A merry christmas and happy new year to everyone!

I had a good long break, lots of sleep, some great food, read loads of caroll smiths books, and now I feel like a new woman! Being that I'm not as impressed as most people by mankinds ability to count to 365/366 every year, I spent the day (and most of the night) up the garage, and got loads done!

Before the christmas break, I cleared up the mess which was on the car table, put the shell on it, and flipped it round so I can work on the rear half of the car.

Firstly, the fuel tank. or tanks to be precise! They're are going inside the roll cage where the back seats used to be. I was origionally going to aim for 100L of fuel, but I'm now looking at 70L. Once I've got those in place, then I can start the rear bulkhead inside tha car. The pumps and swirl pots are going to go inside the bulkhead as well. The petrol cap will be relocated to the boot lid. The only thing I have left to figure out is how to equalise the amounts of fuel in each tank. I think I'll have a small hose connecting them at the top and the bottom, and I'll try and make sure that the filler tubes to each tank split the flow equally.

I popped round to see brian's mate brian, and used his guillotine to chop up some 2mm aluminum plate to make the tanks, and I also used his english rollers to roll the beginnings of a water swirl pot, and a fuel swirl pot. After that, there's just the header tank, the dry sump tank, and the washer fluid resovoir to make up.

I welded the tanks up except for putting the top plate on, put them in place, and voila!

I need to get some foam for the tanks, the filler tubing, and all the JIC bosses for the feeds before I can finish them off, but I can make a start to the rear bulkhead!

The next thing to make up is the radiator. I'd previously bought a core from pace, which is enormous and cost a fortune (£400)!

it's got 4 rows of water tubes on each line, and is about 60mm deep.

I made up some endcaps for it. The inlet one (below) is designed to make sure that the flow to the core is as equalised as possible, the outlet one is designed to maximise flow back to the engine.

… and disaster struck when I welded them on! I forgot to put the earth onto the endcap, and left it on the surface table I was using. The rad then tried to weld itself onto the table via the core! Result, 6 destroyed rows.

Bugger. I took the endcap off, and welded up the 6 affected rows from the inside. hopefully that'll fix it, but Bugger!

The end result then…

I filled it with water, found 2 leaks on the endcaps, and fixed them. it looks like the thing is going to be ok… only one thing that's a bit annoying… the rad and endcaps hold 6.4L of coolant. I guess the header tank will be nice and small then!

I made a start to the swirl pot as well, I've only put one tube on to it, as I'm not too sure where it's going to live yet. The fuel swirl pot I'll start another day, when I have all the weld on bosses.

I've been thinking long and hard about how to mount the back end of the shell to the chassis, and about where all the components are going to live. I figured out where everything's going to go over christmas, except for the dry sump dant. I would put it in the boot, but there's no space for it once the rad with it's cowling and fans are in there! I think I'll aim to put it there anyway, and try to make some space for it. If not, it goes in the front and saves me a fortune on hoses.

I've figured out that I'm going to build the back in a certain order.

1. Make a towing eye and attach it to the rear chassis. this'll be the beginning of the boot floor.
2. Make a structure to give strength to the back of the shell, and to support and protect the radiator. Ideally it should to bolt onto the back of the current chassis, and be made from aluminium.
3. make the rear top bulkhead and locate the shell to the chassis at the bottom of the C pillars.
4. make and fit the ducting and cowling for the radiator through the bulkhead to the windows

I also need to make and locate the de-dion axle. I'm waiting for bits from sykespeed, I have been since september, and I'm not very impressed. I'll take the measurements today for the offset between the axle centreline and the de-dion tube so I can get the bits to make the axle lasercut.

Off to the garage!

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