Build - part 2
the second week in April and I call in assistance from friends Matt, David and
Robert to fit the roll-cage to the chassis. Amazingly, it only took about half
an hour to get it in place.
aspect of the bulkhead is modifying it to accept the roll-cage - it needs to
be narrowed slightly. The Dakar build manual is a bit vague about this job and
favours the "hit it with a big hammer 'til it fits" approach!
I prefer my "cut and shut" method, now
that I'm a dab-hand with the welder.
end of April approaches and I have cleaned and painted the transmission tunnel,
before fitting it to the bulkhead and roll-cage assembly - it definitely feels
like it is starting to take shape.
I had a day off building on May Day bank holiday, and went to the National
Kit Car Show at Stoneleigh, where I bought a few bits and pieces and also met
up with some Dakar owners at Avon Dassett quarry.
slow until the last couple of weeks of May when serious construction started!
The floor panels, pedal box and steering column all went in.
I also fixed (I think) an oil leak from the overdrive unit.
took another month to complete the sill panels (45 rivets in each outer panel),
but then the body was ready to fit. Overdrive still leaks !
I could get on with the electrics - I started with the front side-light units
and the tail-light clusters, running all the new wiring back to the passenger
footwell, where they meet up with the original dash loom.
the beginning of August Matt said he would need his welding gear back, so I
concentrated on making some seat frames. By the time these were done, it was
time for the club trip to Baskerville Hall. In the
meantime I bought a second-hand welder (now lent out to someone else!!)
September I got the welder back and started constructing a frame to support
the rear floor. I used the same 1" square tube that I made the front seat
frames from. The manual doesn't give any particular advice on this part of the
build, but I wanted something quite strong to take the weight of the fuel tank.
The flat aluminium panels sit on top and are reinforced with steel braces underneath.