Sunday, 16 March 2014

Build Day Twenty One - Rear Indicators, Boot Cover, Interior Carpets, Transmission Tunnel and Exhaust Manifold

As you can probably tell from the title of this post there was a lot of work completed today.  Another early start to watch the F1 which I enjoyed, but I'm now even more certain I don't like the sound... Without that ear piercing shriek of a high revving naturally aspirated motor, it doesn't seem like they're going as fast which is a shame in my opinion.  Glad the R500's high revving motor will satisfy me there...

After the F1 I went out to the garage and it looked like a bomb had gone in there after yesterdays 'session'.  So, I had a quick sweep and tidy then decided to lay all the remaining bits out so I can easily locate any parts and fasteners for the final week of building.  Then back on with the agenda... fitting the rear indicators, the boot cover and interior carpets, then the transmission carpets and tunnel cover and finishing off time permitting with the exhaust manifold.
Remaining parts laid out - once all these are fitted the car will be ready for collection.
Remaining parts laid out - once all these are fitted the car will be ready for collection.
Fitting the rear indicators was pretty straight forward.  A quick read of the instructions and then remove the plastic noting that the brake bulb has two filaments and the indicator bulb has one filament - this is important as they are not handed lights and the indicator needs to be on the outside, so I took note of this and continued with the fitment.
Rear light clusters ready for assembly and fitting.
Rear light clusters ready for assembly and fitting.
As the car is still on axle stands I wasn't 100% confident of getting a perfect level indicator cluster, so  I decided to only drill out one of the additional indicator mounting holes.  I fitted the indicators and they both look perfectly straight, but will drill out and screw in the top holes when the car is on it's wheels so I know they'll be perfectly level.
Indicator cluster - the indicator needs to be on the outside of the wing.  Oh and by the way... in the reflection... that's a Petzel head torch on my head, not some weird sweat band - just incase you were wondering!
Indicator cluster - the indicator needs to be on the outside of the wing.  Oh and by the way... in the reflection... that's a Petzel head torch on my head, not some weird sweat band - just incase you were wondering!
Indicator cabling routed through pre-drilled holes, plugged in behind the bodywork panel and tie wrapped in place.  The rubber grommet fits in the bodywork hole (as pictured) not the wing hole.
Indicator cabling routed through pre-drilled holes, plugged in behind the bodywork panel and tie wrapped in place.  The rubber grommet fits in the bodywork hole (as pictured) not the wing hole.
Then onto the number plate light.  Quite a simple job, the instructions say to disassemble the light, cut the wire to length, remove the two brass bullet connectors and fit your own. The male bullet connector I had was a touch loose in the female hole, so I decided to use the brass one supplied and solder my bullet connector to the brass one.
Soldering bullet connector to brass bullet connector - this gave a brilliant snug fit.
Soldering bullet connector to brass bullet connector - this gave a brilliant snug fit.
Bullet connector in place.
Bullet connector in place.
I re-fitted the plastic light cover, then fitted the drivers side indicator cluster and that was the rear lights finished.
I re-fitted the plastic light cover, then fitted the drivers side indicator cluster and that was the rear lights finished. 
Next was the rear boot cover... I thought this would be quite quick to fit and had seen on some other blogs that this would take much longer than you'd expect... They're not wrong... A good three or four hours was spent on doing this as perfectly as possible.
I laid out the dura dot fastener pack to make sure I was using the right ones in the right places.
I laid out the dura dot fastener pack to make sure I was using the right ones in the right places.
The metal strip from the front of the boot cover had to be removed.  I carefully removed the stitching from the passenger side and the metal strip slid out easily.  I sealed the hole created by using a little contact adhesive which seemed to work well.
Removing metal strip from front of boot cover.
Removing metal strip from front of boot cover.
Had a bit of a measure up and it seemed that now was the right time to fit the rear bulkhead carpet.  I positioned it a few times to ensure I had it straight, then removed and sprayed the top flat strut and the inside of the vinyl part with contact adhesive.  I stuck this into place... it took a little while for it to go off, but I kept applying pressure to the vinyl to ensure a good adhesion and finish.  I then lifted the carpet and applied contact adhesive to the rear bulkhead (only up to top of transmission tunnel as advised in the manual) and to the underside of the carpet.
Ever Build Stick 2 contact adhesive sprayed to rear bulkhead and underside of carpet.
Again, leaving the adhesive for a minute or two to go off and then carefully sticking it into place.
Rear bulkhead carpeted.
Rear bulkhead carpeted.
Next step was to fit the fastener base to the flat strut.  I drilled a 3mm hole using a metal drill and then  screwed the bases into location using the supplied self tapping screws.  I then cut holes into the vinyl to allow the bolts for the seat harnesses to pass through.
Dura dot fastener bases screwed into location.
Dura dot fastener bases screwed into location.
I snugly fitted the front of the boot cover, and using the fastener bases as locators I marked the top of the boot cover, punched a hole through and fitted the fastener tops.
Front of boot cover with fasteners fitted and in place.
Front of boot cover with fasteners fitted and in place.
The key to getting a good finish on the boot cover was to fit the front of the cover first and this allows you to give it a good stretch so the cover will be nice and taught when the rear poppers are fitted.  I had a spare blue paint marker which worked well to mark the locations ready for the hole punching process.
Marking out the rear dura dot locations using a blue paint marker.
Marking out the rear dura dot locations using a blue paint marker.
I bought a leather and cloth centre punch from Maplin for a tenner and even though it required a lot of force to punch through the cover it made it much easier than using a drill as advised in the manual.
Using leather and cloth centre punch to punch holes into boot cover ready for dura dot fasteners.
Using leather and cloth centre punch to punch holes into boot cover ready for dura dot fasteners.
 The dura dot fasteners and supplied tool.  Very easy to use, put black popper into the base of the tool, push through cloth, put top of fastener on and using a hammer, hammer with a bit of force.
Dura dot fastener and supplied fitting tool.
A bit of force and 3 or 4 smacks with the hammer and the dura dots are well and truly fitted.
A bit of force and 3 or 4 smacks with the hammer and the dura dots are well and truly fitted.
The moment of truth... Put the boot cover into position, and all the poppers are well aligned, fit really well and the cover is taught.  The picture makes it look like the poppers are all over the place but they  are all well aligned.
Boot cover finished and in place.
Boot cover finished and in place.
Now that the underside of the vinyl part of the carpet was fully dried I cut the holes out for the harnesses and fitted the harnesses and IVA covers for the harness bolts.  Charlotte went and done an errand for me (taking all the cardboard boxes to the tip!) and came back with a strawberry Cornetto!  Perfect!  So I thought it would be worth having a sit in the car eating the Cornetto as this will probably be the ONLY time this ever happens.
Building an R500 with a successful day's progress AND a Cornetto in my hand... I really should learn to smile for the camera!
Building an R500 with a successful day's progress AND a Cornetto in my hand... I really should learn to smile for the camera! 
I then moved onto the transmission tunnel carpets.  As the contact adhesive can be a little stringy I decided to mask up any areas that might have been prone to overspray using masking tape, black bin liners and some bubble wrap in the footwells.
Transmission tunnel masked and ready for contact adhesive application.
Transmission tunnel masked and ready for contact adhesive application.
I then sprayed the transmission tunnel and the rear of the carpet, let it go off for a minute or two and stuck it into place.
Transmission tunnel carpet stuck into place.
Transmission tunnel carpet stuck into place.
I repeated the process on the drivers side.  Firstly masking everything up, spraying the rear of the carpet and then the tunnel.  Only problem was I ran out of spray adhesive when spraying the tunnel and it was 6pm on a Sunday... Luckily I remembered I had some Evostick lying around, so used that and it worked perfectly - phew.  For anyone carpeting a Caterham I'd recommend three cans of the Everbuild Stick Spray 2 contact adhesive - I bought two cans and this wasn't quite enough.

Next was to fit the transmission tunnel cover.  I waited half an hour or so for the tunnel carpets to be fully stuck into place, then attached the two immobiliser wires that are on the underside of the tunnel cover to the connectors under the dash.
Two immobiliser wires connected.
Two immobiliser wires connected.
It was then the task of fitting the tunnel cover.  The handbrake had to be lifted to a position as vertical as it could be, so I loosened off the handbrake adjuster on the diff and then the handbrake lifted to about an angle of 75 degress.  This was enough of an angle to slip the handbrake through it's gaiter, then I pushed the gear stick through it's gaiter, pushed the tunnel top down into place and fitted the gear knob.
Interior carpeted with transmission tunnel in place and looking good - I just need a steering wheel and some seats!
Interior carpeted with transmission tunnel in place and looking good - I just need a steering wheel and some seats!
I'd managed to progress well today, so I thought I'd finish the day off by fitting the exhaust manifold.  I masked up the bodywork where the manifold pipes go through to avoid any scratches and then removed the tape covering the exhaust ports on the engine and the gasket.
Exhaust manifold ports with gasket and covering tape removed.
Exhaust manifold ports with gasket and covering tape removed.
The manual suggests a process of fitting the pipes from left to right.  Everything has a part number, so this should've been easy, but my part numbers are different to those in the manual - maybe because this is an R500?  So I fully unpacked them all, laid them out on some card and worked out which ones should go into which port and then proceeded to fit.
First exhaust manifold pipe in.
First exhaust manifold pipe in. 
Second exhaust manifold fitted.
Second exhaust manifold fitted.
Third exhaust manifold in place, this one was a bit of a fiddle.
Third exhaust manifold in place, this one was a bit of a fiddle.
Fourth exhaust manifold pipe was the most fiddly, but didn't take too long.
Fourth exhaust manifold pipe was the most fiddly, but didn't take too long.
The four exhaust manifolds.
The four exhaust manifolds.
I'm not fitting the exhaust until the guys have been to fit the new decals and stone chip protection film.  This was supposed to be tomorrow (Monday 17th March), but having not heard anything to confirm they were definitely,  I rang them on Friday only to be advised they thought it was 'week commencing 17th March' not the agreed 'we'll see you on 17th March'  So now they are coming on Friday the 21st March, which gives them no other opportunities if they make a mistake - I hope it all goes to plan.

Had a quick tidy up, and took a pic of the car as it's really looking good.
Car is really taking shape.
Car is really taking shape.
Got the usual few questions to send Derek at CC now, and based on what he says will sway my decision as to what I get done tomorrow evening.  Ideally I'll get the radiator fitted and try my hand at the cooling which I'm not looking forward to.

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