20th April 2009

Things to do before SVA

There's still quite a lot to do before SVA, but nothing major. The driver's seat still needs to go in properly - unfortunately I made a mistake ordering my custom-made harness from Willans and the shoulder straps are 11" too long. Happily Willans are going to remake them to the correct spec for a very modest sum, and in the meantime I'll use the passenger side's harnesses from the Striker - this has the added advantage that they're E-marked which means there's no dispute as to whether or not they meet the required SVA spec.

Apart from that, there's lots of little things to do - adding trim here and there, finishing off filling the cooling system, mapping the engine to run at a 14.7:1 air/fuel ratio at idle and at 2500rpm, etc. However, the main thing on the things to do was to fit some headlights and front indicators.

The headlights present something of a problem given the car's low ride height. The SVA regs require the headlights to be a certain distance above the ground, and even with the normal chassis the classic Fury bonnet is very marginal on this point - Fisher used to provide little lifter blocks for SVA to lift up the front suspension a touch to make sure cars passed. With the suspension having had a 3 inch drop all round, there's no prospect of it passing if the headlights are put in the usual position.

I had thought of fitting the wishbones in the lower positions at the front of the car, with the effect that the front of the car would be lifted up by 3 inches, but I don't think this would work - for one thing, the steering rack would remain in the position required for the suspension mounted in the upper positions, and the resulting steering arm articulation would be pretty grim. Also, I wouldn't be able to raise up the rear of the car by that amount, so the car would have masses of negative rake.

In the end it seemed easier to simply raise up the headlights relative to the bonnet, rather than going to inordinate lengths to get the bonnet higher than it wants to be.


  So, here it is. The bug-eyed alien Fury. The brackets are 3mm ali plate, riveted into place using the same holes the 7" headlight bowls usually found on Furies will mount into, with the two headlights (from SVC) fitted on top of them.

It does look faintly ridiculous, but I'm assured that other cars have passed SVA with similar arrangements and the headlights will certainly be high enough. My only concern is that the SVA inspectors may consider that the headlight mounts aren't rigid enough. Although they're 3mm plate, they're rather springy. However, it'd be rather a lot of work to weld on the stiffening plates which would be required to make them more rigid, and I don't have time to do that. And, since they're likely to fall off the car fairly soon after SVA, I don't really want to spend too much time on them...


As you can see from the photo above, I've also fitted the mirrors on the car. The side mirrors are OEM-spec mirrors from a Yamaha SV650 - another eBay find. The driver's side mirror has scratches on the back where someone's evidently dropped their bike, but they're superficial and don't affect their suitability for SVA. The OEM bit is important - the factory/OEM mirrors have a convex mirror, which helps increase the field of view, whereas at least some of the pattern parts have only a flat mirror. In order to make them fit like this it's necessary to undo the arms and flip them upside down, but they're only held in place by a single allen-key head bolt, so that's easy enough. The mirrors don't have a spring-back function, but since I can reach the driver's mirror from the normal seating position to return it into place that's not an issue, even though the outside edge of the mirror does extend beyond the outside of the bodywork.

The centre mirror is from a Land Rover - can't remember what type, it was another eBay find.

  In order to fit the centre mirror I've made up a small aluminium wedge (red arrow) which serves two functions - it raises the back of the mirror so that it mounts on the scuttle at a sensible angle, and it means that the bolts holding the mirror on go through the scuttle at right angles.

The mirror was originally base-mounted and had a spring and catch arrangement - I chopped that off, filed it flat, and when the wedge was ready, drilled two mounting holes in the base of the mirror stem. At the moment it's held on by caphead bolts, but I'll change them to button-heads before the test as soon as I get some long enough.

The only thing I'm concerned about is that the edge with the blue arrow pointing to it might be considered too sharp by Mr. SVA man. Here's hoping I'm wrong...

Passenger seat

In order to register the car as a 2-seater (just in case I ever want to give passenger rides on the road) the car needs a passenger seat and harnesses for SVA. And here they are.

The seat itself is a standard Fisher GRP shell which I used to have in the Furybird and which I'd kept when I stripped it down. The seat inserts are a standard Sparco insert for their race seats, and the harnesses are a pair I picked up cheap from
Tim, who used to have them for the passenger side of his Fury race-car before deciding in a fit of egalitarian conscience that any passenger should have the same spec harness as the driver.

Head restraint

  This one's really more about making the car race-legal as opposed to SVA-friendly. The base for the head restraint shown here is again made from 3mm ali sheet. What you can see from this photo is that there are 1cm returns on each side to help stiffen it up. The bottom is mounted using the harness bolts, while the top is bolted to a bracket I've welded onto the roll-cage using some CSK M5 bolts.

I have to make up a padded section to fit on top of this. I've got all the parts - MDF, foam, leathercloth - so that's something else on the list of things to do.