May 022013

I’d hoped to get to a rolling chassis as soon as possible so it was easier to move out into the open to work on. This has became more urgent since the near-disaster when it almost fell off the axle trolley. The front wishbones still need to be machined to accept the modern ball joints so I decided to crack on installing other items that had already been refurbished. Although I was wary of adding too much weight because I was planning to install the engine from below.

I’m leaving the bonnet on for as long as possible. It’s a bit inconvenient but it should hopefully be the safest place. I’d read that it’s possible to fit the radiator with the bonnet in situ as, without the gas strut fitted, it can be opened much further to give sufficient access. The radiator and cooling fans had been ready for some time so I decided to put these on.

The two struts securing the top of the radiator are bolted to small 90 degree brackets on the picture frame. These brackets are held in place by the upper outboard picture frame bolts. What I hadn’t realised was that these bolts can’t be withdrawn because they foul on the front subframe. The bolts and subframe have to be removed together which would require the bonnet to be removed!

Hmmm …. some replanning is required. Once the bonnet and front subframe are removed, it’s only a few more bolts and the picture frame can be removed. The engine could then just be wheeled into position on its trolley and the subframes built back around it.

The prospect of not needing to install the engine from below is very appealing. The main drawback I could see was that it would probably have to be done out in the open for access and I’d need to make sure I could get to a rolling chassis over a weekend.

I’m quite relieved that the wishbones weren’t available earlier. I would have been blissfully unaware that the strut mounting brackets needed to be installed earlier rather than later. I’d only have found out once the engine bay was almost complete. The refitting of the radiator was one of the last engine bay components I would have installed.

I’ll now have to focus on getting as much work done up front as possible, such as fit Ray Livingstone’s Megajolt kit and reuniting the engine and gearbox, leaving the weekend just to:

  • Remove the bonnet, front subframe and picture frame
  • Roll the engine/gearbox into place through the opening
  • Refit the subframe and picture frame …. oh and the brackets!
  • Install the front suspension
  • Fit the radiator
  • Raise the engine onto its mounts
  • Set up the front suspension
  • Refit the bonnet

I suspect I’ll need several pairs of helping hands!

 Posted by at 12:51 pm

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