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K-Series Gbs Zero


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More progress today. Got the nosecone on, which was a pretty simple affair really, the edges aren't trimmed but it's really only to support the bonnet in order to get the catches fitted and then get the car off to be sprayed.


So nosecone-wise, pretty simple, some chassis foam along the bottom run and then M6 rivnuts into the chassis - three did the job, with some large washers to spready the load a bit on the GRP.




Stainless cap-heads - stainless because obviously these are going to get some right grot on them over the years. Cap heads are also a bit more resilient against any knocks or scrapes so you have a good chance of undoing them in the future if you've unfortunately scuffed the underside; probably academic really but habits and all that. For the top, another M6 rivnut but with a countersunk stainless bolt in it. This needs some chassis foam too but it'll all be coming back off after the sprayshop so I'll do it then, when I fit the radiator and what-not.


Bonnet-wise I had to do a very, very little bit of trimming on the flat edge to clear the front bracket but otherwise it was pretty good. The front is far looser than the back but then I'm missing some edge trim so it is to be expected at this stage.


The catches then went on - those typical over-centre rubberised things that are IVA-friendly. I used some good sized closed end rivets in an attempt to spare the chassis of any water ingress. To be honest it's not like I've used them everywhere so this is probably closing the door after the horse has bolted but it's something to consider on any parts that are very obviously externally-exposed. Obviously pay attention to where you're putting them, I've kept them up on the top edge so they're going into the meat of the chassis tube behind them, but use sensibly-lengthed rivets that will scrunch up with plenty of material behind them - remember you're going through the chassis tube and the exterior panel so there's some thickness there. I think this front one is about 80 or 90mm from the suspension support. The back ones I did 50mm forward of the scuttle edge.




When you come to put the top halves of the catches in, pay CLOSE ATTENTION to the instructions - there is a 5mm or so range within which you can space the bolt holes (the bottom hole of the top bracket, to the top hole of the bottom bracket), I settled for 30mm. The catch obviously stretches and holds in tension, so whatever you do don't just measure the clip in un-stretched position on the car, mark and drill - it will be loose! The catch design is very forgiving so you don't need a whole lot of accuracy, to be honest.


Scrunched up on top of the scuttle, the bonnet takes shape better... you can see there's still some gaps here but remember there's no edge trim on here yet (Stoneleigh here I come), so a little bit of slack can be taken up later with edge trim and/or foam as needed.




Will get it booked in to my mate for spraying ASAP now, just some tidying to do before he gets it - and rip off all the bloody laserguard (I swear my nightmares are a toss-up between rivets and picking the edges of the fecking stuff)... if I never see another rivet or piece of LG film again in my life, I'll be a happy man ;)

Edited by brumster
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A few minor jobs today - the fuel level sender arrived from Car Builder Solutions, so I fitted that. Managed to tack-weld the rods together rather than use the useless-looking clips that were provided....




Here's maybe a good tip (I've found it useful). Whiteboarded all the jobs as I thought of them, and then mapped them in terms of dependencies so you can easily progress through the jobs without forgetting something, but also remembering what's next. Basically arrows show the direction of working, so you can't really move to the next job until the source job is finished (or that's the idea). It's a bit mind-mappy I guess, but it comes in handy - but you obviously need to sit down and plan it out first. But it does allow you to add new jobs as you think of them, and link them in to your plan.




Well, after several hours of picking off laserguard I now have very sore fingernails and a nekkid-looking Zero...




Off to the bodyshop tomorrow....!

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Yeah, I'm going to get it white to match the nosecone/arches. I'll then probably put some sort of vinyl embellishment on the final product but I'll leave that until it's fully finished (mainly because I've no idea what to do :) ). Who knows, it might just stay white :) everyone knows the fastest cars are white ;)

Edited by brumster
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  • 2 weeks later...

While the car's away I carefully installed the instrument pod into the dashboard. There's not really enough room or visibility to have it in front of the steering wheel so it's going in the usual central position of the car. I'd already measured the centreline before the car went off, so it was simply a case of out with the dremel, cut the main chunk out according to the template provided by SPA, then fine-trim with a sanding attachment on the dremel to get the fit nice.




Switchgear can go in the centre column panel I think, in front of the gear lever, so short of a horn button I don't think there's anything else that really needs to go in this panel! Maybe a 12v power take-off, I'll see how I do for space, but hopefully it'll all fit in. There's only really a switch for the fog light needed, a heater fan, a button for the dash mode setting and a switch for an interior light (under-dash lamp)... I'll probably put a spare switch in there while I'm at it, if there's room, for future 'expansion'.


Popped in to see how the bodywork was getting on - should be finished tonight apparently (he wasn't happy with a few panels so he's redoing them)...




Looking forward to seeing the finished job <excited> :D

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I will do, yes, the paint on the nosecone needs a bit longer to be truly firm so didn't want to scratch it with the bonnet :) I'll start on the back end/arches/wings next, and the edge trim, and get a shot of it all finished up some time soon...

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Just for you, Ferrino ;)



Finalised the nosecone trim. Attached the trim at one end with a large head rivet - don't scrunch this up until it pops but instead pull it up, then dremel/cut the pin off it. I then stretched it over to the other end, marked and drilled, put the rivet in to hold it but left it un-scrunched, then marked 3 more intermediate holes for rivets. Finally, remove, sikaflex the length of the noscone, then stretch it over the edge so it's under nice tension, get the bead butted up against the front ridge, and fit the remaining rivets - again, just nipping them up like the first one. Noice and toight.




The bonnet edge trim is rubberised channel, it won't stay on by itself (no metal in it) so this is sikaflex'd on as well, both ends of the bonnet.... nothing difficult here. I also put the side vent in while I was staring at the hole for it. IVA trim will go on eventually...




Also popped the dashboard edge trim on as well, covering up the rivets from an earlier post (if you recall)...




That's all for now...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Intended to swap over the front arch carriers at the weekend but needed a new top ball joint (Ford Transit 65-86 drag link, M18x1.5 pitch right hand thread, for reference) so have ordered one off eBay but won't be able to complete until that arrives. So I set about on some other minor tasks.


Picked up some braided rear flexis from www.racing-lines.com (part of Nuneaton Hose & Fittings) made to custom spec. Pretty much same length as the Sierra ones but got the guys to include a 90 degree fitting on the caliper end which helps it clear suspension and run a lot nicer at the back end. £17.89 per hose, swaged fittings and PTFE hose with a braid then a nylon protective transparent lining.




Out with the die grinder and hacked away some layers of engine block (!!!). This is necessary for the Caterham bellhousing and Caterham-type starter motor (Caterham even did this), to get clearance. The starter is an uprated aftermarket WOSP unit with a variable baseplate which is a godsend in this application, as it has allowed me to swivel the solenoid underneath rather than above (default) - where they typically soak heat from the exhaust and fudge up after a year or so. You can see the billet Caterham spacer in place also - this is needed on all Caterham bellhousings for the K as far as I'm aware.




Twiddling thumbs looking for other things to do... ah, stick the horn in. That took all of 10 minutes :) used an old bracket I had. One tip actually - never throw little metal brackets away, whatever you get them in. Kitchen kits, DIY stuff, old washing machines, whatever - any interesting looking metal bracket, I chuck it in a spare metal box I have handy for just such occassions :)




Tapped the bottom of the type 9 with a drain hole, copper crush washer and then lockwired it into place for extra safety (really don't want that winding out and dropping all your gearbox oil out!).... useful to perform oil swaps should I feel the desire (hopefully won't need it, but don't fancy taking the box out just to do a frickin' oil change).




Finally broke out the dremel and cut the holes for the side repeaters, again pretty simple job really, just measured centre of the arch in position on the car... cut slowly, used a router bit in the dremel to slowly take the hole out and try the bulb fitting repeatedly until it "snuck" in nice and tight...




...and that's it for now. Might get the engine in next weekend, dunno... :)

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Priced up an exhaust manifold from Custom Chrome - £900 excluding the silencer system :-o so I thought "fudge that" and have won a Caterham manifold off eBay. Bit steep at £90 but to be honest, for the work it will save it's still money well spent I suppose. I have a good friend who runs a motorsport prep company and his welding is top notch, so he's offered to weld up the exhaust system for me (my welding would be functional but not pretty, and I don't have any stainless wire!). So there's a job on the cards soon, once the engine is in.


Weekend was a family-oriented one so no work performed on car :( but will try and do a few bits on the evenings this week to move it along.

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Quite a simple one for yesterday... but another milestone nonetheless....


The engine is IN and it 'aint coming out again.... :)




On the first picture you can just make out my latest eBay purchase to simplify the build - a Caterham exhaust manifold. Lengths-wise it's not the most high-performance manifold out there, but certainly a lot better than the standard Rover downpipe, and it allow for a lovely neat exhaust system coming out the side of the car... so I'm not too fussed if performance suffers a few twisties here or there in the midrange.

Edited by brumster
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