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  1. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    I fancied a change of pace - I was probably frustrated with the pedal box and boot hinge at this point - and remembered that my bonnet hinge didn’t come with any collars to set the left & right position; the Dax hinge is basically a large tube that pivots around a smaller tube with the smaller tube mounted to the inner wings, and is free to slide left & right along that tube unless you restrict this movement. The build manual mentioned locking collars, so I decided I’d make some up out of some aluminium bar I had lying around. Lathe time! These are (short) videos, so links rather than in-line.


    First, part off a section of 6082 long enough for two collars:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ChyQvgCAnzpt7YSR7


    Then face off the ends:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/UmHgLUfWkxCigUwJA


    Spot drill for the center:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Nb6q81Ph6gaNzUyM8


    Then up a size:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/KNc35eJUFq4vXgKdA


    And up another size:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/4Q7VZK5tcPppHh4y7


    And then out with the boring bar to bore out to final size:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/EeLr2UWgKBPZk72G8


    Then parted them into two, cross-drilled for a grub screw and tapped them for M4 grub screws:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/mPeEgn5pFAiRKtAZA


    Then, nothing much happened - or at least was photographed! - until November when we went to the Classic Car show at the NEC and I picked up a full set of IVA-bezel Smiths Electronic gauges, Lucas switches, warning lights and so on:



    Spotted another colour I’d really love to paint the Cobra - House of Kolor Candy Apple Root Beer - but since that’s a candy colour and hideously expensive .. probably won’t!





    Finally in November, I glassed in the in-fill panels in the boot:






    And also welded a throttle-stop to the pedal box, so that I can set the limit of travel without relying on the carb itself:



    Remember, a grinder and paint, etc!








    And that takes us up and into 2018..
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    January 2018 saw the delivery of the windscreen from Brasscraft - a heated, tinted windscreen plus wind wings and sun visors, and all the fittings:



    The heating elements are reasonably unobtrusive, just like a tin-top:



    Finally I got back to hanging panels on the car, too - first, the boot was hung:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/4tGxDDakC8ec2yGw6


    I used flat sections of fibreglass to build up plinths for the hinges to bolt to, and sandwiched bond-in fittings in there. They still need tidying up with filler and smoothing to be presentable, but they are functional at this point.


    I hung and gapped both doors:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/gEs4dZyCjk6gumzU9


    One went very easily indeed, and the other was a complete pain! It turns out that the tubes the hinges bolt to aren’t symmetrical with respect to the body (despite them being part of the scuttle hoop that is factory bonded into the body), so packing spacers were needed on the
    drivers side to move the hinge toward the A pillar. Here you can see that the passenger side is 10cm back from the A pillar:



    But the drivers’ side is 11cm back - that 10mm makes all the difference with the door barely opening on the drivers’ side before the hinges fouled the A pillar:



    Pretty sure it was Dave who suggested I check the scuttle hoop was actually square..


    Progress is slow at this point - we’re up to March already now, and I fitted the brake reservoir on a home-made bracket:



    It juuuust touches the underside of the bonnet right now, so may need slightly adjusting.


    There was a trip to snowy Goodwood to see the “real” ones at the Members Meeting:



    And this at the NEC:



    And having picked up some “normal” headlights at the NEC, I swapped out the LED units:
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    The rest of March saw me working on the braking system again, so now I can talk about my solution to desiring twin master cylinders, yet using the Dax pedal box!


    What you can see here is twin AP Racing master cylinders mounted to a Compbrake Escort pedal box, which replaces the servo and houses the bias bar etc:



    Usually they are open-sided, but since I didn’t want a route for air/etc to get into the car from the engine bay, and a way to render the bias bar invisible. You can see how they normally look on their website: https://www.compbrake.com/product/fo...cylinder-copy/


    The cover plates were just bent up steel, welded closed and then secured with rivnuts in the pedal box itself - they can be removed fairly easily for access to the internals if necessary at IVA, and the bias bar will be lock-wired and nyloc’d, once I figure out roughly where it should be set!


    Somewhere in here I’ve fitted the winscreen and the wipers - the wiper boxes are upside down, as I would find out (much) later!






    I’m fairly sure I bought the wiper kit from Dax assuming the bundy tube would be pre-cut to length and flared; either that or I bought it from Europa or CBS, but either way it wasn’t.. I flared it using my cheapy eBay brake flaring tool:



    Not perfect, but it gets the job done and the tube won’t fall out of the wiper boxes!


    We’re in April now, and I’ve fitted the boot lock:



    And stay:



    I was never totally happy with the way the stay is mounted, though, so I’ll probably revisit that later.. It’s a bit wobbly!


    Some brightwork went on:



    And I finally started on the wiring loom .. I think it took close to a year to finish the wiring, in the end!
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    The first bits of loom went in relatively quickly - some of it was very easy to judge and figure out, but what I found hard was routing all of the services without knowing where some of it would need to end up or how much space I’d actually be left with behind the dashboard when that went in - more than I thought, I think is the answer to that!





    But that’s how the fuse boxes and relays started off looking - they remained quite similar until now, in fact, although they’ve been joined by a few more relays and a few more fuses..


    Here, I’ve punched the main front-to-rear loom through and run it along the chassis rail; notice that the fuel return is gone, now..



    Since the loom was modular, it is joined in the middle using waterproof connectors:



    Some continues upward into the boot:



    While some dives down to feed the fuel pump:



    Everything, and I mean everything, is secured at roughly 9” intervals using P-clips or push-in conduit clips. Overboard, maybe, but the IVA man can’t question it .. hopefully!


    It is a bit crowded down by the fuel pump, though!



    I tried to keep cable runs outside where possible, so the rear loom (which was handily quite long) actually runs up into the ‘cavity’ between boot and rear bulkhead, and then along the rear chassis leg before entering the boot to feed the rear lights:



    We are up to July 2018 by this point! And I’ve also sold a car, taken several holidays, been away for work a few times and Louise is well on the way learning to drive and has bought her first car - a Smart For Two which she loved but hated! Oh, and I’ve been helping a mate modify his car by fitting a new exhaust; it’s this mates fault that I’m building a Cobra in the first place, I should add!
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Hymc2UPWrjesfVQy7
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    While I was away for work the main +ve and -ve feeds for the loom went in courtesy of my Dad, and on my return I fiddled with the microswitch on the handbrake a little bit to try and get it working reliably:



    I started fitting the bonnet hinge - first, by laying the hinge against the bonnet and drilling holes through the inner skin and bonded-in steel plate per the build manual, then tapping them for M8 bolts:



    Then the inner tube (bolted to the bonnet) was married to the outer tubes (which bolt to the inner wings) and these were drilled through into the arches and bolted into place. Remember, this is some time in 2018 .. I just (literally last night) moved the hinge up in the arches as high as possible so that the bonnet no longer catches on the front of the car! I think that took about four hours, because it’s really hard to be both sides of the wheel arch at the same time…






    Note those locking collars I made earlier are now installed


    I also borrowed a set of wheels from another forum member that were up for sale - sadly, the offsets weren’t right for the Dax. The rears were close, but the fronts stuck out a long way..








    In September, I got back to the wiring harness that nearly killed me…
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    Whoops - I meant it was the fronts that were right, but the rears were wrong.. I think. Either way they weren't right and another forum member bought them instead, so no harm done there.

    I really wanted to keep all the wiring as hidden as humanly possible, which meant some creative routing and keeping as much as I could up underneath the body - i.e. around the bonnet opening, boot opening or under the car, in the arches etc.. lots and lots of either rivet-on or bond-on (Würth) cable tie bases were used at this point!





    In that picture the wiring is exiting the bulkhead between the brake reservoir and clutch master cylinder - you can just see it popping out through a Trigger Automotive rubber bulkhead grommet (https://www.triggerhandbrakes.com/Bezels1.html). The loom splits into two right there with one leg running down each side of the bonnet opening.


    Down the left run the lights (headlights, sidelights, indicators), horn, radiator fan, alternator sense and brake switch wiring. That splits again by the inner arch with the alternator & brake wiring staying inside the engine bay - you can see the brake switch wiring dive down the inner arch - and the alternator wiring is curled up in a loop. The lights continue through the arch, then back out through the other end of the arch to the lights where it splits (again) to run to the drivers’ and passenger side lights with the radiator fan wiring (obviously) stopping in the middle.


    The right hand side has the wiring for the coil, water and oil pressure & temperature senders, etc, and terminates in a plug between footwell and wheel arch with the rest to be completed once the engine is in.


    The brake fluid sensor and water pump wiring both drop down from the rear lip of the bonnet opening - you can see one above, and the other here:



    Inside the car, I started wiring in what I could, like the wipers (oh, how I cursed at the wiper wiring .. a lot):



    As well as IVA compliant-yet-not-Dax dashboard layouts (padded dash should pass radius requirements, but we will see!)



    Somewhere in here I must have also fitted the VW Beetle wiper stalk to the Corsa column per instructions I got out of Kevin Davies - basically, the Corsa stalk bracket also houses the upper bearing, so you can’t do away with it entirely (despite the Corsa column being an almost perfect fit for the Beetle stalk!) - so you hacksaw off all the excess plastic, then file it down to be exactly the same size as the column itself. It is still retained by the two plastic retaining pegs from the original column. You can see what needs to be ditched in this picture:



    You’re really just keeping that central ‘tube’, and securing it into the column with pegs that drop into the square holes (there is one at the bottom, unseen, too). I could have done it in the lathe but since it took about five minutes with a hacksaw and a file… Here you can see how that looks once completed:





    I went away for a bit (to Berlin, lovely city) and came back to find that my Dad had put all the gauges etc in the dash for me.. Plus a couple of things (like the USB socket) that I wasn’t actually going to fit. Never mind!

    I made up a temporary panel for switches, so that I didn’t have to keep dragging the large (and floppy) dashboard around, and wired up the lights, hazards etc:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/ERtBptMLErKzdVJ77




    Figured out the wiper wiring and .. at this point realised that the wiper boxes are upside down, so the wipers run backwards:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/9pJRfJnsGsmishi19


    Progress slowed due to work (trip to Tel Aviv), holiday (trip to Paris) and so on, but finally the dash was in and had all the switches in it - ready to be upholstered:
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/kcnPNQBZwbMehBBU7


    Plus, I tried to fix my two indicator stalks .. I had one that wouldn’t ‘latch’ properly, and one that latched nicely but didn’t work electrically! They are an absolute nightmare to take apart - very cheaply made, full of tiny pieces and violent springs etc.. the one that wouldn’t latch was cheap and easily bent inside (hence no longer latching) and the expensive one was covered in green verdigris.. Once filed off, that one worked, at least! The other one went into the bin:





    And we are at the end of 2018, at last!
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    January 2019 .. I realised I had an issue with the steering; an enormous amount of play. Most of it seems to have been in the universal joints that came from Dax many years previously, so I replaced them with much more substantial UJs from CBS - they required the intermediate shaft shortening a little more, but seem to have less play. There may still be a little play somewhere, but I need to button everything up from the wheel to the .. wheels, before I can find that. This was the play before I started (BTW, all these Google Photos links are videos):
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/rAoZfiMtiWmaGKQ87


    These were the original UJs. It’s impossible to really see the play in a video, but you could just about see it in real life - cumulative play from each UJ added up to almost an inch at the wheel rim!
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Y7KySsE5STvtYYhF6


    As long as it doesn’t turn out to be the steering rack..


    I grunted and strained a bit underneath the dashboard area and turned the wiper boxes around, so at least the wipers don’t try to bury themselves in the bodywork anymore
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/sSdqxsGv7DJTUYNT9


    Not much else really happened in February, and in March we lost a lot of time after I got punted up the arse while driving the OHs Mini - very little damage, but a lot of arseache with insurance companies who wanted to write her car off (which she’d only had a month) saying “A car that age, we may as well just write it off” without ever seeing it, when the damage amounted to a slightly bent bumper cover and a few scratches on the bumper:



    Repaired in the end, and the body shop did a fantastic job and blew in an area just large enough to cover the one scratch the car had elsewhere which was nice - and I honestly can’t tell it’s been painted. But what a load of arseache. By way of thanks, the Mini decided to start blowing blue smoke on overrun (stem seals, known weak spot) and occasionally rattling (timing chain .. known weak spot) - should have written it off


    Near the end of March we did an insane road trip to Bristol, a place near Bristol, and Farnham, and collected another FE engine (390 FE truck motor complete with C6 autobox) for a bargain price - and this one came with a lot of accessories & accessory mountings:



    That was a long day in a rented van .. the other two stops were to pick up new dining chairs that were cheaper on eBay than in Ikea (like, half price cheaper, or it wouldn’t have been worth it), but jeez.. A long day in a van.


    The dashboard also got its nice soft covering to satisfy the IVA man:



    But by far the worst thing in March was this:



    That was the last walk we ever took him on. He’d suddenly gone from his normal bright self to lethargic, unable to eat, poop, not wanting to walk, so we booked an emergency appointment and walked him up there. The vet found an enormous mass in his abdomen and after tests decided it was inoperable due to its size and his age, and he never came home.
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Fareham
    Age
    53
    Posts
    33
    So sad...Poor fella. Still missed no doubt..

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    Quote Originally Posted by Yzfmerc View Post
    So sad...Poor fella. Still missed no doubt..
    Very, very much so .. it was both the hardest decision I've ever made and the easiest to let him go; it meant no more pain for him, but a lot for us. We scattered his ashes in the local park (and I can joke about that now - it looked like someone had had a BBQ! He made a lot of ashes..) and we're trying to sponsor an English Oak to be planted there in his memory - must say that the local tree people (Veolia look after the parks) were really good about that, although they've gone radio silent now it's planting season!

    Took a while to get back to the car after losing him, but I eventually turned the rats-nest of wiring behind the dash into a … slightly tidier rats-nest:



    Oh and we finally got her Mini back - nearly two months after the accident:





    And that takes us up to the end of April already.


    May(!) arrived and my wheels arrived from Bob @ Vintage! Unfortunately one was damaged in shipping by Fedex and had to be replaced; which was all taken care of by Bob, so top points for service and customer care, there, I’d highly recommend him:
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northampton
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,873
    First job in May was to fit the door latches - I wanted a nice ‘easy win’ on my to-do list, and thought .. how hard can that be? Follow instructions, job done.


    So I did! First, a tip:
    Don’t do everything to one door and then just think “I’ll just mirror the same measurements over” because you’ll find it won’t work. Ah, symmetry.


    Dax supply the door latches with a backing plate that goes inside the door - you can tap that plate to accept the bolts or you can use nuts behind it; given access is damn near impossible unless you have hands like a five year old but arms like Michael Jordan, I went with the tapping option! Then, you can use the back half of the lock mechanism as a template to drill the four mounting holes, the large clearance hole for the pivot and the notch for the lock itself:



    Here, you can see that I clearly fell for the “This door will be the same as the other one” and had to move the lock further away from the edge of the door.. This also lead to an interesting difference side-to-side - here’s the passenger side striker:



    And here is the drivers’ side striker:



    Note that one has a stack of washers - this was the door I did first, following the instructions in the build manual for lock position with respect to the door edge. Then I mirrored that to the other side and found that I couldn’t move the striker far enough away from the lock to clear.. Which implies the door gaps on the outside (which are roughly equivalent) do not follow through to the size of the inner skin of the door. Surprise!


    Anyway, if you are in need of a rough guide, you are looking to put the striker about 65mm up from the corner return shown here:



    With the back edge of the striker about 10mm in:



    Also the “notch” will need to be much bigger than you think!



    I got all this stuff close to aligned by measuring as above, but still needed to enlarge the striker post hole a little. No problem, because you’ll need to bond a steel spreader plate in behind the glass anyway - so what I did was drill the hole in that the ‘exact’ size I needed, then bond it in with Wurth and, while that was still pliable, set the position of the striker and tightened the bolt up:



    Once the Würth had set I unbolted everything, rust-proofed the area and then covered it in a few layers of 350gsm glass mat to encapsulate everything. Finally, once that was dry, I drilled back through using the hole in the steel as my guide.


    Now another tip - I did all of this with the car sitting on the lift, off the ground. Turns out, once you put it back on the ground the doors are harder to shut (hmm.. Chassis stiffness, anyone?? I’ll be honest - that was a little disappointing!) so you probably want to do a final adjustment on the wheels.


    I also fitted the door hinge escutcheons, which was really just so that all the holes will be there. They’ll come off again for paint, like all the other brightwork:



    Looking at the pictures, that was actually all done in one day - May 11th.
    My DeDion build diary..
    Hon Sec of the Digidash branch of the Unpopular Kit Car Design club

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