|8.30am, 02/10/2004. The build begins! Ideally, I'd like to finish the car by next summer. If it takes longer, then so be it - I'm not in any hurry. I thoroughly enjoyed putting the Quantum together and I'm sure I'll enjoy this one as well. Most of the work will be done at weekends. During the week, I'll be plotting, planning, preparing and sourcing any parts, consumables or tools needed.
I'm not very experienced with sheet metal work, so I began the panelling with the rear bulkheads. Although not the simplest panels on the car, they are relatively small. If I mess one up, a replacement aluminium panel will be cheaper. The floor panels are 16 gauge, all other panels are 18 gauge.
I started by cutting the panels to their basic rectangular shape, then measured and transferred the size and location of the various chassis members and brackets on to the panel. The panels were marked out using a scriber and most of the cutting was done with a jig saw fitted with a fine High Speed Steel blade. Some smaller cuts were done with a hand nibbler.
The rear bulkhead panels ready to fit...
...and clamped in position.
Before fitting the O/S/F bulkhead panel, the pedal box had to be bolted in position with the upper bolts, so that the lower mounting bracket could be drilled.
A small nick needs to be filed in the top bracket, to clear the front servo mounting bolt.
The front bulkhead panels. The closer-spaced pair of holes are for the throttle pedal bracket. It dawned on me that both panels were almost identical, so I placed the first one I cut on top of the second blank panel and scribed around it. I should have turned the blank panel upside down...
...as I now have one panel with the best side to the front and one to the rear! The front bulkhead can be made from three, two, or if you're really clever, one piece of aluminium (the manual recommends three). I've chosen to use two.
The front scuttle panel, with slots cut for the pedal box brackets.
Silly mistake number 2. I confused a small blemish in the panel with the centre mark of the hole for the clutch cable, resulting in a big hole in the wrong place! Not wanting to do the whole panel again, I made a small patch panel with the hole in the right place, to cover the error. From now on, I'll use proper crosses when marking out.
The O/S side panel. A large but simple rectangle. Thankfully, I didn't mess this up.
I used the O/S panel as a template for the N/S one. A perfect match.
The boot floor panel - a very easy small rectangle.
I've decided to cut the floor panel in two. The rear half will be fitted to the bottom of the chassis and the front half on top (the build manual recommends fitting the whole panel in one piece to the bottom of the chassis).
The rear half of the floor panel.
Clamped in position seen from below...
...and from above.