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Morris

WSCC Member
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38 In Build

About Morris

  • Rank
    Pedestrian

Profile Information

  • Car Details
    XI
  • My Location
    Borehamwood, Herts.

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  1. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Yes, I much prefer lift-the-dot fasteners to poppers so that will be the way I go once I get that far. I've spent the past couple of weeks focusing on building by gantry. I am pretty happy with the design and it is going together well although a lot slower than I expected. Instead of using high tensile set screws for all the fastenings, I'm using M10 threaded rod hack sawed down to length (140 mm minimum for each) then faced off and bevelled on my lathe. A long job but I don't charge myself labour! All panels are then held together using penny washers, spring washers and M10 plain nuts. My design has changed somewhat for the cross beam as I was struggling to come up with an elegant method of attaching the block and tackle without drilling a large hole through the beam. Instead I'll be using two 70 mm square horizontal beams assembled parallel to each other with a 70 mm gap between them. I'll then be able to fix a 210 mm long 12 mm (diameter) steel bar running across the top of the wooden beams from which the block and tackle can be attached without compromising the strength of the wooden beams. I've already cut the 45 degree bracing struts so hopefully next week will see the end of this little project after which I can move onto the MG.
  2. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Of course I meant 'Simon' at the factory rather than 'Mark'!
  3. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Well the day finally came last Friday to collect the kit from Westfield. I planned on arriving there late morning but it was closer to 2 pm once I had collected the rental Luton van and got my son mobilised. The drive up there from south Herts was 2.25 hours according to Google Maps, but in reality it was closer to 3.5 hours given the roadworks on virtually every road we travelled on. Compared to the car transporter, the box van was a real challenge to reverse with no visual or audible aids whatsoever – just the wing mirrors to reply on. Thankfully no-one got squashed during my manoeuvring and we got to the factory without hiccup. The guys at the factory were welcoming and were ready to load up straight away. Ian showed me the kit contents. There were no items that they were unable to supply so I was happy to load up and to check the many many items back at home. Whilst at the factory Ian showed me an XI that was in for some work – a very tasty factory built one with yellow split rim wheels and RAF roundels! We manhandled the kit into the van without a hitch. Ian was obviously well practised in this operation and made sure all the boxes were positioned so that they could not move during transit. (The gearbox went in the passenger footwell of the van). I took with me many of my wife’s best blankets, lengths of rope and garden chair cushions. All we used were the cushions between the bonnet moulding and the van front wall – it was clear that the chassis was not going to go anywhere unless I was to go drifting around the corners on the way home! After another three hour journey back home to Borehamwood it was time to unload. It was dark, getting a bit chilly and I was tired, and I had to get the van back to the hire shop by 9 am the following morning so there was no time to have a rest. Thankfully I managed to back the van into our driveway with no additional scratches to the side of the van (and so protecting my £1500 excess!). Mrs R was back home by then so she could join in the challenge-of-all-challenges to get the chassis through the side gate and into my new garage in the back garden! I started off by presenting back her pristine and unused blankets so all was well. I unpacked the back of the van of all the boxes with Mrs R helping with the front and rear clams. I removed the scuttle and put it in the sitting room! I was going to remove the doors to save even more weight but I saw that both halves of the hinges were pop riveted on. Anyone know why they weren’t screwed on as the doors need removing anyway for the IVA? To get the chassis out from the van, I positioned it as close to the edge of the tail-lift as I could and just teetering on the edge. Then with Mrs R manning the tail-lift button and pulsing it to lower the platform slowly, I guided the chassis down nose first and onto my previously made up two trolleys (OSB3 offcuts + Lidl casters), pulling forwards on the chassis until it was resting fully on them. Then with the aid of cardboard and blankets we rolled the chassis onto its side, re-positioned the trolleys the lifted it back onto them. Then with only nominal swearing (much too tired for that by now) we nudged the very wobbly load through our side gate and into the garage. Inspection the following day revealed only minor damage to one of the pontoons (a couple of small dents and a couple of scratches from when it slid off the trolleys!). You may be wondering why I am going into so much detail at this stage. I reckoned it might be useful to record the peripheral activities of building a car. Renting a van and collecting the car from the factory is really only a superficial part of the process, the reality is more often than not misaligned to the theory. It can be challenging, physically and mentally demanding but also good fun when the family also gets involved, and afterwards you can sit back pondering the achievement and think about how the seemingly impossible was made possible without having to call in the professionals. Anyway moving on to the kit itself. Firstly the quality of the mouldings – excellent! I ordered the ‘as moulded unpolished’ mouldings as Mark at the factory said that they are now polished as a matter of course at the suppliers so there was no need to pay the extra for polishing. True to his word, the bodywork has a mirror like and truly excellent smooth and flowing finish – in fact I’m going to start charging people for stroking the XI as it’s hard to keep ones hands off its curves! Likewise I was impressed by the quality of the kit overall. I reckoned the exhaust manifold was well made, neat and adequately welded. There are still many items that I haven’t identified, but was pleasantly surprised to see that a clutch was included with the Ford gearbox, with other items I wasn’t expecting such as choke cable etc. – in all very comprehensive. The tonneau I ordered came with poppers rather than lift-the-dot fasteners. I thought the tonneau is not IVA compliant (not that I would fit it beforehand anyway) for the reason of the l-t-d fasteners, but I could now be wrong. In the not too distant future I’ll be starting to dismember the Midget, but after I have got the engine running to check its condition. Prior to that though I’ll need to re-locate the rotor arm which I removed from the distributor as a nominal anti-theft ploy – it’s in the house somewhere but damned if I can remember where I put it! One last thought – has anyone seen the photo of Colin Chapman casually holding a Lotus 7 chassis? I would struggle to do the same with that of my XI!
  4. Morris

    Building my Eleven

    Thank you. I'll be following with great interest. I'll be starting off with the A-series until the IVA but doing background research on alternatives for post IVA.
  5. Morris

    Building my Eleven

    Is your crossflow dry sumped though to enable it to fit under the unmodified bonnet without it scraping on the ground?
  6. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    I agree with your philosophy AdgeC. The stash of wood offcuts in my shed is unfortunately not long or beefy enough to make anything structural from. Being the skinflint that I am and buying most of the wood from the local diy shop and so paying the associated prices, I'm trying to get away with using smaller section wood to keep the costs down and convincing myself it is structurally ok with the stress calcs (so I can spend more money on the xi ).
  7. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Sorry for the typo above! The fibre stress at the elastic limit for pine is 41 MPa (minimum) and not 1.24 MPa (which would of course be a recipe for disaster! ).
  8. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Hi AdgeC, According to my fag packet calcs, with a mass of 165 kg hanging off the cross beam (70 x 140 mm UC4 pine), the deflection in the centre will be 0.67 mm. So long as this does not exceed the fibre stress at the elastic limit for pine (1.24 MPa), i.e. the stress above which the fibres will suffer permanent damage then I’ll be fine. In this case, for a mass of 165 kg, the stress on the highest loaded wood fibres will be 1.24 MPa so well within the capability of the beam. I have assumed the support span to be that between the 18 mm thick OSB3 webs (i.e. 1.4 m) which are in effect similar to chopped strand mat fibreglass panels and will prevent the pine members from flexing where they are in contact with the OSB3. The vertical 70 x 70 mm beams and the feet will also be fine as they will be in effect a combined 140 x 70 mm given that there are two of each being under the same load at any one time. I will of course be wearing my steel toecaps just in case… J! Cheers. Morris.
  9. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Voila! The garage is complete although I'm not entirely happy with the security of one of the doors as it is only secured (by the padlock) in the very centre. I was going to fix it with an extra lock this weekend but I ran out of energy! In general I've been very happy with the quality and ease of build of the garage, and my wife is now keen to hide it as best she can with large potted plants sitting on the French drain! The garage is though ready for me to 'move in' so next weekend's task will be to dig up all my old car tools from various corners of the house and shed to reunite them all with each other! My next building project shall be a gantry for engine lifting duties. I begrudge renting a hoist and the inconvenience that comes with it, when for less than the cost of two 'hirings' I can make my own (which I can keep). I have purchased a 1 tonne block and tackle from ebay (£20), and I've designed a rigid gantry which I'll construct from wood: 70 x 70 mm for the vertical members and feet, and 140 x 70 mm for the cross beam, all bolted together with wooden triangulation webs. It'll be on lockable casters so that I can move it up and down the garage at will. Hopefully I'll be able to knock it together over half a day. The photo below shows a balsa model of it so you can get the drift of what I am trying to achieve. xi wise, the kit was ready for collection from last Wednesday. I'll be going to the factory this coming Friday with a Luton box van to pick it up - hopefully it will all go smoothly. I asked the factory for a photo of the xi on their shop floor. Interestingly, in the background of the photo were two other xis also in Westfield Green. I wonder how many xis they are selling now as when I visited close on three months ago there were also two xi chassis on the shop floor which would probably have already been kitted and dispatched by now? Hopefully I'll start attacking the MG next weekend as I'll need to get the axle etc. up to the factory to be re-bracketed. Another thing I need to get cracking on is ordering the Protech shocks as I don't know what their lead time is yet. There was mention some time ago about a discount being given for a batch of four or so shock/ spring orders. If anyone knows this to be the case and is also doing the same longer travel conversion as per Simon M please let me know and I'll be happy to ask Protech what they can do for us. This is the spec I believe to be correct, although Simon please correct me if I am wrong: For the front: For the rear: That's all for now. Cheers. Morris.
  10. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    I'm still very busy on garage building duties although the end is clearly in sight. The roof is all screwed on with only one minor leak being apparent during the recent prolonged episodes of rain. I've screwed the corners of the garage to the paving slabs - a task that I was not looking forward to but went a lot better than I expected. The build manual states the necessity to also screw down the walls along their length as metal sheds are not supplied with a base and are susceptible to wind damage due to their large and light weight wall sections. Obviously screwing into 10 mm pea gravel and compacted earth is not all that secure so I had the cunning plan of splashing out on 18 mm OSB3 for the flooring, then clamping this to the upturned u-sections of the garage base frame using 90 degree metal brackets - this has worked out most satisfactorily. The next issue is the flatness of the ground (through uneven settling) within the footprint of the garage. All four corners are sitting squarely on the paving slabs, but there are occasional gaps beneath the walls where some shimming will be called upon... - not a show stopper though! The doors need a little tweaking to make them close squarely, not due to the garage being built squiffy but due to high winds challenging the torsional strength of the doors and adjustment required to the self tapping screw positions in their holes through the non-threaded panels of the joints (I hope!). Then just the workshop matting squares to put down and the pea gravel French drain to complete around the outside. Not much work took place this past weekend due to building a cardboard coffin and conducting a funeral for my son's hamster that died on Friday night (after living to about 90 in hamster age), clearing a suitable area at the bottom of the garden to bury it and swearing at our neighbour's cat who likes to use our garden as a toilet! Talking of my neighbour, the previous weekend I was brow beaten into reducing the width of our garden fence and cementing in a new fence post to 'bring it back into our own property' as it extended 300 mm into hers - I ask you, it isn't even her property - maybe that is what prompted the rather brusk letter from the true owner of her house after I reminded her of this fact... Anyway, the positive side of this little extravaganza was that I discovered 'postcrete' - a wonderfully fast (10 minute) setting cement requiring just water and no mixing - everyone should try it just for the fun of it. Car wise (well I have to mention it somewhere in this post to keep it 'on topic'), it will be due for collection next week. I can't wait to collect it, although I'll have to wait until the following week when it'll be half term and I'll have my very willing 8 year old helper. Talking of which, his homework last week was to (in aid of an NCPCC competition) draw a picture or build a 3-d model of something representing what they want to be when they grow up! His choice was 'car mechanic' - so my brain washing is working! As I have not shown any photos yet this post, here is one of the finished cereal box, match box, balsa wood and pipe cleaner (mechanic) car garage. Note the engine is a 4 cylinder but supercharged with the obligatory hole in the bonnet for it to poke though! That's all for now! Morris.
  11. Hi. Really good vid on the yellow vinyl on the nosecone (and the other vids also of course!). I'm collecting my xi kit from the factory at the end of the month and I was concerned how I was going to add the yellow detailing (similar to the xi you reviewed) without having to resort to paint. Even looks like with a lot of patience and the correct film I will be able to apply it myself. Btw did you ever follow up with the full xi drive review as you said at the end of the first xi via? Cheers. Morris.
  12. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Ok it looks like horses for courses and what one wants out of the engine in terms of performance and reliability. From my perspective I would be happy to trade some performance and smoothness for a more authentic look and feel. It is clearly important to mechanically refurbish the engine to the engineering tolerances it was designed against and to improve its breathing etc. To me the e.g. Aldon electronic distributor is in keeping with my vision of what I am trying to achieve without bringing it too far into the 21st century with modern electronics - although I shall be secreting a 12v socket in there somewhere... Morris.
  13. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Yes that's exactly what I was referring to. All singing all dancing Megajolt et al is probably overkill for my needs.
  14. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    Thank you guys for the info of gearbox ratios and on front wheel bearings. From what I have seen on YouTube(!) and from the Moss website (I haven't spoken with them yet but they are approx £60 for both sides), taper rollers fit straight onto the Midget stub axles (not-withstanding shims) - it does seem like a worthwhile upgrade from what I have read. Is there a reason Jonjh why you say MGB hubs - are these more beefy than the Midget units? Nothing has happened on the car front the past couple of weeks as I've been focusing on building the garage. This is taking a little longer than expected, partially due to strong winds and heavy rain. I did manage to progress quite well this weekend by fitting most of the roof panels. Goodness only knows how the roof panels can be screwed on in their entirety by anyone with shorter arms than me! I was at full stretch on a ladder and it wasn't easy - with self tapping screws falling from my fingers like shrapnel! For the first time this year the ambient temperature in the rain on Sunday was low enough for my fingers to get so cold that I had to give up until the rain had stopped! Anyway, here is a photo to show that I have got somewhere...one more good weekend should see it structurally complete with only the flooring to complete. (On that note I must get the OSB3 ordered as it is only just over four weeks until the xi is ready for collection...). My plan was to get the Midget stripped so that I could take the axle etc. over to Westfield when I collected the kit, but this is clearly not going to happen now, but this is a hobby after all so I shouldn't beat myself up over getting is all done as quickly as possible. I have to say though, full marks to Yardmaster metal garage product. Despite its size (and the fact that it should be assembled by two people) it does go together very well despite the many many many many parts! I have only had a handful of real head scratching moments - one was how to fit the translucent roof panels which had no holes drilled in them (they do now...). Most of my issues have been 'how on earth do I reach that screw to fit/ tighten it' without falling off my ladder; pulling a muscle; getting blown away by the wind; laughed at by the neighbours; fending off 'helpful' suggestions by the family etc.! If the truth be known, the garage build has been something of a large project in itself and not to be taken too lightly by anyone else contemplating such a thing especially if undertaking by themselves. Coincidentally, '5th Gear' a week or so ago showed upgrading the ignition system of a VW Beetle with a distributor using a hall effect sensor rather than purely mechanical which apparently has the effect of much improved spark and timing. I've seen these for sale for A series engines - in your opinions are these considered to be a half way house between the original equipment mechanical distributor and something like the 'Megajolt' all electronic system? Cheers. Morris.
  15. Morris

    Morris' XI Build

    I did pretty well with my donor as it is bored out to 1293 cc, has a lightened flywheel, enlarged inlet ports and the equivalent of a 286 Kent profile cam. I don’t know how much power it will push out, but I shall be stripping the engine anyway to replace seals etc. and to have the head converted to run on unleaded. In addition the car has an oil cooler and Minilite replica wheels. I have ordered the 5-speed gearbox (and adaptor) from the factory which I’ll fit with its standard ratios and see how I get on with it. In addition, the Midget has been fitted with a non-standard lower ratio diff (I don’t recall the ratio but I’ll find out when I remove it) which should give improved acceleration but coupled with a more frantic top end. The fifth gear might help to counteract this though! Does anyone know what the 5-speed box ratios are as supplied by Westfield? I also have the standard diff so I can always swap this in if the engine shows signs of throwing a con rod through over-revving at 70 mph! I agree with your theory for modding the half-shafts to smooth out the stress transfer along the shafts – mechanically stressed components are only as strong as the most compromised design feature. Many years ago I was researching designs for the joining of composite drive shafts to steel couplings using only adhesive bonding. It was amazing how much torque could be transferred across the bonded joint through correct design of the joint, i.e. tapering of the steel substrate, moulding a fillet into the adhesive and adjusting the overlap length to reduce stress concentrations at the ends of the joints. Unfortunately the punters were not happy seeing a purely bonded joint so the addition of four pop rivets around the circumference allayed their fears…! Interesting about the front bearings and their tolerance. Modern machining tolerances should be much tighter and reproducible than they were 50 odd years ago, so back then it would have been hit and miss whether or not components went together tightly or not! I’ll have a read up about this as it is certainly food for thought. It is interesting MK11 that your car details say ‘Ultima GTR’. I love the shape of the Ultima (and I drove one at ‘Drift Limits’ a few months ago). Before deciding on the xi I was seriously considering the Ultima Evo, but after speaking with the factory and adding up all the ‘standard’ options in their price list I almost fell off my chair at the final cost. It would be very interesting to hear your comments on comparing the relative driving experiences of the ‘GTR’ versus the ‘xi’. Finally ‘corsechris’, surely you meant ‘a shed is for your wife (and her freezer and mops)’, not just for Christmas’…!
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