Build Your Own Car – More on the Chassis

Another episode in the Build Your Own Car saga.

Although the major part of building the chassis was done, there were still many jobs left. To avoid rust, the chassis was painted with a rust inhibiting paint which was bought from Screwfix. (Great if you want to build your own car. Loads of fixtures and adhesives and tools etc). The chassis was de-greased using white spirit and all surface rust was removed before painting.

The back axle was also painted and trial fitted, along with the front stub axles and hubs and steering rack. All of the braking components had been refurbished with new seals etc, new pads and shoes and new discs.

The next stage was fitting the steering rack, an Escort Quick Rack which John the welder just happened to have about his person. I had bought new mounting rubbers as the old ones had seen better days, covered in oil and very soft. New ball joints were fitted to the ends of the rack. The next problem was fitting the Ford Sierra steering column. For the SVA, the column had to be collapsible and also had to have a kinked joint at the bottom where it attached to the rack. The column had to be extended as the standard column was too short for the Locost. This was done by cutting the end off the column and welding a piece of seamless tube between the shortened column and the end which had been cut off. Getting the position of the spider joint that connected to the rack correct was difficult to say the least. There was not a lot of clearance between the chassis and the engine, but with some tweaking and modifying one of the chassis uprights we got it in.

The engine and gearbox were also trial fitted and the mounts adjusted (with a file) to line up with the mounting blocks on the engine and gearbox. I didn’t have a lifting tackle (owned one once, but lent it to a friend who left it in the boot of a car that he sold). So I tried to find, (remembering from the past) a cheap and cheerful hoist made I believe by a company called Haltrac but they seemed to have disappeared of the face of the earth. Soo, I went to a local boat chandlers and got him to make me up a block and tackle with bits normally used for hoisting up sails. Effectively, it was the same idea as the Haltrac hoist with stainless steel pulleys and a cord which was probably nylon or polypropalene. It worked brilliantly and enabled me to lift the engine and gearbox in and out of the chassis with little effort. Fortunate, as I subsequently found I had to do it several times.

I now had a chassis that could be wheeled around which made life a lot easier.

Below are some pictures of the rolling chassis at this stage.

Have a, or check out Ebay to see what cars are available.

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