I dabble in a bit of photography and I keep hearing the arty folk liberally throw around the ‘collaborate’ buzzword. At work we recently dealt with a young company and their hip employees couldn’t resist using it in every paragraph of every email they sent. I’m not quite that hip but allow me to use it just this once.
I’ve been collaborating with some amazingly generous and passionate people lately. Without their assistance my results would be sub par but I’ve come to realise that, outcomes aside, it’s the relationships built that are far more precious.
Progress was elusive in 2017 for reasons I’ve previously mentioned. However, I’m happy to report that this quarter I’ve dug my heels in, pulled my socks AND sleeves up. That’s right, the sleeves are up! My sense of urgency is due to the realisation that with another baby due in June I will have exactly zero hours to spare in the latter half of 2018. I’m also making amends for a quiet 2017.
This is one of the easy jobs. You buy some space-age aluminium foil and go to town… Instead of playing with stickers though I decided to torture myself by recreating all of the insulation pieces with factory-like materials.
Finding jute was surprisingly difficult. All of my searching ended up in the UK and shipping on such a bulky item was prohibitive. I finally managed to locate one local supplier and not surprisingly they source their jute from the UK so I had to wait 3 months for the slow boat to bring it in. Patience comes in handy and I’m getting good at practising it.
The face of the firewall was another little adventure. Samples I had seen led me to believe it was some pliable but rigid rubber or plastic compound and I spent some time trying to find a similar material. Eventually I realised that it would have been a simple rubber compound with good heat and petroleum resistance and all the samples I had seen were just rigid and brittle from age. I settled on nitrile rubber and ordered a sheet.
The next step was to accurately make templates for each panel. This is where the collaboration buzzword makes an appearance. All along I’ve known, and let it be known, that this car will be the product of a group of skilled individuals who do what they do best. Often my job is to simply identify where my weaknesses lie and to connect with professionals, skilled individuals and enthusiasts to fill in my blanks. One Peter gave me this advice in 2014 which led me to another Peter in late 2017.
Making templates is a tedious job and drawing them properly on a CAD program even more so when you’ve never used one. Graciously Peter put his hand up and went to work measuring and drawing. Over weeks and many phone and email conversations we refined his drawings until we ended up with a couple of versions; one for early and another for later cars.
We tested the templates a few times by printing to size.
Finally we were happy and I set out to find someone to cut the material.
Not many laser cutters were willing to do the job but I eventually found someone. They were difficult to deal with but came through in the end. We came across a couple of issues and wasted a lot of material between testing and mistakes (e.g. see missing corner in one of the photos) but ultimately the finished product speaks for itself.
All sections aligned well and Peter even amended a set of drawings specific to my car to accommodate some wayward tabs. All that’s left to do is glue the pieces together, attach the carpet screws and mount.
I worked my way through all of the suspension components degreasing, debushing and dedenting (they should all be words!). Everything bar the transmission crossmember – which I’m still searching for – has been sent away to be painted.
Incidentally, I purchased an eBay bushings/ball joint press and managed to get one sleeve out with a great deal of difficulty. I would not advise anyone to waste their time with crappy eBay junk like this. For a few more dollars I could have bought a proper press. Live and learn.
Over the past few months I’ve been collecting the required tools and hardware to start on the hardlines. After purchasing some zinc plated steel lines in 3/16 and 5/16, Ian brought Kunifer to my attention. Softer than steel, inherently corrosion resistant and naturally bronze in colour, it serves as an ideal upgrade to the original brake and fuel lines.
I have so far only tested the lines with one attempt and a poor one at that… I started with a small piece and not only did I forget to add an insert nut, I also put one of the nuts in backwards… Apparently I still have a lot to learn about nuts and patience.