February & March 2002

24th February, 2002.

Not a lot to report really. This is mainly due to exceptionally high work loads at the office and a recent weekend away from the Rush due to illness.

Anyway, what progress that has been made is as follows:-

Chased up the delivery of my wheels with Compomotive. Seems as though they are economical with the truth when it comes to delivery dates. Originally end of Jan, now quoting end of Feb and word on the street is that it could be mid-March. I wouldn't mind necessarily but they've already had the money from my credit card! If they haven't arrived by the time I return from Oz I will get heavy with them, the credit card company and whoever it takes to get a reasonable resolution to the problem.

Sent my headers to Camcoat for ceramic coating. Should be back 2nd week of March.

Went to Dax this week and ordered all of the interior trim as well as coming away with £600 worth of lights, SVA stuff and Windscreen etc. BTW, if anyone's heading that way via J27 of the M25, watch out, I've never seen so many speed cameras on the M11 roadworks between the M25 and the Harlow exit!

Finished refurbishing and fitting all of the front suspension and braking components. In the end, the yellow caliper paint looked OK so on they went. I've fitted the flexible brake lines higher up the side panel than other Rushes that I've looked at. The reason for this was that the remote oil filter assembly blocked the more traditional location on the nearside for where the brake line ought to through the side panel. So for the sake of symmetry, I've positioned them at headlamp bracket height on each side. Fortunately, with the headlamp in place and the suspension in its normal position, the sharp edges of the aeroquip fixing nut should not be touchable by Mr SVA's 100mm knee form sphere - more by luck than judgement!

Began the process of fitting the tunnel. Made a bit of a hash of this for two reasons:-

  • I did this with the gearstick still fitted and,

  • In my opinion, the tunnel moulding is too narrow.

To address the first point, I was concerned about cutting the gearstick hole in the wrong place so I offered the tunnel up to the chassis and marked where the gearstick touched the moulding's underside. I cut a hole and refitted the tunnel. The gearstick hole was roughly right but to get the tunnel to fit I took out some GRP around the handbrake area, and then some more.....and some more...you get then idea. In fact the tunnel would not fit properly because of item 2 and not because of the interplay between handbrake bracket and the gearstick hole. Anyway the result was a perfect fit around the gearstick and a lousy one around the handbrake. Still, an hour's work with some thin ally sheet soon saw the damage corrected. I'm convinced that the reason that the tunnel would not sit properly flush with the floor is because the tunnel moulding is too narrow. Its possible that if too much GRP is laid up when making the tunnel, the moulding actually pinches on the upper chassis members preventing the moulding from sitting down properly. No matter how much you thump it, it won't sit flush. In the end, I managed to get the drivers side to fit flush and have cut the flanges off of the passengers side. I will use some ally angle section to fix that side properly.

10th March, 2002.

After reading the riot act to Compomotive, and additionally threatening them with VISAs wrath, the wheels arrived on the 7th March. I have to say that they look first rate and appear to be very strong (if not a little heavier than I thought they might be). So I immediately took the wheels and tyres to a local fitters and £28 later had them ready to fit to the Rush.

Having taken advice from the list, before fitting the wheels I made sure that all of the suspension bolts were loosened so that the bushes would not become stressed once the car was lowered to stand on its wheels for the first time.

The wheels went on and two things then became apparent, 1) the front wheel studs were approx. 5mm too short and 2) the standard sierra discs now look rather inadequate.

The first is easy to remedy as the studs should just knock out with the help of a large hammer. Longer replacements should be readily available from Fords but fitting might prove more difficult than removal (might use a ball joint breaker to squeeze them into their respective holes in the hub).

I will see how well the brakes perform before deciding whether to change the front discs for aesthetic reasons (I'll no doubt do this later, once the car is on the road).

Otherwise, with the wheels fitted, the next job was to lower the car to the floor. A rather tricky and lengthy operation given that I only had access to one 2.5 tonne trolley jack. Anyway, suffice to say that after some rather dubious workshop practice (you'll be pleased to know that a Rush is surprisingly well balanced about the centre line through the engine, gearbox and diff!!!), the car is now standing on its own wheels for the first time. It now actually looks like a car and somehow because it's no longer 600mm in the air, it looks a lot more compact.

I contacted Camcoat to find out how well the exhaust coating was going and they said that the inside coatings were done and they were just about to blast the outside ready for the undercoat. Should be back by the end of this week.

So with luck, once I return from Malaysia, all the elements should be in place to start the Rush up and perhaps, just perhaps, a short test run.

Otherwise I'm just waiting for the interior from Dax and fitting that along with the nose, bonnet and wheel arches, and she's not far from being ready for the SVA.

More pictures soon....

25th March, 2002

Quick progress report:-

  • I've finally fixed the tunnel into place using self-tappers front and rear (I placed some aluminium 'pads' behind the rear bulkhead for the self tappers to bite into). I used 5mm bolts and nylocks through the tunnel flange and floor panels to fix the tunnel along its length. IRTBS whether any of these fixings will cause me trouble when it comes to fitting the trim. None of this has been sealed yet as I intend to remove the tunnel later when swapping the engine for the 3.9. This of course once version one has been on the road for the remains of the coming summer.

  • The seats, dashboard and carpets arrived this week. Very nice job too, bottle green with yellow stitching/piping. I know, I know, very obvious Lotus colours but it does seem to tone down the light bright green. I'm still contemplating spraying the nose yellow to bring about a 21st century interpretation of those famous 'Prisoner' colours (for those of us that can just remember the series the first time around!).

  • Still awaiting the exhaust headers. Should arrive today (hmmm!!). I'm told that there was a slight problem in the coating process and that their 'not 100% aestetically perfect in areas you wont see in normal use'. Well I'll be the judge of that, if they ever turn up!

  • On a more positive note, went to my local scrappies today and as luck would have it, there was a fresh mini to plunder. One hour later and £20 lighter I left with a complete windscreen wiper system and a heater matrix.

  • Finally, ordered 16 long Ford wheel studs from Europa Spares. Due to the bulk order, the price dropped from £2.20 each to £1.70 each. Also ordered a Pipercross air filter at the same time.

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