The Build - part 5

Closeup of wiper mech.
Number plate & lamp and new shocks can be seen.Nearly done!

It's now August and quite a while since the last update, but progress has been made; The brakes are functional, and I have new, long-travel, shocks. The number plates, windscreen, wipers,mirrors and radiator grill are all fitted.

The trickiest part was the windscreen. The build manual says this is at least a 2 person job, but I managed it on my own. The main thing is to get the correct gap all the way round between the glass and the shell - I used blocks to support the glass in the hole and used a 7mm drill bit to measure around the edges.
Then lubricate the seal/filler strip - washing-up liquid is suggested, but I used aerosol silicone grease. I'd recommend using a proper fitting tool.

A very short update for 11/08/04: It's legal! Taxed and tested today.
It was a bit of a struggle, but the Dakar was just ready in time for the Club Trip to Llanerchindda Farm near Llandovery.

See what happened next. Back to the front. Send an e-mail.
Not much of test - but it does work!

Apart from the minor job of fitting a new starter motor, the first real trip had highlighted a few things to sort out:

1 - A high-lift jack is really useful!
2 - Rear spring-clamps are a neccessity before any more serious off-roading takes place.
3 - Proper recovery/towing points are needed (rather than the old fuel tank bracket!).
4 - Side steps will not only afford sill protection, but will make it much easier to get in when parked on a side-slope.
5 - I really need a roof!

Towbar cross-member.
The high-lift was easy enough - I bought one.
It was only about £35 which seemed like a bargain - it's not branded but appears tough enough.
Now I have to think of a way of mounting it on the Dakar.
A tow bar was a little more work, but I built a new rear cross-member with a tow-ball mounting fitted directly to it.
This is fine for recovery work but far too high for towing, so I have made an articulated drop-plate that lowers the tow-ball by 6 inches.
Standoff brackets mount  step to sill.
Tow-ball in "normal" position for off-road/recovery.In dropped position for on-road towing.

The next step was, erm, a pair of steps!
The step itself is a piece of "uni-strut" - a galvanised heavy duty C channel which captive nuts can just be slotted into. A bolt passes through the sill tube, through the middle of the stand-off bracket and into the captive nut - easy (although it did take most of a day to make the 4 stand-off brackets!!)

Side step.