GD427 in action

GD427 in action

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Basic Tools for Bodywork

After another day drilling, cutting and filing I realised how few tools I'd actually used so far and thought I'd list them to give any other prospective builders an idea of what they might need.

Tools used so far are:-

Various holesaws, I'll expand this list at later date to include what size and where used.
Large sanding drum which fits into an electric drill, used to neaten up the edges after cutting out the headlight holes.
Small sanding drums used in a Dremel.
Spiral cutting bit (561) again used in the Dremel. Useful for joining up rows of previously drilled holes.
Reinforced cut off wheel (426), Dremel again useful for cutting straight lines and cutting out oil cooler and brake duct holes.
Small hand file, part of a set of warding files.
Large hand file.
Dremel, electric drill and various size drill bits (not shown).

Most useful tool(s) so far...... ?

Hat, goggles, face mask, gloves and overalls, an absolute must.

... and a few more holes

Managed to grab a few hours this weekend to finish of a few little jobs I've been wanting to do. Firstly there were a few more holes which needed to be drilled, namely:-

One hole either side for the side repeaters (indicators)
Series of 5 holes for the heater inlet which sits behind the side vent on the nearside

Holes for the pipework to and from the brake and clutch master cylinders and resevoirs

These holes from left to right are for the wiring loom into the engine bay, hot water hoses from the engine bay into the heater on the other side of this panel and finally the battery studding. This consists of two 10mm studs bolted through the panel with the battery connected to them on the other side providing a power take off point into the engine bay.

And finally, the cut out for the footwell extension. I was a little nervous of making this cut and deliberately made the hole a bit small. Cutting the hole now will allow me to see from both sides when I fit the extension piece making it easier to make a final cut to the right size. I'll do a full write up under a seperate heading at a later date.

As well as this I have also now finished all the flashlines, both inside around the cockpit and all the way round the outside, aswell as underneath.... hooray !

Monday, 25 May 2009

More holes !

Decided to tackle a few more holes this weekend. I'm kind of aiming to have all the drilling, filing, cutting and sanding finished whilst I can work outside. I'm sure we'll have a wonderful summer and there will be plenty of opportunities... but just in case, I'm getting them all done now. The other reason to push on with these is that there are still a few DIY jobs needing doing around the house and at the moment, I seem to be getting a bit of a free reign at weekends but it can't last forever. If I can get the messy outdoor Cobra related jobs finished now, I can do some of the less messy indoor stuff in the garage during the evenings and work on the ever increasing list of household DIY jobs at the weekend.

Making the most of my free pass, first job this weekend was to cut out the openings for the oil cooler and brake ducts. If you imagine these indentations as bowls, rather than cut the bottom out, I cut the bottom off. This leaves the cut edge facing backwards towards the car and out of sight rather than inwards towards the opening. My thanks to Steve (Shadow) for that tip.

First job was to mask the area, this enabled me to draw pencil around the cut line, hopefully making it easlier to see what I was doing.

Then, using the trusty Dremel, I cut all the way around the edge. It got a bit difficult to keep a smooth cutting line in the corners so I resorted to a few plunge cuts and then went back and joined them up.

I used exactly the same procedure on the cut outs for the brake ducts. Once it was all done, I used a file to neaten up the back edges, hopefully my earlier description now makes sense, and then rubbed them down with some wet 'n' dry to make it all smooth. One of the worst parts of doing this work is the dust produced. It's smelly, itchy and with tiny strands of glass fibre in it, you end up with tiny shards stuck in your skin that you just can't seem to wash away. Standard practise for all these jobs now is hat, goggles, face mask, boiler suit and latex gloves. As I go round completing odd jobs here and there, I'm also rubbing down all the edges of the underbody and the inside of panels I know I'm going to be working on later, just to try and keep the rough edges to a minimum.

Ta Daa... !

Next up were the screen demist vents. This is another area where GD kindly mark out the placement of holes to be drilled. Completing this job was a simple matter of drilling the pre-marked holes used to secure the escutcheons, masking the area, temporarily fitting the escutcheon plate and using a pencil to mark out the area to be cut. The escutcheon plates themselves are actually nice and shiny but wrapped in masking tape to protect them until they are finally needed.

I measured the width of the cut out to be 5mm and used a 4mm drill to drill a series of holes along the centreline. Then it was a simple matter of joining the holes with the Dremel (except the end ones.... think about it) and enlarging/finishing the slot with a file.

Once the drilling and filing was done, the original pencil line drawn on the masking tape wasn't very clear so I stripped off the old masking and applied a new piece and marked the slot again. Second time around was enough to mark and file the slot spot on

Repeat for the other side and another job complete. I understand the trick is to paint the inside of the slot matt black so it doesn't show once the escutcheon plates are bolted into position

Whilst the tools were out I also cut out this small panel from each side of the cockpit. I'll be honest and admit I can't actually remember what this cut out is for but it was marked to be cut out by GD so cut out it was! I used a strip of blue masking tape to emphasize the cut line which would be lost under the dust once I got going. The Dremel strikes again !

You can see to the left of the cut line in this next picture a nice scratch introduced by a wayward file, sadly, the result of sloppy workmanship and a "gung ho" atitude, it will probably polish out and from memory this whole area is covered by carpet so it won't really matter but it seemed as good a time as any to down tools and call it a day.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Fuse Box, Steering Column and Heater Pipes

Got a few more holes cut today. Started with the hole for the fuse box and followed the same methodology as for the headlights. The outline had already been pre-marked by GD so I drew a new line 3mm inside and used this as a guide for a 4mm drill. As this hole was square, I used a file to neaten it up and enlarge the hole accodingly.

I also cut out the hole for the steering column with a 64mm holesaw.

And the holes for the heater pipes into the engine bay. The holes were marked up in the cavity inside the wing where it was a bit tight to weild a drill. You can just see them on the left hand side of this picture.

I used a small battery driver to drill a small hole through the centre of the marked holes from the cavity into the engine bay and then from the engine bay, enlarged the holes and used a 25mm holesaw to drill back the other way.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Cutting out for Headlights

Tackled cutting out the holes for the headlights today. I've been looking forward to this for a while, it's one of those jobs that once finished makes the bodyshell start to look like a car rather than a great big jelly mold.

There are various methods you could use to cut out the hole, kindly pre-marked by GD. One method is to scribe a circle 2mm smaller than the hole needs to be and using this line as a guide, drill 4mm holes all the way round. This means the outside edge of the drilled holes form the line which the hole needs to be cut back to. A diagram probably makes this easier to understand.

I used a set of dividers (?) to scribe the line and because GD had already marked the line of the hole to be cut using a similar method, the centre was already marked and I could use the same reference point. I wasn't overly confident about drilling every one of the holes exactly along this centre line because with the odd hole wandering off line, I could potentially make the hole too big. I gave it a bit of leeway and scribed the circle 4mm smaller.
Once I'd drilled holes all the way round I joined them up with my trusty Dremel, effectively leaving a jagged edged hole which was 2mm too small. Using a sanding drum in the end of an electric drill, I sanded the inside edge to smooth the jagged line and enlarge the hole to required size.

I also took the opportunity to drill out the holes for the front indicators. These were exactly 35mm and I'd previoulsy bought a 35mm hole saw so this was a very quick and straightforward exercise.

When it was all finished, I ran around the inside edges with some 600 grit wet 'n' dry to remove any loose strands of fibreglass and tidy things up a bit. The bits of blue masking and polythene are to protect the reference points left by GD for the overriders. I'm not sure whether I'm going to have these are not and until I do, I didn't want to lose the reference points which have been marked onto masking tape stuck onto the body shell. This area gets a little wet when sanding back the flashlines.
Picture from inside the wing.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Flashlines !!

OK, for my flashline following friend(s)... you know who you are... All flashlines have now been removed from the outside of the body, got to spend a little time tidying up the edges of the bonnet, boot and doors and the one around the rear of the cockpit and there may be a little more work to do once I've had a good look in some bright sunlight but for now... I'm done with the flashlines. Next step I think will be to do all the drilling and cutting of holes i.e. headlights, indicators, footwell extension, heater pipes etc

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Renewed Enthusiasm !!

Blimey, seems a long time since I posted anything here. I haven't had much time to progress my build any further so not much has happened. Looking through other build sites has rekindled some enthusiasm, it's great to see other's progress and has made me feel a little guilty for not finding the time. My plan was always to work little and often but this has fallen by the wayside. Anyway, managed to spend a little time this evening in the garage, mainly just staring and dreaming but I did manage to do some more work removing flashlines from around one of the wheel arches. No pictures as there's not much to see but hopefully this will be the start of some renewed enthusiasm to take this build further!