More bonnet sanding


My case went missing on the way home from the US, luckily however it turned up last night, containing both my cloths and some clamps and bits I purchased in harbour freight so I’m a happy chap.

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Sorry for the boring post, I’m trying to convince my self that I am making progress and not just converting paint to the dust you can see all over the floor. I started of sanding back the filler on the wheel arches, you can see from how much more of the paint has been taken of the left arch that there it was a much bigger low spot.


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Then I worked on sorting out the concave radiuses, because I can’t get to them with the DA they need sanding by hand witch takes much longer despite the fact that I’m using 180 for hand sanding and 240 on the DA, one bonus is that because I’m wet sanding it keep the dust under control. Most of the bonnet is now basically flat and good, the edges need a little attention and there are one or two other areas that need touching up.


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The last job of the day was another skim of filler over the arches.


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I should get back to the work shop tomorrow and rub the filler back and maybe get the whole part to 240 to 340. The other odd thing I have noticed, while sanding stuff is that once things are flat going up through the grits above 400 it seam to go a bit quicker. I guess because you are taking much less of by that point.




I managed to get down to the work shop today for a couple of hours over the day. I stated by mounting the bonnet back on the car and rubbing the arches down to 240 grit, then put a second cost on the whole bonnet.
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Once the full coat had gone off I rubbed it all down with 240 grit again. Where the wide arch kit was bonded on there is a low spot that runs along the top of the wings. Im not sure if I want to fill it or leave it because it adds a feature that links to the side pod.

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The last job of the day was to put a couple of extra coats, on to the body work. I had hopped to get this rub down unfortunately it had not gone off when I nipped back down to the work shop to rub it down.

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Every thing is starting to get flat and look good, its interesting seeing the reflections change as the body work improves.

weekend progress

I went out for some beer in Manchester on Friday night, to get to the bar where we where meeting you can walk along the canal. A walk I would recommend in manchester, theres lots of interesting things to see, like the time line on the back of the Hacienda flats. There was also a house boat that had sunk, some one had clearly had a bad day. I was surprised that no one was trying to re-float the boat.

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on the car I decided that I was going to splitter the splitter to make it easer to remove from the car. I also chopped a bit of the side pod floor of to make removing the side pods with the wheels on the car easer. The part from the side pod floor and the side parts from the splitter got bonded together and I will get remake them as one part. Using the existing parts as a template.

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I have been wanting to have a go at a quick mold for something simple and the splitter seamed like a good thing to try on, because they tend to get bashed on stuff so don’t last that long. I started out by covering a bit of MDF in if packing tape, then built up a fence from scrap wood that also got covered in packing tape. The whole lot got a single coat of wax and we where ready to go. I pre cut, Diolen, Kevlar tape, core material and the bagging stack.

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I still find laminating full on so I don’t have any photos of the lay up. The stack is 200g Diolen, 3mm core fabric, 200g Diolen with kevlar tape used on all the edges and a rib made from core foam across the center of the part everything was laided up wet then, toped of with usual vacuum bagging stack. The idea was to give the part more abrasion resistance than carbon fiber.

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Once it was all in the bag I had a couple of leaks that where surpassingly hard to find. I found the best way to find the vacuum leaks was to listen for the whistling noise and then squees the gum tape until it stopped.

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Debagging was straight forward, remove the bag then peal the excess resin blanket off. pulling the peal ply off is probably the most tricky part, short sharp jerking motion seams to work best.

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Tadar one new splitter with flange. Unfortunately you can clearly see where the core fabric ends, because the tape is not as thick as the core. Next time I take the core fabric to the edge trim the part once cured and then bind the edge with kevlar tape as a second operation, I will also take more time laminating over the rib because its a bit untidy.

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I was also working on the bonnet, it has been blocked back with 180 grit all over and the imperfections on the top fixed. I stood it up one one end and marked the low spots with a pencil because they can be hard to see.

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All of the filling was done with Dolphin glaze a self leveling, finishing glaze, Its like body filler but you can put it on so much thinner. I would go so far as to sayDolphin glaze is an epiphany product, previously I would have hated doing this type of job but the glaze makes is so easy to put a thin coat on that can be lightly blended in with wet and dry once its gone off.

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The last job for the weekend was to get a couple of coats, of paten primer on to the bonnet, currently I have it on the sides and front. I will block the lot out to 500 grit put the bonnet on the car and and then pant the top flat once its flat so the paint does not run off and then blocking and polishing.

Body work and oil temp

I spent a couple of days this week working in Germany with no notice so the jobs I planed to get done in the week have slipped. While I really enjoy my job and the traveling it does get in the way of car building and spending time with the girlfriend.

2015-07-17 13.34.31During the week the oil temperature sensor arrived. it was installed in the oil tank with a dab of grease, so with any luck it will come out again if i ever need it to.

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The next job was to get the bonnet mounted back on the car so that I can mark out the splitter and trim it back with a constant over hang, at the moment there is far more over hang at the ends than in the middle, making things look a bit odd. it looks like I will end up with the splitter sticking out about 20mm, witch hopefully does not loom to Max power.

2015-07-17 14.28.17The last job of the day was to flat the bonnet back with some 320 grit on the DA to remove all the print through from the glass fiber cloth, and mark up any bits I think that can improve with a bit of filler. Emma is at pen fest this weekend so I have the whole weekend to work on the car. My goal was to get the bonnet and splitter sorted out. with some luck and a bit of avoiding the pub it seams like a reasonable goal.


Side-pod mould

Last week I was working in the south of France, the weather this time of year is great coupled with the food witch is all ways amazing made it was a reasonable trip. Through keeping up the running despite the temperature, I managed to keep the weight gain down to 3kg for the week, much better than normal

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I have been talking to a friend that does some laminating about how best to split the bonnet and put a new return on the two parts. His advice has been to make a mould that bridges the cut line, cut the part and then use the mould section and a fence to laminate the new flange on to the part. Because I don’t want to test making a mould on the biggest and most obvious part of the car I decided to run a  test and make a mould of the side pod.

The progress below has taken about a week, I have made a lot of mistakes but more importantly learnt loads about making moulds and laminating in general. Most of the ideas that I have been trying are based on the you tube videos of Bob building large scale RC jets.

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I started off making a box out of MDF to hold the side pod with some supporting ribs, so that the part cant flex. Then I used hot glue to hold the part in place and seal it to the side of the part to the box. The next step was to make the end fences out of aluminum by bending it to follow the part and screwing it to the rib under the part. I went round the edge with filleting wax, rolling it out in to a sausage and the pushing the wax down in to the gap then trimmed the excess back with a blunt knife. Finally I waxed the surface with a good eight or nine coats of wax.

My work shop is a second world war bomb shelter and hence very cool because of the thick walls and concrete roof, this means despite making up the resin with a ratio at the top end of the recommendation, it goes of slowly. Your timings and ratios will be different to mine, all cloth was pre cut and laid out ready.

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The picture on the left shows the next step, painting the tooling gel coat on to the part and the side of the box. I gave the part two coats 4 hours apart and then left it to go off over night. If I was doing this again I would have made the sides of the box shallower so that I could get the brush in to the hard to reach areas so the gel was more evenly distributed. When I came back the  following day, the gel was tacky to the touch and perfect for the coupling coat and 150g cloth.  A light covering of coupling coat is brushed on to the part, the fabric laid in and then stippled down with more resin as required.

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I don’t have any pictures of laying up the reinforcing resin because it all got a bit hectic. This is the most resin and cloth, I have ever laid up in one go. There are 4 layers of 450g mat and about 4kg of resin. I need some bigger mixing buckets, I had a row of eight cups with 500g of resin in, then catalysing the next cup as the previous ran dry.  The resin is panted in and then the cloth placed in the same way as the coupling coat, but the heave fabric is much harder to get it to conform to the mould. Once I had four layers of fabric in the mould I slid the foam cores in and laminated over them to make both reinforcement and a bace to the mould. The final step was to give the the whole lot a light baking using a hear gun and an tent to ensure that the exotherm reaction kicked in.

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The next day Emma and I went down to the work shop to see if we could de-mould the mould. I was a bit concerned that a week had been wasted and I now had a heavy lump of junk, That the original part could not be salvaged from. Once the screws where removed from the aluminium fences they fell of the mould, moving round to the side the boards needed a bit of jiggling but came free quickly. This left the part and mould to split, they needed some more persuasion I had to use some chisels to get the edges started but once the edges had been worked round the two parts popped apart. Some plastic wedges would make this a lot easer

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Leaving me with a fantastic mould there are no voids or other problems. The pictures show the mould once we had rubbed it down with a cloth to remove the wax. You can see a the places where the gel coat is a bit thin but other than that Im very happy with it. You can see that I made the mould so deep so it will sit on the flat on the work top both on its sides and back the idea was to make it easer to work on next time I think I will just bond feet on afterwards. The next step is to polish it up and have a go at making a part.

Technical debt

As I’m working on the exhaust routing at the moment, I decided I would also work on the side pods in parallel so that the clearance to the side pod can be checked.

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I forgot to take any pictures of the side pod rough sanded, before I sploged hi build primer all over the part. The second photo shows how things look once I have blocked over the part with 240 grit to cut the worst of the imperfections out. Then I went over the panel with a sharpie marking up some the bits I would like to fix. This is the worse of the panels I have and it is not as bad as the pictures make it look.

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The wideband o2 box was fixed in place with some velcro and the crank sensor plug fitted to the loom.

I went to the pub last week to meet a number of ex-colleagues. while we where chatting topic of technical debt came up. Witch reminded me that I have not been all that good at keeping a record of the wiring loom. So I have been working on a spread sheet and some drawings of how every thing is connected. Once I work out a good way of embedded the information in the blog i will get it posted to keep the debt to a minimum.



Wheels arrived

The wheels arrived form Force today, they where very well packed.

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A couple of moments with a knife had the box open and they look great. Im supper happy with how they have turned out in the flesh.


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At only 4.0kg per wheel they are really light as well.


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