Sunday, 28 May 2017

Eleven Build - Day 1

The chassis is now up on build stands with the front and rear body clam shells removed.
The build guide starts with the front suspension, a reasonably straight forward assembly with a few minor tweaks needed to bushes, chassis mounts etc to get everything installed.  I ran into a minor issue with the lower shock absorber bushes being 38mm when wishbone bracket is 32mm, I cut down the bushes to 32mm and all is fine, Protech sell 32mm bushes for £1 each so I might get replacements later.  Fitting the upright there seems to be negative castor in the geometry that isn't fully catered for in the wishbone brackets which, coupled with the need to compress the top bushes to fit in the bracket makes things tricky but fitting the bottom mount first worked best.

I cut the steering rack and track rod ends down by 1/4", cleaned up both threads using a 1/2" 24 TPI tap and die to make sure I have as full a range of adjustment as possible fitted the steering rack.  The n/s bracket needed to be fettled to clear the chassis weld and then given a quick coat of satin black.

Fitting the new callipers next, they are the standard Midget ones and I used all new bolts from Moss, the original setup has a locking plate to hold the flexible brake hose and a locking tab, both were needed to stop the top bolt thread binding on the upright without clamping the calliper.

I left all the bolts loose at this stage so that I can have an initial go at setting the camber and toe even with the suspension at full droop I want to at least get them the same and also to make sure that I have plenty of adjustment available for the future, I also need to find some washers for the top upright bolts.

The next step in the build guide is to fit the rear axle so I spent the rest of the day getting started on it's refurbishment.  The first jobs were cleaning powder coating off the rear axle differential mounting studs and cleaning the blasting media and debris out of the internals with lots of petrol until repeating the process resulted in nice clean fluid.  I finished off the casing by fitting a new breather and then moved on to the differential giving it a good clean and replacing the input seal, a possible cause of an oil leak whilst on the donor.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Eleven Pick Up Day (and the goodbye to the Midget)

Regular viewers of the blog will recall that I only got around 50% of my first kit on pick up day and spent the next couple of months sorting through random boxes, on the phone to parts and waiting for deliveries; the contrast with today was remarkable, I was presented with a Bill of Material with every single part ticked off, furthermore, the location of each part was also clearly listed - boxes 1 to 4, fitted to the chassis or loose.

After Ian had taken me through the key parts, we'd given the polished bodywork a good look over and I was given a few tips on opening up and closing the clams, the whole kit was loaded into the van and strapped down.  Mark Walker confirmed that the axle did have some rust pin holes and after fitting the brackets he'd had it shot blasted, welded up the holes and then had it powder coated, again outstanding service; lastly the Parts Department also had the XI side mirror brackets in stock and I bought a set before heading off.

After a quick McDonald's breakfast we headed back to Yeovil arriving just after 1 pm; the kit was unloaded and the Midget body shell then loaded and taken to the local scrap yard (£18.20 for around 400Kgs of mild steel) before dropping off the van and getting home just after 3:30 pm.

After a short negotiation with Tricia the body clamshell were stored in the dining room - along with two lots of University digs kit - so I've probably got until the end of September before my current permit runs out.

I decided that I'd leave the kit alone tonight as I'd back at work first thing tomorrow morning and I'll have the whole Bank Holiday to get started - now to the Hot Tub to easy my old muscles & bones.

And finally a photo of Steve McQueen with his Eleven......

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Hand Brake Tree and Stoneleigh 2017

I dropped the axle casing and steering column of to Westfield the weekend before Stoneleigh along with the steering rack and mounts so that Mark can confirm the modification length with the steel mounts and 'thin' rack.  My kit was starting to be gathered together and Simon confirmed that it will be ready before the end of May with a tentative pick up on the 26th.

At Stoneleigh I spent a fair amount of time with Simon and his Eleven taking photographs and picking up dos and don'ts for the build.  The best ones were not to mount anything on the scuttle, mounting of the fuse boxes on the passenger side under a cover and a cover for the whole of the starter solenoid.  I also got some good ideas for rear fog and reversing lights that are more fitting for an Eleven and a lead on a replica Lotus Eleven steering wheel than can be supplied with a period quick release boss.

Plus all the usual Stoneleigh Beer, BBQ and Breakfast

I now have to finish off the Midget strip and arrange for the bodywork to be removed; the only donor item left was the hand brake mechanism that I unbolted from the axle when I removed it because the cable  adjuster nuts wouldn't budge.  Today an axle grinder with a cut off disc made short work of the cable and, with the tree in a vice, the adjuster nuts quickly followed.  After a good wire brushing the tree was dismantled, de-greased and painted with matt black anti-rust paint.

After leaving the parts to dry I re-assembled the tree with all new felt washers, clevis pins and even a new grease nipple.

When I ordered the engine parts from MED I also bought there stack and air filter kit for the HIF44 carburettor.  Having read a series of post on using an HIF44 on the Westfield-Eleven Register forum I may have to replace the manifold with something with less of an angle in order for it to fit under the bonnet and also something slightly longer.