Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Roll Bar and Harness

Roll Bar Fitting
I took delivery of a TR Lane Fabrications roll bar a while back now and finally got around to fitting it this spring. Fitting was eventful as with anything that's made to fit handmade motors and is not fabricated on site...
The first step was to find the seat belt anchor points on the chassis, with the roll bar came a treasure map to locate these, so it was just a matter of drilling a few holes and removing the glass fibre around the anchor points. This is a bit of a pain due to the lack of space behind the seats but with a bit of patience and test fitting big enough holes where created.

The bottom of the roll bar is secured behind the seats by the bolts that holds the body to the outriggers, so it's a matter of carefully pulling up the carpet and removing these.

Bolting the roll bar in place was aided by the use of a ratchet strap as it just wasn't the correct size to fit the car. I firstly loosely bolted the bottom of the roll bar in place...

Then using the ratchet strap I had to persuade the top bolts to line up with the anchor points on the chassis, so as always after a lot of swearing the roll bar was fitted!

I did have to you a couple of spacers and washers on the top bolts to raise it slightly for better fitting.

When I fitted the seats back in the car I found that the plastic backs to the seats were causing them to too far forward so they got removed and a better driving position was achieved as opposed to having head resting on the windscreen!

Harness Fitting

When I ordered the roll bar I got them to put inserts into the rear bar so a harness could be fitted. So I got a hold of a used 4 point Luke harness from eBay, now for fitting it.

First I needed to tap a 7/16" UNF thread into the rear inserts, so back to eBay and got some from RDG Tools. After a 9.9mm drill and a certain amount of oil to expand the existing hole it was time to tap a thread, again using a fair bit of oil I used a T-bar to start the process...

...then once the thread was established I swapped to a monkey wrench for ease of use.

Finally when the tap made it out through to the other side the process was done

When the harness arrived the seller had kindly sent 4 harness eyes with the belt so it was just a matter of tightening in 2 of these to the rear bar.

Fitting the 2 bottom eyes was a matter of taking the seat out and replacing the normal seat belt anchor bolts with the harness eyes, this was straight forward until I had to replace the seat...the harness bolt which is attached to the tranmission tunnel caught on the seat, but after a removing a few inch of the glass fibre on the seat bottom everything went back together...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tuscan Seats

Took delivery of two Tuscan seats from Bell Hill Garages, bought them from their eBay shop, delivery took a couple of days, fantastic service and great communication from the team down there.

So back to the seats, ok they are second hand but under a bit grime they are in good fettle. The grime just took a bit to remove about an hour per seat, first with Auto Glym Leather Cleaner and then with baby wipes :) well judge for yourself...

...and yes the standard size wheely-bin is the perfect tool for the support the seat when cleaning!

Now to the fitting...

Removal of the original seats was easy, 4 13mm nuts hold them in, the front ones are hidden in a recess in the floor pan.

The standard Chimaera seats have different fixing points to the Tuscan seats and are also different between the driver and passenger seats, the Tuscan needs holes 12" apart, as you see below the drivers side are at 10.5"

...ahem excuse the stain on the carpet

Fitting was fairly straight-forward, I dropped the front bolts through the existing front holes and the rear bolts made indents in the carpet, so drill the indents, refit the seats and bolt up. Job done.

I think they look very good, much better than the originals and they hold you better. The seat height is only just a little higher than the standard, I just hope the roll bar I have on order will still fit :)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer jobs...

Since getting the car back on the road I've got the bug to throw more money in to the bottomless pit that is my blue TVR :o)

I've got the performance to where I want it (for now) so I best look at safety so I've ordered a roll bar from TR Lane Fabrications. I'm getting it prepared with the ability for me to fit harnesses too.

On order are a pair of Tuscan seats too as I've never liked the standard seats. Should give better support and look a bit better too.

A bit more mundane is that I'll be fitting a new headlight reflector woohoo!! as the offside headlight is a nice rust colour :/ order the parts (reflector, 3 bolts, 3 wing nuts, 3 holders) from Racing Green along with a new boot gas strut (I've got bored of propping the boot open with my head!) and a magnet gadget that surrounds the oil filter to capture all the metal particles swimming around the engine oil.

Might think about a fire extinguisher too...

Friday, December 28, 2007

At last...wishbones!

Finally I've managed to get a hold of a pair of wishbones, it's only been...3 month!!! Anyhoo, many thanks to Douglas Valley breakers for sourcing a pair :)

So now I need to remove the old bushes, clean them up, re-paint them, fit new bushes and fit them to the car...simple!

Removing the old bushes was a matter of brute force and hacksaw, generally it's as easy as making two cuts in the bush so a section of about 1 cm can be removed, this allows the old bush to be knocked out.

The picture below shows the components of the Powerflex bushes with the bolt kit purchased from Steve Heath: bolt, metal washer, nylon washer, rubber bush, metal insert, rubber bush, nylon washer, metal washer and nut

Here it is fitted together:

So after I replaced the lower ball joints with new ones that was all the prep complete, time to fit to the car.

I forgot to take photos of the actual event, it wasn't THAT exciting :o) ...it was a matter of sticking the car on axel stands, remove the wheel, put a liberal dose of penetration oil on the old wishbone nuts and bolts and the big ball joint nut, go have a cup of tea, remove the lower shock absorber bolt (don't forget to support the wishbone assembly with an axel stand or jack), remove the ball joint nut and then the two wishbone bolts.

Fitting the new wishbone was pretty much the same (but in reverse) the only adjustment I had to make was to use thinner nylon thrust washers to get the wishbone the fit.

With the job complete it's time to get the car through its MOT and back on the road...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stop the Bouncing!

It's been a while since the last update, so what's happened...well not a lot really, over the summer I fitted a set of Gaz Gold shock absorbers purchased from Absolutely Shocks.

Fitting was really quite easy, well it was after I found some initial settings on Pistonheads.com. These initial settings refer to the number of clicks towards plus from full minus setting and the distance the spring retaining collar is screwed onto the barrel of the shock, measured from the bottom of the thread.
These settings are not to be taken as the correct ones for all cars and preferences but they are a good starting point, at least they will get you to your favourite dealership or indie garage for a proper set up.

So the settings I used are;
Rear: 18 clicks, 35mm.
Front: 12 clicks, 25mm.

I also bought a new set of bolts from Steve Heath Engineering Ltd, which saved me having to clean up the old ones, and just generally for peace of mind.

As mentioned before the job was quite straightforward, jack up the car, remove the wheel, unbolt the old shock (liberal dousings of WD40/penetrating oil maybe required), adjust the new shock to the initial settings, and fit with new bolts, wheel on, lower car. Job done, about 30 minutes a corner...

...well it would have been until I got the front off-side...

...whilst unscrewing the lower bolt from the wishbone I noticed a bit of rust on top of the lower wishbone, on further inspection I did actually manage to put my thumb straight through it! Sod! So now I have on order, two new lower wishbones (rarer than rocking horse poop), a set of powerflex bushes (I can't resist a small upgrade) and a new set of bolts. Hopefully all this will arrive this week and I can get it all fitted this weekend, next will be to get the car MOT'd and the suspension geometry set up correctly.

Pity I've missed most of the good weather with a dodgy wishbone.

ps. I did take it out after fitting the new shocks, and yes they make a BIG difference, transforms the car around the corners, it actually stays in a straight line when going over the many potholes around Leeds!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Serviced and Fettling

Just got the Chimaera back from a 6000 mile service at Automedon over in Blackpool.
Went and picked it up on Saturday, made a day of it, had a little run down to Southport before heading back to Leeds. The car never missed a beat, ran like a dream.

I treated the beast to some new wipers on it's return home, so back to eBay and bought some Trico Innovision wiper blades, they're the ones that hug the screen like the ones on all new VAG cars. So we shall wait and see what they are like, I didn't throw the original ones away...just in case.

Did a bit more fettling too, after the recent torrential rain the mats on the drivers side were soaking so time to try and find the point of water ingress.
The obvious culprit was the cover to the brake cylinder on the wing under the bonnet. So it was time to remove the cover and get rid of the 10 years of silicon that had been put on by every mechanic that filled/checked the brake fluid level. After cleaning off all the old sealant it was on with the new silicon and replace the cover in a much more snug manner.
I also gave the hood a good painting of Fabsil, it wasn't looking that waterproof the last time it rained.

Other stuff I sorted was the trim in the boot that had come away from the bodywork, a rubber piece had dropped off the door got glued back on, and I noticed that a couple of bolts that hold the hood to the body had lost there nuts! An easy fix. Job done.

Just waiting for my new shocks to get delivered, more on this later...

Monday, April 23, 2007


I've seen a few posts on Pistonheads.com asking about how people have fitted their component speakers, so I thought I'd show how I did mine!

I fitted a set of 5.25" Focal V Slims to the front, the main units fit perfectly in the standard holes, I did have to drill new holes for the screws but apart from that straight forward. The crossover got secured to the inside of the door panel. The 1" tweeters were fitted to the top of the door card facing the front seats.

The rear speakers used to be a set of JBL 6 x 9" units when I bought it, these were fitted to a piece of MDF covered in the same carpet as the interia. Given that it used to take up all the room behind seats I decided to get rid of it. A couple of screws later and it was out. In there place I got a couple of Infinity 5001i units, these are fitted in the air vents on the rear bulkhead, I used a couple of 1" square blocks of wood on each speakers as spacers, so that the vents still did there job and the speakers pointed in the right direction.

The bass is sorted by fitting a slim line Alpine SWD-1600 subwoofer behind the passenger seat, always makes the ladies smile...dunno why ;)

I swapped out the head unit for another Pioneer model (DEH-P5600MP), the main reason is that I could still use the existing CD changer in the boot. I also bought an extra unit so I could use the AUX input on the HU, this means I can plug in my mp3 players or TomTom.

OK a lot of people say that I should be listening to the cars V8 soundtrack, but if I'm just pottering around town I like to have something to sing along to :)

New Shiny Bits!

Feeling a bit flush I went and bought a Leven Technology alloy gear lever surround, some people think they look a bit 'Max Power' but I'm very happy with the results, as with other Leven goodies, I think it makes the interior look a little tidier. So now for the fitting, ok it's pretty straight forward but a bit fiddly...

First pull the gear lever gaiter out from between the transmission tunnel and console, and put the top alloy surround over and on the gaiter. Holding the surround down in place I selected each gear in turn making sure there was enough fabric spare to allow movement, when I was happy that I could still hit all the gears I took a bradawl and made the seven holes required, take time over this step as my fabric was quite stiff so it was quite difficult to trap under the surround when test changing the gears:

Next was to test fit the surround by putting the bottom plate underneath the gaiter fabric and loosely fixing the top surround on with the bolts, I again tested that I could locate all gears easily:

Now to put the whole thing together, I disassembled the surround and removed the covers on all the sticky pads on the lower plate, now bolt the whole thing back together to make a tight seal so the fabric sticks to the bottom plate:

Nearly done, time to trim the excess fabric, I did this with scissors, easy enough! I suppose you could leave all the material on, as it will be hidden in the console but in the interest in saving weight in the car off it came!

After waiting a few hours to let the fabric bond to the bottom plate properly it was time to do the final fit. With my car I had to drill holes into the console, as the bolts wouldn't fit on the inside of the original gear lever opening, this was done carefully with a hand drill and a 4.5mm bit. The first stage of the final fit was to maneuver the bottom plate through and under the gear lever opening, it's a bit of a squeeze but is possible, bolting down the top alloy surround was helped greatly when I found out I could reach and hold the bottom plate by putting my hand through the handbrake opening :) Getting the two bottom bolts in made it a whole lot easier to locate the remaining bolts.

After tightening all the bolts it was job done I think it looks quite good, well worth all the swearing and sweat!!