1st December 2000
One month down! The Sylva posse come up with an answer within about 5 minutes (thanks Gordon and Robin!): its a tapered shaft so if you jack the upright up with the coilovers in place, then there's enough grip to put the nut on. Looks like I need another trolley jack....
Saturday 2nd December 2000
Went to Machine Mart and bought an engine hoist. I'm pretty sure it actually weighs more than the engine! It's a good thing the car doesn't take up too much room as the engine hoist is pretty large even when folded up. After much filing and angle grinding I finally got the calipers to mount properly on the nearside upright. I know that it's sometimes necessary to shim out the calipers on these kits but on this one the bracket left the caliper too far out: the inside of the caliper was scraping on the disc and so it was necessary to remove material from the mounting face on the upright. Needless to say, I was starting to regret getting another Wilwood kit rather than just getting the Bremsport M16 replacement calipers. However, it's all fitted now so hopefully it'll work OK.
Sunday 3rd December 2000
Completed fixing the fuel tank in place using the nylon bushes. Started T-cutting and refinishing some of the interior panels and started to fit the remaining carbon panels on the transmission tunnel. Went round with the black sealant and filled in the remaining gaps, and used the white sealant to cover up any gaps between the chassis and the panels on the outside. Getting a bit twitchy about not having got the engine in yet, and about how to plumb it in - I can't work out how to run the hoses to and from the expansion tank: the 'bird expansion tank only has one in/out whereas the one I'm using (from Stuart Taylor motorsport) has a 'feed' and a 'bleed'. Might have to ask the se7evers about this one!
Saturday 9th December 2000
Did a bit more on fitting the carbon fibre panels on the top of the transmission tunnel and pressed ahead with the brake lines. I'd bought a pipe flarer (a Draper one) which works OK but only seems to do 'female' flares, not male ones. I'm assuming this will be OK, but I'll test the brakes before driving anyway using the time-honoured 'fill with fluid, stamp on pedal and then wait to see if anything spurts out' technique. I've been pondering how to do the brake lines on the rear axle. This has been complicated by going for disc brakes. The se7eners seem divided as to whether or not I need flexy hoses to the calipers even though they're on a live rear axle. Dave Andrews says I do, and since I'm at least going to try to do it properly, I'll go for that. I've made up three brackets which I've bonded to the rear axle to locate the lines and hoses.
Sunday 10th December 2000
Another big day! Big Al comes along to help again and we set about getting the engine in. I'd already got the engine mounts bolted onto the engine with only a little filing and a few washers.
Tuesday 12th December 2000
Took the day off and went down to Fisher to get some more bits and pieces, such as the roll-bar, the reversing box and mountings and the gear linkage. There was a Blackbird kit being built in the workshop which I'll have a good look at next time I'm down there in January when I pick up the bodyshell. I'd ordered the silencer and manifold but Mark was a bit cagey about the manifold. Having looked at the engine installation, I can see why! There's very little space between the exhaust ports and the top chassis rail. Apparently the Blackbird which they built in the factory had the engine lifted much higher up to get round this problem. I suspect that the engine will not be staying where it is....
Friday 15th December 2000
Ring Mark with the measurements for the propshaft having checked that the reversing box is in the right place. It turns out that the gear linkage can go anyway I want it to and that I just have to grind/cut off the bits I don't want! We really are getting into 'make it up as you go along' territory here.
Saturday 16th December 2000
No work on car: I was up in Manchester at a friend's wedding. Congratulations Aidan and Chris!
Sunday 17th December 2000
Continue provisionally fitting the reversing box (which I remembered to fill with oil). Yet again, it was necessary to file the holes drilled in the mounting plates, which were a fair way off. The box seems much stiffer now, but I assume that this is due to the fact that it's got very cold oil in it. It's very easy to put into reverse but a bit tricky to get back into forward motion mode. I'm thinking that I may have to put a detent on it to stop inadvertantly knocking it into neutral/reverse although the fact it's underneath the dash should help.
Monday 18th December 2000
Got an e-mail from another Fury Blackbird builder. He mentions having problems getting an exhaust manifold. Sounds a bit ominous and will have to check that one!
This document maintained by Dan