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All weather use....


m1tch
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A bit of a random question with a few sub questions but here it goes....

covid has hit us hard financially so looking to sell my daily car to pay off the debts. To enable this I’m considering heated seats, heated screen and wet weather gear for the zero and use it year round for my weekly commute. I travel to work on a Sunday and back on a Friday. 
 

First question and possibly the show stopper, but can full wet weather kit be fitted on a car with cobra hoops? If it can, will I fit inside? (I’m 6’2 with seat runners and lowered floor).

does it keep the rain out on a motorway, I’m moving job in weeks few and 99% of the journey is motorway, dual carriageway and national speed limit country roads. The weekly commute will be 189 miles each way. 
 

Does anyone in gloucester / Cheltenham have wet weather kit I can have a look at to see if I fit inside, or is this a completely mental idea?

thank you in advance 

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I would have thought that proper weather gear would have roof bows in it so that it would still fit even with Cobra hoops. Fitted correctly with the right doors it should keep all but the worst of the water out. Biggest issue would be steaming up which a heated screen would most likely take care of at a cost - personally I'd rather have a heater in the car and a chamois pad to wipe the screen. If you're 6'2, wiping the screen shouldn't be a big issue. Heated seats I think would be a waste of time - just wear thermals and more layers.

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I have a half-hood (Surrey top) and full length doors and, as Rich says, it keeps out 95% of rain, even at motorway speeds . With a half hood, there's enough airflow to make condensation a minor issue. I keep a chamois-on-a-stick in the passenger footwell for the odd occasion I need to wipe the screen (normally only in hot weather and rain which is a pretty rare combination in this country). 

I got my roof from Softbits and it is made to measure, so I'm sure they can accommodate hoops.

In normal times, I do a 20 minute commute to work in all weather's, although not on the motorway, so it is doable. Probably the biggest problem, for me anyway, is reliability. I've had issues where the car was in a few pieces and thus un-driveable, which isn't good if you need to go to work the next day. It's the only reason I haven't sold my motorbike yet - I need backup. 

I bought some cheap heated seats off eBay once - they REALLY screwed up the car. When plugged in, the car went to pieces; wouldn't idle, kangarooing down the road etc. I think they draw too much current and there's not enough for the ECU (that is probably a horrendous electrical description :-)) 

 

Edited by nelmo
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With the Freestyle (picture in avatar) roof, doors, screen weren't an option, so I went with https://www.jsaccessories.co.uk/buy/frank-thomas-monsoon-wp-oversuit-black/45846.htm along with a leather flying helmet, goggles & gloves. The helmet, goggles & gloves were standard driving wear, the suit & motorcycle helmet only came out when it got bad, do you go straight into the office, or do you go to your digs first, just thinking can you get changed before going into work?

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Thanks for the replies, seem like it could be an option! I drive to work on the Sunday night normally ready for work on the Monday morning so would have plenty of time to get changed etc so that’s an option but not sure the interior of the car would stand up to some of the west Wales rain and wind with no cover for long.

 

I’ll check out soft bits and heating / demister / heated screen options and let you know what I go with. Really don’t want to sell the main car as it’s never missed a beat but needs must 

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When mine was first IVA'd, I had the factory fit full weather gear.  Richy is right that it would have a riser bar in the middle to lift it a bit to give you plenty of head room.  The only thing I didn't like about it was it was fully enclosed, so prone to the windscreen steaming up.  I moved to a half hood and that issue is solved. 

In heavy rain, on fast roads, you do get a bit of spray in through the the open area at the back.  The other area the water gets in is under the door edges.  I tend to use towels to keep out the worst but toyed with adding a strip of 25mmx25mm aluminium strip to the side of the car under the edge of the door.  This would act as a deflector to the majority of the water.   You are then left with a bit of water coming in over the edge of the windscreen but that also happens on £75k Morgan's so not a lot you can do about that. 

With the full roof or half hood fitted, getting in and out is a nack, but you soon get used to it, you just have to use a certain technique.  You would be welcome to come and have a look at mine and give it a try if you want.  I think you have my mobile number already.  Give me shout if it would help.

As an aside, I am not sure if SBFS have done a half hood for Cobra Hoops.  You might have to have a bar of some sort added to give the shape as the normal half hood uses the roll bar to make the shape.  If you you look on their website, it is my car that is featured so you can see what I mean.

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So i did the Wales trip a few years back and the weather was pretty testing :). Given I've had kit cars with various levels of weather protection since the early 90's, I'm not against being a bit hardy with the elements and I'm more accepting of a wet knee than most... I just say this to put my answer into context... ;)

So the Zero has a home made surrey-style top that really was a last-minute thing put together a few days before the Wales trip. I was surprised how well it worked over the weekend and it certainly kept the worst off us and made the car useable in horrendous rain, in the dark, and so forth. I have a proper heater blower on the windscreen (*properly* extracting air from the exterior of the car) and that kept the car useable along with decent wipers. Side doors obviously.

As David says above, the main area of challenge for me is the door fronts, this is where the rain gets in and it's hard to fully seal it.

I think to do this as a weekly commuter, some distance, over the winter - you've got to be very committed :( . Don't think I'd fancy it myself...

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I put armrests in my doors (it's a Caterham option, I believe) and it works brilliantly, although I do still get a little from where I didn't go quite far back enough:

https://zerolifebuild.blogspot.com/2018/12/a-call-to-arms.html

I do get a few drips through the door gaps and, yes, I forgot about a bit of spray from the rear in very bad conditions. I guess if you found it a problem, a mesh wind deflector at the back may be needed.

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Ive been caught in some awful rain ,mainly when abroad, but I dont have any leaks from the front of the doors. I made sure the fabric of the door sits inside the screen pillar.

With the door closed, the fabric pushes up hard against the pillar and seals it.  

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Thanks guys, some interesting thoughts and options to weigh up there. Knowing how bad things get in south west Wales in the winter it is certainly going to need a lot of commitment - especially given the cost of the weather gear where I could easily buy a cheap car to get me through this financial shortfall. Decisions decisions .....

 

David, thank you for the offer, id love to see if I fit! Are you still Brockwith based? We’ve moved since we last met but only to longlevens 

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We have a heater in Florin pushing warmed air into the foot-wells ( & ducted to screen).  Sylvia has a National Trust waterproof blanket for waist down & in the drivers side I have fixed a velcro strip to the underside of the dash from tunnel to side panel.  A black bath towel with velcro is fixed in place & tucked down each side of the seat, I may get a little warm & damp from stray water but many hundreds of miles have been travelled with this & the fabric half doors & surrey top.

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14 hours ago, m1tch said:

...where I could easily buy a cheap car to get me through this financial shortfall. Decisions decisions .....

Exactly. This is where I'd personally go. Even driving round in a (warm, dry) *bleep*box for the winter, at least you're not putting mileage and associated wear and tear onto your kit, you're arriving in a hopefully less stressed frame of mind, dry, comfortable, etc.

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16 hours ago, m1tch said:

Thanks guys, some interesting thoughts and options to weigh up there. Knowing how bad things get in south west Wales in the winter it is certainly going to need a lot of commitment - especially given the cost of the weather gear where I could easily buy a cheap car to get me through this financial shortfall. Decisions decisions .....

 

David, thank you for the offer, id love to see if I fit! Are you still Brockwith based? We’ve moved since we last met but only to longlevens 

Yes, still in Brockworth.

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