Interior

Boot interior rear

The final trim piece is for the rear of the boot interior.

Here’s the initial planning using foam board.

Transferring the foam board to aluminium.

Test fit before bending.

Bends added, the left side needed a new piece adding and riveting to it during the test fit.

Applying glue to the vertical surfaces first.

Second stage was gluing down the rest of it. I’ve left a 1.5cm lip at the front to help the transition from this piece to the floor.

Test fit the carpeted version in the boot.

It’s not yet attached to the car and I still need to decide which rubber seals to use around it.

Bodywork

Boot side panels

Next boot related project are the side panels. These I’m making out of aluminium, line with carpet and some rubber trim to seal them against the tub.

Passenger side panel is simpler, just a big triangle.

On the driver side there is the tank filler and the vent valve in the way. Here the first piece goes in for a test fit. This used to be one of the old small side panels from outside the boot area which is why there is glue all over it.

After a load of foam board templating I created this piece of aluminium. The black lines show where it needs bends.

After bending this comes a very solid piece.

Test fitting the bent piece.

This is the filler tube for the tank and the tank vent that this piece fits around.

The rest of the side panel is held on with rivnuts and bolts with cup washers. There’s not much room so these need to go in as two pieces and then joined.

To better secure the passenger side I created a 90ยบ piece of aluminium and riveted it on. This means the back of the panel sits on the boot floor. In hindsight it would have been cleaner to add this as part of the main part, but the join will be hidden.

Ran into another clearance issue on the driver side – the spare wheel tub gets in they way.

To fix that I added a curve into the metal here – gives it about 1cm clearance from the spare wheel area of the tub.

Parts removed ready for carpet.

Driver side covered

Impact glue going on to the passenger side.

On the back of both side have rubber to reduce the chance of vibration and some JDM chopped tape. The sides are held in with a bolt into a rivnut. The rivnuts are mounted into the rear suspension towers.

The finished side panels with rubber edging added to close the gap to the tub. There are some very small wood screws holding the complex part into the boot floor. This is mostly to top that end wandering around.

On the passenger side the carpet is left long which better hides the edge.

Only one panel left to go for the rear. No more loosing small things forever out the back of the car!

Bodywork

Harness Holes Be Gone

I made some blanking plates to cover holes no longer needed in the tub.

These are aluminium, painted black then lined with rubber and held on with rivnuts, cup washers and bolts. Was thinking of leaving them shiny but ended up going for the subtle look.

This is the prototype with multiple bends, final two are new fresh ones with each bend only done once.

Final piece cut and bent, test fitting. A bit of blue tape to avoid scratching the paint.

Cleaned and painted

Applied a layer of 1mm rubber to the underside, I did this with double sided tape.

Test fitting

To mount these I added a rivnut to each part, M4 sized.

To attach to the car a hole was added in the new boot lid trim.

That cleanly attached these and closes up the gap nicely.

 

The cup washer and bolt are a bit smaller than those that hold the trim in, and they’re also a bit closer to the edge. However the style matches.

Interior

Boot lid

This is a project that’s been been waiting for me to get to it for a very long time. The boot area has always been open with just two smaller panels either side.

One of the side panels shown here with plenty of Cat Aided Design help.

With the old side panels out I created a template out of cardboard.

Fine tuning of the cardboard template.

I’ve had this large piece of 1.5mm aluminium sat in storage for more than a year now!

Stuck the cardboard on the aluminium sheet, drew around the cardboard with a silver pen.

Using a mix of sheers and a nibbler I cut out the aluminium sheet. Wear gloves when using the nibbler, I didn’t have holes in my skin now ;o)

Using the nibbler always leaves you with a nice pile of aluminium curls.

The part is rough cut here, it’s taller than it needs to be.

Couple of loose bends based on the old side panels.

Used masking tape to protect the paint on the tub while test fitting this, it’s a couple cm above the height of the tub, so the next step is to mark up the final cuts.

This does a great job sealing the boot area, but it’s not very practical to get stuff into the boot!

Drawing up a lid/door for the boot area, the inner blue line show the opening, the outer line represents the overlap.

I will create the overlap using a tool you’d normally use for overlap welding two metal sheets on bodywork repair. It does an excellent job putting a clean bend into the metal, as long as you make sure it’s placed square to the work piece. Here’s the test piece. I got mine from Frost and is listed as a joggler / joddler or flanger! It also has a hole punch which can be useful but is a really good way to pinch your palms in the tool if you’re not careful!

Opening for the lid cut out – the aluminium was pretty floppy without the bends added. It’s much better now, but will also give the lid something to rest into.

The flanger only gets you so far into a corner leaving a square that needed to be shaped in a different way.

For this I used my vice and a sheet metal hammer.

Test fitted it in the car with the opening – the rivnuts holding this area have been in the tub since before it was painted! Note the boot floor is also new, it’s a little thinner than the original and no longer has holes for the 3 point harnesses I had before the new seat belts.

Next up, need something to close the opening up again. This is a fresh sheet of 2mm aluminium – just about managed to cut it with the sheer. I tried some test cuts with the angle grinder using a disk specifically for aluminium. It works fine but it leaves a rolled over flashing that takes quite a bit of clean up. The cut with the sheer is clean. It can add some light bends to the metal but those are not too bad to get out.

Square hole for the lock.

I got a new hinge, the brass one that I was using for mockup was too bulky (It was originally for the bonnet before I replace with stainless during the original build).

The wood floor is not thick enough to use wood screws to hold in the hinge, due to not being able to go buy stuff I custom made some ‘t nuts’ from some metal flat bar fixings I had in the parts bin. Drilled holes and tapped them for some M4 screws. Then used the router to add some recesses in the bottom of the floor.

I’ve also had a roll of carpet / speaker cloth sitting on top of a cupboard for ages, time to apply it to all the parts! Used impact spray glue. A bit of WD40 in a cloth is an easy way to get rid of overspray.

For the lid I’ve only applied carpet to one side, the intension is to add a brushed finish on the inside.

Luckily I had a tin of varnish in the cupboard to seal up the boot floor, gives it a fancy shade of oak for when I next look at the car from underneath – plus it give the MOT tester something nice too look at ๐Ÿ˜€

Added a block to the top side – this will be for mounting the sheet metal at the bottom. Cut the carpet around it, the only visible side is shown in this shot so I made sure the carpet covers it.

I think these brackets are from Ikea furniture, they were in the parts bin, combined them with some captive nuts.

Brackets in place holding the bottom of the sheet metal.

Here it is with everything in place, the inside of the lid still has the protective sheet on it, that’s something I’ll look at later.

Ordered some new stainless cup washers and bolts to match

I plan to add more panels inside the boot to stop small items disappearing and closing up more gaps where exhaust gas could come in.

Interior

Carpet

Woolies sell rot free carpet, I thought it would be worth a try see how well it will last in a car without any interior weather proofing.

Here’s the before shot:

Trace the reverse shape of the old rubber mats on to the back of the new carpet. I used a silver pen.

Decided to purchase a good set of scissors/tailors shears, which cost nearly as much as the carpet but were well worth it. After the initial cut I had to give the edged a bit of a ‘hair cut’ to smooth it out. In future I want to look at better edge finishing.

Here’s the new carpet test fitted on the passenger side.

Both sides fitted

Another major irritation, and a safety issue was the rubber mats moving around on the driver side. It was held down with velcro but that kept coming off the rubber. For the carpet Woolies sells these poppers.

Once pushed through and attached the black ring with the spikes starts to disappear into the carpet.

Finally the button that the carpet pops on to needs to be mounted into the floor. The floor has a layer of sound deadening and a layer of carpet before getting to the new carpet. As such the button needed a bit of spacing form the floor. Due to a lack of available parts I ended up using some spare M4 nylocs.

I also have rubber mats under the seats and behind the seats. You can’t get to the ones under the seats unless you take the seats out so those are staying rubber for now. The rear carpets however I’ve also changed to carpet.

Some future thoughts on this, finishing the edging on the carpet is something I want to look into. I also got heel rest material – which is a textured rubber piece which would be good to put on the drivers side. Need to take the seats out and add carpet underneath. Removing the seats will also allow access to add poppers for the rear carpet.

Interior

Seat Repair

The Cobra Roadster 7 look nice, but the construction quality is questionable at best. After 6500 miles the driver seat broke in two. I’m very happy the nice SVA man insisted on the seat belt bar as one of the major fail points on the first pass at the SVA test:

I took the vinyl and padding completely off the base, the back rest I only removed about 1/2 as it looked it was going to be difficult to get it all back in the orignal positions:

Just welding the pipe back together would likely have resulted in a failure quite quickly. Therefore I added extra metal inside the tubes for strengthening, here before being cut to length checking for fitment, the one other otherside as a bend due to the position in the break:

I then drilled some holes through the tube for welding the metal to the tube, the extra metal is visible through them: 

Time to fire up the welder:

I welded in the extra metal to the tube through the holes, and around the tube to join it back up again:

In addition to the metal in the tubes I also added plates either side of the seat over the whole bend:

Both sides completed with some paint over the top

Finally the seat needed reassembly, the vinyl stapled to the wood backing

Getting the vinyl back in place with the least amount of wrinkles was a bit of challenge

Next sides went on, these are connect with hog rings. I bought a specific set of pliers for installing the hot rings but it was still quite challenging to get them in place.

Finally I install the seat back in the car, this one will be the passenger seat for now:

Chassis

3 point reel seat belt conversion

ziptie test, safety 3rd!

Hole cut for threaded belt insert

Test fit of new piece

Use the lathe to clean up these spacers

Reel mount

Reel mout welded in

Upper mount welded in and test with spacer

Reel mounted

Otherside done too

Works quite nicely, could do with a guide for the belt on the seat

And finally plugged into place!

Chassis

Varex exhaust build part 4

As I was busy Richard sorted the wiring out for the control box:

Wiring, inside the tub running along the tank with the rest of the rear loom

Wiring running along transmission tunnel, protected by a piece of fuel tubing to stop stray debris from damaging it.

Behind the fuse box, hooked in via 7.5amp fuse to an ignition feed

Located the control box in the same area just off the centre console.

Everything back in place under the dash

Just needs the rear putting back together again.

Engine Work

MTX-L Calibration

Calibrated the sensor today on the bench.

Important note – the big plastic plug that you connect to the sensor has a little plastic tab which stops the plug coming undone without pulling it. If you connect the plugs without lifting it then it can very easily go the wrong side of the plug (inside) and stop it connecting up properly. You’ll know it’s right when you hear a click as it slides into place – as below:

20130113-213747.jpg

First step is to hook ground and power up to the gauge with the lambda sensor disconnected. It will display E2 on the screen, wait 30 seconds and take the power off.

Plug in the O2/wide band lambda sensor and reapply power.

The sensor will get hot:

20130113-213950.jpg

HTR will be show on the display for a period of time while the heat builds up. My bench power supply showed between 1.4 and 1.7 amps being pulled while it was doing this.

20130113-214125.jpg

It briefly shows CAL is the display while calibrating the switches to 22.4 as it is in free air:

20130113-214231.jpg

That’s it ready to go in the car – don’t power it up without the lambda sensor attached or it will reset the calibration.