( Main loom, heater & heater switch. )

Which now leave the centre section of the dash looking like this.

The original idea was to make it look like the heater was a new, modern, addition to an old racing car.
( Well that is my excuse anyway. ;) )

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Hard Lines:
Drilled holes in the bulkhead/firewall so I could fit both original and new "P" clips for the brake & clutch hard lines.

I used old photos as a guide to ensure I was following the routes taking by these pipes on my Spitfire donor.

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Temporary Fuel Line:
I've inserted a glass fuel filter in between the fuel pump and the carbs, in preparation for the day when I attempt to restart the engine.
( This just makes it a lot easier to check if fuel is being pumped through the system. )

- I've ordered some new jubilee clips to hold these pipes in place.
- I also need to finalised how/where I am permanently going to run the fuel line in this area.
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