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jonjh1964

jonjh1964's XI Build

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jonjh1964

First day in the garage after picking up the kit.  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 have the same issue that StephenH had with the lower shock absorber bushes being 38mm when wishbone bracket is 32mm, I've cut down the bushes to 32mm and all is fine. 

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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" 20 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.

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Fitting the new calipers 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 caliper.

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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.

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steering rack os mount.JPG

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stephenh

Looking good!

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jonjh1964

I managed to get the morning in the garage and made some progress with the rear axle.  After fitting the drum brake backs, differential and hubs Myles and I placed some protective sheet on the base aluminium sheet and then manhandled the axle into place.  The first connection was the panhard rod to the axle end, then the shock absorbers and upper trailing arms - all going well......

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The trailing arms are offset with the axle being 1" wider than the chassis

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Fitting the lower trailing arm on the n/s needed the axle to be twisted and, whilst needing the two of us was reasonably straight forward and then the o/s.....there was no way we could manually align this as it was now fixed at the n/s and then was only the give in the bushes to try and make up 1-2mm.  Our first thought was to remove all the trailing arms and see if we could use any manufacturing tolerances to best effect but neither of us fancied this so we looked at alternatives.  The first resulted in a broken ratchet strap and no improvement, next we remove the chassis bolt and fitted the axle end as there is more access at the chassis.  After unsuccessfully trying a few different methods to lever between the chassis and the axle until we got the chassis end of the trailing arm aligned and found a scissor jack would fit and provide sufficient force.

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Finally we fitted the chassis end of the panhard rod using a wrecking bar (with blocks of wood to protect the chassis and the axle) to centre the axle and adjust the rose joint.

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Overall Axle592afdd0064cd_Axlebeforebrakelines.thumb.JPG.7551e7baac498e01ad549157c9a9bc7d.JPG

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stephenh

I see you had the same problems that I did with getting the axle/trailing arms/chassis mounting brackets to align!! I don't know what has happened to the jig for the brackets to be welded onto the axle, but they don't seem to be accurate, or more likely the person doing the welding is taking the axle off the jig before the welds have cooled down, so it distorts. 

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Simon Marks - North Oxfordshire AO

Hi, Jon,

I did not suffer the problems with locating the Panhard Rod that you and Stephen described with my old kit (supplied Summer 2014) - the jig / welder was obviously within tolerance back then!

When I built my car, I had to put washers between the steering arms and the uprights of the front suspension.  I was not supplied with the purpose made spacers that Westfield apparently have - hence washers.  This was to ensure that the track rod end did not clash with the wheels - maybe because I had the Westfield supplied discs and four pot calipers as an extra with my kit.  With you having the standard Midget stuff it may not be an issue - worth a check with a wheel?  Thinking this through, our non-standard brakes may explain why Stephen and I had to reduce the track rods / track rod ends far more than the amount suggested in the Build Guide (which does, of course, refer to building a car with Midget discs / calipers).

At the rear, as you would appear to have the longer Protech shock absorbers / springs, you may wish to check that the axle will drop down past the side of the lower chassis rail - though you will need to cut out the rear floor to achieve full droop.  When I fitted my Protechs, I had to reduce the depth of the bolt heads at the rear of the lower trailing arms to ensure clearance.

It looks like you have had a productive weekend - well done.

Simon

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jonjh1964

Simon, Stephen,

Thanks for the comments, on the steering arm spacers, I saw the washers on Simon's car at Stoneleigh and assumed that he'd gone for a wider wheel, mine clears the old Midget 4" wheel and I'll check again when I get the final wheels - I still haven't finally decided what to go for but 13" x 5" with 155/70 or 155/80 tyres is looking the most likely.

I'll check the rear shock absorbers, they were supplied by Westfield and I believe they are the same 12.5" ones supplied for the SEIW - I didn't measure them before fitting as they are 1.9" as apposed to the fronts 2.25" and it was therefore obvious what went front/rear, I'll check when I get an opportunity.  The differential casing is actually sitting on the aluminium floor, I thought it lift off once on wheels.  My plan I to see how I got on with the standard length shocks and then fit the 1" top extensions that Protech supply if necessary.

My plan for today is to get the scuttle and doors off and look at the pedal box and brake lines, although if it clears up I think I'll be out blatting in the other car.

Jon

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glenbo

Jon if you pull your finger out you should have it finished for this Thursday's meet So we can all have a drive. Seriously though it's looking good, bring plenty of photos on Thursday 

Glenn 

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stephenh

Jon, the washers which Simon refers to are I think because he had the optional Westfield supplied 4 pot caliper brakes, with larger discs. I have the same, but was (eventually) supplied with machined spacers. So you should be ok using the MG front brakes, without the spacers/washers.

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jonjh1964
6 hours ago, glenbo said:

Jon if you pull your finger out you should have it finished for this Thursday's meet So we can all have a drive. Seriously though it's looking good, bring plenty of photos on Thursday 

Glenn 

I'd rather the weather was better and I could be out in the orange one.....

5 hours ago, stephenh said:

Jon, the washers which Simon refers to are I think because he had the optional Westfield supplied 4 pot caliper brakes, with larger discs. I have the same, but was (eventually) supplied with machined spacers. So you should be ok using the MG front brakes, without the spacers/washers.

Thanks Stephen

I managed to get out to the garage for a couple of hours this morning and got the front brake circuit rigid lines bent ready for installation, just need to mount them with p clips or pipe clips.  I'm busy all afternoon so the rear circuit won't be started today.

The engine will be ready sometime in late July and I still need to buy wheels and a fuel system

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jonjh1964

Weather wasn't the best so no blatting, I did manage a couple of hours in the garage.  I managed to fit the master cylinders for the brakes and clutch,fit the pedals (minus the clevis pins which I need to look for);

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bend up the front

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and rear rigid brake lines, fit the 12mm washers to the front upper uprights and

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cut the pontoon for the fuel tank

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hopefully the weather will allow for a blat tomorrow...........

 

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jonjh1964

Elder son's birthday so out yesterday evening for dinner and on the way there a young lady in a brand new Mini misjudged the distance to the back of Tricia's car stopped at traffic lights so I've spent this morning talking to the insurance/repair centre/car hire, on a positive note, responsibility has been accepted and the insurers are now fighting over who repairs Tricia's car.

Today I've p-clipped to brake lines to the chassis and started the bending of the long front to rear line that goes down the tunnel.  I've chosen to go along the top of the tunnel so will need to make sure that I avoid the Type 9 tail and gear selector. In the end I decided to stop and wait until I get the gearbox back from having the 1st gear changed so I can measure the clearance. In preparation for later in the build I labelled up the main chassis loom, having got a schematic emailed by Mark Walker yesterday, measured up all the sections and ordered split conduit from the famous internet auction site.  I'm planning to experiment combing the riveting of the wiring saddle mounts with the brake p clips to minimise the number of holes drilled in the chassis through the tunnel.

The main progress was fitting the fuel tank; I removed all the domed rivets

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and replaced them with countersunk and covered with anti-fretting tape. I fitted the tanks strap and filed out a further clearance from the pontoon, riveted in place, bent it around the chassis rail and covered it in protective neoprene tape.

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After drilling a hole for the overflow pipe, the same neoprene tape was applied to the fuel tank, it was fitted back in place and two holes drilled to finish off the strap - currently held in place with clekos awaiting the delivery of aluminium rivnuts.

Final effort of the day was to fit a wheel and confirm clearance to the steering arm/track rod ends

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At Stoneleigh Simon advised me not to fit anything to the scuttle to make it easier to remove in the future so I've been looking at options to mount the repeater and expansion tank.  For the former I think I'll use the same LED repeaters as I have fitted to my cycle wings and for the latter I've been looking at obp's alloy parts and asking them to weld on the mounting bracket as far down as possible

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jonjh1964

Over the last week I've fitted the rigid brake line down the tunnel and p-clipped them all making sure that they are supported at least every 12".  Today was the chassis loom, this is an option that I've very glad I selected, the loom on the Midget was 43 years old and some of the switches crumbled when I removed the gauges from it.  The first thing I did was to add some extra wires, first was for the reverse light, I copied the standard Westfield SEIW loom taking an ignition switched 12V from the fuse box then down the tunnel to just before the hand brake switch where I made a spur down to the gearbox then all the way to the rear loom connections.  The second was a wire from the brake switch to the indicator switch for a BlinkStop.  I'm fitting a Denso alternator so also need a ignition switched 12V to it and plan to use one of the unused dynamo wires.

It took me quite a while to work out the best way to fit the loom around the engine bay, the build guide isn't too much help so there was lots of looking at photos from other builds and placing the various connectors to where they needed to be.

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Engine Bay

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Rear loom

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Tunnel wiring - with reverse switch and hand brake spurs visible at the point where the tunnel narrows.

I also fitted the half shafts to the rear axle and the brake drums and wheels to make sure there was even pressure over the whole of the seal - visible on the rear loom photo above

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Locking tab and gasket coated with sealer, there's also an o-ring under the gasket.

hopefully tomorrow I fit the dash, sort out the wiring that hides behind it and also fit the hand brake lever and cable.

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jonjh1964

Making steady progress - finished off fitting the fuel tank, rivnuts in the strap and then screws up under the dash to minimise the need for IVA covers

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Installed the dash - unlike the SEIW this one fixes to the chassis which means the scuttle can be removed without removing the upper dash fixings. All the gauges have new glass/chrome bezels, the speedo will need calibrating to the new gearbox and wheels at a later stage.

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I refitted the rear body work in order to install the lights and wiring but decided to 'practise' on the front IVA adapters

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First worked out which way was up by fitting the light fitting, then taped and  marked up the fibre glass

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Drilled the holes using the special 'plastic' drills that I bought to drill the head light covers, slightly bigger holes are to clear the aim adjusters.

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And the finished articles, my plan is to fit the plastic headlight covers and the use the same fixings to fit the IVA kit.

 

 

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jonjh1964

Limited time in the garage but cleared off a few bits and pieces.  Continuing with building so the scuttle can be easily removed, I bought alternative side repeaters - they're the same as the ones I have fitted to the SEIW cycle wings with an additional chrome/stainless steel bezel to be more in keeping with the 50s styling of the Eleven.  Fitting was straight forward - mark out, drill a 20mm hole with a step drill, de-bur, fit the rubber grommet, bezel and finally the repeater.

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I'd found my soldering iron so next I modified the chassis loom to convert it from Dynamo to Alternator, following the instructions provided by Mark Walker, and applied heat shrink to the new joints to insulate them.

With a bit of Cardboard Aided Design (CAD) I trimmed down the o/s pontoon closure panel and fitted it.

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 The final job of the day was to fill and bleed the brake system using an ezibleed it was straight forward but would have been easier without the rear body work clam fitted.  The initial fill/bleed went well but after fitting the front brake pads and pressing the brake pedal to increase pressure I found a couple of joints that needed nipping up.

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The brakes will now need a re-bleed so I left the ezibleed attached, I'm now away until the weekend.

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jonjh1964

After a busy week I eventually got sometime to relax in the garage.

The fuel pump, regulator/filter had arrived during the week so I fitted the pump, following Simon's recent advice and reading the Facet instructions that the pump must be mounted where temperatures of less than 60 deg C, I mounted it in the front o/s pontoon extending the wiring to reach it.

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I then moved on to the back bodywork clam drilling out the holes to mount the lights, installing the rear loom and connecting everything up.

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Unfortunately I mounted the indicators and rear/brake lights the wrong way around so I'll need to swap them around at some point.

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